Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

Enhancing Social Media Video

Enhancing Social Media Video

There is no question that video can be important to any successful social media campaign. The length and style of online videos have changed over the last few years, moving toward shorter - around 15 seconds on average thanks to platforms like TikTok and Snapchat. Longer videos can still be useful and more often reside on YouTube or Facebook.

If you’re looking to use online video for the first time or trying to freshen up your approach to video for your social media channels, here are some things you can try.

  1. Storyboard and script your video. Even a 15-second video can include different camera angles and shots and storyboarding - or sketching out each shot or scene - can help you produce a more cohesive video. If you’re going to have dialogue or narration, write down some talking points. Even if you don’t follow a script verbatim, writing them down helps to ensure the right message comes across.
  2. Produce for your audience. While it may be easier to indulge your own video preferences, the style of your video should be dictated by the audience you’re trying to attract. From the music to the visuals, each element of your video should be in line with the type of media most popular with your target market - and be hosted on the social media channels where they spend their time.
  3. Produce for the social media channel. While there are benefits to repurposing videos produced on one platform on another - such as adding your TikTok videos to Instagram as Reels or vice versa - tailor your videos to each platform for better results. According to Hootsuite, the best video lengths are:
    1. Instagram Feed Videos - 1 minute
    2. Instagram Stories - 15 seconds
    3. Instagram Reels - 15-60 seconds
    4. TikTok - 7-15 seconds
    5. Twitter - 44 seconds
    6. YouTube - 2 minutes
    7. LinkedIn - 30 seconds or less
    8. Snapchat - 7 seconds
    9. Pinterest - 6-15 seconds

    Keep in mind that these times are not hard and fast rules but good guidelines to use.

  4. Test out trending video styles but stay consistent with your brand image. Check out what types of videos are trending on a particular social network and try out those techniques when producing your own videos. Because the audio on video might be turned off even when a video auto-plays on a social network feed, most videos have some text overlaid onto the images to provide context. Depending on the audience, you could add embellishments to your videos such as the ones available on Instagram Stories, Reels, TikTok, and Snapchat. These are emojis, stickers, and animated graphics as well as lenses and filters that lay over or manipulate your video image. Whatever you decide to add to your video, make sure it is appropriate for your brand and audience.

What else should you consider when producing social media videos?

  • Add a soundtrack. Popular video production tools like Canva and Animoto and social networks like Instagram and TikTok provide free audio clips you can use to enhance your videos. These can be music clips, sound effects, or dialogue.
  • Experiment with camera angles and shots. There is a time and place for the static video with the "talking head" or person appearing from the chest up and looking straight at the camera, varying your shots can add more visual interest and attract more attention.
  • Get media training. If you or members of your team are not comfortable in front of the camera, pay for professional media training if being in the videos is an important part of your strategy.
  • Hire a spokesperson. Not everyone should be in front of the camera or voicing a video narration. If you or your team members are not a fit for the type of videos you’re producing or don’t have the skills needed, consider hiring a professional spokesperson or narrator.
  • Try animated videos. Some of the video production tools come with animation tools and free animated clips you can use. There are also online tools specifically geared toward producing animated videos like Animatron and Powtoon.

When producing content for social media, think of how you can express that content visually with video. Find the tool or tools that work within your budget and that are easiest to use based on your video production skills and find ways to make more videos to enhance your social media messaging and promotional campaigns.

Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman