May Criticised For Police Spending Claims

Theresa May has been criticised by the official statistics watchdog for wrongly claiming the Government was providing an extra £450 million for policing.

Sir David Norgrove, the chairman of the UK Statistics Authority, said the Prime Minister’s comments in the Commons could have led the public to conclude “incorrectly” that central government was providing the additional funding for police spending in 2018/19.

In a letter to Labour shadow policing minister Louise Haigh, who raised Mrs May’s claim, Sir David said previous statements from ministers had made clear that up to £270 million of the settlement would come from local council tax – if mayors and police and crime commissioners chose to raise it.

He also criticised a Home Office tweet for making a similar claim, as well as implying the £450 million was guaranteed, and the Leader of the House, Andrea Leadsom, for stating the £270 million which councils could raise was on top of the £450 million.

While he acknowledged that complex funding arrangements were difficult to explain in the “time- compressed context” of Prime Minister’s Questions, that did not apply to written comments, including tweets.

His comments came after Mrs May told MPs at Prime Minister’s Questions on February 7, that the Government was “not just protecting police budgets, but increasing them with an extra £450 million”.

A Home Office tweet the same day stated: “This year the government is providing a £450 million boost to #police funding”.

In his letter, Sir David said: “The Prime Minister’s statement and the Home Office’s tweet could have led the public to conclude incorrectly that central Government is providing an additional £450 million for police spending in 2018/19.

“The Home Office tweet also implied that the £450 million sum is guaranteed.”

He added: “Complex funding arrangements are difficult to explain, particularly in the time-compressed context of Prime Minister’s Questions. Written communications, including tweets, do not face this constraint.

“We recommend that the Home Office’s head of profession for statistics speak to communications colleagues about the importance of clear public statements about police funding and ensure they understand the structure of police funding.”

Ms Haigh said: “The Tories are not being straight with the public on police funding and now they have been found out. The Prime Minister should apologise for trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes on Tory cuts to policing.”


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Are You Listening? The 20 Best Social Media Monitoring Tools

How do you know if your customers (and potential customers) are talking about you on social media?

If they tagged your social media profile in their posts, you could check your notifications. If they didn’t, maybe you could search on each social media platform every time you want to find out. Sounds tedious? Here’s a better way:

Use social media monitoring tools.

There’s a great deal of wonderful social media tools out there. Among them are tools built specifically to help you pick out relevant conversations on social media – social media monitoring tools. Some of these tools allow you to monitor multiple social media profiles on the different social media platforms from a single place. There are even some that let you monitor social media trends and keywords.

There’s likely one that suits your needs. Let’s take a look at the 20 best ones for small and medium businesses!

20 Best Social Media Monitoring Tools for Small and Medium Businesses

What is social media monitoring?

Social media monitoring is the process of listening out for social media conversations that are relevant to your brand. Businesses engage in social media monitoring for several reasons, such as to connect with their customers, to provide customer support, to measure their social media reach, or to understand social media trends.

To “listen”, businesses use social media monitoring tools to collect social mentions and track keywords, hashtags, and URLs that they are interested in.

Social media monitoring is also sometimes known as social listening.

Section separator

The 20 best social media monitoring tools for SMBs

All the social media monitoring tools listed below are not arranged in any particular order. They are all great in their own ways and will suit different social media monitoring needs.

For example, some are standalone monitoring tools while others have it as a feature within a social media management tool. Some gather individual social media mentions and messages while others analyze sets of social media content and trends.

Here’s an overview of all the tools in this blog post:

I’m sure I’m missing some great tools out there, and it’ll be great to get your help. If you have tried and love any social media monitoring tools for small and medium businesses, I would love for you to share them in the comments section below, including why you love them. Thank you!

Compare the tools easily with this spreadsheet

To make it easier for you to compare the tools, I’ve created a spreadsheet with the following information of each social media monitoring tool:

  • How much do the plans cost?
  • Does it have a free plan, free trial, or free demo?
  • Is it a standalone monitoring tool or is it part of a social media management tool?
  • What platforms are supported?
  • What are the main monitoring features?
  • Can I reply directly through the tool?

