Social media video: How to optimize performance on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube [free social strategy checklist]

Posted by Alicia Dart on May 4, 2020
Alicia Dart

Did you know people watch more than 100 million hours of video per day on Facebook and over 5 billion videos are viewed on YouTube? We’ve all scrolled through our Facebook feed and found ourselves captivated by a video. With social media videos gaining 1200x more shares than static text and images combined, video is an essential part of every good social media marketing strategy.

However, as social media videos are constantly popping up on our target audiences’ newsfeed it can be hard to cut through the noise. There are millions of videos posted each day, so how do you make sure yours stands out to grab and maintain attention? The answer is that your videos have to be customized to suit each social platform. 

In this blog we’ll look at how you can optimize your social media videos to ensure they perform on each channel. Including tips on the length of a video, video captions, hashtags, and how to optimize your video for mobile.

We've also created an 'Interactive Social Media Strategy Checklist' to help you stay on top of your social media profiles, content and results to ensure they deliver against your objectives. This checklist is split into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and one-off actions to make managing your time easier. To get started, click the button below.

Download social media strategy checklist


According to TechCrunch, Facebook's 2 billion users nearly all watch video with an average of 8 billion daily views. Not only that, Facebook’s algorithm gives preferential treatment to videos over content that only features text and images, meaning your videos are likely to be seen by more people.

One of the most effective uses of Facebook is to interact with customers and increase awareness and engagement. For example, businesses can use social media videos to build relationships with customers by wishing them seasonal greetings. We used VideoScribe to wish a Happy Easter and a Happy Independence Day in both the US and India. These are just a few examples, sign-up for a 7-day free trial of VideoScribe and try our templates.

Best practice for social media videos on Facebook

  • Plan for silent playback. 85% of Facebook videos are viewed without sound. If your video has dialogue, make sure it has captions.
  • The ideal length is 1 minute. Unlike Instagram, Facebook videos are great to gain shares. A snappy 1 minute video allows content providers enough time to create fun and informative content whilst not too long to lose engagement with their audience. HubSpot state that users engage most with 1 minute videos.
  • Ensure your social media videos relate closely to your brand. Facebook recommends using colors, themes and imagery that evoke your brand at the start of your video so people quickly connect it to your brand.
  • Make sure it’s suitable for mobile. There’s 1.15 billion daily Facebook mobile users which means your social media video needs to suit mobile. Your video needs to have the correct framing and dimensions that work well on a small screen. You can find the dimension specs here.


Perhaps the most visual of all social networks, Instagram, has long been a popular place for video and allows videos to be up to 60 seconds long. There are 1 billion active users on Instagram so if you haven’t already, consider whether your target audience are active users of the channel and how you can engage them. 

Instagram stories are seen by more than 250 million users every single day. Stories are only available for 24 hours which makes them great for showcasing time sensitive offers and deals. Plus, only followers are notified which allows brands to encourage users to follow them so they can access exclusive video content.

One limitation of Instagram is that website links aren’t clickable on posts in your feed. Clickable links can only be added to Instagram paid ads, stories or your Instagram profile. Therefore, it is essential that you include your website link in your bio so customers can navigate to your site. 

Best practice for social media videos on Instagram:

  • Avoid important audio at the start of the video or use subtitles. Video automatically plays on silent when a user scrolls over your video. Once a user turns on the sound of a video clip, it remains on until they leave the app or turn it off. This setting means that users may not hear the start of the video. 
  • The ideal length is 30 seconds. According to Hubspot’s research 26 second videos received the most comments on Instagram. We scroll quickly through Instagram, so make sure videos are brief to fit with user expectations and behaviour.
  • Open your video with an eye-catching frame. You’re competing with an entire feed jam-packed with visual content. Think about striking colors and movement that quickly grab attention.
  • Be creative with different formats. Time-lapse videos are great as they allow you to tell a longer story in the same short video. While boomerang videos are popular because they’re often more fun and show personality.
  • Post consistently. According to this article from the ideal number of Instagram posts for a brand is 1.5 per day. But that doesn't mean you have to create brand new content every time. Consider how you can repurpose existing videos or turn written content into video summaries.
  • Make the most of hashtags. Use as many relevant hashtags as possible to maximize visibility of the post. Hashtagify is a great tool to find popular hashtags related to your keyword or message.
  • Use the correct video specs for stories and posts. Instagram stories should be portrait while stories are square. You can find the specs and sizes here.


There may be fewer Twitter users than other platforms but that doesn’t mean its social media video engagements aren’t thriving. Users who view Twitter videos are 50% more likely to become aware of the brand. When it’s done right, videos on Twitter can increase brand awareness, improve brand sentiment and increase purchase intent.

93% of Twitter’s video views are watched on mobile devices so it’s really important that your video is optimized for mobile viewing to grasp its full potential. Incorporate captions so users can watch a video on mute and ensure in-video text is large enough for small screens.

Best practice for social media videos on Twitter:

  • Always think trending. Twitter is arguably the fastest moving platform that’s centered around trending content and topics. When creating social media videos tap into popular hashtags, get involved in breaking news and focus on adding valuable and informative content.
  • The ideal length is 45 seconds. Just like a 280 character Tweet, Twitter users are used to short updates. HubSpot discovered that Twitter’s #VideoOfTheDay averaged 43 seconds. There is less visual competition on Twitter than Instagram so slightly longer videos work well here. But don’t forget how quickly a Twitter feed moves with trending updates.
  • Again, use captions. Twitter videos are automatically muted when played, so make sure captions and visual cues are displayed whenever necessary.
  • Don’t forget GIFs. Use GIFs instead of static images to showcase your product.


With nearly 2 billion users worldwide,YouTube is hard to ignore as a social media platform. You can find a video on pretty much anything and it’s easy to get immersed in your recommended videos.This makes your social media video strategy on Youtube a little different from the other channels. To keep your audience focused on your content, ensure you add call-to-actions at the end of each video either pointing them to more content they might be interested in, or directing them to your YouTube channel.

YouTube is also great for creating playlists of ‘how-to videos’. Offering viewers valuable information related to your product or company can help foster trust and nurture engagement.

Best practice for social media videos on YouTube:

  • Create a YouTube video playlist. Consider YouTube as a digital library where you can categorize topics into various playlists. For example VideoScribe uses YouTube to categorize helpful tutorials and tips, new features and inspirational scribes so that our followers can find them easily
  • The ideal length is 2 minutes. Hubspot found that a 2 minute video is the optimum length for engagement as users are used to watching slightly longer content.
  • Research keywords. Focus each video on one or two keywords, making sure that the word features in the title, description, metadata and tags. This helps your video be found on YouTube and in Google search results.
  • Include links to your website. Including links back to your website in your description as well as other relevant links to your YouTube channel will also increase your chance of retaining views.

So now you know how to optimize video performance on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Sign-up with VideoScribe to start creating super easy and eye-catching animation videos. By following these simple tips and using VideoScribe you’ll become a social media hero in no time!

Remember to share your video with #MadeWithVideoScribe for a chance to be featured on our website.

Topics: Business, Free Downloads


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