24 Apr 2017

How To Choose The Right Social Media Platform For Your Videos

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These days there’s so many ways to watch videos on social media. What’s more surprising is that a lot of these new ways came into popularity only in the past 1-2 years: Facebook Live, Facebook Spaces, 360 video, VR, AR, multi-camera, aerial, Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, Facebook Stories and Twitter video.

Hence, it’s not always easy to determine the right type of social media platform for your branded videos to raise your profile. You need to know where your audience is spending their time and how you will communicate to them.

Have you ever created a video, uploaded it to Facebook and Instagram and got very different results? See, the everyday video marketer sees social media as a distribution platform meaning that when they create a video, they then distribute that same video on their social media accounts…without really understanding how their video is consumed differently in each platform.

We’ve seen videos uploaded to Instagram where it cuts half-way in the video because someone tried uploading a 2-minute video that was initially created for Facebook. Instagram only lets you upload videos up to one minute in duration so you might need multiple versions of one video.

Did you know that 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound? This means that in order to hook your audience in, you might need some striking visuals, titles and captions on your Facebook videos.

Let’s say you create a highlight video of your company and you include a call-to-action that is a link to your website. You decide to market this on Facebook so people can discover your website. So will you put this same video on your website’s homepage with the same CTA? Doesn’t really make sense, right? You might change it to “Browse our website now” or “Contact us on [email]”.

The point is, in order to create awesome videos, you also need to really understand the psychology of the different social media platforms and other websites out there.

For five (5) of the biggest social media platforms, we’ll quickly explain below how video fits into the psychology of social media to help you start off on the right foot and make the most out of your time and money in creating videos.

The Role Of Video In Facebook

If you’re someone who likes to grow their network through Facebook like most people then posting a video there is a sure-fire way you’ll have a wide reach almost instantly. You also have the ability to pinpoint your ideal audience with targeted paid advertising since Facebook is less about organic reach but more a “pay-to-play” environment.

Facebook Live has been a powerful platform because people love to see more intimate and raw settings. They connect with people who can be themselves in front of a camera, unlike Instagram where users are trying to perfect their posts. That level of authenticity is the reason why Facebook Live videos are watched 3x longer than regular videos.

On a technical level, Facebook has tweaked its algorithm to show more video in newsfeeds. The auto-play feature is also designed to capture people’s attention towards videos. Facebook video metrics allows you to pay close attention to your data and find out which videos are working and which are not.

Now, you have Facebook Stories that allows you to document your life in 10-second mini experiences where the video disappears after 24 hours; a concept very similar to Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Just recently, Facebook Spaces was launched which is a virtual reality platform that allows you to interact with your friends in a VR world.

Posting your videos on Facebook is great for:

  • Tracking and measuring video results
  • Showing your genuine self without the need to be perfect
  • Having more control of who you share your videos to and creating targeted ads
  • Gaining instant and wide awareness for your product or brand
  • Utilise other video technology like multi-camera live video and VR

The Role Of Video In Instagram

Users are attracted to Instagram mainly because it gives them a creative outlet. It allows them to share their art and creative work and create communities/networks (or be part of) filled with like-minded individuals. Instagram has been the place for visual storytelling and with the addition of video, the sound and music helps to create a more profound impact. Some have said that posting to Instagram has been rather therapeutic.

It allows brands to showcase their latest products, giving their fans new ways to experience and discover their brand. This not only helps businesses tell their stories in a powerful way but also grow a strong community that follows them on an everyday basis. Instagram users love fast-scrolling where they can discover new content every day and find out what’s new and trending in today’s world. They get to see the philosophy of the brand and not have to be sold to by ads.

Instagram Live allows you to upload live videos that disappear once the video ends. Perhaps the reason for this is because Instagram users prefer to just browse and leave whilst Facebook audiences would want to re-watch videos and save them for later on.

Posting your videos on Instagram is great for:

  • Documenting mini life experiences and “behind-the-scenes” that humanises the brand and gets the attention of a specific audience.
  • Providing great aesthetics and visual status updates to friends which makes communication more fun and interesting. Young people especially are excited about the visual social interaction as opposed to text like sms and email.
  • Showcase unique products and real-life stories.
  • Engaging and doing collaborations with other brands through likes, takeovers and re-posts as well as live video.
  • Using the power of hashtags (#) to get discovered.

