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The Best Community Management Tips for YouTube Channels

By Lena Harris on Tue, 30 Jan 2018

Lots of YouTubers have trouble managing their communities. Between shooting, editing and promoting their content, community management and engagement is often a forgotten afterthought. But engaging social media management can lead to a stronger sense of community and better content. If you struggle to make the most of your YouTube channel, establish some good habits with these tried and true YouTube tips.

Be Transparent About Community Management Guidelines

A common issue that users have with community guidelines is the assumption they aren’t consistently enforced—or that they’re not even made known. Establish a set of guidelines for your YouTube community about what sort of language and topics you’ll allow in the comments. Once that’s set, display it somewhere on your channel (the channel description is a good spot). If you’re hosting your YouTube channel rules somewhere else, like on your website, link to them in your YouTube channel description and/or descriptions of individual videos.

Invite Critique from Your YouTube Community

Don’t shy away from criticism. Invite it! While you shouldn’t take abuse from your YouTube community, hiding or deleting valid criticism is a surefire way to betray viewer trust. Criticism provides an excellent opportunity to publicly assert yourself or signal that you want to make things right if you were caught in the wrong. Addressing criticism respectfully helps you remain transparent, look more human and gain viewer trust.

Watch Your YouTube and Social Media Comments for Content Opportunities

A good tip for YouTube community management is to remain vigilant of viewer activity for content ideas. When visitors to your channel watch your videos, many of them will probably chime in with questions related to it—and those questions can serve as the subject of your next video.

Let’s see an example. In the beginning of an office tour video, popular YouTuber iJustine explains how she was prompted to show off her workspace because viewers asked about it in response to a video guide on her equipment. Look at it this way: your viewers are your collaborators, and you’re better aware of what content they want to see when you pay close attention to your channel comments.

The Best Community Management Tips for YouTube Channels

YouTubers Must Engage with Their Audiences

YouTube now offers a handful of ways you can engage with your comments. When you engage regularly, viewers will feel more driven to share their thoughts and feel a stronger connection to you. In addition to replying to comments, you can “heart” ones you like or even single out top comments, which will sit at the top of your comments feed.

Consider a Family-Friendly Approach

We’ve explained all the benefits to keeping your personal brand family-friendly before, but it’s worth repeating. But the most notable benefit for YouTubers is advertising. In the past few months, YouTube has cracked down on problematic and controversial content to protect advertisers, causing many YouTubers to lose a substantial amount of income. By adopting a family-friendly community management approach (and keeping your YouTube channel content squeaky-clean), you can ensure your videos remain advertiser-friendly.

Focus on Other Social Media Channels, Too

Social media management is important to YouTubers and content creators. Other social media channels like Instagram and Snapchat can provide intimate, unfiltered looks behind the scenes to your fans. These profiles can also help with outreach; many YouTubers use Twitter to promote new videos as they publish, for example. By providing multiple platforms to connect with your fans, you’ll forge deeper relationships with them.

The Best Community Management Tips for YouTube Channels

Don’t Use Misleading Clickbait on Your YouTube Channel

Just like profanity and controversial content, clickbait titles and thumbnails that mislead viewers can cause your videos to lose monetization. While clickbait might seem like a good idea—and we’ve all seen how prominent it is on the platform—it’s not worth the risk. In addition to losing monetization, you might also betray viewers’ trust by frequently misleading them.

Network with Other YouTubers

It’s important to stay active in other YouTubers’ communities, both on their YouTube channel and social media. Don’t overtly advertise your channel in someone else’s comments, but do position yourself as a voice that adds value to their community. Likewise, your community management and social media management strategies should invite other like-minded YouTubers to jump in and add to the conversation. This is an excellent first step to discovering collaboration opportunities to make your community stronger.

Be Proactive in Social Media Management & Community Management

Your community management strategy must prevent abuse to and from your viewers. A toxic community reflects poorly on your brand and discourages engagement. To provide a space that’s safe for everyone to share what’s on their mind, try an artificial comment moderation system like Smart Moderation. This tool is easy and intuitive, helping you automatically find (and delete, report or hide) potentially harmful and inappropriate comments. Find out more about its benefits to YouTubers here.