At Facebook’s third quarter earnings call last year, Mark Zuckerberg (arguably the pioneering figurehead of social media) claimed video content would dominate Facebook within the next few years. He announced an increase of almost 60% revenue from the previous years earnings, with an emphasis on video as a sharing format on the network. He stated that five years ago, most of the content was text, which then shifted to imagery, and is now evolving to video. What we can take away from this is, the more people distribute and consume videos for their personal sharing habits, the more they’ll get used to seeing it from brands also. If you have yet to start communicating your brand/service through video, now is the time to start doing so!

People are sharing more and more video content between their friends, and Facebook themselves will continue to utilize videos for their future advertising campaigns. Short-form videos were highlighted as they neatly fit into the newsfeed section of the site; short-form videos, like the ones available on Fotolia.

So, how does it work? Video footage has the potential to reveal more about your organisation’s personality. You know the old saying of a picture being worth a thousand words; well video is deemed to be comparably worth 1.8 million. Not bad for a minute of footage. The strength of video lies in its ability to capture and project emotions allowing information, character and ethos to be emitted more quickly and efficiently. Visual emotions are hardwired into our social evolution and, due to the intrinsic instincts of humans, encourage us to share.

Sharing reinforces our sense of identity, friendships and our sense of belonging. It also gives us higher social status; when we share a video that is appreciated, we get the credit for offering interesting material. Knowing why people share better informs you as to what footage to use to communicate your organisation’s values. Today the vast majority of us are all users of social media; just consider your own use or the hundreds of thousands of shares of well-advocated footage as evidence of people’s relationships to emotive/clever/funny footage.

Happiness makes us want to share, and it is this emotion that is the strongest driver for social media sharing. Psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott discovered that a baby’s first shared response is a reaction to their mother’s smile, with a smile of their own. (Ref Second to this, sadness helps us connect with others and empathise. Fear too, is an emotion that branding taps into, recently proven to evoke a stronger affiliation with an example presented brand in a study group, stronger than other participants of whom were presented with brands evoking happiness, excitement or sadness. (ref Understanding emotions is a critical aspect for what drives markets. What makes a hit shared video is as subjective as the next form of entertainment- sometimes it’s the inspirational aspect, others it’s the humour, other times the cute factor triumphs.

According to research by Visiable Measures, 20% of your viewers will click away from a video within 10 seconds therefore it’s imperative to gain their attention within the first 3-7 seconds. To captivate your customers, you need to engage them. Do your research. When choosing videos for your social media content it is recommended, as with images, to A/B test. Choose a couple of videos and analyse the results – were they liked and shared? Did one receive more positive comments than the other? You can then use this data when choosing future videos to promote via your channels or to explore potential videos to embed on your company website. View it is as potential market research.

Whatever the size or type of company or organisation you are, you will benefit from integrating video footage into your social media. Need more encouragement? The stats speak for themselves (source: Digital Information World):

  • Videos increase our understanding of a product or service by 74%
  • 8/10 user remember the video advertisement they watch on the Internet
  • 46% of those who remembered a video advertisement took some form of action on it
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world

When using videos in social media it’s important to remember to use the low-res version as well as include copyright information either on the video itself or in the copy.