Facebook has become an increasingly effective platform for video content. The social media giant continues to attract a lot of viewers and make it easier to create and post videos on the site.
However, as with any social media site, it’s critical to keep in mind that your Facebook page is not your website, and that you don’t want to post the same kinds of videos on Facebook that you’d post on your site, at least not always.
So, as NY / NJ video production pros who’ve been in the industry for years now, we thought we’d pass on some of the tips we’ve picked up along the way for designing videos to succeed on Facebook, specifically.
1. Don’t underestimate the power of scheduling.
Too many businesses that are using video content to connect with their Facebook communities only use the scheduling feature when they need to have content prepared for a vacation or understaffed time of year, but it can be helpful in other ways as well.
For instance, it’s a great way to stay consistent and organized in general and to keep campaigns coordinated across multiple sites. All you have to do is upload the video, choose the “Schedule Post” option when you go to publish it, and select the date and time you want it released.
And just as scheduling when videos go live can be helpful, setting their expiration dates can be useful too, especially if they’re part of a campaign and don’t need to keep popping up in front of viewers forever. You simply set the expiration date and the video will no longer be visible on your Facebook page nor anywhere else on the site once it arrives.
For more on how best to use Facebook’s new tools and features, check out this recent blog post from Facebook product manager Anaid Gomez-Ortigoza, 10 Tips for Using Video Publisher Tools on Facebook.
2. Hook them in quickly yet silently.
Another important aspect of Facebook video is the site’s muted autoplay feature which makes it so that viewers can decide whether to give their attention to a video or not based on how it draws them in visually.
That means that to give your videos a better chance of succeeding on Facebook, you need to create some type of emotional connection in a show-don’t-tell manner and let viewers know what to expect from a video without sound. And you need to do it fast or they’ll scroll right by it.
But take it from us as veteran NY and NJ video production pros, sound can be a very useful guide for viewers, so you need to figure out how to evoke the desired emotions in a purely visual fashion. Also, adding text overlays, banners, graphics, images, or captions to keep viewers oriented can help a lot in that respect too.
The trick is to quickly make a lasting and telling first impression silently without giving away too much. For more on making videos that pack a powerful yet silent punch, check out this post, Tips for Designing a Video Production to Succeed Without Sound or Dialogue.
3. Give the thumbnail the thought it deserves.
Now, while Facebook’s autoplay feature must be factored into your video production plans and is the default mode on the site, some users don’t like it and turn it off, and in those cases, the only way to entice viewers to check out your video is through the thumbnail you choose for it.
For those that don’t know, the thumbnail is the still image people see in place of the video before they click the “Play” button and Facebook allows you to use images from within the video itself or upload new images to use as thumbnails. So, what kind of images should you use for your videos?
Well, first off, it should be interesting enough on its own to grab viewers’ attention because there will be a lot of competition on their feed and it needs to stand out. From there, use human faces showing emotion, show action in progress, use colorful images, and try to achieve some consistency among your thumbnails as well.
Just remember, like the first few seconds of a video on autoplay, the most important function of a thumbnail is to provide the viewer with some clues on what can be expected from the video content.
4. Embrace imperfections.
No film, corporate, or commercial video production goes exactly as planned from the start. It’s a collaborative process with a lot of moving parts and it’s simply impossible to keep track of every single one at every single moment.
The key is to stop worrying about being 100% perfect. Having a video you created for Facebook go viral is like catching lightning in a bottle. There’s no way to guarantee it, and it’s not always the result of elaborate planning either.
In fact, many videos that go viral do so precisely because of something unexpected happening during their runtime, whether it’s something comical, startling, or simply interesting. Spontaneous occurrences spark comments and conversations and that kind of activity generates a lot more interest in videos.
So, while you obviously don’t want to lose control of the production process, you should try to embrace some of the imperfections and allow them to reshape your video, as long as they’re not too disruptive or problematic.
It’s time to face the facts about Facebook.
The bottom line is, you can continue creating videos for other platforms and simply posting them on your Facebook page with the hope that viewers will suddenly start liking and sharing them more than they presently are.
But the truth is, unless you come to the realization that Facebook has its own way of doing things and its community has its own distinct preferences and you start producing video content for that community exclusively, your luck won’t change any time soon.
So, utilize the scheduling and expiration features, factor autoplay into your plans, create enticing thumbnails, embrace small imperfections, respond to all questions and comments, and do whatever else it takes to better connect with the Facebook crowd. Trust us, it’ll be worth the effort in the end.
About KVibe Productions: A full-service film & video production company in NJ / NY, KVibe can handle every aspect of production. Whether it’s a corporate video production, a commercial, a feature film, etc., KVibe creates to inspire.