Twitter for SEO: How To Use Twitter to Boost Your Brand

Twitter for SEO: How To Use Twitter to Boost Your Brand

Twitter is has a massive audience, making it a great platform for advertising products and services, or sharing your content.

If you aren’t using Twitter to boost your brand, you’re seriously missing out.

According to Statista, Twitter has amassed more than 330 million active monthly users.

twitter for SEO twitter users

But there’s a better reason to build your brand on Twitter, besides the capability to reach the large, diverse audiences it provides.

Search engines actually use social signals from social media to rank your website. Likes, shares, and comments can have a massive impact on SEO.

According to cognitive SEO, the higher the average number of shares, comments, and likes a brand has, the higher their website rank actually is.

social signals Twitter for SEO

That’s crazy, right?

If you use Twitter correctly, you can boost your brand’s search engine rankings just by posting on the platform.

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That’s because Twitter lets you build a large following and gain the attention you need to boost brand awareness.

More brand awareness = more searches about your company.

You might be wondering, “Where do I start?”

Exposure is key. For starters, you need to promote Twitter trends, your tweets, and your account to get your name out there to as many people as possible.

Twitter for SEO Tip #1: Promote, Promote, Promote

Twitter ads are a surefire way to gain tons of visibility, generate leads, and grow your audience. Therefore, promoting content on Twitter can help you rank higher.

The best part is that you can target specific, custom audiences.

One brand that is currently using an effective Twitter strategy is Rothy’s, a sustainable shoe company. Their Twitter content is on-brand, impactful, and engaging.

Rothy’s shoes are not only made from recycled materials, but they’re also machine washable. And the brand doesn’t let their Twitter followers forget it.

twitter SEO, twitter trending example rothys

One way to enjoy the same success as Rothy’s is to promote your own trends or “tags.”

Promote Twitter Trends

On Twitter, trending or “viral” topics appear on the Discover tab, within the Twitter app, and on the left side of the page.

When you promote a trend, it will appear in those locations.

twitter trends example

The more people that use the tag, the more exposure you’ll gain.

Promote Tweets

Promoted tweets are just regular tweets that appear for users who don’t follow you on Twitter.

The only difference is that Twitter will add a tag to these tweets that read, “Promoted by (your brand’s name.)”

twitter for SEO twitter ad example

Users can like or retweet them like any other tweet, but you have to pay to have them show up in a targeted audience’s timeline.

Promote Accounts

Promoted accounts put your entire Twitter account in front of users you’ve targeted to help grow your audience.

As many as 85% of people say that they find new businesses on Twitter through promoted accounts.

Promoted accounts appear within people’s timelines in the “Who to follow” section and search results.

twitter for SEO promote twitter accounts ad example

A small tag will appear under your account name that says, “Promoted.”

You shouldn’t just be promoting your account, tweets, and tags to targeted audiences, though. Be sure to add targeted keywords so Google is more likely to recognize your tweets.

Twitter for SEO Tip #2: Use Targeted Keywords

You optimize your website for the keywords you want to rank for.

Why not do the same with your Twitter account? Add keywords right in your Twitter bio, for example, so that Google associates your account with relevant keywords.

Use these same keywords within your tweets or as a caption alongside images you post.

Users who are searching for these terms on Twitter will then find your page. Your tweets will get more exposure, which will boost your SEO.

The best part is that keyword searches on Twitter account for misspelling, synonyms, slang, and more, just like on Google.

If a user searches for “love pizza,” broad match results might include, “loving pizza” or, “I love pizza.”

You know which tweets, tags, accounts, and keywords you want to promote. But which audiences should you promote them to?

Twitter for SEO Tip #3: Select Your Twitter Audience

You can target Twitter ads to certain audiences so they appear in search and in their timeline.

You can select additional audience features and add keywords to any ad campaign. You can even import multiple keywords.

twitter for seo choose your audience example

Campaigns will show up in both search and timeline by default.

