The 4 Key Ingredients of a Perfect Social Video

By Kaylynn Chong


Image via stevepb under CC0 1.0

If the perfect social video were a cake, what would go into making it? We talked to Hootsuite’s in-house video expert, Derek Saddler, to find out the four key ingredients you need to bake a delicious piece of content.

Bonus: Download our free guide that shows you how to 10X your social media performance and beat your competitors. Includes the tools, tricks, and daily routines used by three world-class social media experts.

1. It’s short and sweet

According to a survey conducted by Animoto, nearly two-thirds of consumers prefer video under 60 seconds.

That’s why Saddler recommends keeping your social video between 30 and 90 seconds long. Attention spans are short and you want to keep viewers engaged.

Here’s a few ways to ensure your video holds the audience’s attention:

2. It’s optimized for specific platforms and devices

Consider which platform you will share the video on (Facebook? YouTube?), and how your viewers will watch it (on a laptop or mobile device?). Your goal is to deliver the best experience.

Here are some quick tips for optimizing videos for different devices and platforms:


Read more about optimizing video for each network in How to Optimize Video for Different Social Media Channels.

3. It includes descriptive text or subtitles

Silent film is making a comeback. As we mentioned above, 85 percent of videos on Facebook are watched without sound. Here’s how to cater to your silent viewers:

Want to know more about creating video with the sound off? Check out our post on Silent Video: How to Optimize Facebook Video to Play Without Sound.

4. It has a clear call to action

Saddler says one of the biggest mistakes marketers can make is not including a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of their social video. Having a CTA ensures that the engagement doesn’t stop after the video is over, but guides viewers to the next step—whether it’s a landing page, email subscription page, or purchase. Here’s how to craft an effective CTA:

Here’s an example of an effective CTA: learn more about creating compelling CTAs in our guide to writing effective CTAs for social media.