Once you’ve got a finished video file, it can be published on most video platforms. However, there are some catches; it is almost always advantageous to post a video file directly to each platform via each one’s native upload and publish system. I see a lot of people who get their video done and publish it on YouTube, then they post the link to their YouTube video on all their platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This is not the most effective way to get your videos seen.

Picky algorithms

Facebook and LinkedIn (at the very least) heavily prefer video that is hosted natively on their platforms over posts with links to videos hosted elsewhere. This means that if you are hoping that your video will pop up in your followers’ feeds, or connections of those followers’ feeds, a video that you have taken the time to upload directly to LinkedIn or Facebook will show up much more often.

The algorithms that make the decisions about what to show people favor video on their own platforms. Take the time to post your video on each platform – not just link.

YouTube link in Facebook feed
YouTube link in Facebook feed.

Auto-playing features

If you link a YouTube video onto Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, those platforms may show a thumbnail and play button in people’s feeds, but it will then be up to the viewer to click the play button. The video will not auto-play like natively posted videos. It may even take the user off their current page to a new one which can frustrate people and make them more cautious about clicking non-native links to media. You may think it isn’t much of a barrier for someone to click the play button, but it really is a hurdle to convince someone to commit their time and attention without some appealing motion imagery from an auto-played video.

Optimizing for the platform

Instagram and Twitter currently only take videos up to 60 and 140 seconds long, respectively; so your video may be too long for those platforms. Consider creating a cut-down version of the video for those platforms.

A square 1×1 video with added blurry background to create a 9×16 vertical video

Aspect ratios of your video can be tricky. Most video is filmed and created at 16×9 widescreen (like your TV) by default. This type of video will work on almost all platforms, but many feed-based platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn will fill the screens of viewers better if the video is taller, such as ratios of 1×1 (square), 4:3, or 5:4. You or your editor may be able to create a second version of your video with the sides cropped to create a version like this.

Common aspect ratios

Videos that are not vertically oriented may not be accepted and are likely not ideal for 16×9 vertical platforms like Snapchat, Instagram Stories, TikTok, etc. As a stop-gap, you could take your video and add a blurry background to fill the top and bottom of the video. If you are focused on these vertical platforms, then this should be taken into account all the way back in the production phase so that you can film and design it for this extreme aspect ratio and avoid the letterboxing stopgaps like the example on the left.

Take a look at this 2020 article detailing video specs for social media platforms.

Brevity and structure

You may want to not just change the aspect ratio of your video, but edit it differently depending on the platform. As mentioned, some social media platforms have strict length limits currently, and even those that do not have limits are well-served by concise video content. However, people use certain platforms differently, and YouTube, Vimeo, and your Website are good places for longer-form content.

I’ve written about this subject in this blog post: Building a marketing video for social media feeds vs “opt in” video.

Hopefully, this information has inspired you to carefully consider how to best publish and create video content across multiple platforms.

Read Part 1 of this article: Publishing Videos Online – Best Practices for Businesses Part 1 – Title, Description, and Thumbnail