Video has taken social media by storm. Over 100 million hours of video are being watched on Facebook every day and, if recent announcements — such as Instagram’s video time limit increase and the launch of Instagram Stories and Twitter’s ramping up of video advertising — have anything to say about it, video is here to stay.

As consumer demand for video grows, social media platforms themselves are investing in video, and businesses should too. But if you’re looking to get the most out of video marketing on social media it’s important to understand the differences between different social platforms so you can cater your video content to each.

Catering Video to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

One size does not fit all, so to help you get started, we’ve rounded up a few tips for catering your videos to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Facebook: Create attention-grabbing videos

On Facebook, videos auto-play as you scroll through your News Feed. But, if you’re a Facebooker yourself, you know that with so much content to see it can be easy to just scroll past posts that don’t capture your attention immediately. To succeed on Facebook, your videos need to be attention-grabbing within the first few seconds.

So how do you entice viewers to stop and watch? Here are a few ideas:

  • Start with a clear visual hook. Use bright colors, quick cute, and lots of motion to capture viewers’ attention as they scroll past. It’ll help your video stand out from still photo, text, and link posts surrounding it.
  • Tell a story with text. Using text can help with grabbing attention silently. But you should also remember that in many cases your viewer may not be able to click to listen to your audio (they may be at work or in a loud public place). For this reason, using captions and titles throughout can be an effective way to tell your story and keep viewers watching. Here’s a great example of telling a story with text that Facebook Marketing Expert Mari Smith recently shared on her Facebook page:

Instagram: Get creative

Instagram has a similar layout to Facebook’s mobile app — you scroll down and as you pass videos they’ll play silently in your feed — so the attention-grabbing tips above also apply to videos you create for Instagram. But because of the visual nature of the platform, super creative and artistic content is rewarded on Instagram. So when using video on Instagram to market your business, don’t just promote yourself but do so in a creative way. Here are some ideas:

  • Loop your videos. On Instagram, videos don’t just play from beginning to end and then stop. They loop over and over again. You can create a fun seamless effect by making a video that starts and ends on the same frame.
  • Slow it down or speed it up. Slow motion and time-lapse are also fun ways to capture attention in the Instagram feed.
  • Use multiple clips. Instagram recently began allowing users to upload or shoot multiple clips to create their videos. This opens the door for more complex video creation, in app.

Twitter: Create teasers

Thanks to Twitter’s history of short, succinct posts, users aren’t accustomed to pausing within their stream to watch long form content. This makes it the perfect place for sharing teasers for longer-form videos and content on other platforms, like this video that our own Becky Brooks created to promote an article she wrote for MarketingProfs.

Here are some tips for using video on Twitter:

  • Upload native video. Similarly to Facebook and Instagram, native videos will auto-play silently on Twitter. This is great for grabbing attention and, according to Socialbakers, brands are sharing more native video on Twitter due to higher engagement on tweets with this native content.
  • Leave viewers wanting more. When making a teaser to share on Twitter, give viewers a taste that’ll leave them wanting more. After all, the ultimate objective is to entice them to click through to the real content.

Of course, it’s important to keep up-to-date on new releases and changes, as social video is an evolving platform (take both Twitter’s and Instagram’s recent time limit increase, for example). But these tips are a great jumping off point to get you started with video marketing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

What types of videos do you share on each of these platforms? We’d love to hear about your strategy. Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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