Thousands of potential customers browse Instagram Reels, Tiktok, and other video platforms every day—eager to catch a behind-the-scenes glimpse from a favorite hair stylist, home contractor, 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 join in on the trend.
Anne Faire, Yelp’s San Diego community manager, has made over a hundred reels on Instagram, with a view count of close to three million. A self-taught content creator, she’s discovered key methods to fulfill Instagram’s algorithm, keep followers engaged, and grow a library of evergreen content.
Below, Anne shares four tips for business owners to boost their video performance on social media.
1. Gather basic tools
You don’t need to have expensive equipment to be successful on social media. Anne recommends the following tools to help create video content:
- A basic tripod that can wrap around objects
- A small lightbox to supplement when shooting in poor lighting
- Video editing apps like InShot (free) and Mojo ($9.99/month)
- A planning tool like Later or Plann to help organize your posting
2. Aim for consistency, not perfection
As a business owner, you may not have extra time or energy for creating content. It might 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 one bad video won’t hurt your engagement. Instead, treat each post like a quick snack for the consumer. “[Videos are] just digital popcorn,” she said. “If you’re scrolling and you’re eating a bag of popcorn, and it was a little burnt… you’re not going to just throw out the whole bowl and say, ‘I’m never eating popcorn again.’”
Meta, the umbrella company for Facebook and Instagram, reports that the average attention span for a piece of content on its platforms is just 1.7 seconds on a mobile device. As you create your content strategy, take the pressure off by reminding yourself that viewers aren’t scrutinizing your videos.
Pro tip: Anne recommends keeping your videos 15 seconds or less.
3. Make content with what you’re already doing
Posting consistently requires a lot of footage, but you don’t need to go out of your way to set up shoots. Business owners already have a wealth of content right at their fingertips. “You have more content than you think you do, 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 lie in what business owners see and do every day: behind-the-scenes footage of a chef at work, a 15-second clip introducing a new product, a before-and-after of a haircut or a kitchen remodeling—the possibilities are endless.
Anne recommends looking at your Yelp reviews to identify what aspects customers love most about your business, such as a popular dish or service, and highlighting them in your videos. To stay organized, she suggests keeping any photos of videos that you or your staff take in a shared folder or “content library.” That way, you always have access to evergreen content, even if you decide to outsource your social media.
4. Don’t stress engagement
Engaging with your followers is a great way to boost your performance—but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Instead of trying to find the perfect combination of hashtags, keep it simple: Respond to your followers in the comments or encourage viewers to tag a friend by offering discounts or freebies.
And most of all, make sure you’re prioritizing work-life balance. Checking notifications and responding to customers can be helpful, but it’s okay—and healthy—to check out at the end of the day.
“If you’re a business with open hours, I would probably be a little more on top of things during [business] hours,” Anne said. “But after hours, it’s after hours… nothing is going to be an emergency.”
Interviews by Emily Washcovick; editorial contributions from Jenna Spray
These lessons come from an episode of Behind the Review, Yelp & Entrepreneur Media’s weekly podcast. Listen below to hear from Anne, or visit the episode page to read more, subscribe to the show, and explore other episodes.
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