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Marketing / July 14, 2017 How We Generated 1 Million Facebook Video Views: A HubSpot Experiment
How We Generated 1 Million Facebook Video Views: A HubSpot Experiment

By Ryan Bonnici

social-media-experiment-coverage-compressed.jpg

Gone are the days when social media publishing and engagement could be tacked onto the daily responsibilities of an intern -- as were many of the first roles in social media.

Today's growth-minded organizations need a team of people ideating, creating, publishing, and promoting content on social media to drive meaningful returns on investment -- and this requires time, effort, and creativity.

New Call-to-action

Marketers are realizing this and dedicating more time, resources, and staff headcount to social media. In the 2017 Read More

Marketing / July 12, 2017 Marketers Weigh In: Instagram or Snapchat Stories?
Marketers Weigh In: Instagram or Snapchat Stories?

By Sophia Bernazzani

Be honest: Do you spend a lot of time during your work day chatting with colleagues on messaging apps, like Slack?

It's okay -- so do we. And while some of our messages are GIFs and emojis (okay, the majority of our messages), we also get into lots of lively Slack discussions (okay, debates) about news stories and product announcements in the marketing technology space.

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Marketing / July 3, 2017 June Social Media News: Snap Map, Twitter Revamped & More
June Social Media News: Snap Map, Twitter Revamped & More

By Sophia Bernazzani

June is typically a time when people start booking vacations and travel, but in the world of social media, the work on innovation never stops.

In fact, just last Friday, June 30th was #SocialMediaDay.

So in honor of Social Media Day, we've rounded up the latest launches and announcements from different social media apps over the last month.

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Marketing / June 30, 2017 7 New Twitter Features (and 4 Others You May Have Missed)
7 New Twitter Features (and 4 Others You May Have Missed)

By Meghan Keaney Anderson

In an industry fixated on rapid growth, any slowdown in user acquisition or monetization sounds alarms. And Twitter, whether it likes it or not, has been sounding a lot of them lately.

After a few years of stagnant monthly active user growth and disappointing the market, Twitter has been on an upswing thus far in 2017 -- beating investor projections by generating more money and adding more new users than initially anticipated.

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Marketing / June 13, 2017 The 10 Best User-Generated Content Campaigns on Instagram
The 10 Best User-Generated Content Campaigns on Instagram

By Sophia Bernazzani

When it comes time to make a purchasing decision, who are you more likely to trust -- a brand, or a fellow consumer who uses the product?

We're more likely to take recommendations from friends and family members than brands when it comes time to make buying decisions -- and that's the logic behind user-generated content on social media.

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Marketing / June 2, 2017 Why Generation Z Should Be Included in Your Content Strategy [Infographic]
Why Generation Z Should Be Included in Your Content Strategy [Infographic]

By Amanda Zantal-Wiener

I'll admit it: I've always been a bit befuddled by the letters assigned to generations. In fact, I remember the day that I lamentably found out that I wasn't a member of Generation X. I had missed the mark by just a hair, and growing up in the 90s, learning that it wasn't me who the Spice Girls were singing about in soda commercials was very sad news.

But now, pop musicians are singing to one of the newest populations, and as marketers, it's time for us to turn our attention to it: Generation Z.

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Marketing / May 18, 2017 15 Hidden Instagram Hacks & Features Everyone Should Know About
15 Hidden Instagram Hacks & Features Everyone Should Know About

By Amanda Zantal-Wiener

Instagram has become the favorite social network of many -- and not just for teens or Millennials. In fact, according to the Pew Research Center, 32% of online adults use Instagram -- up 5% from the previous year. Compare that, for example, to 24% on Twitter.

Plus, folks don't just use Instagram casually -- 35% of them use it several times each day.

But for those who have never used the platform before, or those who just want to take their usage to the next level, Instagram has some lesser-known tricks and features.

