Let’s say you follow someone on social media who has just started a business. They want you to buy their brilliant products, so they post a status: “Hey everyone! My products are brilliant, please visit my website and buy one.”
Would you visit their website and buy one? Would you take them at their word that their products are brilliant? Would you even read it, or would you scroll past?
Well, what if they posted a longer status that says: “Hey guys, my products can do this. My products can do that. Please visit my website and buy one”. Still, would you scroll on past?
I don’t blame you. How do you know what their products are like? It's just another boring, pluggy advertisement. Really you've just been scrolling for a funny meme to keep you entertained.
But, let’s imagine for a second that instead, they posted a video. Their video shows you the product performing its function. Maybe the video has a how-to section, showing you how it works. Let’s say the video tells a story of someone who used the product and what effect it had on them. Let’s also say that they uploaded it right on your commute to work when you’re looking for something to do. Would you buy a product then? Would you visit the website?
In order to grab people’s attention on social media today, you have to do something more creative, something that adopts more of a show not tell approach. With video, you have the creative freedom to find new ways to show people why what you have to offer is worth their money. When you combine that with the intense power of social media, you're sure to have a recipie for success.
Social Media and Video
The power of video on social media cannot be ignored. Its ability to drive traffic and encourage people to make purchases is always growing. Forbes reported in 2017 that video was projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019, and we’re nearly there.
With more and more social media platforms helping us find new ways to incorporate video into our content strategy, not to mention the rise of YouTube, there is no reason why you should not be using video on your business’ social accounts. Here are a few of the reasons why it’s a good idea:
- Videos are MEMORABLE
- Video mostly owns the 18-33 demographic
- It grabs attention with a SHOW NOT TELL approach
- Video has a unique way of connecting with an audience
- Everywhere incorporates video: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter
- Your competitors are probably doing it too
Now, whether using video on social media involves a huge corporate advertisement with a large budget or a funny viral video you’re including in a post to illustrate your point, you have to start somewhere.
But to answer the question: how to use video on social media, you have to think about your method.
There’s Method in Madness
If you have decided that you want to incorporate video into your social media strategy, or your current videos aren’t working out as well as you’d hoped, here are some handy hints and tips for using video on social media and what the best practices are.
The length of your video is very important. Switch it up depending on the platform you’re using and what your audience wants to see. For example, for Instagram and Twitter, you should probably keep your videos under 60 seconds.
Check the maximum video length on each platform, and if yours is too long, you can upload it to YouTube and post a link on the other social media platforms, embedding them into a post instead.
The wonderful world of social media has brought us live broadcasting tools and it would be rude not to use them. Broadcasting videos live is a great opportunity for you to get closer to your audience and to help them feel involved. It allows you to give them a little peek inside your business, in real-time. Live broadcasting also allows you to track engagement as you go.
Always Provide Value
It’s all very well saying that using video on social media is a good idea, but you shouldn’t do it just for the sake of it. You must make sure that with every video, you are providing something valuable.
Whether you’re showing your audience how to do something, or you're providing a funny visual that gets your point across, make sure that you provide something informative or entertaining in your videos.
Grab Attention Early
Because people consume so much content via social media channels, attention spans can be quite low. This means that if you don’t grab people’s attention early, they are likely to click away or keep scrolling.
So, if you’re creating video content that lasts longer than a couple of seconds, you must try to catch your audience’s attention with something engaging and unique. Sometimes, social media platforms will allow you to autoplay your video content. This is a great way to get more people watching your video content because they don’t even have to press play!
Subtitle or No Subtitle?
If your video content features plenty of talking, you should consider adding subtitles. Not only does this help the hearing impaired, but it is also useful for those who may want to watch your content somewhere quiet because they won’t even need to have the sound on.
Plus, if the sound quality isn’t great, subtitles can help clear up any confusion about what is being said during the video. Yes, it takes extra time to put subtitles in your videos, but the extra time is usually worth it, and you want to make sure your content can be heard by as many people as possible.
Thumbnails and Captions
So, you’ve come up with a brilliant piece of video content. It’s informative, it’s engaging, and you can’t wait for all your followers to see it. But, if you create a lacklustre caption or thumbnail image, your content might be sunk.
It is always best to focus some of your efforts on creating an engaging caption and thumbnail if necessary. The thumbnail image is the first thing that your viewers will see so it must be enough to entice them in.
Calls to Action
When you’ve got people clicking on your video content and watching, you don’t want to lose them. Once you have them in the palm of your hand, don’t allow them to continue scrolling through their feed. Be sure to remind them what it is you want them to do.
Encourage them to visit your website or subscribe to your newsletter. Whatever it is you are trying to achieve with your video, pop a little reminder in at the end.
Consistency is Key
If you decide to create a series of videos as part of your social media strategy, you must think about consistency. If your first couple of videos are successful, you want to show the people that watch them when there is another video from you. They should be able to recognise the brand straight away.
You can be consistent with your thumbnails and captions, but if you have the resources, you can even include intros and outros to your videos which stay the same. Also, with a video series, it is important to uphold promises and upload times, so you don’t disappoint any loyal followers.
What use is all this if you don’t understand how well it is all performing? There is a whole host of ways which you can track the performance of your social media content, so be sure to make use of it.
Record the number of views your videos are getting, alongside the number of likes, comments, and shares too. Discover what kind of video content is the most popular and learn from it.
Video Content That Works
The type of video content you use really should depend on what goods or services you offer. If not, it will depend on your aim, what are you looking to get out of it?
If your goal is to tell people more about your business, why not offer some behind-the-scenes footage or a tour? You could even use testimonials or fan content to show people proof of your satisfied customers.
How-tos are one of the most popular search terms on video social media platforms such as YouTube, so why not use this to your advantage? It has also been proven time and time again that emotions can lead to sharing, so if you can do something that brings this into effect, you’re onto a winner.