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Different Types of Social Media Videos

We know a social media presence is incredibly beneficial--even necessary, these days!--for growing your brand (check out our recent blog post on the importance of social media for small business). Using videos in addition to photo and text posts can increase traffic to your page and create unique opportunities to showcase what your business is all about. But... how do you decide which social media to use to post your videos? Keep reading to learn the basic ins-and-outs of social media videos across multiple platforms.

social media video how-to and tips

1) Instagram Reels and TikTok Videos

If you're frequently scrolling Instagram or TikTok, it's likely you've seen the same videos reposted across sites. Because the formatting of these videos is so similar, it's common for creators to make and post a TikTok video, then upload the TikTok itself as an Instagram Reel. Videos on both apps are great ways to jump on trends and increase brand awareness. There are endless ways to create video content for these sites, such as making a "remix" (Instagram) or "duet" (TikTok) of/with existing videos, using trending music and audio clips, and keeping up with popular formats such as lip-syncing, interacting with yourself as multiple characters, and applying makeup or dancing while explaining deeper concepts. We love a good video meme. Posting videos with personality is a great way to get your business out there--whether you're sharing behind-the-scenes work, introducing yourself/your business, or showcasing products or art. The dimensions for videos on both sites are 1080x1920, a 9:16 aspect ratio--the size of a typical smartphone screen. However, because Instagram is a mixed-media platform (image and video posts) and TikTok is not, there are some differences. Instagram will change the dimensions of your Reel depending on where it is appearing. When the video is posted to your standard Instagram feed (not just the Reel feed), it will be displayed with slightly smaller dimensions at a 4:5 aspect ratio. This means that some of edges of the video will not be visible if a user doesn't click on it. On your Instagram profile "grid" of posts, the Reel thumbnail is cut to a 1:1 aspect ratio--a square. Last, Instagram Reels have a 90-second cap, whereas individual TikTok posts can be up to 3 minutes long.

2) YouTube Videos

YouTube is unique from Instagram and TikTok in that it is ideal for uploading longer, higher-quality videos. For example, the maximum file size for a YouTube video is 128GB-- over 400x larger than TikTok's maximum video size of 287.6MB. Once you verify a Google account with your YouTube account, maximum video length is 12 hours (without verifying, your videos get capped at 15 minutes). Because of this, YouTube is perfect for long-form videos, like "how to," Podcast, deep dive, or review/critique videos. It's also great for branded FAQ videos to boost awareness of your business and offer insight on popular Google search terms. Another unique thing about YouTube is that it supports 4k video (ultra HD) and has an aspect ratio of 16:9--dimensions used for TV. If this is sounding a little too fancy, never fear! YouTube actually recommends uploading videos at the 1920x1080 aspect ratio (dimensions of a smartphone in landscape view), so it can still be a breeze to upload videos from your phone without additional equipment.

3) Facebook Live

As the name would suggest, Facebook Live videos are... live! Your video is broadcast in real time, which allows for direct, instantaneous interaction with viewers. This is great for Q&A sessions, showcasing your creative process or expertise, and authentically connecting with your audience. You can broadcast to Facebook Live on a computer (with a webcam) or smartphone--no fancy programs or set-up needed. There is a little more flexibility with video dimensions, depending on how you're choosing to go live. Facebook Live also supports the smartphone aspect ratio (1920x1080), as well as lower resolutions (1280x720, 854x480, and 640x360). This basically means that whichever video format works for you, works for Facebook! You can go live for up to 8 hours, create real-time polls and comment moderation, and synchronously feature guests who can join your livestream. Going live is literally as easy as pressing a few buttons. From the Facebook smartphone app, simply press the Live button at the bottom of the post composer. Add a brief description, and tap Start Live Video. When you're done, just press Finish. Going Live from a computer allows you to use HD or specialized production equipment--IF you choose. All you really need, though, is a webcam! At the top of your newsfeed, click on What's on Your Mind? Press the three dots icon, select Live Video, write a brief description, then click Go Live. Voila! It's that simple.


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