Five Key Strategies to Creating Popular Shareable Social Media Videos
It is clear that social media has grown rapidly over the last decade and more recently there has been a significant growth in social media video. YouTube is the leading social media video platform but 2014 saw Facebook step up and compete along with others such as Vine and Instagram.
Social media videos are typically shared across a single platform but the following two statistics demonstrate the increasingly highly sharable nature of social media video across different platforms.
There are many diverse reasons why someone will elect to hit share, rather simply like or comment. For example they might want to be the first to share and be seen as having their ‘finger on the pulse’, or perhaps in some way look hip and gain kudos by association, or maybe sharing is coming from an altruistic perspective.
Almost half of video shares occur in the first three days so it is critical to promote newly published videos as much as possible in those all-important early days. As Seth Godin say’s, you need to get the ‘sneezers’ (early adopters) actively campaigning on you behalf to get the ball rolling.
When planning your content it is extremely useful to look at audience profiling and to determine what elements to include that are most likely to result in the video being shared. What are your audience’s preferences – do they like funny, cute, funky, inspiring etc.? Much also depends on whom your audience is sharing the video with. Who are their friends and who is in their network? What interests and passions do they share? Can you somehow tap into the Zeitgeist?
One element that popular videos have in common is that they hit emotions very hard. It is not enough for a funny video to make you smile – you need to be laughing loudly before you even think about sharing it.
A useful exercise is to think about the videos that you personally share on social media and ask yourself why you did that. This will help you gain insight into your own experiences and that knowledge can help you identify triggers in others.
Here a five key strategies for creating popular sharable social media videos.
1. “How to” Education
The ‘how to” genre is often overlooked but it offers significant opportunities to create popular sharable content. Typical how to videos are not particularly complex to create and can offer a solid ROI, particularly if you focus on a topic that is in high demand. The popular “life hack” sub genre is a good example of a successful “how to” niche.
A proven approach is to share significant insight and provide truly valuable content, as this is more likely to be shared. If you wondering about protecting what you know, you must move on from this mindset and share some of your most valuable content if you are looking to create a the type of video that will be popular.
By sharing your secret sauce or “insider knowledge” you have a good chance of standing out from the crowd.
Video that entertains will, in most markets, have a higher chance of being shared. Can you think of a funny angle on your industry or perhaps a clever parody or spoof that can be turned into a video? Whilst these types of videos will have more of a hit or miss success rate, if they work, then typically an video that entertains will do very well.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to include babies, celebrities or dancing in order to make an entertaining video. What ideas can you think of?
Warning: be prepared for an epic fail if it all turns pear shape – can your business (and your ego) handle this?
3. Engage with a Story
Storytelling is so incredibly powerful because it’s built into our DNA. If you go back hundreds of thousands of years to early mankind, we used to communicate knowledge through storytelling. Today’s digital campfire hasn’t really changes all that much and videos that have strong narratives are predisposed to being shared with friends, peers and beyond.
Is there an element of your business or product that has a strong engaging story behind it that would engage your audience enough to make them ‘tell the world’?
- Tip #1: Keep in mind that the key to a good story is to be authentic. Certainly don’t pretend that the story is something that it’s not because online audiences are very media savvy and will notice straight away if your story is a fake.
- Tip #2: Make your story is entertaining. It is a wonderful opportunity to put some thought into your script. Make it the best that it can be. Your audience will appreciate it and you will benefit from the results.
4. Become Crystal Clear on Outcomes
Do not be daunted when you see videos with millions of views or thousands of shares, instead, be inspired. You must have courage because until you publish your video publicly you will not know how it will be received.
It is important to set goals and determine how to measure Return on Investment (ROI). You will need to set your own standards to measure the success of your video. For a small business start up, just 100 shares might well offer unmeasurable business opportunities if the right people watch the video.
What does success look like for your video?
5. Be Remarkable
A video that stands out by going against the grain of audience expectations is often a recipe for success. Dove’s 2014 #alwayslikeagirl is a good example of developing a theme in a direction that is not immediately predictable. It is also picks up on strategy #2 Interviews, #4. Engage with a Story and to some extend #3 Entertainment. [http://youtu.be/XjJQBjWYDTs]
If you want people to share your video it needs to be unique in some way. The ‘same old, same old’ content quickly gets stale and simple will not be shared.
