Updated: Best Practices for Social Media Video to Grow Your Brand

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Videos are a fantastic way to interact with and engage your audience on social media as they give businesses an opportunity to connect with their audience on a personal level.

No matter what industry you’re in, video should be a critical part of your marketing strategy if it isn’t already. Why? Simply because people love videos! According to Oberlo, 85% of all internet users in the United States watch online video content monthly. This high demand for video content means social media managers must integrate video into their social media strategy to stay relevant.

According to a report by Animoto, 93% of marketers say they’ve landed a new customer thanks to a social media video. By 2022, over 80% of all internet traffic is predicted to be video traffic. It’s safe to say that social media video will become an increasingly critical part of driving marketing ROI.

We’ve previously discussed how to create engaging social media video content. Once you’ve learned how to create superb video content, you can now distribute and promote it across social media.

It’s easy to rush and share a video you just created across all your social media channels. However, it’s not the most strategic approach as not all hosting or social media platforms are created equal and not all content is suitable for every platform. The audience behavior and expectations all differ on each channel. Moreover, the hosting capabilities and video specs differ as well.

The digital marketing space has evolved and social media managers must invest in social media video marketing. In order to do so successfully, you must be hyper-aware of the best practices for specific social channels to build an effective strategy for each one.

Whether you’re optimizing existing videos and re-purposing them, or planning to create new content, these tips from social media marketing headhunters will ensure your videos have the maximum appeal and impact for each social media platform.

If You’re Doing Social Media Video Marketing, Do It Right


With over 336 million monthly active users worldwide, social media managers must effectively know how to stand out and set their business apart on Twitter. And there’s no question if videos drive higher engagement on this channel. According to Twitter, videos are six times more likely to be retweeted than tweets with photos and increase the average lift in purchase intent by 34 percent.

There are four ways to share videos on Twitter:

  • Recording straight from the app
  • Uploading from your device
  • Going live on the app

Great for: teasers; industry, company, or product news; timely and trending content.

Upload bite-size teasers for full-length videos

The video length limit on Twitter is 140 seconds (two minutes and seconds) so it’s a good channel to share snippets or previews for longer video content. You can add the link to the full version of the video right next to the video so it’s easy to convert viewers.

Reply to tweets

Using videos to respond to tweets from your audience is more personal than a standard tweet with text. Not many brands take the time to make video responses on this channel so it’s a great way to stand out and build exceptional social customer service. Your audience will feel closer and appreciate a video reply far more than a typical tweet.

Educate or Entertain

Users scroll through their Twitter feeds to discover content that’s educational or entertaining. By sharing video content that helps people learn how to do something new or makes them laugh, you connect with your audience in a way that isn’t purely promotional.


Instagram has been pushing users and businesses to create video content after realizing the importance of social media video marketing. Instagram video also has a major impact on purchases, as 48% of consumers say that they have made a purchase due to a brand’s video on the platform.

2020 update: Instagram Stories have become a powerful engagement driving tool worth testing for B2C and B2B brands alike. 

Great for: teasers; behind-the-scenes; explainers; user-generated posts; visually-driven content.

Create visually-striking videos

Instagram is fundamentally built on visual content, so it only makes sense to create aesthetically pleasing videos. Make sure your videos are well-shot and well-produced to stand out against a sea of other content. Users won’t be impressed by videos that aren’t high quality. Since Instagram videos don’t auto-play with sound, ensuring that your video’s message gets across clearly without the audio is also key.


GoPro knows just how to catch people’s attention. The video above is an excellent example of how to immerse users into a moment with visually-pleasing content. By sharing great user-generated content like this, the brand is able to share an intimate and exhilarating experience with its followers.

Hook people with content, QUICK

Instagram videos on the main feed are limited to 60 seconds while stories are limited to 15 seconds. This means you only have a short window to capture your audience’s attention and get your message across. As a social media manager, you must push for the creation of bite-size, captivating videos to get maximum return.

