Big businesses like Progressive and Macy's recognize the importance of mobile traffic upon video decisions. Do you? Are your decisions about video based upon data? Or are you still depending upon your instincts? If you study what the data says, you'll gain insights into how to get more video mileage across social media.

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What's the data telling us?

Mobile video viewing is growing.

Mobile's taking the lead in more than search. It reached the 46% milestone for video views by December 2015. And 55% of mobile data use went to video viewing. That's not counting video viewing on Wi-Fi! The data's still out for 2016; however, predictions that video views will be 70% mobile-based by 2018 are reasonable, because adoption of mobile devices is still increasing.

Mobile social media app use is growing.

Mobile apps and web-based platforms have shifted social media activity from desktops. Marketing Land reported in April 2016, "Nearly 80% of social media time [is] now spent on mobile devices."

Social media's importance is still growing.

Consider these statistics gathered by the PEW Research Center. Among the 86% of Americans who are online, Facebook usage continues to increase - while other platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter retain online loyalty levels that remain above 2012 levels. That means that in 2016:

  • 79% had Facebook accounts.
  • 32% had Instagram accounts.
  • 31% had Pinterest accounts.
  • 29% had LinkedIn accounts.
  • 24% had Twitter accounts.

(Note: This study didn't include YouTube's new social networking component, Community. We recommend our clients pay attention as Google socializes it's video holdings.)

What does this mean for getting maximum video mileage?

Video must be mobile and social media friendly.

That's the message this data delivers. If 80% of your audience is accessing your video from mobile, then delivering a video experience tailored to the app or web interface for each social media interface becomes essential for ultimate mileage.

The next most important consideration as you plan for maximum video mileage is length of video. The shorter the video, the more likely it will be watched on a smartphone. Ooyala reported last year that "69% of all videos watched on smartphones were under 10 minutes long." Short form videos are more mobile friendly. They use less data, load faster, tie up resources for less time.

However, there's more to being mobile-friendly than producing short videos. Each major social network has preferred parameters.

Plan for cross-platform compatibility.

Just as length is a component of mobile friendliness, it is also the parameter that matters most for getting the maximum video mileage across all your social media platforms. If you have a social media presence on Vine or Snapchat, Vine's 6 second and Snapchat 10 second limit per clip requires a different approach from the three top social media channels-YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. However, 30 second videos are right at home with these three social networks.

In addition, LinkedIn allows you to add video links to company updates and posts you publish. However, LinkedIn may soon reward thought leaders if they learn the discipline of saying it in 30 seconds. Influencers on LinkedIn have already been invited to participate in the LinkedIn Influencer video plan for their LinkedIn Feed. The chosen optimal video length is 30-seconds.

Track the metrics you can.

Unless you advertise, only YouTube and Facebook provide a metric dashboard. Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat provide metric dashboards only to advertisers.

Google and Facebook are big on metrics, and the metrics they deliver could be different. Thus we encourage you to have accounts in both social media spaces. These two platforms allow you to upload long-form video as well. So they are ideal for running performance comparisons between your 30-second videos, 60-second videos and videos up to 2 hours (4GB).

Final thoughts on getting maximum video mileage across social media.

Start from the long-form videos YouTube and Facebook allow you to upload, then trim that content down to a 30-second video with a stand-alone message and/or teaser content designed to move viewers to the longer form. Finally, if you discover you might have an audience on Vine or Snapchat consider trimming down to a 6-second message. One thing to keep in mind while making your videos are the technical spefcifications. This can be important when it comes to having a professional feel for your content. If needed download our free guide: Social Media Video Specs Cheat Sheet by clicking here or the button below.

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