Avoid this bad video advice, courtesy of our friends at LinkedIn

As one of the keepers of our LinkedIn company page, I receive what are normally quite useful tips to attract and better engage followers. The most recent tip was to “delight [my] followers with a video,” suggesting that “followers like, share, and comment on video posts twice as often as they do on regular updates!” This makes perfect sense.

The “3 easy steps” that followed, however, did not.

An email from LinkedIn

Why is this dubious advice? Because as a company leader, you should make sure that everything you share through a channel as powerful as LinkedIn fits into your carefully crafted communications strategy and is consistent with your brand. I’m not saying it’s impossible for an unscripted, unedited video of “fun moments around the office” to be engaging and on-brand—but it’s highly unlikely.

Video done well can be an extremely effective way to get busy followers to click through and to make your key messages stick. A poor effort can be a complete turn off and may actually do damage to a company’s brand reputation. Remember that, as with any written social-media post, a video post must have a clear, key message that resonates with your target audience.

There’s a better way

I’m sure that our friends at LinkedIn mean well—and they’re right that video is an excellent way to improve your social media presence—but let’s take this to-do list one step further. “Setting the scene” should occur off-camera and involve a discussion of audience, key messages, storyline, tone, and company image.

If, then, you decide to “grab your phone,” before you shoot your shot make sure that the lighting is good and the overall aesthetic quality of the video is adequate. For the majority of us, producing a LinkedIn-worthy video that conveys a professional brand image requires the help of a video professional.

And before you “upload and share,” ensure that your platform matches your needs. Alternatives to YouTube—which hosts as many pratfalls, music videos, and cats dressed as pumpkins as it does corporate content—include Vimeo and Wistia. Each offers a different sort of community, sharing, and services to those who are serious about growing their brand through video content. If you’re spending the energy and resources to produce it, it’s worth the time to ensure your content is accessible to your target audience and that exposure brings positive brand recognition—not an award for “suckiest corporate video.”

Heather Ploog

Heather is the managing partner of Leff. Her background in business coupled with her experience in editing and user-created content has given her a unique skill set and advanced insight into both the management and editorial fields. She enjoys expounding in the Leff blog on the business writing tactics that bring clarity to complex ideas and make your content distinctive.

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