Are you at all confused by the term "Social Video?"  It's become a bit of a buzz word recently and I thought it would be worthwhile to ask the question, "is "social video" just another internet marketing buzz term or does it represent a Reel trend? For some debate on that, I interviewed social media expert Jason Falls, and co-author of the book, "No BullShit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing".  Suffice to say, he has strong opinions about video and social.

My No-Bullshit Social Video Interview with Jason Falls

You can also watch the full 27-minute interview, and check out the excerpt below of us discussing online video marketing and social video in business.

Is "social video" a bullshit term?

"I think that social video is a little bit of a bullshit term, and here's why: Video is something you can put it on social media channels like Facebook, you can use it for conversation's sake as oppose to one way broadcast sake, but it's still video. It only becomes social if it causes any action from people, and that's the only label or the only requirement for it to be social.

If people will share it, it's social. If people will comment on it, it's social. If they will respond to it with other videos, then it becomes social. So to me, social video is anything that illicit a response. Quite frankly if you're doing any type of video that doesn't illicit a response, stop because you're wasting your time. Every video to me needs to be some sort of social video.

Now in a more specific description, how do we use video within social channels – whether it be on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, links and so forth? I think video has to be done at a tactical level at that point. It is an execution strategy that's helping you accomplish something greater – whether it be to enhance brand awareness and positive sentiment, to drive on sales, to build community, and so on and so forth. You're using videos to supplement, or to activate around, your strategy; and to both approach and appeal to an audience. That's simply because there are going to be people out there that will respond to, and will be more responsive to, video – than they would to written copy or other kinds of media.

So to me the term "social video" is kind of almost assumed and implied; because if the content is good enough in video, it's going to "go social" to a degree. It's just a matter of what type of social you're trying to produce? Do you want people to share it? Do you want them to comment on it? Do you want them to create their own content around it? Then it becomes business-driven, which can be a little more harder to figure; but it's really only harder to figure if you don't really have that goal in mind of what you want to use it for.

That begs the question: what types of responses should we really care about? It seems too easy for people involved with social media campaigns to get fixated on the low-hanging metrics that don't necessarily have implicit value to their business.

Well, that's true. I would only add that if your goal is branding awareness and reach, then getting more eyeballs is going to be one of your metrics; and so the number of shares, the number of views, etc. matters in that sort of equation.

But in the same time, if you're trying to draw out the bottom line – a straight solid line from what you're doing in social, especially in video, to how much money you're making – then you have got to have clear engagement opportunities beyond that. You've got to have a cause-to-action with the video, you've got to have links around it to drive people to purchase or to provide you with contact information so that they become a lead, a new track that lead to your system, so on and so forth. You've got to have measurement techniques in place if you are trying to literally measuring return of investment of that video project through that video effort.

While views and shares and "likes" may demonstrate some kind of audience interest, that alone isn't enough to demonstrate tangible value for most business goals; or at least, not without a clear call-to-action to take advantage of that sentiment or buzz (and be able to measure the results).

Yes, and here's my own example which directly relates to that: I'm doing an event in Dallas this February called, "Explore Dallas Fort Worth" and I'm using video marketing, or social video. Partially that's done to drive awareness of the event, but I'm also measuring performance from these videos, which are split-screen recordings on Skype (just like we're doing here), of me talking to my fellow speakers; sort of not talking about the event really, but picking their brain and getting some expertise from each of them as a little preview of what attendees can learn from at Explore Dallas Fort Worth.

I'll post these videos on my blog, and then in the video I'll say something like, "by the way these questions going to be at the Explore Dallas Fort Worth conference, where we're both speaking at;" and viewers can click on a link on the video or below the video on the landing page on my own site,, where they can register for the event, or watch my other videos. That way, I'm tracking how many people register from those video pages versus other mechanisms of where we're advertising that particular event. So that at the end of the event I can say something like, "I drove hundred and fifty tickets sales from those video blog posts." Now that's how I can do a social video campaign to setup measurable sales goals, and adjust it based on how people respond.

About Jason Falls, Social Media Author and No-Bullshitter

Jason Falls is the co-author of "No BullShit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing. He is also of the most in-demand speakers in the social media, public relations and marketing fields today. Perhaps at best in the role of social media educator and presenter. Jason coordinates workshops on social media marketing for groups like American Marketing Association, Public Relations Society of America and International Association of Business Communicators chapters. You can purchase a copy of his book at, and on Amazon and other major retailer sites; and his company and blog website is

 "You have to be consumer-centric, not product centric. You have to have a genuine interest in the people who are consuming your product or service.” – Jason Falls

Transcription services for this article provided by Transcribe and More. 

  • Brendan Bailey

    I use the term "social media video" on how the video is to be shared on social media channels, as well as the quality of the video. To me, social media video falls in the sweet spot between amateurish videos taped using pocket video cameras with little-to-no video production, poor audio and typically no editing. On the other end is high-end, expensive video production.

  • Dan Safkow’s Video Marketing Minute

    Fortunately or unfortunately, language is often determined by marketers, and once terms reach critical mass, resistance is futile. For instance, my grocery store stocks rice, almond and soy "milk", but I have yet to see teats on a grain, nut or bean.

    • Patrick Allmond

      Thanks Dan. I've been fighting the terms social anything because the LAST damn thing they are is social at all. It is anti-social media, anti-social networking, and anti-social video. And the No BS Social Media book above might be the best BS named book I've seen.