How Short Form Video Can be a Game Changer for your Small Business


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As a Digital Marketing Agency, Succeeding Small is no stranger to social media marketing. It is one of the core services we offer to small businesses. That is why the Founder and CEO of Succeeding Small, Madeleine Costa, welcomed Succeeding Small’s own Social Media Manager onto the podcast, Sophia Ivey. 

Sophia Ivey knows social media marketing – while majoring in English in her undergraduate studies she applied to be a social media manager for a local internship. This changed her whole perspective of what social media was, and how it could benefit small businesses. After that, she pursued a couple of freelancing jobs before finding her place at Succeeding Small.  

Madeleine and Sophia discuss a multitude of things; from interacting on social media, how to use hashtags to your advantage, and what social media trends you should be focusing on to gain visibility for your small business. By the end of this episode, you might reconsider your small business’s social media marketing strategy or think of ways to improve your social media presence. 

Someone scrolling through social media on their phone, liking and commenting on posts.

The Best Social Media Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

“There’s a lot of people who say that you need to post consistently or like regularly and on these days, and these times,” Sophia states, “But ultimately, I recommend just having a strategy that works for you because quality over quantity always works better on social media.”

Sophia continues, expressing, “I have also found your engagement is better than your following. You want a post to be fun for somebody to see and people to engage with it and comment and like it, and all that stuff. So I think that whether you post five times a week or two times a week, and even if those are like one story post and one on the feed post or something like that, that is better than nothing. As long as you have a strategy that works for you and goes around your schedule.”

Madeleine agrees, stating, “Yes, consistency is key when it comes to social media marketing, and as small business owners, we have time-limited resources and limited energy. So the best way that you can figure out to be able to show up in a consistent, authentic way on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, that’s, what’s gonna be most successful for you.”

Trending Post Topics and Formats

“I have found to get the most engagement, you have to involve your following in some way. So whether that’s having a good call to action of like ‘tag a friend who might find this post helpful’ or ‘save this in case you need these tips later’, or like ‘you get a certain amount off or a discount’ or a giveaway or something like that. Something that is funny, or not even funny, but, engaging content. Like I found, even on story posts, just using stickers for polls or the chat sticker gets so much more engagement on stories than just posting on a story of you talking to the camera or just a plain graphic.” Sophia delves into the current social media trends she has noticed that get the most engagement. 

“Short-form video is also blowing up on social media” Sophia points out. Due to the emergence of TikTok and its ever-growing popularity, all the other social media platforms have been trying to compete, particularly Instagram, which introduced Reels as a way to compete. 

A young woman dancing in front of a phone for a TikTok video.

What is Short-Form Video?

Short-form video is any video on a social media platform that is 60 seconds or shorter. TikTok and Instagram Reels are the most famous and successful short-form videos on any social media platform. 

TikToks and Reels are vital to social media marketing because they have a greater potential to reach more audiences, as they have a longer lifespan than a photo or graphic. They also can increase your engagement on a single post by simply using trending audio. 

For instance, the Succeeding Small Instagram, on average, gets about 5 to 15 likes on a graphic or photo. However, when we post a Reel, we reach, on average, about 1,000 to 2,000 more people, and receive anywhere from 30 to 100 likes. 

This significant increase in engagement is why short-form video is so popular on social media platforms, and equally why it can be so beneficial to your small business.

What are Trending Audios?

Trending audios are the audios that you hear when watching Reels or TikTok videos. It is either a catchy song, remix, or funny audio snippet from a TV show that trends on these platforms. While trending audios may not seem useful to your small business, they can help you go viral, or at least increase your engagement on social media. 

Sophia describes the lifespan of a trending audio, “Usually they start out on TikTok and then trend on TikTok for about two to three weeks and they transfer over to Instagram and then the same thing, they trend for like two or three weeks. And then some say that they expire after that.”

Sophia argues that the lifespan of trending audios is much longer as she has seen with the Succeeding Small account, and our clients’ accounts, that this may not be the case. “I would argue, just from what we’ve seen with our Succeeding Small account, that trending audios honestly last for six months at most because if you post a short-form video with a trending audio within the two weeks that it’s trending, it usually won’t actually get engagement and attention until about four weeks later because that’s when it will pop up on people’s for you page because it takes the algorithm that much to like actually process the information and process the trending audios.”

Sophia continues, “So it is important to get jump onto a trending audio as soon as possible. But we have seen like our posts get a lot of engagement compared to our other posts, just from using a trending audio from like four to six months ago, even like two months ago, so using trending audios is something that is really important.”

Someone sitting in a coffee shop on their phone, liking Instagram posts.

How to Get More Engagement on Your Tiktoks and Reels

“I found that the better the lighting is the better engagement we get for any video that we have,” Sophia states on how to increase engagement on short-form videos. 

“Along with that, the more transitions that we have, the more engagement we get. So people, especially with the whole idea of short-term video, and why it’s so popular now is because our attention spans are so short. And you want to, especially if you’re on TikTok more so than on Instagram, you want to capture your audience’s attention within the first three to five seconds. So whether that’s you doing a transition or using an audio where people know that on the beat drop, you’re gonna have a transition and on that transition, you’re either gonna show the final product or on the beat drop, we give you five SEO tips, something like that, so that they know that they’re looking forward to something and they can get something out of it,” Sophia continues to explain how to capture people’s attention with short-form video. 

Sophia’s Biggest Tips

Sophia’s two biggest tips for short-form video? To start posting even if you don’t feel ready, and to never delete or archive old videos. 

Sophia recommends to start posting Reels or TikToks, even if you don’t feel ready because this can set you apart from your competitors and boost engagement. She states that the videos that she didn’t think would get high engagement usually do, so there is no harm in posting a Reel or TikTok, even if it only gets 2 likes. 

She also recommends never deleting any old videos. This is because, even if a trending audio is no longer trending, the Instagram or TikTok algorithm will still show people old videos that they may be interested in, which can result in more engagement and following for your small business. 

How to Use Hashtags on Social Media for Your Small Business

Madeleine and Sophia transition from discussing short-form videos to talking about how to use hashtags on social media. “Instagram recently announced they are going to start punishing accounts that you use the same hashtags,” Sophia explained, “So it is important to rotate the hashtags you use.”

Sophia also recommends using 5 to 15 hashtags on a post depending on your social media following, that way you will not come off as spam to your followers. Along with this, Sophia also points out that hashtags have to be in the original copy of the post for them to count, therefore, putting hashtags in the comment section does not count according to Instagram. 

Sophia’s biggest tips for using hashtags are to get as industry and location-specific as possible, as well as to use hashtags that are not high in volume. She recommends using hashtags with anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 posts. Sophia explains this is important so your post will not get lost in the millions of posts using the same hashtag, and rather, you can stand out to your ideal audience when they search for you. 

Succeeding Small Wants to Help You Succeed With Short-Form Video

Succeeding Small recently launched their trending audio subscription this past month, which provides small businesses with 20 trending audios, example videos, and access to our trending audios archive. This subscription is perfect for small business owners who want to start filming short-form videos but do not have time to do trending audio research.

If you are a small business wanting to succeed on social media or need extra help with managing your social media, do not hesitate to contact us today for more information!

Grow your Small Business With Succeeding Small

Succeeding Small is an expert in growing small businesses through our amazing digital marketing, SEO, branding, web design and social media services.  Learn about our services today!

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