Best Practices for Video on Social Media...That’s NOT Facebook

Posted by Kellen Owings on Jun 28, 2016 4:04:05 PM

Topics: Publishing Platforms

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It’s a bit of an understatement to say that Facebook has a big grip on digital publishers. With over 76% of consumers choosing the social media behemoth as their favorite social media platform for news, along with the platform’s recent focus on nothing but video, developing a video strategy with Facebook’s native format in mind is essential for publishers to build, reach and engage with their online news audience.

Unfortunately, Facebook’s popularity has become somewhat of a Catch-22 for publishers. As the textbook definition for the industry buzzword ‘walled garden’, Facebook controls the distribution and monetization process–and essentially owns the publisher’s content–by making sure audiences remain within the platform as they browse through their feed. In order to drive traffic back to a publisher’s owned-and-operated site, a multi-platform content strategy must be in place to meet and reach digital audiences wherever they are. That means distributing video content across the following platforms, and adhering to the native video formats that each platform’s users have grown accustomed to.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a particularly untapped resource when it comes to social video platforms. Of the surveyed respondents in our Q1 report on news consumption, Linkedin users fell into the “news junkie” category and claimed to watch video more than any other social media user group.

And to make things a bit easier for publishers distributing video across platforms, LinkedIn’s native video format takes a few notes from Facebook by setting muted autoplay as its default. The use of text overlays and dynamic graphics that draw the most attention to videos on a Facebook feed will work just as well to attract LinkedIn users. Unlike Facebook however, publishers can still easily link back to their site in their video posts, so the platform’s news junkies will more than likely click out of the platform to browse more related content within a site’s much more controlled (and monetized) environment.

Want to learn more about your digital audience’s media habits? Download our consumer report!

Snapchat

Snapchat, via its Story and Discovery features, is another platform that allows publishers to share video content, albeit in a shorter, vertical format. And with an estimated 200 million monthly active Snapchat users viewing roughly 500 million videos and pictures a day, there is ample opportunity to catch the eye of new viewers.

The super-short-form nature of Snapchat makes the platform especially attractive to viewers with short attention spans, so your videos should follow suit. Stick to a theme, keep your stories concise and moving along by utilizing short timers, and avoid using horizontal video. Since almost all videos on Snapchat are vertical, and each story only lasts a maximum of 10 seconds, forcing your viewer to turn their phone means they’ll either miss the first second of your video or skip through it altogether.

YouTube

Did you know that 125,406 videos are viewed on YouTube every second? No matter how hard Facebook tries, YouTube is still the gold standard for video on the internet. The reigning video platform is also much more lenient than their competitor, and even allows for the implementation of calls to action within videos so publishers can redirect users back to their site.   

YouTube and its users allow for much longer content than those on Snapchat or Instagram, but make sure your video is still as concise as possible in order to hold your viewers’ attention. And unlike Snapchat, horizontal video is the preferred method of display – no one wants to watch a YouTube video with big black borders on both sides of the footage.

Instagram

Instagram’s recent video push–along with the platform’s introduction of 60-second videos, a new video ad format, and 'Picked for you' video channels–gives publishing brands a great opportunity to reach over 300 million users where they are every day, and where they’re spending 150% more time watching video on the platform than they were only 6 months ago. Publishers like National Geographic have already seen tremendous growth as a result of increasing Instagram content and Instagram actions.

The go-to for audiences that want to see anything from beautiful scenic images, to memes, to a picture of their friend’s dinner, your most visually appealing, short-form, square-shaped videos should be posted to Instagram. You can clip and combine multiple videos within Instagram’s square video format, include filters and choose your still cover – which, when chosen properly, will encourage users to watch your video, and pass it along to friends with the app’s simple tagging capabilities.  

Twitter

Although its been in the digital publishing game for quite some time, Twitter's recent investment and expansion as a social video platform means publishers must include it in their core video strategy. Twitter’s pledge to provide a scalable digital video offering outside their competitor’s walls has been legitimized by the launch of their Twitter Engage app, built to help companies upload, post and monetize videos, along with their recent investments in innovative tech companies like Magic Pony, Whetlab and Madbits, which will give their videos enhanced visuals, shorter load times, smarter algorithms and a seriously competitive edge.

On Twitter, publishers can use video to tell their story to an active and largely mobile audience. And Tweets with visual elements (read: videos) attract much higher engagement rates than those that don't. The 140 characters of text that accompany your video should be used to highlight important details of your story – because, in a sense, your Tweet text will take the place of your video’s title. Make sure to follow these best practices for writing platform and topic specific video titles in order to change a user’s state from browsing, to viewing, to engaging.

Want to learn more about developing an engaging social media strategy? Download our guide!