Creating sharable social videos is perhaps more challenging today as there is simply an avalanche of content and audiences just don’t have the time to consume even a fraction of it. We are experiencing ‘content shock’ which is why Facebook filters out the majority of possible content and serves only what is most likely to be of interest to us.
Your challenge is to create original, authentic, entertaining videos that inspires your audience to hit that magical share button. It’s a challenge worth aspiring to, as the benefits of a popular social media video that is highly sharable can be extremely profitable.
Marcus Seeger is the #1 Amazon best selling author of “Video Marketing for Profit; 14 Proven Strategies for Accelerated Business Growth”. Marcus is managing director of video marketing and production agency, Video Experts. Information about Marcus's book and new video marketing podcast can be found at www.videomarketingforprofit.com.au The book is available online and in all good book stores. For free video marketing training that will help you grow your business to the next level, visit www.videoexperts.com.au/blog
Chinese Firm Taigusys Launches Emotion-Recognition System
In a detailed investigative report, the Guardian reported that Chinese tech company Taigusys can now monitor facial expressions. The company claims that it can track fake smiles, chart genuine emotions, and help police curtail security threats. ‘Ordinary people here in China aren’t happy about this technology, but they have no choice. If the police say there have to be cameras in a community, people will just have to live with it’, said Chen Wei, company founder and chairman. ‘There’s always that demand, and we’re here to fulfil it’.
Who Will Use the Data?
As of right now, the emotion-recognition market is supposed to be worth US$36bn by 2023—which hints at rapid global adoption. Taigusys counts Huawei, China Mobile, China Unicom, and PetroChina among its 36 clients, but none of them has yet revealed if they’ve purchased the new AI. In addition, Taigusys will likely implement the technology in Chinese prisons, schools, and nursing homes.
It’s not likely that emotion-recognition AI will stay within the realm of private enterprise. President Xi Jinping has promoted ‘positive energy’ among citizens and intimated that negative expressions are no good for a healthy society. If the Chinese central government continues to gain control over private companies’ tech data, national officials could use emotional data for ideological purposes—and target ‘unhappy’ or ‘suspicious’ citizens.
How Does It Work?
Taigusys’s AI will track facial muscle movements, body motions, and other biometric data to infer how a person is feeling, collecting massive amounts of personal data for machine learning purposes. If an individual displays too much negative emotion, the platform can recommend him or her for what’s termed ‘emotional support’—and what may end up being much worse.
Can We Really Detect Human Emotions?
This is still up for debate, but many critics say no. Psychologists still debate whether human emotions can be separated into basic emotions such as fear, joy, and surprise across cultures or whether something more complex is at stake. Many claim that AI emotion-reading technology is not only unethical but inaccurate since facial expressions don’t necessarily indicate someone’s true emotional state.
In addition, Taigusys’s facial tracking system could promote racial bias. One of the company’s systems classes faces as ‘yellow, white, or black’; another distinguishes between Uyghur and Han Chinese; and sometimes, the technology picks up certain ethnic features better than others.
Is China the Only One?
Not a chance. Other countries have also tried to decode and use emotions. In 2007, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) launched a heavily contested training programme (SPOT) that taught airport personnel to monitor passengers for signs of stress, deception, and fear. But China as a nation rarely discusses bias, and as a result, its AI-based discrimination could be more dangerous.
‘That Chinese conceptions of race are going to be built into technology and exported to other parts of the world is troubling, particularly since there isn’t the kind of critical discourse [about racism and ethnicity in China] that we’re having in the United States’, said Shazeda Ahmed, an AI researcher at New York University (NYU).
Taigusys’s founder points out, on the other hand, that its system can help prevent tragic violence, citing a 2020 stabbing of 41 people in Guangxi Province. Yet top academics remain unconvinced. As Sandra Wachter, associate professor and senior research fellow at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute, said: ‘[If this continues], we will see a clash with fundamental human rights, such as free expression and the right to privacy’.