Why it’s essential to make platform-specific edits and how to optimize them.

Socializing Your Social Media Edits

Social media is a great way to spread the word for that all-essential message you need to get out to the public. However, not all services are created equal, nor should they be treated as such. If you’re distributing the same video across all systems, you’re not only going to miss your audience, you might even drive them away.

There are two hurdles to mass social media distribution. The first is wildly different technical requirements for video on each platform. The second is the style and trends expected by the audience of each service. Between the two, it’s all but impossible make just one video that optimally achieves all your goals. Yet, no one wants to waste time editing 10 different productions on the same campaign.

Fortunately there’s a logical workflow you can follow that will not only make your life easier, but will actually make your brand stronger and more cohesive. A logical creative progression is the key to balancing efficiency with maximizing your video’s social media penetration.

YouTube

Faithful Youtube is the starting point where you can post your long-form message. Even unverified accounts can post videos up to 15 minutes, and that’s just the start, so go all out. YouTube viewers tend to search out content that they’re interested in, so it’s a great base of operations for all the other sites to lead back to. Be sure to present the core purpose of your video within the first 30 seconds to hook your audience. Use the rest of the video to go into the finer details.

Because there’s a common, quality encoding standard between them (1080p, h.264), you can and probably should post this video as-is to Dailymotion as well, however you won’t be able to rely on all the extra features. Vimeo is another consideration as long as you’re under the file size limit for posting.

Facebook

Facebook is up next with small tweaks. Research shows that up to 85% of social media video is played silently, and Facebook mutes video by default. Consider revising the beginning of your original video to rely less on dialog and use text splash screens for the most important points.

Don’t overdo it though. Long bouts of text should be saved for the description.

Facebook’s advice is that videos that are brief and aligned with current trends do best in the News Feed. Your first five seconds should be entrancing both with and without audio. If people are interested, they will most certainly turn the sound on and start over.

Consider shortening your video as well. Users have a lot of ground to cover in Facebook and will lose attention quickly. It’s not where they want to research in depth, so shorter videos often get more views.

Twitter

From here, you should isolate the best, most compelling moments of your video to make a version approximately one minute long. Because you’ve paired down your essential content into such a small package, it should be you’re most enticing introduction to your topic. This is perfect for Twitter. Why? Again, it’s all down to how people use the platform.

Twitter has stated that the majority of users discover the content they watch in their feed. It’s rare that people seek out specific content. Your video here should be a gateway for a user to find and engage with your content. If they like what you’re pushing, they’ll seek out more information. Odds are, though, it won’t be via Twitter.

Instagram

Now take your one minute masterpiece and shave off another thirty seconds. With a thirty second spot, you can create your Instagram experience.

There are two considerations here. Instagram viewers tend to avoid text, so take as much out as you can. Concentrate instead on striking, quality imagery. Sell yourself though visual stimuli.

You have up to a minute with this service, but keep in mind that the get in late, get out early rules still apply, and longer video is not always better. For Instagram your video should be all about visual quality over quantity.

Tech Specs

Along the way you’re going to have technical considerations to deal with. Careful research will yield some specs you can consider universal — h.264, audio sample rate, progressive scan — but at some point you may want to crop your video from 16:9 to 1:1, so keep text within the center square of your screen. You’ll also have to scale down your resolution and bitrate as you go. Set up batch encoding presets that will adhere to each format and these hurdles are easily crossed.

Social media platforms afford an unprecedented modern means of promoting your message or brand, but if you’re concentrating on only a few of them, or failing to cater to the abilities of each platform, you’re severely missing the mark.

Take advantage of the unique features — like playlists, overlays, video loops and thumbnails of each site — to get creative with your brand. Just because they’re all different doesn’t mean you can’t work smart and progress all your edits towards a common goal.

Fool-Proof Formats

Using these three formats as starting points should satisfy all requirements for virtually every social media site. Specifications for these sites are constantly in flux, so check for updates often and adapt your plan as necessary.

MP4, H.264, 1920×1080, 16×9, Progressive, High Profile, VBR 2-pass @ ~4mbps, source framerate ~<60fps (constant), AAC-LC stereo @ 48khz stereo, 320kbps, < 15 min, < 2GB [500mb for basic Vimeo]

MP4, H.264, 1920×1080, 16×9, Progressive, High Profile, VBR 2-pass @ ~4mbps, Source framerate ~<40fps, (constant), AAC-LC @44.1khz mono, 128kbps, <140 sec., <512Mb

Mp4, h.264, 1080×1080, 1:1, Progressive, VBR 2-pass @ ~3.5mbps, 30fps (constant), AAC-LC Stereo @ 44.1khz mono, 128kbps, < 60 sec., < 1Gb

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