Why Video Is Still Leading The Way In Social Media

We’re taking a look at why we have such a fascination with video, and how it’s opening up all kinds of opportunities in connection and online marketing.

With 85% of marketers calling video, and therefore best video sharing apps an essential medium in 2023, there is some solid reasoning behind its usage. Whether to find out about the newest local restaurant or posting a 15-second advert, video has proven to be the method for engagement. 

After Facebook, one of the oldest and most effective social media platforms, Youtube user numbers and user hours are the largest of all the platforms. Video-based social platform TikTok has surpassed Twitter in user numbers. Over the last few years, Facebook and Instagram have incorporated more short-form video tools (reels) and live video streaming options to cater to the increasing demand for video content. 

Video grabs attention better than photos or text

The technology-crazy world we currently live in has provided us with more distractions than ever. With so many apps and screens constantly competing for our attention, getting engagement on our socials can feel like a daunting task. 

The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is a good place to start in terms of understanding the “hook” of video content. Videos such as Instagram stories (which you can now view anonymously) are even more engaging than photos, allowing a moving, immersive experience, and following the further implications of the phrase, a 2-minute video at 60 frames per second is worth… many many words.

This is especially true in terms of videos explaining a concept, sharing a message, or telling a personal story to viewers directly. We respond to videos of people in much the same way as we do in real life – subconsciously absorbing body language, micro-expressions on their faces, and tone of voice. Human beings are also wired to believe the information presented to them when it is done in this way. 

Videos with a person explaining something, or even graphs, images, and a voiceover, are also usually much easier for people to understand than an article. 

Video caters to our ever-shortening attention spans, and holds them for longer

On average, adults’ attention span is around 8.25 seconds (end of 2022). Video not only CAPTURES the attention but holds it. This makes it perform better than photos, images, or text in terms of social media algorithms.

Numerous studies have shown that social media users prefer short captions to longer pieces of text, which doesn’t give us much space to make our pitch – while a video can impart a huge amount of information in a few seconds. This is a fantastic way for companies to advertise – and, according to HubSpot, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video.

Video is immersive

Video allows the viewer into the space. For example, a restaurant, a company’s office, the home of an interior-design influencer, or a new game. Offering an online “tour” is a new way to give potential buyers a much more intimate understanding of the product or service.

Video can tell the BEGINNING of a story well – and then hook the viewer

Marketing companies will tell you that stories, authenticity, and personal connection are some of the most important tools in acquiring brand awareness, engagement, and ultimately, sales on social media. Stories that begin, but leave viewers wanting more, provide powerful hooks and tend to get lots of return viewers. 

Studies have shown that our impulses to check social media are stronger than the urges smokers have for cigarettes and alcoholics have for a drink. This is due to the hit of dopamine we get from small pieces of new, entertaining information – it’s almost as if Facebook and Instagram reels, and TikToks were made specifically for this instinct. Checking our phones for the next part of a short video series continues the journey in a highly satisfying way for our brains. 

Video gives us interaction in the present moment 

Whether it’s reporting live from a crime scene, streaming a DJ’s performance live, or commenting on events as they happen, video allows us to be inside present moments, and connected to others, in a very unique way. This also satisfies our basic human need for belonging and community.  

Choosing video as your primary mode of communication on social media is the most sensible choice in 2023. This applies to those building their personal brands, organizations spreading important messages or companies with something to sell. Remember to keep it real, personal, relevant, and value-adding.

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