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How to upload videos to social media for maximum views

January 7, 2020

cover image with white text on green background explaining the title of the helpful article about how to upload videos to social media

As a film-maker, my clients are always asking me about tips and tricks for showcasing the spangly new films I’ve made for them (mainly on social media). The questions I’m often asked are:

  • “How can I get the film onto my phone so I can upload it to social media?”
  • “How can I make Instagram show my video’s full width (landscape) rather than cropping it into a square?”
  • “How can I post my video to Instagram without it cutting off the end of the film?”
  • “How do I upload my film to IGTV?”
  • “How can I get facebook or Linked In to show my video to more people?”

I’ve found myself answering these questions LOADS individually over messages, so I’ve written this “how-to” blog post to help you all out. Let’s tackle each of these common questions one by one:

1) “How can I get the video onto my phone so I can upload it to social media?”

  1. As part of the set of final films I’ve sent you, you should have a dropbox link (if you don’t, give me a prod and ask for one).
  2. You will need the Dropbox app on your phone before we go any further, so if you don’t already have it, please pop over to the app store and download the official Dropbox app.
  3. To use the app you’ll also need a dropbox account. If you haven’t got one please follow the simple steps. They offer free accounts and although its a bit faff-y it’s pretty simple to set up.
  4. Once you’re all set up with Dropbox on your phone, click the link I sent you to access your video file. This should now open within your app.
  5. You should see 3 dots at the top right-hand side of the file, which you can click to show more options:

    a screenshot image showing how to get a video from dropbox to your phone
  6. Having clicked the dots, you should find an option to export. It looks like this:

    a screenshot image showing how to get a video from dropbox to your phone. Step 2
  7. Click export and then “save video”

    a screenshot image showing how to get a video from dropbox to your phone. Step 3

  8. This will save the video to your phone’s camera roll, ready for showing your mates and uploading to socials.

2) “How can I make Instagram show my video’s full width (landscape) rather than cropping it into a square?”

This one’s simple. When you’re uploading something to your grid there is a small icon at the bottom left of the image. It looks like this:

a screenshot image showing how to show an image in landscape on instagram

When you click it, the image changes from square to landscape. Click this if you’d like the full width of your video to show in people’s feeds & when someone clicks to view it.

3) “How can I post my video on Instagram without it cutting off the end of the film?”

The Instagram grid only allows videos with a maximum length of 1 minute. If your film is longer than that, and you post it to your grid in the same way you do a photo, Insta will kindly cut off anything beyond 1 min. To show your film in its full glory you’ll need to upload it to IGTV (Instagram TV).

IGTV allows you to put a 1 minute preview of the video onto your grid, so people will still see it in their feed and when they check out your profile.

Also, because IGTV is fairly new, Insta is massively favouring content on there vs normal grid posts. So posting it to IGTV is a surefire way to get your film seen by more people.

See no. 4 below to learn how to upload your video to IGTV.

4) “How do I upload my film to IGTV?”

OK, firstly since Instagram only works properly from your phone, you’ll need to have your video file saved into the camera roll on your phone. See point 1 above to learn how to do this. Once you’ve got this sorted, follow these steps:

  1. Go to IGTV by clicking the small TV icon in the top right-hand corner of your home screen (see the pic above).
  2. Click the + sign in the IGTV app, or in the IGTV section of the Instagram app.

    How to upload video to IGTV step 1
  3. Select the video you’d like to upload from your camera roll.
  4. Choose the cover image you’d like. You can either slide along the film and pick an image from it or upload another photo from the camera roll.

    How to upload video to IGTV step 2
  5. Add a title and a description to your film. These will appear as the post text in your grid and at the top of your IGTV video when it’s posted. (Tapping the title will toggle the description to appear).
  6. If you want your video to show on your feed (as mentioned in no. 3 above) then you’ll need to turn on the “Post a Preview” toggle. This will make the first minute of your film appear on your profile and in the feed with a link back to the full video on IGTV.
  7. You can also toggle on “Make Visible on Facebook” to share your video to your Facebook page. But note if your film is vertical it’ll display in the Facebook feed within a square.
  8. When you’re done, tap “Post” and you’re done! your awesome film will be out there for all to view, like, comment, or share.

    How to upload video to IGTV step 3

5) “Is there anything I should know about how all of the social platforms treat video?”

Yes, there’s one really important thing to understand, especially if you’re using our film to promote your business…

ALL social media platforms much prefer what they call “native content”. This means content that their users don’t have to leave the platform to see. The best example of this is:
– you’ve uploaded your video to Youtube because you need it to be there so you can stream it on your website.
– instead of faffing with uploading it to linked in or facebook as well, you simply grab the youtube link and post that instead.
– Socials platforms HATE this because to view it, their audience has to leave the platform.
– Mr Zuckerburg would much prefer you spend a few minutes uploading the physical video file to facebook, so viewers can see it without going anywhere (especially not over to Youtube which is a competitor of his!)

It is well worth playing ball with this and spending the extra time uploading the native film file to each platform because when you do, they will favour your content and show it to more people. If you post a link to your external video or even to your blog post you’ll find you get very little reach and visibility…they’re doing that on purpose because you’re sending their valuable customers off to other places.

Did you like my small business videography tips?

Are you reading this because I’ve already made you a film, or you’re interested in my videography services?

If the latter, I’d love to work with you. I create bright, colourful and engaging films for business owners that want to stand out from the crowd, and wedding highlights films for couples who want to re-live their day in a short fun way rather than having hours of footage.

If you think we’d be a good fit and would like to discuss my videography services get in touch here.







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I shoot fun, relaxed, non-traditional wedding photography in Warwickshire, Coventry, Oxfordshire, the Cotswolds and throughout the UK. I also travel all over the country to work with inspiring business folk. 

Wherever you are working, getting wed or breeding, if you're a fun, life-lover I'd love to work with you!  Please get in touch.

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