Social Media Fuels Online Video Discovery

Social sharing and video viewership go hand in hand. In April this year, a blinkx survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that 40% of social network users watch TV or online video and simultaneously discuss content with their friends and family. This type of behavior has proved beneficial for both brands and advertisers.

When used together, social media and online video advertising have great potential to produce earned media—unpaid views, shares, conversations and interactions with branded content. If companies create captivating videos, they won’t have to pay to share it with customers. Customers will do the sharing on social media networks. As an added plus, consumers are more likely to remember a brand from videos that are recommended over social media.

Recently, BI Intelligence conducted research pertaining to the power of social media and its influence over video content. Respondents noted that they discovered most online video content through word-of-mouth. Social media is the second most popular way people find videos online. The same percentage uses both social media and search to discover original professional content—this emphasizes the importance of developing a strong brand presence across each of these outlets.


BI Intelligence reported that in terms of audience size, social media-influenced video eclipsed non-social video on the web. A majority of internet users discover or watch TV and video content on social platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Vine etc. In the future, the percentage of users who do so is expected to grow significantly.

The video medium is also predicted to change as a result of social media. Video length is shrinking to accommodate social media users who tend to snack on content. Mobile has contributed heavily to the marriage of social networks and online video. Increasingly, users are discovering video content on social sites via smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. In May, MediaPost reported on a Harris Interactive survey:

“78 million mobile device owners in the U.S.—or 35% of mobile audiences—are watching video on their devices. Of the 52 million mobile video watchers who use social recommendations of some kind, most (35 million) are getting the recommendations from their social network connections.”

In order to maximize the potential for earned media, brands must produce content that is suited for small screens and optimized for social sharing.

Despite these findings and reports, a majority of agencies have yet to fully take advantage of social video advertising. In an August 2013 study from Mixpo, 8.5% of agency executives said they were underperforming on social video advertising, and none of the respondents said they were experts in the medium, according to the report.


However, in the future, many of these advertisers plan on increasing social video advertising. Nearly 70% predict they’ll advertise on YouTube in 2014, while 49% plan on running video ad campaigns on Facebook (when made available). Additionally, 24% will promote video on Twitter and 18% on Vine.


As an increasing number of internet users seek out and discover video content on social networks, brands and advertisers should tailor online video campaigns accordingly. Encourage word-of-mouth advertising through social media in order to increase your potential for earned media. Not only will socially recommended videos improve retention rates, but they will also generate greater ROI for your brand.


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