Frustrated with social media video that falls flat? Here are our best beginner tips for boosting your engagement without an overly complicated strategy.
Have you ever worked tirelessly on a marketing video only to post it and get … crickets?
You pour your time and energy into creating the best video you possibly can, and then when the moment of glory comes, well, there’s no glory. No one engages. Or maybe a few people do — but it’s your mom, a bot and a troll.
It’s defeating enough to make anyone quit the video marketing game.
But you need it! You need the leads, the new business and the brand recognition. You need to find a way to survive online.
So what do you do? How do you get the type of engagement that won’t make you cringe every time you post a video on social media?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. These social media video tips will make your content as popular as flip phones used to be.
How To Boost Engagement On Your Social Media Video
1. Post Natively.
This one sounds more complicated than it really is. To post natively simply means to upload your video file directly to your social media platform instead of using a link, such as the share links from YouTube or Vimeo.
There are multiple reasons this helps boost engagement. First, Facebook can only provide certain metrics — such as how many and how long people are watching — if you post natively. And that has a ripple effect. Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes content that performs well, but if it doesn’t know how your content is performing, then it won’t give you the red-carpet treatment, either. In fact, Quintly found that native videos had a 477% higher share rate compared to YouTube videos.
Additionally, when you post natively, your social media video will autoplay in the other people’s feeds, giving you the chance to hook them as they’re scrolling. So post natively for a head-start over other content in the news feed.
2. Add Subtitles.
One of the best ways to boost social media video engagement is to understand and follow viewer behaviors. How are people watching social media videos, and what makes them abandon a video versus watch and comment?
Well, one of the biggest viewer behavior trends today is “silent watching,” or watching videos in your feed without sound. While 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, 60% of Instagram Stories are watched with the sound on. So you may not be missing as big of an audience on Instagram, but the goal is to capture as many viewers as possible, right? So make sure you add subtitles to your social media videos, especially on Facebook.
Don’t know how? Facebook has a subtitle auto-generating tool you can use, or you can also upload your own as a separate file when you upload your video. Check out this guide, or give us a call if you’re still stuck.
- How to add captions on Facebook using an SRT file
- How to auto-generate captions on Facebook
- Hot to add captions on LinkedIn using an SRT file
3. Aim For Appropriate Length.
There’s no magic number when it comes to social media video length. The ideal length will be different for each post and varies depending on your topic, platform, audience, video quality and more. The only way to really know what works best is to test different lengths on different platforms and watch your metrics. So rather than giving you a magic number, here are a few guidelines that may help you get started.
If you’re doing a YouTube tutorial or how-to video, then you might be able to get away with a video longer than 5 minutes. Otherwise, most topics should be kept to under 5 minutes. Facebook and Instagram videos are best kept around 1-3 minutes, unless you’re hosting a live event. As a general rule, longer videos (1-5 minutes) are best for audiences who already know and recognize your content; however, if you’re targeting a “cold” audience through ads, for example, try to keep your video under 30 seconds. They’ll likely need to get to know you before investing more of their time watching your video.
4. Go Live Often.
One of the best ways to get people to engage with your videos is simply to start doing them. This is one of the biggest benefits of short, impromptu live videos — they get your audience used to seeing you. The more you can get your audience accustomed to seeing you on video, the more likely they are to tune in when do they see social media video content. That’s also why posting pre-recorded social media video on a consistent basis is extremely important, as well.
5. Tag Your Supporters.
Everyone has their team of cheerleaders, whether it’s your professional network, a dedicated group of raving fans, or your family and friends. Don’t be shy about asking them to share and engage with your social media videos. Shares are vital because it exposes your content to an entirely new audience, as you’ll now be in front of all their friends.
In addition to sharing, you can also expose your content to more audiences by tagging others in your post. Tag people who are featured in the video, as well as anyone who you think would benefit from the information. If there are specific people or companies you want to attract, tag them, too! It increases your audience without putting the task on your friends and family to share.
6. Use Custom Thumbnails.
A custom thumbnail is often an afterthought when creating a social media marketing video, but it’s of vital importance when it comes to getting people to watch your video in the first place. Think of your video thumbnail as the front page of a newspaper. If the front page isn’t interesting enough to pick up, then why would anyone read? Your custom thumbnail can tease the topic of the video, tell people why it’s important enough to watch, and give you an opportunity to add your brand. Make sure it’s catchy, clear and visually appealing.
7. Prioritize Clarity & Specificity.
You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s worth repeating because it’s so often overlooked. When it comes to the content of your video, as well as your post descriptions, your ultimate goal and guiding principle should always be: clarity and specificity. The more clear and specific you can be the better — always.
So what does that look like? Well, if you’re discussing tips for new homebuyers, break it down into small nuggets of information and keep the list as short as possible. If just can’t sacrifice any of your 10 best tips, for example, then try spreading them across multiple videos. Lists work great in videos, too. If you can guide your audience through your content with lists, numbers, phases, graphics, etc., then they are much more likely to follow along. If you just talk at them without telling them where you’re going first, then they’re more likely to get distracted and stray from your content. So narrow it down, break it down, and organize it.
About Our Santa Clarita Business Videos
SchlickArt Business Video Sessions are story-driven films about your business, non-profit, product or service. Our goal is to discover your ‘why’ — the true reason you do what you do. Our specialty is telling stories, and we believe communicating your story is the best way to build your brand. We can’t wait for you to see how the world notices when you take the time to tell your authentic story.
About Our Quality Video Marketing in Santa Clarita
With years of professional experience, Brian not only has an eye for crisp visuals and engaging shots — but also an ear for powerful storytelling. In his vision, marketing video should communicate the why behind your business and present it to the world in the most compelling visual format possible. With a camera in his hand, Brian can turn a vision into reality and business-as-usual marketing videos into an opportunity to connect.
About SchlickArt Photography and Video
SchlickArt, a boutique photo and video studio in Santa Clarita, started in March 2012 with the simple idea that empowerment creates a kind of beauty and authenticity that shines through every camera lens. Built on a philosophy — rather than a product, service or person — SchlickArt has rapidly evolved, meeting professional portraiture, business photo and business video needs as diverse as the community we capture. It’s the desire to take care of you, the client, that drives us at SchlickArt.