YouTube is a great platform for content creators to get in touch with their followers and share videos about their favourite things, whether that’s tips for getting your house into tip-top shape à la Marie Kondo, tutorials for achieving the perfect cat-eye eyeliner, a deep dive into the latest box office hit, or even just talking about their lives. Whatever you choose to create, it’s an awesome platform for connecting with your audience in a personal, engaging way.
Which is why it’s no surprise that some of the internet’s best-known stars have popped up out of YouTube. And if you’re hoping to become a big-time YouTuber yourself, there’s one thing you probably already know: the community is key!
There are lots of tips and tricks out there to engaging with your community of faithful followers. But YouTube has come up with a new way to help creators engage with their audiences – and it’s called a community post.
Never heard of it? Not sure how to use it? We’re here to help break it all down for you.
What is a YouTube community post?
Community posts are a relatively new feature that YouTube has introduced. You might not have even noticed that they’ve started popping up!
These posts are feed-type posts like the ones on Facebook or Twitter that let you give your community updates. You can do things like run a poll, promote your upcoming content you’re going to launch, share a GIF, post a link or just give your subscribers a quick update.
Sound familiar? This is the new version of the discussion feature. But Community is different because it gives you more options of stuff to post; Discussion was limited to text only.
Not all channels have access to community posts at this point. You can find out if your channel has it by going to your channel home page. It should appear next to your playlists. You’ll also need to check your channel settings to see if you’ve disabled the Discussion option; if you have, you’ll need to turn it back on.
If you don’t have the Community tab yet, that’s probably because YouTube is rolling out the feature bit by bit, focusing on accounts with 10,000 subscribers first and then getting around to everyone else.
Where can I see community posts?
There are three places people see community posts – on your channel’s home page (if you have the Community tab), on the YouTube home page, and if a person is subscribed to your community posts, they’ll see them in their subscription feed too.
Even if you aren’t subscribed to any community posts, YouTube has a section on the home page that now shows ‘Latest YouTube posts’, which aren’t just videos it’s a news feed kind of section. These are shown to you based on what YouTube thinks you’ll be interested in based on what you’ve been watching.
What should I share in community posts?
There are lots of ways you can use community posts! They’re a really helpful tool to stay in touch with your audience in between posting videos. Creating quality videos takes a long time, so unlike Instagram or Facebook, your audience might go a while without hearing from you. Community posts change that and mean you can easily be engaged with your audience whenever you want right on YouTube.
So, what can you do with a community post? The most common way to use them is to share updates about your new videos. Lots of brands use them to let viewers know that they’ve just posted a brand-new video, and add a line or two of text to make the video totally irresistible.
Others use them even before posting a new video to give subscribers a sneak peek of content. You can pick out a few extra-enticing moments to give your subscribers a little taste of what’s coming next. Build up that anticipation, and your subscribers will be more excited than ever to see your new stuff when it comes out!
Community posts are also useful after you’ve posted your video. You can poll your subscribers on what their favourite moment was from your latest post, or you could even use the poll to let them help you decide what to publish next.
Why not take your subscribers behind the scenes? People love seeing what goes into making the videos, so why not show your viewers how you created that awesome video. It’s a lot of hard work, so show it off!
We’ve also seen YouTubers using the Community tab as a place to host discussions or let their viewers ask them questions directly in Q&A sessions. Others give shout-outs to their top fans and let them share the spotlight (who doesn’t love a little appreciation from time to time?).
Others promote their events, live streams, and other channels. Community posts can be really useful for giving your subscribers a quick reminder of all the great stuff you have going on.
And you can use them just to share quick thoughts, GIFs that made you laugh or little updates about what’s been going on behind the camera lens.
Tips for using community posts
Don’t be afraid to play around and get creative here. Experiment and see what works for you. You might find that your subscribers really like polls, but are a bit shy when it comes to long Q&As. Try stuff out to see what you like best and what they respond to best.
Remember to ask your subscribers to turn on notifications for your community posts! They can use the bell icon next to the subscribe button, which will let them get notifications about the latest stuff you do on your channel.
Having a posting schedule can be really helpful. That way, your audience knows when to expect seeing more of the content the love from you.
If you’re not sure exactly what to post, check out your favourite YouTubers and see what they’re doing with community posts. Get inspired, but don’t copy!
Post content your subscribers won’t get from your regular channel, like snapshots of your everyday life or quick updates that aren’t enough material to create a full video from. That way, they’ll keep coming back – and you’ll get to have fun mixing up the content you provide.
YouTubers who use community posts
Basketball player Kevin Durant
Okay, so he’s not just a YouTuber, but he definitely knows how to rock community posts. He shares tons of behind-the-scenes photos from NBA games that fans love but don’t often get the chance to see. Regular people like you and me (well, definitely me at least!) would never get such a close-up look at what goes on courtside at the NBA, but Kevin does.
This channel that specializes in current events posts regular updates about their new videos or ones that are particularly relevant to the news. For instance, when Green Book was announced as the Best Picture winner for the 2019 Oscars, they shared an update about a video they’d posted almost a year earlier, ‘The real story of Green Book.’ They also include news about what they’re up to and behind-the-scenes looks.
Peppy pilates instructor Cassey takes a more personal approach to her Community tab, sharing snaps from her day-to-day life and asking her audience their opinion on all kinds of things. She also promotes events and classes she holds, along with fitness challenges. Then, she shares posts from her subscribers who have completed the challenges. It’s a great way to keep her subscribers filled in on her life, plus they get the chance to shine there too!
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