Five golden rules to consider for social video

December 18, 2017

I recently attended the IAB’s Video Conference 2017 and heard from an array of industry experts on all things video. One of the key takeout’s from this was how brands should be using social video and how it’s crucial this strategy should differ from other channels.

Twitter recommended 5 golden rules to consider when creating social video:-

1.Be short – This isn’t true in all cases, there are exceptions (such as Always #likeagirl, that saw great results despite being over 3 minutes long). However, Twitter found “shorter videos of 15 seconds or less are more likely than videos of 30 seconds to drive memory encoding. This is specific to Twitter, as TV sees the opposite trend with 30 seconds being most effective vs. shorter formats”.

2. Have a hook – The video needs to capture the viewer’s attention early on. Videos with an early story arc are 58% more likely to be viewed past 3 seconds.

3. Make it work without sound – In 2016 it was announced that 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound, however that doesn’t mean feed-based video isn’t effective. By adding relevant text/ captions, videos are 11% more likely to be viewed and deliver a 28% higher completion rate. When creating video for social, think about how the message can still be understood without sound.

4. Feature people early on – People are responsive to other people. The presence of people within the first three seconds of a video delivers a higher emotional intensity for views (+133%, versus videos without people). This may not be relevant for all campaigns, however can be a great way to drive emotion and memorability.

5. Be topical – Whether it’s Brexit or Game of Thrones, talking about things that are happening means your video is 32% more likely to be viewed. Aligning to something culturally relevant makes your content more likely to stand out.

These pointers don’t mean creating completely new assets for social, instead using your current assets and adapting them to make them as efficient and effective as possible. This may mean changing the structure of your 30 second TV ad to turn the storyline on its head – bringing the impactful messaging to the beginning of the video, to capture the viewers’ attention early on.

With social usage continuing to increase (at the beginning of 2017, the total number of social media users in the UK had reached over 39 million users), it’s more important now than ever to use these social platforms to highest of their potential. Social is no longer a “nice to have”, it should be an integrated part of all campaigns and when used correctly can have incredible results. With this, social video formats are constantly advancing (two recent examples – Facebook Collection & Instagram Stories), giving brands more opportunities to reach users in an impactful way.


Jessica Hughes, Account Manager 


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