Social media is ever-evolving. Platform updates and best practice guidelines are changing at a record pace. For that reason, we encourage brands to think of social media not as a project, but a process. Staying current on best practices is an exciting challenge, and with it comes the need to be flexible and exploratory in your approach. As with all things creative, the joy is in the process rather than the result.
Facebook is still the leading social platform with over 2 billion monthly users, according to Statista. Now that 95% of users are accessing the platform through their smartphones, content creators need to consider the limitations and consumption practices of desktop vs. mobile.
With algorithm changes taking place regularly, understanding the platform and paying close attention to what’s working and why will help you create engaging content and build a dedicated fanbase.
Video is exploding on Facebook
Videos hold 5x more attention than static images. According to Facebook, 75% of all mobile data traffic will be video by 2020, but that doesn’t mean all video content performs equally.
In traditional video advertising, a narrative hooks the viewers’ interest and delivers the core brand messaging toward the end as a pay-off. But on mobile, users scroll rapidly, absorb messaging even faster, and usually without ever turning their sound on.
Therefore, 47% of the value in a video campaign is delivered in the first 3 seconds, and 74% of the value is delivered in the first 10 seconds, according to Facebook research and Nielsen. To catch and hold users’ attention, core video messaging needs to occur up-front, and the overall content should be designed to deliver without sound.
An original Wells Fargo ad optimized for television
The same ad optimized for mobile
Innovative, surprising content gets users to hover their thumb—that is, to stop scrolling and pay attention. The more inventive, visually-arresting content, the higher the views, engagement, and recall.
Keep it Simple
Playful doesn’t mean more complex. Simple content with a fun pop of surprise compels users to not just watch, but hit those ‘like’ and ‘share’ buttons.
Keep it Scaled
Creating video content doesn’t mean you need a high budget.
This video by a leading CPG brand was shot in-house on an iPhone X.
• Capture attention early. Start with your most captivating elements and incorporate brand identity within the first 3 seconds.
• Keep it short. Videos should be less than 15 seconds and include the main message within the first 3-5 seconds.
• Design for sound off. Use visual storytelling, and text on screen. Leverage sound to delight instead of inform.
• Frame wisely. Try square or vertical framing to optimize for mobile viewing.
Play more. Test your content and learn from its performance. Go on, experiment. And have fun!