Whether you’re on YouTube to make money, promote your business, or to become the next YouTube star, one thing I know for sure: you want to grow your YouTube channel fast.
Unfortunately, growing a channel takes time and patience. Yet, you can get a boost in views and subscribers if you start promoting your channel outside YouTube.
But how can you advertise your YouTube channel without spending money? And most importantly, how do you get free YouTube subscribers that are actually appreciating and interacting with your videos?
In this post, I’ll go over how to grow your YouTube channel by taking advantage of the power social media has. You’ll find out more about Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest and how to use them so you bring more traffic to your channel and increase your YouTube views.
First, there are more things that contribute to the growth of a YouTube channel (or the lack of it):
- The videos’ quality
- YouTube video optimization
- The social engagement
Now, before we go any further, I want you to ask yourself some critical questions:
- Does your content brings value to your audience?
- Are you posting on a regular basis?
- Do you optimize your videos properly before you hit upload?
- Are you spending enough time to come up with catchy titles and thumbnails?
- Are you encouraging your viewers to like, comment, and share your videos?
If you answered yes to all the above but your channel is still not growing, or you want to give it a boost to grow faster than let’s jump to tips you can use to grow your YouTube channel by using social media.
If you are not optimizing your videos yet, I suggest you so that first. These are not just some YouTube channel tips, SEO is something essential for a successful channel. Focus on mastering YouTube SEO, then jump to promote your YouTube channel through other means.
#1 Buying subscribers
I know this is not a social media tactic. But it’s the first thing I want to get out of the way because I see many YouTubers embracing this tactic: Is it a good idea to buy YouTube subscribers?
I know it might be tempting to throw out some dollars and see your numbers growing fast. 1000 subscribers in a day sound like you hit the jackpot, right?
Not really. And there are more reasons you shouldn’t do it.
- YouTube may see what you’re doing – YouTube has its ways of detecting unusual or spammy behavior. Buying subscribers isn’t a guarantee that your channel will take a shot, but you do position your channel at risk.
- You may lose those subscribers – If YouTube detects that your subscribers are not real, those accounts will be deleted and your subscribers’ count will drop. Which will look terribly bad to your audience.
- It’s not the best social proof – If you buy, let’s say, 10,000 subscribers but your videos get under 100 views, how will it look like? People will know your subscribers are fake if your numbers don’t add up.
- You won’t see results out of it – When you pay for subscribers, you get some ghost followers that won’t click, watch or interact with your videos. Which means that they won’t bring you much value.
It’s true than when you boost your subscribers’ number, you’ll have the social proof. And we all know how people are more eager to watch something if there are 1000 views rather than clicking on a video with 20 views.
Buying YouTube subscribers and views is not illegal. A lot of YouTubers did and do it, even some big ones. But while it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get in trouble, there are risks involved that are best to be avoided. It’s better to grow your YouTube channel organically and build a genuine base of subscribers that will bring in results in the long run.
#2 Build a Facebook Group
Having a Facebook page is a must for any brand trying to market itself. Yet, it’s quite hard nowadays to build great exposure for your page organically. As you may know, the organic reach for Facebook pages dropped down. Now people’s feeds are full of friends’ activities and groups posts.
This being said, if you want to promote your YouTube channel on Facebook without paying for advertisements, groups are the smart choice.
I’m not saying that building a Facebook group is easy. Like any other task, it takes work and some good practices to consider. But the results can be incredible.
A Facebook group is more than a promotional asset
It’s a way of building a community of people who will stand by you in the long run. In Facebook groups, the engagement is collective. People are talking to each other, exchanging ideas, and helping one another. Your subscribers will build a genuine relationship as a community and with you, the admin.
Facebook groups are one of the most personal approach you can take to marketing.
In a group, you can have a more open conversation with your audience and find more insights to improve your videos. You can ask them what they like to see and what topics they are most interested in.
You can place all kinds of questions to better understand them so you know how to bring more value to the table in your YouTube videos.
How a Facebook group works
A Facebook group is way different than a Facebook page. On a page, you post your latest content and maybe share some more curated content. Then your followers may hit like, share, and leave a comment once in a while. There’re conversations taking place from time to time, but there’s no huge interaction.
In a Facebook group, things are different
A group is a community of people trying to help each other out. So there are regular questions, discussions, and engagement. You, the admin of the group, will have to be present to socialize with the community. You can’t just create the group and leave your audience there, playing around.
You’ll be sharing your latest YouTube videos when you upload them so you get more traffic to your channel. But there’s more than advertising. Groups are about communication.
How to build a Facebook group for your YouTube channel?
Know why people join Facebook groups
To master promoting your YouTube channel in a Facebook group, it’s crucial you understand how users behave on the platform.
People join Facebook groups for a couple main reasons:
- keeping up with the news in a certain area
- using groups as a resource for learning new things
- connecting with peers having the same interests
So it’s essential your Facebook group provides at least one of these benefits.
If you have a YouTube channel where you teach people certain skills or you’re giving out tips in a specific niche, this is a great match.