Social media monitoring tools spreadsheet

Get the spreadsheet

1. Buffer Reply

All your social engagement in one team inbox

Buffer Reply

Description: Buffer Reply organizes your Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram engagement into neatly-threaded conversations in one team inbox. You will have all the information you need to know about each customer to provide personalized responses. Oh, and you can easily add emojis and GIFs. <img src="×72/1f609.png&quot; alt="

7 Invaluable Marketing Skills That Help Teams Produce Consistently Great Content

In speaking with thousands of marketers and businesses over the past several years, we’ve learned that marketing has an incredible potential to impact people’s lives.

In fact, the American Marketing Association defines marketing as:

“The activity, set of institutions, skills, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”

I love that. We as marketers are benefiting society at large!

But marketing skills and career growth don’t come easy in a field that moves at the speed of light. It seems like every week companies are demanding an evolved skill set out of their employees – giving rise to a new era of marketing roles such as the Full-Stack and T-Shaped Marketer.

Brands that can successfully bring a variety of people, marketing skills, and unique perspectives together have a huge advantage when it comes to providing value.

That’s why we’ve partnered with the incredible marketing team at Asana, a leading work management software, to break down the top 7 invaluable marketing skills that help some of the greatest brand teams on the planet produce consistently great content.

Let’s dive in!

7 Invaluable Marketing Skills for Team

7 invaluable marketing skills for teams

As Sujan Patel writes on his blog, “the modern marketer has to be familiar with a lot, good at many, and master of a few.”

Having a variety of skills and tools not only provides ultimate flexibility as a team to create a variety of successful marketing campaigns, but it also allows each marketer to shine as an individual.

These 7 high-level marketing skills will help to ensure your team has ultimate flexibility and individuality.

1. Storytelling

There seems to be a general belief that marketing has always been about storytelling – and that marketers have always identified as natural storytellers.

But that may not be the case.

LinkedIn found that just seven years ago the number of marketers listing “storytelling” on their profile as a skill was obsolete. It didn’t exist at all as a respected marketing discipline.

Today, however, between 7 percent and 8 percent of all marketers on LinkedIn worldwide identify themselves as storytellers based on their profile descriptions and list of skills.

Storytelling Marketing Skills

As a marketer, storytelling doesn’t just mean telling your audience what your product or service does or what it has done. Effective storytelling involves a deep understanding of human emotions, motivations, and psychology in order to effectively communicate with them in an authentic and engaging way.

During the writing of this article, Asana CMO Dave King told me: “The best marketers are problem solvers and storytellers. Content creators should ask ‘what problem is this piece solving for my audience.’”

As marketers, there are endless ways to tell a story.

One of my favorite ways to develop a compelling story is to use “The Story Spine” formula created by professional playwright and improvisor Kenn Adams. Over the years, Pixar has won countless awards by using this formula, including 13 Academy Awards, 9 Golden Globes, and 11 Grammys.

The Story Spine - Pixar Marketing Skills

Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

I encourage you to practice this formula for your own own brand, products, or services.

Let’s give it a shot with a brand we might all know of: Nike.

  • Once upon a time there was a passionate shoemaker that wanted to get his shoes into the hands of runners around the world.
  • Every day, he worked on perfecting his shoes so that these runners could perform at an optimum level.
  • But one day, this shoemaker realized that supplying shoes to thousands of runners around the world was no easy task.
  • Because of that, he worked harder and harder to ensure that he had the supply of products needed to be successful despite what critics said.
  • Because of that, his shoes continued to improve and more and more athletes started to wear them in prestigious competitions.
  • Until finally, it wasn’t just about running anymore. It became about something bigger – finding your inner champion doing what you love in gear that makes you feel great.

