Thousands of potential customers browse Instagram Reels, Tiktok and other video platforms every day, eager to get a behind-the-scenes look at a favorite hairstylist, home entrepreneur or chef. Hubspot reports that people have nearly doubled their online video consumption in just four years. To reach customers where they’re scrolling, small business owners must follow the trend.
Anne Faire, Yelp’s community manager in San Diego, has made over a hundred reels on Instagram, with a view count of nearly three million. A self-taught content creator, she learned key ways to apply Instagram’s algorithm, keep followers engaged, and grow an evergreen content library.
Below, Anne shares four tips for business owners to improve their social media video performance.
You don’t need expensive equipment to be successful on social media. Anne recommends the following tools to help you create video content:
- A basic tripod that can wrap around objects
- A small lightbox to complete when shooting in poor lighting
- Video editing apps like InShot (free) and Mojo ($9.99/month)
- A scheduling tool like Later or Schedule to help organize your post
2. Aim for consistency, not perfection
As a business owner, you may not have the extra time or energy to create content. It can be tempting to post intermittently, when you find that gem of an Instagram reel. But according to Anne, the algorithm prioritizes consistency over perfection.
This means that a bad video won’t hurt your engagement. Instead, treat each post as a quick snack for the consumer. “[Videos are] just digital popcorn,” she said. “If you’re scrolling and you eat a bag of popcorn, and it was kinda burnt…you’re not just going to throw the whole bowl away and say, ‘I’m never going to eat popcorn again. “”
Meta, the umbrella company of Facebook and Instagram, reports that the average attention span for content on its platforms is just 1.7 seconds on a mobile device. When creating your content strategy, take the pressure off by remembering that viewers aren’t scrutinizing your videos.
Pro Tip: Anne recommends keeping your videos 15 seconds or less.
3. Stick to what you already do
Posting consistently requires a lot of footage, but you don’t have to go all out to set up shoots. Business owners already have a wealth of content at their fingertips. “You have more content than you think, especially as a business owner on Yelp,” Anne said. “You can see what content people want to have and create content around that.”
Some of the best opportunities for social media are in what business owners see and do every day: behind-the-scenes footage of a chef at work, a 15-second clip showcasing a new product, a before-and-after a haircut or a kitchen makeover, the possibilities are endless.
Anne recommends looking at your Yelp reviews to identify what aspects customers love most about your business, like a popular dish or service, and highlighting them in your videos. To stay organized, she suggests keeping all photos of videos you or your staff take in a shared folder or “content library.” This way, you always have access to evergreen content, even if you decide to outsource your social media.
4. Don’t Stress Commitment
Engaging with your followers is a great way to improve your performance, but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Instead of trying to find the perfect combination of hashtags, keep it simple: reply to your followers in the comments or encourage viewers to tag a friend by offering discounts or freebies.
And most importantly, make sure you prioritize work-life balance. Checking notifications and responding to customers can be helpful, but it’s normal and healthy to check at the end of the day.
“If you are a business with hours of operation, I would probably be a little more aware during [business] hours,” Anne said. “But after hours is after hours… nothing is going to be an emergency.”
Editorial by Emily Moon and Jenna Spray
These lessons come from an episode of Behind the review, the weekly podcast from Yelp & Entrepreneur Media. Listen below to hear Elizabeth, or visit the episodes page to learn more, subscribe to the show, and explore more episodes.
The above information is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace professional advice and may not be appropriate for your situation. Unless otherwise stated, reference to third-party links, services, or products does not constitute endorsement by Yelp.