I’m an Academic Researcher – Should I Have a YouTube Account?

I struggled with this a bit myself for a while. I made videos for my various social media channels. Shared them. But it wasn’t until I recently that I set up a channel. And now I think the answer is – Yes, as an academic you should have a YouTube Channel.

If you need more reasons – the future of content is video. Video on mobile. YouTube makes that easy, and seamless across any device on virtually all social media and web platforms.

If you have other social media – then adding YouTube in the mix is worth it. Unlike other social media. YouTube is different in the way it sorts and displays content it thinks is relevant for you. Although you can subscribe to YouTube channels and video series, the content offered is based on previous viewing history – with no need to follow others in order to share or consume. Like other social media, having subscribers (the equivalent of followers, and friends on other platforms) is good. But unlike many other channels it’s not essential. Your YouTube content is sharable to anyone on almost any platform. That means you can share it easily to anyone who might be interested or any location that might be useful.

For example, you might imbed the video on your website. Visitors won’t be redirected to YouTube, they’ll have the video load right there in the browser window.

Or you might put it into an email or newsletter. And that might be a clickable link or embedded. The link will take the user to YouTube. The embedded video will run right there in their email program.

You (or anyone else for that matter) could share the video via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Research Gate. In all cases, the platforms will natively allow the video to play.

This is not the same as creating a video in Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or LinkedIn. In those cases, any sharing of the video will require the user to have a social media account for that channel.

The future of content is video – and

the best place for video is YouTube.

Researchers should have a YouTube channel.

YouTube is the second most visited site on the web. If you joined social media because it was popular, then you should be on YouTube too.

Thus, if you are making video content, you should have a YouTube channel where all video lives. And then share it via other platforms. Indeed, there is no reason why you cannot post the same video file to other social media platforms (i.e. not the YouTube link). But having that video there – in YouTube – means it will live on regardless of the other social media channels. Not to mention being findable, searchable, and accessible by search engines.

The only reason you wouldn’t have a YouTube Channel is if you are not making video content. But, before you make the decision that you don’t need a YouTube channel, look through your social media. Ask yourself two questions:

  1. How much of the content I share is video-based?
  2. How much of the content that I consume is video-based?

If the answer to either of those is “most” then you should take a close look at YouTube. And, if you’re creating original video content regularly, then you certainly should have a YouTube channel.


Dr Richard Huysmans is the author of Connect the Docs: A Guide to getting industry partners for academics. He, in collaboration with Jane Anderson, has built the only LinkedIn program for research translation. He has taken that approach and delivers high quality practical advice to the education, research and government sectors in the use of social media for academic and career progress. He is driven by the challenge of helping researchers make use of practical tools for greater impact. He knows social media and how make it work for research.

To find out more, call 0412 606 178, email (Richard.huysmans@drrichardhuysmans.com) or subscribe to the newsletter. He’s on LinkedIn (Dr Richard Huysmans), Twitter (@richardhuysmans), Instagram (@drrichardhuysmans), and Facebook (Beyond Your PhD with Dr Richard Huysmans).