As consumer’s appetite for both video and social media continues to rise, social video advertising seems an obvious next step. Meant to grab consumer attention while individuals scroll and flick through feeds of social media information, social video advertising gives marketers yet another advertising channel to pursue. Because most major social media platforms already have some sort of video advertising functionality at this point, marketers have the added task of deciding where and when to use the tactic for the best results. Here’s a quick guide social video advertising to help make that decision a little easier.

LinkedIn: Out of the big three social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – both Facebook and Twitter are still using video ads. LinkedIn discontinued the service sometime last year. However, LinkedIn is able to sponsor  videos that you host through YouTube or other video sites. LinkedIn sponsored ads tend to be more expensive than some of the other social media platforms, but they do allow solid audience targeting.

Bottom line, if you are a B2B company with video, look into both LinkedIn and Twitter for social ads depending on where your audience lives.

Facebook: The social network to currently reigning as king, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find someone to advertise to out of its 1.59 billion users. Video ads can be placed directly in the newsfeed or in the right column. A unique Facebook feature is optional CTA buttons, which can ask visitors to follow through after engaging with an ad and you can point to a landing page on your website or blog.

Facebook’s platform is great for less salesy video ads. The social media platform recommends “behind-the-scene” footage, product launches or customer stories.

Details on Facebook Best Practices

  • Text: 90 characters
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 or 1:1
  • Video: H.264 video compression, high profile preferred, square pixels, fixed frame rate, progressive scan
  • Format: .mp4 container ideally with leading moov atom, no edit lists
  • Audio: Stereo AAC audio compression, 128kbps + preferred

Twitter: Much like Facebook’s video ads, Twitter’s ads play directly as people scroll through a feed, which can be effective under the right circumstances. Most social media marketers are aware that images and gifs tend to improve overall engagement rates. Video follows the same trend.

Twitter video users are recommended to keep their videos short and sweet. The built-in limitations of the platform call for easily digestible tidbits of information, and videos that don’t get straight to the point are often ignored in favor for more scrolling. Also, realize that Twitter tends to be a very mobile-centric platform, and you’ll want to make sure that the requirements and dimensions for mobile are followed closely when posting.

Details on Twitter Best Practices

  • File Type: MP4 or MOV
  • File Size: Under 1GB recommended
  • Max Time: 10 minutes
  • Video Codec: H.264, baseline, Main or High profile with a 4:2:0 color space
  • Bitrate: 6,000k+ for 1080p, and 5,000k+ for 720p
  • Frame Rate: 29.97fps or 30fps. Higher is acceptable. If the available video has a lower frame rate don’t try to “upsample” it
  • Audio Codec: AAC LC (Low Complexity), stereo

Tip: Try to be highly visual at the beginning of a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn video. Since videos often play on mute before people see them, you’ll want the most visual impact from those first few seconds to really draw someone in.

Beside Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, some of the newer social networks are also incorporating video ads.

Instagram: Sponsored videos by Instagram are much shorter than both Facebook and Twitter options –only 30 seconds long – and should be made specifically for the highly mobile users of the platform.

Pinterest: Not available to the general public just yet, Pinterest has discussed rolling out video ads after testing its Cinematic Pins earlier this year. The effectiveness of Pinterest promotoed video ads has yet to be determined, but many agencies seem interested.

Vine: There’s no promoted video content on Vine, but that hasn’t stopped brands from using the platform. The six-second limitation may not be for everyone, but for those looking to engage a younger audience, Vine can be a great gateway to lots of engagement especially when using the platform’s influencers.

Snapchat: Need to reach the 13- to 34-year-old demographic? Snapchat may be the type of video targeting you need. Unlike other mobile platforms, Snapchat relies on vertical videos, which can be a hassle for those used to typical horizontal viewing.

YouTube: Two-parts video repository and one-part social network, Youtube allows video advertising in a number of ways. Most people are familiar with the short ad played before a video is played. Other options include video banners and recommended sponsored content.

Social video advertising can be a tremendous boon for a company’s engagement when done right, but knowing when and how to use the tactic involves a lot of knowledge about social media, video and audience specifics. When all three are considered, however, a business may be able to create a perfect storm of engagement.