Social media video: Twitter and Facebook cheatsheet

Social media video: Twitter and Facebook cheatsheet

Social media is an essential part of any digital marketing campaign, and so is social media video. Post the right content to the right people on the right platforms, and you can reach a truly massive audience.

Every share, like, retweet and favourite is an endorsement of your content, and also spreads the message to an even larger network.

Each social media platform handles video slightly differently, so without further ado here’s our social media video cheat sheet to help get your video going viral on two key platforms: Twitter and Facebook.

Twitter video

If you want to tweet video, you have 4 options:

  • Native video: auto-plays, max time is 30 seconds
  • Animated gif: auto-plays, max time is 5 seconds (recommended time)
  • Vine: auto-plays, max time is 6 seconds
  • Embedded YouTube video: doesn’t auto-play, max time is 15 minutes

(If you’re not familiar with the term ‘native video‘ it just means content that is uploaded from a camera or computer straight to the Twitter interface.)

Videos will auto-play by default for all but embedded YouTube videos (as long as the Twitter user has not manually changed their setting). This means it’s always worth uploading directly to Twitter – but it also means that your videos have to be under 30 seconds.

And if you’re making a short video, why not challenge yourself to make it even shorter – the shorter it is, the more likely it’ll be watched all the way through on such a fast-moving social media platform.

Facebook video

Facebook also has a native video option, as well as the capacity to embed videos from third-party sources such as YouTube.

Key video considerations with Facebook:

  • Native video reaches twice as many people as third-party content
  • A ‘view’ metric is triggered after 3 seconds
  • Videos will auto-play in timelines
  • Video will display without sound

Uploading video as Facebook native video reaches twice as many people, and as a result has 3 times as many shares, and 7 times as many comments.

3 things to remember with social media video

The key messages if you want your video content to be seen on social media:

  1. Make it as short as possible. Even 30 seconds is an incredibly long amount of time to ask of people when you’re competing with other content in a timeline. The shorter and snappier you can make it, the further it will travel.
  2. Consider the limitations. For instance, if you know that most people will first encounter your video without sound, can you be clever with it? Could you deliberately make a video without sound?
  3. Be smart in how you measure success. Facebook considers 3 seconds to be enough to say that a video has been viewed, which can make its figures seem vastly more succesful than other platforms. Remember to take these kinds of differences into account when comparing social media video results.

If you only remember one thing about video on social media…

…remember this: don’t take a once-size-fits-all approach. 

The most successful videos on social media are the videos which are created especially for social media. What works as an embedded video on your website won’t necessarily work as a piece of viral content on Twitter.

If your videos aren’t working on social media and you want some friendly advice on how to bring video into your digital marketing strategy, get in touch.

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