7 Best Social Video Practices You Need to Be Using

Video is everything on social media right now; it’s ranking higher in the feeds of platforms with content-ranking algorithms, and social audiences are responding to it—and sharing it—in higher number than ever before. Because of this, all brands should be increasing the amount of video content they’re sharing on social media—and many are.

Here’s the catch: while your business is shuffling to get create more videos to connect with your audience on social media, every other business out there is doing the exact same thing. Now, having social videos isn’t enough to get ahead; your videos need to be exceptionally great and stand out despite the fierce competition.

In this post, we’re going to go over the 7 best social video practices you need to be using to get the results you want every time.

1. Make The Text Count

The first three seconds of your videos matter, because that’s all the time that you have to get a user interested before they’ll keep on scrolling. Fortunately, there’s a bit of a buffer to this 3-second rule: you can use the text in your headline and description to garner some interest, too.

Your headline should be interesting and offer just enough information to make someone want to see what the video is about, and the description should be kept to a sentence or two at most. Both should be clear, concise, and to-the-point while still providing information about what the viewers are about to watch. I’ve started to scroll past a video and then scrolled right back up because the description caught my eye even as I was moving past it.

Ideally, all of the text surrounding your videos should be optimized for keywords. That way when users utilize the platform’s native search engines, they’ll be able to find your content. This expands the visibility and reach of your videos significantly, allowing them to become tools that can help you connect not only with your followers, but new members of your target audience, too.

2. Keep It Short

On almost every social media platform, shorter content will perform stronger than long content. The reason why is very simple: most users get online to connect with friends and browse mindlessly. Most won’t be interested in a twelve-minute long tutorial right off the bat.

Some platforms even require that videos be kept short. Videos that are native to Twitter need to be kept under 140 seconds (or two minutes and twenty seconds), and Instagram videos must be 60 seconds or less.

The exception to this rule is YouTube content. Since users come to YouTube purely to watch videos, they’d be more likely to be content to sit down and watch twenty minutes of something all at once. Since YouTube videos can also be embedded on your site or relevant blog posts, don’t count it out for long-form videos that might not perform as well on other social platforms.

3. Upload Your Videos Natively to Each Platform

A few sites give you the option to upload your videos natively, or to share a link to a YouTube video. When possible, it’s almost always the right decision to upload your videos natively to each platform individually.

Social media sites with algorithms that prioritize content favor videos that are uploaded natively, instead of those shared from YouTube. This is likely partially to incentivize pages to use the native camera and video features, and partially because Facebook automatically keeps outbound links relatively low in their priority.

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A post shared by Lindsay Ostrom (@pinchofyum) on

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Pinterest all have their own native video tools. In additional to the potential algorithm bump, uploading videos natively allows that content to be stored permanently in your library of content on that particular platform. Facebook and Twitter videos will be set aside in their own unique video galleries. This content will then be accessible to those audiences forever, meaning that they can stumble upon them more easily. The content will also be searchable indefinitely.

4. Add Captions to All Videos

All videos on social media should always, always have captions for several important reasons. The first is so that the videos are accessible to your entire audience, even if they have hearing disabilities.

The second is that it will significantly increase your video views even amongst users who can hear just fine. On almost every platform, videos will start playing automatically as you scroll past them. While the movement can grab a users’ attention, the sound is muted until a user manually enables it. Captions can help grab that user’s attention quickly and entice them to turn up the volume.

It’s also worth noting that since increasing numbers of users are watching on mobile devices, which means they might be watching when they’re literally mobile. People who are in crowded or noisy places are less likely to watch videos if they’re required to have the sound on, so captions are a necessity to getting them to watch.

5. Organize Your Videos Into Playlists

Some social platforms allow you to take your video galleries to the next level by organizing them into playlists. Facebook lets you create playlists of similar content, making it easier for users to find the content that they want to see since it’s been grouped together.

social media video best practices

Similarly, YouTube has playlists that not only group similar videos together, but encourage users to watch whatever video comes next in the playlist with auto-play videos or video suggestions. If you want to get creative, you can even use Pinterest boards to organize groups of similar videos.

social video best practices

Whenever possible, organize your video galleries on as many platforms as possible. This makes it easier for your followers to find the content they want, and to watch more of it at once. This means increased likelihood of whatever types of conversions you’re optimizing for.

6. Always End with a CTA

If you’ve created a social media video, you had a purpose in doing so. Was it to drive sales, or brand awareness, or registrations for your event? Whatever that purpose is, there should be an action you want users to take after that video. This could be signing up for a free book, or heading to your site to learn more.

Whatever that goal and associated action is, you need to end the video with a CTA telling viewers exactly what you want them to do. If possible, add a clickable CTA with links that users can follow to the appropriate site or landing page. Really spell it out, with phrases like “Click here to learn more at our site” or “Shop our sale now!” This significantly increases the chance that they’ll take that desired action, making your videos significantly more effective.

7. Add Subtle Branding Somewhere In the Video

One of the hopes of social media videos is that they’ll go viral; this is every business’s dream. Shares are a common goal for social content, and in order to ensure that users always know exactly where your genius video content came from, you should add subtle branding somewhere on the video.

When I say subtle, I mean it; you can add a logo in the corner, or end the video with a “presented by [insert business name here].” You can use consistent text, font, taglines, or colors in your series of videos. Video editing and creation tools like Shakr can help you there. Whatever you choose, add something to your video so that people can trace it back to you. This builds brand awareness and recognition.

Final Thoughts

Social media is chock-full of videos right now, so you need to go above and beyond for yours to stand out and get results. If you want engagement, shares, and conversions, you need to consistently create high-quality engaging videos optimized for social platforms. With these 7 best practices in hand and Shakr’s video creation tools at your disposal, you’ll be able to do just that.

What do you think? Which best practices do you use on your videos? How do you get more shares and conversions on your social media videos? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

Ana Gotter is a business writer specializing in social media and content marketing, though she writes on a variety of other niches and subjects. She can be contacted at anagotter.com.

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