The innate ability of video to evoke, teach, and influence at multiple frames per second makes it a natural complement to social media. That being said, social media video viewers have the shortest of attention spans: less is more is the key mantra here. Keep your video messaging succinct yet impactful, and avoid telling a story or narrative—you’re not likely to do the latter successfully in the time span allotted.
Useful, engaging information such as tips and tricks for every life, also known as “life hacks,” are all the rage these days in the social media realm. Short, humorous anecdotes are also highly shareable. Simple animations can be just as effective as live action video, and have the added benefit of being smaller in file size and bandwidth footprint.
The following are 5 ways to use video to enhance your social media presence.
1. Share your videos on Google+.
Videos uploaded and shared through Google+ must be 15 minutes or less and 1080p or lower in resolution. Google also owns sister-services YouTube, Picasa, and Drive—using these to share to Google+ means fewer video length and file size restrictions.
2. Share your videos on Facebook/Instagram.
For unverified Facebook accounts, the video size limit is 100MB and under 10 minutes—accounts that have been verified by phone are upped to a maximum of 1,024MB and 20 minutes. Facebook subsidiary Instagram allows for up to 15 minutes of video, and up until recently only allowed uploading of “in-app” recorded videos (e.g., on your Android or iDevice). They’ve since relaxed this restriction, allowing for pre-recorded/pre-composed videos, but you’ll still need to copy the video to your device to upload, as there is no web or desktop-version of Instagram.
3. Share you videos on Twitter/Vine.
Vine, like parent service Twitter, is designed for brevity—videos must be 6 seconds or less. If you plan to use Vine, compose your video for looping for maximum effect. It’s currently only available for the iPhone and iPod Touch, though an Android version of the app is reportedly in the works.
4. Share your live video stream on Meerkat and Periscope.
If you think live streaming is just for kids, you’ve got another thing coming. Both Meerkat and competitor Periscope are indispensable tools for giving your social media presence a boost. These apps are ideal for broadcasting live news regarding your organization or hosting Q&As or product demos.
5. Add some production quality to your videos with free/inexpensive desktop editing tools.
Free and low-cost tools are readily available. Apple iMovie is an inexpensive option for the Mac, while Windows Movie Maker is a free download for Windows users. Both of these tools suffice for creating simple but captivating videos to integrate into your social media campaign.
Remember: it’s highly unlikely that viewers will give you more than a couple minutes of their time. Most of your social media video audience is likely to be in transit and viewing on a mobile device—according to YouTube, Mobile makes up almost 40% of their global watch time. So design for the small screen and for the shortest of attention spans. This will increase the likelihood of your audience remembering, liking, and ultimately sharing your video.