How to Add More Emotion to Your Social Media Videos

One of the things that video does best is conveying emotion quickly and powerfully. You can see the expressions on someone’s face, hear their tone of voice, and feel more of a personal connection because of it. Adding emotion in social media videos strengthens them immensely.

Emotionally-resonating stories can take social media by storm, getting more shares and more engagement. Most importantly, that emotion that users felt when watching the video will stick with them, leaving an impact that lasts long after the video is done playing. This builds the foundation of a relationship between you and viewers.

It isn’t hard to write a script for social media videos; it’s much harder, however, to create videos that can evoke genuine emotional reactions from viewers (especially in 60 seconds or less). In this post, we’re going to go over a few incredible ways to increase the emotion in social media videos on every platform.

Know Your Emotional Triggers

When people hear about an “emotional” video, the first thing they’ll expect is to be in tears after watching it. While that’s certainly one option, many businesses will have better luck with social media videos that channel other emotions, too.

Common feelings that are extremely effective for businesses in social media include:

  • Joy
  • Frustration
  • Anger
  • Relief
  • Discontent/discomfort
  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Hope (as demonstrated in the example below)


This doesn’t mean that you should go around trying to depress people or engage in fear mongering (please don’t do this). You should only evoke negative emotions only when you can offer an immediate solution to the problem causing them, and use the emotions to prompt users to act. If a somber car insurance commercial can offer an automatic accident-reporting feature that is showed to save someone’s life, that can reduce fear by providing an actual solution to the problem.

Highlight an Individual’s Story

Whenever possible, focusing on the single story of a specific individual will be a lot more effective than using a general example. This gives your video time to dive into their experiences, getting more detail that users are more likely to connect to. It puts a human face to your brand, personalizing it, which users are also more likely to connect emotionally to. A great example is the video below from Dove, which uses a personal story to create feelings of joy and inspiriation.

Use Your Text Wisely

In many cases, users will read the headline or description of your video before they watch some—or any—of it. Because of this, you need to optimize the text for the emotion you’re focusing on in the video. That way, every interaction the user has with the video will contribute towards that one, singular emotion.

Some ways you can do this include:

  • Using punctuation like exclamation points for videos that are meant to inspire joy, and elipses (…) in video descriptions meant to make you a little uncomfortable.
  • Adding mood-enhancing copy, like “possibilities,” “devastating,” or “unavoidable.”
  • Focus on why the video matters, and create copy that reflects that
  • Add emojis, when appropriate, to the video descriptions

Understand Your Customer’s Pain Points

If you want to not only create a video that can evoke an emotional response, but a video that will really resonate with your audience and even lead to conversions, understanding their pain points is essential.

Let’s look at an example. I saw an advertisement the other day that said “annoyed because of another flat tire?” The actress grumbled as she looked at the flat on the side of the road, and that was the extend of the hardship. The commercial missed a great opportunity to focus on pain points.

Someone who has a flat tire isn’t just annoyed because they have to call a tow truck. They might be late for a big meeting that their career depends on, or the flat tire could leave them stranded in a dangerous area in the middle of the night. It might be expensive to call for help, and they might not be able to afford it. These are all pain points that service providers like AAA could utilize in videos to connect with users emotionally.

Hair-styling tool Sleep Styler has a great video where women talk about how much time and effort the product has saved them. A new mom, a busy professional, and a hair stylist talk about getting to sleep in more, for example. For women with extensive beauty routines, that’s a huge pain point. When it comes to selling thanks to benefits, more sleep is an emotional benefit for many.

Every single business has often been built around the pain points of their customers, and if your video can really hone in on them, you’ll be a few steps closer to evoking genuine emotion in your viewers.

Use Mood-Appropriate Colors & Music

This is an age old marketing trick, but it’s still effective: use color and sound to help you get emotional responses in video. Use bright, happy colors like yellow and sky blue when going for emotions like joy. You can use darker colors for videos that are designed to evoke fear or sadness, and you can dull color schemes to help convey discomfort. This example below from Chipotle does the latter, and combined with the appropriate music, it elevates the video from disconcerting to nearly distressing.

Sounds matter, too. This is shown in both examples in this section. You can add appropriate sound tracks, or add in sound effects like laughing, birds chirping, something breaking, and so much more to enhance the effect you’re going for. Video creation tools like Shakr can help you place these effects in the video for optimal effect.

Final Thoughts

Emotional social media videos will go a long way in helping you to connect with your audience. Not only can it help you establish a valuable, long-term personal connection with your customers, it can also help motivate them to act now. To make it easy for them to act now (on whatever action you want them to take), include a concise CTA and link at the end of the video when possible, increasing the likelihood that they will.

What do you think? How do you create emotion in social media videos? Which emotions do you try to target? 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

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