Let’s say you provide tips on social media marketing. A person like me, interested in the traits of social media, will search for social media marketing relevant Facebook groups. I’ll stumble across your group and request to join. If the people in the group are interacting and exchanging information and tips about social media, I’ll become part of the community. Finally, I’ll become aware of your channel and probably hit that subscribe button.
Create a Facebook group around your YouTube channel’s topic
So you can attract new users in your group, you need to have a specific topic you attract them with. The topic must be the same as your YouTube’s channel topic.
You could be creating a Facebook group around you if you’re the brand. Especially for channels with mainly vlogs and lifestyle videos. But it will be way harder to attract people to join your group if they are not already familiar with you as a YouTuber. In this case, I suggest you find a topic that you often address in your videos and use it as the main group topic.
When you’ll be creating your Facebook group, you’ll want to research keywords related to your niche. After you find the best keywords, use them in the group name and description.
By optimizing your group, people will get to find it in search.
One crucial thing to consider: make your Facebook group private. If you don’t choose who to join, things will get messy pretty fast. Spammers and users looking to self-promote will flood your group and bring its value down.
Let your YouTube subscribers know about your Facebook group
Once your Facebook group is set up, announce it in a YouTube video. You don’t have to make a video dedicated to it, but you want to talk about it in the videos.
When you encourage people to join your group:
- Let them know what they’ll have to gain (tips, resources)
- Stimulate them to interact in the group (for starters, one idea is to ask them to introduce themselves)
- Ask them to invite other friends that could be interested in the topic
Advantages of using a Facebook group
- You build a community of people, not just a group of followers
- A Facebook group strengthens the relationship you have with your followers
- You can find valuable information from your community like what they like to watch and what are their interests
- You higher the chances of your followers knowing when you upload new content. Relying solely on YouTube to notice your subscribers of new uploads is not beneficial. YouTube only sends notifications to a portion of the audience. And from that portion, just a few will watch.
Disadvantages of using a Facebook group
- You need to be there to interact with the community
- You need to spend time refining the users in the group so you keep spammers out
If you decide to create a Facebook group for your channel, you can get started with our post about the basics of Facebook groups.
Where’s a better place to promote visual content if not on a platform dedicated to visuals? Everything on Instagram is images and video content, so it’s a great opportunity for YouTubers to promote their channels.
Moreover, Instagram is a great place to show your audience more of who you are. People love knowing more about the creators they follow and value.
Who’s the audience?
Instagram is a great way to grow your YouTube channel’s exposure especially if your targeted audience is 18-29 years old.
So if you want more YouTube views and your channel relates to younger generations, this is a social media platform you don’t want to pass.
But how do you grow your channel through Instagram?
Well, it’s a visual platform. Keep going with visual.
You can repurpose your videos on Instagram by uploading a video teaser and link your video in the bio description.
One downside on Instagram is that you can’t link to your video in the post description. You can only have a clickable link in your bio. But if you hook the viewers with your posts and encourage them to check the link, they will be curious and you’ll be seeing your channel growing.
What to post on Instagram?
- behind the scenes
- visually appealing images
Think about your followers and what they would be interested in
Every audience is different. So you want to ask yourself what the people interested in your channel are following on Instagram.
I’ll give you two examples of two different approaches.
One is Roberto Blake. He is the face of his YouTube channel. He is the brand. So he uses his Instagram page accordingly. He posts his everyday life, along with career tips that his followers appreciate. And because he started creating more content with motivational purposes, his Instagram feed is also a resource for inspiring messages. And, of course, he announces when a new video is up on YouTube.
There are so many of you that want your voice heard that you’re forgetting to focus on what you’re saying… #tuesdaymotivation . . Fight for your message and for being accepted authentically on your terms, not theirs… . . Don’t go to #Instagram and fake a lifestyle for attention. Don’t go to #YouTube and worry about doing what will be popular. . . Stop worrying about being irrelevant. Worry about being #real and being honest with yourself first… . . You will be happy if you accept yourself than if a #fake You is accepted by other people. . . #motivation #motivationalquotes #inspiration #instagood #misfittoys #robertoblake
On the other hand, we have Grog. An ink markers manufacturer. They also have a YouTube channel and they use teaser videos on Instagram to draw viewers to their channel. Because the brand represents a product rather than a person, they show the products in action.
How to grow your Instagram reach
When you post videos, do not forget about hashtags. Hashtags are the gold mine of Instagram.
Using the right hashtags with your posts is how you gain followers on Instagram. So you must take some time to do a hashtags research so you find out which are best suited for your content.
How to research hashtags
The easiest way to find hashtags on Instagram is to start out with a list of words related to your topic. When you type in a query in Instagram’s search bar, it’ll show you all the hashtags starting with that word.
As you can see, it also shows you how many posts are under each hashtag. This number is important.
If you start using hashtags that get millions of posts, you won’t see any results. Your post will get buried in the mess in a matter of minutes. So you want to target not so popular hashtags. A rule of thumb is to keep it at around 10,000 posts, though this may vary based on the niche.
Also, don’t just drop 1-2 hashtags and fly away. It seems that posts with 9 hashtags perform best.
