How to Optimize Your Use of Video for Every Social Channel

Opinion: What performs well on one platform will not necessarily do so on another

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Video is one of the most potent forms of online outreach. So, it’s not surprising that even text- and photo-heavy sites like Airbnb are capitalizing on it. As online video evolves and matures, new and compelling business uses are being discovered all the time.

Those use cases are important to explore because the audience for video is practically limitless. YouTube and Snapchat generate 15 billion combined views every day, while 500 million users watch Facebook videos daily. Clearly, on any platform where video is available, people are eager to press “play.”

Lemonlight Media, a video production company specializing in branded video, emphasizes the importance of video marketing on every relevant channel, regardless of what you’re selling to users. “By sharing your brand video across platforms, you can provide little reminders about why your company is the one they need—even if they don’t need you right that second.”

The key is to realize that each social media channel has a unique user base and a different function. Consequently, what performs well on one platform will not necessarily do so on another. In order to be engaging, informative and effective across the internet, marketers must tailor their video approach by channel. Here are some strategies for optimizing your video efforts on these major social sites.

  • Facebook—revamp the silent film: Up to 85 percent of all Facebook videos are played without sound, which means that users miss any voiceover narration or dialog. The best approach is to integrate text, charts, graphs and other visual storytellers into your videos. That way, you can communicate a complete message without forcing users to change up their preferred behaviors.
  • Twitter—keep it short: Research shows that the optimal length of a Twitter video is about 45 seconds. That makes sense, considering Twitter users are looking for quick bites of information. Select topics that are appropriate for short videos and then condense the information so that it’s digestible and memorable—just like any good tweet. The goal is not to stuff in as much content as possible, but rather to use the runtime to make one clear and powerful statement.
  • Instagram—start a conversation: An impressive 97 percent of branded Instagram campaigns have substantially upped ad recall. Rather than waste this momentum, marketers benefit from using video as a jumping-off point to spark conversations between users and groups. Use Instagram to respond to audience comments, pose questions and develop rapport. Think of posting Instagram videos as the start of a marketing engagement effort rather than the end of the conversation.
  • YouTube—go beyond advertising: YouTube has more than 1 billion users, or almost one-third of the world’s online population. A platform that large amounts to more than just an ad delivery channel. For instance, eyewear designer Warby Parker uses YouTube to answer customer-service questions, creating a kind of video frequently asked questions and customer appreciation channel. Follow Warby Parker’s lead and meet customers where they naturally gather, using video to resolve real customer pain points.
  • LinkedIn—suit up: One-half of all college-educated adults use LinkedIn, and most of them are older than 30, and they are often above-average earners. These demographics are ideal for certain marketers, particularly those at business-to-businesses or high-end brands. LinkedIn offers brands a chance to showcase thought leadership by sharing videos that comment on relevant market trends or grant insider access to industry conferences. The fun and casual content that works on other channels looks out of place here, so the videos you post on LinkedIn should mirror the professional image of the platform as a whole.

Tailoring video content to particular social media channels will drive more views and boost engagement. More important, understanding the platform-specific purpose of your video marketing will demonstrate to your audience members that you understand them, and it will keep your brand top of mind as your content becomes more and more in tune with their social behavior. As a result, they’ll be eager to engage.

Chirag Kulkarni is chief marketing officer of digital pharmacy Medly, and he has helped companies like Expedia with digital marketing.