Don’t do it! — Not yet anyway. Before submitting that brand new video to your business social media account, there’s a few things you should ask yourself. Some of these questions are incredibly simple to answer and some are a little more complex but all of these questions will make sure you’re getting the most out of your video on social media.
What’s the goal here?
The first thing you should do is take a step back to understand what your goals are of this video. Only once this goal is clear should you proceed to the following questions.
Does the call to action align with your goal?
The goal of your video is the driving force behind all the decisions you should make — that includes the call to action. Make sure the next step you’re suggesting the viewer to take is logical and doesn’t require them to make a huge leap in the sales process. You don’t want to introduce yourself and ask for something in the same message. Instead, tell them how they can learn more.
How long is the video?
The next step is to know what the time limits are on all the platforms you’ll be posting to. You don’t want the video to be cut off because you went over the time limit so here’s a quick guide so you can make sure everything will play as intended.
(Updated as of Jan 10, 2017)
- Facebook – 2 hours
- Instagram – 60 Sec
- Twitter – 30 Sec
- Vine – 6 Sec
- Snapchat – 10 Sec
- LinkedIn – No native video (Vimeo and YouTube work great here)
If you’re launching a campaign across multiple platforms, you may want to take a bit of time beforehand to create separate versions with different lengths.
What will you write?
Using great copy with video is often overlooked but an easy way to add more depth to the overall message. While waiting for the video to get to the point, the copy may keep the viewer patient and also help as a call to action afterwards.
Are you using hashtags?
If you’re using Instagram or Facebook, don’t forget to use hashtags to help people find your video. Hashtags make a world of difference but unfortunately most of the analytics of that difference will be a mess because of spam accounts with bikini pics or inspirational quotes. Do some research beforehand and check what hashtags REAL people use and use them on your post. Spam accounts target the most used hashtags so try to stay away from them if possible. In Instagram you get up to 30 hashtags to use so there’s definitely room for experimenting.
Does your video NEED audio?
One thing that people often forget is that audio from videos have to be physically turned on by viewers on all social platforms. That means more often than not people are watching your video without the intended audio. If the audio is just some ambient music, they’re not missing anything crucial but if it’s a voice over explaining something, they’re missing a lot.
Use subtitles or text overlays to make sure people are getting the information you want them to have. It may take away from the design but function should always be the number 1 priority with video.
Where does your audience hide?
If you’re running a marketing department by yourself it’s impossible to make sure all the social media accounts are consistently building an audience. So make sure most of your focus goes into whatever platform your target audience uses most frequently.
If you’re a B2B company you may want to focus on LinkedIn but if you’re a B2C or retail company you may want to focus on Facebook or Instagram. It may take some testing to reach your people but once you find them, make that platform your focus.
This is especially important if you’re using paid ads as a way to reach more people with your video. You want to make sure you’re targeting the right people for your video to have max ROI efficiency.
Does the video fit the brand?
Never miss an opportunity to reinforce an established brand. This goes a long way with trust. A simple faded logo in the corner of the screen or using the brand colors will do the trick here.
Why does this video matter to your viewers?
Here’s the most important question to ask before posting a video. Why will people care about the video you’re posting? If the answer is “they probably won’t”, perhaps social media isn’t the best platform to share your video. The purpose of using social media is to engage your audience and give them something of value. If they have a strong emotional reaction to your video, they’re likely to engage with it by liking or sharing. Stay away from “We’re so great!” videos on these platforms as they likely won’t get people to do anything for you.
Want a free critique of your social media video before or after posting? Send the video over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll let you know our thoughts.
Ok, now go ahead and press the “upload” button.
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