“Social video” is the topic du jour for publishers, brands, marketers, and anyone else looking to find success on social media.

Effective social videos are short! The most successful – viral videos with over 1 million views – typically last between 30 seconds and 1 minute. This doesn’t leave a lot of room for in-depth subjects, but it is just enough space to quickly tell a single story! Or to focus in on one big highlight, be it entertaining, informative, or affecting.

Social media is all about audience – the audience you have and the audience you want. Social video is aimed at both groups. The hope is that as your current audience engages with content, interested users from their networks will be drawn into the fold.

This means crafting content that your core audience looks to your organization for, as well as content that taps into their other interests. You also need to pay attention to the habits of your audiences. When are they online? What types of content to they respond to the most? Make sure your subjects are aligned with what your viewers most enjoy. And make sure your metadata – like titles, descriptions, and tags – are robust and descriptive, driving up your video SEO so your content is showing in the searches of new viewers.

Social videos are specifically designed for social platforms. It is not just a TV ad uploaded to Facebook. That means the video is optimized for web and mobile viewing and tailored specifically to the platform that will house them.

A central focus on driving engagement is the defining characteristic of social video. Every social video aims to drive social actions such as shares, comments, and likes. Those acts of engagement are what bring your content organically into the feeds of potential new followers and new audiences.

There’s no secret recipe for guaranteeing engagement. But there are straightforward best practices to follow that have been shown to help drive those numbers. And if the goal of social media is to grow an audience, engagement is the number one way to do it.

There are so many elements that go into social media videos including subtitles, length, details and sound. Essentially, you’re trying to explain a lot of detailed information in a few seconds. But when you do it well, you see higher engagement and build a better rapport with your audience.