facebook video

Essential Tools and Tactics for Video on Social


By   |   July 13th, 2016   |   Reading time: 5 minutes Digital Journalism

What tools and tactics do you need for creating successful Facebook videos? We list the ways your video will get people engaging in the News feed.

Facebook video continues to drive more engagement than ever. Facebook video is seeing enormous likes, shares, and comments, even as other formats may see less engagement. 

It’s no secret how big a priority video is to Facebook. Facebook continues to put emphasis on their new technologies, Facebook Live and 360 video, including investing in publishers to produce more video.

But what are the best ways to make video for Facebook that will see engagement? We’ve looked at the five steps to Facebook video success before, and for Facebook Live. From analyzing countless videos and crunching the data, we’ve come up with the tactical tools you need for creating highly shared videos.

Be Mobile Friendly

Much of your audience will be accessing your content on their mobile devices, so it’s essential to make sure your video looks good across phone, tablet, and desktop.

We predicted this year that vertical video would become popular due to users not having to flip their phones, and we’ve seen that square videos see a lot of success on social for this same reason.

Though lighter news, this video from AJ+ is square, well-edited, and suited for users viewing on both desktop and mobile. It saw nearly 16.7 million views, 125,000 likes/reactions, 178,000 shares, and 7,000 comments.

Providing users with a good video experience on both desktop and mobile is key. One way you can do this by shooting your video on your phone, and using native mobile apps to edit your media.

What apps should you check out?

  • Magisto: Probably the most simple on this list. Select your media, choose a soundtrack, themes, and effects, and voila! Here’s the online version, if you’re more inclined  
  • Splice: Similar to Magisto, except you can add text, trim clips, and adjust speed
  • Animoto: Mostly the same features as Magisto and Splice, but you can add captions. This is the online version
  • Videoshop: More flexibility than Magisto and Animoto. The above two will do transitions for you, while Videoshop gives you more control
  • Others: Lumify, Replay, Hyperlapse, Cinefy, and many more in your mobile download store!

Of course, you don’t have to stick to an app. iMovie remains one of the best desktop applications for beginners to learn video editing on (though, there is an app for that, as well). Mac users can find there is a gentler learning curve on iMovie than video editors like Final Cut Pro.

Caption Your Videos

A staggering 85 percent of Facebook video is watched without sound. It makes sense to add captions to your video. Many of the editors we referenced above let you do this.

On Facebook’s own video tools page, captions can be added as .SRT files to your video during the upload to Facebook or your editing process.

Some publishers, such as CNBC above, create engaging text overlays and banners that sum up the key points of a video. Moving graphics and images also help reiterate statistics and facts for viewers listening with or without sound.

CNBC’s simple video of glasses that allow colorblind people to see color again, drove over 47.5 million views, 272,000 likes and reactions, 566,000 shares, and 56,000 comments. The video had captions that summed up the action, and also captioned the reactions of the people trying the glasses.

Make Your Videos Actionable

There are two more tactics you need for compelling video. Videos that do well are full of action, and many incorporate a call-to-action.

Publishers like Tastemade and Buzzfeed Tasty are regularly at the top of our video publishers in Spike. In addition to being square, short, and watchable without sound, they provide viewers with a recipe that’s easy to follow and they can replicate.

Some publishers may have beats that may be easier to create action-packed video than others. Sports, entertainment, food, travel, and fashion adapt to visual media easier than say, finances or data reports.

Think you don’t have anything you can use? Get inspiration from Distill and Pexels. Both have free, high quality video media that you can use in your own content. This can help spark your creativity, or provide an interesting visual backdrop to your videos.

Focus Your Live Streams 

For big publishers and brands, you may publish to a wide global audience. For some, this means adapting a ‘glocal’ strategy, adapting content for individual regional markets.

As Facebook Live becomes increasingly popular, it may benefit your social team to generate Facebook Live video that are targeted to your specific locales.

The New York Times recently did a Live video of the Pride Parade in New York. For publishers or brands with different local markets, tailoring Live video that covers local events or culture to fit the target audience, could allow for more focused, nuanced video.

Since this isn’t an option yet on Facebook, Levee fulfills this need. Levee hooks into your Facebook pages and lets you make sure that you get to pick which regions can see the live stream.  

Bonus! Play Around with 360 View

Looking to get into the virtual reality game? Unfortunately, 360 video still requires fancy cameras (LINK). But 360 photo can be captured on smart phones like the iPhone, Android, and Samsung phones.

360 video and VR is growing in popularity. This video of New York City in a snowstorm from ABC News has seen over 18.4 million views, along with 169,000 likes/reactions, 364,000 shares, and 57,000 comments.

The app Street View can let you create 360 photos through iOS and android (LINK). The photo sphere mode in the stock Android camera or Surround Shot mode on Samsung phones can also create 360 photo.

Get Started

With these tools, you can kickstart your video production. These tools all have gentle learning curves, and you can create compelling video faster and easier when you find which tools best fit your needs. Of course, it’s vital to have interesting content to start with!

Take a free trial of NewsWhip Spike to find the video tactics driving engagement now

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