Editing Your Videos For Social Media

87% of marketing professionals are using video as a marketing tool, and with people spending more time on social media, creating video for these platforms is an important way to attract customers to your business (Wyzowl, 2019). Social media is where most consumers view brands video content, and in 2019 they spent an average of 6 hours 48 minutes a week watching video content online (Limelight, 2019). 

Know the Purpose of Your Video

When you start editing your video, it is essential to know what the purpose of your video is. This will mean that you can edit your video to achieve that purpose to its fullest effect. The purpose of your video can be to increase sales in your store or leads to your site. It can be to update your followers on news within your company, a new product launch or an offer you are running. It could also be a reflection of your brand image, that aims to solidify what it is you do and why people should be interested in you. Or, it could just be a fun video, which people are more likely to watch, which while not aiming at increasing sales, could achieve this by building up trust with your audience.

When creating videos for social media, it is important to edit them in a way that gets you the optimum results that you are aiming for. So it is important to know a number of factors before you start editing your video, including the purpose of the video, what audience you are trying to appeal to and what you want the consumer to do after viewing your video.

Know What Your Call to Action Is

A call to action is important in your video, and knowing what yours is before you edit your video will make it much easier for it to have the desired outcome. 

The call to action of your video is what you want the viewer to do after they finish watching the video, whether that be buying your products, hiring your services, sharing your video, following you on social media or viewing your other videos. Once you know your call to action, it will help you decide which social media platform you need to use for it to have its full effect.

If you are looking to send the viewer to an external site, sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are the ideal platforms to use, as they can host external links in their posts. If you are intending to use Instagram, it is important to know that there are restrictions.

On instagram, you can not include links in your posts, which is why you will see many companies telling their audience to click the ‘link in bio’. While this is a way to send viewers to a particular link,  you can only include one link in your bio at a time, meaning you will have to update it every time you post, or use a service like LinkTree which will send the viewer to a page with multiple options. 

When using instagram stories, you can add a link on your posts, but only if you have over 10,000 followers. While this is not a problem for larger brands, for people still growing their audience this is something they will have to aim towards.

If you sell physical products in your online store, you can apply for Instagram Shopping. This is only available for people that mostly sell physical products and has to be confirmed by Instagram. However, this will allow you to add links to your posts, to allow people to have an immediate call to action to buy that product on your site.

Social Media Checklist

Start Strong

When using video to promote yourself or your brand, you have to grab people’s attention instantly or they will keep scrolling past on their feed. You have at most 5 seconds to hook your viewers in, so it is important to start strong. This can be by either asking a question or a strong statement, using a unique or interesting shot, or using an offer to grab and retain their attention. Once they are hooked, you can go into the main content of your video.

Eye-Catching Thumbnail

A lot of videos can now autoplay when people scroll through a feed, but if this is not possible or in case the user has this function turned off, it is important to have an eye catching thumbnail. Having an interesting thumbnail can drastically alter the amount of people who click on or view your video.

Does your video work without sound?

An important thing to remember when editing your video is that 80% of video views on Linkedin take place with no sound (LinkedIn), so it is important to make sure that your video makes sense without any audio. If your video is edited to a music track, it is important to make sure the video still flows without any sound. So after editing, play the video on mute and see if it still has the required effect. If not you will need to reconsider editing your video.

If your video includes dialogue, it is essential that you include captions. A lot of social media platforms can utilise captions, and provide an auto generated option. While these are fairly accurate, they can still make some glaring mistakes so it is important to check this. Alternatively you can create your own captions in the form of an .srt file, and upload them yourself so that you know they are accurate. [Here is our guide to creating captions for your videos]. If you are uploading to a site that doesn’t allow captions, for example Instagram, you will need to add these onto the video before exporting. 

Which Platform Should You Prioritise?

Once you know the purpose of your video, and what the call to action will be, this will help you decide which social media platform you will prioritise. It is important to do this, as each platform appeals to a slightly different audience, and means you will be able to get the most out of your post. 