You can customize where tweets appear if you prefer one over the other, though.

And adding tailored audiences only takes a few clicks.

You can upload your own list or you can put a code on your website to collect visitors, purchasers, or downloaders.

It’s important to note that uploading your own list can take up to three hours.

twitter for SEO how to upload lists

In addition to promoting your content, using targeted audiences, and selecting a custom audience, you should also use relevant hashtags.

Twitter for SEO Tip #4: Use Relevant Hashtags

There are several ways to use relevant hashtags.

You can be on the lookout for trending Twitter topics you can use to generate more attention.

With this one, make sure that you research and understand what a tag means before you use it.

For instance, you might not want to use the tag “#WhyIStayed” to promote your pizza, since that tag originated as a way for people to share stories about domestic violence.

You can also create a branded hashtag (that you can later promote) as Toyota has done with the tag “#LetsGoPlaces.”

It’s right in the company’s Twitter bio.

twitter trending, twitter SEO toyota letsgoplaces example

By creating a branded tag, you’ll encourage other Twitter users to use the same hashtag on posts that they share featuring your brand.

twitter for SEO example #letsgoplaces

Rothy’s has accomplished the same kind of brand awareness with the tag “#LiveSeamlessly.”

twitter for SEO rothys example #liveseamlessly

You can even find out which hashtags influencers are using with the help of a few tools.

Like Twitonomy, which will show you a list of the top ten hashtags for the industry influencers you search for.

twitter for SEO how to find top hashtags

Finding trending hashtags in your industry at any given time is important, too.

Hashtagify is a great tool to try out since it will reveal the top 10 hashtags related to the keyword you search for.

For example, if you want to see the most popular tags related to the word “SEO,” type it into the search bar.

The site will show you the tag’s recent popularity and trend information.

twitter for SEO tools hastagifyme

From there, you can see a full list of related hashtags.

twitter for SEO find related hashtags

You can even view a list of top influencers related to that specific tag.

twitter for seo find top influencers

If that isn’t enough, look at Twitter’s tailored trends for more ideas.

Twitter for SEO Tip #5: Check Out Twitter Trending Topics

Tailored trends, which Twitter introduced in 2012, give you a list of topics based on your location and the users you follow.

Twitter trending topics can help you stay current on topics that are important to your audience. Keep an eye on these lists and make sure that your selections are as close to the audiences you’re targeting.

To change your location, just click on the “Change” button.

twitter trends example Twitter for SEO

Then, enter the region/country and city that you want to see.

twitter trends set location

That’s all there is to following Twitter trends!

Now, if you aren’t already adding images and video to your tweets, you should. They will give you more exposure than tweets without them, which is great for SEO.

Twitter for SEO Tip #6: Add Images and Video

According to WordStream, tweets with images receive 18% more clicks than tweets without them.

More clicks = better rankings.

Make sure that you only include images that are relevant, engaging, and high-quality.

Mr. Peanut’s account using this image is a great example:

twitter for SEO tips use images example mr Peanut

Video views can have the same effect as images.

According to Insivia, 82% of Twitter users watch video content on the platform.

Add a short video to your next tweet to promote your product, brand, or service, like this one from SMILF.

twitter for SEO example SMILF

Giveaways and polls are another great way to interact with followers, find new followers, and most important of all, gain attention.

Twitter for SEO Tip #7: Run Giveaways and Polls

One simple way to leverage Twitter to boost your search engine rankings is to run a giveaway based on retweets.

To enter, people complete an action, like retweeting one of your tweets.

You can include a link to your website or your most recent blog post in the tweet to boost that page’s rankings.

Or, just add a branded hashtag like the Pittsburgh Steelers did in a Twitter giveaway.

twitter for SEO giveaway example Pittsburgh steelers

Be sure to offer the winner a prize and announce to your audience the date that you will be choosing the winner.

Running polls is just as easy as running a giveaway, if not easier.

