How to Make Social Videos That Your Followers Will Share

By Victor Blasco

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Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: videos are one of the best avenues to make an impact on your social media presence!

Almost everyone with a big follower base on social platforms relies on video content to engage their audience. Businesses, influencers, and even educational organizations can attest that, when used right, videos generate levels of interaction like no other type of content can. But to crush your social video marketing strategy, there are a few basics angles you should account for.

Today, we’ll go over some of the essential things you need to create compelling videos that make an enduring impact on your social media accounts and get the most out of your video production strategy.

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Know Your Audience     

When you’re crafting a powerful social media strategy, it’s crucial to plan around your audience. The better you know them, the better the content you can produce for them.

But truly understanding your demographic takes more than people’s age group and educational background. Especially on social media, where you can further refine your target audience to gain a broader picture of their needs and interests:

  • Look at the similar pages and brands your audience follows to see the type of content they enjoy consuming.
  • If your goal is selling, pay attention to the stage of the sales funnel your targets are in. People respond differently to certain types of videos, depending on how familiar they are with your brand.
  • Follow external social habits to discover what topics and activities your audience members are participating in.

With information like that available, you don’t need to guess at what content your audience would like to see. But, if you’re a bit lost, you can always run polls on platforms like Instagram and Twitter to find out. Surveys give you useful clues about the kinds of videos your followers will most likely respond to.

Choose Social-Media-Worthy Topics

Most of the time, choosing trending topics is a safe bet: dealing with what’s currently on people’s minds tends to generate easy engagement. Accordingly, Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms have great searching tools that are optimized for popular topics.

You can also resort to external tools to find top search queries. Google Trends and BuzzSumo are among the companies that provide you previews of trending keywords, hashtags, and questions people are interested in at any given time.

That said, you don’t have to settle just for what’s trendy!

Social media users value the type of content that pushes the envelope and creates a whole new level of conversation. Bringing fresh insights into known topics, or dealing with something completely new can help you create videos that get people excited, talking, and sharing!

Don’t be afraid to take your own unique (even provocative!) stand. This is the type of content that makes a lasting difference in social media—and that people end up sharing!

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Go for Native Uploads                              

Uploading native videos makes it way more comfortable for users to consume your content without having to open new windows or change apps. Not surprisingly, those videos tend to generate more likes, comments, and shares than videos hosted externally.

Think about it: once people have taken the trouble to go to another page, it’s very unlikely that they’ll come back to leave an impression.

But it’s not only users who favor native videos—the people who run the social networks tend to reward on-platform content as well!

  • Social media algorithms prioritize native videos, so if you upload one, there’s a greater chance it’ll reach more newsfeeds.
  • Platforms like Instagram and Facebook come with a wide collection of esthetic features—from user-accessible video galleries to editing tools like filters and stickers to create fun videos.
  • Going native usually comes with better analytical reports that make it easier to track your social metrics.

Optimizing Your Videos’ Copy              

Most platforms require you to add a written copy to supplement your video post. This text is a valuable real-estate for enticing your audience to watch your video.

The rules for writing a good copy are not black and white. The best advice is to write descriptions short enough to generate interest—but be sure not to give away the full message of your video!

Now, you can repurpose your video’s copy for other ends. For example:

  • Include all relevant hashtags in your copy to better position your video. But don’t abuse them—if the post is nothing but hashtags, people might think it’s spam.
  • Use the copy to introduce your CTAs. Ask users anything, from leaving a comment or like to visit your website to learn more.
  • If your video leads to another place (such as your landing page), include the corresponding link.

However you use your copy, though, don’t forget to make your description easily readable and enjoyable.

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Social-Media-Friendly Length & Structure

With so many distractions on social media, it’s a real challenge to generate content that gets users’ attention—let alone fully engage them. You must strike the right balance between delivering your message and providing the best user experience with your content.

The key here, then, is to favor shorter videos.

