Last week Facebook introduced Watch:

“a new platform for shows on Facebook. Watch will be available on mobile, on desktop and laptop, and in our TV apps. Shows are made up of episodes — live or recorded — and follow a theme or storyline.”

It’s an interesting but un-surprising development. In November 2015 Facebook’s video views reached 8 billion, a 100% increase in just a few months, and it’s now predicted that traffic from online videos will constitute over 80% of all internet traffic by 2020. It’s all ready at 74%.

Video is big and getting bigger, so it’s no surprise Facebook is taking on the TV industry with Watch.

If video isn’t already part of your social content strategy you really should start thinking about it! It’s not as difficult as you might think, so today we’ll share with you just a few things to consider when using video in Facebook.

  1. 85% of viewers watch videos on mute

Facebook recently started experimenting with auto-playing sound when you scroll past a video, but not every device has that yet and even when they do it’s easily turned off and to be honest can you imagine how annoying that could be?

The point here? You need to grab an audience quickly, make them feel compelled to click the video and listen. Or ensure your video works without sound.

  1. Live video is fantastic for audience engagement

Going live when something great is happening or to announce a new service or product is fantastic for engagement.

Since its launch to the general public in April 2016 Facebook Live has seen an exponential increase in use. In May 2017, 1 in 5 videos on Facebook was live, and Mark Zuckerburg wants more people using it! That’s why they get pushed to followers encouraging more engagement.

Users comment on live videos at 10x the rate they do with regular videos. It’s about being in the now – so invite your audience in.

  1. You have all the equipment you need

Do you have a smartphone? Great! Then you need nothing more.

Seriously, it really isn’t difficult to create good standard videos using your phone. From filming to editing to publishing, it’s all possible on your phone.

Depending on the phone you have it’ll most likely come with its own video editing app. But you don’t have to use it for editing. A phone will help you live stream, create quick behind the scenes videos and most can now take 360 photos too, but we won’t get into that or 360 videos right now – more on this at a later date.

  1. Square videos take up 78% more of the screen

Creating a square video will better engage your audience in Facebook. It takes up a lot more of the screen than a regular landscape sized video and therefore catches your audience’s attention.

You’ll need an app, Facebook slideshow or Microsoft PowerPoint. Yep, PowerPoint!

So the apps I’d recommend for this are either Ripl or Animoto. You’ll need to buy the pro versions if you don’t want watermarks or logos in the corner but they’re not expensive, really intuitive and fairly easy to get used to.

Uploading photos to a Facebook slideshow will create a slick little video provided you have some interesting pics to show your story. But if you fancy doing a bit more DIY but don’t have video editing software you can use PowerPoint.

There’s a step-by-step guide to it on Social Media Today here.

  1. You can now use a video as your cover photo

Facebook fairly recently introduced video for cover photos and profile pictures. It’s a great place to introduce new followers to your business and tell more of your story.

I prefer the cover photo as there’s more room to get creative. But you can also set a featured video too, and again that will help welcome Facebook users.

We’d recommend for a video like this, encapsulating the style and tone of your business, that you have it professionally made. There’s loads of great videographers around. In fact, we’re not bad at this ourselves.

Here’s one we made earlier… 😉