Video has taken the social media world by storm. In 2016, U.S. adults spent an average of 1 hour and 16 minutes per day watching video on digital services and Cisco has projected that video will make up 69 percent of all consumer web traffic by the end of 2017.
Social videos aren’t going away. Many organizations are already beginning to have a video-first mindset. But with all the different social platforms out there, how do you determine which is best for your brand?
Facebook and YouTube continue to fight for the top spot on the video-sharing leaderboard, but multiple other platforms continue to upgrade their services to provide social video sharing services. Online marketers that use video grow revenue almost 50 percent faster than those who don’t, so knowing the ins and outs of these popular platforms is essential.
In 2016, Facebook reported that it generates an average of eight billion video views per day and that people are watching 100 million hours of video daily. Women tend to favor this social site more than men, but the platform appeals to all ages.
However, sharing an existing video from another social service on Facebook is no longer enough. To get on Facebook’s good side, it’s important to understand and post native videos.
Facebook defines native video as video content directly uploaded to its site. That is, content not linked to other social platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. Facebook’s algorithm rewards native video because it’s effective at keeping its users on Facebook. The algorithm responds to engagement such as likes, comments, and shares. Native video performs up to four times better than all other video formats and, therefore, tends to get promoted most frequently.
YouTube, on the other hand, reports having nearly five billion views a day, but Google CEO Sundar Pichai claims the video sharing site has “hundreds of millions of hours of video watched every day.” Men tend to spend more time on the site, but YouTube attracts an even split of males to females. Users 18-45 make up the largest age demographic.
According to a 2014 report from Google, one in four shoppers say they’ve used YouTube to search for a video related to a product they’re considering, and “how-to” searches are up 70 percent year-to-year. Most millennials would tell you they can find a YouTube video on anything they want to learn, from piano lessons to game-hacking tutorials. YouTube is also credited with being the world’s second largest search engine, making it a must-use platform.
An important fact to note is that YouTube videos receive fewer interactions than Facebook native videos. Likes, comments, and shares increase the reach of a video on Facebook, but YouTube videos (unlike Facebook native videos) are accessible to the entire world, not just subscribers. The potential reach is much higher and videos are more likely to go viral thanks to searches and related videos.
Twitter & Periscope
Twitter has an estimated 1.3 billion users and around 100 million daily visitors. The company has taken note of Facebook’s success with live video and is using Periscope to jump into the ring of social competitors. In 2015, 15 percent of Twitter’s top brands were using Periscope.
How Twitter users discover video content is what sets Twitter apart from YouTube. Most users would say they only watch videos that they discover on Twitter. Because Twitter is all about discovering what’s happening in the moment, there’s no algorithm boosting your video.
- This just in: Facebook is already known for its 360-degree video opportunities and now Twitter is joining the 360 initiative by introducing 360-degree live streams through Periscope. Twitter is still a step behind Facebook and YouTube when it comes to video sharing, but the company continues to incorporate more ways to use video, which is unlikely to change in 2017.
Instagram’s demographic is substantially different than the platforms mentioned above. The company announced in 2016 that 80 percent of its users are from countries outside the U.S. It’s also favored more by women and teens, compared to YouTube and Facebook, which have a more generalized age demographic.
Don’t write off Instagram just yet. According to Instagram Advertiser, 50 percent of users follow at least one business account and 75 percent of Instagrammers take action after being inspired by a post. That action could be visiting a website, searching, shopping, or telling a friend.
One or the other?
Unnecessary. You don’t have to, and shouldn’t have to, pick just one social sharing site to post video to. Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, Twitter, and YouTube are the four top video sharing platforms, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out Snapchat, Vimeo, Vine, etc.
A vast amount of video sharing apps exist that appeal to different audiences. Marketers who use video receive 41 percent more web traffic from search than non-users, and knowing how to optimize on all platforms is a win-win situation for businesses that want to expand their professional reach.
Understanding when and how your audience uses these social media platforms is a sure way to determine which one will be most effective.