10 Tips for Improving Your Brand’s Social Videos
By: Dave Aizer, Head Media Coach, Elite Media Coaching
December 2, 2019
Social media’s ubiquity permeates our professional lives, often in new and unexpected ways. When major shifts in social happen—like brands widely investing in social video—you can sit on the side of the pool, or you can jump into the deep end. I suggest the latter; when you do so correctly, you’ll make a cannonball-sized splash.
With that said, let’s explore ten ways to create impactful, dynamic videos across various social media platforms.
Identify your most meaningful platforms. Where does your audience spend their time? Are they predominantly on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or YouTube? While you can (and should) distribute your video across multiple platforms, create it with your consumers’ preferred platform in mind. Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn video is typically more polished and conservative than Instagram or Facebook video, which can be less formal.
Decide whether to go vertical or landscape. If you shoot video vertically on your phone, it will play on the desktop versions of LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube with vertical bars on either side. Since people typically consume social media video on their phones rather than their laptops, this isn’t that big of a deal, but it is worth noting.
Take pride in your video quality. Unless you are shooting a live video, there’s no reason to upload your video unless you love it. You can always press delete and do it again. The extra few minutes you spend perfecting your video are worthwhile when you consider the alternative—uploaded content lives forever. Sure, you can delete it afterwards, but it might be too late. It can still be noted by the press or your brand’s deterrents and distributed to the masses. So, there’s no need to rush the process.
Keep videos short. If your video is less than 60 seconds, Instagram runs it on a loop, so it automatically repeats. You can even shoot a video that’s only 30 seconds long; just make sure you deliver quality content.
Prep your spokesperson. If you want to ensure your onscreen talent makes specific points, but don’t want them to memorize a script, there are various cheats. You can download a Teleprompter app (like Teleprompter Premium) onto a smartphone and plug in your script. Then, your spokesperson can just read the script off the screen. The trick is for them to avoid appearing like they’re reading, which takes some practice. Another tactic is to use index cards with bullet-pointed key messages. Place them out of the frame, so your spokesperson can casually glance at them when they need to be prompted. Again, this technique requires practice, but it can be incredibly effective. Be sure your spokesperson doesn’t put note cards in their lap or below the lens—it’s unflattering to look down and break eye contact.
Be intentional about body position. I recommend your spokesperson stand rather than sit, because it’s more dynamic, but if the desk looks great, then sitting is acceptable. Regardless if your spokesperson is standing or sitting, make sure they bring the energy!
Don’t ignore the background. Whatever we see on camera must look clean, neat and visually interesting. Strike the right balance between a distractingly busy background and an unmemorable one.
Control the lighting for outside shots. If you shoot outside, your shot may look great, but be mindful of sunlight and potential shadows. Try to shoot with the sun on your spokesperson’s face (which can be challenging) or when there is little to no sun. Shooting with the sun behind the onscreen talent or off to the side can cast an unfortunate shadow.
Invest in the right equipment. If your budget allows, purchase a digital camera and a lighting kit, but it’s not mandatory. Today’s smartphones shoot fantastic video and you can easily adjust for brightness issues. However, you should definitely invest in a tripod for optimally positioning your phone, as well as a lapel microphone that clips onto the collar and plugs into your phone. Microphones are crucial, especially when shooting outside. Additionally, you may want to buy a backdrop so that you can shoot inside and still have an attractive background.
Embrace post-production. You’ve shot your video and you like your spokesperson’s performance? Great! However, that doesn’t mean you’re ready to share it with the world—at least not yet. Editing apps for iPhone and Android (such as iMovie and FilmoraGo) are intuitively easy to use, while enabling you to add music, crop the beginning and end of the video and add subtitles. Subtitles are critically important because social media users so often watch video with the sound off. Subtitles allow them to read along with what’s being said, while connecting with your onscreen talent’s body language and mannerisms.
About the Author: Dave Aizer is a TEDx motivational speaker, award-winning television host, and best-selling author, as well as the founder and head media coach of Elite Media Coaching. To watch Dave in action, visit www.daveaizer.com, and follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.