BuzzFeed has even created an entire Twitter account dedicated to polls, which currently has 119,000 followers.

You can use polls to settle a debate or interact with your followers by asking questions, like Airbnb.

twitter for SEO airbnb poll example

The engagement you’ll gain from giveaways and polls will boost likes and retweets, improving your overall search rankings.

Remember how I said to include a link to your website when running giveaways? You should add those to regular tweets too, especially if you post blog content regularly.

Twitter for SEO Tip #8: Share Links

The power of links on Twitter is huge. Sharing them can maximize the reach of your content and web pages.

Since Google recognizes links, tweeting URLs is a quick way to use the power of Twitter to boost your rankings.

That’s one of the reasons I share links regularly to promote my new blog posts.

twitter for SEO tips example from Neil Patel

By sharing links, you’ll direct and drive traffic right to your site, which Google will love.

I like to use a URL shortener like Bitly to optimize my links before I share them so that my links don’t take up too much of my character count.

If you don’t have a blog, tweet out links to your products or web pages on a regular basis, like Free Radicals does.

twitter for SEO example of posting a product

Just be sure to share relevant and helpful information regularly, not just links to your products.

Twitter for SEO Tip #9: Tweet Consistently

You may think that more is better when it comes to tweeting.

But Google might actually see that approach as spam.

Plus, you don’t want to post too many tweets in a row to your followers, or you might annoy them into clicking that “unfollow” button.

Stagger tweets throughout the day and during times when your followers are the most active.

One tool that makes scheduling tweets easy and efficient is TweetDeck.

To schedule tweets, just write them out and select the date and time you want them to go live.

twitter for SEO tools tweetdeck

Another great Twitter management tool is Hootsuite. You can integrate other social media accounts with this tool, too.

You should also use a tool like Tweriod to determine when most of your followers are online. Buffer does this in their platform as well.

twitter for SEO twitter tools tweriod

Those are the best times for you to tweet because your tweets will get maximum exposure and attention.

Aside from following all the rules I’ve already named for boosting your rankings through Twitter, the most important one is to actually interact with your audience and reply to them.

Twitter for SEO Tip #10: Interact with Followers

This tip might seem obvious, but people often overlook it.

Imagine if Wendy’s hadn’t replied to Carter Wilkerson? #NuggsForCarter would never have become a trending topic that brought Wendy’s tons of publicity.

twitter for SEO tip interact with followers example

It can be hard to gain interactions on Twitter. Considering that users send over 350,000 tweets every minute, your tweets can easily get lost in the crowd.

That’s why you should engage with the people who are already talking to you to gain the attention of users who aren’t yet.

By creating personalized replies that relate to your specific industry and audience, you’ll build up tons of engagement for a boost on Google.

Encourage users to interact with you by posting relevant tweets, talking to industry-specific followers, mentioning other Twitter users, and responding to mentions quickly.

By interacting with followers, you’ll gain more retweets, mentions, and likes. And that means better rankings.

You should also reach out to influencers who can share your tweets, brand, and account with their audience.

Twitter for SEO Tip #11: Do Influencer Outreach

Since exposure on Twitter is the key to gaining likes and retweets, look for influencers who can give you exposure to their Twitter audience.

Twitter influencers can boost your credibility quickly because they’re already credible within your industry.

When an influencer talks about your brand, products, or services with their Twitter audience, their trusted followers will head to your page to check you out.

When trying to reach out to influencers, it can be helpful to:

  • Create meaningful content that is shareable and valuable to your industry
  • Develop long-term relationships with influencers rather than viewing them as people who can give you a quick, short-term boost
  • Retweet tweets from influencers with whom you want to engage
  • Collaborate with influencers by writing guest blog posts for them or allowing them to write guest posts on your blog

Several tools help find influencers in your industry if you aren’t sure who to reach out to.

One of them is Klear.

twitter for SEO tools influencer marketing Klear

Just select the social network you want to search through, the skill or keyword you’re interested in, and your location.

