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17 Ways to Get More Views, Engagement, and Shares for Your F…

This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated with the latest Facebook video tips and information.

Over 8 billion videos or 100 million hours of videos are watched on Facebook every day.

These stats were reported early last year so imagine how much larger the numbers are today as Facebook continued to grow and double down on videos.

Now seems to be the perfect time to take a closer look at Facebook video and how to use videos to engage more fans on the platform.

With Facebook video being the top priority of marketers in 2017, we’d love to help you get ahead of this rising trend. In this post, you’ll learn 17 actionable tips to increase the views, engagement, shares of your Facebook videos.

Facebook video tips

17 Top Facebook Video Tips for More Views, Shares, and Engagement

With Facebook constantly evolving and introducing new features, your video marketing strategy has to evolve, too. Check out the below video and latest tips to help you create videos that captivate your audience:

  1. Create square videos
  2. Catch people’s attention within the first 3 seconds
  3. Add captions to your videos
  4. Suggest viewers tap for sound
  5. Focus on one key point
  6. Upload your videos natively (via Buffer!)
  7. Craft a descriptive title
  8. Create a Facebook-specific copy
  9. Give a preview of the video in your copy
  10. Add a call-to-action
  11. Tag other pages
  12. Choose preferred audience for your videos
  13. Use insights to understand video performance
  14. Go live
  15. Feature a video on your Page
  16. Boost with Facebook ads
  17. Embed Facebook videos on blog posts

Let’s take a look at each tip in detail.

1. Create square videos

Earlier this year, we spent $1,500 to find out what makes videos successful on social media.

We found that square videos outperformed landscape videos in terms of average engagement, views, and reach, especially on mobile. And we aren’t the only one to see these results.

Mobile vs Desktop Video Engagement

Here’re a couple possible reasons:

Landscape vs Square Video Comparison

With more and more people viewing videos on mobile, it’ll be great to experiment with square videos to see if they improve your video performance. You might even want to consider creating vertical videos since Facebook is now showing larger previews for vertical videos in News Feed on mobile.

We have been using Animoto to create simple, short videos and Adobe Premiere and After Effects for more professionally produced videos.

2. Catch people’s attention within the first 3 seconds

Facebook videos auto-play in order to captivate users’ attention and convince them to watch more.

As such, your Facebook video should have a powerful first few seconds that captivate your audience even without sound.

BuzzFeed has become a master at this. Here’s how they’ve done it:

  • Great thumbnails – BuzzFeed uploads custom thumbnails that do a great job at capturing people’s attention while they scroll through their feed.
  • Tease the video with a short post update: Sometimes it’s the title of the video itself (if that is compelling enough). Other times they tease what the video is about.
  • Immediate start: BuzzFeed doesn’t waste time in capturing people’s attention. In general, the first frame is already geared towards piquing someone’s interest.

Here’s a recent example which has garnered more than 8.7 million views at the time of writing:

How to uploading a custom thumbnail

When you upload a video, you can select a thumbnail or add a custom thumbnail for your video.

Select thumbnail for Facebook video

If you didn’t upload a custom thumbnail for your existing Facebook videos, you can select “Edit Post” from the menu and a similar pop-up will appear.

Edit post to customize thumbnail

3. Add captions to your videos

85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound.

Even though Facebook now auto-plays videos on the mobile News Feed with sound, it’s unclear how many people watch videos with the sound on. Facebook users can disable the auto-play-with-sound feature, and videos will auto-play without sound if the mobile phone is on silent mode.

My hunch is that most Facebook users still watch videos without sound.

If a viewer can’t understand your video without the sound, you would likely lose that viewer and the opportunity to convey your message to her.

To prevent that, you can add captions to your videos through Facebook. When you are uploading your video onto Facebook, there’s an option to upload a SRT file of your captions. You can also add captions to existing Facebook videos by editing the video.

Add captions to Facebook videos

(It seems that Facebook has been rolling out an auto-captioning feature so you might not have to do this manually soon.)

Alternatively, you can add text overlay to your videos using a video editing tool like Animoto. Colorful and to-the-point text overlays can make the video more appealing and engaging.

Here’s a great example by HubSpot:

Text overlay on video

4. Suggest viewers tap for sound

Another neat way to work around the silent auto-played Facebook videos is to suggest viewers tap for sound with a pop-up.

Pop-ups can sometimes be annoying so it has to be designed and timed appropriately to create a non-disruptive effect. 20th Century Fox (which I learned this tip from) showed a great example with their Kingsman trailer video:

Tap for sound example

The style of the pop-up is in line with the Kingsman theme (and similar to the style of the captions). It’s also well-timed as it doesn’t prevent you from seeing any crucial bits of the video (and it doesn’t take up too much space on the screen).

5. Focus on one key point

If you want to make a shareable video, focus on one easy-to-understand point.

This is a tip from popular YouTube creators, Rhett Mclaughlin and Link Neal, in a video on creating shareable videos.

Can we summarize what this video is all about in one sentence that is easily understood and also compelling in a way that people will want to share?

The point is if you can’t summarize it in one sentence, then it’s going to take someone longer to explain it when they’re trying to share it.

If your video is easy to understand, viewers would be more likely to share it as it is easy for them to explain what’s great about the video when sharing it.

Rhett and Link try to think from their audience’s point-of-view on why they might share a video even before writing a script for the video. Why might your audience share your videos?

According to Jonathan Perelman, former GM of Video & VP of Agency Strategy at BuzzFeed, there are five main reasons why people share videos:

  • To be social
  • To express how they are feeling about a particular topic
  • To show off, or humble-brag
  • To prove they were the first ones to find something
  • To make friends and colleagues laugh

Do your videos help your audience achieve any of these?

6. Upload your videos natively (via Buffer!)

Videos uploaded onto Facebook natively perform way better than links to YouTube or similar video platforms.

(“Natively” refers to videos that have been uploaded to a network directly and played straight in a feed, versus those that are uploaded elsewhere and shared as links, e.g. YouTube videos.)

Quintly analyzed over 6 million Facebook posts in the period of July to December 2016 and found the following:

The interaction rate for Facebook native videos were on average 109.67% higher than for YouTube videos.

Facebook native videos had on average a 477.76% higher share rate compared to Youtube videos.

With Buffer, you can upload videos directly to your queue and post them natively on Facebook while still being able to take advantage of your optimal Buffer schedule.