Social Media Marketing via Video When we talk about social media we immediately think of Facebook, Twitter and even Myspace, but often overlook the video option of YouTube.To help you understand the value of YouTube consider the following statistics:In March 2008 there were 78.3 million videos uploaded and growing at approximately 20 percent every month. In one day there is often more than 150,000 videos uploaded. In July of 2008 there were over 5 billion videos viewed on YouTube.Over 75% of the U.S. Internet audience views online videos. This accounts for 558 million hours of online video watching on a monthly basis. YouTube alone has over 258 million registered users, 50% of them visit weekly if not more.Are you seeing value yet? Of course you are. We all know that we must be innovative and creative with our marketing techniques and initiatives, so if we are not using YouTube, are we missing out? The short answer is yes.How can you use YouTube to market your products or services?YouTube has several categories that you can upload videos to. They include:• Autos and Vehicles• Comedy• Education• Entertainment• Film and Animation• Gaming• How-to and Style• Nonprofit and Activism• People and Blogs• Pets and Animals• Science and Technology• Sports• Travel and EventsYour next step is to make the determination of what category your products or services fit into. Keep in mind that when it comes to social media marketing it's not just about uploading a commercial for your product, but it's interacting with potential customers.What type of video could you post that consumers would find valuable and interactive?Could you put together a how-to video? What about an entertaining video showcasing your products? How about sharing a podcast that is entertaining and informative? Remember value and interaction are key when it comes to using social media to market effectively. There is a fine line, don't cross over it or you will do more harm than good and possibly detour potential customers rather than attract new customers.YouTube also introduced brand channels for companies to set up their own page that is branded by you and houses your videos. This is the YouTube concept of advertising and marketing, so while I would consider it more advertising than social media I do want you to be aware that it is an option. The problem with this option is YouTube is not very upfront about the cost, so you'll need to do some digging and make some phone calls to find out if this is a viable option for you.The fact is that YouTube is another effective way to utilize social media marketing and the cost are minimal if any at all. If you can create videos that share value and interaction with consumers you can post those videos to an audience of 78.3 million users. What you must remember is that your video will be one of 150,000 that are uploaded daily, so make it worth the time for users to view it. You also want to keep in mind that users 18 to 34 years of age frequently share videos with their family and friends, so there is a viral effect to be had here as well.As with any social media marketing strategies be creative, have fun but most of all do it - because your competitors probably are.