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Marketing / May 15, 2017 Social Media Copywriting: How to Compose Text for 5 Different Channels [Bookmarkable]
Social Media Copywriting: How to Compose Text for 5 Different Channels [Bookmarkable]

By Amanda Zantal-Wiener

Most of us know that social media is an essential part of a brand’s marketing strategy. After all, 92% of marketers say that social media is important to their business. And yet, managing it continues to be a source of frustration for many.

That’s understandable -- there are many moving parts to a successful social media strategy. There’s knowing the right frequency with which to post. There’s the measurement of any ROI on these efforts. And, there’s determining what the heck to post to each channel.

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Marketing / May 12, 2017 9 Clever Ways to Get More Comments on Instagram This Month
9 Clever Ways to Get More Comments on Instagram This Month

By Sophia Bernazzani

If you're not a total Instagram addict like me, you might go a day or two without checking your app. And when you check your feed, you might notice that some posts from friends were shared mere minutes ago, while others might be a few days old.

So, what gives? Why isn't your Instagram feed chronological anymore?Manage and plan your social media posts with the help of this free calendar  template.Like many other social networks, Instagram's algorithm changed.

In this post, we'll give you a quick rundown of what's new with the algorithm, along with tips on how to create the most engaging posts possible to get more comments on Instagram -- which help you jump higher in the feed and get discovered by new users.

Guide to the Instagram Feed Algorithm

In June 2016, Instagram announced it was changing its algorithm to show users content they cared about first -- no matter when it was posted. This could make it tougher for social media marketers to get organic Instagram posts seen because most users miss 70% of the content on their feeds.

That's where engagement comes in. There are a few factors that influence a post's ranking on the Instagram feed, and the number of likes and comments a post achieves is one of them. Here's what matters when it comes to ranking on an Instagram user's feed:

  1. The number of Likes and comments a post has
  2. If that user has interacted with your content in the past
  3. How recently you posted

If your organic Instagram posts get engagement from your followers, it creates a positive feedback loop: the more people like and comment on a post, the greater likelihood it will appear on the Explore tab, where users who don't already follow you can check out your popular content.

Before we jump into strategies for attracting more comments, there are a few things you need to do:

1) Make your account public.

Make sure new followers can find your content by opening your account. Navigate to your profile, tap the Settings gear icon in the upper right-hand corner, and toggle the Private Account button to the Off position.

2) Enable push notifications.

Turn on push notifications so you can quickly reply to or like your followers' comments. Remember, the more users interact with your account, the higher on their feeds your content will appear.

Navigate to your profile, tap the Settings gear icon in the upper right-hand corner, tap Push Notification Settings, and choose which Instagram actions you want to be notified for.

3) Curate excellent content.

People aren't going to comment on uninteresting content, so enlist one team member to manage the scheduling and editing of Instagram content, but open it up to a larger team to source different photos, videos, and ideas to keep your Instagram feed fresh and interesting.

4) Develop an Instagram editorial calendar.

Figure out an Instagram publishing cadence that works for you -- and we recommend posting no more than once per day. Remember, timing is a factor in the algorithm, so you don't want posts from earlier in the day to get lost in the shuffle. Download our social media content calendar to keep track of what you're posting across other social platforms so you're not repetitive and you're covering all of your bases.

Now that we're all on the same page, let's dive into strategies for getting more comments (and likes) on Instagram.

9 Ways to Get More Comments on Instagram

1) Host a giveaway or contest.

A fun and easy way to get followers to comment on your Instagram posts is by hosting an Instagram contest or giveaway. You could post on Instagram promoting the contest, then ask users to enter by commenting on your post. You could make your contest a weeklong campaign, where users have to comment each day. You could even incorporate user-generated content (UGC) and ask followers to post their own photos and to tag/mention your brand in the post.

Here's an example of an Instagram contest we ran for our attendees at INBOUND 2016, HubSpot's annual marketing and sales event:

Social Media Examiner has a great guide for running Instagram contests -- check it out here.

2) Host an Instagram takeover.

Instagram takeovers are a fun way to get fresh content on your Instagram and to work with colleagues and influencers. They're a smart way to generate more Instagram engagement, too.

Takeovers involve one Instagram user taking over another's feed, usually for a day, and posting from their point of view. Takeovers are often done from the perspective of:

  • A colleague
  • An influencer
  • Another organization in your industry

These takeovers help generate more Instagram comments whether it takes place on your account or you're taking over another account. Here's an example of a takeover we hosted with our friends over at WeWork. WeWork was able to share brand and member stories to a whole new audience of HubSpot's engaged followers.

WeWork closed the takeover with a call-to-action (CTA) to follow its Instagram account -- where new followers will start liking and commenting on new posts. And over at HubSpot, we enjoyed comments from WeWork fans and others interested in the takeover.

Takeovers are a win-win for hosts and guests. Learn how to host one with help from Buffer.

3) Ask users to engage in the comments.

A simple way to get more Instagram comments is to ask for them.

Post content on Instagram that lends itself to sharing, and ask users to answer a question or tag their friends and coworkers in the comments. It's a fun and easy way to interact with your audience, and it helps you garner more comments, too.

Here's an example of an Instagram post we shared in which we asked our followers a question. You can caption posts with simple questions like "Agree or disagree?" or "What's your advice?" to prompt responses and earn more comments.

4) Post something funny, surprising, or provocative.

In a study of what makes content go viral, research revealed some of the most viral internet moments also provoked high-arousal emotions. Among the most common were posts that created anticipation, surprised the viewer, and provoked curiosity and uncertainty. Emotions that incited feelings of joy were also among the most common, so think about content you could share on Instagram that makes people feel an emotion so strongly that they're compelled to comment on it.

Is there content you could post about a surprising fact, a happy moment, or an intriguing industry trend? It doesn't need to be specifically about your brand, either -- content that's enjoyable for a broad audience will likely attract more comments.

It can be silly, too -- here's our teaser video for our April Fool's Day prank about "gorilla" marketing that attracted a lot of attention -- while building anticipation and a sense of surprise.

 

Is this week dragging for you, too?

A post shared by HubSpot (@hubspot) on

5) Post videos.

Time spent viewing videos on Instagram increased 40% in 2016, and now, users can post videos up to one minute in length. Post this engaging content to get followers to stop scrolling through their busy Instagram feeds and watch your video -- and make sure it's intruiging. Your audience wants more video content -- especially on social media -- so if you share something compelling and ask viewers to comment on it in the caption, they'll most likely do it.

Create short videos for Instagram that tease longer videos on other platforms -- like Facebook or YouTube -- or post longer video (up to 60 seconds) as we did here:

 

What's new with Facebook? Before you tune into today's F8 keynote, catch up on what happened on Day 1.

A post shared by HubSpot (@hubspot) on

6) Use relevant hashtags.

When you post your content with relevant, popular Instagram hashtags, your posts appear in searches for those hashtags and the Explore tab. In fact, posts with at least one hashtag typically attain more than 12% more engagement. Influencers and interested users might organically comment when they see you talking about topics they're also interested in, or you could combine some of the strategies above to generate engagement.

Ask followers how they celebrated #SundayFunday, acknowledge a #ThrowbackThursday, or use one of the hundreds of hashtags relevant to your industry or your content to get new audience members involved in the conversation. We did this with Earth Day hashtags in the example below:

Here's a guide to finding and using Instagram hashtags, as well as a massive list of the most popular hashtags you can use.

7) Publish at the right time of day.

There's a lot of debate over the best time of day to post on social media, and that's because the answer varies depending on your industry, your followers, and what type of content you're posting.

Our best advice is to test out your engagement rates on Instagram when you post at different times throughout the week, and determine your publishing schedule based on the results. Whether it's bright and early on Monday morning or later in the afternoon, try to figure out the time when your followers are more willing to stop and leave a comment to maximize the engagement of your posts each day. Use a social media content calendar to track scheduling and results.