As Ken describes, “The Story Spine is not the story, it’s the spine. It’s nothing but the bare-boned structure upon which the story is built. And, that’s what makes it such a powerful tool.”

It’s up to us as marketers to fill in all the little nuances of the story.

2. Prioritizing

As many marketers know all too well – there is always something to be done.

Being an effective prioritizer is one of those marketing skills that doesn’t get talked about enough, but plays a huge role in the success of your team and content.

Producing consistently great content means saying yes to a handful of awesome content ideas/opportunities and saying no to many others.

The Asana marketing team uses a project labeled “Content Opportunities” to which anyone in the company is highly encouraged to contribute ideas. Then, when their marketing team is ready to take action on a piece of content or campaign, they add it to their Editorial Calendar project.

Asana Dashboard - 7 Invaluable Marketing Skills

This management of ideas, projects, and initiatives is what allows them to be super focused and productive on a consistent basis.

So how can you develop prioritization as a marketing skill? And how can you prioritize content and campaigns that will perform at a high level?

That’s where the importance of goal-setting comes into play!

At Buffer, we’ve experimented with a variety of goal-setting frameworks such as OKRs, Locke and Latham’s 5 Principles of Goal-Setting, BHAGs, and lots more.

Today, our marketing team is using two types of goal-setting methods depending on the scope. For long-term planning and strategizing, we use a modified Warren Buffett Framework, and for short-term (experimental content), we use a framework called ICE.

The Modified Warren Buffett Framework

My colleague Hailley has long admired the original framework for setting goals from Warren Buffett – a method where you write down 25 things you want to accomplish in your career, and from that, pick the top five as the focus and put the other 20 on an “avoid at all costs” list.

We’ve since adopted a modified version of this goal-setting framework. Here’s a quick overview of how it works (with a real-life example goals from one of our 6-week cycles):

Step 1: Choose 10 goals

Brainstorm a list of 10 goals related to your work on the team that can be accomplished in a certain, predesignated timeframe.

Remember to focus on goals and not tasks. A good way to remember this is that tasks describe how you spend your time, whereas goals are your results.


Warren Buffett Framework Step One

Step 2: Assign a “tag” to each goal

Next, go through and add a tag to each goal with the category that it falls into. The tagging system should be unique for each person.

Come up with your tags, and assign them to each of your 10 goals.


Warren Buffett Framework Step Two

Step 3: Pick three goals to focus on (P1s)

This is the most difficult portion of the exercise! Refining the list from 10 to the three that you will focus on during the specified time period.

Pick one goal for each tag that you have on your list.


Warren Buffett Framework Step Three

Then, add a P2 and a P3 to prioritize the rest of your goals within the list.

That doesn’t mean you have 10 goals all competing with each other at the same time.

It means that as soon as you complete a P1 in any one of the categories, you then (and only then) move onto your P2 and P3.

ICE Score Framework

“ICE” stands for Impact, Confidence, and Ease.

Below is a description of each element directly from the creators of the ICE Score Framework at GrowthHackers:

  • Impact: The possible impact the idea could have on the business if considered a “win
  • Confidence: This relates to how confident you are in whether it’ll result in a wi
  • Ease: This relates to how many resources, and what kind, are needed to implement the idea

For each idea, give each factor a score from one to ten. The overall score is determined by taking the average of the three scores. You should start with the idea that has the highest score.

ICE Score Framework - Marketing Skills

For example, let’s say you wanted to run a content partnership experiment with a peer or influencer within your industry (similar to this one!) Your ICE score might look like this:

  • Impact: 8
  • Confidence: 7
  • Ease: 7
  • Total: 22

Comparing that to other ICE scores, you can quickly determine which ideas to tackle next and which ones to table for the time being. Over time, you’ll be able to score ideas quickly and efficiently.

3. Collaborating

Why is team collaboration necessary?

Part of the answer, according to research from strategy professor Benjamin Jones at the Kellogg School, is that our individual knowledge base is becoming more and more specialized.

