Nurturing a growing social media presence is a fantastic way to get more people to know your brand and learn more about what you have to say, and there's no better medium to help you do it than video.
But if you're not acquainted with the basics of using social media video effectively, it's easy to get overwhelmed right from the start!
That said, don't get discouraged! Social videos are very well worth your while once you know how to get the most out of them — and that's what this piece is all about.
Below you'll find a list of six pro tips to implement when creating video content to grow your brand on social media. Follow these tips and have your audience interact with your content by following, liking, commenting, and sharing.
Let's get started!
Uploading Your Videos Separately to Each Platform
If you have an Instagram profile, you probably know that the content you share there can also be posted simultaneously on Facebook and Twitter. And while that's a good way to save time, there are also drawbacks: Facebook doesn't let viewers interact in the comment section if it was originally posted on Instagram, for example, and Twitter only shares a link to content hosted outside their platform. So, there's no way to even watch that video without having to go somewhere else.
Chances are, not everyone in your target audience has an Instagram account (or even an account on multiple social sites!)
So, the best way to ensure the bulk of your viewers can fully engage with your content wherever and whenever they prefer is to consider each social channel a different online publishing platform and upload your videos separately and natively on each.
This presents a bit more work — especially if you are customizing each piece to fit the platform’s preferences. However, doing so not only gives your audience the opportunity to watch, like, share, and comment instantly without having to go to another app, but it also gives you the chance to measure your metrics more accurately and see which platforms attract more followers, interactions and views.
Short and Sweet Hits the Spot
We live in a fast-paced world, and this can be seen in the maximum length that social media platforms allow for videos. Twitter videos can be 2 minutes and 20 seconds long at most; Instagram reels can now last up to 90 seconds (and it used to be only 60!).
But even if some social media platforms allow certain videos to be longer —like IGTV’s videos, which can last up to an hour— the truth is that viewers' attention drops significantly after the 2-minute mark. So, keeping your social videos short is crucial.
Now it can be difficult to narrow down your content to fit such a tight timeframe, but length is a key feature when it comes to viewer engagement in social media, and shorter pieces tend to outperform their longer counterparts.
If you really want to upload a longer video, like the recording of a conference or a live event, you could instead upload a 'teaser' or even bite-sized pieces of the recording to your social media pages. Say, one short snippet talking about a specific point, for example. Then, leave a link to the full-length video hosted on a longer-video-friendly platform like YouTube.
Use Hashtags Wisely
Hashtags are a great way to reach a wider audience with minimal extra effort. When users interact with posts that use certain hashtags, the algorithms will show them other similar posts that also include them. So, if you add the right hashtags in your video uploads’ descriptions, chances are your post is going to appear in the feeds and explore pages of viewers who are interested in that topic and have interacted with it.
However, keep in mind that just as happens with most types of marketing software, what works best for a certain platform might not cut it in another.
For example, using daily hashtags like #flashbackfriday can be awesome on Instagram to upload an old video you want newer followers to see, along with a few other hashtags that fit your video. But that might not work on Twitter, where the maximum length of a tweet is 280 characters.
There, you’d have more success creating a unique hashtag for people to tweet what they think about your videos. If enough people use it, it might even become a trending topic in your area.
Each social platform has its own flavor and preferences when it comes to hashtags, and you’d do well to get familiar with them to improve your content’s reach.
Branding is Essential
If you’ve got a signature color, font, or logo tied to your brand or business, make sure to implement them in your video’s thumbnails and in the video itself.
Having a visually distinctive ‘style’ makes you instantly recognizable to your viewers, so if they come across one of your videos on their explore page or on their feed, you're catching their eye from the get-go. Besides, having a clean and cohesive layout on your social media pages that uses the same branding elements can attract more followers than a bunch of thumbnails and pictures without a sense of consistency.
One advantage that you have over people who are outside of your niche is that public speaking essentially means having to put yourself out there and be seen by others, which means that you are part of your own branding. Use this to your advantage, and choose thumbnails that show your face clearly.
You can add a picture of yourself as part of the thumbnail if you're only using text over a colored background or simply a high-quality visual content of you in your element —speaking to an audience.
Ask Viewers to Interact with Your Content
It’s no secret that, for the most part, algorithms tend to show the posts which have the most interactions, and video uploads are no different!
The easiest way to reach a wider audience is to simply ask your current followers to like, share, and save your posts, as well as comment on them. You can even ask them to tag friends or family members who they think might also enjoy your content.
Word-of-mouth continues to be a simple yet effective way to get your business known by others. Ask your followers directly at the end of your video, or include a small sign with text.
Moreover, asking your audience what they would like to see next or what kind of videos are their favorite is the easiest way to make new content while ensuring it's what your followers want to see more of. Your audience and their taste can vary over time, so check back regularly to keep up with changing preferences.
Keep a Close Eye on Your Metrics
Sure, videos are an awesome tool to boost your social media strategy, but they can’t pull all the weight by themselves. After posting content, you need to track your videos’ performance and gauge what resonated best with your existing followers while also attracting new ones. Is it Q&A sessions? Short clips from your live events and conferences?
Keeping a close eye on the type of videos that are most successful in terms of performance and engagement can make or break your growth strategy.
If you already use other tracking tools for other aspects of your business and don’t want to add another, don’t worry! You can track quite a lot of metrics within the social media apps themselves using their analytics tools.
You can easily check your account's reach, engagement, and followers by setting up your profile as a Business or Creator account on Instagram. You can also check your follower's demographic information, which you want to keep in mind when making videos your audience specifically asked for.
Meanwhile, the Twitter Analytics page shows you how many times your tweets have been seen (called 'impressions') and the number of visits to your profile, followers, and mentions. It also shows your 'main tweet' of the month, aka, your tweet with the most impressions and, most importantly, your main tweet with multimedia content. An easy way to see which video you tweeted had the best performance!
Creating a social media strategy using video content is by no means an easy task if you aren't familiar with the do's and don'ts of it all. But, as with everything, the effort you put in will pay off if you stick to it.
With all the tools that social media apps have already built in to keep track of your metrics and the performance of your accounts, it’s easier than ever to start the journey of social video content. All you have left to do now is to start thinking, creating, and uploading videos.
The world awaits!