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Video in Social Media: Bring a Gun to a Knife Fight

Video is a powerful tool for communication in social media…but there’s a lot of hype out there. In keeping with the title of this piece, I’d liken it to a wild-west bar fight, charlatans and hucksters fighting it out amongst deadly practitioners of targeted messaging (aka: gunslingers). I think this lil’ video sums it up nicely:

Yep, pretty much sums it up. Social media is full of hype – It’s still new. But really, it’s just a channel..and as it happens, a very effective way to communicate with and ideally persuade people…like a gun…if used effectively.

What’s amazing is that we now all have the tools and the channel to effectively communicate with the entire (web-enabled) planet…if only we knew how – and had a message they wanted to receive and share. Think about that for a moment: I challenge you to imagine what kind of message might be worthy of sharing on a global level.  It’s philosophical, sure, but it has inspired me to think a little more clearly about message sharing as a social phenomena. Here’s some data about video in social media for context.

We humans are social and we share for different reasons, but the ‘laws of reciprocity’ govern our behavior.  We share because we believe it will come back to us – in good-will, praise, business, etc. We know instinctively that what we share, and how, reflect back on us. For example:

We share meat: we mighty hunter. We share valuable video: we smart, connected, resourceful.

In the world of social media, video inherently has an inherent perceived value. If it’s a great message, well executed, the real value can skyrocket. The real opportunity is to use the valued medium of video to spread your message.  It’s inherently sharable/noteworthy and can have a profound impact in several different ways. Let’s take a look at some of those.


Video gets noticed. Whenever I see a video on Facebook, I take notice. OK, sure, I might not watch it, but it stands out. Images also stand out but once you see it, that’s it, there’s only text. Once they click play on a video, they are opening the door to whatever message you’ve prepared for them so see and hear.


This is your chance! They clicked ‘play’ – are you going to give them something they enjoy? Information they want? I’ve seen data that views tend to drop way down after a minute (which makes sense in our fast paced web life). Give them a good reason to stick around and they will.


The real value of video is that it allows for several concurrent forms of media to transmit at once: Camera images, text, spoken words, music and graphics…and STORY.  Not only can your emotions engaged but your intellect/curiosity can be stimulated by the construct of of a story. The basic format of a story  (“X” happened, then “Y” happened, but then” Z” happened) is deeply ingrained in the human psyche through thousands of years of listening to hunter-gatherer tales by the campfire at night. We cannot help but want to know what happens next. Use this tactic wisely, it will serve you well.

You Tube

Ignore the world’s second largest search engine at your own peril…especially for social media. Video is an extremely sharable format and You Tube has made it ‘toddler-simple’ to share video, you can even upload from your phone now. Not only can you share a short video from an event, meeting or some other business-specific use, you can curate content from others that do as well. Create your company’s own You Tube channel and create playlists of content that your customers or employees may find useful and then share it with them.


Video is the ideal medium for social on mobile. It’s easier to consume when you’re on the go. People share video as they consume.  I see people watching videos on a phone together all the time, I don’t share articles that way. try it, start watching a video around your family, friends or peers and see if they take interest.

The Bottom Line

With video, you now have this amazingly powerful, sharable communication tool for social media – a machine gun of ideas.  Most of the noise in social media is still text and images so video will still have an impact. But times are changing fast, you probably wont be the only gunslinger in town…and you don’t want to be the last one to this party. By using video in social media, your message stands a better chance of making an impact, engaging your audience and earning shares and comments. People like video and seek it out. If you aren’t using it to communicate with your social audiences, you can bet your competition will.**

If you found this helpful please share, ‘like’, and follow below. Really, please do!

Dane Frederiksen
Digital Accomplice

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