Keeping Up with Social Media: How the YouTubers Do It

/ Jul 7, 2014

YoutuberCollage

As a YouTube creator, staying on top of social media is key. Outside of events like VidCon, it’s the way in which creators stay in contact with their fans. However, if you have upwards of 18 million subscribers, like Smosh, or even just a few thousand, that’s a lot of social media to stay on top of. So how do some of the biggest YouTube personalities do it?

VideoInk got the chance to catch up with many of these creators at VidCon and gleaned some tips on how to handle a world of social media that most describe as “overwhelming.” Here’s what they said:

Acknowledge your limitations.

“You can’t be on Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and Instagram all at the same time,” said Ian Hecox of the famed comedy duo Smosh. Facing this reality is an important first step to adequately handling your social media presence as a YouTuber.

Get help.

Dane Boedigheimer, creator of “The Annoying Orange,” admitted to doing just that when it comes to interacting with his fans. “I surround myself with very great people that help me manage all of that,” he said. Though he “loves being a part of that and going through and reading comments,” he enlists aid, as well, because “we have pages for every single ‘Annoying Orange’ character and my stuff as well.” Between the Marshmallow, Pear, Grandpa Lemon, etc., that’s a lot of social media for just one guy.

Stay engaged.

Being one of those people who’s naturally very attuned to her internet presence will work in your favor. Jenn McCallister (better known as JennXPenn) described herself as such a person. “I’m addicted to my phone and social media, so I always try and keep everyone updated and tweeting and posting on Instagram,” she said.

Tweet back.

Anthony Quintal (known on YouTube as Lohanthony) always reciprocates on social media. “I’m always tweeting back, always following people back,” he described of his committed social media presence.

Respond to new videos’ comments immediately.

A common YouTube tactic for responding to comments means sitting tight for the first hour so after posting a new video. “When I put a video up I’m usually responding to comments for like the first hour or two,” creator Kingsley explained. Getting a look at viewers’ first reactions to a fresh video will give you immediate perspective on what you did right, wrong, better, or worse.

Open up.

Tyler Ward is by no means the first YouTube creator to note that the social media intimacy with fans can get a bit overwhelming, but he did confess to “letting them in so much more than I let some of my friends in.” Sharing yourself with your fans means so much that they’ll appreciate your openness even when you’re too busy to respond to everything they have to tweet at you.

Love your fans.

Genuinely caring for your fans will make your drive to thrive on social media somewhat effortless. As Colleen Ballinger of Miranda Sings noted, “The one thing that really keeps me in check is the fans, because if I’m not tweeting constantly they think I’m dead. Knowing that I want to keep them happy…that’s my one, big motivator to make sure I’m constantly on social media.”

Solicit fan feedback.

Social media is also a great way for you to gauge what your fans think of your work. For Sandi, the face of CutePolish, social media means getting a look at the nail creations she’s inspired in her audiences. “I’m always encouraging them to show me their recreations of nail art, always interacting with them online,” she explained.

Don’t be invisible.

Of course, neglecting to respond to your fans makes you less relatable and, frankly, less of a “real person” on the platform. As Kingsley put it, he tries his best to respond to comments so his fans “feel like they’re not writing to some invisible entity.”

Remember, one social media venue feeds another.

Since it’s all about networking and intertwining connections, it’s true that anything you do on one social media outlet can carry over to another. Said Smosh’s Hecox of social media platforms, “They all just sort of feed off each other. The Twitter helps the Facebook, the Facebook helps the YouTube…” Etc., etc…

Read (even if you can’t respond).

The ultimate conclusion here is that social media is tough to keep up with for YouTubers with significant fan bases. Thus, it’s simply unrealistic to respond to every comment and/or tweet. “Just do what you can,” encouraged Michelle Glavan, a comedic creator with almost 200,000 subscribers. “It’s very difficult to respond to everybody, but I try to at least read it all.” By doing this, you can stay in tune with what your fans think, love, and want without setting unrealistic goals for yourself when it comes to communications.

That said, there are tools available to creators to make the social-media aspect of their lives much easier. Epoxy, a platform that enables creators of all sizes to distribute content on social platforms as well as engage with active and influential followers, is one such platform.

This post is originated from VideoInk’s VidCon Pop-Up studio, which was sponsored by Epoxy.

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