Jones gives a great example of the Wright Brothers and building an airplane:

“In 1903, two people designed and flew an airplane. Today, a Boeing 787 has dozens of specialists working on the engines alone. Then there are the controls, the hydraulics, the airframe itself. There is an incredible range of specialized skills needed.”

Generalist vs. Specialist Employee

There is an ever-growing need for collaboration among specialists (teams) within companies to get a product or service off of the ground.

In our experiences at Buffer and Asana, the most successful marketing teams coordinate on two important levels:

  1. Messaging: Ensuring there’s consistency in what is being said across channels (blog, website, social, etc.
  2. Distribution: Planning and sequencing content rollout for maximum impact across channels

By combining the right set of marketing skills in both messaging and distribution you are setting your campaigns up for a much higher rate of success.


Whether you’re launching a full-on marketing campaign or simply posting a video to Facebook, creating a consistent message across channels is an important part of building your brand.

We’ve found that having effective collaboration tools in place makes all of the difference.

Here’s a quick example of some of the tools and workflows we use in order to help our teams create consistent messaging:

  • Kick off a conversation in messaging app, Slack, about the proposed idea or campaign:

Slack Screenshot

  • Start a doc in Dropbox Paper with additional details, comments, copy, etc:

Dropbox Paper Flow

  • Create a project within Asana and assign tasks to team members across the organization:

Asana Project

These three tools are invaluable for transparent and cross-functional collaboration and communication among teams within your organization. They’re especially important for us at Buffer as a fully remote company!


Without a solid distribution plan in place, your messages may never reach their intended audiences. Having the skills to not only create the assets, but efficiently deliver those assets across multiple channels, is an important quality for any marketer.

Here’s a quick look at some of the tools and workflows we use to distribute consistent content:

  • WordPress for hosting and creating blog content:

Buffer Blog

  • Discourse for internal distribution, information, and announcements:

Discourse Overview

  • Buffer for social media planning, scheduling, and analytics:

Buffer - Social Media Tool Dashboard

At the core of any great team collaboration is trust. Trust is the willingness and openness to intentionally communicate with teammates on your direct team and across the company.

It’s up to you to make space (physically or virtually) for people to meet and share ideas. Pixar is a perfect example of this in action – they designed their offices so that artists, designers, programmers, and marketers would purposely bump into each other.

4. Visualizing

Humans are, by nature, very visual beings.

In the brain itself, there are hundreds of millions of neurons devoted to visual processing, nearly 30 percent of the entire cortex, as compared with 8 percent for touch and just 3 percent for hearing.

In other words, the most successful marketing teams are not only able to communicate messages in written form, they’re also able to create stunning designs that aid in telling a compelling visual story.

Social Media Design Principles

We wrote an article in 2017 titled, “Why Every Marketer Needs to Be a (Part-Time) Designer” and the general theory still remains true, even more so, today in 2018.

The best part is there are tons of free resources our there to get started! Here are some of our favorites:

Visual storytelling is one of those marketing skills that often goes overlooked, but plays a massive role in the success of every single piece of content.

5. Experimenting

Have you ever wondered how some marketing teams come up with so many great ideas?

Their secret…

Behind every one successful marketing idea or campaign, there were dozens (if not hundreds) of little failures along the way.

It reminds me a lot of what is known as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in product development. A MVP is a product that has the minimum amount of features required to validate if people want it or not.

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

The same theory holds true for marketing experimentation and testing.

A marketing team that is unafraid of failure and willing to run hundreds of different tests in order to quickly validate ideas will often succeed over a marketing team that puts their eggs (ideas) into one basket (channel/campaign).

The Information, for example, might have hundreds of potential story ideas in Asana at any one time – prioritizing experiments and ideas based on competition, importance, opportunity costs, and lots more.

Although there isn’t a true scientific way of running marketing experiments, this is the formula we’ve come up with at Buffer to systematically test ideas:

How to Run Marketing Experiments

We start with setting clear goals and then work backwards from there.

