If you’ve been a video producer in a pre-social media world, your videos may be missing the mark on social media. When I produced a video series for the Smithsonian catered to reaching millennial audiences online, I discovered that there were several key features that my videos had to include to give viewers on social media the best experience possible.
1. Use text and captions in your videos
Most viewers who watch videos through social media watch on mute on their smartphones. This means that you have to make your video make sense without sound.
If you feature a speaker on screen or a use a voiceover, include captions that can easily be read from a small phone screen.
2. Keep it short
Attention spans are short on social media, so make your video as long as it needs to be to get your message across, but no longer. Show your most compelling imagery at the beginning of the video to hook viewers from the start.
3. Use a great thumbnail
When you upload your video to social media, select a thumbnail that 1) represents what your video will be about and 2) entices viewers. If none of the stills from your video capture the full story, create a title card with text for your video to use as your thumbnail.
4. Be aware of video orientation
Widescreen “horizontal” videos may have ruled the screens before social media, but nowadays most social media platforms favor “vertical” or square videos. Vertical and square videos will take up more space on your followers’ feeds and will therefore give you more time to capture their attention.
5. Cross promote your social media videos
Did you collaborate with a partner on your video? Have your partners cross promote your video by sharing it with their audiences and tagging you. Leverage the social aspect of social media to give your video a boost in traction and viewership. Leverage any partnerships your company already has to produce videos together and cross promote them.
6. Share often
Due to algorithms, only a fraction of your followers will ever see your posts. For that reason, you can’t spend a bunch of time creating videos just to share them once on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Distribute the video multiple times in various ways:
Share the same video again at different times with new captions.
Share teasers and shorter cuts of your video.
Link to a longer version of the video on your site.
6 Ways to Make Your Videos Thrive on Social Media
When you include marketing as part of the creative video production process, you’ll be able to create more engaging videos that will help you get new customers, and lead to increased revenue.