Social media video apps

The Social Experiment

With the introduction of livestream videos and accessible editing apps, it’s easier than ever to create video content on social media. Here’s how

100 minutes. That’s the amount of time avid social media users spend watching online videos every day, according to an in-depth study by Wyzowl, a leading animated video company. Here’s another fun fact: Videos generate more engagement on social media than any other content type, according to multiple sources.

With a growing list of video features on platforms from Instagram to TikTok, there’s never been a better time to jump in and start producing quality social media videos.

Here are some tips, and a list of useful apps, to help you get more engagement and a deeper connection with your audience on social media.

Social Savvy

Just dipping your toe into video creation? Follow these simple guidelines to get started.

TIP #1

Choose your content type. There are four main types of video content on social media, including stories, short-form video, long-form video and livestreams. (See descriptions below.) If you’re just getting started, try experimenting with stories first.

  • Stories: Short-form videos (limited to 15 seconds on Instagram, 20 seconds on Facebook) that disappear after 24 hours. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn all have their own versions.
  • Short-form video: Reels, YouTube shorts and TikTok are among the most popular short-form video platforms. Videos can be as long as 90 seconds to 10 minutes depending on the platform, and will replay automatically.
  • Long-form videos: These videos usually run longer and are best for YouTube and Facebook, but can also be shared on Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok.
  • Livestreams: These unedited videos are streamed on the spot. Versions of these can be found on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn.
TIP #2

Hook ‘em in. The first three seconds of your video are absolutely critical. The best way to grab viewers’ attention is with a strong hook, which teases what your video is about. Start off with an enticing question or an eye-catching movement to hook in the viewer.

TIP #3

Keep it short. Few people are going to watch videos on social media that are more than 10 minutes. That’s why it’s key to keep your videos bite-sized and easy-to-consume while providing value, in the form of a helpful tip, product suggestion or inspirational message.

TIP #4

Have a predictable flow. Not sure what to say? Follow this simple format. First, introduce yourself and tell the viewer why you’re here by saying something like, “I’m sharing with you my best tip ever for XX,” or, “This is a quick video to tell you how excited I am about XX.” This is where you’re going to hook the viewer, so kick off the video with a smile, big energy and welcoming body language. Then, summarize the content for the viewer in three or four key points. (This is where graphics and captions can be helpful.) Finally, offer a call to action at the end. One example: “If this sounds like you, click the link in the post” or “DM me for more details.” Be sure to conclude by thanking the viewer for watching.

TIP #5

Be authentic. Want to really connect with your audience? Show your face. It will help create more trust with your viewers – and encourage engagement through comments, likes and shares. And don’t worry about being too polished. If you mess up, don’t reshoot the video. Just correct your mistakes and keep going. Viewers will empathize with someone who seems just like them – not a seasoned pro.

There’s an App for That

When it comes to creating videos for social media, there’s no need to go it alone. With the range of apps on the market, it’s easier than ever to create compelling content, including time-lapse videos, GIFs and long or short video clips using apps right on your phone. The most popular social media video-editing apps are usually available for both Android and iOS mobile devices and can be downloaded through the app store. Here are a few to consider:

Are you curious how your favorite influencers get that stop-motion effect on their videos? This is the app! It’s filled with simple editing tools, photo presets and story templates that will give your content an edgy, vintage look. Plus, it’s super easy to use: All you need to do is upload your picture or video and pick your filter. Plus, there are added bonuses, like vintage frames and fun glitter effects. Note that the free version of this app only has a select number of filters and editing tools available for use. Otherwise, Tezza costs as low as $2 a month, $40 a year or $4 a month with video included.

Unfold is a video and photo editor that offers an ever-changing array of templates. Use it to create stunning content for stories, posts, reels, TikTok and your other social media platforms. You can create beautiful content with hundreds of templates, edit your photos and videos with filters and effects, plan your Instagram feed in advance and create a bio site for your link in bio. Like many apps, Unfold offers both a free service and a subscription service for greater levels of customization. Unfold+ costs $4/month and unlocks all the app’s story templates, fonts, font colors, stickers, stamps, backgrounds and additional tools for further customizing background color.

Use this app to customize your video clips and images with hundreds of ready-to-use templates and styles. You can either upload your own media files or select from Impresso’s extensive stock library, and you may add your own music or use the app’s rich music library with commercially licensed tracks. You can download Impresso for free. If you want to upgrade your account to Impresso Pro (with hundreds of more options), it will cost you $9.99 per month with a free-trial period of seven days.

InShot Video Editor is a user-friendly app which not only allows you to edit video, but also adjust photos, add transitions and create collages. There’s enough there to enjoy using the app without spending a dime, while a Pro version, which starts at $3 per month, includes hundreds of additional effects and options.