Imagine the head chef of a restaurant known for just one particular dish: Beef stew.
All day long, this chef is hard at work serving hundreds of perfectly identical bowls of beef stew to hundreds of customers. However, not everybody is satisfied with this arrangement. For instance, a customer might come in and request a substitution – chicken instead of beef. Another customer might ask for an extra dollop of broth, or more minced onions. In both instances, no dice. Critics agree that this is the best beef stew in the world, and so the chef has decided that if you want some, you just have to eat it their way.
But over time, the restaurant starts losing its customers. Even people who love beef stew only drop by once a month or so. Soon enough, almost nobody is coming in at all, and the chef sits alone in a quiet kitchen, wondering why.
Different social media platforms are like different customers. Each has their own specific wants and needs, even within the broader framework of beef stew – or in your case, whatever video content that your marketing team provides. Even the best stew that has ever been made won’t be exactly to everyone’s tastes. Similarly, your videos need to be tailored to every individual social media platform in order to take full advantage of their capacities and audience interests. Otherwise, you’ll come back later to find them uneaten.
Here is our quick, handy guide to help you decide what kinds of video are best to share on some of the biggest social media platforms. By optimizing your content for each platform, you’ll unlock new potential audiences and boost your video strategy all around.
The apex of social media platforms, Facebook has 2.41 billion monthly active users, who collectively watch 8 billion videos every single day. There is arguably no social media platform more influential than Facebook for content marketers to master, due to its diverse international reach, popularity, and accessibility. So what kinds of video content work best for Facebook, to help your brand get ahead?
Facebook is a great platform for trying to connect to totally new audiences who may have only limited familiarity with your brand or business. Whatever videos you post there should be fun, relatable, and goal-specific. In general, the most liked, shared, and viewed Facebook videos tend to be humorous and/or cute, so think about these concepts as guideposts when creating promotional content for the platform. And don’t forget to keep it short – the ideal length for a Facebook video is between 15 and 90 seconds, so try to hook your viewers right away and then get to the main point ASAP.
While Twitter may seem insubstantial compared to a behemoth like Facebook, its 326 million monthly active users are nothing to sniff at. And though it may be notoriously tricky for content marketers to gain serious traction on this platform, one in three users discovers new products via Twitter – numbers that become even more impressive when video content is factored in. Twitter video posts generate nearly three times as much engagement as text posts, which can add millions of new viewers for your content.
Like Facebook, Twitter videos benefit from keeping it short and sweet; try to limit yours between 15 and 30 seconds, with all pertinent information situated immediately at the top. Because Twitter is primarily a text-based medium, eye-catching visuals are extra effective. Grab your viewers’ attention with a bold thumbnail right off the bat and you’re guaranteed to stand out in a sea of static blurbs. 80% of Twitter usage happens on mobile devices, so optimizing your video for mobile is also an absolute must, even if that means cropping it or cutting it down.
After Facebook and YouTube, Instagram is the third-biggest social media platform in the world, with over one billion monthly active users. Its enormous popularity with younger audiences all across the globe, coupled with its inherently visual nature, make Instagram invaluable to most video content marketers. There are now over 25 million branded accounts on Instagram, and around 80% of users follow at least one, so having video custom-crafted for the platform is extremely valuable to distinguish yourself from less-savvy competitors.
Video length on Instagram is much more limited than on Facebook or Twitter, while audience attention spans are slightly more generous. To take advantage of that, try creating videos that are between 15 and 60 seconds long, with a prominent call to action connected to the one featured on the button below (“Install Now,” “Sign Up,” etc.). Just like with Twitter, remember that this is primarily a mobile platform. Make sure you have the right aspect ratio for all of your video content, to take advantage of Instagram’s grid layout.
Though LinkedIn has a much smaller pool of users than Facebook or Instagram, it is unique in that its primary user base consists of business professionals. With almost half a billion of these users currently registered, your brand has a huge opportunity for forming B2B connections in a wide array of industries. Because the majority of content posted on LinkedIn is static articles, sharing videos will give you an immediate leg-up over the competition, and help spread your brand reach significantly further.
Video content that performs the best on LinkedIn is typically under 15 seconds. We recommend keeping your video ads under 30 seconds, while organic Feed videos should be anywhere from 15 to 90 seconds. Because this is more of a professional, business-oriented setting, don’t be too cute or outrageous with your content. Instead, keep it crisp and focused; for example, with an explainer video that breaks down what you do, or a documentary video for a business event.
At first glance, Pinterest might seem like a niche platform, but its staggering 250 million active monthly users beg to differ. This is one of the most popular platforms for young, creative people all across the world – the prime demographic for countless brands. Like Instagram, Pinterest is highly visual and encourages outside-the-box thinking. But unlike Instagram, Pinterest is not yet saturated with video content, which means that forward-thinking businesses can still find a way to make a serious impact and raise their brand awareness.
We recommend keeping your Pinterest video content under 15 seconds, which is more than enough time to highlight your product or service and its best features. While there are no strict rules about what type of videos you should feature, remember that a high percentage of Pinterest’s most popular content is DIY-centric. If there is a way to incorporate this aesthetic and philosophy into your videos, you will be appealing directly to the core base of Pinterest users. Another interesting statistic to keep in mind is that 85% of Pinterest’s female users rely on the platform to help plan major life moments. Try relating your video content to weddings, baby showers, anniversaries, etc. to capitalize on this prominent trend.
Whatever kind of video content you decide to produce, make sure that it is custom-tailored to the social media platform that you will be sharing it on. Our beef stew story may have been a little bit silly, but its message is absolutely true – even the best video content will not attract an audience if it has not been shaped to match the capacities (and limitations) of the platform that hosts it. With all of this information in mind, you can set out to confidently create videos that bring your brand to the next level. From Facebook to Instagram to Pinterest, there are no limits to the content that is within your reach.