Engagement on social media channels like Twitter and Instagram are heavily impacted by visual content. Instagram is all about posting photos and videos. Tweets that have photos, GIFs, or video get noticed significantly more than tweets without visual content. In fact, 82% of Twitter users watch video content on Twitter. Furthermore, Twitter has reported that native video on Twitter drives more overall engagement than third-party videos shared on its platform to the tune of about 2.5X more replies, 2.8X more Retweets and 1.9X more Favorites. That’s a pretty compelling reason to incorporate video and animated GIFs in your social media posts.
This doesn’t mean you need to produce and publish 1-2 minute videos, even though Twitter now allows for videos over 2 minutes long (as long as they’re in the format they specify). In fact, given the short attention spans we all have these days as well as the fact that people are often accessing their social media streams on the smartphones, shorter is better. You can get across a simple message in 5-10 seconds. I think of these more like animated factoids rather than videos. They don’t have a script that tells a story. Rather, they’re just a snippet of data, information, or some other interesting fact animated to be more engaging and grab the readers attention, accompanied by a link where they can read more.
Here’s a few examples of what I mean.