What is Social Video?

Social video: video that is designed to be seen and shared through social networks.

Understanding the landscape

When I try to understand the landscape of social video, I’m often brought back to my childhood computer game of Oregon Trail. The social video landscape is the Wild West. There are no comprehensive roadmaps for what works or what will happen next. There is always something to learn, try, explore, and fail at. Below I’ll outline the best ways we’ve learned how to do that.

When you throw a dart, pick a spot

When you are throwing darts you don’t just blindly throw the things; well… maybe you do, but you’re probably a lousy dart player. The point is, you need to know the target you’re aiming at to know if you’re missing. A lot of individuals and companies just want to post content and wait to see what happens. We always circle back and ask, “What are the objectives or single objective of this video?” before we get too excited on a concept.

Create a process

From day one, “scalable process” has been the core of our department. Doing a lot with a little is where we found the most success in our social campaigns with Intuit TurboTax. I’m a strong believer that out of your constraints come creative breakthroughs.

Don’t build a formula, build a process. Our process is one that can grow as we grow, and flex for different clients and objectives even beyond social. Our process needed to be thorough and agile in order to handle ten videos a month for TurboTax. If you don’t create space to try new things in your process, you won’t learn.

Here’s an example of our team being able to shift focus when we saw an opportunity to align one of our social campaigns with NCAA March Madness.




Location, Location, Location

You need to know what social media platform your video will be viewed on. What works for Twitter may not work on Facebook or Instagram. Upload your video natively to Facebook, so that it lives in your Facebook page’s video content. Why? Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm places an enormous amount of weight on videos when you upload nativelyinstead of linking out, giving your video a larger audience. It takes time to understand each social platform and the ways in which users are expecting to be marketed to.

Have a voice

You need to know who you’re speaking to. Be authentic. Have real conversations on social media. The brands that stand out for me on social are ones engaging with users in a consistent and genuine way. Go look at Harry’s Instagram comments for a prime example of that. The little effort of a mention or thank you can earn loyalty and trust for your business/brand.

Install a filter

Ask more of your content and your team by keeping these three questions top of mind.
1. How does this add value to our audience?
2. How will this help or entertain them?
3. Why will they share it?

Alright you social video-slinging, Wild West pioneers – crack that whip! Now that you better understand the landscape, find your objective and hit that bullseye. Just don’t get Typhoid….

Paul Slemmer