Understanding the best types of videos for social networks


One of the things I love about videos is how versatile they can be. But not every video works for every social network. Let’s digest the best types of video for each of the popular social networks.

Generally speaking, people are on social networks for one of two reasons. Either to passively browse because they’re looking to be amused, or they’re actively browsing and searching for a specific reason.

Passive browsing

The social networks that are mainly used for passive browsing are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. They’re on these social networks because they’re bored or looking to connect with someone. They’re most likely not on there to see a video about your business. 

If they did stumble across your video, it’s most likely because someone shared it - so there isn’t a ton of context for them to understand besides the thumbnail and the first couple of seconds. This is why it’s important to catch their attention within the first 2 seconds - otherwise they’ll keep on scrolling. Furthermore, on social networks such as Facebook where videos auto play muted, 85% of videos are watched without sound.

I’ve found the best types of videos that work on passive social networks are short, 30-60 second long videos that visually show off your services or products. Sound isn’t the primary focus. Instead, it’s all about visuals that will make an impact and stop the viewer from scrolling.

Here’s a video I made for a client that was specifically for passive browsing.

I knew we only had a few seconds to grab their attention. Plus I knew everyone loves emoji. So I combined bouncing text and emoji with video that represented them. This was a great, fast way to grab potential customers’ attention and keep them watching.

Active browsing

Then there’s active browsing - websites such as LinkedIn, YouTube, and your business’ website. Generally speaking, people are on these social networks and websites because they’re looking for a solution to a problem and they’re paying more attention. Plus there’s often a lot more context.

Videos for active browsing can be longer in duration and more educational. People are most likely watching because they are interested in learning more.

For videos on your website, you have to remind yourself about the context the viewers will have. They’ll be surrounded by information and photos of your business. And most likely they came across your website because of an ad or search listing. Therefore you don’t need to worry about hard selling and instead focus on product/service features and benefits.

Here’s a video I made for the same client above that was meant for YouTube and their website.

This video isn’t focusing on the company’s services. Instead it’s all about a product they sell and the benefits of choosing it.


While you can use the same video on multiple social networks, in order to get the best results, you need to have active and passive videos. Keep passive videos short and visually-appealing to grab people’s attention. Active videos can be longer and feature more information.

Want to learn more about the importance of multiple videos? Take a look at this post here.

Connor Crosby