Summary: Did you know it’s possible to post your YouTube videos directly to your Facebook profile and your Twitter account? Today we’ll show you how to adjust settings inside of your YouTube account so that new uploads, comments, and more are automatically posted to your social media accounts. Skip to the end for short setup instructions.
Earlier this month I gave you a basic lesson in uploading videos to YouTube from an iPhone. That post arose out of my own need to upload a video from my iPhone 4S and not immediately seeing an obvious way to do so. In addition to the great learning experience when it comes to uploading new videos, it also lead me to discover YouTube’s social media integration features. I can’t say I hadn’t seen these settings before, but we don’t post a lot of videos so it’s not been a concern. That said, at some point in recent years I must have been niggling around our Vermont Design Works YouTube account and linked it to our Twitter account… But I only realized it after I uploaded that VDW puppy video from my iPhone and, to my surprise, immediately saw it pop up on our Twitter page.
As I explained a couple of weeks ago, there are a variety of different ways to link social media accounts to each other, so when I saw the video auto-post to Twitter, seemingly on its own, I immediately freaked out – how did this happen? I didn’t think I had anything set to do this and random actions from my phone being auto-tweeted would obviously be cause for concern! After the initial shock I began to dig around and think more rationally and it quickly became apparent that this had to have come from YouTube directly (not from my phone, not from Facebook, not from some third-party app). Again, keep in mind that it must have been months (if not years) ago when I linked our YouTube account to Twitter.
So YouTube was pushing newly uploaded videos to Twitter, I had figured that much out, but I didn’t know how and didn’t see any related settings right away because I was looking for things like “Social Media Options”. Do you see anything like that here?
So I took the lazy man’s way out and simultaneously Googled and Tweeted a question, hoping the Big G or one of our Tweeps could tell me where to edit these settings. Christal Collette got back to me with the answer Google search results could point me in the right direction, and she even included a direct link to the page where I could edit my settings: “Sharing” (link will work if you’re logged into your account). In hindsight “Sharing” makes sense, but what does one normally think about when they hear “Sharing”, as it relates to YouTube? For me, and I suspect most people, you think of the”Sharing” link below each video, which allows you to copy and paste a link to the video, email a link or grab code to embed the video elsewhere. I’m sure you’re familiar, but just in case, it looks like this:
When I see the word “Sharing” on YouTube, that’s is what I think of. It’s not surprising then that when I see “Sharing” in my settings, this is where I assume I would edit these options (dictate whether or not people can embed my videos, etc.) So while I don’t think “Sharing” settings is the worst place to hide autoposting social media features, I think there’s a bit of a usability issue here given that “Sharing” is used differently on the front-end user side of things. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like they’re creating unnecessary potential confusion.
Getting back to the point, Cristal was right – the “Sharing Settings” section is exactly where I needed to go. Take a look:
And connecting accounts is incredibly easy. Let’s first set Orkut aside given that it’s doubtful you or anyone you know uses it, unless you’re in Brazil, India or Japan. We’ll also leave Facebook alone for now too, because as far as I can tell, you can only set it up YouTube integration for a personal profile – not a “page”, which doesn’t help you if you’re trying to manage your business’s social media accounts. For now let’s just take a look at Twitter integration. When you click the “Connect” button, you’re immediately prompted for your login credentials in a pop-up window:
Enter your info and you’re done. Your sharing settings will now look something like this:
So what’s with all of the check-boxes at the bottom? Well basically this is a list of options of things you can choose to share. The “On YouTube” column of check boxes allows you to decide what will be shown to YouTube users on your YouTube channel, whereas the “On connected accounts” check boxes allow you to select which actions will be posted to Twitter, Facebook and Orkut (obviously depending on which ones you’ve enabled). So in this example, I’ve my YouTube settings show that I will automatically tweet whenever I comment on or like a video, but not when I add a video to a playlist or when I upload a new one. (“Upload a video*” was the option I had previously checked, which is why my puppy video upload was automatically pushed to Twitter, which again brought me on this whole journey.)
Depending on which check boxes you select, your autotweets will vary slightly, but just as one quick example, here’s how it looked when I “liked” the Extremely Scary Ghost Elevator Prank in Brazil video:
Basically YouTube pushes a link to the video and the title out as a tweet, prepended with “I liked a @YouTube video”. Obviously this language is modified a bit if the YouTube action you took was uploading a new video or commenting on a video, etc. but you get the picture.
Short YouTube to Twitter Instructions
- Log in to your account
- From the YouTube home page, click the drop-down next to your username in the upper right and select “Settings”
- Choose “Sharing” from the “Account Settings” section in the left-hand column
- Click the “Connect” button next to any social media service you have an account with and you would like to connect your YouTube account to
- Follow basic instructions (usually just entering login credentials)
If you’d like any of your YouTube activity to be posted to your Twitter account, follow these instructions and let me know how you make out. Any other tips on autoposting YouTube videos to social media? Questions on linking up other social media accounts? Post your questions and messages in the comments section below. And of course if you’d like to discuss your online marketing, social media and content strategy, please feel free to contact us today!