In 2008, people were oversharing on Facebook. At the same time, a small ‘micro-blogging’ platform, Twitter, was slowly starting to gain momentum. Limited to only 140 characters, oversharing could now happen at a more rapid pace.

Fast forward to 2016 and whether you love it or hate it, you’re probably on Twitter too. It’s found a firm seat in the top three most popular social networks in the UK, with a global audience of 6.45 million users, and justifiably commands the attention of brands worldwide.

Marketers use Twitter to read industry news, monitor competitors and respond to customers, but we still struggle to craft, amplify, and track our messages. Social network publishing updates keep us on our toes - remember when images were the next big thing in tweets? Now, it’s all about video. Video is proven to gain more traction in social newsfeeds than any other type of content, with 82% of Twitter users watching videos on the platform. So, what’s the best way for a brand to use video on social, specifically Twitter?

Why Twitter social video matters

Traditionally, Twitter and LinkedIn are seen as the more professional of the social networks, particularly for B2B marketers. In fact, 65.8% of US companies with 100+ employees use Twitter for marketing, while LinkedIn Pulse has been a firm content marketing favourite for some time and in-feed video is now being tested on LinkedIn.

Twitter wants to be your go-to source of information, breaking news via trending hashtags and ‘while you were out’ updates from the brands and influencers you interact with most. Companies can capitalise on these hyper-personalised algorithms by using a social video strategy that embraces both organic and paid strategies to build audiences and increase engagement.

Brands on Twitter aren’t only there to push out messages, they’re also there to listen – 77% of Twitter users feel more positive about a brand when their Tweet gets a reply.

To help your video succeed in the social arena, here are a few top tips from our experts to help you do so:

1. How to tell better stories with Twitter social video

Video on social media is the best way to educate and inform potential prospects quickly, but you need to know your audience. Statistically, Twitter users are more likely to be male and between 18 and 29 years old (30 to 49 is the second biggest demographic). Those over the age of 49 tend to interact with families and friends on Facebook.

Audiences on Twitter are also more likely to be educated and live in urban environments. This level of insight helps when thinking about the type of video content to post, and on what channel. News hijacking and live tweeting for example, are options to explore when creating video content for Twitter.

2. What kind of video content to create for Twitter

Initially at the engagement stage, you want to create a two-way dialogue. Consider creating product or service-specific content such as how-to videos, Q&A sessions or customer testimonials. At this stage, video should highlight the product or service as a solution and allow the audience to share in the excitement, relief or satisfaction of the user experience.

Twitter is a great communication tool for listening and connecting with customers. So, even if you’re just getting started with video, I would urge you to dedicate resources to a retention campaign. Enhance the user experience and make it easy for viewers to be directed from video to the product or solution you are selling.

3. Grab attention and keep it: Optimise for Twitter autoplay

Like Facebook, Twitter favours native video in the newsfeed – and as a rule it performs better too. Native video on Twitter drives more engagement – 2.5x more replies, 2.8x more retweets, and 1.9 times more favourites than third party players.

Similarly, native videos also autoplay on Twitter, so you need to have an interesting, optimised lead-in. Waste no time and be interesting with and without sound.

Twitter expanded the allowed length of videos from 30 seconds to 140 seconds for the majority of users, while professional publishers can utilise up to 10 minutes. That said, it’s highly unlikely in a feed swimming with content that a user is going to watch your video for a full 10 minutes. In fact, 80% of Twitter users will watch a full video if it's 30 seconds or less.

4. Utilise copy appropriately

Words act as cues for content and keep a viewer’s attention, so consider text within your video. Words and phrases can move dynamically and create visual interest. Think about optimising the copy surrounding your video, as some viewers disable autoplay in their feeds, and so you need to solicit a click. Draw interest and set the stage for the videos that are about to be consumed.

5. Embrace conversation, create a community through unique hashtags

Utilise the unique attributes of Twitter. If you’re using social video on Twitter, host twitter chats or public conversations. Individual tweets are linked through a hashtag and publicly searchable - The Content Marketing Institute’s weekly chats are some of my personal favourites. Here, the use of visual content helps interactions stand out and could easily be replaced by video.

Video works because it’s naturally persuasive. It overcomes objections or a hesitance to interact with a brand when paired with a specific cadence of communication. Remember, using mentions (@username) when posting a video helps to attract attention from influencers. When responding within a chat, create a quick social video and keep the conversation. Not many businesses are being this personal, so get ahead of the curve.                        

Twitter’s rapid-fire, short-form communications are curated by audiences who gravitate toward the brands that speak to them, craving real-time interactions – so with the right insights and social network know-how, talking with you audiences on social is just 140-characters away.

You can find our advice on Facebook video, here.


By Sophie Rayers, EMEA marketing director at Brightcove

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