Whenever I meet with clients, it’s the elephant in the room . They hint at it, and some of the more courageous ones finally ask – “So…should I always hire someone to make my social media videos or can I also, you know, make them myself?” The answer I give them may surprise you: Of course you can! Nowadays literally anyone can make a video and put it on social media- my daughter was editing videos on my phone when she was 6, grandmas make funny dance compilations and there was a cat in Iowa that made a series called “Meowing to the Oldies” (ok that one’s a bit of a lie but you get the point). I celebrate the accessibility that equipment and phones have offered people to have a voice and express themselves. One of the initial challenges lies in strategy. Here are a few tips I can share about strategy to help you determine whether you should hire someone to produce your video or go the DYI route. Future blogs will focus on next steps including execution, style and quality.
Before you make any video for social media you need to ask yourself a simple question: “What’s the point of doing this?” For personal accounts the answer can simply be “no point at all.” Done and done. For business accounts however, you need a reason to post your video – is it to market your brand? Capture a timely event that relates to your business? Cross-promote partners? Maybe it’s simply hilarious (chicken wearing pants) that you hope will attract more of an audience. If you post a video just to post a video however, it will come across exactly that way – pointless.
Now I’m thinking about that chicken wearing pants GIF and have to post it. You’re welcome.
Here are some things to consider about strategy:
Marketing your brand: The video could be your main marketing tool that represents your business, it could be an explainer video of how a specific product works, or it could be a video capturing your business event. Whatever it is, keep in mind that any video you post is an extension of your brand to some extent. It can be funny, sweet, personal, slick, but it represents YOUR business – essentially your reputation. People are FAR more likely to watch a video than read a description or lengthy post (which is why we love video!), and they will associate your video with your brand. So if it’s meaningless or bad quality, that makes a deep impression.
Messaging: Keep it clean people. You are recording and posting this for your clients; current, past and future. I know it seems idiotic to point out that offensive and inappropriate videos have no place on a business account but for some reason it still happens every.single.day!! If there’s ANY doubt that something could be taken the wrong way keep it off your business account. Same goes for sharing videos – your mind could have a very “unique” interpretation of entertainment.
Tailoring your videos for your different audiences: Hilarious videos aside, how do your videos help serve your audience? Keep in mind that audiences use social platforms for different reasons, and those audiences vary in demographics.
Facebook is all about connecting with people – this is where the personal stories, the invitation to share experiences, polling opinions, all play well here. Short videos with text are good – they should also have a purpose of connecting with individuals and serve the audience in a positive helpful way – not just promos for your business.
Twitter is very much “what I am doing right now” – you only have a few characters to entice people to click your link – this is where your links to live feeds, press conferences, events happening that day, etc. Videos should be about happenings or shows airing that night.
Instagram is all about sharing images/video/media. Curating a great-looking feed and sticking with a theme is important to success. It could be the faces of people in the community your serve, beautiful house features, or local businesses. It needs to feel like someone’s feed, and not an impersonal business trying to market to the audience.
YouTube is your branding site – this is where you can create channels, video series, let your personality come out to play, and connect with a younger demographic.
I see so many people post the same video on all their social sites – instead, try thinking about what social site you want to post to and tailor your video for that site.
Consistency: Especially with Instagram or YouTube, you want there to be a consistency in your video style and messaging that reflects your brand. If you have a video of your product in motion, followed by a video of your kid’s gymnastic meet, then your clients might be a little confused about your branding (or maybe you’re a family business and your kid is the poster child – I’m just speaking in general terms). If you look at successful social media accounts with huge followers you’ll see right away that their videos have a distinct unique style that people will begin to associate with the brand. Check out Starbucks’ Instagram videos on their feed and you’ll see what I mean.
So, basically keep the end goal in mind before making a video to post to your business account. Ask yourself:
- What’s the point?
- Could this possibly be taken the wrong way?
- What social account will I be posting this to?
- How can it be consistent in style with my other videos to create brand recognition.
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NEXT BLOG: Execution – keep it simple, steady and sounding great.