The Role Of Video In YouTube

YouTube is still the no.1 place for video content and a great platform to get discovered. You have to be more mindful of how you’re optimizing your videos and channel such as the use of your headlines, descriptions, thumbnails, meta tags, content, etc. Due to the intense competition, it won’t be easy to become a YouTube start overnight and it’s your creativity and storytelling that will make you stand out.

Audiences watch YouTube because they find a lot of things which are relevant to their lives and it makes them feel good about themselves than what TV offers.

Studies show that viewers, especially Millennials, find YouTube content more “real”, something that they can relate to (unlike TV) and make them feel better about themselves. YouTube has become popular for women who love to watch makeup, skincare, pop music and dogs, while men love to watch a lot of gaming and sports.

YouTube is also a place for a lot of anonymous, negative comments as well as positive ones so prepared to have a thick skin.

Posting your videos on YouTube is great for:

  • Building awareness and virality since YouTube is the world-leading video platform out there. It’s a great place to reach out to other YouTube “celebrities” and personalities you can collaborate with to leverage your brand.
  • Improving your search rank since Google owns YouTube and YouTube being the second biggest search engine in the world. It’s unlikely that Facebook videos will appear in Google search results.
  • Showing your creativity – you have a lot of flexibility to customise your channel art, video art, create playlists, vlogs, etc.
  • Uploading high quality videos up to 4K. If your audience really likes your content, they would prefer to watch them in the highest quality available.

The Role Of Video In Twitter

Twitter is a place for people to share what’s happening in the world today, engage with celebrities, tweet breaking news and significant live events. Open conversations can start with a simple reply to a tweet that people can easily find and be part of. It’s probably one of the best platforms for organic reach.

You can either record new video from your smartphone or upload a video you’ve already taken. Powered by Periscope, you can easily create live videos that are searchable and can be embedded on other websites. Selected channels can create live 360 videos on Twitter and Periscope videos at present.

Posting your videos on Twitter is great for:

  • Capturing small, meaningful moments and real-time events from your perspective. An app lets you easily edit your videos so they appear exactly how you want them.
  • Engaging with people on a subject matter that you are trying to be an expert at. Finding the right people to revolve around your content is something that takes a lot of time and hard work. You can start on Twitter Search and narrow down on a subject matter that you want to engage in.
  • Replying to people using a short video. This is a great way for your followers to know the person behind the brand so you can connect with them on a personal level.
  • Promoting your product and educating your fans in a creative and fun way. Remember that people respond so much better where visuals are involved.

The Role Of Video In Snapchat

Studies show that the largest Snapchat age demographic is 18-24-year-olds although more and more new users signing up to Snapchat are over the age of 25. Young people are very much drawn to Snapchat because of the social interaction even if its just communicating by snapping random updates, selfies, funny pictures and other “weird” things.

Another appealing feature is that when users share a video on Snapchat, they are able to easily share the moment with chosen friends, unlike Facebook that requires you to adjust your settings if you want to share it with specific people. This creates a much more personal experience for the user on Snapchat.

Brands use Snapchat in many creative ways to engage their audience and get them excited. For example, real estate agents can take a Snapshot Story of the bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and the outdoor yard. Then take it outside further to show the neighbourhood.

Gym owners can take us behind-the-scenes of their equipment, workout circuit, sauna, etc. Car companies can show new models at showcases – it makes people feel like they are actually there and they may buy without looking at it in person!

Posting your videos on Snapchat is great for:

  • Sharing mini-experiences and behind-the-scenes that your audience will easily consume and get them engaged.
  • Share moments with your close circle more conveniently.
  • Becoming more relevant to the 35 and under crowd.
  • Making fun, real-life, authentic content.
  • Collaborating with other brands such as the use of Snapchat Takeover

Overall, a lot of your video results will depend on the quality of your content, your relationship with your audience and the strength of your brand. This is only a general guide to give you a better context of each social media platform and we highly recommend to try each platform and consistently measure your video success.

As an entrepreneur, it’s important to know where your market’s attention is going to. Ignore that and you’re guaranteed to be left behind. See, a lot of the way business was done only 3-5 years ago is now obsolete today. This is how fast the market is moving so make sure you make video a key part of your online marketing!

Cover photo by William Iven via UnSplash

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