Optimizing Social Video: Everything You Need to Know

Optimizing Social Video Everything You Need to Know


Photo from Stock That Rocks

As anyone on social media knows, we are visual consumers now more than ever! Between Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and YouTube, there are so many ways to bring visuals to life online, especially on mobile!

Just like any other aspect of your online presence, knowing how to create quality, engaging social videos can be the difference between new and returning users or content that simply falls flat. So, we did our research and put together a few tips and tricks to make the most of your limited video time! Regardless of which platform you choose, here are some overarching thoughts to keep in mind before you hit post:

Grab the Viewer’s Attention

Did you know that 47% of the value of a video campaign comes from the first three seconds of the video, and 75% from the first 10 seconds?

For this reason, it’s so important to grab your viewer’s attention at the start of your video! Whether this is done by sharing a shocking statistic or creating a compelling hook, you need to give viewers a reason to stick around. While it’s important to create something that is on-brand for you and your business, it’s equally important to make it visually compelling with interesting content in order to keep your user interested during the entire video! Talk about a juggling act, right?

Pay Attention to Your Video Thumbnail

The thumbnail is the first thing your viewer sees and will be one of the main deciding factors of whether or not viewers click to watch your video! While it adds another step to the process to create a custom thumbnail for your video, it’s worth investing the extra time. Keep in mind that your thumbnail image should communicate what the viewer can expect when they click on it. So, for example, if it’s a how-to video, it might be beneficial to create a graphic that clearly states what the video will cover, such as “How to Optimize a Blog Post in WordPress.” If it’s a vlog, on the other hand, it might be a good idea to showcase a frame from the video!

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Keep the Description Simple

When it comes to posting videos online, don’t overload your audience with lengthy, complicated captions… it distracts from the video and will keep the viewer from watching! Instead, keep things clean, concise, and conversational! Only use a few emojis when it seems right, and don’t overload with too much information! Give viewers enough of a taste to want to watch the video without giving it all away!

Quick tip– If you’re having trouble with video captioning, there are helpful resources you can use like Facebook’s automated captions tool.

Shoot Things Vertically (most of the time)

Since the vast majority of video users are all on mobile devices (about 78 percent of people from ages 18-34, 69 percent ages 35-49 and 63 percent for ages 50+), it’s best to shoot videos vertically. No one wants to watch a video that’s awkwardly cropped or looks weird while scrolling through their feed!

Expect Viewers to Watch Without Sound

Most videos with autoplay will start playing without sound, and according to Digiday, up to 85 percent of social media users will not turn sound on to watch videos. So, keep your video’s message easy to understand with or without audio. This means that the visual elements of your videos are even more important! If you’re filming a how-to video, we recommend adding text to the screen, so the information is easily digestible whether the sound is on or not!

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Repurpose Your Content

The best way to make the most out of social video is to repurpose your content! If you do a Facebook Live, for example, save the video and repost either on your Facebook feed or cut the video and post it to Instagram! Making one video last longer decreases your workload, and it gives more opportunity for your followers to all be on the same page with your latest news.

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of optimizing social video for each platform:


Between simple video uploading to your page for people to view on their feed or on Facebook Live, there are some key things to keep in mind in order to reach to your audience:

Play Into the Algorithm

There have been mixed reviews since the social media algorithm started up in recent years, but the fact of the matter is this calculated news feed is not going anywhere any time soon. So, what can you do to make sure your page gets liked and your videos get views?

It’s best to upload what’s called “native videos” to your Facebook account. Although it is easier to copy and paste your YouTube link or a post from from your website, posts that use links instead of native video (videos created exclusively for Facebook) get a fraction of exposure on a timeline. Also, only native videos autoplay on someone’s feed, while linked videos do not.

Facebook Live

Other than staying calm and conversational with your Facebook Live, it is important to enable “live notifications,” so those who have liked your page know when you’ve gone live and can tune in. During your stream, it’s also a good idea to keep your introduction short, but to also reintroduce the topic you’re discussing so those coming into the stream at different times still know what’s going on and will stay and watch.

It may also be a good idea to have one person during the stream that’s responsible for responding to viewers and keeping track of questions or comments from your audience. This way, you can make sure everyone is engaged!


From Stories to regular videos on your feed, there are many ways to reach your audience in different ways on Instagram! In case you’re unfamiliar with Instagram Stories, they are very similar to Snapchat stories, where you record a video or take a photo and it’s live on your profile for 24 hours only.

If you don’t want to post a basic video on your Instagram feed, there are different apps you can use to spice up your timeline:


If you’ve seen these cute videos looping as you look through your feed and asked, “How do I do that?” we’ve got you covered!

The concept of a boomerang is based on the idea of the curved, flat toy which can be thrown and immediately brought back to the thrower. Boomerang videos play forward and backward, over and over again… makes sense, right?

The app takes a burst of photos and then puts them into an HD video loop. Take a look at this Boomerang from our Co-Founder Sakura’s Instagram:


Created by the Instagram team just like Boomerang, this app records video in real time, then speeds it up to four times the actual speed. This is the perfect thing to use if you want to show a time lapse or a DIY project! Check out our Hyperlapse of our 2017 Phoenix Workshop!


Just like on Facebook, native video reigns superior on Twitter timelines. Twitter plays in favor of native video with autoplay, and videos can be up to 140 seconds long and will loop any video under 6.5 seconds like it is a Vine. Cool, right?

Another thing to keep in mind when on Twitter is to use gifs! Gifs are fun image files that are animated by combining several other images or frames into a single file. This way, a few frames of video can repeat over and over again automatically on someone’s feed. They’re perfect to use to add a little character to a tweet!

What are some of your favorite ways to use social video? Let us know in the comments below! Also…be sure to follow us on Bloglovin’ to keep up with all of our latest posts!

Wanna learn what it takes to develop the perfect social media strategy? Sign up for our online class, Social Media Strategy 101! We’ll teach you all about the different platforms out there and how to make the most of each one!

Social Media Strategy 101