Using social media today has become the go-to method for writers and bloggers to get in touch with their audience. Given that 3.196 billion people in the world have active social media accounts, it’s easy to see why. If you want to double your fan base, getting on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the like is essential.
That said, just being there isn’t enough, is it?
Creating a profile and sharing content doesn’t guarantee your target audience will notice you (or care about you). Social media is all about creating a community by engaging with them, and few things accomplish this better than social videos.
It’s not a personal opinion, mind you. Reports say that videos create 1200% more shares than those from images and texts combined. That’s because people are naturally drawn to visual content that gives them information in funny and concise ways. Oh, and because we’re rapidly becoming a video-first society (if we aren’t one, already).Creating social videos is an excellent way to double your fan base and keep them interested.
The thing is though, that oh so many people out there are already doing the same. Backed up by high-quality video production companies well-versed in making flawless content.
So the question becomes, how can you compete? Well, here are 5 easy ways we often share with writers and bloggers to help them get into the spotlight!
1 – Get your topic right
Sharing videos on your social profiles is important, but don’t make the mistake of choosing quantity over quality. When talking about videos, quality can mean a lot of things but here I’m using it in the sense of ‘relevance’.
People’s attention is fleeting, so you have to create something that sparks their curiosity while also addressing something valuable for them. Knowing your audience is key in this regard. Creating videos for a doggy daycare won’t be the same as creating videos for an upcoming novel presentation or seminar.
The topics are obviously different and they will define the tone, the filming, and the goals for each of those videos. Basically, what I’m saying here is that you have to sit in your work table, clearly determine who your target audience is, and talk specifically for them in their own language.
2 – Make them social friendly
Topic and tone aren’t the only things you have to keep in mind to make your social video shine. There are also technical aspects that are as important. I’m talking about your video’s structure and length.
We’re now living hurried lives in which everything has to be immediate. We don’t have a lot of spare time for many things, and neither does your audience. That’s why you have to keep all your social videos to a proper length. What’s proper, you ask? You’ll do well following these tips:
- Instagram and Twitter: these platforms favor shorter videos (under 30 seconds). Here, images and GIFs dictate the pace at which the audience browse content, so you should use shorter videos (small company videos or vignettes, a video presentation that shows your most outstanding benefits)
- YouTube and Facebook: you can bet on longer videos here, especially on YouTube. Audiences in these networks are accustomed to longer content, so they are the optimal places to upload your how-to videos, seminars, and whiteboard animations. Of course, being concise and as brief as possible remains paramount.
As a rule of thumb, always go for shorter social videos. This will make test your creativity, as certain types of videos are better suited for reduced duration. That doesn’t mean you can’t fit some nice ideas in a smaller video, like the now-famous recipes from Tasty that show you how to make a meal in under a minute.
3 – Go native
I sincerely lost track of how many brands I’ve found during the years that only upload their videos to YouTube and post the links everywhere else. Don’t be one of them! Uploading just to Google’s platform only makes sense if you are a YouTuber. Any other brand should use the native capabilities of each social network they use.
It might seem like a waste of time but it’s far from it. Social networks (with Facebook as the most notorious case) provide a series of benefits for their native videos. The 2 most noticeable are the better rankings provided by their algorithms, and the creation of a video library where people can always look up your content.
If you really can’t upload to every platform you use, then sure, use YouTube first. Especially since it’s the second largest search engine in the world and ranks amazingly in Google search results. But if you ask me, you should definitely take the time to also upload your videos natively in all your social profiles. You’ll have a better reach to your audience as you’ll get in touch with them through their preferred platform.
4 – Optimize captions, thumbnails and copy
Though it’s only natural to worry about shooting and editing your videos, there’s plenty of other details surrounding video creation and publishing that are worth thinking about too. These are the top 3:
- Captions and text overlays: underline the most important part of your video message with some on-screen text. If the 85% of Facebook users that watch video on mute are any indication, then captions and overlays become incredibly important in explaining the images for people watching without sound.
- Thumbnail or first frame: You know how it goes – you keep scrolling or swiping through social content and if something doesn’t grab you by the neck right off the bat, you’ll quickly dismiss it. That’s why thumbnails and/or the first frames of your videos are essential. They need to be eye-catching, be it for being colorful, weird or funny. Of course, they also need to be relevant and to the point.
- Post’s copy: The text that goes along the video when you post it should also provide details about the content. The title has to be informative, the descriptions should include a couple of keywords, the hashtags should be relevant. All that copy should give your audience a better understanding of your video, and pulling double duty by helping your ranking efforts (a little thing called SEO).
5 – Always use call to actions
You’re not sharing social videos just for the sake of it. There’s a purpose for them within your marketing strategy. It doesn’t matter whether you want more followers, more shares, more visibility, etc. You should have a goal for all your videos, something you want people to do after they’ve finished watching (and if you don’t, please think of one before creating your video!).
You can make those actions far more likely to occur with effective call to actions (CTAs).
You can always ask for people to subscribe to your channel, redirect people to your site, or ask them to fill out a form for the latest news. After all, that’s why you’re making the video in the first place!
You have to pay attention to where you place those CTAs, though. You can’t start your videos with asking for your audience to do something! That’s why you’ll see that most videos place their CTAs at the end of the videos. You know, after people have decided whether what you offer is worth checking out or not.
Take a look at the way we do it for McMahon Now in this piece
What should you do next?
Take these tips and make them a part of your content creation process! As with any form of marketing, social video marketing needs planning. And if you ultimately want the most coveted thing in the social media world (AKA engagement), you should keep all of these tips in mind.
I won’t say it will be easy to double your fan base. With billions of people using social media, you obviously know that the competition for that engagement will be fierce. Which is why you need to bring your A game!
What does that mean? Knowing your audience, shooting high quality videos with them in mind, and adapting all your content to the peculiarities of each social platform. Now, go get it. You have some serious work to do!