Last week, we gave you some tips on YouTube strategy as part of our 5-part blog series on building your business video strategy on social media platforms. Today, we’re taking a look at Facebook.

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Facebook has become an increasingly important platform for businesses. With over 1.39 billion monthly active users on the site, your customers and potential customers are likely to be visiting Facebook on a pretty regular basis. Establishing a solid Facebook video strategy can help you reach them.

Why video over text or photos? Well, with over 1 billion video views on Facebook each day, it’s clear that consumers want video, so why not deliver it? Additionally, because video auto-plays in Facebook’s News Feed on mobile (an increasingly growing audience), it can be a great way to stand out.

Questions to ask yourself

Ready to start using video on Facebook but not sure where to start? We’ve compiled a list of questions for you to consider to help you build a Facebook strategy for your business.

What will your videos be about?

First things first, you need to decide what type of video content you want to share. On Facebook, you’ve got two primary audiences. One is people who already know who you are and like your page, and the other is people who are “meeting” you for the first time when they stumble across content liked and shared by their friends. It goes without saying that all of your content should be relevant to your business and reflect your expertise. But there are definitely specific types of content that resonate with each of these audiences.

For your Facebook fans — the people that are already familiar with and like your company — there are a few options. Video can be a nice way to share company news, promote special deals, and introduce new products. Additionally, behind-the-scenes videos that feature insider looks at your products or introduce your team can be a fun way to show off your company’s personality. Here at Animoto, this is something we’re definitely fans of, as you can see from our holiday video post below.

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To engage and entertain your current audience and capture new leads, how-to’s related to your business’s industry can be fun and shareworthy as well. Check out this video about how to cut a watermelon, posted by Blue Apron.

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You can also repost awesome user generated content created by your customers. Sharing content created by your fans can serve to boost engagement as well. Here’s another fun post from Blue Apron, featuring a video created by one of their customers.

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It’s also good practice to create a company overview to post as the Featured Video on your Facebook page. This is helpful for new customers who visit your page looking for more information about what you do.

How will you grab viewers’ attention in the News Feed?

While some customers will visit your Facebook page directly, the number one space for content consumption on Facebook is in the News Feed. How will you stand out from all the content shared by other pages your customers like and, more importantly, from the personal content shared by your customers’ friends and family?

A few factors play into this. For starters, your content itself needs to be interesting and engaging. But the way you present your content is also important. Your videos will stand out by default due to the facts that video auto-plays on mobile and are more eye-catching than photo and text, which account for most of the current posts on Facebook. However, it’s still important to put some thought into what your video content looks like. Shoot eye-catching footage and include text descriptions that entice people to stop and watch.

How will you differentiate yourself from your competitors?

If your competitors are on Facebook, check out their pages to see how they’re using video. What are they doing well? What could they be better? Learn from their successes and failures and use them to build your own unique strategy. You can keep an eye on your competitors using Facebook’s Pages To Watch feature, which you’ll find under Insights on your own Facebook page.

Best practices for your Facebook strategy

The above questions will help you build the foundation for your Facebook video strategy, but we wanted to share some best practices as well. Keep these in mind once you start creating and sharing videos on your Facebook business page.

Optimizing your videos for Facebook

When sharing videos on Facebook, one of the most important things to remember is that uploading your video file directly to Facebook is preferable to sharing a link to your video. Why? When you upload videos to Facebook directly they are far more eye-catching than when you share links from YouTube, Vimeo or other video hosting platforms and, as a result, get a lot more engagement. You can monitor this engagement using Facebook Insights to see how many people are viewing your videos, commenting, liking and more.

On Facebook, you can upload videos of up to 1GB or 20 minutes in length, but this doesn’t mean you should upload a 20 minute video. Unless it’s a lecture or a long-form web series, we recommend making your videos as short as possible. Try to keep it to two or three minutes for educational content like How-To’s and under a minute for product and explainer videos. Because your video will auto-play in the News Feed, it’s also important to avoid love title slides and intros and dive straight into the meat of your content to grab people’s attention.

Finally, make your videos stand out in the News Feed by posting them with engaging, eye-catching text that provides some insight into what your video is about. Because videos auto-play on mute, viewers won’t be able to hear your video right away. Text can be a good way to entice viewers that might scroll past your video otherwise.

Building an engaged audience

There are a number of great ways to encourage engagement when you post videos to Facebook. One of our favorites is asking a question in the description. This is a nice way to start a conversation – just be sure to respond when people answer your question to continue the dialogue.
Additionally, you can use Facebook’s tagging feature to put your videos on the radar of influencers your content is relevant to or that you think would be likely to reshare your content. For instance, if a restaurant posted a video about the farm where they get their produce, they could tag the farm’s Facebook page in the description to increase the reach of their post.

Converting your audience

Building an engaged audience on Facebook is all well and good, but how do you turn these fans into paying customers? You can always post videos around special sales and promos to let your Facebook fans know about great deals. But Facebook also a number of features you can take advantage of in order to drive traffic back to your website for increased conversions.

For starters, make sure to include links to your website in your page description, as well as in the text description when you post videos. You want to make it easy for people to get back to your website to find more information and potentially make a purchase.

You can also add a call-to-action button to a post when you upload a video, or to your business page itself, directing visitors to Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up or Watch Video. This can be a good place to share a video overview for new visitors to your site, or to direct visitors back to your website. On our Facebook page, we’ve added a button inviting visitors to sign up. Read more about call-to-action buttons on our blog.

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Curious to learn more? Check out the other posts in our Building Your Video Strategy on Social Media series:

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