The “pivot to video” cliché in media is starting to become self-parody. We’ve heard a number of legacy print publishers murmur that this gold rush may be dubious at best and yet another instance of chasing the social media dragon. But for the time being, it’s hard to argue with consumer attraction to sight, sound and motion. Many of the brands reporting engagement hikes across Facebook and Instagram in our October Social Media Boxscores data, for instance, credit video as the catalyst.
Prevention credits its 124-percent rise in Facebook engagement to a marked increase in activity (+153 percent in posts), specifically video. In addition to the premiere of a new “Walk Stronger” series, it initiated new listicle-style videos that drew from top organic search content. Additionally, some tweaking with post timings helped increase video views on Facebook by 12 percent in the month of October.
Real Simple enjoyed a 241-percent increase in Instagram engagement as a direct result of early holiday programing— the #RSholiday campaign. This is an exemplary full court Instagram press that leverages a range of tactics for the platform. Rebecca Longshore, social media manager tells Folio: that the program is a collaboration with the Minted marketplace of one-of-a-kind design objects. They are seeing huge engagement for unique designs, like a simple and symmetrical cottage that proved to be their most active post of the month. The brand is also doing takeovers of the feed by noted designers. But one of the most popular pieces of the effort are regular Wednesday Instagram Live broadcasts (1:00 p.m. ET) featuring holiday how-to’s, which have become some of the most popular Live programming on the mobile social channel.
“We use our mission to help fuel our feed, while also making sure to include either a call to action, or a question in our posts,” says Longshore. “We also support our content through our Like2Buy feature, which allows users to make a recipe, buy the tools they need to execute a DIY project, or explore more through the link in our bio.”
Also key to RS’s Instagram strategy is focusing on “re-regramming” user content via the brand. “We believe that Instagram isn’t just another place to share our content, but to host a community.”
People en Espanol had a 69-percent hike on Facebook, demonstrating that there are many kinds of eye candy in a social feed. One of its leading posts for the month featured a video of a shirtless Rafael Maya, the telenovela star as well as the blockbuster boy band CNCO. The brand increased its Facebook likes by over 4,000 for the month.
Behind Seventeen’s 80-percent rise in Facebook engagement in October was a solid strategy that features fun beauty videos like its “Beauty Lab” series featuring editors them- selves trying the latest products and trends. And it goes without saying (but cannot be stressed enough) that glitz and visual trickery literally still sell in the lightning fast medium that is social scrolling. A glitter-changing lipstick clip was among the most popular in October (4.7 million views). But it was the Halloween mermaid makeup tutorial that attracted over 25-million views.
One especially effective tactic involves aiming campaigns at specific “identities and fandoms” and asking them to take some social action. For the fans of the TV show “Riverdale,” for instance, Seventeen asked them to tag the friend they would most like to watch the season premiere with.
They even engaged people with birthdays in October. “Our audience loves content that speaks to them, which they can also share with their friends, so we’ve been creating fun, animated share posts that allow them to do just that, while also trying to capitalize on what’s buzzing on Facebook and social media,” says Seventeen site director Kristin Koch.
While lush and inspiring images have always been the coin of the realm in Instagram, a number of publishers have been reporting success with the text-as-image approach. Siempre Mujer, for instance, saw a 56-percent increase in engagement in October, driven in part by its “Quote of the Day” posts.
“These posts give us high engagement, and that’s one of the reasons why our engagement is still growing every month,” says Beatriz Cuartero, general manager. But like Real Simple, Siempre Mujer is flexing many of Instagram’s muscles. The brand has increased its posts and has helped grow its base via takeovers by the celebrities like the well-followed Univision host Chiquinquirá Delgado. Additionally, they are using Instagram Live for popular interviews with guests like Miss Universe Gabriela Isler and awards coverage.
“We are focusing our efforts on Instagram because it is helping us to position our brand over many of our competitors,” Cuartero says.