Let’s say we wanted to increase Buffer blog traffic by 10% in one year (goal).

Our marketing team would start by getting together and brainstorming all of the different ways we could accomplish that – SEO, social media, affiliates, etc.

We’d then prioritize ideas based on impact (Warren Buffett Framework / ICE Scores) and begin testing.

Then, we’d constantly measure and analyze results along the way while making incremental improvements.

Approaching experimentation and testing with a growth mindset, similar to developing a product, is a marketing skill that will help take your team to the next level.

6. Analyzing

As marketers, we’re all somewhere on the analytics expertise scale (whether we know it or not!) From the analytics wizards to those of us just starting to dip our toes in data analysis, we all have a base layer to work from.

Our Director of Marketing at Buffer, Kevan Lee, puts it perfectly:

“The great thing about deepening your skills in analytics is that we all have a base layer to work from. We all know how to build intuition. And intuition is just an absorbed history of data. Add to that the ability to ask good questions, and you’re well on your way. (The tools themselves matter far less than you’d think.)”

Asking good questions, when it comes to data and marketing analytics, is an invaluable marketing skill to have on any team.

This graphic from Moz shows just how many BIG questions there are to ask:

Moz - Asking Great Data Questions

At first, asking all of these questions can be a bit intimidating.

What if I don’t know the answers?

That’s okay!

One way we like to think about approaching analytics is this idea of “Crawl, Walk, Run” – It might look something like this if you’re just starting out:

  • Crawling: Which channels get the most engagement?
  • Walking: Which tactics and/or strategies are contributing to this engagement?
  • Running: Which channels, tactics, and strategies should we implement to increase engagement?

Data Analysis - Crawl Walk Run

Another great way of thinking of analytics is the “Hierarchy of Analytics” model made popular by data wizard Christopher S. Penn:

Hierarchy of Analytics - Christopher Penn copy

In the beginning, you might experiment with various analytics platforms and tools in order to get a feel for the basics of marketing analytics. Understanding what data is available, its limitations, and what you can report is a great start.

Then, as you become more skilled and confident with data, you might dive into things like understanding why something happened or what might happen in the future based on your findings.

There are some incredible data analysis tools out there from companies like Google, IBM, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft that can help you do just that!

7. Learning

I like to think that the path to becoming a great marketer is a lifelong journey and never truly complete.

Knowledge, passion, and expertise are intangible qualities that we usually don’t acquire overnight. These are often developed as result of years (even decades) of hard work, mistakes, self-reflection, and personal growth.

Even a virtuoso like Michelangelo was quoted as saying, “I am still learning” late into his career.

Michelangelo quote on Learning

At Buffer and Asana, we aim to build our marketing teams around folks who are naturally curious, hungry to learn, passionate, and open to new ideas.

“A love of learning is one of primary skills we look for in marketers because it tells us a couple things: do they love what they do, and are they curious about the world?” explains Kevan Lee. “Those two factors alone can take you quite far!”

Just like food nourishes our bodies, information and continuous learning nourishes our minds.

But where do you start on your learning journey as a marketer?

We’ve found that having a framework in place allows us to identify opportunities for growth. We call it the T-Shaped Marketer Framework:

Buffer T-Shaped Marketer Framework

T-Shaped Marketing at Buffer. Feel free to grab a download of the Sketch file or Canva template we used to build this, if you’d like to customize it for your company.

I encourage you to create one of these templates for yourself. It’s an incredible, eye-opening activity that will provide you with a clear path forward.

Then, we suggest forming habits around the marketing disciplines you’re most excited about:

  • If you want to get better at data analysis, try taking a course on Udemy or Skillshare to expand your skills
  • If you want to dive into video marketing, experiment with creating a video in Animoto or take a free Adobe Premiere tutorial on YouTube.
  • If social media is your passion, we’ve got a ton of great learning resources on our Social Blog, Skillshare, and the Buffer Podcast.
  • If you want to improve your organization, workflow, or project management skills, Asana has created a ton of great resources and best practices for work management on their blog.

