UH Hilo Social Media

Best Practices for Sharing Videos

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Video editing can take time. Here are some major factors to consider:

Shorter videos retain the audiences attention for a longer period. Minimatters offers the following suggestions:
  • Favor short videos. If you can make it shorter and make all the same points, do so.
  • Make sure to start off energized, and get the important stuff in. Your audience will start to disappear over the length of your video.
  • Don’t hold your call to action to the end, especially for longer videos.
  • Think about breaking your longer videos up into digestible bits.
  • On the other hand, don’t ruin a great speech by breaking it up.


Consider who will be watching your video. Short videos shared to Instagram may be more ephemeral than lectures or panel discussions shared to YouTube. Clips, shared with a link to the full video or containing webpage, can be effective.
Video Thumbnails
Many people will see videos paused by default. Could a different video thumbnail or cover image be selected for more impact before someone taps 'play'?
How to change the video cover image on Instagram or Facebook
Smartphones make it easy to record vertical video. Consider, however, the default orientation of the device that will be used to view your video. While a vertical video might be great for an instagram story, the black bars along the sides of the screen will make it less useable on YouTube.
Platform Optimal Video Orientation (Aspect Ratio)
Instagram Post Square (1:1)
Instagram Story Vertical (9:16)
Instagram TV Vertical (9:16)
YouTube, Vimeo Horizontal (16:9)
Facebook, LinkedIn Horizontal (16:9)
Audio and Mute
Some platforms, such as facebook play video on mute by default. Is your content still relevant without the audio track? Consider using open captions to make the information available by default, regardless of whether the audience can hear.

Does your video feature multiple speakers, each with a different volume level or microphone set-up? Normalization is a technique that is recommended before posting the video. Normalization raises or lowers the volume level on the audio segment of a video to a standard setting (-3 db is common), so the viewer hears a consistent volume on the final video.


Videos posted by UH Hilo social media accounts must be captioned, or have captions available via a link. This can be very simple on some platforms (YouTube), and quite involved for other platforms (Instagram). Sometimes the best result can be achieved through a combination of social media channels. To adjust the sound quality or add title cards or open captions, you will need access to video editing software, such as Adobe Premiere Pro or Adobe Premiere Elements.

Closed Captions

Closed captions are the standard format for conveying spoken words through time-coded text. Video sharing platforms such as YouTube or Facebook support file based captions. This means that a time-coded video caption entered on one YouTube video can be saved, and then re-attached to an updated version of the same video, or to the same video file uploaded as to Facebook. Time-coding the transcript to the video track need then be done only once, and can be uploaded to various platforms (including as a link for platforms that do not support captioned video, like instagram.

Open Captions

The captions which are overlaid onto the video are called 'open captions'. For platforms such as instagram that do not support closed captions, this type of caption is the best alteranative. For longer content, the video transcription and caption editing tools available on YouTube are strongly recommended.

Live Streaming

Captions or sign language interpreters are required for live broadcasts. Contact Disability Services for questions about sign language interpreters. View information about enabling captions on Facebook Live broadcasts.

Platform Specific Guidelines


Instagram supports video posts up to a certain time limit, depending on the type. Business Insider lists

  • Instagram videos in a regular post can only be 60 seconds long, but you can upload and trim videos that are longer than that.
  • Videos posted in your Instagram Stories can only be 15 seconds in length.
  • Instagram livestream videos can be up to 60 minutes long.

Although not yet common practice, it is necessary to include captions for videos shared on Instagram. This can create an awkward workflow, because many of the tools to add captions to a video are desktop video editors. Using cloud based storage for videos to be shared on instagram can help work around this issue.

Alternatives that can be added to mobile devices include Adobe Premiere Rush. An app called AutoCap will use voice recognition to transcribe your videos directly on your android device.

The captions which are overlaid onto the video are called 'open captions'. For platforms such as instagram that do not support closed captions, this type of caption is the best alternative. For longer video content, the transcription and captioning tools available on YouTube make a strong argument for that platform.

Cover Images


Youtube is the worlds second largest search engine, and the largest platform for sharing video, by far. UH Hilo has two main channels - University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (administered by the Web Office and University Relations) and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Livesteam channel (administered by Information Technology Services ). To upload video, please contact Web Services or the University Relations . There are also several Department/Unit/Program channels, listed on the UH Hilo around the web page.

Videos uploaded to youtube can be edited using YouTube Creator Studio, as detailed in this tutorial:

YouTube offers automatic closed captioning of videos, although the captions should still be reviewed for accuracy before posting. This video illustrates the process for editing the automatically generated captions using YouTube's caption editor.

Exporting Captions from YouTube

Remember, your edited captions in youtube can be exported to several common formats. This can be helpful if you are also posting the video to Facebook, which supports uploading time-coded .srt files. Organize your workflow to make the greatest use of the time-coding and text-corrections done in the YouTube caption editor.


Facebook supports captions for videos shared on the platform. They describe the process:

  1. Once your video has uploaded, click Subtitles & Captions(CC) in the column on the right.
  2. Next to Video Language, select the main language spoken in the video.
  3. Once your video has finished uploading, select whether you'd like to auto-generate captions, write them yourself or upload a SubRip (.srt) file.
  4. Click Publish.

-- How do I add captions to a video uploaded to Facebook

Consider exporting captions from YouTube to obtain the .srt file that you will upload to your facebook video.