Five tips for social video success

One trend has dominated discussion about social media in the past two years – video.

Man watching video on tablet

It’s no secret that social video has been growing at an exponential rate in recent times and with more than 70% of the global population expected to own a smartphone by 2020, the significance of optimising your video content for mobile viewing is huge.

Social video does not have to be expensive or take up a substantial amount of resource.

Here’s five tips that can help you create the best social video for your audience.

  1. Keep it short

Social video has always been short and platforms such as Vine, Snapchat, and Instagram extended this trend. The majority of social video is viewed on mobile as consumers demand content ‘right now’ and many are watching on-the-go.

Attention spans are now shorter than ever online. Brands, rights holders and publishers must meet the expectations and consumer trends by providing short-form content that fits into the daily behavioural patterns of their customers.

By providing real-time, bite-sized chunks of entertainment, content distributors are able to connect with millions of fans in an instant and, by adding links and calls-to-action within the videos, have an opportunity to drive wider marketing objectives.

  1. Make it square

Square video is not just for Instagram. Few people have recognised that:

  • Square video is supported on Twitter and Facebook’s native video player
  • Square video clips takes up significant more space in a consumer’s newsfeed on mobile giving fans a greater viewing experience and leading to higher engagement

Taking up more screen space, square video creates the least friction for mobile users when viewing content on mobile devices. With horizontal content, to view across the entirety of the screen, users are required to turn their device horizontally, which is not a natural behaviour when holding a phone. However, when viewing square videos, users do not need to move their phone to get the best viewing experience – it’s the same in every orientation

  1. Use links and calls-to-action

Every video that you distribute to social media should have a specific purpose and objective. If you are publishing video for the ‘sake’ of publishing video, then you are doing it wrong! Social video presents a clear opportunity to increase brand awareness, create a loyal fan base, drive tune-in or OTT subscriptions, increase sales and support wider advertising campaign objectives.

Getting consumers to watch and share a video is fantastic and if you create engaging content then fans will be open to associated marketing messages and calls-to-action.

  1. Mentions (user tagging)

“The message is your medium”. When you post a video to social media, the message you add to the post/tweet can be just as important as the clip. Where possible, tailor the message for each platform and the post should be specific to the audience on each channel.

However, just because Facebook does not have a strict character limit like Twitter it does not mean you should write paragraphs of copy. Keep it short and sweet to keep your audience engaged and encourage them to view, and more importantly share, your videos with friends and followers.

User tagging and mentions is a quick and easy way to increase your reach, and ultimately, video views. By ‘tagging’ users on Twitter and Facebook, you increase the likelihood of your content being seen by followers of the account you tag, even if they do not follow you directly. For example, if you publish a video that includes Thierry Henry, you can ‘tag’ him in the message and by doing so the content is more likely to appear in Thierry’s fans’ timeline.

  1. No audio – the power of “autoplay”

When Facebook and Twitter introduced autoplay for video content last year, consumers no longer expect to have to click a video to watch it. When a video ‘autoplays’ on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter it will not include audio – this is an important consideration for social video publishing.

Traditionally, advertisers and content creators have distributed video to TV where users watch a full-screen experience with the sound turned up. As mobile usage surges and content consumption happens on-the-go (often in public places), viewers frequently play videos without audio by default. Autoplay exacerbates this trend by playing the content as users scroll through their feeds:

  • Will your audience understand your video without any sound?
  • Will your fans be enticed to watch your content for longer than 3-seconds if no audio is playing?
  • How can you provide assistance to viewer to compensate for the lack of sound?

Graphic overlays are a great way to engage users before they have even begun watching the video. This is a common tactic by YouTube influencers, and a fast-growing trend on Twitter and Facebook as content creators (and advertisers) recognize that a growing percentage of their audience are watching video in autoplay-mode.

There you have it.  Five quick tips that you can put into practice to develop your social videos and improve the content you share with fans. subscribe to our blog for future updates, hints and tips to enhance your social video publishing strategies and achieve better results.

By Gareth Capon at Grabyo