Social Savvy: Social media ROI for retailers - Aug/Sept 2021

By Irene Williams

There’s just no denying that video content reigns across nearly all of the top social networks. A prime case in point that substantiates the need to go with more video is Instagram. Very recently, the beloved platform’s top executive, Adam Mosseri, made a clear, concise decree: “We’re no longer a photo-sharing app.”

While video isn’t the only area of focus Mosseri discussed in his announcement, it’s a major component. Video takes priority to be competitive now and viable going forward.

Many in the digital marketing world say the new Instagram strategy directly correlates to TikTok’s success. Short-form video and more friendly engagement as exemplified on TikTok seem to be the wave of the future. Leaders with Instagram fully acknowledged this when the app introduced its Reels feature a while back to compete with TikTok. Certainly, it’s no small thing for Instagram with over one billion active users and upwards of $19 billion in annual revenue to add features and announce any kind of pivot, especially one so plainly stated regarding video.

That’s why those using social media marketing for businesses must take heed.

What does this mean in practical application? Let’s look to the aforementioned TikTok effect for applicable tactics. By identifying key things that have led to that app’s meteoric rise, you’ll find practical ways you put video into (lights, camera) ACTION for your biz (whether you use TikTok or not!).

Video on TikTok is known for being authentic. Sixty-seven percent of users prefer brands that post content that’s “human and unpolished.” Interestingly, this preference for videos (and even photos) that are not highly produced is true on other social networks, as well. That’s great news for you! No need for anything expensive or fancy-just start recording!

It’s common knowledge that shorter is better for social video. TikTok has cashed in on people’s abbreviated attention spans with its optimal allowance for video length: 15 seconds to three minutes. Again, this is a liberating standard for you, as shorter truly is better when it comes to creating video that people will actually watch and enjoy.

People find TikTok enjoyable to use thanks to its loads of entertaining content. Sure, much of what’s shared there is quite particular in nature and not necessarily fitting for brands like yours, but the essence of the lightness and amusement is. Now more than ever, there’s room for your brand to express personality, incorporate humor, and brighten things up with video.

TikTok is a hub of “influencer marketing.” Influencers do, as the name implies, influence those who follow them-including influencing purchasing decisions. Expensive celebrity campaigns used to be the route to sales. Today, short videos by influencers with smaller yet devoted followings can move the needle more than high-dollar celebs. Your takeaway: identify and build relationships with potential influencers, and let their videos do the talking on whatever social networks you’re presently using.

Forty-three percent of TikTok users take action based on something they’ve viewed on the app, even if they’ve seen it only one time. That’s a clear sign of a highly engaged audience. The lesson for your social media videos across all platforms is to keep your “call to action” front and center. Whether you state the action you’d like followers to take in the video itself, include it in your captions, or both, invite people to keep moving forward to the next step with you.

Sixty-one percent of those on TikTok are more likely to engage with brands that participate in relevant trends on the app. No, this doesn’t mean you have to video your showroom staff doing that new dance move (though that could be fun and effective). However, no matter the social platform, you and your team need to be aware of what’s relevant as well as what your customers are talking about and participating in. Let customers know you’re present and participatory through video.

As you up the game on your social video content, bear a few things in mind.

Use good lighting and audio. Though you don’t need slick production and fancy equipment to create videos for your business, you will need to be sure the lighting and audio are good. Light your products so the video conveys their best qualities. Minimize ambient noise so that any audio can be heard without frustrating the people watching. Side note: Use captioning on video with spoken audio; the use of captions increases engagement notably and is useful to a majority of users who start watching social video without the sound on.

Create with consistency. Set a rhythm for your video content, be it once a week or more often. Just as posting to social media regularly is a must, so is determining what kind of content and when to post.

Repurpose your video content. Maximize your efforts by reusing your videos across all your social platforms whenever formatting and nature of messaging will translate well. Even short videos take effort to create, and there’s truly no harm, no foul in sharing the same videos in multiple places.

Make use of all video features on your key social platforms. Use Live streaming, Reels, Stories, and video in regular posts. All social platforms beyond TikTok are showing favor to video content, meaning the algorithms are more likely to include videos in news feeds. The use of video increases the likelihood of your followers seeing what you have to share.

Though I’ve focused on the video tactics that work well on TikTok as inspiration for your entire social video strategy, I’m fully aware many of you may not have a business presence on the app. I recommend you apply all these social video approaches to Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube or Vimeo (including content you embed on your website).

Video is the way to go, so get those cameras rolling!

Copyright 2021 Floor Focus