Video Marketing

Why Marketers Should Stop Treating All Social Platforms the Same

Jason Hsiao


We recently spent $30,000 across YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to find out what type of videos perform best on each platform. What did we learn? People are using each platform quite differently and, as a result, they’re engaging with different types of content on each platform.

We see a lot of brands and businesses posting the same videos across all the platforms—Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. But our tests confirmed the hypothesis that plastering the same video everywhere doesn’t take advantage of each platform’s strengths.

In order to be more effective with your video marketing, the key is to take a tailored approach. Think about what your customers are doing, the mindset they’re in, and what they’re looking for when they visit different social platforms. Then, create your content with that in mind.

To make your life easier, here’s a little cheat sheet I put together about how audiences are watching videos across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube and what types of video content work best. Check it out and read on to learn more.

How Audiences Watch Video on Different Social Platforms

Facebook Videos

Let’s start by getting to know your audience on Facebook. On Facebook, your potential viewers are:

  • On the go. 88% of Facebook users access the social network on a mobile device.
  • Watching without audio. 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound.
  • Short on time and scrolling to discover. Facebook audiences are heading to the app when they have a few spare moments and scrolling through the feed to discover what’s new.

What does this mean for your video content? I recommend sharing updates about what’s new with your company. Share your latest products, your fall fashion line, new services, new locations, new deals. The key word is new.

Get started with our New Collection template. It’s built to showcase a new collection of products and you can easily drag and drop your own product shots in and customize the look and feel for your brand. I also recommend using our Aspect Ratio feature to make this template square, as square videos stand out because they take up 78% more space in the News Feed.

PRO TIP: When you sit down to make a video for Facebook, it’s important to keep in mind that your potential viewers are scrolling through their feeds rapidly. Start with your most compelling imagery up front to capture attention right away.

Instagram Videos

On Instagram, viewers are behaving in a similar way to those on Facebook. They’re on the go, scrolling on mobile when they’ve got a spare moment. In the feed, they too are often listening with the sound off, though they’re more likely to listen with the sound on when checking out Instagram Stories.

The main difference, though, is the type of content that’s resonating with Instagram viewers. We’ve found that inspirational content is what really does the trick on Instagram. Instagram began as a platform for sharing stunning photographs and, although it’s now a home for all kinds of content, it’s still the inspiring, visually stunning content that stands out.

When you approach video creation for Instagram, keep inspiration in mind. Start with compelling imagery, tell a story that inspires, share a quote, or show something interesting.

PRO TIP: On Instagram, you can post a link in your bio but not in an individual post in the feed. For this reason, it’s important to tell a story in your videos that’s self-contained. Viewers should be able to consume your content, like it, and then scroll on. But the inspiration should stay with them.

To learn more, check out our complete guide to Instagram video.

Twitter Video

There are lots of benefits to using video on Twitter. Tweets with video get retweeted 6X more than photos and 3X more than GIFs. But if you’re looking to get the most out of your Twitter video efforts, you’ll need to cater your content for your audience’s behavior.

On Twitter, similar to Facebook and Instagram, your audience is on the go, on mobile, and scrolling to discover. But what they’re looking to discover is what’s happening right now. They’re interested in current news, current trends, and to be a part of the conversation around what’s happening in the moment.

For this reason, more ephemeral updates about what’s happening right now are the most effective. For instance, when I speak at a conference, I’ll share the place and time I’ll be speaking shortly before my talk begins.

You could share a flash sale, jump on a trending topic, or promote an event that’s about to occur, as in this example.

PRO TIP: When sharing videos on Twitter, don’t forget to include relevant hashtags. This’ll help you get your videos in front of more people.

YouTube Video

YouTube audiences are quite different from audiences on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This is primarily because, for the most part, they’re not just scrolling for random videos. They’ve come to YouTube specifically to search for content that they’re interested in.

For this reason, your audience on YouTube is more engaged, watching with the audio on, and prepared to watch longer form content than on other social platforms.

When creating content for YouTube, you’ll still want to make sure you capture the interest of your viewers quickly. But drawing attention with a eye-catching first image doesn’t hold as much weight as it does for feed-based scrolling. Instead, you’ll want to hold your audience by sharing valuable information at the jump, and all the way through your video.

PRO TIP: On YouTube, your video’s title and description is just as important as the video itself. It’ll help you show up when potential viewers search and will also help them understand what your video is about before they opt in to watch. Make sure your title and description clearly match up with the value your video provides.

And there you have it! If you’re looking for a little extra inspiration or video ideas, we’re here for you! Head over to the Animoto Social Video Marketing Community on Facebook. We’re always available to answer questions about your video creation, provide feedback on your videos, and share in your successes. See you there!