That’s it!

Another great tool for finding influencers in your industry is BuzzSumo.

Just search for a keyword, and you’ll find influencers that relate to that topic.

twitter for SEO tools BuzzSumo

The tool will even show you the page authority, domain authority, number of followers, retweet ratio, reply ratio, and the average number of retweets for each influencer within the results.

Conclusion

Twitter is an absolutely massive social network.

But you should never think of social networks as being isolated from search engines. It’s actually quite the opposite.

Google pulls tons of information from social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The more exposure your posts get (such as likes, comments, mentions, and retweets), the higher your search engine rankings will be.

That’s because Google uses social signs to recognize certain web pages and brands.

But you have to use Twitter in the right way.

It’s all about gaining exposure and attention. Start by promoting your account, your tweets, and your tags (sometimes known as trends).

Use targeted keywords on Twitter just like you do on your web pages and blog content. Google will recognize the keywords associated with your brand on Twitter, too.

Be sure to use relevant hashtags and research a trending tag before you tweet something that contains it.

Add images and video to your tweets to increase engagement, and be sure to share links back to your website to direct and drive traffic.

Tweet consistently and schedule out your tweets in advance to maintain a regular posting schedule. Post during times when your followers are most active.

Finally, don’t forget to engage with followers as often as possible and do some influencer outreach to get your name out there.

How do you use Twitter to boost your search engine rankings?

How to Generate Leads From YouTube Live

How to Generate Leads From YouTube Live

YouTube Live is a vastly underutilized tool that should be in every marketer’s arsenal.

It’s easy to look at your Live video options and think that Facebook is enough, but that just isn’t so — not to say that Facebook Live isn’t important. It definitely is.

But people watch billions of hours of YouTube every day.

That means not using YouTube Live is like holding onto a winning lotto ticket until it expires. You wouldn’t do that, right?

Live video is such an effective marketing method that I believe everyone should be using it.

So I’m going to show you how to set up and effectively use YouTube Live to grow your business and convert viewers into leads.

The good news is that you can start producing effective Live content in a matter of minutes.

But first, you need to understand just how powerful Live video can be for your business.

Why Use YouTube Live Video?

Live video has been around for a few years, but many marketers still stick to the “tried-and-true” digital marketing methods like blog posts and social publishing.

This means they’re missing out on a huge stream of leads when they neglect live-streaming services.

80% of people would rather watch a video than read a blog post.

You’ll also notice that 70% would prefer to watch your Live video on YouTube.

So why aren’t you using it yet?

Most likely, you’ve found that YouTube Live isn’t quite the plug-and-play system that services like Facebook offer.

Facebook is easy!

Your audience is there, so it definitely doesn’t get any hate from me.

But you haven’t tapped into that 70% demographic yet, so you can see where the room for growth is.

There are a few more steps involved in YouTube broadcasts, and then comes the problem of figuring out how to actually drive leads.

Let’s start by getting you set up, and then I’ll show you how to start increasing your Youtube leads.

How to Use YouTube’s Live Video

To get started, log into your YouTube account and find your Live dashboard.

If you haven’t created a YouTube account yet, this guide will walk you through it.

Once you login, look for the Youtube broadcast button — it looks like a camera with a plus sign.

This will take you to YouTube studio — but you might not have access to the feature if you haven’t verified your account.

Use your phone number to get your verification code through text or an automated call.

Then enter the 6-digit code:

Success!

Once you verify, you’ll see your YouTube Live dashboard.

Don’t be overwhelmed.

There’s a lot of information to digest and optimize, so I want to walk you through the most important steps before we get into the tactics you’ll be using.

There are three ways to go live: mobile, webcam, and encoder. Here’s the difference between the different YouTube broadcast types:

This is a step-by-step guide to setting up your stream and going live.

You’ll start with encoding software, which is the biggest difference between YouTube and other popular streaming services. You need to find a third-party software to go Live.

