Due to the free publicity, Twitter has received from the attention surrounding President Donald Trump, the social media platform has seen a massive increase in users. According to the Wall Street Journal, Twitter saw an 11% increase in its user base at the time of the Presidential election but only a 1% increase in revenue. Thanks to Mr. Trump, Twitter is now at the forefront of the public’s attention practically every day and yet the company is falling behind. This is especially true when comparing it to Twitter’s greatest competitor, social media giant Facebook, which received $8.81 billion dollars at the end of 2016, a 51% increase in revenue according to Forbes. That’s not the only “8 billion” that Facebook makes. Facebook also generates 8 billion video views per day. Makes you wonder if there is a connection, doesn’t it?
One thing that Facebook has already done that Twitter is now trying to shift toward is fully embracing the use of video as a marketing medium. So far, Twitter has been relying on promoted tweets that attempt to incentivize users to make a purchase but has seen little success with them. The belief now is that this format has become inherently counterintuitive for the way that users predominantly operate on Twitter.
The strength of Twitter is in its ability to allow a forum for discussion as well as a news source. Clicking on a promoted tweet would remove them from the feed where they are scrolling and they are trying to interact. Twitter now wants to engage with streaming video and has been featuring live sports as way to begin to promote their new shift towards embracing video.
Considering the research that is consistently showing a staggering rise in video consumption online, currently and well into the future, the embrace of video as a marketing media is a smart move. If you look at the report by technology conglomerate Cisco, by 2019 a million minutes of video will be shared every second and it would take 5 million years to watch all the video that will be shared each month.
YouTube, which originated the social media video craze but has since lost its foothold at the top spot, is still showing a strong grasp of the market. YouTube has shown that the number of people watching videos has increased 40% year over year and expects that to rise to 60% in the future.
So how did Facebook manage to take over the reins of the social video playing field that YouTube established? Consider that nearly 85 percent of posts on Facebook use native video (video uploaded directly to Facebook) while YouTube links were only 10 percent. Facebook’s algorithm also favors uploading directly to Facebook when posting rather than sharing a link from a YouTube feed. YouTube may have originated the concept of social video but Facebook long ago established a foothold in social networking online. Their embrace of the video media in their platform has since become like a flame in a powder keg. The network’s established roots have been waiting for a spark like the video format to ignite their true potential. This has left other social networks racing to catch up.
Making the most of social video
Facebook’s greatest strength has been all the data it has collected about how people use its social network. This is the “powder keg” that is referred to previously. People have settled in and Facebook knows who they are and how they interact and why. They also share this information through their marketing services. This makes Facebook an ideal way to do video marketing in social media because it offers powerful features that will help you target an audience that would likely be interested in what you are promoting.
Also keep in mind that if you are trying to share video on Facebook , the platform prefers you use native video, not YouTube links. You will have better reach if you upload directly. Even if you already have a YouTube feed going, if reach is your concern then you should also upload the video directly to Facebook and ask users to find you on YouTube as well.
Even though it is not entirely on the video bandwagon just yet, you can still share video on Twitter in a similar manner as you can on Facebook. Generally, GIFs are more popularly used on Twitter than on Facebook because it is easier to do. Facebook currently has no way to upload an animated GIF directly and requires you to use a link. But now with the ease of use of video as well as GIFs Twitter may have a slight edge that Facebook doesn’t.
Twitter usage is best for direct engagement, especially if you want to reach complete strangers through purely organic means. Because Twitter is a lot like a big open room and the popular use of hashtags is an easy way to “target” a general audience with a tweet.