Instagram is another great platform to show snippets of your longer videos and promote them. From a product launch or behind-the-scenes look into your company, Instagram is a fantastic place to market your brand in a fun way.

Use relevant hashtags

Using the right hashtags brings more people to your content and increases the discovery of your videos. To successfully maximize exposure, your team must research and include the most popular and relevant hashtags into your profile’s videos.


With 100 million hours of Facebook video watched every day, it has become a major player in the social media video space. Facebook has heavily focused on a push for video content for a while, and social media managers must be aware of how the platform promotes videos in order to see them perform well. Whether it’s organic or paid ads, Facebook videos are a great way to increase brand awareness.

2020 update: Facebook Stories are becoming more and more popular, while Facebook ads in Stories (as a placement option) deliver excellent engagement and lower cost compared to other possible placements. If you are running Facebook ads in 2020, pay close attention to Stories in all formats.

Great for: live video; short, informative and educational; how-to’s; entertaining content.

Upload native videos directly

Drive higher engagement and shares by posting videos directly onto Facebook rather than linking from YouTube videos or other sites. This will allow you to get the best reach with your target audience as Facebook’s algorithm gives preference to native video content.

Stream live video

In addition to native videos, Facebook gives preferential treatment to live videos. This is likely because live videos on average get six times as many interactions as regular videos.

We’re in an experience-driven age and live video streaming is a great way to get brands and their audiences to share moments, even if they’re not physically together. Brands are catching on as integrating live streaming into your social media video strategy is becoming more popular. According to Facebook, one in five videos is now a live broadcast on the platform.

Make content immediately captivating

Your audience most likely browses through their feed looking for quick, easy to digest content. Remember that your video is competing against a flood of updates and posts from friends, family, and other companies. Therefore, your videos need to immediately captivate users to keep watching in the first few seconds. The maximum time length of a Facebook video is 45 minutes, but videos that are shorter than two minutes will fit in with your audience’s attention spans the best.

Add captions

Facebook videos autoplay without audio so your videos have to grab people’s attention and deliver the right message without the sound. With 85% of videos on Facebook being watched without sound, adding captions to accurately get your message across is key in making your video easily viewable.

Below is an example of Tasty’s most popular Facebook video that doesn’t rely on sound to get the idea across:



Video is becoming a core component of the experience LinkedIn wants to offer its users. It is shared 20X more often than other types of content formats in the LinkedIn feed and when done right, brands will see a major boost in engagement on this B2B platform. Video campaigns on LinkedIn are generating view rates close to 50%, and the rise of them is on the trajectory to continue growing.

Great for: company and industry news; B2B posts; polished, informative content.

Upload directly onto LinkedIn

Like other social networks, native videos on LinkedIn rank higher and get more engagement than videos shared through external links. LinkedIn prioritizes videos to show at the top of feeds. You’re catering to a professional audience and anything subpar won’t sit well with this crowd so make sure your videos are high quality!

Focus on sharing value and knowledge

Focus on sharing informative and valuable content. Users who are on LinkedIn have a more buttoned-up attitude than other social networks, so creating content that offers meaningful value such as career tips or FAQs about your products or services will perform the best.

80% of LinkedIn videos are watched in silence, so make sure your core message gets across without the need for sound. Adding subtitles and captions is a good way to maintain engagement. In fact, videos that are created for silent viewing are 70% more likely to be watched all the way through.

Keep it short

Just like every other social network, you must cater to short attention spans on LinkedIn. You don’t want to waste any time getting your ideas out and want to hook your viewer’s attention in the first few seconds.  The optimal length for LinkedIn videos is 30 seconds to two minutes, with 80% percent of viewers stating they’re happy to watch videos this length.

Optimize the headline and copy

According to LinkedIn research, the performance of your social media video doesn’t just depend on the video itself. To entice people to watch it, the accompanying headlines and intro copy must be engaging as well. You can test various versions of these two elements to determine how each one affects the level of engagement and pick what drives the most impact.

