Connect with your community
There are more ways than ever to engage with your audience on YouTube and express creativity.
4 ways to interact with your community in the comments
Conversation among your audience is bound to happen with or without your involvement in the Comments section on YouTube. When you jump in, it shows your audience that you’re committed to them and interested in what they have to say. Promote quality discussions around your channel and videos, express yourself, and help make your community feel loved.
- Reply to comments (even on the go!)
- Try to be the first to comment on each video you upload.
- Consider making a habit of responding to comments in the first few hours after uploading a new video.
- Share links to relevant videos and photos to boost engagement.
- If you’re not in front of a desktop computer, you can use Creator Studio on your mobile to provide timely responses.
- Pin comments at the top of the feed. Select what your audience sees first and help set the tone of the conversation. You can pin comments you’ve written or to highlight a comment from your audience.
- Reward excellent commenters -- viewers will get notified if you pin their comment (and they’re opted in to notifications). This can encourage fan contributions.
- Highlight the answer to a common question.
- Show some love by giving hearts to your favorite comments. A heart icon will display next to comments you’ve acknowledged with a heart.
- Adding a heart will send a notification to the viewer who wrote the comment (if they’ve opted in to receive notifications from activity on their comments.) In addition to showing appreciation, this can bring viewers back to your channel. We’ve found that viewers who have received a heart on their comment are three times more likely to click on the notification (than with other types of notifications), potentially leading more viewers back to your channel.
- Note: Hearts are different from ‘Likes’. Only YouTube creators have access to hearts, whereas, viewers and creators can click like or dislike next to a comment.
- Bonus! Users can find your comments with a highlighted username. It can sometimes be tricky to identify which comments are from the channel owner. With highlighted usernames it’s easier than ever to see your replies because the channel creator’s username will be highlighted.
- Reply to comments (even on the go!)
5 tips for engaging with your community
As a YouTube creator, your audience looks forward to opportunities to engage with you. Try out some of these tips to encourage communication and reward your viewers.
- Plug your community into initiatives, projects, or topics you’re interested in and promote them with hashtags. Share the #hashtag in your videos and consider asking your audience to create content around these topics.
- Make videos about your community. Fans love to see when a channel they’re dedicated to makes a video for them.
- Consider producing a thank you video for your audience or to celebrate milestones. Recognize your most loyal viewers, and show them how much you appreciate them!
- If you ask your viewers to submit comments or answer questions, consider featuring their replies in your next video. Seeing their comments or usernames can inspire your community to interact even more.
- Listen to your audience and respond. What do your viewers want to know about you that you haven’t told them already?
- Try reaching out for ideas and dedicate your next videos to answering them.
- Give your audience a backstage pass. Some creators make exclusive content for their super fans.
- Consider publishing special unlisted videos or hosting live streams to reward top community members.
- Keep your audience in the know. Subscribers can stay up to date in real time with your channel by tapping the bell icon, which opts them in to receive all notifications from your channel (on mobile they can tap the bell icon next to ‘Subscribed’.) If they haven’t opted in, subscribers will still see your new videos in the Subscriptions feed. Learn more here. Consider verbally asking viewers to subscribe and tap the bell in your videos.
- Check your Realtime Report in YouTube Analytics for hourly data of estimated views in the last 48 hours. Consider uploading videos when your viewers watch the most.
- Notifications get sent to your audience when you pin their comments, when you heart, and when you reply if they’re opted in for notifications about activity on their comments.
See it in action
Produce with input from your audienceEpic Rap Battles of History not only asks for viewer requests but features viewers whose request was answered with the episode. (Video in English)
Pull back the curtainJamie Oliver records short mobile videos for his channel, FoodTube, to give his loyal audience a glimpse of his daily life. (Video in English)
Understanding your community with YouTube Analytics
Building relationships takes time and dedication, and deciding where to focus your energy can be daunting. Every community is different -- identifying and understanding what makes your audience unique can help you determine the best way to engage them.
The Subscribers report in YouTube Analytics reveals the sources and geographic locale of your subscribers. You can segment the data with filters, like “Subscribed” and “Not Subscribed,” to understand what they watch and how they discover your videos.
For a handy summary of ways you can build and engage with your community, click here.
How many dedicated viewers do you have?Try it now
Use the Fans tool to see who your most engaged supporters are. If you don’t have access to this tool, look through the comments on your videos for those viewers who regularly post. Is there a way you can reach out to this segment of your audience to build your network even more? Find ways to interact with your best fans - perhaps make a collaborative video or film a new episode with their interests in mind. Use YouTube Analytics to see if these small actions make an impact on your channel views.
Evaluate your community chatter.Try it now
View the Comments tool to see the most recent comments from your channel. Read through them to get an idea of how your audience feels about your videos. Do you see any trends? Do you see anything surprising from your community?