If you’re curious, inquisitive, genuine, and if your intent is sincere, there will always be people who will support you in your journey.

Experiment and try out new things – some of them might even scare you! Once you gain some momentum, keep it going. That will set you up for a lifetime of success in marketing.

Over to you

Thank you so much for checking out this post!

If you’re interested in learning more about career and marketing skills from some uber-talented professionals in the industry, feel free to check out the Asana blog. It’s packed with some incredible insights.

We’d also love to continue the conversation with you below!

What skills are we missing from this list? What has helped your team create consistently great content? What would you suggest to those looking to hire

Sikh Student ‘Told To Leave Rush Late Bar In Mansfield Because Of Turban’

A Sikh student has said he is “heartbroken” after being asked to leave a bar in Mansfield because he was wearing a turban.

Amrik Singh said he was told on Friday night that he was not allowed to stay in Rush Late Bar, in Nottinghamshire, because he refused to remove his religious headware.

After the student, who recorded his conversation with staff, said that his turban is a religious requirement, he was told: “I didn’t think you were allowed to come in a pub and drink anyway.”

Amrik Singh said he was told he wasn't allowed to wear his turban in Rush Late Bar, in Mansfield.

The bar released a statement on Saturday saying the door supervisor involved had been suspended and a thorough investigation launched.

Singh said that he was initially allowed into the venue, but he was removed after about 30 minutes.

“A bouncer approached me saying that I needed to remove my turban,” he wrote in a Facebook post.

“I explained that a turban isn’t just headgear, but part of my religion and that it protected my hair – and that I was allowed to wear a turban in public. The bouncer ignored this and said I needed to take it off. I refused and was subsequently dragged away from my friends.”

He said that he felt “victimised” and so he decided to record the conversation.

“The fact that I was being removed because of my religious views really upset me. My ancestors have fought for the British army previously. Furthermore, me and my parents were born in Britain and all uphold British values.

“I was eventually let back into the venue but was told that I would not be allowed back in in the future because of my headwear.

“This experience ruined my night. It broke my heart. I’m very fortunate that I’m well spoken and I am able to stand up for myself. What if it was someone who wasn’t confident was told to leave? I am disgusted.”

He urged the venue to “take a long hard look at themselves and change their approach”.

The post has been shared more than 5,000 times.

Rush said they were treating the incident “extremely seriously” and that the venue welcomes “all customers regardless of their race, ethnicity or background”.

The bar posted a statement on Facebook on Saturday:

“We are extremely concerned about the incident that occurred last night. We are treating the whole incident extremely seriously and have suspended the door supervisor involved and a thorough investigation has been launched. We, as a venue, welcome all customers regardless of their race, ethnicity or background.

“The events of last night do not reflect the venues values and upon completion of our enquiries any necessary action will swiftly be taken. We offer our sincere apologies to the gentleman involved for any upset, hurt and distress that was caused to him and anyone else.

“Just to clarify the gentleman was invited back into the venue after this incident and was able to enjoy the rest of the evening.”

Sonya Ward, leader of Mansfield District Council Labour group, called the actions of the bar staff “appalling”.

The incident comes after a student at Nottingham Trent University captured racist abuse being chanted outside her room this week.

The clip was shared tens of thousands of times on Twitter and police are treating the incident as a hate crime.

Two men were arrested in connection with the video and have been released under investigation.

How to Create Engaging Short Videos for Social Media (Including 7 Excellent Examples)

When was the last time you watched a video on social media?

Videos are becoming increasingly popular on social media, especially on mobile. Over the past year, the time people spent watching Facebook Live every day has increased by four times and Instagram videos by 80 percent1.

To create engaging social media videos, Facebook recommends creating videos as short as 15 seconds2. Sounds easier? But where do you start?

In this guide, you’ll learn step-by-step how to create short social media videos – anything from a few seconds to a few minutes. We’ve also included many tools and examples to help you get started.

