Social Video, Trends & Insights, Video Inspiration

Social video language 101: How to tell stories for each social audience

By Erik Mathes | Jan 16, 2019


In order to become a serious social media brand, your social media marketing must include a remarkable mix of content that appeals to the right audience. Informative videos and compelling storytelling are a must, but it doesn’t end there. After compiling our latest report, How to reach audiences with social video: From Millennials to Generation Z, we’ve learned that a successful social media brand needs to approach storytelling with respect to each platform’s nuances when targeting today’s youngest, most influential audiences with social video marketing.


From old stalwarts like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to upstarts like Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn, the subtleties between the most popular social media marketing channels should be embraced and emphasized instead of using an across-the-board approach for your social media brand channels. Here are some video on social media stats & tips from our report that will help you navigate your company to top social media brand status, on all of Millennial and Gen-Z’s top-rated platforms.

Use Facebook social marketing videos to target Millennials

Facebook is still considered to be the most popular social media marketing platform, with over 68% of Americans using it as their primary channel. But as our report discovered, there’s a clear favoritism among Millennials for the original social network, with Facebook ranking number one for most videos watched by Millennials. On the flip side, Facebook came in seventh place among Gen-Z in the same category, with YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and even Vimeo coming in ahead of it.

That means if you’re after the Millennial market, Facebook is the place to post. And with 71% of video viewership occurring after 5 p.m. for both Millennials and Gen-Z, it pays to time your posts to coincide with these hours where mass social video consumption takes place. On top of timing your posts, you should also aim to make videos for Facebook in the square format, as that’s what works best according to our research since they’ll be optimized for both mobile and desktop. Take a look at the following Facebook video SHAPE created with Wibbitz that garnered more than 1.4 million views – by hooking in viewers’ short video attention spans right away with interesting footage and an easy-to-read caption:

One of NYC's Toughest Workouts: Tone House

If you're looking for a crazy intense workout that will take you out of your comfort zone Tone House is the place for you. Tag a daredevil. 💪

Posted by SHAPE on Monday, November 12, 2018


Share entertaining original stories on Instagram, IGTV and Instagram Stories

Instagram and IGTV don’t support links in posts (you can only have one in your bio), so it’s not the social marketing channel to overtly push your product to Gen-Z or Millennial consumers. After all, younger audiences are put off aggressive sales tactics. Instead, take the approach of using Instagram to connect with your target audience by sharing entertaining stories that will appeal to their interests.

Different video formats are required across Instagram – so make sure you’re using longer vertical videos for IGTV, short vertical videos for your snippets on Instagram Stories, and square or landscape videos to nail your standard Instagram posts. Make sure that you also repurpose content across each Instagram platform to maximize your exposure and engagement. By creating similar videos optimized for all three formats in square, vertical, and landscape orientation, you’ll really be able to elevate your social video marketing.

By following this approach consistently over time, your social media brand status will elevate in the eyes of your followers (and you’ll attract more of them), and you’ll build affinity with your target audience. And, perhaps, you’ll get curious viewers of your Instagram videos to visit your profile and even click the link in your bio to learn more about your brand. Wibbitz customer BET follows this strategy in their 30-second clip for IGTV announcing the entertainment news that a member of Destiny’s Child has been cast in a new TV series:


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A post shared by BET Networks (@bet) on

Use Twitter to hone your social media brand persona and tap into relevant news stories

Our report found that Twitter is the only social marketing platform where users followed more celebrities and influencers than other types of accounts, which shows that people are looking for personality behind the Tweets they read. That’s why it’s best to emulate the most successful social media brands on Twitter that have perfected the art of communicating as if a single voice is behind the account. By using Twitter as the social media marketing platform where your brand’s personality is on full display, you’ll establish a better connection with your target audience and gain more followers than if your Tweets simply pushed your product or offered bland observations.

To make your Tweets even more potent, stay abreast of current news stories and events that your brand and target audience can relate to. Then, use humor, share important information, or take a bold stance as an individual might do, and then watch as your social media brand profile is elevated in the eyes of the people that matter most to you.

Mashable does a great job in both of these areas with this Wibbitz video that taps into the viral film Birdbox from Netflix and the unfortunate “challenge” that stemmed from it. By using a short line that sounds like something your friend would say to you, Mashable’s Tweet feels personal, relevant, and unforced:

Use YouTube for all social marketing because it’s beloved by young audiences

According to BroadbandSearch, 60% of millennials believe that videos on YouTube have made an impact on their personality and world view. And when we surveyed Gen Z and Millennial viewers to find out these video on social media stats, YouTube scored massively high among both demographics as a favorite social media marketing channel. Coming in first place for both groups when it comes to videos relating to career development and entertainment, and second place among both groups when it comes to news videos, YouTube has cemented itself as a platform that commands the attention of any top social media brand.

While YouTube is the most all-purpose video platform out of everything we’ve discussed in terms of content, it still only supports one video format (landscape). Here, you should post videos that showcase distinct qualities of your brand and how it’s staying relevant. Check out this YouTube video The History Channel made with Wibbitz that discusses some cannabis history that you’ve probably never heard about, posted on the most professionally appropriate day of the year, 4/20:

Save LinkedIn for professional, business-minded content

As LinkedIn is a social network for business professionals with profiles acting as a virtual resume for individuals, brands can also leverage the platform to highlight their corporate (or non-corporate) culture, charitable initiatives, and benefits/perks to entice prospective employees to visit their careers pages. To do so, you can create a company page where you add details about your organization (or yourself, if you’re an individual providing a service) and post content that showcases what it’s like to work with you and for you, so you can attract potential clients and hires.

Additionally, LinkedIn can also be used as a social marketing channel for posting motivational and inspirational videos to strengthen the connection that viewers have with your brand. Tony Robbins hits the mark in this video created with Wibbitz, and featuring Serena Williams, that talks about how she adopts a winning mindset and finishes with a quotation from Tony about cultivating gratitude:

Get creative and be timely with your social marketing on Snapchat

Based on our November 2018 survey, Snapchat came in fourth and eight for Millennials and Gen Z, respectively, when it comes to social platforms ranked by most videos watched. Still, it has not caught on as much as the other platforms when it comes to its users following brands as much as friends/family and celebrities/influencers. But if you’re looking to try something new, edgy, or unexpected, Snapchat is the perfect playground for testing this kind of content for your social media brand.

Because Snapchat is still fairly new as a social marketing tool, brands should use it for bolder, more creative content, as well as videos that are short, timely, and relevant. Wibbitz customer TMZ is a master at this, capitalizing on the most buzzworthy happenings with celebrities and influencers in the videos they post, not wasting much time from the moment they happen. Here’s a Wibbitz video TMZ posted on their Snapchat channel tmz_tv:


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Erik Mathes, Content Marketing Strategist
Erik Mathes

Content Marketing Strategist

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