How to Optimize Your Videos for Social Media

Creating videos is labor-intensive. Ensure this sought-after content is ready for prime time so you can make the most of your efforts.
business woman recording video

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With the rise of platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, consumers expect more video from businesses to help them learn about products and discover new trends than ever before. This is especially true in the real estate world. In fact, 86 percent of home shoppers say they use video to learn more about a specific community, according to the Google & Complete Home Shopper Survey.

From behind-the-scenes scoops and expert interviews to live open houses and neighborhood tours, video content engages house hunters and sellers alike. And agents who invest in video that’s optimized for social media will get a better return on the time and effort it takes to create this high-value content.

Commit to a Clear Goal

You never want to confuse your viewers, and as a successful agent, you want to create an array of video types and then continuously post them throughout social media. Check out this recent article to learn about the four main real estate videos that you should know inside and out.

Don’t just make a video to make a video. Look at your business plan and find a goal that can be accomplished or assisted through a social media video strategy. Looking to break into a new area? Make a video tour of that neighborhood. Or perhaps you want to specialize in a particular type of architecture. Contact a past client who has the type of home you want to sell more of and ask if you can do a “just sold” video of their property (don’t forget to include a quick testimonial if your client is open to that).

Tailor Video Length to Match the Platform

You want to keep your audience engaged, and it can be difficult to hold people’s attention, so be sure to keep your videos short and sweet. Also, each platform has its respective length requirements you must take into account.

Instagram caps its videos at 60 seconds. However, research from HubSpot shows that the ideal video length for this platform is around 30 seconds. Instagram, therefore, is best for short snippet videos, not long explanations or tutorials. Twitter videos are shorter, with a 140-second time limit (though select publishers can post longer videos), so agents should post shorter “sneak peek” videos there. YouTube videos, on the other hand, have no maximum length but are most effective when they stay under five minutes. For agents who want to create explainer videos, YouTube is the best bet.

Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook all offer “story” features, which are temporary videos that disappear after a set amount of time and max out at 10 to 15 seconds. Stories are the perfect length to showcase behind-the-scenes action or offer exclusive content, such as a sneak peek at a new listing, but they are not ideal for educational content that needs more time.

Put listing or “just sold” videos on Facebook, which has a maximum time limit of 2 hours or 4GB. Agents can use this extra time to showcase key features of the property. As a networking site, LinkedIn is a great place to put videos that introduce you as a businessperson. LinkedIn puts a 10-minute time limit on videos, but it’s best to keep them shorter and focus on the value you provide clients.

As the founder of a company that hopes to help agents to build their personal brand online, I’m a big fan of business card videos that are optimized for social. We’re offering these quick, introductory videos fit for social media free at our website if you’re thinking about trying this tactic in your online marketing.

Load Your Videos Correctly

On some social media platforms, it’s preferable to upload your videos natively, rather than posting a link to your video on YouTube. According to research by social media analytics firm Quintly, native videos receive 109 percent higher interaction rates and 477 percent higher share rates on Facebook. On Twitter, native videos tend to get better traction because they are the only ones that utilize its autoplay feature. LinkedIn only recently introduced native video uploads, but if you’re looking to be ahead of the curve, direct uploads will likely improve your LinkedIn marketing strategy, too. Stagger the time and dates you post the same video on different sites so that people who follow all of your channels won’t get annoyed.

As mentioned, you should use Instagram and Snapchat to cater to shorter attention spans due to their stricter length requirements; however, their unique story features allow for audience growth via direct video. Agents can speak directly to followers when they have a new listing or an announcement to share, which encourages more people to subscribe to your profile for the inside scoop.

Even with so many options for native videos, real estate agents should still have an up-to-date YouTube channel and post videos on their website. If a potential customer lands on an outdated YouTube channel, they may think you are no longer in business.

And don’t forget the extras. As discussed in an earlier column, many people watch videos without sound, so it’s important to add transcripts whenever possible. Also, make sure the video’s first images are appealing to the eye and draw viewers to explore your channels and website. Add an appealing thumbnail to all social channels and YouTube.

Video is one of the most powerful content tools on the internet at the moment. It provides a glimpse into an agent’s offerings and has the power to improve likability. Social media use is growing among all demographics and real estate agents need to be proficient in its uses today.