How brands should use video on social media

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There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to video.

To be truly successful and maintain loyal relationships with consumers, brands need to think beyond just creating a great film. After all, the key to social video is understanding who exactly you want to reachwhere it’s going to go and what assets will work best on a particular platform.

With this in mind, here are some thoughts from us at Navigate Video on how to ensure your video is fit-for-purpose:


Unlike other social channels where video is one aspect of many different types of content, YouTube is entirely unique in its objective: it aims to provide easy, accessible mid to long-form video content in an environment where users are willingly prepared to spend hours consuming it.

What does this mean for brands?

Think about the user’s journey – in, around and out!

In: How will your audience find the content in the first place? Ensure that content is optimised for discoverability.

Around: How can you keep your audience engaged? Make your content as compelling as possible by either informing or entertaining.

Out: What do you want your audience to do after they’ve watched your video? Direct them to other videos within your channel, to your social media accounts or out to your website to continue their journey.


With over two billion users, Facebook is a platform of reach. Combining posts from family and friends alongside news and branded content, Facebook reaches people from all different age groups and backgrounds, encouraging them to interact and communicate with one another through content.

What does this mean for brands?

It’s all about stopping ‘that thumb’ from scrolling past your content.

The 3-second rule: hook your audience in the first few frames of a film. Show them why your video is important, what its purpose is and where it will take them.

Titles go a long way: Think about the titling of your content: don’t mislead with an over sensationalised, click-bait title, but pose questions or statements that capture their attention.

More than views: Assess the success of your content by looking deeper than a Facebook ‘view’, after all, does a user watching three seconds really count as a good metric? Look at watch time, sound activations, view-through rates and completed views to gain real insight into your audiences and their watching habits.


LinkedIn is the social network for professionals. Boasting 562 million users, it offers brands an opportunity to meaningfully engage with their employees, inform industry professionals about their work as well as reach and communicate with potential employees and clients.

What does this mean for brands?

Show who you are: The best corporate videos lift the lid on who your company is in a meaningful and genuine way, therefore the content you create should be seen as a showcase of what you believe in, whether that be your work, your people and/or your values and contributions to society.

Employee relations: Your employees are your biggest advocate, especially when it comes to LinkedIn. Use it as a channel to communicate to your employees and encourage them to share it with their own individual networks.

The viewing experience: similar to Facebook, content is often consumed without sound. Don’t rely too much on sound and add subtitles to ensure your message is still conveyed.

Instagram & IGTV

With time spent watching video on Instagram increasing more than 80% year over year, Instagram is undoubtedly the most visual sharing platform on the list. Having introduced longer video posts with Instagram Stories and IGTV, Instagram is a place where brands can create personal relationships and communicate with their audience through on-the-go content.

What does this mean for brands?

Audiences want to watch your content, but they want to watch it their way.

Mobile viewing: ensure your videos are made for the platform. Are your videos comprehendible without sound? Or readable when viewed on a small screen?

No content stands alone: loaded, don’t forget about putting shorter assets for your original Instagram audience to entice them to watch.

Personality showcase: Instagram is a fun and vibrant platform. The brands who receive the most engagement embrace this nature whilst staying true to who they are.


Twitter is probably one of the most fast-paced social media platforms, with the average lifespan for a tweet lasting just 15 minutes. Like Facebook and Instagram, this ‘scrolling culture’ means audiences want to consume content at speed and process information as easily as possible.

What does this mean for brands?

Turn the sound up: Twitter released a ‘Best Practices’ article last year stating that even though the first three seconds of the video didn’t need audio to capture attention, when someone watches the whole video, “sound turns up all the key metrics, and dialogue in particular has more of an impact than music”.

Interaction first: Twitter is all about interaction. Think before you post about how you want your audience to engage with your content. Want them to turn the sound on? Want them to watch the full video? Want them to go back to your website? Do not leave your post without a way for them to engage.

Go native: To get the most out of your social content, upload your video to the platform’s native players. Not only will you get more accurate metrics to feedback into your content strategy if you use the platform’s own tools, but it also creates a better viewing experience for your audience.

Even though some of these tips can be applied across all social platforms, the most important lesson for brands to take away from this checklist is that each platform requires a slightly different approach. If you make the effort of creating a great user experience alongside your creative content, your audience will undoubtedly enjoy your content and keep on coming back for more.

Stuart Stubbs, Founder, Navigate Video

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