LinkedIn – If you are looking to recruit new staff or appeal to business owners/marketers

Twitter – If you are looking to gain more coverage

Facebook – If you are looking for more engagement on your posts

Instagram – If you are looking to sell more products or boost brand image

YouTube – If you are looking for more views and a wider audience

Understanding Aspect Ratios

Once you know which platform you are going to prioritise, you will need to know which aspect ratio to use to optimise your content. The two standards of shooting video are:

16:9 Landscape – Standard HD format of TV and YouTube and what most cameras shoot

9:16 Portrait – This is ideal if you are uploading your content on Instagram stories or IGTV

While 16:9 is the video standard, and needed for YouTube, social media platforms can utilise different dimensions and aspect ratios to cover as much of the feed as possible. 

While you need to know your aspect ratio for editing your video, it is also ideal to know this before you start shooting. If you are aiming to edit and export your video as a square or 4:3, you need to bear this in mind whilst filming your video. This is due to most cameras filming in a 16:9 aspect ratio, so you will need to frame your content towards the centre of the frame, to avoid key parts of the shot being cropped out.

Social Media Specifications


Video Length: Max 10mins
Video Dimensions: Max – 4096 x 2304px.   min – 256 x 144px
Supported Aspect Ratios: 1:2.4 to 2.4:1
Supported formats: .asf .avi .flv .mov .mpeg-1 .mpeg-4 .mkv .webm
Video File Size: Max 5gb
Frame Rate: Max 60fps
Captions: Yes – srt file


Video length: Max 240mins
Video dimensions: Minimum width 600px, recommended dimensions 1280 x 720
Supported aspect ratios: 16:9 (horizontal), 9:16 (portrait), 2:3 (vertical), 4:5 (vertical), square (1:1)
Supported formats: .mp4 or .mov
Video file size: Max 4gb
Frame rate: Max 30fps
Captions: Yes – srt file

Instagram Post

Video length: Max 60 seconds
video dimensions: 600 x 600px (square), 600 x 315px (horizontal), 600 x 750px (vertical video)
Supported aspect ratios: 1:1 (square), 1.9:1 (horizontal)
Supported formats: .mp4 or .mov
Video file size:  Max 4GB
Frame rate: Max 30fps
Captions: No

Instagram Stories

Video length: Max 15 seconds
video dimensions: Min 600 x 1067px, recommended 1080 x 1920px
Supported aspect ratios: 9:16
Supported formats: .mp4 and .mov
Video file size: Max 4GB
Frame rate: Max 30fps
Captions – No

Instagram TV

Video length: Min 1min, max 15mins (When uploaded from a mobile device), 60mins (when uploaded from the web)
Video dimensions: Min 720px, recommended 1080 x 1920px
Supported aspects: 9:16 vertical, 16:9 horizontal
Supported formats: .mp4
Video file size: 650mb (if less than 10mins), 3.6gb (if more than 10mins)
Frame rate: Min 30fps
Captions – No


Video length: Max 140 seconds
Video dimensions: Min 32 x 32px, max 1920 x 1200px, recommended 1280 x 1024px (horizontal) / min 32 x 32, recommended 1200 x 1900 px (vertical)
Supported aspects: 1:2.39 – 2.39:1
Supported formats: .mp4 (web), .mov (mobile)
Video file size: Max 512mb
Frame rate: Max 40fps
Captions: Yes – .srt


Video length: Max 12hours
Video dimensions: Minimum 426 x 240px, max 3840 x 2160px, recommended 1920 x 1080px (HD) 3840 x 2160px (4K)
Supported aspects: 16:9 and 4:3
Supported formats: .mov .mpeg4 .mp4 .avi .wmv .mpegps .flv .3gpp .webm
Video file size: Max 128gb
Frame rate: Max 60fps
Captions: Yes – .srt

Repurposing Across other Social Media Platforms

While it is best to aim for one social media platform, and max your video to their specifications, it is likely that you will be easily able to post it to other platforms with no changes. If the video does not meet their requirements, you should slightly alter the edit and export a separate version for that platform. 

While it is possible to simply record a video on your phone and instantly upload it to all these platforms, by using these tips you will make sure that your video has its optimum impact for your business and will gain you better results.