5 Quick Tips for Social Video

Creating video content for use on your social media channels is not only a great way to stand out, but is quickly becoming an essential part of any social media content strategy.

With social networks such as Facebook prioritizing video content in the feed, and investing heavily in new video tools and tech, including video into your social content strategy is quickly becoming a ‘must have’. Getting started doesn’t need to be hard, but it can be tricky to sort out where to start.

To help get you started, here’s 5 Quick Tips to keep in mind!

1. Keep it Short & Sweet

It can be tempting to create an epic, feature length, video dissertation on the topic of your choosing. However, the average attention span has dropped dramatically in recent years. Unless your content is incredibly compelling and to the point, you’re not going to be able to hold the attention of most social media visitors for more than a few minutes.

In addition, you need to make the first few seconds count! If you’re not showing something interesting in the first few seconds of your video, you’ve already lost most of your audience. So make the most of it: Use those first few seconds to your advantage and show something great that will ensure your audience sticks around!

2. Always Add Great Description Text

Don’t skimp on writing and revising your accompanying description text, be it YouTube ‘Show More’ text, an accompanying Facebook post, or even a quick Tweet. You have a golden opportunity to capture the attention a larger audience, make sure to make the most of it.

This is particularly important if your thumbnail doesn’t clearly communicate what your content is at a glance. People want to know why they should be interested before they spend time looking at your content. Give them a quick idea of what to expect, and encourage them to watch through the accompanying text!

3. Consider the ‘No Sound’ Experience

A substantial portion of all social media traffic now occurs on mobile devices. As of 2013, Statista reports that more than 65% of social networking traffic now occurs on mobile devices. In addition, Cisco reports that mobile video traffic has exceeded 55% of total mobile data traffic as of 2014.

As mobile usage often occurs in public areas, many users now have their sound off by default. When you’re editing your video for social media, it’s important to consider the ‘no sound’ experience.

Ask yourself:

  • Does your video still make sense?
  • Does it capture interest without relevant audio cues?
  • Are there ways to communicate the same information that do not rely on audio?
  • Are subtitles or other on-screen visual cues as possibility?

4. Upload Natively if Possible

As the race for social video content domination kicks into high gear, it has become increasingly important to upload your video natively whenever possible. This means that instead of uploading to one site and then sharing across your various social channels, that you should upload the video directly to each of the networks.

You may have noticed that when you post a link on Facebook to a video that’s located on YouTube, it no longer displays in the larger inline video view that it once did.

Example YouTube post:

Native Facebook Video:

Likewise with links to YouTube from Twitter. As individual social networks attempt to gain more of the video market, they are less likely to support and surface video content which is hosted on a competing platform. This can be frustrating as it involves a bit of extra work, but by uploading the video to each platform individually, you increase your chances of your content being seen, viewed, and shared by the users on that platform.

5. Include a Clear Call-To-Action (CTA)

It’s important to remember while content for content’s sake is fun, without interaction and action from the part of the viewer it can be seen as an ineffective and costly exercise. Before creating any content, it’s important to understand:

  • What does the viewer get out of this content?
  • What action do I want the viewer to do as a result?
  • What do I want to get out of this as an individual / business / organization?

From there, it’s should be fairly straight-forward to create a clear call to action. Want more subscribers? Make sure to ask viewers to click subscribe at the end of every video. Want more suggestions on what your viewers would like you to cover in future videos? Ask them to post a comment! Simply asking for what you want can go a long way towards encouraging more social interaction and subsequent growth!

Example CTAs:

  • ‘Click subscribe to be notified when we release a new video!’
  • ‘Like what you saw? Drop us a line on _twitter account_ and let us know what you think!’
  • ‘Which topic should we cover in our next video? Post your suggestions in the comments!’


If you’re creating video content for Facebook and intend to pay to promote it, ensure that your thumbnail includes no more than 20% text. Note: This includes Logos and UI.

Facebook will remove boosting from any sponsored post that displays more than 20% text in the accompanying asset. It can be incredibly frustrating to create the perfect video, set it up for boosting, then have it switched off because you forgot the ‘no more than 20% text rule’ and had a huge logo in the middle of the thumbnail.

If you’ve got any questions, or picked up your own tips along the way, please share them in the comments below. And remember – have fun!