Social media insights from the experts

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In the last two weeks I’ve finally managed to watch a lot of the webinars and training videos that have caught my eye over the last few months (and find yet more to occupy myself over the next couple of weeks).

Whilst preparing dinner, I’ve managed to hear from top TikTokers thanks to Later’s TikTok course and video series, from social media experts at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Youtube, thanks to Reim El Houni at Ti22 Films who put on an excellent week of webinars recently, and from top travel writers and videographers as part of World Nomad’s videography series.

Whilst a lot of the messages were not new to me, they did reaffirm the knowledge that I try to impart to others as part of my own training sessions. Plus, there were some golden nuggets I picked up along the way that I didn’t know before, and I always find it fascinating to see the different ways people present the same information.

Some of the key takeaways and top tips from this variety of online sessions included:

TikTok

- It’s critical to use trending songs and sounds if you want to increase your chances of going viral.

- It’s not just about dance moves, lip syncing and games – brands can experiment on the platform with storytelling, sharing common issues, stereotypes, and trivia. The content has to resonate with the audience.

- It’s quantity over quality when it comes to the videos themselves – you need to be posting and interacting consistently, but the content itself doesn’t have to be great quality.

- Videos should always be entertaining, you need to grab attention quickly so forget long intros.

- The top TikTokers prepare a script and props in advance, film the content and record the voiceover separately, and then use a separate editing app or program to put it all together.

- If you’re doing video transitions, mark the floor where you’re standing to ensure you are in the right spot for each one.

Instagram

- In order to get maximum reach and exposure for your content, and be recognised by Instagram’s algorithm, you need to use the full suite of tools available, which includes posting in your feed, to Stories, Live, and using IGTV.

- Videos under 1 minute are generally consumed passively, so if you want people really engaging, you need longer videos and should think about using IGTV.

- If using IGTV, make sure you organise videos into a Series. Effectively these are playlists which group content together and are great for increasing retention.

Facebook

- The Facebook videos that get the most interaction are generally around 60-90 seconds long.

- Facebook Watch gives you the chance to share videos of 3 minutes or more when you have an engaged audience that want to hear more.

- Facebook Live gets 6x more interactions and 10x more comments than regular posts.

YouTube

- You need a strong thumbnail cover image that describes the video to come and uses keywords

- The description is key to being discovered, make sure you use keywords, and use Google Trends and Keyword Planner to determine what these should be.

- Create plenty of evergreen content that is not time-sensitive and which you can share across other social media channels at any point.

Filming/video content

- People show culture and bring brands and topics to life, so make sure your videos involve people, not just objects and landscapes.

- The first three seconds of any video are key, you need to capture attention immediately.

- Make sure you maintain eye contact if doing a piece to camera – don’t look at yourself on a phone screen, make sure you are looking at the camera. When filming others, think about whether you want them looking into the camera, or off to the side, and position yourself accordingly.

- Think about colour contrast of your videos – the background, the clothes worn, and props used – and consistency for your platforms.

- Make sure you capture sound effectively, whether speaking or background sounds. One thing all the experts agreed on was the paramount importance of investing in a good microphone – making sure as much as possible that you have control over the environment (ie if you’re inside, are you in a private room where you can turn the AC off while recording).

- Use props when you can to minimise shakes when filming, keep your elbows in to your chest and the camera strap tight around your neck. When panning around, move from the waist and twist, don’t move your arms round. Lean on things whenever you can – whether a wall, a table or another person!

- Collaborate where you can, whether this is for product placement or feature, for credible and interesting venues, or for duets/collaborative content, this will potential increase your credibility (depending one who you choose1), your reach and will give you some support too.

Interviewing others

When interviewing someone else in order to get soundbites for a video (rather than simply sharing the interview itself), ask open questions, and make sure you include those that could give you the exposition/mother statement to be used at the start of the video, ie:

- Who are you?

- Where are we right now?

- What are your hopes/plans for the future?

Make sure that you give verbal encouragement and cues as they speak, by nodding and hand gestures, rather than making any sounds as this will then render the recording useless.

So there you are, a rather mixed bag of top tips and insights that I managed to jot down in-between peeling vegetables and stirring pots! Some I found interesting and surprising, and others were a good reminder of lessons previously learned, let me know what you think of these – anything new learned, or that particularly stands out – or any other tidbits you might like to share?

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