video optimization for social media

How to optimise marketing video for different social media audiences

It pays to tailor your videos for different social networks. If you want more views and engagements the key is learning different network’s audience expectations. Here’s what you need to know…


People come to native YouTube video searches to find out how to do something.
They search and click related content within YouTube itself. But you have about five seconds to grab their attention once they start watching.

This means that metadata, thumbnails and playlists are key to being found. Remember this is keyword searching, just like Google. And organising information offered with playlists can get people trolling through one video after another on your playlist if your content is good quality.

You need to capture attention within seconds or viewers will move on to the next video with similar content they are being offered. Narration helps with views, just text and music don’t do so well on YouTube.

The ideal is have a person talking to camera, telling viewers why they should watch the video in the first few seconds. A presenter or narrator can show audiences how to achieve something, use a product, do something useful (even if it’s related but not your core business).

All these tricks will make your videos more likely to be watched.

In terms of technical specs you can upload pretty much any video format on YouTube and the platform will adjust viewer’s internet speeds to play it well. 16:9 is the aspect ration YouTube prefers, other dimensions end up with black edges around the picture.

You can upload huge files, up to 128GB, but 1GB should be large enough for most video.

Any YouTube account can load video’s up to 15 minutes long (and if you verify your account you can upload even longer videos). BUT, and it’ a big but, most viewers will not watch video anywhere near 15 minutes. In fact over three minutes long often loses viewers on YouTube.

Keep in mind that many people’s go to place for information will be Google or YouTube or both, and that Google searches bring up YouTube videos that have plenty of keywords win the text beneath each video and have clever metadata.


The most important thing to remember with Facebook video is that people are likely to see your videos in their feed if they’ve like your page, if a friend shares (or even likes) you video, or if you’ve hit them with targeted sponsored video.

That means you have literally one second to catch their attention as they are scrolling.

Most videos on Facebook will first be viewed without sound. So subtitles are a must if you have narration or talking, particularly in the first few seconds of your video.

Facebook does transcribe audio if you are paying for a sponsored video, but it’s worth making sure they get the words right!

Do remember that closed captions are a must have for all Facebook video, paid or unpaid for.

You need to upload a custom thumbnail image that shows before and after the video is playing, and make it a good one!

A fabulous formula is to keep your video to the point using images and text, make sure your video works well with or without audio or music playing, and to keep videos under 30 seconds long and on a continuous loop.


Instagram videos show in users news feed and autoplay. But unlike with Facebook, on Instagram audiences are not offered a play video to watch, they just decide wether to stay still and watch or keep moving past your video.

Although you can upload up to 60 seconds of video shorter is better! Get your point across quickly.

Instagram is a platform used only on mobile phones. This is important because the size of the screen is so much smaller. Lots of text doesn’t work. And action in your video needs to be close up!


Native YouTube video works well on Twitter, you have to share the YouTube url, if you post an article or other site that is showing a video it won’t show up.

Native Twitter  video is also a good option. If you’re using native Twitter video it’s worth using a vertical video orientation because so many people view Twitter on mobile phones.

Videos on Twitter play silently unless viewers click on them. Text on screen is therefore important again. The only drawback with this on Twitter is that if users do view on desktop Twitter’s scrubbing technology can make text hard to read.

Videos up to 140 seconds are accepted by Twitter unless you set up your account with a credit card, which allows you to upload a video up to ten minutes long in the Twitter Ads area. I wouldn’t advise this however, because Twitter is a quick fire platform generally.

Specs are 1920×1200 or 1200×1900 aspect and up to 512MB file size.


It really is worth making different versions of videos that you want to share across multiple networks. And if you are making a video specifically for one of these networks you can bend the whole process toward the kind of content that does well on different social networks.

filmstretch have package deals for multiple online videos that allow one video to be modified for use across social networks at reasonable prices. See here for details or call us to talk it through.

If you are making video yourself bear in mind these guidelines, and look at the specs each social network offer to help users create video that works for their audience, and technical needs.