Social media is exactly that: social. Unlike TV or any other means of mass communication, this is no place for one-way conversations. In fact, there’s supposed to be a strong sense of community in every social platform.
That’s why producing great videos or posting regularly is not all it takes to succeed with social network strategies. It’s also necessary to generate conversations around your content.
So, if your last video post didn’t amass many comments, likes, or shares, you may want to rethink your strategy.
But don’t worry! This doesn’t mean that you’ll have to remake all your commercial ads, whiteboard videos, behind-the-scenes, and the like! With just a few quick fixes, you can transform your existing social videos into pieces that can actually generate buzz and engagement from viewers.
Let’s dive in!
#1. Keep Your Videos Short (Mostly!)
Any social media user may find this tip obvious, but I couldn’t leave it out!
Most viewers aren’t likely to spend much time watching a video they came across on their feeds. However, the definition of “much time” varies for each social network:
- Instagram videos are advised to be under one minute – which is precisely how long they’ll preview on feed – although it’s even better if they last 30 seconds or less.
- Facebook videos tend to generate more engagement below the two-minute mark. However, keep in mind that this platform’s algorithm favors videos that are at least three minutes long. So, if the lack of visibility is your major concern, go with a longer piece.
- Videos on Twitter should be less than 30 seconds, as that was the original time limit on the platform and its users are used to it.
- TikTok videos can last 15 seconds at most, but you can also create one-minute pieces by joining up to four segments of 15 seconds each.
There’s an interesting exception to this “short-or-die” rule on social media, though: YouTube.
This platform not only has an algorithm that favors longer content, but also its users are more likely to click on and enjoy long videos.
That said, don’t go and stretch your YouTube videos just for the sake of making them long! Even the Vice President of engineering at YouTube has something to say in that regard:
#2. Go with Native Video Posts
Imagine you post a video twice on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. It’s the exact same post, except that the first one consists of an embedded link and on the second one of a native video. It might not seem like a big difference, and still, one of the posts is bound to drive more views and generate more engagement than the other. Can you guess which one?
Let me give you a hint by analyzing how viewers interact with each of these video posts:
When a Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn user stumbles across a post with an embedded link, they have to click on it to be directed outside of the platform and finally access the video. Native uploads, on the other hand, play in-feed, so they are considerably more comfortable and less time-consuming for the viewer – although it’s worth noting it takes a little longer to post them.
This kind of upload provides other tried-and-true benefits, such as increasing the number of comments and clicks, allowing you to create a video gallery, and getting better reach! You see, these platforms’ algorithms favor native videos since, for obvious reasons, they don’t want users to be directed outside their networks.
So, next time you post a social video on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, take a bit extra time to upload it natively to enjoy better results!
#3. Grab Viewers’ Attention from the First Frame
Even if it’s sometimes annoying for viewers, nobody can deny that autoplay is a golden opportunity for content marketers and creators alike – it gives them the chance to attract viewers who wouldn’t have clicked on their videos otherwise!
It can be a tricky tool, though, since it can engage viewers as much as it can drive them away. That’s why you have to make the most out of the first few seconds of your video; to capture your audience’s attention.
This isn’t like eating a meal, where you want to save the best part for last (I can’t be the only one who does that, right?). With social videos, you want to show your best from the start, because that’s the moment when people decide whether to keep watching or not.
Now, even if they decide to ignore the rest of your piece, they shouldn’t leave without having heard your most important point. So, you should cut to the chase and introduce your video’s main idea as early as possible.
But even more important than knowing when to present your point is learning how to introduce it. You can grab your viewers by the collar with a bold statement or an intriguing question, even if that means showing a preview of a moment that appears later in the video.
It’s also a great idea to start by addressing a problem your audience may have! Doubly so if you are explaining a product or service, or presenting a tutorial to provide a solution.
People will understand that your video is valuable, motivating them to keep watching. This is a strategy that skilled explainer video production companies regularly use to grab and hold viewers’ interest.
#4. Create Compelling Video Thumbnails for Every Platform
I guess there’s no need to tell you how important thumbnails are: how many times have you click on a video just because its thumbnail looked interesting?
So yes, this is a small tool, but it can make a big impact on your video’s click-through rates – whether to increase it… or lower it, if not leveraged correctly.
Sounds scary, right? Don’t worry; we’ll go through some easy and quick tips to create impressive thumbnails:
- Keep the picture simple, without showing too many details.
- Use short, big, and bold text. When including text overlays, write just a few words in a noticeable typeface.
- Go with bright colors. Make the picture’s subject stand out from the background by using contrasting colors.
- Show expressive facial expressions, even in animated videos. They are proven to bring about more clicks.
- Be honest! Your thumbnail should be related to your video’s content – click-baiting will take a toll on your YouTube video’s SEO!
My final advice is to remember that thumbnails are an essential piece of any social platform that shows video previews, not only YouTube’s!
I know you know most of the other networks have their video posts autoplay, so their thumbnails are only seen for a split second before the piece starts playing. That said, you mustn’t forget that your videos will remain in your profile or gallery, where they will be shown with their respective thumbnails to anyone who visits your feed!
#5. Use your Video Copy to Address Viewers
As said earlier, you need to establish a two-way conversation between you and your audience. That means you shouldn’t limit your social account to providing content, but you should also welcome your viewers’ opinions and thoughts.
Of course, the video itself will be bridging the distance between you and your audience, but you can go a step further and seize the chance of pairing it with a fantastic copy. That’s an excellent place to break the ice and start a conversation with your audience by addressing them directly, even before they click play.
You may already be familiar with this technique. After all, it’s common to find copies that prompt viewers to answer a question, vote, or leave their opinion on the comments.
It’s also advisable to answer or like your viewers’ comments, at least some of them. By doing so, you’ll let them know that you really care about your audience’s opinion, encouraging more people to engage with the video post as well.
#6. Choose a Mobile-friendly Format
I guess it comes as no surprise that social networks are most often used on mobile phones, but you might not be aware of how staggering the numbers are: to be precise, 91% of users access social media through their phones.
This is an important fact to consider when creating social videos. After all, you want viewers to watch and enjoy your content comfortably, and that entails adapting it to the devices and screens they use the most.
So, when choosing your videos’ size, forget about landscape format – which is more suitable for watching on desktop or TV screens – and go with a vertical or square aspect ratio. This will enable viewers to enjoy your content without having to rotate their phones.
But, what if you want a particular video to appear outside social media? In that case, produce the piece in a landscape format but focus on the center of the frame. That way, you can later crop the sides to make it fit into a vertical or square format without losing any relevant element of the frame composition.
The whole idea behind producing social videos is to create a conversation around your content – and your brand, in case you are handling a business social account.
Now, your social videos may be top-quality, but if there’s nothing prompting people into watching or engaging with them, chances are they may go unnoticed.
Luckily, you can optimize your video posts by following the mentioned tips. These techniques can attract your audience and increase your number of views while showing them that you are truly interested in their thoughts and lives. But you know what’s even better? Ultimately, these tips can enhance your relationship with your audience and bring you closer to them. And that’s what matters the most!’
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