How to Script Videos for Social Media in 5 Steps

Do you create videos for Facebook and Instagram? Wondering how to get more people to pay attention to your videos in the news feed? In this article, you’ll learn a five-step system for using text overlays to optimize your...

How to Script Videos for Social Media in 5 Steps

by / January 6, 2021 / Leave a Comment

Do you create videos for Facebook and Instagram? Wondering how to get more people to pay attention to your videos in the news feed?

In this article, you’ll learn a five-step system for using text overlays to optimize your video for views and engagement in the Facebook or Instagram feed. You’ll also find out how to avoid one of the biggest mistakes people make when writing copy for videos

How to Script Videos for Social Media in 5 Steps by Matt Johnston on Social Media Examiner.

To learn how to script videos for social media, read the article below for an easy-to-follow walkthrough or watch this video:

How to Script a Story With Text Overlays for Facebook or Instagram Video

Have you ever seen videos on your Facebook or Instagram feed that don’t need sound to tell a story? They effectively weave a narrative with text on the screen. A lot of businesses use “text on screen” video, and when done right, they’re super-engaging.

The key to this type of video is the writing. Here’s how you can write a video script to tell a story with text overlays.

Start With a Hook

When you share video on Facebook or Instagram, there’s a metric called the drop-off rate. This is when people tend to stop watching your video and do other things on Facebook, like look at pictures of their friend’s kids or post pictures of their dog. Interacting with personal content is what they came to Facebook to do so don’t get hung up on trying to make them watch your whole video.

Your drop-off rate will never be amazing. If people on average only watch the first 10-15 seconds of your video, that simply means you need to put your best content right at the beginning. Make sure that people are taking whatever action you want them to at the start.


When you write a script for your video, start with the hook to grab people’s attention in the feed. If you have great footage, put it right at the beginning as your hook.

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If you don’t have eye-catching footage, start with a headline hook—what I like to call a BuzzFeed-style headline. This is an enticing headline that teases exactly what viewers are going to get from the video so they’ll want to stick around. While you may not have attention-grabbing footage to make people stop and watch your video, your headline hook will draw them in.


Offer Your Most Shareable Piece of Information

Immediately following your hook, place the most shareable piece of information in your video. Whether it’s a story about an event that took place or a tip or trick, this is a case where you don’t want to save the best for last. Instead, it should go on the second slide of your video.

Give Context in the Body of the Story

Now you can get into the body of the story. This is where you give historical context to the story you’re telling in your video. Remember, these are short videos (generally only a minute long) so you won’t have a lot of content to expand on here.

Add an Extra Layer of Value

Next, add an extra layer of value to your video. Remember, people will have all sorts of videos and other content clamoring for their attention so make sure you always over-deliver on value. This could simply be a sentence that shows that you thought a little bit more about the topic you’re covering or puts it in a more historical context.

Share a Call to Action

The end of your video is where you share your call to action (CTA). Your CTA won’t necessarily be to ask viewers to share your video. Instead, you may want to have people check out another article or video or go to your website.

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Case Study: Analyze the Script of an Effective Social Media Video

Now that you understand how to write a script for social media video, let’s look at an example of what this looks like when done effectively.

The video starts with the headline, “This revolutionary device lets you play the guitar in seconds.” It sets a clear click expectation for what people will get out of watching the video and it highlights the innovation. If this is something that resonates with people, they’ll stop scrolling and watch the video.


Next up is the most shareable piece of information. In this case, it lets people know that even if they’ve never picked up a guitar before, they can play one in seconds if they buy this product.


The second shareable piece of information is, “It’s like Guitar Hero for a real guitar.” At this point, viewers are hopefully intrigued that they can just push buttons and strum a guitar.

The body of the video starts with the name of the product and mentions it was a huge hit on a recent show, and then a clip from the show that showcases the product’s segment.

For the context, the video shows how the product works. “Just put [it] on the guitar, push a button, and strum. You’ll be playing perfect chords immediately. But the goal isn’t to use it forever. It’s a learning system….”


Next is the extra layer of value that explains how the inventor came up with the idea.


Finally, the video ends with the call to action: “You can buy it right now at [website url]”


I highly recommend that you look at how this video was crafted. It has made this company hundreds of thousands of dollars and this approach can work for your business, too.

Pro Tip: Make Your Video Script Conversational

The biggest mistake people make when using text overlays to tell a story with video is they write like they would for a college essay and the text ends up sounding too formal. People are automatically disconnected from what you’re saying; therefore, they’re disconnected from your business and won’t be interested in purchasing from you.

When you write a script for social media video, the writing should be more conversational and pass what I call the “dive bar test.” That is, make your script feel like you’re having a personal conversation with someone, similar to how you’d chat with a friend at a bar.

So after you’ve written the first draft of a script, look it over and see if the text sounds like something you’d say to a friend when you’re hanging out. This goes for all videos, whether you’re using them for organic purposes or in ads.


“Text on screen” videos can be a great way to tell a story about your business and products or services. The key is the script. Following this five-step process will help you compose easy-to-read copy to enhance your video and draw viewers in on social media.

What do you think? Do you use “text on screen” videos in your social media marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

More articles on social media:

Find practical tips to produce polished videos that perform well on social media. Learn how to create videos that sell. Discover how to repurpose video and audio into multiple formats you can share on your social media channels.

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About the authorMatt Johnston

Matt is the CEO and Founder of Guide Social, Author of Producing Empathy, and viral video pioneer in the publishing world having led teams at NY Magazine, Business Insider, NowThis, and Men’s Health.

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