Social videos can be very engaging. It’s important though to understand the best practices for each social channel to increase your success. For consumers, what defines the most engaging video content on social? Here’s what you need to know.
Videos are one of the most powerful content types on social media. They can help a brand in many different ways, from raising awareness to driving actions. As social media platforms keep changing, it’s useful to monitor the best practices to create more successful videos. NewsWhip has launched the “2019 Guide to Social Video” looking at the most engaging videos and how they work on each channel.
Facebook videos lead to engagement
We know that videos can be engaging but NewsWhip is also proving that they can be the most engaging content types on Facebook. Native videos win both photos and link posts in average engagement and it’s a useful reminder once again to focus on sharing native videos on Facebook rather than external links (for instance, from YouTube or Vimeo).
Facebook is encouraging us to share native videos and it is good to see that if they are appealing and relevant they can lead to great engagement.
Engagement on various video types on Facebook
NewsWhip looked at the top 10,000 videos on Facebook to explore the most popular video types.
There are many ways to share a video on Facebook. Native videos are by far the most popular option. According to this report, they take over 97% of the total number of videos. Live videos follow up and embedded videos are coming last.
It’s not surprising to see that native videos are so popular and that’s why top pages are picking them over other videos. Live videos are way behind but this doesn’t mean that they do not make a good choice when looking for engagement. The difference comes on the frequency the pages use live videos compared to native videos. Still, live videos can be a great addition to your strategy when covering an event or featuring a conversation with your supporters as part of a campaign.
One of the most frequent questions on social media and the best practices of video content has to do with the perfect length of a video.
Facebook – 132 seconds
According to NewsWhip’s report, the average length of the top 100 videos that were shared on Facebook was 132 seconds.
The length was shorter in the analysis of the top 10,000 videos reaching 116 seconds.
What’s interesting is that we tend to read that people don’t watch more than a few seconds of videos. This leads to a common suggestion of posting videos lasting less than a minute. However, a look at the most popular videos indicates that videos that are two minutes long can be very engaging provided that they stay appealing and relevant.
Moreover, Facebook has recently encouraged everyone to share videos longer than three minutes to see even higher engagement. We are noticing a shift towards longer videos, which adds a new challenge of maintaining the interest for viewers throughout the way.
Twitter – 35 seconds
Twitter is a very different social platform from Facebook. Brevity is important and the same occurs to video content. The average length of videos is four times shorter than Facebook at just 35 seconds.
There is a different strategy when planning content for Twitter as the speed of changing tweets on our feeds makes it harder to focus on longer videos. Thus, it’s crucial to create videos that are engaging from the very first second to make sure that you appeal to your followers.
Should we use emoji in videos?
A caption can set the tone to a good video. Emoji can add another element of the right emotion to your videos. Many top pages are using emoji in their captions.
Emoji were included in 58% of the top 100 videos this year
This doesn’t mean that you should use emoji in your captions to compete with the top 100 videos but it’s a good indication of how they can also play a small role in engagement.
For example, the laughing emoji can make it easier to set the tone for a funny video especially if it also features a clever caption. There are even videos that go viral that focus on emoji rather than words to describe the videos.
What can we learn from the findings?
Social videos can be very engaging and many brands are using them as part of their marketing strategies.
It’s useful to remember that every channel has different best practices.
The top videos on Facebook are mostly native videos and their length is more than two minutes.
Twitter videos are way shorter and they are usually around 30 seconds to stay relevant in a constantly changing news feed.
Live videos are still growing as a content type but they can still make a great fit to a strategy that involves event coverage, behind the scenes content or even interesting conversations.
If you are about to plan your video content for the next few months, remember:
- Social videos shouldn’t necessarily be of excellent quality but they should be appealing and relevant.
- Create videos that are easy to watch on mobile devices. Make sure you add subtitles for those who watch them without a sound.
- Think of the optimal length for every channel but don’t be afraid to try out a different idea to test its success for your audience.
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