YouTube Community Posts aren’t a new feature, but I’ve noticed a lot more creators start to use them lately so I thought I’d write up a quick How-To. Community Posts are a great way to keep your audience engaged (and knowing you’re alive) even when you don’t have a new video to post yet!
We’ll run down the choices of posts and how to use them. Note to unlock the Community tab, you must have 1,000 subscribers. It effectively replaces the old “Discussions” tab with better features. If this How To helps, check out my other articles on YouTube!
Table of Contents
Where Do YouTube Community Posts Appear?
Posts appear in your Community tab on your Channel Page, but most importantly on YouTube Mobile, Posts appear intermixed with the subscriptions/recommendations feed on the front page! Yes, front page billing, though for now it seems to just be on mobile.
Note that Community Posts for recently watched channels can show up even if you don’t subscribe to the channel, so some non-subscribers may see a popular post of yours as well. You’re not guaranteed a slot by The Algorithm of course, which is why it pays to sprinkle your posts a couple times a week instead of just one.
Using YouTube Community Posts
The simplest Community Post is just raw text, which is great to give a heads-up to your followers about upcoming videos, ask questions, or just give a quick status update.
Note that only the first 4 lines of text on your post will show up before a Show More block, so be terse, punchy, or at least lead with a banger.
YouTube Video Posts
The most obvious kind of post, these let you share a video (yours or someone else’s) directly to your audience along with some text. This is a great way to promote quality, older videos that The Algorithm hasn’t graced lately.
As I note below, Video Posts appear to get circulated less than other post types—or at least, they seem to get a lot less engagement in my experience.
One of the best ways to get engagement anywhere on the web is to share quality images. Memes, cats, cat memes, you know the drill. I try to always add an image when possible/relevant.
Note image posts can be GIFs! This is a great opportunity to show a sneak peek of an upcoming video project, behind-the-scenes, or a highlight from a past video!
These seem to be particularly good at drawing attention, and I’ve noticed many creators I follow have picked up on that—man there’s a lot of polls on YouTube lately.
Polls are pretty simple, though note you can’t edit the post after posting (cheater!). Just input at least two and up to 5 options and people can vote. Polls can be just for fun, asking for upcoming video ideas, or other forms of feedback. I try to post one poll a week.
These are my personal favorite, as Playlists are probably the most underrated YouTube feature. Fittingly, playlists aren’t listed as an official type of Community Post! But all you have to do is post with the only link in the post being the Playlist you want to show, and it will pop up as a lovely embed like the following:
I tend to get good reactions to these, I’d say they’re a comfortable third after Image and Poll posts.
Lower Visibility Community Posts
A couple things appears to automatically reduce the exposure of your Community posts on YouTube. Algorithm things, you understand. I’ll note none of this is proven, just from experience. None of this is to say the posts won’t be seen, but YouTube may show these posts less on the front page.
Yes, the most obvious option of posting a video seems to significantly reduce the visibility of your post. I’ve had much more success with both Playlist posts or using an image post with the video link in the body of the post instead of a video embed.
Guess they can’t make it TOO easy for you to actually get your videos seen, on this video website.
I’ve heard from several people that including external links (not from youtube) it may significantly reduce the reach of your poll. Try a different format of post (ideally image) and direct attention some other way, such as telling people to check the links on your channel page, or just give the @ handle if promoting your Twitter, Facebook etc page.
Take this with a grain of salt though, one of my most liked recent posts is an image post with an external link.
Members Only And Scheduled Posts
Finally, there’s two more options for Community posts:
Members Only Posts can be used to distribute rewards to your paid members, or even just say Thanks. I use this to deliver Members Only videos and send monthly pictures of my cat along as a little thank-you. It helps to make your members feel valued.
Scheduled Posts are just what it sounds like, you can schedule posts ahead of time. This is nice to set up weekly/monthly/etc posts ahead of time, personally I tend to schedule a few fun polls once a week, and on Fridays I like to showcase an old, quality Playlist to give people something to watch for the weekend!
That’s about it for Community Posts, let me know how you use the posts in the comments, and feel free to ask any questions you have!