In my earlier blog post Online Video + Social Media, I had identified several key goals of social media. Once you’ve set your business goals, the next question becomes “Which social media platform should we select?” Each one has its modes of interaction and activities that are inherently built into the way the sites are designed. This means that the best practices for video use and sharing on each platform can vary greatly. In this post, I will look at each social platform, and write about how video can uniquely integrate into each social media platform, as well as refer to some Brightcove examples.
According to a recent study by Experian, Singaporeans emerged as the global leaders for the longest time spent on Facebook, with an average of 38 minutes spent per session. The Asia Pacific region showed dominance in use of Facebook over other global geographies. Facebook users look to their news stream to catch up on what friends are doing, sharing, and liking.
Videos that play back in the news feed allow viewers to watch without navigating away from their main browsing activity. To support in-feed playback, ensure that you publish videos on a white-list video player on Facebook so that your fans or friends can view videos without ever leaving the Facebook homepage.
For organisations that intend to have a Facebook presence, it is important to note that the player skin and playback experience can be as important as the video itself. Your video skin can be designed to reflect your brand or product. And the video must playback beautifully on Facebook, so that it gives an overall positive brand experience.
Organisations often think of ways to grow their fan base on Facebook. Video live streaming grows your fan base exponentially per live stream event. Even government organisations such as the US Department of State uses live streaming on Face book to communicate to their citizen followers.
With a mere 140 characters at your disposal, every letter counts. Feeds are the new context to deliver fresh news and with a video specific short URL you can add video into that mix. For media companies, Twitter is a great way to draw attention of live content as it gets published on the website.
YouTube is of course the ultimate combination of social video, as it was originally built to support social video sharing and response. YouTube is actually the second largest search engine, only behind its parent company, Google. Many businesses are beginning to adopt a blended video distribution strategy that uses a professional video platform to serve professional, branded, highly customised video on their websites to drive user engagement and uses YouTube for simple exposure and awareness building.
However, as a publisher with a lot of content, managing video for both YouTube and your own website could become a full time job. Without any integration, managing a large library of video content over a professional platform and YouTube could quick result in double the work. A best practice suggestion is to look for a video platform that offers you syncing features with YouTube, thus allowing you to synchronize videos directly into your YouTube channel from one online video platform.
At Brightcove, We have set up our own channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/BrightcoveInc/featured ) that demonstrates these best practices and uses the full functionality of the YouTube Sync features. Notice that each video’s description provides a link back to the page it originally appeared on our website. We have also taken advantage of the Branded Channel features to further customize the page.
Countless are developing mobile apps to keep in touch and bring their content to consumers when they are on the go. Mobile viewers are prime targets for social sharing. Because they view from a small screen, they tend to be very engaged, rather than distracted users who are toggling between multiple tabbed windows on a laptop. So if you put those social buttons prominently in front of your users, whether on your website or in custom mobile apps you develop in-house, you’ll remove all the friction for mobile users wishing to share with their friends.
UK-based fashion retailer Warehouse has developed a mobile commerce iPhone app to easily publish the company’s content and clothing catalog for a compelling mobile experience. Browsers can watch videos that Warehouse has developed for its Style Studio TV channel, and read posts syndicated posts from their blog.
Here video, social media, blogs, and ecommerce come together to give loyal customers more reasons to keep coming back for fashion inspiration.
Social Video Checklist
Now that you are primed and ready to spread your social videos, go through this checklist to ensure that your videos and players are optimized for social media:
Ensure you have social sharing buttons in players. Keeping them on makes it a no-brainer for viewers to start sharing your videos.
Ensure you have embed codes for sharing. Same goes for exposing embed codes. Give people an incentive to talk about your content in context to expand your reach.
Promote sharing at video completion. Remind people that their next step can be a social one.
Create dedicated social sharing templates. Go the extra mile – create a player template that gives your video an extra strong brand impression when your video appears in Facebook streams.
Embed clickable calls to action. Consider equipping your video player with clickable call to action overlays that draw engaged viewers back to your site when viewed from within the Facebook social stream. Viewers love the ability to engage with the video content they watch…..the end result is that they will often stay on your site longer and view additional content, share their contact information, subscribe to a feed or share your links with their friends.
Review performance. Use analytics to monitor performance of videos, especially looking at referral sources to get a sense of how your videos are being shared.
Use your metadata. Having complete titles, descriptions, and tags will make it easier for your videos to be found in the first place. Videos are nothing without context!
Planning and implementing basic best practices for video within the social media platforms where you choose to extend your brand message will serve to drive higher levels of viewer time-on-site and engagement with your content. For more reading on this topic, please reference Brightcove’s free whitetpaper entitled “Like, Link, Share, Tweet – A How To Guide to Video + Social Media” available for downloading at http://go.brightcove.com/forms/en-video-and-social-media .