So you tried to use the same video format for all social media platforms. One looks great, but the quality of the others looks terrible. WHAT GIVES?! Why is video formatting for social platforms so complicated?
In short, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for cross-posting videos. Each platform has different aspect ratio requirements, and you must ensure your video is optimized every time. People routinely try to avoid this step, but the result is a messy, cropped presentation that keeps people from watching. If you think we’re being dramatic, Verizon Digital Media is here to back us up. They found that videos with higher picture quality significantly improve a viewer’s watch time and engagement; relatedly, the time spent viewing video fell by 77% when the video quality dropped.
To ensure that the largest possible audience sees your videos—and hopefully shares—you need to format them for each platform. Don’t worry. Formatting for each medium isn’t as complicated as it looks.
How to format video for Twitter
Twitter is about brevity and clarity, so your videos must be short and sweet. The maximum length for a Twitter video is 30 seconds—preferably less. If you go long, you’ll lose your audience. You should also include descriptive text in the tweet itself. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial in getting more views for your video. When done correctly, SEO boosts your video’s visibility.
How to format in-feed video for Twitter
When creating Twitter In-Feed videos, it’s important to remember some best practices. Ensure the video is captivating and engaging, use eye-catching visuals, and include a call-to-action that encourages viewers to engage with your brand.
Creating In-Feed videos on Twitter is simple. Just upload a video file, and it will automatically start playing in the user’s feed once it’s uploaded. However, remember that the video should be less than 2 minutes and 20 seconds, and the size should not exceed 512MB.
How to format video for Instagram
Instagram is all about visual content, so your videos must be crisp and stunning. Gritty, unpolished videos can work on Twitter, but not so much on Instagram.
Keep them between three and sixty seconds. Since Instagram doesn’t have a shorter character limit like Twitter or Facebook, you can include a longer description of the video caption. However, check out our tips on how long the posts should be. The caption is a chance to bring your viewer further into your funnel, so use that space well!
To ensure you’re meeting Instagram’s requirements regarding video format, follow them when uploading a video.
- Instagram videos must stay under 4GB.
- The recommended resolution for Instagram videos is 1080×1080 pixels (square). If your video isn’t in this resolution, you must resize it before uploading.
- The recommended aspect ratio for Instagram videos is 1:1 (square). If your video isn’t in this aspect ratio, crop or add black bars to make it square.
- Videos on Instagram can also be landscape (horizontal) with an aspect ratio of 16:9, but these will be cropped to fit in square feed posts. For this reason, square or portrait videos are generally best for Instagram.
One final tip: since sound is automatically muted on Instagram videos, make sure your visuals are exciting and engaging enough that users will want to watch even without sound. Closed captioning is your friend! However, you can use the “Sound On” sticker to let people know the video comes with audio.
How to format video for Facebook
Facebook is still the largest with over two billion monthly active users—and you can’t avoid it. The upside to Facebook is that it supports various video formats. However, they have strict requirements regarding video formatting—if you don’t follow them, your videos may not appear in users’ feeds. Facebook does allow longer video formats than other platforms, but the short form is king on social media. If you decide to go over the one-minute mark, try to aim for somewhere between two and five minutes. When formatting your videos for Facebook here are some tips:
- Facebook recommends uploading a video with square (1:1) or vertical (4:5, 9:16, and 16:9) aspect ratios to optimize size on desktop and mobile screens.
- They also suggest designing videos with and without sound (enabling captions).
Your video will be more successful if it doesn’t look clunky on the platform.
How to format LinkedIn shared videos
LinkedIn shared videos can showcase your personality, making them more relatable to your audience. By appearing in front of the camera, you are giving your work a human touch, which can make their stories more memorable. Journalists can use LinkedIn videos to share their personal challenges when reporting tough issues, which viewers will appreciate.
- Videos must follow these guidelines:
- Max file size – 5 GB
- Minimum file size – 75 KB
- Max video duration – 10 minutes
- Minimum video duration – 3 seconds
- Resolution range – 256×144 – 4096×2304
- Aspect ratio – 1:2.4 – 2.4:1
- Frame rates – 10 FPS – 60 FPS
- Bit rates – 192 KBPS – 30 MBPS
How to format video for Pinterest
Since Pinterest is a platform that’s often used for inspiration, it’s important to recognize the types of videos that are popular among Pinterest’s audience. In general, videos that offer a solution or benefit to viewers tend to perform well. Pinterest videos can range from six seconds to 30 minutes. They can be created in multiple formats, such as a how-to tutorial, a behind-the-scenes feature, a product demonstration, or simply showcasing stunning visuals. Learn more about the different kinds of videos you can create and how to format them here.
How to format video for YouTube
Last—but not least—is the most popular video-sharing site on the internet: YouTube. This video platform has over one billion unique visitors every month, and it is the second largest search engine on the internet, behind Google.
When formatting videos for YouTube, view their recommended upload encoding settings here. Also, ensure your videos are at least 12 frames per second to appear smooth and not choppy. Don’t forget to write a great caption that includes SEO keywords for search engines.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to video formatting for social platforms. Each platform has unique features and requirements, so it’s essential to consider those when creating and sharing your videos. Following the tips we outlined above makes the possibilities endless to reach users.