Is YouTube the new Facebook for startups?

Back in 2008, when the newsfeed used to be more awesome, less ad, and more relevant content,  Facebook was a boon for entrepreneurs.

The reach of your page was incredible, if the content was good, and this led to a huge number of likes organically.  And I remember creating pages of Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif and the likes (no wait, Priyanka and Katrina do not come in the same category), and then I remember those pages reaching hundred and thousands of likes.

There were very a few brands which had official representation, and even if you created a page for your blog or website and promoted good content, likes and shares would come automatically.

OrganicPageReach

Even though the official representatives of Priyanka Chopra and Katrina Kaif snapped away my pages, I was lucky enough to retain a page that went on to get a million likes https://www.facebook.com/fashionama. So when I say I have seen the true ‘face’ of a Facebook page, you gotta trust me. The post that used to get 100,000 reach now gets 5000 reach and for the rest of the reach you have to pay to promote the audience. The same audience for which people now-a-days pay to acquire, in my case that audience was organic.

Today, if you happen to be a young startup, Facebook may not be your best bet. Twitter is more effective than Facebook, and the best of all, YouTube is the new king that has emerged.

In the past one year since I started Flat.to I have keenly observed a lot of other startups who have been using social media. For me, the best has been YouTube, and Twitter is a close second.

Since my college days, I have considered YouTube to be one of the biggest and most creative platforms (at one point of time India was seeing more searches on YouTube than Google).  The best part about it is that the only thing you need to worry about is good content the rest will take care of itself.

Facebook contests, festival posters, testimonials of good looking people, team photos, and creative element are all limited, and have now become too banal. Where Twitter provides a way to directly interact with your customers, YouTube is the platform if you want to build your startup brand the same way Facebook helped to build brands in the early 2009-2010 days.

Here are the following ways you can use YouTube:

Video Blogs

If you have seen any of the videos by Buzzfeed then you know what I am talking about. Whatever you are going to write in your blog, for example:   ‘10 must places to see’, ‘weekend getaways’, or the various ‘how to…’  content, experiment the same with a video like we did here and the ‘ORGANIC’ response was awesome. And mind you, with the right team you don’t need to spend a lot to create stuff like this.

Initiatives around your product/website/business

We all keep experimenting various marketing stuff like Zepo did with Chaiwala (here is the YouTube video of the same

or we at Flat.to did this College Entrepreneurship Program

and obviously you need to create a landing page or a blog to go with the initiative you are launching. You know what is the most important thing that should go with this blog or page? No, I am not telling you the answer to this.

 Product videos/Product features

The celebrities in your company also need exposure once in a while. Yes, I am talking about your developers and product people. Even though we might not be building products as beautiful as what Jonathan Ive is building, but we love our products and we can definitely make beautiful product videos to showcase our babies (no pun intended). Few product video examples include (btw they don’t require a hefty budget):

These guys at Zitrr have created a very nice video of their app. Or my personal favourite ‘How To Airbnb’

Educational/Explanatory content

What are SOPA and PIPA? Renting vs buying a home? In a particular app, how to perform a particular action? Sometimes you need to explain stuff which takes more than a blog post to do, sometimes you need to talk to the user and explain things. This brings another segment of videos — the explanatory/educational videos. Pricebaba has videos like this

These types of videos also help a lot when you are giving feedback to your team about a new feature that was released. For me, I use a Wacom pen tablet and Screenflow to give feedback.

There are a lot of other ways; this is just a small subset of what is possible. Why don’t you tell me your different ideas in the comments below.

I am not giving away a ‘Harry Potter’ book this time but would love to hear interesting ideas.


Gaurav Munjal

Gaurav Munjal

Gaurav Munjal is an entrepreneur who started Flat.to after facing accommodation problem during his college years. It was acquired by CommonFloor.com recently. Previously a developer at Directi, Gaurav also runs Unacademy, a growing educational YouTube channel. You can follow him on twitter @gauravmunjal