Is video your next social media step?

Got a smartphone?

Then you're ready for what may be the ultimate selfie - and, more to the point, a step forward in your social media strategy: A 60-second video of you offering your latest business tip, uploaded to the YouTube channel you've set up.

Why video as the next social media step? And why YouTube? Sue Kirchner says there are some very good reasons.

For one thing, says Kirchner, Google (where YouTube is part of the family) and other search engines like video. Consequently, your business likely will be rewarded with higher search rankings and, depending on your purpose, you'll likely drive more people to your website.

If you accept that business use of social media is about building relationships, video will help you score. "People like video because they can build greater rapport with someone they see," Kirchner says. Besides, she adds, "The more traditional social media channels are getting crowded again."

Kirchner is president of Brand Strong Marketing, Palatine, and generally good at finding platforms where it is easier to stand out. In fact, Kirchner says, "Social media in 2016 and beyond is all about video."

Here's her explanation: With your smartphone camera, decent lighting and a microphone - Kirchner says you might want to upgrade the phone mic, for about $20 - you can create content to upload to your YouTube channel. Perhaps the easiest start: That one-minute business insight you record with your smartphone and upload to YouTube. (Don't have your own YouTube channel? There's set up help available at Google or YouTube - or from a marketing adviser.)

If you feel awkward starting out, Kirchner suggests corralling a friend to stand off camera and ask the question that generates the comment you want to make.

The key, of course, will be getting people to watch your video. Send the YouTube link to your lists. Post the availability on, for example, Facebook and Pinterest.

Or, Kirchner continues, embed the YouTube video in your blog - which is a better approach, she says, because people reading your blog then will be able to watch the video on your website.

Periscope, which offers live streaming video, is another option. "Say you're at a trade show," Kirchner begins. "You can use your smartphone to create a two- or three-minute video with your thoughts about the trade show, streaming live on Periscope."

The benefit of Periscope's live stream is that it stays up for seven days - giving you the opportunity to tell your marketplace that "We did a live video from the XYZ trade show. Here's the link."

In addition to your commentary about the trade show, or other event, you can interview an industry leader and live stream the content. Or, Kirchner suggests, do a longer interview with an industry name and edit it into bite-size content.

One 30-minute video is 10 three minute opportunities, she says.

• Follow Jim Kendall on LinkedIn and Twitter. Write him at Listen to Jim's Business Owners' Pod Talk at © 2016 Kendall Communications Inc.

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