Videos that showcase a particular solution, like commercial ads and product videos, tend to be bite-sized in duration (about 30 to 45 seconds longs). Since they’re intended to sell, they need to be hard-hitting and get right to the point without the need to delve into fully detailed topics.

However, videos that rely on storytelling techniques, such as animated explainer videos, as well as didactic 'How-to' videos, can reasonably last longer. Usually, a minute or two is all it takes to make your video work well on social media.

Making a Good First Impression

There are infinite numbers of videos that users can potentially watch on social media. To be truly engaging, yours must be distinguished from everything else that appears in people’s newsfeeds.

Achieving this isn’t impossible, as long as you work to make the following two elements a part of every video you upload.

Use Custom Thumbnails

Think of thumbnails as good movie posters or book covers—they are the first point of contact users have with your video. If you want viewers to stay throughout the show, you must work to create visually stunning thumbnails to captivate them.

Let's emphasize that you need to work for that: 99% of awesome thumbnails are not random video frames. You must compose interesting images so that users can’t help but click on them.

This doesn't necessarily mean that you'll do a photoshoot to produce your videos' thumbnail. If your video is indeed great, all the elements you need for a cool thumbnail are probably there. You just have to extract it. Also, depending on your choices, you can try adding a short but non-intrusive text to that image to spark even more interest in your video.

Introduce a Compelling Hook

From the moment your video starts, you have limited time to capture your audience's attention and entertain them. Showing off your narrative skills at this point can take your video from an okay piece to an amazing one.

Introduce a well-crafted hook to set the users' expectations high. A hook can be anything from a shocking question to a meaningful phrase or a compelling frame you put in to generate curiosity about your message.

Once you pass the test of impressing your viewers during the first few seconds of your video, then they’ll be more willing to stick around and listen to your value proposition.

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The Power of Transcripts

As soon as the people running Facebook knew that most users liked using their platform in all social settings, they made videos autoplay without sound. Not long after, most of the other platforms followed suit.

People are already used to watching muted videos from their smartphones in any public place. So, if you want to maintain visibility on mobile devices, it's important to produce videos with transcripts.

Not only will you be able to deliver your message in all kinds of situations, but using closed captions is also a great way of making your message fully clear and accessible to all audiences.

So, be sure then to put some extra work on your transcripts. Choose the right format to make the words readable throughout the video. And if you're relying on an automatic tool to produce the transcripts for you, take some time to optimize them and give them a professional finish.

Don’t Forget CTAs!        

Why are you posting a video in the first place? Is it to attract visitors to your landing page? To get new subscribers to your newsletter? Or do you want to sell a product? Well, you need to tell people about it, and your video is the right place to do it.

Introduce your CTAs by the end of your video so viewers know what they can do to learn more about your value proposition. Your CTA can be something as simple as a 'Join us,' 'Try for free,' or 'Get started' image added to your video.

It's important to write unambiguous CTAs. Say short and clear the next actions you want viewers to take. Overcomplicated or lengthy phrases will only mislead users and cloud your message.

Finally, take advantage of the tools that social networks offer to introduce CTAs. For example, Instagram stories have the unique 'Swipe Up' feature that leads people directly to your site. If you're posting live videos on that platform, be sure not to miss that out.

Final Thoughts

Due to their engaging and fun format, videos are a great resource you shouldn’t miss adding to your social media accounts.

Videos have great potential for generating buzz among your followers. But to reap the rewards of your hard work, you need to pay attention to the ins and outs of social media life.

Follow your audience and their topics of conversation closely, but don't be afraid to try the new. Also, be clear and direct in your videos, and with the next steps that you'll ask people to take.

Lastly, just enjoy the experience and make your followers part of the conversation.

About the Author:

Victor Blasco is an audiovisual designer, video marketing expert, and founder/CEO of the explainer video company Yum Yum Videos. Besides running the business, he’s a lifelong student of Chinese philosophy and a passionate geek for all things sci-fi.

 

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