Video on Facebook is big and will get even bigger. According to AdAge, since January 2014, Facebook video posts increased by 94 percent annually in the US, with 75 percent annual growth internationally. For florists, Video is must-do media to ensure audience engagement. So what are best practices to get you started on — or improving — your Facebook video posts?
First of all, most, if not all, of your Facebook videos will be captured using a smartphone, whether you’re in the shop or at event venues. So if your smartphone is fairly new (less than two years old), it probably has a great camera. If older, consider upgrading to a newer smartphone that accommodates for a variety of light conditions you’ll experience.
Brighter is Better
Speaking of lighting, bright is better. Natural light is the best, so bring your subjects over to a large window when possible to provide lots of natural light. Then adjust your angle so they’re well-lit without being washed out. If you’re indoors, look for “daylight” bulbs that will show up better on video, as opposed to “warm” lights that might turn your subject yellow.
Hook the Viewer From the Get-Go
You only have between three and ten seconds to hook your viewers before they start scrolling away, so make sure the opening seconds of your video are catchy and interesting. Instead of using the opening time to introduce yourself, your shop, and the topic of your video jump right into your message or open up with a question or interesting fact.
This will take some prior planning, but it’s important to craft your opening lines to hook the viewer’s attention before they scroll away to a video of a panda bear bouncing on a trampoline or a dog drooling on a baby’s head.
Caseless and Sideways
When you’re ready to capture, be sure to take the case off the phone — a case may block the microphone and impede the audio collection. Next, do your best to have a steady hand and capture the video holding the camera in a horizontal position. It’s not a natural motion, but vertical video is never a good idea, as this hilarious video explains.
Just Say No to Selfie-Mode
Want to be in front of the camera to be the expert? If you don’t have a friend handy to hold the camera for you, buy a GorillaPod. This great tripod will allow you to prop your phone on tables, wrap it around poles, or mount it on chairs so you can be featured in your own videos.
Say it with Subtitles
Once you capture the video on your smartphone, upload it natively into a Facebook post, not embedded in YouTube. Native Facebook videos play automatically, but YouTube videos shared to Facebook aren’t videos, but plain links that users must click and view on another page. If watching a video requires users to take the time to read the description and click, they’ll opt to keep scrolling. Make it easy for them: natively upload your videos so they play without any extra effort.
It’s very important to insert captions if spoken language is necessary to convey the video’s message: up to 85% of Facebook video is viewed without sound, so if people can’t immediately figure out what you’re trying to convey without audio, they won’t even stop scrolling. Facebook has a new feature that will auto-generate captions for you after you publish your video, but you may need to go through and manually correct the auto-generated captions.
Experiment with Facebook Live
Let’s switch gears and discuss video you can capture on the spot to stream using Facebook Live.
Facebook Live allows you to film video that is shared with your followers live, in real-time. Followers are notified that you’re live-streaming and can watch what you’re up to as it’s happening. This is a great way to engage with your audience in a natural, personal way.
Here are some ideas for Facebook Live:
Flower care and handling
Floral design demos (recorded in time-lapse or sped up)
Wedding or event venue walk through and explanation
Floral design trends
shop story (how you became a florist),
sustainability practices (green, recycling flowers)
As always, make sure your videos aren’t “sale-sey”. If it sounds like a commercial, your audience will scroll on by. Aim to create honest, genuine content that entertains, teaches, and shows personality. If you can express the “human-ness” of your shop, the audience will be more willing to look into your offerings and keep you in their mind next time they’re in the market for a floral arrangement.
How are you using video to reach your audiences?