5 Reasons Why Short Video Messages Fail Twitter

What was once a great idea proved to be not so great in hindsight. I’m talking about Twitter’s #FollowFriday (#FF) and using a video medium to convey followings in more than 140-characters.

Mobile Video

Fortunately for me, this is one of those times where trying something new lead to a whole new learning experience for my own social media engagement. Let me tell you the 5 reasons why video does not work for Twitter’s #FollowFriday movement and quick communication.

5 Reasons Why Short Video Messages Fail Twitter

1. Short and sweet is better than long and detailed.
As humans, we tend to make up our minds in 30 seconds. We see something and it either moves us or leaves us flat. In the Twitter world, 140-characters is equal to 30 seconds in the offline world. Conveying your message in as few words as possible captivates the audience and helps them make up their mind without wasting their time.

2. Don’t make your followers think.
Every time a Twitter follower has to leave Twitter, they have to think about whether they want to follow that link and open another application. There is a “flow disruption” where you are having them work for the content of your message.

3. Don’t mess with the smartphone or mobile device.
Most people are mobile these days – tweeting at the doctor’s office or during their train ride into work. Having them leave their Twitter application to launch another application to run the website and then view the video is time consuming and can easily bog down their smartphone and use up precious battery life.

4. Taking so much time to edit your thoughts.
When you create a video, you spend a great deal of time on the message, editing/optimizing and uploading of your video. Then you have to write the blog post to embed the video and then share your message with your followers. What would normally take 30 seconds in a 140-character tweet has turned into 30-minutes to 1-hour on a single message lasting 2.5 minutes.

5. Go for engagement and ROI before the “cool” factor.
Sure, videos are cool but they are not for everyone. If your online presence isn’t normally a heavily video centric position, then there is little engagement and return on your investment (ROI) for creating a #FollowFriday every week. Understand your niche market and target audience to truly engage in a medium that works best for your business or personal brand.


Ultimately, this was a great case study for my own business and branding strategy. The click-through rates were extremely low and only came from the handful of followers that knew those people I was recommending directly. There was no room for engagement and followers easily got lost in the message.

The case study is complete and valuable lessons were learned. Video has it’s place in social media and online brand presences but not for Twitter’s #FollowFriday and short messages.


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