When Video Meets Social Media

Combining quality video with social media is a powerful digital marketing strategy. Last year Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg named video as the next “megatrend.”

With about 45% of people watching more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week, it’s a trend all marketers should get on board with.

Here are some more eye-popping stats.

  • Facebook: Over 500 million people watch video on Facebook every day, consuming more than 100 million hours each day, every day.
  • Instagram: Over 5 million people watched a branded Instagram video in Q1 2017
  • Snapchat: 10 billion videos are watched on Snapchat each day
  • YouTube: More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube
  • LinkedIn: Video is relatively new to LinkedIn, but 28% of marketers say that LinkedIn Video is one of the most effective video marketing platforms
  • Twitter: Over 80% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter

Social Sharing

One of the reasons social media is such a powerful tool for promoting video content is the social sharing aspect that’s inherently baked into all social platforms.

Over 70% of people say they share branded video content, but only if It’s engaging. This means that it must be entertaining, inspiring or educational.

The type of content that consumers want from brands on social varies. This type of content includes links to more information, images or graphics, produced video, text and photos.

Overview of video viewing trends

There are some important trends to consider when creating video for social media platforms. These trends and statistics will help you understand some of the nuances involved with social video viewing and can inspire you to create videos that people want to view and share.


Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

Sound is optional: Over 80% of people watching video on Facebook do so with the sound off and nearly 40% of people are more likely to finish watching videos that contain subtitles.

  • Planning is key: Most people prefer prerecorded video content over live content, but the distinction Is very close. If possible, marketers should test both types of video content to see what is most impactful for their brand.
  • Keep it short: You should put serious effort into making the first 15 to 30 seconds of your video count since 70% of people decide whether to a watch a video to the end within the first 30 seconds and 43% decide in less than 15 seconds.
  • But not too short: According to a recent survey by Sprout Social, the most common watch time for videos is between one and two minutes and the most preferred platforms are Facebook and YouTube.
  • Make them laugh or cry: people are more likely to like and share videos that are funny or emotional as opposed to videos that are purely educational or “behind-the-scenes.”

What marketers are doing

It’s no secret that social video marketing is hot right now, so it can be helpful to know what other marketers are doing to leverage video on social platforms.

Understanding trends will ensure that you don’t lag behind your competitors. It can also reveal opportunities to advertise on channels that aren’t yet saturated.

  • Facebook rules: Right now, Facebook is the leader in social video. It’s used by Nearly 100% of social marketers. Instagram, owned by Facebook, is used by over 80% of marketers compared to only 13% who use Snapchat.
  • Closed captions: Just over 50% of marketers use closed caption on their videos either all or most of the time. This makes sense since, as noted above, the majority of people watch social videos with the sound off.
  • It’s hip to be square (or vertical): Over 50% of marketers create videos in a square or vertical format. In fact, square videos are nearly 80% more popular than vertical videos when they appear in mobile newsfeeds. Vertical videos are also clear winners on social and are watched in their entirety 9x more than landscape ads!
  • A word about Instagram stories: Instagram stories allow you to post photos and videos that disappear within 24 hours. Every day over 200 million people use Instagram stories. It’s one of the fastest growing platforms ever. Instagram stories is a great way for brands to show behind-the-scenes footage of photo shoots and other events and give consumers insight into what makes your company tick.


Using video to generate awareness of a brand is nothing new. The first TV commercial in the US aired in 1941 (it was a 10-second spot for the Bulova Watch Co).

Since then, video has come a long way. It’s not difficult to create and share videos, but it’s important to understand how consumers view social video content, what they watch, and where they watch it.

Understanding the type of content consumers prefer and what they do (or don’t) share can help you create unique, share-worthy videos that will make your brand stand out on social platforms.

An expert search, social and content marketer, Ryan leads Elevation Marketing's digital strategy department, helping brands achieve their business goals, such as improving sales and market share, by developing integrated marketing strategies distinguished by research, storytelling, engagement and conversion. With proven track record of energizing brands, engaging audiences and managing multidiscipline marketing teams, Ryan is a respected expert in achieving consistent results through creative design, thought-provoking narratives and innovative problem solving.

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