This is the fourth in a series of posts which showcases real small business owner who have successfully used social media to grow their business. If you like this post, you can read the first, second and third entries as well.From retired math professor to YouTube cook and internet sensation, Betty Given has used a simple handheld video camera to create a popular series of cooking videos that have had over 17 million views (at time of writing).
She also has 44,300+ subscribers to her YouTube channel, Betty’s Kitchen, and has been approached by YouTube on several occasions, as well as being featured on ABC News (in the USA), CNN and the Travel channel.
All that by using YouTube – one of the internet’s most popular social media sites.
I asked Betty a few questions about her success and what her tips were for small business owners who wanted to start using videos and YouTube to promote their business.
I have also added my own thoughts at the end of each question to expand on what Betty said and to further explain how you can use these tips to grow your business using social media.
Q. What advice would you give to small business owners who are looking at using videos to promote their business?
[Betty] Videos work to sell your idea or your product.
In today’s world, people have become quite visual in their learning capacities, and for this reason, many will choose a video explanation or demonstration in preference to written material. Although, when making videos, it is wise to include written documentation, as well.
[Me] Humans are visual creatures and the growth of people watching video online and even via mobile device is truly staggering and something you shouldn’t ignore.
The reason for adding written documentation as well is twofold: it helps SEO by giving something for search engines to index, and it allows people who don’t (or can’t) watch your video another option.
Q. What is so great about YouTube and how has it helped you?
[Betty] My experience with YouTube has taught me that if you have anything interesting at all to say or demonstrate, you can grow a very successful YouTube channel. The thing that is so great about YouTube is that if you put a reasonable amount of effort into a channel, the return increases exponentially.
This is because there are so many ways viewers who are interested in your videos can find you.
If you use great video titles, images, descriptions, and tags, people who are interested in your topic will find you by searching YouTube, Google, and other websites. Also, viewers who like your videos will share them with individuals, as well as social networks.
There has never been a time in history when an average person can so easily become a phenomenon.
[Me] YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world (after Google) and often appears on Google searches for various topics. As Betty says, if you apply simple SEO techniques, you should start to see some traffic from search engines.
And never forget the power of someone sharing your video with their friends on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and their blogs.
Q. What is the best tip you could give to someone who wants to start using YouTube to grow their business?
[Betty] My best tip for success in using YouTube to grow a business is that you should give your YouTube channel the attention that you would give a full-time job.
Promoting a business online allows flexible hours, but some things are time sensitive, and some things must be accomplished on a daily basis in order to move your business forward. You must interact with viewers who have questions or comments. You must be continually aware of the acceptance your ideas are receiving and have the ability to adjust your tactics if they are not working.
[Me] Betty shows you why setting aside time regularly for social media is so important. A great way to achieve this is by setting up a social media plan and content calendar, which together allow you to organise yourself and your social media efforts.
You must also remember the importance with continually keeping in touch with your fans, figuring out what it is they want to see and adapting your strategy as you go based on their feedback.
Q. Do you use any other social networking sites to grow your audience? And how do you use them?
[Betty] I use Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest regularly. I find that some people feel an intimacy in these venues that can’t be as easily achieved on YouTube.
I have also found that the most loyal viewers want to know details about my life, and I am able to share those on social sites.
When I have some honor awarded to me, I always announce it on as many sites as possible (including posting a bulletin on YouTube). These announcements keep my subscribers informed as to what is going on in my YouTube life. I do not consider these announcements as completely self-serving, although they are beneficial to me in the long run.
It is a way of letting people who share an interest with me to know that I have excelled in some way, and they are able to share in my pride. It is a great way to increase the credibility of my vision and the confidence of my viewers.
[Me] Letting people in behind the scenes is a great way to build an audience. It is also a great idea to develop multiple channels as they build your total online presence and studies have shown that having multiple channels increases their overall effectiveness.
Lastly, don’t be afraid of crowing about your successes (just don’t over do it) as your fans will love to know that you are achieving what you want.
Q. What’s next for Betty’s Kitchen?
[Betty] Right now, I am in a place where I feel very comfortable. I do not feel like I have to struggle to get attention, but I never turn down opportunities that present themselves.
I am fortunate that my YouTube business is actually my hobby.
I have enjoyed the past three years of cooking for people all over the world. YouTube has made this unexpected phase of my life possible and has always been my biggest supporter.