Encoders compress your video and audio into a format that’s compatible with YouTube’s platform.

The added benefit is that this makes your content available to as wide an audience as possible. Whether your audience is on mobile, desktop, or tablet, they can see you!

YouTube has a recommended list of encoders that will allow you to stream everything from your Wii U to your smartphone.

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Note to go live on mobile, you’ll need at least 100 subscribers — if you have less, then you’ll want to choose webcam.

If your goal is to stream some of your gaming, you’ll need to use an encoder rather than a live screen share on your PC.

The encoder you use depends on what you need, and you have plenty to choose from.

For example, let’s say you want to record an interview-style video from your webcam. Simple enough.

You’ll want to use an encoder like the open-source system calledOBS.

It’s easy, intuitive, and free.

There are more flexible options out there, but this is a good introduction to YouTube Live streaming.

A paid alternative would be something like VidBlasterX. Depending on what version you get, you’ll be able to stream in HD and have access to robust community support.

But let’s install OBS to keep things moving. Download it and go through the typical installation process.

Then click through a few more boxes until you get to one that looks like this:

Make sure you optimize for streaming. If you accidentally click the other option, it’s not the end of the world, but you want to make sure you’re ready to go with as little fuss as possible.

The next window to look for is one that looks like this:

You’ll need to make sure you set your stream type to Streaming Services.

The service you’re using is YouTube, obviously. And you’ll want to make sure you’re on the Primary YouTube ingest server.

Once you’ve settled all that, it’s time to click back to your YouTube channel and acquire your Stream Key from the Live Stream dashboard.

You’ll notice that my Stream Key is protected, and there’s a good reason for that.

You can actually stream on any channel you have the key for, so make sure you keep your key protected.
Now, you’ve set up your encoder, but you’re not quite ready to stream just yet.

You still need to add audio and video sources.

Otherwise, your audience will be watching a blank live stream while you’re fumbling to figure things out.

So, how do you add sources?

That’s easy. At the bottom of your encoder, you’ll see a toolbar that looks like this:

You’ll want to click on the plus icon in the box to add your audio and video sources. The results will look like this:

You’ll also be able to share a variety of items like images, text, or even screen share.

Before you click play, though, you’ll want to make sure your live stream’s information is optimized for your viewers.

Go back to your YouTube Dashboard and scroll down until you see this:

Input the proper title, information description, and set the category appropriately.

You likely won’t need to fiddle with the advanced settings just yet, so leave those be for now.

Now, after all that, you’re ready to get started!

On the right-hand side of the encoder toolbar, you’ll see a small menu:

The first option is to start streaming.

Click it, and then head back to YouTube.

If you’ve done everything right, you’ll see this:

That means you’re live streaming!

Share the link on your Dashboard to watch your audience grow.

How to Gain YouTube Leads with Live Video

You’ve set up YouTube Live, but now you need a strategy and content that will convert viewers into leads.

You still need to create actionable content, or else you’re just wasting your time.

Any content you create relies on the resources you pour into it; video is no different.

Plus,creating videos is an effective way to establish thought leadership, teach users about your product, and boost social proof.

But how do you do that with Live Video?

YouTube Broadcast Option 1: Host a Celebration

Who says business has to be boring? You have plenty of things to celebrate!

Maybe it’s your 10,000th customer, you just hired your 10th employee, or you’ve been in business for ten years.

Whatever the occasion, you can use Live video to spread the celebration to the world.

How does this work?

It’s pretty formulaic, so I’ll share it with you and then show you an example:

  1. Build excitement with announcements and social sharing.
  2. Plan the event. Coordinate what you want to say and share to keep everything engaging.
  3. Build a buzz. Share stories, failures, and successes. Build rapport with your audience.
  4. Broadcast. Go live!
  5. Post the highlights. Share your video in the following days and weeks with your followers.

Take this example from Results Fitness.