How to Create Engaging Social Media Videos: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to create engaging social media videos

Creating videos can be more challenging than writing a blog post or designing an image. But it isn’t as difficult as you might have imagined. Here’s how you can create effective short social media videos easily:

How to create engaging short videos

1. Ideate

The first step is to brainstorm ideas for your videos. Here are three quick ways to generate a ton of ideas:

Look at your top blog posts

If you write a blog, like us, you’ll likely have a treasure trove of content ideas on your blog. The blog posts that resonate with your audience is probably great content for your videos. This strategy has helped us create well-liked videos such as this and this.

You can use your Google Analytics to find your top posts. Go to Behavior > Site Content > All Pages. You should see something like this:

Google Analytics: Top posts

In the upper-right corner, increase the date range to a month. A quarter or a year is fine, too.

Google Analytics: Date range

Scroll to the bottom of the page and change the number of rows shown to 100.

Google Analytics: Rows

Voilà! Now you have your top 100 blog posts for the past month (quarter or year) – and tons of content ideas for your video.

Study the most shared content

Sometimes, your top blog posts are also your most shared. But sometimes, they aren’t. Using a tool like Buzzsumo, you can find your most shared content. You can also find the most shared content for any topic!

To find your most shared blog posts, enter your blog URL on Buzzsumo.


You’ll get a list of your most shared blog posts, ordered in terms of the number of shares.

Buzzsumo: Most shared

You could also sort the results by the various social media platforms. For example, if you plan to create a Facebook video, you can sort the list by Facebook engagements. Now, you’ll have a list of blog posts that generated the most shares, likes, and comments on Facebook.

Buzzsumo: Sort

Check out popular videos from similar brands

Finally, you can also look around on social media to see what topics are popular at the moment. With Facebook’s Pages to Watch, you can easily check out the top posts from your favorite or similar Facebook Pages.

To access Pages to Watch, go to your Facebook Page > Insights. You’ll find the section at the bottom of the Overview tab.

Facebook Pages to Watch

When you click on any of the Pages, you’ll see its top posts for the week. The posts should give you some video content ideas. It’ll be great to keep an eye out for video posts specifically.

Top posts from Pages you watch

For Twitter, Social Bearing is a great tool for finding any Twitter account’s top tweets. For Instagram, you could try using the Explore feature, which shows you popular posts that are relevant to your account. On LinkedIn, you have the Companies to track feature in your Company Page analytics.

2. Plan

Once you have brainstormed your content ideas and picked one to work on, you can start planning for it.

The two ways I like to plan for a video is to either write a script or create a storyboard. Both encourage me to think through the entire flow and important aspects of the video. A storyboard also helps me visualize how a shot would look like, which will be handy for the next step – recording.


If you are not familiar with storyboarding, here’s a quick guide to get you started.

To help you with your planning, here are some tips from Facebook for creating effective videos:

Capture attention early: Videos auto-play on most social media platforms. By capturing attention with the first few seconds of your video, you have a higher chance of stopping a viewer while she scrolls through her feed. Facebook recommends starting with your most captivating elements, incorporating your brand message and identity early, and using engaging post copy.

Keep your message simple: Facebook encourages you to ask yourself, “What is the most important message I need to deliver in this video?”

Design for sound off: Facebook found that people watch mobile videos everywhere – home, at work, during their commute, etc.3 Oftentimes, they wouldn’t want the sound (and perhaps that’s why mobile videos are designed to play without sound). According to Digiday, 85 percent of Facebook videos are played without sound4. Add captions or text to tell your story visually.

Experiment with size: More than 50 percent of videos are played on mobile now5. And square and vertical videos take up more screen space than landscape videos when the phone is held vertically. In our own experiments, we found that square videos outperformed landscape videos on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in terms of average engagement and views.

If you’re looking for information about video specs of all the major social media platforms such as the maximum length and default audio state, we hope we’ve gotten you covered with this blog post.

