We can talk about video all day. Some days, we do! Video has become one of the most important pieces of online marketing content for reaching new audiences and improving engagement numbers. That’s why you see so many videos pop up on your social media feed, and why you’ve probably felt the pressure to include more brand videos for the social media accounts you manage.

But how can you guarantee that those videos will get the likes, shares and comments that you need – especially if they’re still a relatively new form of content for your customers? We’ve got several important rules to follow when posting video on popular social media platforms (we’ve also got tips for YouTube). Take a look and keep them in mind!

Use Native Video

By native video, we mean uploading the video directly onto the platform itself, using Facebook, Twitter, etc. to play the video directly. We know, this is kind of a pain, but it’s important for better visibility, which is naturally linked to more engagement and social signals.

Pasting a link in may be really easy, but social media like Facebook tends to give priority to native videos: That means a native video will appear more easily in news feeds, giving your followers a better change to see them. So take the time to upload a video directly to the platform, and enjoy the benefits! Once you get into the habit, it’s easy to continue.

Include Useful Visuals with Your Story

Your social media video needs great text and visuals (preferably not just subtitles). There are many reasons why, but here are the big three:

  • There probably won’t be sound. Social media videos play on silent. Users rarely feel the need to change that, even when a video has caught their interest. As a result, if you want your social media video to contribute any message at all, you need text and visuals that provide the meat of the information.
  • People will skip through your videos. It doesn’t matter if your video is only a couple minutes long, you’ll still get people who will try to skip forward to shorten it as much as possible. Text can help them keep up so that they have an idea what’s going on and don’t get too lost.
  • Visuals add cohesion to the planning process. When you plan for visuals while you are making your video, it makes it easy to structure and edit your video, because you have an excellent idea of exactly what you need to include.

Pick at Least One Interesting Fact for the Description or Caption

An interesting fact will prove the video’s worth, getting more people to watch it. It will also get people thinking, which means they are more likely to leave a message or share the video. So pick one of the most interesting facts in your video and make it an integral part of your post. A basic fact or piece of data can work well, such as, “70% of local customers don’t know what storm windows are,” and so on. Others prefer to tie in their video with a trending topic or something similar, although this can prove more challenging.

Don’t Waste Anyone’s Time

Shorter videos are always better. People don’t have the best attention spans when online at the best of times, and in social media they are even more distracted. No one is going to stick around for a video that lasts 10 minutes when there are other places to scroll.

In fact, the latest information indicates that around 2 minutes or less is the optimal length for a social media video. More than that, and people just stop paying attention.

Use the Thumbnail and Title to Introduce the Video

People make a lot of decisions about videos based on thumbnails and titles. Often, they have already decided how much they will engage with the content just based on these factors. So pay extra-close attention to your title and what the thumbnail shows about the video. Make both informative and accessible. They are the elevator pitch for your video.

Make it Mobile Friendly

Your video will be watched on mobile devices. There’s just no getting away from that. So make sure your videos are ready for phones and tablets. Social media mobile optimization is generally very simple: Just make sure you check on mobile devices to see how the video looks and what may need to be improved.