8) Post photos of people's faces.

Let's face it -- selfies are fun. And as it turns out, they're good for your Instagram strategy, too.

An analysis of more than 1 million Instagram posts by Georgia Institute of Technology and Yahoo Labs found that posts with human faces are 32% more likely to attract comments -- and 38% more likely to garner likes. There isn't a ton of insight into why this is, but the researchers suspected that it's partly because faces are effective sources of nonverbal communication that people respond to -- even as infants.

Post Instagram content featuring selfies, group shots, and candid photos, and see if your audience likes the human side of your brand, too. Here's a post featuring the faces of our recruiting team that generated a lot of comments:

9) Post photos of animals.

There isn't a lot of research to back this one up, but you know as well as I do that animals on social media are powerful. Animals have been popular on the web for a long time, and animal influencers can earn just as much money as human influencers on Instagram, Whether you have animals in your office or a cute picture of a coworker's pet, try posting lighter, fun content on Instagram accompanied by a furry friend to see if your audience likes commenting on animals, too.

Here's one of our favorite dogs here at HubSpot -- he racked up 24 comments and almost 800 likes.

 

Some days you just need to hug a pup to help get you through the work day. 🐶 📷 @mmsmall

A post shared by HubSpot (@hubspot) on

Engagement Is Key

Likes, comments, and video views are valuable on Instagram because they influence where your posts sit in the feed. Additionally, your content will be discoverable on the Explore tab if a lot of users interact with your posts -- so test out these methods for attracting more responses on Instagram. For more ideas, check out our guide to Instagram for business.

What are your strategies for getting more comments on Instagram? Share with us in the comments below.

Free Template Social Media Content Calendar

 
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Marketing / May 9, 2017 How to Use Facebook Live: A Bookmarkable Guide
How to Use Facebook Live: A Bookmarkable Guide

By Sophia Bernazzani

In April 2016, Facebook launched Facebook Live, a live video streaming service that lets anyone broadcast from their mobile devices straight to their Facebook News Feed.

Since its launch, live streaming video has grown in popularity, with 16% of marketers broadcasting it in 2016. Facebook Live is particularly popular -- videos see 3X the engagement of traditional videos shared on the platforms, and millions of users live stream on Facebook around the world.

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Marketing / May 8, 2017 How to Make Quotes for Instagram: 7 Apps to Try This Month
How to Make Quotes for Instagram: 7 Apps to Try This Month

By Sophia Bernazzani

When you come across a beautiful sight -- be it a beach, a mountain, or your pet's face -- sometimes, it inspires you to think bigger about what certain sights and experiences mean.

For those moments, you might consider posting a photo on Instagram with an equally inspiring quote as the caption. But you could take it even further -- and save characters -- by posting the photo with the quote.

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Marketing / May 4, 2017 8 Snapchat Mistakes to Avoid (and How to Fix Them)
8 Snapchat Mistakes to Avoid (and How to Fix Them)

By Sophia Bernazzani

Do you ever find yourself mindlessly scrolling on your phone -- just tapping away at your various apps to see what’s going on?

It’s my go-to method for killing time when I’m commuting or waiting for my TV show to return from a commercial break. And I’ve found that when I’m bored, I’m more likely to breeze through the content I’m consuming without really looking at it. Do you know the feeling?

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Marketing / May 2, 2017 Need to Convert Traffic Into More Leads? Experts Bust Common CRO Myths [Live Hangout]
Need to Convert Traffic Into More Leads? Experts Bust Common CRO Myths [Live Hangout]

By Kate Taylor Mighty

Many marketers have to find out the hard way that more website traffic doesn't always translate to more leads.

Unless your site is optimized to drive visitors to take action and engage, you can attract thousands of visitors and never see one of them convert into a lead. That's where conversion rate optimization comes in.