3. Record

Now, the fun part – recording!

Thanks to the advancement of technology (yay to smartphones!), you can create engaging, high-quality videos with just a few simple tools and tricks. Here are some of our suggestions:

Use your smartphone

You don’t need expensive video equipment to get started. One of the most powerful video tools is right in your pocket – your smartphone. Most smartphones today can record videos of high visual and audio quality.

There are also many video-editing mobile apps available, which you’ll learn about later in this post.

Stabilize your phone with a tripod

A stable video helps it look more professional. You can easily get affordable tripods from Amazon. For example, a mini tripod for phones costs about $11 while a 50-inch lightweight tripod costs $13.

Speak into a microphone

It’s best to find a quiet location to record your video. To improve the sound quality further, you can get a lavalier microphone for just $20. Just plug it into your phone and hit record.

Find good lighting

Natural light is one of the best light sources for your videos. If you can’t get that, lamps work great, too. When recording your video, be sure to face the light source so that the light spreads evenly across your face.

If you prefer a more advanced light setup, you’ll love this “Lighting on the Fly” guide by Wistia.

Find or create your video background

Finally, find a nice background for your video. A simple colored background is a great option as it encourages viewers to focus on you and prevents them from being distracted by things going on in the background.

If you can’t find a suitable background, you could create one yourself. You could buy a large foam board from Amazon or a stationery store and place it behind you. Or you could build your own lightbox if you are filming a small physical product.

4. Edit

Great work on recording your video clips! Now, let’s put them together.

Here are a few of our favorite video-editing tools:



For creating video slideshows, we love to use Animoto. It allows us to easily combine video clips, stock videos, photos, and text together to create short engaging videos. Music can also be added to the video in just a few clicks.

If you’re looking for more music choices, Brian Peters found 13 fantastic places for background music.

Other tools like Animoto: Adobe Spark VideoPromo, and Wave


Quik by GoPro

If you like to edit on-the-go, Facebook recommends Quik by GoPro (AndroidiOS). You can just pick your videos and photos, and Quik will automatically find highlights, add effects, and sync transitions with the music. You can then customize the video to your liking.

Other tools like Quik: Videoshop (Android, iOS), Stop Motion Studio (AndroidiOS), Vidlab (iOS)



With Legend (Android, iOS), you can turn simple text into impressive animations. These animations can be a great addition to your videos as a transition between two video clips.

Other tools like Legend: Crello, Adobe Spark Post (iOS)

Note: You’ll want to be mindful of the copyrights and royalties of the videos, images, and music you use for your videos. Here’s a quick rundown of a few rules and licenses.

5. Share

Finally, you’re ready to share your video!

While there are many ways to share your videos on your social media profiles, we hope the best way for you is to use Buffer’s Tailored Posts.

With Tailored Posts, you can easily schedule or post different videos to each of your social media profiles. All at once, from a single place. And videos will be uploaded directly to the social media platforms.

To use Tailored Posts, click on the Buffer browser extension on any website. (Tailored Posts is coming to the desktop and mobile dashboards soon!)

Then, select the social profiles you want to share the video with, update the copy, and upload the video.

Buffer Tailored Posts

Then, hit “Add to Queue”. Your video will be added to your respective social profile queues and shared at the selected times.

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7 video ideas and examples to help you get started

I know creating videos can feel a little intimidating at first. I had many questions myself. What should I include in the video? How long should it be? What type of music should I use?

I hope from these ideas and examples of short social media videos, you’ll find some inspiration and the answers to your questions.

How-to, tips, or tutorial

HubSpot created a short video on how to convince your boss to let you work from home, with stock footages and text.

Customer testimonial

GoPro interviewed three customers to promote its drone, GoPro Karma, and to introduce its new features.


Wistia did a recap video of their time at Inbound 2017.



Patagonia shared a quick behind-the-scenes look at their factory.


Product launch

Ben & Jerry’s created a simple looping video to promote a new flavor of ice cream.