When you use video on social media, people are ten times more likely to engage with it than with another kind of content. Let’s drill down into best practices for each social network so you can achieve similar exponential results and improve your digital and social media marketing.
Twitter and Vine
In an ideal world, the videos you post on social media should play automatically as you scroll through the feed. There a few ways you can do this on Twitter as well.
- Turn a video clip into an animated GIF: If you want your media to play automatically, take a clip of that video and turn it into an animated GIF with no sound. If you pin a GIF to the top of your profile, this will play automatically when someone visits your profile page.
- Upload your video directly to Twitter: You now have the ability to upload videos directly to Twitter.These videos will play automatically in your feed and they also allow you to share clips that are longer than 6 seconds. Here’s an example of a 15-second video that will play automatically when seen in the Twitter feed (Note: it will not play automatically as an embedded tweet, but it does play automatically in the feed):
Roger Federer takes on fan in rally, gets done by incredible ‘tweener’ winner. Take a bow sir! pic.twitter.com/r9bChu417T
— BreatheSport (@BreatheSport) June 22, 2015
If your video is longer than 6 or 15 seconds, or if you’re strapped for time and need a quick tweet, you can share a link to your video on YouTube. Do note, however, that this approach will not allow your video to play automatically in the feed. The benefit here is that a YouTube video will still come up as media on Twitter and will still fall into the “videos” tab when you search for a hashtag.
In general, you should try to let the video do the talking for you. Since you only have 140 characters, it’s best to use copy that has a call-to-action such as, “Watch the full video for more info.” If you’re posting a YouTube video, pin the video to the top of your Twitter profile. This won’t make the video play automatically, but it’ll open the tweet up so you can see that it’s media. All a user will have to do then is simply click the video to make it play.
Facebook and Instagram
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but silent auto-play is the new default when it comes to videos on social media. Think about it. When you walk onto a bus or train for your morning commute, how many people are scrolling through their smartphones to see the news and content they missed overnight? Pretty much everyone—but not everyone is wearing headphones.
- Make sure your video works with or without sound: BuzzFeed is the master of silent auto-play—just take a look at their Facebook page. The reason their silent auto-play strategy works so well is because of this rise in mobile video views and the way people scroll through and consume content on social media. They often post quick recipes or quick how-to’s, frequently with easy-to-follow imagery or helpful text to describe what is happening.
- Keep your videos under one minute: In general, with videos on social media, your content should be super short. You have to be mindful of social networks like Vine and Instagram where you are only allowed 6 or 15 seconds at a time—these work for a reason. Short videos will catch people’s eyes and hold their attention. Not to mention, short videos are highly shareable, and the best way to reach a new audience is by having your fans share your content with their own networks.
- Upload videos directly to Facebook: You’ll have more luck directly uploading videos to Facebook instead of posting a YouTube link. This helps with generating more interactions. Videos that are natively uploaded to Facebook will also play automatically as you’re scrolling through the newsfeed. Auto-play gives you a chance to catch someone’s attention early and make them stop and watch the whole video.
- Grab attention instantly…and keep it: Include a catchy title or description in the post copy to keep viewers engaged. Some ideas include, “Has this ever happened to you?” or “Wow. Watch until the end.” With Instagram, keep your videos short—you only have 15 seconds to make an impression. If you want viewers to move to your site, you could post a video clip and put the link to the full video in your bio—this will drive traffic to other channels beyond Instagram. You can also share your Instagram videos to your company’s Facebook page and drive more traffic that way.
Follow these guidelines to advance your digital and social media marketing by creating and uploading better videos on various social networks.