As we enter the new decade one of the great social media conundrum remains. Should I be using videos or images to promote my brand in 2020 on Facebook or Instagram? In this article we'll jump straight into both sides and give you the answers to help your business.

The background.

In late 2016 Facebook announced some major changes to their algorithm which would greatly increase the need for businesses to start generating video content. The major change to this was that Facebook began to prioritise effective video communication over long-form articles or images, as they are a quicker and more effective means to communicate.

For example Facebook would more likely show users a video summary of a sports game, rather than a written re-cap, as the audience is a lot more likely to engage with the video highlights.

At this point in time many business choose to began to shift their communications to video from text or image, as it became a more effective way to tell their story.

Today

Jump forward 4 years, we're into the new decade and video use on both Facebook & Instagram has begun to soar. It's now the norm for businesses to use video to communicate a huge amount about their products, from weekly specials at your local cafe shot on Instagram Stories, through to large scale business updates on YouTube.

Facebook has also announced a variety of changes t0 their algorithm, with a weighting towards live video (which we'll get into later) being the newest addition. However the core principle still remains: Facebook & Instagram will continue to show content which your audience engages with, irrespective of the form.

What does this mean?

This means, in order to get a high reach & engagement with your Facebook & Instagram content, use what communicates your message best. If you manage a cafe and are running a weekend special, then an image of those specials with a caption explaining it, is likely to be the way to go, however if you are a make up artist and want to show case a new work, a time lapse in video form is likely to be more consumable than a series of images of your subject.

A great way to work out how you should communicate an idea is asking yourself "how would I like to receive this?" Would you rather watch a video of someone cutting up veggies to make a restaurant meal, or see an image of the finished product? In most cases this will let you know what format to go with.

Where does live video come into it?

Facebook & Instagram are both trying to increase engagement with their live video features, and thus these currently have an large weighting when compared to other formats. Facebook & Instagram will promote live video to your audience as they try and make this feature more popular, throwing another consideration into the mix of formats.

Whilst your audiences will often get notified immediately when you go live, we still recommend using Live video in the most effective way possible, it's pointless going live for the sake of letting your audience know you're live & having nothing to tell them, so make sure you're ready before you press the button. Building off our previous example of a cafe's specials, you could go live to have your chef explain what will be on the menu this week. It's worth noting that going live can be effective when combined with a traditional image or video post, so someone who misses the live update still can find the information they seek.

So when should I use images?

We've put together some examples of when to use images in your Facebook & Instagram posts:

  • Cafe food items
  • Event albums (especially if audio recording is poor)
  • Promotions
  • High quality photographs
  • Impactful images

And when should I use video?

And we've also put together some examples of when to use video in your Facebook & Instagram posts:

  • Travel destination posts
  • Time lapses
  • Bite sized information updates
  • Venue tours
  • Explainers

How should I post my images & videos?

We've created an easy to use tool called Simple Social, which allows you to edit & schedule images and video, preview your posts & post to as many social media accounts as you like, plus much more. The best part - it's free for the first month and then only $14.99 per month there after. There's no payment required to give it a trial, so click here to give it a go!

Summary

Always post content in the medium which you believe is best for your post. Ask yourself "can I communicate this better with an image or a video?" and follow your instinct as to what to post!