Social media and the power of video

Social media and the power of video

Introduction Social video is a growing tactic used by marketers in all industry segments, with 51% of marketing professionals naming video as

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Social video is a growing tactic used by marketers in all industry segments, with 51% of marketing professionals naming video as the type of content with the best ROI.

Video helps businesses grow. Nearly half of marketers who used video indicated that revenue grew 49% faster than those who didn’t use video.

It’s clear that incorporating video into your content marketing strategy for 2019 is important, but how does that translate to social media?

In this post, we’ll review how consumers watch video on social media, how marketers are leveraging social video on platforms like Facebook and YouTube and provide a list of ideas for the type of video you can create to promote your product, service, or brand.

How consumers watch video on social media

Online videos are predicted to account for more than 80% of consumer internet traffic by 2020. People watch video on their lunch hour, in the afternoon, in the evening, before bed, and in the middle of the night. Here’s how that looks in a pretty graphic.

A large percentage of video is being watched on social platforms, so it’s important to understand viewer behavior so you can create informative video at every point of your buyer’s journey.

The following is a list of statistics that demonstrate how consumers interact with social video:

  • Silence is key. More than 80% of video on Facebook is watched with the sound off.
  • Length is also key. Videos of up to two minutes are watched the most.
  • The first three seconds count. Over 60% of people who watch the first three seconds of video on Facebook, go on to watch for at least 10 seconds and 45% watch for 30 seconds.
  • Think mobile. Social media + mobile = a match made in video heaven. More than 90% of Twitter videos are watched on mobile, and more than 50% of all online videos are also watched on mobile.
  • Age matters, but not really. Don’t let the age of your audience give you pause. Even though millennials watch the most video online, 85% of the US internet audience watches video. Additionally, video is overtaking just about every social platform out there including Facebook which tends to skew older.
  • People love to share on mobile. Over 90% of mobile viewers share videos, an important statistic to keep in mind when creating compelling video content.
  • People don’t hate branded content. Views of branded video content are increasing on social platforms, with 99% more branded video views on YouTube and nearly 260% more on Facebook from 2016 to 2017.

But where should I share my marketing videos?

To be clear, there is not one specific social media platform that we’re recommending over another. You already know that people watch video on all the social platforms. You’re probably watching it yourself. Consider the following when deciding where to post your video.

The top social platforms for video sharing (in a nutshell):

  • YouTube (users aged 18-34  – 35+-55+ is growing) – Over 1 billion users (a third of total internet users) and over 500 million hours of videos watched each day.
  • Facebook (users aged 18-65+) – 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.
  • Instagram (users aged 18-29) – 600 million active daily users upload 100 million videos daily.
  • Twitter (users aged 18-29) – 82% of users watch video on Twitter and 90% of views occur on a mobile device. Video tweets are six times more likely to be retweeted than photo tweets.
  • Snapchat (users aged 18-24 but also skews younger) – 10 million videos are watched on Snapchat each day.
  • Instagram (users aged 18-29 but 30-49 is growing) – Video views increased by 80% from 2016 to 2017 and the number of videos posted each day is increasing 4x year over year
  • Pinterest (users aged 18-49) – Pinterest launched promoted videos in 2016. 75% of Pinterest users are likely to watch videos about topics that interest them.

Note the age ranges of the demographics in the above list are the “sweet spot” for these platforms. Older users are beginning to adopt many social platforms, so don’t discount them when planning where to advertise or share your videos. Also keep in mind that Instagram and Snapchat both tend to attract a very young user base (teens and tweens).

How marketers use video

In 2016, Social Media Examiner reported that 60% of marketers are already using video in their social media marketing. They’re doing this in a variety of ways. Facebook and YouTube are the top platforms used by marketers to promote their video content

Live video is a growing trend, with nearly half of marketers planning to use live video (or learn about it). Streaming a live event is a great way to incorporate live video into your social video strategy.

Marketers are uploading native content to Facebook and other platforms (rather than sharing it as a link from another platform). Native videos play automatically within Facebook’s environment and tend to get many more shares and interactions than nonnative content.

Successful marketers keep their videos to 2 minutes or less, with the most important content contained within the first 30 seconds of the video (e.g., a short how-to video or DIY tip).

Marketers are experimenting with a variety of different video types. As the popularity of video content grows and begins overtaking everything else, so does the type of video marketers can work with. Here’s a short list of the types of videos brands are leveraging to engage with their customers:

  • Live streaming of events
  • Vlogs (video blogs)
  • Video podcasts
  • Brand and corporate culture videos
  • Interviews
  • Tutorials/How To’s
  • Product reviews
  • Webinars and product demos


There’s no question that companies can benefit from posting video content on social media platforms. But with more and more marketers incorporating video into their digital strategy, the potential that your video content will get lost in the clutter is high.

Each social platform has its own unique demographic profile and mix of strengths when it comes to presenting video content. Taking a bit of time to understand what works best on what platform will help you create content that users will view, share, and interact with.

Ryan Gould
Ryan Gould
Vice President of Strategy and Marketing Services
Elevation Marketing

From legacy Fortune 100 institutions to inventive start-ups, Ryan brings extensive experience with a wide range of B2B clients. He skillfully architects and manages the delivery of integrated marketing programs, and believes strongly in strategy, not just tactics, that effectively aligns sales and marketing teams within organizations.

Ryan is known for taking complex marketing and business challenges and developing solutions that simplify processes while driving customer outcomes and business value. He also thrives on guiding Elevation teams toward execution of strategies that help companies succeed in new verticals, while staying true to core values and brand integrity.

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