SCORE

Online video is becoming increasingly influential on customers’ purchasing behavior.

In particular, social video—video that’s shared on social media—is growing in popularity and power. Consider these stats from a survey reported by MediaPost:

  • 46 percent of social video viewers have bought something after watching a branded video on social media, while one-third have considered doing so.
  • After watching a social video, respondents say they “like” it 47 percent of the time, share it 37 percent of the time, and click through to get more details about the business 33 percent of the time.
  • 67 percent of respondents watch more video on social networks than they did a year ago.
  • The average consumer watches 49 minutes a day, or six hours per week, of video on social networks.
  • 60 percent expect to watch more social video in the coming year.

Social video viewing is dominated by YouTube, which accounts for half of social video views, and Facebook, which accounts for 36 percent. The remaining 14 percent is divided between social networks such as Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. However, since the various social networks have different audiences, success with social video requires adjusting your strategy to suit the social network/s you’re using.

Here’s what you need to know about using video on the Big Three social networks:

YouTube

  • Longer videos do well on YouTube. Those between 16 seconds and 2 minutes long account for more than half of all YouTube views and tend to have higher engagement.
  • The most successful videos on YouTube are instructional/how-to videos.
  • More than half of YouTube views are on mobile devices.

Facebook

  • Facebook is where users are most likely to ‘like’ (51 percent), share (44 percent) or comment on (32 percent) a social video.
  • Facebook’s audience skews female and ranges from relatively young (18-29 year olds, followed by 30-49 years old, are the biggest demographics). But it’s also the favorite social network for older people (50-64 year olds, followed by 65+ year olds).
  • The ideal length for a video on Facebook is 15 seconds. Forty percent of a Facebook audience will watch until the end of a video that long; only 18 percent watch more than 30 seconds.
  • The most successful videos are personal in nature, use emotion, focus on community and tell local stories.
  • Native Facebook video posts reach approximately 22 percent of users.

Twitter

  • Twitter’s audience is younger (18-29 year olds, followed by 30-49 years old, are the biggest demographics) and skews slightly more male than Facebook.
  • Eight in 10 Twitter users will only watch a full video if it’s 30 seconds or shorter in length.
  • The most successful videos promote brands and educate viewers.
  • Native Twitter videos get 2.5 times more replies, 2.8 times more retweets and 1.9 times more favorites than third-party players.

No matter which social channel you use for your social video, the following tips will help get results:

  1. Encourage your customers to post their own videos on your social media pages. User generated content (UGC) is among the most popular kinds of social video; more than half (53 percent) of survey respondents watch it.
  2. When you post your own social videos, encourage users to like and share them. Over three-fourths of respondents in the survey are more likely to watch a social video if friends or family members recommend it to them, and 49 percent say they typically discover social videos when the videos are shared by someone in their network.
  3. Think about your customers’ needs when developing your videos. The No. 1 attribute survey respondents look for in social video is content that’s relevant to their interests. Can you share something surprising, teach customers how to do something or answer common questions?
  4. Make sure your videos are mobile-friendly. The percentage of videos viewed on smartphones will only continue to grow. Ensure your customers get the full experience no matter what device they’re using.

Need more help with your social video presence? Your SCORE mentor has lots of ideas.