September 12, 2018 Siobhan Summers

How to Optimize Your Videos for Social Media

We’re sure you’ve heard by now that video content reigns king—if not, we wrote a post all about the growth of social video. With everyone creating and sharing video content, how do you make sure that your content is heard among all the noise?

Just as we optimize our websites for discovery in Google search results, your video content should be optimized for maximum discoverability and engagement across the different social channels.

Here are five ways you can optimize your video to help ensure all your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.

Go Native

You’ve already posted your videos to YouTube and/or Vimeo. All you need to do now is share the links on Facebook and Twitter—right? While that may be a very tempting approach, this method actually reduces the reach of your video content.

It’s true, Facebook’s algorithm favors video content—but more specifically, native video content. By posting your videos directly to Facebook, they also get archived on your page. This makes it much easier for your followers to find and share your content in the future. Plus, only native videos work with the autoplay timeline feature.

Similar to Facebook, native video content on Twitter also tends to drive higher engagement than linked content. So what are you waiting for? Go native!

Add Captions

Remember how we said native video content is usually set to autoplay? Well in most cases, sound is disabled. In fact, roughly 85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound off (and to think you spent all that time trying to find just the right music for your content—we feel your pain).

But you can’t have everyone in the office know you’re watching the latest grumpy cat video when you’re supposed to watching a training video. Oh, just us?

Adding captions to your video ensures that even with the sound off, viewers will still get your core messaging. Plus, it’s a best practice to avoid alienating hearing impaired viewers.

Additionally, you can incorporate motion graphics to provide a visual representation of important information you don’t want your audience to miss.

Keep It Short

When it comes to social media, less is definitely more. While a 30-minute clip might be ideal for certain applications, short and sweet is the name of the game in the world of social.

Ideally, videos you share on Facebook should be two minutes or less—after that, engagement begins to drop off (note: on Instagram that time is cut in half). By keeping your videos short and direct, you increase the chances of your audience sticking around until the end and converting.

Lead With Compelling Visuals

As with an elevator pitch, you only have a few seconds to capture your audience’s attention. That means your videos should hit the ground running. Leading with compelling visuals increases the likelihood that viewers will stop scrolling and give your content their attention.

The first three to five seconds are a prime opportunity to get your brand and key messaging in front of your audience. This ensures that even if they don’t stick around for the entire duration, you’ve made a brand impression. P.S., this is also the perfect place to add some motion design.

Flip the Phone—Make it Vertical

More than half of all website views happen on a mobile phone. In the US alone, roughly 61% of social media users access their favorite platforms from their phones. What are we trying to tell you? When it comes to social media, think mobile first!

Snapchat helped to usher in the acceptance of vertical video and there are no signs we are turning back. The advantage of vertical video on mobile is that it takes up more real estate. As a result, videos captured in the vertical orientation tend to see increased engagement.

We know it might seem a little disorienting at first but go with flow—flip that phone and start capturing awesome, shareable content.

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