They built excitement with posts like this:

They even shared a four-part series of posts with success stories from their gym members over the years.

Then they went live for the pre-party before their official flash mob to build excitement.

The results?

They saw an immediate increase in membership sign-ups following the event. Pretty cool, right?

Just from sharing a big celebration, they were able to grow their bottom line and push into their 17th year with a win.

YouTube Broadcast Option 2: Be Interruptive

If your audience is used to reading your blog posts a Live video will come as an interruption to the pattern you’ve created.

If you’re doing the same thing every time, people get bored.

When they get bored, your competition will find them and steal them from you.

Instead, catch your followers by surprise with a live stream.

You’ll grab their attention like never before. You can also provide little touches, like including the office dog in your video, to keep the momentum going.

A great example of this is when Jason Carr, a news anchor from FOX 2 in Detroit, started live streaming from the back of a Cadillac on his way to a new job.

Only, his audience didn’t know he had a new job yet! As Carr said it, he was on his way to “parts unknown.”

It wasn’t until later that his audience realized that he was walking into a new job to meet his coworkers.

So use Live video to be interruptive and spice it up this week.

YouTube Broadcast Option 3: Engage Viewers

When you go Live, no matter the reason, do your best to interact and respond to comments.

I once watched a Live stream where a trusted professional was explaining a very technical and widely-discussed topic.

But he ignored the comments.

It was so infuriating to watch all the questions and inquiries go unnoticed and unaddressed. It made me want to turn the video off.

What if one of those questions leads to a sale?

Even if you need a moderator to help pose questions, it’s worth it to engage with your audience.

Or you can promise to go back and answer any unanswered questions after the fact.

Your goal is to keep the conversation flowing. Do that, and you’ll find yourself with the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, workspace, and engage in future Live events.

YouTube Broadcast Option 4: Get Personal

Your audience wants to connect with you. That means your Live video shouldn’t be stuffy and formal.

Find ways to be open and honest about mistakes, or show them something cool about what you do every day.

Callaway Golf has a great example of a very personal Live video. They decided to live stream a walkthrough of the office of the famous golfer, Arnold Palmer.

They showed off some really cool memorabilia like this honorary jersey and an entire wall stuffed with golf clubs.

What a cool way to keep things personal, right? Keeping it real will help your audience listen to what you have to say.

Being open and honest about mistakes you’ve made will make people want to engage with you more.

Statements like “I tried to only rely on blogging, and it nearly killed my business. I want to share with you…” are golden.

You’re showing vulnerability. Your audience will love the highs and lows, and ask you to share more.

YouTube Broadcast Option 5: Offer Private Access

Our final way to drum up interest in your YouTube Live event is to share something so cool that your audience just has to be a part of it.

Like, send a rocket into space.

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SpaceX has taken to using YouTube Live services to broadcast their highly-anticipated rocket launches, including sending Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster into space.

There’s nothing more exciting than getting to T-minus one minute and waiting for a rocket to blast into space.

Why not give people direct access to that event?

To make it even better, SpaceX includes a simple timeline to show you how far into the launch the rocket is.

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Isn’t that just awesome?

I realize you probably won’t be launching any rockets into space.

But you do have your own exclusives and cool features that you can give your audience access to.

Start a stir about your new product launch, or offer exclusive info and require an RSVP from your followers.

Do what you can to create a community around your Live event and metaphorically boost your brand into space.

Then go Live and offer valuable, actionable content. Rinse and repeat.

YouTube Broadcast Option 6: Call Your Audience to Action

If you’re getting traffic, why stop there? Keep the momentum by asking your audience to do something.

I noticed when I was watching the SpaceX Live video that just before launch, when viewership would be at its peak, a small animation popped up that looked like this:

At the height of anticipation, they were asking me to Like and Subscribe! It was perfect, and I had to share.

There are plenty of ways to call your audience to action, though.

One great trick I like to use is to have a specialized landing page for my Live video.

