5 Tips For Maximizing Your Facebook Video Performance
Remember the simple days of Facebook?
My Timehop often reminds me of when my Facebook feed was just a steady stream of pokes and likes and status updates. My contributions to the social-sphere would be as profound as “Just had McDonalds for breakfast and it was awesome” or “Very excited to have tacos for the second time today” (I’m now realizing most of posts revolved around my eating habits, and I’m unashamed). These statuses fit with the times they were shared in: everyone posted simple text updates on Facebook because the channel only provided us with those capabilities.
Those days are dead.
Now, tapping the Facebook app is like entering a gauntlet of combative visual stimulants, all vying for our ever shrinking attention spans. It seems like every refresh of my newsfeed brings up a new batch of live press conferences, photo albums and late night clips – as well as those delicious Tasty videos that trick me into thinking I’m capable of cooking anything (spoiler alert: I’m not).
Visual content now rules the day on Facebook – and video is the dominant visual medium users consume as they swipe through their newsfeeds. If you’re wanting to engage with your audience in a meaningful way, video should be a top priority in your social strategy as you head into 2018.
To help you out, we’ve provided five tips on how to use Facebook video to engage your followers more effectively.
1. Natively upload your video content
Facebook rewards you for placing nicely with its services. As such, it will prioritize a natively uploaded video much higher than a post with a video link in its news feed algorithm. Native videos also reap the benefits of Facebook’s auto play feature in the news feed, and while this feature may annoy some of us, it is proven to help boost video views and engagements. Natively uploaded videos as a whole receive 10X more interactions than video links.
2. Catch the viewer’s attention within 3 seconds
With the amount of content available to us every second of the day, most of us swipe through our news feeds as quickly as we can. Because of this, the average video on Facebook has 3 seconds to catch the interest of its viewer. With that window of time, you need to get to the point of your message, and you need to do it fast. Don’t bother with any intro screens or logos at the beginning of the video. The first frame of your video should captivate the viewer enough to convince them to keep watching.
How can you make the first few seconds of your video more engaging? Try teasing the video by asking a question in the first few seconds that the remainder of the content will answer. Or consider those delicious Tasty videos mentioned earlier in this blog. Each Tasty video shows you the scrumptious finished dish at the very beginning, and then explains how to make it – grabbing the user’s attention (with seductive images of amazing food), and then providing the main message.
3. Weigh the pros and cons of using sound
While we don’t condone any of the following activities, we also understand human nature. The reality is, most of us consume Facebook videos at work, under the table at dinner or while we’re waiting for the light to turn green: essentially, in instances where sound isn’t an option. In fact, 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound.
That doesn’t mean a video with sound or talking should never be shared on Facebook. In many instances (i.e. case studies, testimonials, etc.), audio is vital to the video’s purpose. When producing a video for social use, you should factor in the value of audio to your overall objectives – if it’s a necessity, then include it.
If you share a video that includes vital audio, give visual cues such as a “Turn Sound On” message during the first few playable seconds so that the viewer knows to turn the volume up. Add subtitles to videos that include dialogue so users watching without sound can still enjoy the conversation. Facebook offers an easy to use close captioning option during the upload process.
4. Produce square (1:1) videos
Back in the day, a vertically shot video uploaded to Facebook would be met with a giant facepalm; everyone knew an experienced videographer produced all social videos in a 16:9 horizontal format. Then came Snapchat – and with it, vertical video became hip again. Facebook allows you to upload video in a variety of formats, and different formats serve different purposes.
With mobile being the dominant platform for social consumption, square videos (1:1 aspect ratio) are becoming the preferred format over horizontal videos because they take up more screen real estate. In fact, Buffer recently conducted a study that showed square videos received more views and engagement, and cost less to advertise than horizontal videos.
5. Go Live
As mentioned in tip one, Facebook rewards you for placing nicely with its services. And currently, one of the platform’s favorite services is Facebook Live. This livestream service is super easy to use and can be an excellent way to showcase a spur of the moment activity, such as a behind the scenes/backstage tour, a sneak peek or preview of a coming soon attraction/announcement, or impromptu Q&A with your Facebook fans.
The possibilities of visual storytelling endless. With these five tips, you’ll be ready to utilize Facebook video to its fullest potential. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to this Tasty video and learn how to make this. If you need help creating or uploading that video don’t hesitate to reach out.