Using Video to Triple Your Social Media Reach

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If you are still in any doubt about the importance of video on social media, you only have to look at Facebook. It has gone all in with live video and repeatedly encourages its business users to think video. Why? Facebook does this for one simple reason: Video works.

For you, that means increasing reach and engagement. If you get video right and are consistent with its delivery, you can increase your social media reach by up to threefold.

Many people have a natural barrier to video however. This barrier comes down to price -video creation is perceived to be expensive. It doesn't have to be though. Here are some tips on how to use video on social media to increase your reach.

Types of Video That Get Good Reach

• Live video - This is the new kid on the block when it comes to social media and video, but it is making an impact. Meerkat was one of the first platforms, but this was quickly taken over by Periscope, Twitter's live video offering. Now a lot of the interest in live video is directed at Facebook Live. Live video can be used effectively in a number of different ways, including at product launches, to go behind the scenes at events, and to conduct Q&A sessions.

• Customer stories - Another effective and inexpensive type of video is customer stories. Note that these are not testimonials - they are completely different. In truth, testimonials are too boring for social media, although they may have a place on websites. Social media needs to be much more personal, which is why customer stories work so well.

• Personal stories - Your own personal stories are effective too. How did you come up with the idea for your product, or what happened to you at an event you attended? A particularly good style of personal story is one that explains a mistake you have made. It takes bravery to make and publish this type of video, but it increases authenticity and builds trust.

• Behind the scenes videos - Depending on your business or industry, behind the scenes videos can work, where viewers can meet the people involved and see how products are made or services delivered.

• How-to guides - This is an old favorite and can cover just about any type of product or business. Often people prefer watching a video guide than reading the same content in text form.

• Interviews - You can also publish interviews you have conducted with people you know your followers will be interested in. A good approach here is to publish in snippets to keep the length of each section down.

• Animated videos - Animated videos can really lift your page too, and they get good reach and engagement levels. A number of tools are available that allow you to make animated videos without any experience, including Powtoon.

Video Creation Tips

Mobile phones make perfect video recording and editing devices. This is all you need to make a fantastic video that will get good reach on social media. Here are some tips you should try to follow however.

• Keep it short - Short videos usually work best. You will have to experiment with how long is right for your industry, but it is unlikely to be more than 90 seconds. The one exception to this rule is live video - you can (and should) make this much longer.

• Develop the video for a single platform - It is best to focus on a single platform when creating a video (i.e., create it specifically for Facebook or specifically for Instagram). This doesn't mean you can't share it across multiple platforms, but you should optimize it for one.

• Engage the viewer within 10 seconds - You have 10 seconds (at most) to engage a user with a video, so include your best content at the start. It is even better if you can get them within three seconds.

• Work hard to keep them engaged to the end - Don't get lazy once the 10 seconds is up though. Social media users face a lot of pressure on their time. There is always something else for them to watch, look at, or read, so keep your videos engaging throughout. Here is a bonus tip: If the video loses its way and becomes a bit boring in places, reduce the length. A shorter video will help you focus on the content that is truly important.

• Up the production values - Just because you are making a video for social media and you are probably using your phone to do it, that doesn't mean it can be poor quality. Think about things like sound and light quality. This means shooting your videos in areas that are quiet and ensuring people are close enough to the camera for viewers to hear properly. You can also buy microphones fairly cheaply to boost the sound even further. Shoot in natural light if at all possible but always in a well-lit area. Also, consider investing in a tripod with a mount for a mobile phone to get rid of camera shake.

• Corporate style is not good - As the video you are making is for social media, a corporate style and tone will not work. You are much better going for informal, personal, and approachable. This applies to tone of voice used by anyone speaking, including voiceovers. It also includes the setting and story you are trying to tell. People watching your video would much rather see the real deal over a spruced up corporate image that doesn't bear much resemblance to reality.

• Think small screen - Most social media users access their accounts using their mobile phones. This means most people who watch your video on social media are probably doing so on a mobile phone. That means you should optimize it for the small screen. Think about things like distance from the camera and levels of detail - will all those things be easy to see and understand when looked at on a mobile device?

Crucially, video is not just about reach. It is about conversions too. Videos increase conversions by up to 80 percent, so there is a direct ROI case for using this strategy too.
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