How to use social media videos to drive action

Ben Matthews

By Ben Matthews

In Video

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Empower have been making social videos for a range of clients, big and small. Our social video showcase collates some of the best examples so you can see how social video can be used for different causes, campaigns and audiences, in different formats and with several stylistic variations.

Social video is video content that has been optimised for being viewed and engaged with on social media. Although social video can be viewed in isolation, this type of video content works best in the context of social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, where the video is one part of a post.

For example, the social video is used to draw people in, but the text and description around the video gives more context and the Call To Action (CTA) button encourages viewers to take action – whether that’s making a donation or signing a petition.

Here are 5 social videos that the empower team have created recently, to give you an idea of what a social video is and the impact social videos can have. Or you can view our full showcase on YouTube.

Interested in empower making a social video for your organisation? Contact us to start your project >

<UPDATE: See our our 2019 video showcase>

1. Jo Cox Foundation – User-generated content

The video captured the climax of a three-month campaign for The Jo Cox Foundation, reflecting the best of the campaign back to the community and encouraging them to stay involved.

User Generated Content (UGC) can be difficult to source, and it’s always necessary to tread carefully when it comes to permissions, but we found it was worth it. Using UGC adds a strong sense of authenticity to the message and is easy to relate to. People who appear in the video are almost guaranteed to share it too!

This video was put together in just 24 hours, with editing starting on Christmas Eve and launch on Boxing Day. Despite the short turnaround time (and taking place over the Christmas period) the video reached over 350,000 people on Facebook and was a fitting end to a fantastic campaign.

Read more about The Great Christmas Get Together >

2. We Mean Business – Engaging corporate stakeholders

We Mean Business is a global nonprofit coalition working with the world’s most influential businesses to take action on climate change. Together they catalyse business leadership to drive policy ambition and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Most of the We Mean Business audience consists of businesses, policymakers, investors, city states and other members of civil society. This makes their campaign perfect for Twitter advocacy, where they can reach and influence their target audiences.

This video was optimised especially for Twitter and shows We Mean Business’ ambition for the year ahead, engaging with the audiences that We Mean Business are hoping to influence.

Read more about We Mean Business >

3. The Wildlife Trusts – Driving supporter action

The UK government is asking the public what they think about the future of national farming policy and planning policy at the same time.

The Wildlife Trusts needed a campaign video to highlight the urgency of their supporters responding to the consultations – and they needed to “Act Swiftly” as the consultation period had an imminent deadline.

The social video used to promote the Act Swiftly campaign featured an animation of a flying swift layered over arial shots of countryside, giving the effect for viewers of flying with the swift as they found out about the campaign.

A tight script and clear Call To Action rounded off a social video that drove support action for The Wildlife Trusts.

View the Act Swiftly petition >

4. Reprieve – Encouraging petition signatures

How do you explain a complicated concept like the cost of Guantanamo Bay in a short video and encourage people to take action?

That was the challenge for this video for Reprieve, which was used to promote a petition calling on the US President to end the years of injustice and abuse at Guantanamo Bay.

The social video used the bright orange of Reprieve’s brand palette and of Guantanamo’s famous uniforms which really stands out. Reprieve felt the figures they had uncovered would speak for themselves, so highlighting these numbers using flashing animation brought them into focus.

View the Reprieve petition >

5. Medact – Promoting a report launch

Medact had a series of reports to launch around their Hospital Food campaign, but a lot of the key information was buried in PDFs containing pages of dense text.

That approach works fine for academics and medical professionals, but to reach a wider audience the key findings of the report needed to be translated into content that could be understood and engaged with by Medact’s wider supporters.

A social video was perfect for this, communicating complex terms and insights without even needing a click. This in turn led to more engagement around the report on social media and a 122% increase in downloads.

Read more about the Medact campaign >

Interested in empower making a social video for your organisation? Contact us to start your project >