Attention! LinkedIn live videos are available by invitation only. In 2020, we expect more video creators and LinkedIn influencers to become a part of LinkedIn Live experience.


YouTube is the second largest search engine (next to Google) with one billion hours of videos viewed on YouTube every day and over 1.9 Billion logged-in users that visit YouTube each month. It’s undeniably the leading platform for hosting videos at a low cost.

Great for: long-form; live tutorials; how to’s; entertainment; Q&A’s; educational content.

Collaborate with influencers

YouTube is the home for many successful influencers and partnering with them is a great way to expose your brand to a new audience. However, as all social media managers know, the key to influencer marketing is finding the right person. Make sure you partner with content creators whose values and interests align with your brand’s.

Promote other relevant videos

Linking older, relevant videos in a video’s description is a strategic way to drive more views and engagement with the rest of your content on your YouTube channel. Using annotation cards towards the end of your video is another good way to drive them to view more content.

A great way to organize relevant videos is by grouping them into playlists. Playlists ensure that your viewers can easily watch your content one video after another, increasing views and engagement.

Create Engaging Thumbnails

Instead of letting YouTube grab a shot from your video to use as the thumbnail, create one that’s click-worthy. A video’s thumbnail is the first impression and interaction viewers have with your video, so make it count. With a simple tool like Canva, you can create compelling images to drive people to click on your video.

Below are a few examples of engaging thumbnails:

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Take advantage of long-form content

Youtube has a longer time limit than other platforms, so it’s a great channel to promote longer format, in-depth content. Since users are coming to YouTube to specifically watch videos, you have a better opportunity to catch their attention and keep it. It’s where you want to publish thorough content that provides valuable information that may not be so easy to get across on other social media sites. Detailed tutorials and how-to videos are great examples.

However, just because there isn’t a time limit doesn’t mean you should upload long videos unnecessarily. Make sure it’s appropriate for the angle and message of the video.

Optimize for search

In order to optimize for search rankings on YouTube, make sure to pinpoint and target relevant keywords and phrases in your video titles and descriptions. However, make sure that your titles are engaging and concise as well. Your click-through rate will be low if your titles are boring or irrelevant.

Another way to optimize for search is to create transcripts and captions that make it easier for YouTube to crawl. Using the categories feature and adding relevant tags to your videos help them show up in search queries. Physically saying target keywords in your video additionally have an impact on your ranking.


Snapchat is particularly popular with younger generations and is a great space for businesses to explore. Just like other social media platforms, it offers advertising features. With over 300 million monthly active users, it offers a great opportunity for businesses when done the right way.

Great for: quick, time-sensitive posts; unique and fun content

Focus on short-lived content

Video length limits on Snapchat are 10 seconds that can be compiled together into longer stories. Since stories only live for 24 hours, social media managers should focus on quick and easy to consume content. This means your videos don’t necessarily have to be created in topnotch high-production. Focus on time-sensitive and original content that’s in the moment and captivating.

Promote your username on other social media platforms

To get a solid reach on Snapchat, you should leverage your other social profiles to promote your account. Marketing your Snapchat is key in getting people to discover it and increasing engagement!

Stay consistent

Just like any social video strategy on any other platform, keep your Snapchat content and posting frequency consistent. Make sure your Snapchat is aligned with your brand image across all your social media accounts so you don’t confuse users and drive them away.


Make the most of your videos across all your social media profiles by providing a clear call-to-action. It can be within the video itself or included in the accompanying post. Make it relevant and compelling enough so viewers can’t help but take action!

Differentiating yourself from a mass of other brands fighting for attention on social media is a feat for all social media managers. With a sea of content being created constantly, it’s challenging to break through the noise. Choosing the right social channels that align with your brand’s goals and objectives, and knowing how to effectively distribute content is key.

We hope this guide makes you more confident about each network’s best practices to further drive and optimize your social media video marketing strategy. If you haven’t invested in social media video, now is the time to get onboard! We’re interested in hearing your useful tips for creating a successful social video strategy. Share them with us below, and happy social video making!

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