snapchat facebook social media business strategy

Noisy Neighbours: Facebook Video vs Snapchat

Looking to improve customer engagement on social media, lots of brands are turning to video. One Facebook VP has predicted that News Feeds will be 100% video in five years. Users are much happier to watch a two-minute video than they are to read a 500-word article, it’s easier. Simple as that. But should Facebook be the focus of your company’s video output?

It’s oh so quiet…

Facebook helps to boost engagement stats by autoplaying videos in users’ timeline with a single caveat, the videos start with no sound. A good idea underpins this decision, autoplaying noisey videos would be obnoxious. Instead, we get subtitles (Facebook offer auto-captioning for videos) and Facebook advise brands to work around the lack of sound by focusing on visuals.

facebook video auto captioned

Subtitled videos are the norm on Facebook

100 million hours of video are watched on Facebook every day, though many publishers note that around 85% of video views are on mute. Those millions of views would make Facebook the prime video channel for businesses using social media, if it weren’t for one young upstart.

There’s a new app around…

Snapchat offers a different option for content creators looking to video. The hottest app in town recently announced that two thirds of videos are watched with sound. Considering that Snapchat facilitates 10 billion video views every day, this is pretty big news.

Watching a video with sound implies useful engagement. With Facebook, we can find out how long our videos are viewed for, but knowing that almost all of the viewers aren’t engaged enough to unmute the clip, it’s far less impressive.

Limits of the two platforms

What’s interesting about the two platforms is how they deal with limitations. Facebook limits itself by muting autoplay videos, leading brands to focus on visuals and ignore the audio. Snapchat limits itself to 10 second videos, leading brands to post over and over again on the app.

hubspot snapchat business social media

You don’t have to stick to bad jokes

The Snapchat time limit has two nice benefits. The first is that users create a stream of fresh content through the day because each post is so short. The second is that it’s easy to create video content. All that’s needed is 10 seconds of guerrilla filming. No effort to get lighting right or reshoot part of the video.

How Snap Ads fit in

Understanding how to create content for Snapchat is set to get a lot more important for businesses with the release of Snapchat’s advertising API, Snap Ads. The adverts are 10 seconds max, giving creatives a tough time. Being able to sum up your brand message in a few lines is the key, almost like filming an elevator pitch.

It’s a similar problem for anyone familiar with YouTube advertising. Users are given the option to skip an ad after 5 seconds, meaning you need a killer opening. Geico got around the skip issue nicely in a series of “unskippable” ads that rifted off Police Squad’s freeze frame skits. They doubled up as a viral campaign; viewers sharing the rest of the video with friends.

This kind of imaginative video advertising suits Snapchat. If you get a user’s attention, they will be able to swipe up to find a longer version of the video, a link to the company’s mobile webpage, branded articles or download links to the app store.

So, what should you post?

Snapchat’s great engagement stats aren’t an excuse to post non-stop promotional snaps to your Business Story. Like any other social account, it’s a business profile. If you’re wondering how other brands handle Snapchat, go on the app and follow a load of users. Choice accounts: DOMINOS_UK, hubspotinc, EVERLANE.

It’s closest in approach to Twitter, you want in the moment content. Interesting and useful videos, little clips of fun around the office or shots of your latest product being used. Showcase days your company is sponsoring or corporate events you’re attending.

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