How to Edit Video For Social Media

You probably know that video is taking over social media.

Go and log on to one of your social profiles right now – how long did you have to scroll for before you came across a video?

I’m willing to bet it wasn’t long at all.

That’s because video is the perfect medium for catching your audience’s attention and keeping them interested (remember that crazy fact that we now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish).

Traditional forms of video are taking a back seat to the more immediate and visceral format of social video. Evident by the 8 billion streams that take place on Facebook every single day.

Social media is perfect for video, because it’s personal, accessible and easily shareable, taking video from stuffy corporate bleurgh to an exciting way to tell stories and capture people’s hearts.

“But isn’t it a bit out of my league?”

You might be thinking, “But producing a video is so expensive. Isn’t that why Hollywood and the film industry is a multi-million dollar industry?!”

The good news is, you don’t have to be a world-famous director with an idea for the next Oscar-worthy feature length to create a good video.

In fact, video is more accessible than ever for small companies and startup businesses. And, with 74% of all website traffic due to come from video this year, it seems a no-brainer to get started on it right away, right?

But, before you go all out and start shooting, remember that creating videos for social media isn’t like creating a video for your website or a presentation. You’ve got to make sure yours are set up perfectly to stand out (or, on the flip side, blend in with the style of video people like to view on these platforms).

Let’s dig in to how to edit video for social media.

Keep it Short and Sweet

People’s attention spans are short. Especially when there’s a new, shiny thing popping up every single day - so how can you make sure your video gets them interested?

Keep it short!

Under 60 seconds is ideal, which is just enough time to get your main points across, share your call to action (more on that later), and leave them wanting more.

There is an exception here.

Facebook works slightly differently, in that people are looking for deep, meaningful videos to share with their friends that make them seem compassionate, fun, and intelligent (we all want to look good to our friends, right?), so you can extend your creative flair here for as long as the concept warrants. But please don’t bore them to death!

Such a Square

The squares are always right! Up to now, a lot of video has been produced in a 16:9 format. But if you’re pushing your videos out on Facebook or Instagram, it certainly is hip to be square. It’s been reported that the square format increases the completion rate of a video by 67%.

Think about it this way: more people than ever are watching video on mobile, and the square video format takes up more space in their news feed and on their screen. This makes it more likely to grab their attention and easier to view on smaller devices. Win-win, really.

Go Silent

You know on Facebook when you’re scrolling and a video starts automatically playing? Yeah, that’s a thing.

It means that there’s a large number of people watching video without the sound (because, let’s face it, it’s added effort to hit the unmute button).

If you want people to watch your video when they’re on the move, in public, or when they’re feeling extra lazy, you need to go silent and play into it. That means adding in captions if there’s dialogue and making sure your graphics and images speak for themselves.

Here’s a fast and easy guide to adding captions to your FB video:

  • Step 1: First, save your captions as an SRT file
  • Step 2: Click Photo/Video at the top of your timeline and click Upload Photos/Video. Choose your video and click
  • Step 3: When your video is ready (Facebook will give you a shout), click the notification to take you to the page the video is on.
  • Step 4: Hover over your video and click Options at the bottom, then head straight to the Edit this video
  • Step 5: Click Choose File below the Upload SRT files option, choose your SRT file, and click save.

Voila! Captions for everyone.

Think About Your Thumbnails

What’s the first thing people see when they come across your video? Hint: it’s the thumbnail.

They’ll look at this and decide if it’s something they want to hit the play button on so, if your thumbnail isn’t working its hardest, you’re going to miss out on a ton of views - not good.

Make sure your thumbnail is eye-catching and relevant to the rest of your video (the last thing you want is people disappointed when they click play, right?).

You can take this one step further, too, and make sure the first few frames are really something. Basically, do everything you can to keep people’s eyes on the prize (a.k.a. Your video).

Craft a Compelling CTA

Call-to-actions are so important in every marketing strategy. Do you want people to get to the end of your video, think “Oh, that was nice,” then navigate away from it never to think of you again?

Of course you don’t!

At the end of frames, include compelling calls to action that encourage people to do something. Things like “Share this video”, “Like us”, and “Visit our site” are all great places to start.

There’s a sneaky reason to having a CTA other than getting people to jump into action. It’s been heard on the grapevine that Facebook’s algorithm doesn’t like you to put the CTA in the copy or the post itself because, well, Facebook doesn’t want you driving people away from its site.

Focus on Framing

Think about where people will be watching your videos. If the stats are anything to go by, there’s a high, high chance they’ll be watching on their mobiles, which means small screens and squinting.

You can alleviate some of the small screen woes by making sure important scenes are medium or close up shots, and each frame has a focus that’s big enough to see properly.

As long as you remember these key tips when you edit your video for social media, you’ll be able to create something that’s eye-catching and in-line with the kind of content people are actively looking for on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Ready to shoot something that people will actually see?

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