The secret to Facebook videos

Videos are one of the fastest growing media types on Facebook, with over 100 million hours of video watched each day. Simply put, native videos should be an essential part of any Facebook pages content strategy.

But just posting a video will not guarantee success; far from it. In fact, most of the videos that you have seen or even created in the past will not work well on Facebook.

The reason for this is that there are two distinct differences between how people consume videos on Facebook vs others platforms such as YouTube or even your website.

Sound off

88% of all videos are watched without sound on Facebook! On Facebook, videos begin playing right away without sound as soon as it appears on the user’s newsfeed. Unlike other channels, the user has to actually take action to turn on the sound for you video. This means that if your video is not powerful and effective without sound, it is being missed by nearly 90% of the people who see it.

On top of that many people browsing Facebook are in a situation where it isn’t appropriate to to turn the sound on. They are at work, sitting with a sleeping child or on the train to work.

Therefore, your video must provide a powerful viewing experience with no sound. There are different strategies for doing this, but the easiest is often just to make sure anything that is spoken is also displayed as captions. You can use SRT files but ideally, these captions are added directly to the video file itself.

This video from AJ+ is a great example of using easy to read captions

Auto-play

You have 2 seconds to grab your views attention! Because Facebook videos auto-play it’s essential to focus on quality from the first frame. If you don’t grab them in the first 2 second, you have lost them forever. So never bury the lead! Don’t be the one to create a video that starts too slowly or doesn’t lead with the punchline.

This video from Good is a great example of optimizing for auto play to get people’s attention quickly

It may help to think of Facebook videos as moving pictures, harkening back to the silent picture days. But unlike sitting in a theatre watching Charlie Chaplin, your videos need to hold people’s attention even when they are watching on their mobile devices in a place where they simply can’t turn on the sound without disrupting the peace.