We often get asked about social sharing. And no wonder: it’s a powerful tool for reaching and engaging your audience.
Did you know, for instance that in the last year social sharing of brand videos increased by more than a fifth (Unruly)
However, to get people sharing your content, you need to make the process quick and easy. And there’s a few ways you can do this…
Quick & Easy Method: Enable Social Sharing Buttons
The first thing to do is simply add social sharing buttons to your video player to prompt your viewers to share your lovely content.
You can do this in just a few clicks on the vzaar interface – no coding required! In your vzaar account settings, you’ll find the option to enable such buttons and have them appear within the player itself.
By default, these buttons will share your video’s page on vzaar.com (tip: be sure your video is set to public first!).
But, if you want to drive traffic directly to your site you’ll probably want to share your own website pages (rather than vzaar.com).
To do this just enter the URL of your page into the field marked ‘video URL on your website’.
Ok, everyone happy? Now let’s look at some more advanced methods of social sharing
Advanced Method: OpenGraph Meta Tags
Adding a bit of meta information to your site pages can give you much more control over how your page appears in the various news feeds of the social networks.
For instance, you can have your video player appear whenever someone shares the page it’s embedded on.
Sharing Video To Facebook
Facebook interprets web pages in many different ways. Sharing a location may bring up a map in your news feed, whilst sharing an article will typically show some preview text and image.
But how do you get it to show a video?
Facebook uses a system called OpenGraph to determine how it should display your page. Using this system you can tell Facebook what’s on your page and how it should be treated. To do so you need to put a few meta tags within the head of your page’s HTML.
Now, if you want your page to show up like this:
You need this code:
Here the ‘og:type’ tag on the first line tells Facebook to treat the webpage as a video.
To accompany that change, Facebook now needs some extra details. Most importantly, a video player to use. You can see that set in the ‘og:video’ and ‘og:video:secure_url’ tags, which will be used interchangeably depending on whether Facebook is accessed via HTTP or HTTPS.
Facebook also need to know how the video player should be scaled. You can see that information set as ‘og:video:height’ and ‘og:video:width’. Then, finally, we need to tell Facebook that there’s Flash content being used (property=’og:video:type’ content=’application/x-shockwave-flash’).
Once you’ve got all your meta tags setup, be sure to test them out before sending the page out into the wild. Facebook offer a debugging tool for doing just that. It will tell you what Facebook sees when it looks at your pages as well as any mistakes, which need to be corrected.
Now, remember the ‘video URL on your website’ field I mentioned earlier? Fill it in. Do not miss this step out, otherwise the social sharing buttons in your video player won’t share your lovely tagged up page.
One last thing!
When updating meta tags for Facebook, Facebook caches previously shared pages.You may not see your alterations causing any change in behaviour for a while. Fortunately, there’s a way around this. After you’ve updated your tags, use Facebook’s debugging tool. That will clear the cache and make Facebook use the updated tags.
And there we go. Add social sharing buttons to your player, tag your pages so Facebook knows it’s video, enter your own website URL and hey presto! You’ll have videos in the Facebook newsfeed which drive traffic straight to your site.
But it doesn’t just end with Facebook. You can do this with Twitter too. Stay tuned and I’ll tell you how next time!
That’s all folks. As always, if you have any questions get in touch or leave ’em in the comments.