With over 1,150 subscribers and over 1.3 million video views, the Texas Tech University YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/texastech/), also known as the “TTYouTube” channel, is another example of how institutions of higher education can gain brand awareness and build valuable relationships with publics via social media. The Texas Tech YouTube channel allows publics to view “featured playlists” that consist of hundreds of videos related to topics such as, academics and research, campus life, ask the experts, and videos submitted by students and target publics.
The “Ask the Experts” playlist is an effective way to connect with publics on topics beyond the realm of just school. These “expert” videos feature a range of topics that students are interested in learning more about, such as Thanksgiving cooking tips, relationship advice, and even fashion recommendations, in which TTU experts and professors from various TTU colleges answer questions they receive from target publics. The “Ask the Experts” videos are then uploaded to the TTU YouTube channels for viewers to watch and comment on after viewing.
Another great feature about the “TTYouTube” channel is the ability for target publics to make their own Texas Tech videos and submit the videos to the TTU YouTube channel. Some of the events and topics included in these TTU fan made videos illustrate the annual Carol of Lights event, flags at memorial circle, and of course, Red Raider football games, events, and tailgate activities. This is a great way for public relations professionals in the higher education industry to facilitate conversations with customers and get target publics to actively engage in their brand via social media.
The “TTYouTube” channel also features an “About Texas Tech University” section that promotes the TTU brand, in addition to a link to the Texas Tech main Web site. The “Campus Life” featured playlist seems to be the most popular, most engaging playlist within this channel. After viewing TTU campus life videos, target publics are interactively engaging in conversations and promoting the TTU brand by “liking” TTU videos, sharing these videos, and posting comments related to the featured TTU videos about campus traditions, school spirit, football season, and other campus events.
Clearly, YouTube can be an extremely valuable public relations tool for promoting brand awareness, influencing positive brand attitudes, facilitating action, and building loyal brand relationships with publics via social media.