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Marketing / April 28, 2017 April Social Media News: AR on Facebook, Ads on Snapchat & More
April Social Media News: AR on Facebook, Ads on Snapchat & More

By Sophia Bernazzani

April showers bring May flowers (depending on where you live). This April also brought an onslaught of augmented reality, or AR, from a few of your favorite social media apps.

Just like last month, Facebook and Instagram continued to compete with Snap Inc. in April, with all three apps launching new products and features to keep more users and marketers spending their time there.

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Marketing / April 26, 2017 How to Repost on Instagram: 4 Easy Ways to Reshare Content
How to Repost on Instagram: 4 Easy Ways to Reshare Content

By Sophia Bernazzani

Where most social media feeds are almost distractingly busy -- full of photos, videos, and text updates from friends and brands you follow -- Instagram is different because you can only look at one post at a time.

And while this simple, clean interface makes to easy to focus on the beautiful photography and interesting videos on Instagram, it also leaves something to be desired: the ability to easily repost other users' content.

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Marketing / April 25, 2017 The Character Count Guide for Blog Posts, Videos, Tweets & More
The Character Count Guide for Blog Posts, Videos, Tweets & More

By Lindsay Kolowich

When it comes to writing text for your blog and social media posts, many marketers wonder, "But what's the character limit?" It's never a simple question -- sometimes, it's answered by parameters established by certain channels. And on other occasions, it's more a question of what's ideal.

For example, you probably know the character limit for a tweet is 140, but did you know that the ideal length is actually less than that? (Hold tight -- we'll explain why.) 

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Marketing / April 13, 2017 19 Statistics About Multicultural Millennials Marketers Should Know [Infographic]
19 Statistics About Multicultural Millennials Marketers Should Know [Infographic]

By Sophia Bernazzani

Millennials, or people between the ages of 18 and 34, make up the largest population group in the United States. There are more than 75 million millennials in total, and that number is projected to increased to more than 81 million by 2036. Additionally, this age group is the most active and engaged across social media platforms.

So it should come as no surprise that marketers are eager to learn more about how to capture millennials' attention, time, and spending dollars.

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Marketing / April 12, 2017 The Decline of Organic Facebook Reach & How to Outsmart the Algorithm
The Decline of Organic Facebook Reach & How to Outsmart the Algorithm

By Sophia Bernazzani

If you've been managing a Facebook Page over the past few years, you've likely noticed a drop in how many of your fans have been viewing and interacting with your organic posts. This decline in organic Facebook reach came to a head in 2014, when marketers started picking up on (and complaining about) the situation in droves, prompting a response from Facebook's VP of Advertising Technology, Brian Boland.

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Marketing / April 6, 2017 6 New LinkedIn Features You May Have Missed This Year
6 New LinkedIn Features You May Have Missed This Year

By Sophia Bernazzani

If you’ve logged into LinkedIn over the past few weeks, you may have noticed something different. Actually, everything is different, because LinkedIn completely overhauled its desktop site.

After Microsoft acquired the job search and networking website in 2016, LinkedIn announced it would redesign its desktop website to more closely mirror its mobile apps.

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Marketing / April 5, 2017 Help! My Brand Went Viral: 12 Small Brands That Made It Big
Help! My Brand Went Viral: 12 Small Brands That Made It Big

By Meg Prater

When you think of viral marketing, your mind probably wanders to that Oreos "You can still dunk in the dark" tweet, which garnered an enviable 40,000 retweets and Facebook likes during 2013's Super Bowl power outage. Or perhaps you think of the Dove "Real Beauty Sketches," a video with more than 67 million views to date.

When these global brands go viral, it's not a huge surprise.

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Marketing / March 30, 2017 This Year's Cheat Sheet of Social Media Photo & Image Sizes [Infographic]
This Year's Cheat Sheet of Social Media Photo & Image Sizes [Infographic]

By Lindsay Kolowich

When you're selecting cover photos, shared images, and other social media assets, knowing the basic image dimensions might not cut it. What if you want to make sure a certain part of your cover photo isn't obstructed by your profile photo? And what's the difference between shared link thumbnails, or in-stream photos -- are the dimensions different for those?

