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Oct 31, 2017

Six editing tips to perfect video for social media

by Julian
Julian Brehney
Communications & Video Producer
“My arms looks like two long, beige tubes! I'm going to the gym now.”

Julian spent the majority of his formative years in earshot of a television loudly playing either a sitcom or some form of outdated science fiction. The result is a man who communicates mostly through subtitled GIFs.

He also rides his skateboard to work in his maroon shorts. Which is ridiculous because, as we’ve told him many times, he is too big for both. He is constantly scaring small children who see a blur of maroon flailing tubes screaming past them.

Lightcreative  Julian  V2

Video for social media is changing, but how does that affect you?

So you’ve made a great video. Maybe it’s a client story, or some event coverage, or even just an interview. It’s been successful on your website and client emails, so you think, ‘Why don’t I just throw this up on some of our socials?’

No! Well... yes. In the long run you should definitely put your video content on social media. As stated in a previous blog post, video is the future (and present) of social media marketing. Not only is video more likely to be pushed by social media algorithms, but it’s also more likely to form an emotional connection with your customer, compelling them to share. Video helps create personal connections with the viewer, so it goes hand in hand with social media, which is meant to be the personal side of your company. Regardless of the reason, video for social media is crucial to your marketing.The point is that you shouldn’t  just throw the same old video on all of your social handles. Video for social media needs to be specifically edited to be the most engaging on certain social media sites. There are rules you must follow, and these rules sometimes change from platform to platform. So reopen your premier pro file, create some new sequences, and get ready to spit out some different versions of that video. 


1. Square vs. landscape

So you have a beautiful 1920 x 1080 video that looks amazing on your desktop. But how is it going to look on mobile? Your audience views video on their mobile 70% of the time, compared to only 30% on their desktop. And that stat becomes far more skewed when you consider specific social platforms like Instagram. Square videos have shown to increase engagement over landscape by 80-100%. So re-edit the dimensions so your video is now 1:1. Hopefully without cutting away any important information. In the future you should be filming your videos with an idea of how you’re going to crop them to make them square.

2. Subtitles

Your video will most likely be viewed without sound, in fact 85% of all facebook videos are viewed while muted. Whilst this stat varies from platform to platform, the audience are most likely not going to be able to hear what your characters are saying.The long term solution is to make videos with this in mind. Making them rely less on dialogue and music, instead focusing on interesting and captivating visuals. The short term solution is to throw some subtitles on there. You can superimpose subtitles right into the actual video, referred to as ‘baking them in’, but it is better to use the individual social media’s subtitle tools. This way the audience can turn them on or off if they choose to keep watching. Pro tip: Make sure to put the title cards of your speakers, and any other important graphical information, in the top ⅔ of the screen. Because if it is in the bottom of the screen then the subtitles will cover it. 


3. Uploading

Don’t just upload the video to YouTube and then link it everywhere. Sometimes it’s better to natively upload it to the actual social media platform. For instance, Facebook videos perform 4 times better when uploaded directly to Facebook rather than other formats.

4. Time limits

Watch out for time limits for video on social media platforms. While you should try to make your videos for social media short and punchy either way, some platforms have hard-coded limits. Instagram maxes out at 60 seconds, Twitter goes up to 30 seconds, Snapchat allows a sequence of 10 second videos, and Facebook has a maximum of 2 hours (but you should aim to go well below that!).

5. Interesting first frame

Most viewers give your video 4 seconds to decide whether or not they want to scroll on. This means you need to capture their attention straight away. And since we already know they aren’t watching it with sound, so you need to use the visual to secure their engagement. 

Assuming you’re already in the editing chair, you can’t shoot additional visuals. But what you can do is reorder the video so the best imagery is at the beginning. 


6. Different personalities for different social media

You need to understand how you want your branding changes depending on which social media you are pushing through. Maybe on Instagram you’re polished and clean, but on Facebook you’re a bit sillier, and on Snapchat you talk directly to your customers. There are no hard and fast rules for this, but the fact is that each platform has a different demographic break up, so you need to edit and make your videos accordingly. 


Get comfy in that editor's chair. The days of only having to make a single version of a video are over.