3 Tips for Coming Out on Top in the Era of Social Video

Social is changing in a faster and more singular way than it has in a long time. Here’s how to not just keep up, but come out on top.

3 Tips for Coming Out on Top in the Era of Social Video

Facebook’s continued integration of native video has meant more rapid-fire changes for social marketers than many are accustomed to. But it’s not just Facebook that is transforming because of social videos: Twitter and Instagram are becoming increasingly video-focused, as well. At Social Media Week in NYC, Socialbakers CEO Jan Rezab discussed the dawn of social video.

We wanted to break down his thoughts and offer some recommendations to marketers for how to create an effective video strategy. To really thrive, try out these smart video practices.

1. Always post your videos natively

Not long ago, it would have made sense to share a link to a YouTube video on Facebook. Today, that’s not true. It’s now significantly more effective to publish directly on the platform itself if you want to get massive engagement. That’s because Facebook videos are only 5% of all posted content, but get disproportionately high engagement. And more videos are being posted to Facebook all the time – global leaders in social video like GoPro and Red Bull started posting video content to Facebook more than to YouTube in 2014.

And while many videos get promoted, there are still way more photo posts going around in total than there are video posts – so there’s an opportunity to fill that void with great, engaging video content.

Did you know…

…Facebook videos are shared 157% as often as are YouTube videos.

…They are also 60% as shareable as the next most-shared post type on Facebook.

2. Remember the differences

One of the most interesting parts of today’s video market is that each network is playing different versions of the same game. It’s important to remember each network’s unique qualities.


Vines are 6 seconds, Instagram videos are 15, and the newest video type, Twitter mobile videos, can be up to 30 seconds long. Each lends themselves to a different type of video.

Socialbakers Tip: Instagram and Facebook videos are great for following a short story (~11–12 seconds) with a CTA and branding (~3–4 seconds).

How do they start?

Facebook videos auto-play silently on the News Feed, and any click turns that sound on. Vines loop silently – by the time a user gets the sound on, it might already have looped once or twice. Instagram videos require two clicks to play – one to get to the post, and one to begin the playback. Despite that difference, they do play with sound automatically, and auto-loop. The new Twitter videos are mobile-first, designed to be filmed or uploaded from mobile. Like Instagram videos, they do not auto-play.

Follow every metric for Instagram videos

Other Creative Features

Each format gives you a set of rules that can be limiting – but can also bring out creative, unique videos. Vine’s touch-to-record function makes in-camera editing magic happen (just look at Zach King, Socialbakers Engage veteran). Instagram has the awesome Hyperlapse tool that took the social web by storm not long ago. You can use Hyperlapse to bring attention to a real-life ad display that changes over time, like Nike does here.

Because Facebook videos auto-play silently, it’s ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to make them pop visually right at the start. Whereas traditional advertising logic would have you build up to a great conclusion, the important thing to do with Facebook native videos is to capture attentions right away.

Today, Facebook videos get a lot of engagement relative to other platforms. It’s important to get them right so that you can take advantage of this moment in social marketing.

Socialbakers Tip: Try including dialogue right at the beginning of a video. If people want to hear what’s being said, they’ll click for sound – and video churn rates show that viewers who make it past the first 5% of a video will be much more likely to make it through the rest.

3. Shareability, not virality, is key

For a long time, the focus on social video was all about getting viral success. But virality doesn’t do much for your Page in the long term – after 15 days, Pages that had viral hits saw their engagement go back to pre-viral levels.

Instead, the key is to make your native videos as SHAREABLE as possible. That means following the tips listed above, and knowing what it is that makes videos so popular on each format. Remember, it’s not views that matter – it’s engagement.

For more on social video, check out Jan’s Slideshare from the awesome Social Media Week talk below.

Social Media Week – The Era of Social Video from Socialbakers

Social Media Analyst

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