Advantages of using Instagram
- It’s a great platform for YouTubers as it’s all about visual content
- Best for creators that can leverage their lifestyle when promoting their YouTube channel as it makes it easier to come up with content
- Easy to repurpose already recorded videos
Disadvantages of using Instagram
- You can only have one clickable link in the bio description, so you must convince viewers to check it out
Pinterest is another visual platform, which is more of a search engine than a social media. You can boost your YouTube channels views and subscribes if you learn how to use Pinterest efficiently,
To give you an idea of who the users of Pinterest are, take a look at these stats.
As you can see, the majority of Pinterest users are females. Which makes for the perfect platform to promote things related to cooking, motherhood, fashion, beauty, and so on.
It’s not that other niches aren’t present on Pinterest. There’s an audience for everything on Pinterest. It’s just that in these niches the content is more demanded and searched for, which means a bigger audience to work with.
What to post on Pinterest
To grab pinners’ attention, vertical images with at least 2:3 proportion are the way to go.
- Pins linking to your YouTube channel: To get traffic to your channel, you need to create dedicated pins linking to your own content. Keep it simple. A nice background with overlay text highlighting the topic of your video can go a long way. Experiment with different styles and colors.
- Re-pins: So you grow your Pinterest profile and reach a larger audience, you can’t only share your own content. You need to also pin related content across your Pinterest boards.
How you get started on Pinterest
Set up your profile
Sign up for a new account and turn it into a business account so you have access to the analytics tools.
- You want to have your YouTube channel’s name in the Pinterest username. To improve its SEO value and make your profile easier to find, you can also add a keyword related to your topic in the title.
- Upload a profile picture. It can be the same picture you use on YouTube so your Pinterest profile is easily recognized.
- Also, don’t forget to add the link to your YouTube channel on your Pinterest profile.
Create some boards
When you first get started, take some time to create at least 3 boards and pin a minimum of 20 content pieces in each of them. You don’t want to send your audience to an empty feed. Give viewers some content so they know what your profile is about.
Create one board dedicated to your own content. Keep your name and topic in the board title and set it to be the first board on your profile.
Do your keyword research
Keyword rich pins perform better on Pinterest. And you must find the best keywords to use for your topic.
The easiest way to research keywords is to start typing something in the Pinterest’s search bar. You’ll get suggestions of search phrases starting with your input keyword.
Also, take a look at the suggestions displaying under the search bar.
After you collected a good amount of keywords related to the topic of your YouTube channel, it’s time to make use of them.
Take some of the keywords and create new boards
For example, if one of the keywords you found is “light chicken salad recipe”, you can create a board where you’ll be pinning recipes for chicken salads.
Also, one Pinterest SEO best practice is to use some keywords in the board description. This will make the board rank higher in search results, gaining more exposure. For our chicken salad example, some possible keywords we could use in the description are: best chicken salad, classic chicken salad, curry chicken salad, clean chicken salad.
To properly promote your YouTube channel on Pinterest you have to be consistent with your pinning strategy. You won’t be seeing results by pinning once in a while. It takes time to grow your profile and improve your reach.
Aim to pin at least 20 times a day. With Pinterest, the more you pin, the faster you grow. So adapt the pinning to your own schedule.
Don’t forget to also include keywords in your pin descriptions.
Join group boards
The easiest way to boost the reach for your pins is to share them in group boards. You can use Pingroupie to find group boards related to your niche.
Find boards where there’s activity going on because you want other contributors sharing your pins. Usually, in the board description, you will find instructions on how to join the board. If there are no instructions, it may be that the admin doesn’t accept new contributors at the moment.
#5 Connect all your social media networks
You want to make it as easy as possible for people to find your YouTube channel and your other social platforms.
Make sure you add all of your social pages you actively use on all of the platforms. And most importantly, add your YouTube channel URL everywhere.
On Facebook, you can add the link to your YouTube channel in the website section under the contact info section.
On Pinterest, you can do the same with your YouTube channel link. and you can also connect social media networks if you access the settings.
With Instagram, things are trickier. You can only have one clickable link in the bio description. And you’ll use that for the link to your latest YouTube video. If you want to drive people to your other social media network from Instagram, you can write your social handles in the bio.
As you can see, there are opportunities for creators to promote their YouTube channels without paying by leveraging social media platforms.
If you want to grow your YouTube channel, pick the social media network where your audience hangs out more and work to master it.
Don’t jump into adding all the platforms to your strategy at once. It can be overwhelming and you won’t have enough time to learn how to get the best results.
- Buying subscribers might not be the best way to grow your YouTube channel. And it’s not an approach that gives results in the long run.
- Facebook groups are a great opportunity to get more subscribers for your YouTube channel and to also strengthen the relationship with your followers.
- Instagram is an amazing social platform for visual creators because it’s all about visuals. And it’s best fitted especially for YouTubers targeting a young audience.
- Pinterest can bring a lot of traffic to your YouTube channel when done right. It’s the best social network for food, beauty, and female related channels. Yet, you can find a variety of active audiences on the platform.
Now over to you. What social media platform you’ll be using to grow your YouTube channel?