If you want your video to get noticed on Facebook, you have to play by their rules. What are their rules? Well…there’s a lot of facets that make Facebook unique as a platform for video. For instance, Facebook’s recent algorithm change shows videos to more people who tend to watch more video content. So your video will be shown to more people who tend to watch more videos.

The biggest distinguishing rule is that all video content plays by default in the Facebook news feed and, unless clicked, plays silently. While a better user experience for users, having your video defaulted to “mute” significantly hinders the effectiveness of your video and a brand’s ability to have their videos stand out. Unless you design your creative video content with Facebook’s rules in mind. One brand who recently did an outstanding job of creating this platform specific video content was Hotels.com.

The first ad was “Interpreter” stars the Hotels.com brand mascot Captain Obvious. The ad utilizes subtitles and an interpreter using American Sign Language to talk about the brand. When you view the video in your news feed the video plays mute, but you can still read the subtitles. If you click “play” you hear Captain Obvious but the hidden message was for those who know American Sign Language and were paying attention to the interpreter. At one point she signs if you understand her to say “gift me” into the comments. To which the user would get a free Hotels.com gift card.

Hotels.com "Interpreter" Facebook  Video


The second ad they released was “Piano.” In this ad, Captain Obvious appears to be playing a lovely tune on the piano while the video is muted. When you click play the viewer is treated to the Captain playing…just not as lovely as you may have assumed when the video was muted.


Hotels.com "Piano" Facebook Video


Each video has over 2.4 million views. Compare that to their other videos on Facebook which average just under 11,000 views and you start to see a clearer picture of how taking a creative approach with these Facebook specific ads was a big win for them. In addition to the massive increase in views, Hotels.com has also seen 5x higher engagement rates and 10x higher organic reach for these ads over their other ads.

When it comes to your video content and social media, the more you can customize your video content to be platform specific, the more engagement your videos are going to generate. Videos designed for Twitter and its mobile driven audience are going to engage the audience better than a generic video. Video made specifically for your website serves a very different purpose than video designed for the YouTube audience. Why would Facebook be any different?



Eric Guerin is the founder of Adelie Studios. He chooses to use his creative powers for good and not evil by helping businesses to better market themselves using animated marketing videos. He can easily be bribed with coffee. Read more of Eric’s posts