I’ll invite my viewers to visit that specific URL to get something in return, like a consultation or helpful guide.

I also share that link in the video description and the chat section, just to make sure they can find the right link.

I do everything I can to keep momentum in a forward direction. If people like your content, they will want more.

Keep your audience moving with well-placed calls to action.

Conclusion

If you’re not using YouTube Live to generate leads, you’re missing out on a powerful tool for growing your brand.

Even if you’re using other live-streaming services like Facebook, you’re failing to tap into the millions of viewers that flock to YouTube every day.

This guide will help you set up YouTube Live and start streaming in a matter of minutes.

Use your new live-streaming capabilities to celebrate with your community, and remember to keep your persona approachable and honest. Disrupt your normal flow of content creation, or give your fans access to an exclusive or memorable event.

Above all, don’t forget your call to action. Your audience needs direction, and it’s up to you to give it to them.

What’s your favorite way to generate leads when you go Live?

What Facebook Watch Means for Marketers

What Facebook Watch Means for Marketers

It was only a matter of time.

Just like Amazon, YouTube, and Netflix before it, Facebook officially entered the video streaming game with Facebook Watch.

What is Facebook Watch, and what does it mean for you your marketing strategy?

What is Facebook Watch?

Launched in 2017 to select users in the U.S. via mobile, desktop, and TV apps, Facebook Watch is the company’s entrée into episodic streaming video.

Videos range from mini-documentaries to live sporting events, courtesy of partnerships with Major League Baseball. There was a set group of publishers at launch, but the company opened it up to other creators.

How Does Facebook Watch Make Money?

Facebook Watch is monetized through ad breaks. The producing partners earn 55% of ad break revenue while Facebook keeps 45%.

what does facebook watch look like.

What Makes Facebook Watch Different From Other Streaming Services?

The streaming video space is undeniably crowded, so Facebook had to find a way to make Facebook Watch stand out. There are three main ways Facebook Watch is different, all of which bode well for its staying power.

  1. Original video content: Viewed through a new tab called “Watch,” the content is mostly exclusive to Facebook Watch and can’t be seen anywhere else (with the exception of the live content available through deals like the one with Major League Baseball).
  2. Free: Because it’s monetized through ad breaks, Facebook Watch is totally free for the viewing audience. All they have to do is be logged in to their Facebook account.
  3. Personalized: Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Facebook Watch is hyper-personalized in a way no streaming platform has been before.

The New “Social Viewing” Trend: Facebook Watch Alternatives

Facebook Watch’s personalization takes advantage of everything users already love about the platform – it’s personal, and it’s social. People love getting recommendations for the things they love, and they love sharing those things with friends.

  • Facebook Watch provides personalized recommendations in its Discover tab, using fun, Facebook-esque categories like “Most Talked About,” “What’s Making People Laugh,” and “Shows Your Friends Are Watching.”
  • Subscribing to a show instantly connects Facebook users with fellow fans through show-linked Groups.
  • During a show, Facebook users get access to a live comment section where they can chat with other viewers and friends in real-time.

All these features indicate a strong focus on social viewing. While the social viewing trend is new, we have seen it before.

For example, Tumblr launched its video chat service Cabana (which is now defunct). The app functioned like a Tumblr/FaceTime hybrid, where users could see friends’ reactions in real-time as they all watch a video together.

cabana video app, facebook watch alternative.

However, Tumblr didn’t have the massive audience that Facebook enjoys.

Social viewing veteran YouTube made some changes, too. YouTube added in-app chat to its Android and iOS apps.

Previously, users could only share videos out to other apps, such as Twitter or text message, but now conversations can also happen natively on YouTube.

The interface is similar to Google Hangouts and appears to be YouTube’s answer to the messaging functionality offered by Instagram and Snapchat.

youtube in chat messanger similar to facebook watch

When multiple social media platforms follow suit, it’s a sure sign a new trend is here to stay. Social viewing is not going away, so how can marketers take advantage of it?