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Marketing / March 27, 2017 How to Create a Twitter Moment: A Step-by-Step Guide
How to Create a Twitter Moment: A Step-by-Step Guide

By Sophia Bernazzani

Sometimes an event is so remarkably big that it completely takes over social media for a few hours, or even days. Think back to the last awards show, sporting event, or viral meme -- how many tweets about it popped onto your Twitter timeline?

When more than 9,000 tweets are published per second, it can be hard to find great content on the platform. So in 2015, Twitter rolled out Twitter Moments -- curated tweets revolving around a single topic or story, all in one place.

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Marketing / March 24, 2017 The Ultimate Social Media Holiday Calendar for 2017 [Resource]
The Ultimate Social Media Holiday Calendar for 2017 [Resource]

By Sophia Bernazzani

Whether it's International Cat Day, Pizza Day, or Talk Like a Pirate Day, it seems like almost every day, the internet is celebrating a holiday.

Whenever I log onto Twitter, I quickly scan what's trending on the left-hand side of the screen. Have you ever had this experience -- when you see an obscure holiday or observance day trending, and you think to yourself "Yup, I'm celebrating that"?

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Marketing / March 23, 2017 Will Snapchat Spectacles Be a Money-Maker? [Infographic]
Will Snapchat Spectacles Be a Money-Maker? [Infographic]

By Amanda Zantal-Wiener

At the dawn of Snapchat's IPO, the marketing and financial worlds alike are simply buzzing with speculation.

Will it sink or swim? Will it thrive, despite allegedly slowing user growth? And will its public-traded life get off on the right foot -- or will it stumble, in a fate similar to social network IPOs past? We know we've spent the past several months emphasizing the importance of Snapchat to marketers, and despite these questions, we stand by it. 

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Marketing / March 22, 2017 14 of the Best Snapchats to Follow for Inspiration
14 of the Best Snapchats to Follow for Inspiration

By Lindsay Kolowich

It used to be that Snapchat was seen as a platform geared mostly toward teens and pre-teens. But over the last several years, Snapchat has added features and made changes that have helped to move it into a much broader space.

No longer is it a niche photo-messaging service -- it's become an established media platform valued at over $19 billion and with over 161 million daily users.

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Marketing / March 21, 2017 How to Generate More Leads & Customers Using Social Media Videos [Free Ebook]
How to Generate More Leads & Customers Using Social Media Videos [Free Ebook]

By Kate Taylor Mighty

Video marketing is quickly crossing into buzzword territory. From blogs to online news to social media platforms, video is everywhere. The use of video content for B2B marketers jumped from 8% to 58% in 2014 alone, while the number of videos brands publish on Facebook has continually increased by 3.6x year over year.

But is all this video really helping marketers succeed?

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Marketing / March 20, 2017 The State of Social Media Demographics: 2017 Benchmarks [Infographic]
The State of Social Media Demographics: 2017 Benchmarks [Infographic]

By Amanda Zantal-Wiener

There's quite a bit of information out there to support the claims that people are moving farther away from broadcast television, and closer to the digital realm. And within that landscape, people are straying from their desktops and laptops, and opting to get online via mobile with more frequency.

At least, that's what the folks at Nielsen and Google have found in their research.

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Marketing / March 16, 2017 20 YouTube Tricks, Hacks & Features You'll Want to Know About This Year
20 YouTube Tricks, Hacks & Features You'll Want to Know About This Year

By Lindsay Kolowich

When people talk about today's most popular social sharing websites, YouTube often gets left out of the conversation in favor of sites like Facebook and Twitter.

But don't be fooled: YouTube has a lot going for it. Although Facebook might be the largest social networking site, YouTube has the second greatest reach after Facebook in terms of general usage. It's also the second biggest search engine behind its parent company, Google.

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