What You Need To Know About Video On Social Media

Zest Admin
Zest Admin

When most people associate video with social media they think of YouTube. With over a billion users and hundreds of millions of hours of watched footage every day, this is unsurprising. YouTube has been the online video giant for over a decade now.

But what if I was to tell you that YouTube has become lazy?

When you’re at the top for so long, with no “real” competitors, it’s very easy to get complacent. Like many social platforms, YouTube is user-content reliant, growing in relation to the activity of its members. Unlike other social platforms, however, YouTube has seemed content to let its users define its growth; the platform has made few real changes to its interface since rising to power.

On the surface, this doesn’t appear to be a problem. Quite the opposite; YouTube is doing better than ever, with a 60 precent year-over-year watch-time increase, and an average mobile YouTube session of 40 minutes. Good enough, right?


The online video arena has changed rapidly. It still is changing, at an accelerated rate, driven by digital innovation and the creative approaches of platforms like Vine, Snapchat, and Periscope. These video hubs have changed the way we think about video, from content creation to video streaming. 

Goal tracking

With new updates and apps released on an almost daily basis, it can be hard to keep up.

  • Should you share your YouTube video to Facebook?
  • Should you reply to your followers using Twitter video?
  • Should your Instagram account feature videos?

There are hundreds of questions when it comes to sharing videos on social media. This blog will help you discover exactly what you need to know about using video on social media by looking into the best ways of maximising your content and making sure you’re getting the most from your visual media.

As with any digital campaign, one of the main points you need to consider is what are your goals for your video content? What was the aim and reason for making this video, and what do you want it to achieve? With this as the key thought, let’s look into the three main B2C social media platforms and see how video works for them (and what will be best for you).

Facebook video

Facebook is a clever platform. It knows the importance of video sharing, providing integrated systems allowing YouTube videos to play directly in the app without having to click through to YouTube. It’s even released it’s own video content; Facebook Video. Now, there is nothing wrong with uploading a video to YouTube and sharing it to your Facebook business page. The video will play, (some of) your Facebook fans will see it, and they can comment and share. Easy peasy!

This sounds great, until you remember that YouTube is owned by Google, technically making YouTube and Facebook competitors. Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm determines what is sharable content, and what isn’t, deciding what reaches your followers and what doesn’t. Facebook would rather have its own links perform well in the Newsfeed algorithm over YouTube’s. When you upload videos using Facebook video (instead of linking out to YouTube) you have a much higher chance of your video being seen by your audience.

Frontline statistics of Facebook video:

Marmite on toast goal celebrationNew goal celebration this weekend: the Marmite on toast! #CantGoWrong

Posted by Marmite on Saturday, 19 September 2015


The core strengths of using Facebook video are the data and the targeting. Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner Media, explained the data advantage of this information:

“They [Facebook] are sitting on an enormous amount of targetable consumer data. It creates the ultimate marketing machine. For example, let’s say you upload a video natively, about the best places to eat ice cream outdoors in your town. You could then spend money on a sponsored video to directly market your brand’s video to people who 1) love ice cream and 2) live in your area and 3) have kids.

“Automatically, you’re reaching the audience who is most interested and profitable to your business — which is great, because you’re not wasting anyone’s time, and you’re truly reaching the consumers who will be interested in your business’s offering. Get it? Facebook gives you the ability to target consumers like we’ve never seen before in digital.”


There isn’t really a weakness when it comes to Facebook video; it is after all the top of its social game right now. Instead, remember when using Facebook video that:

  • Although the Facebook algorithm is a positive when using video on the platform, it will punish businesses who produce bad, unengaging and lazy videos. The algorithm recognises what makes good, sharable content and promotes it, but the reverse is also true. If you keep producing unengaging videos the algorithm will reduce your visibility.
  • Video views are important, but a video view in Facebook’s eyes is from three seconds onwards. If your view count is vital for your campaign, you can pay for the 10-second video view count set up for advertisers.

Twitter Video

Twitter front line statistics:


Twitter launched the ability to include video in Twitter cards earlier this year to engage users with promotional posts. This is great, as a promotional video can appear in timelines and be viewed with one click. Twitter also states that native video generates better engagement than just normal tweets.


With so many tweets being sent in a day (over 500 million!) it can be hard to stand out on Twitter. Your video will be fighting for attention against all of the Twitter noise. Video embedding isn’t currently available in organic tweets, only promotional ones, meaning if you want to properly advertise with video on Twitter, it will cost you. For the time being you can include Vine videos within tweets and they will appear in-stream as well.

Instagram Video

 Instagram front line statistics:


Instagram is great if you’re a small business. With easy-to-use features and filters, video editing has never been simpler. Instagram is best used on a mobile device, meaning you can shoot and create from anywhere! Perfect if you’re a business that is constantly on the move.


Instagram for business is still a new trial, and although you can now promote videos and photos with a paid budget, it is still a very new feature, meaning most of your Instagram time and uploads has to be organic. For small businesses, this can be costly when it comes to man hours.

Another weakness is Instagram’s 3–15 second video limit, meaning whatever you post has to be short and sweet. It would be most effective to use Instagram video to create hype with a preview. Then of course, you have to remember that Instagram is a photo sharing app, and although videos do work well, your social strategy might be better off posting on another channel.

So when should you use video on social media (and when shouldn’t you)?

The facts and figures more than prove the popularity of visual media, but that doesn’t mean to say it’s automatically right for your business. Just because other businesses are posting video content, this doesn’t mean you should follow suit. More often than not, strong marketing is about embracing different approaches, finding new strategies and tools to reach and engage audiences. Isn’t it better to stand out from the crowd?

What You Need To Know About Video For Social Media by Sarah Knight at Zest Digital

Video is a great way to engage and create shareable content, but if it isn’t right for your business, you shouldn’t waste time, money, and energy on it. It can be easy to get carried away with the hype and the high viewing figures, but with everything you create, post and share online, you need to bring it back to the question: “what are my marketing goals?”

If video helps you to achieve these, then get designing!

  • Use YouTube for the evergreen longer content
  • Facebook for the social shares and engagement
  • Instagram for the visual side
  • Twitter for the conversation starter
  • Snapchat to leave them wanting more
  • Vine for the creative
  • Periscope for the now

There are so many options to expand and do more with your video than just “upload and share.” Give your followers an experience to get them talking, get them sharing, and get them viewing your video on social media.

The future

It’s hard to say what will happen with the future of video and social media. Will YouTube develop and change its interface to keep up with its new competition? While we can predict and look forward to seeing how social will develop, the best approach for social media campaigns is to focus on the now. It’s vital to have a strong strategy in place.

Everything you post on social must relate back to your goals. Always ask yourself why you’re posting this piece of content, video or otherwise. The priority and importance should be to figure out what your business needs on social now rather than a few months down the line. You should see your strategy as a guide to refer back to, something to change depending on what works (and what doesn’t) on social media.

Social media changes daily, if not hourly (something I discover whenever I use Facebook for Business). Although it sounds carefree to “live in the now,” when it comes to social media I think you have to. Your followers and fans care about what is being shared now, not what you are likely to post on whichever platform in a year’s time.

So what are you planning on sharing via social, and where are you going to post it?

Find out what you need to know about video on social media, call us today on +44 (0)1865 684999 or contact us online.

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