What Facebook Watch Means for Marketers

Facebook has 1.82 billion users who sign on to the site every day. For anyone who’s wondering, their monthly active users just hit 2.7 billion.

Either number means Watch is a major initiative at Facebook that marketers should not ignore. Facebook plans to integrate Watch episodes into the News Feed, and the company has a track record of using the News Feed to drive new features to success.

Here are four ways Facebook Watch is changing the game for marketers.

1. Ads Will Likely Become More Important for Facebook Advertisers

In an increasingly internet-marketing-savvy world, people are getting better at tuning ads out. Google actually gave up on its right sidebar ads and removed them.

Fortunately for advertisers, Facebook Watch holds great promise.

There’s a lot of noise in a Facebook user’s News Feed, so it’s not always easy for your ad to grab attention. With video, you have a captive audience who is stuck watching your ad. They can’t simply scroll down their feed to get away from it.

Longer videos will increase the effectiveness of ad break and mid-roll ads. If Facebook adds social engagement functionality within the ads themselves, such as reactions and sharing, they’ll perform even better.

Traditional television has been on a downward trend for years. Facebook Watch is accelerating the shift of ad dollars from TV to digital and mobile.

2. Facebook Watch Gives Influencers and Social Creators a Powerful Channel

As promising as the ad breaks are, it’s notable that Facebook Watch publishers can opt-out of them entirely.

Instead, they can make money through product placement, as long as they tag the sponsor for transparency. This has huge implications for budding videographers, actors, singers, and documentarians who hope to fund their growth via influencer partnerships.

The rise of the influencer owes much of its success in large part to YouTube. But Facebook Watch could be even more fruitful for influencers.

For instance, Facebook Watch opens up viewing patterns that are less search-oriented than YouTube. Users who watch or subscribe to programs will see those appear in their News Feed along with the other daily updates from friends, rather than having to go to YouTube to check for the latest uploads.

This gives influencers the opportunity to increase engagement through video, as fan affinity with influencers will become even more important.

3. Facebook Live Is Important for Brands

Facebook Live, along with Instagram Live, quickly gained popularity with brands.

Facebook Live allows brands to humanize themselves and connect with fans in real-time. The live shows and events on Facebook Watch do the same.

What resonates with your fans? Do they prefer a structured video format, or something more casual? How often do they want to watch?

Daily shows in particular could be a goldmine for brands. The frequency keeps users coming back, ensuring a lucrative return for product placement or ad breaks. That consistent association with their favorite show could help consumers fall in love with your brand.

4. Facebook Watch Changes the Game for Video Content Marketers

Facebook emphasized the community aspect of Facebook Watch in their official announcement:

Three of the four bullet points in the release mentioned connection and bringing people together. Even the few seed shows Facebook funded are touted as “community-oriented” video series.

It makes sense: The sense of community is what led people to fall in love with the platform in the first place.

Because of this, Facebook Watch videos tend to see higher sharing and social engagement rates than other platforms.

The current list of Facebook Watch programming focuses on reality shows, mini-documentaries, and sports coverage – aligning it more with YouTube than the heavy dramas and comedies of other streaming networks.

But while YouTube optimized for how-to and short-form content, Facebook Watch expands opportunities to longer-form videos as well as pure entertainment and passively consumed content.

Video content marketers should create content that fits into those categories and fosters real-time community discussion. Perhaps for the first time, content should be created with the platform in mind first and foremost. Successful videos on Facebook Watch will encourage and facilitate real-time conversations.

Conclusion

Facebook Watch is great for all marketers. The people on your paid social team will enjoy seeing more eyeballs on their ads, and the organic folks will get more “authentic” opportunities to align themselves with influencers.

More and more, brands want to be seen as friends, not corporations. Facebook Watch lets them do just that. If you are ready to give it a try (or improve your strategy), check out this advanced guide to Facebook Watch.

Have you tried Facebook Watch? What results have you seen?