Remember that time you were in public, browsing social media to avoid boredom?

Maybe you were standing in line for a coffee. Maybe you were sitting in the waiting area at a doctor’s office. Perhaps you were being sneaky and trying not to get caught on your phone (it’s okay, we all do it).

Then all of a sudden, you accidentally tap the wrong thing and “HOW’S IT GOING GUYS WELCOME BA一”…

Everyone looks at you, shameful stares from across the room. You can imagine what they’re thinking: “Why would they do that?” “What were they watching?” “Really? Now? Here?”.

Congratulations, you have officially become “that guy.”

It is because of this exact situation that 85% of people browse social media without sound. Oh yeah, that’s a large percentage.

The nightmare of social embarrassment.

If you make a potential customer become “that guy,” they’re going to blame you for making them a social outcast一bye-bye sale.

Here are three tips you can follow to avoid embarrassing your prospects while they’re scrolling through their feed.

Tip #1: Add subtitles to your video ad.

The average time somebody holds their attention on a single post in their feed is around 1.7s. If your video requires sound to view, people will innocently forget about you and continue scrolling.

By adding subtitles to your video, prospects can quietly read your message, saving them the social embarrassment of watching it with sound.

On Facebook and Instagram, videos autoplay without sound.

You are shooting yourself in the foot right away by forcing prospects to watch with sound.

Tip #2: Leverage screen real estate.

Screen real estate is the amount of space your post takes up on someone’s screen, measured in pixels or ratios.

Your goal should be to take up as much screen real estate as you can.

Most social media recommend posting videos at 16:9 but not every social media uses 16:9 for their regular posts. The reason 16:9 is bad for social media like Instagram and Facebook is because their mobile apps are built vertically (portrait). YouTube, on the other hand, promotes horizontal (landscape) viewing experiences for video.

Here are some ratios:

  • A standard YouTube video format is 16:9
  • A default Instagram/Facebook post is 1:1 (square)
  • A taller Instagram/Facebook post is 4:5

social media video ad sizes - 1920X1080, 1080 square, or 1080X1350 pixels

Since 83% of social media is consumed on mobile devices (I know, another big percentage), you should tailor your video to the vertical viewing experience of mobile applications.

The best way to take advantage of Instagram and Facebook is by:

  1. Shooting your video at 9:16 (the portrait version of 16:9), or
  2. Adding black bars on the top and bottom of your 16:9 video

Option A is good if you only intend on using that video for social media like Instagram or Facebook.

But option B is far more versatile. You can shoot in 16:9 and format it to the proper dimensions of the media in question. By adding black bars (or company colours) you can use that space as a billboard on your video.

If you’ve been paying attention, you might want to use these black bars as an opportunity to add subtitles to your video. *wink wink*

how to optimize your social media video ads

Tip #3 is to chameleon-ize your video ads.

One thing I see far too often is an ad that opens with the company logo… Hello?! Dead giveaway! People will see the logo and be gone before you even have a chance to sell them something.

If you can slip past people’s ADS (Advertisement Detection System) in their brain, you have successfully passed step one of advertising on social media.

You need to chameleon-ize your video. Make it blend into its surroundings.

You should target your video at the right demographic, yes, but you need to know what kind of things they regularly see in their feed. This way you can make your video blend in, and they will not know it’s an advertisement until actually putting in a little bit of thought.

When people are browsing social media, they want to be entertained.

“Entertainment is the only currency with which you can purchase the time and attention of a too-busy public.”

– Roy H. Williams, Wizard of Ads

We use social media to escape boredom. That’s why advertisements are glaringly obvious. Most advertisements are boring. So if you’re advertising on social media, consider yourself a part of the entertainment industry.

To avoid turning your prospect into “that guy,” be sure to add subtitles, chameleon-ize, and format your video appropriately for the next time your prospect is browsing social media in a public place.

If you need help chameleon-izing your content or need the technical help to reformat/ subtitle your content, then I’m your guy.

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