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Lights, Camera, Action - Essentials for Creating Social Media Video

Use the right tool, for the right job, in the right way.


Let’s set the scene… You’ve brainstormed a brilliant idea for creating a video to post on social media for your business. You know exactly what you want to say and how you want it to look. You’ve even read our Getting Started with Video on Social Media guide. Now it’s time to make sure you have the right tools to get the job done. From filming to editing, having the essential equipment in place is crucial for creating great videos for social media. Here’s some of our favourite tools and tips for creating award-worthy content.

Person holding phone, recording video.


Thanks to the technological revolution, most phones nowadays have high quality cameras that can create strong videos for your social media. Whether you use an iPhone, Samsung or anything else, film some trial clips to assess the quality before you attempt to make something specifically for social. Although phone is often easier, you may prefer to use a camera, such as a DSLR to improve the quality. Just remember to shoot in the optimal dimensions for the platforms you’ll be posting on.



Lapel microphone on top off laptop

If you’re filming indoors in a quiet area with no background noise, it’s true that the microphone in your phone will probably be sufficient for most social media videos. However, the moment you step outside or into a busy workplace, you’re immediately having to battle with wind noise, cars, footsteps, rustling and even sirens. That’s why investing in a microphone can be hugely beneficial for your video strategy. Lapel microphones are often best for to-camera pieces and can even be directly used through your smartphone. They’re also readily available on Amazon from less than £20 and often come in pairs.



Man recording video with ring light and phone recording in foreground


Video content is all about visuals, and lighting is an essential aspect of this. Great lighting can help to enhance video mood and tone as well as increase viewer engagement and reduce editing time. Often natural lighting is the best source of light for your video, so where possible make sure to utilise this. However, it may be necessary to enhance lighting with some additional equipment. Some of the most popular tools for lighting include ring lights, LED light panels, softbox lights and umbrella lights. For most low budget social media videos, ring lights are the item of choice as they are the cheapest and easiest to transport. They’re also readily available on Amazon. Remember ring lights are designed to be placed relatively close to the subject to create soft, even lighting.





Phone on small tripod at the beach recording video

Tripods aren’t just for cameras. There’s many full-size tripods available that you can attach your phone to for maximum stability and helping to enhance creativity. You might find that a smaller tripod is more appropriate if you're planning to film most of your videos at a desk for example. Another option is a gimbal, which is a device that allows for flexibility and rotation while filming.




Phone recording video of crockery on table


Now you've got the right equipment in place, you'll finally reach the filming section of your project. To ensure maximum time management and efficiency, it's important to keep some things in mind when you're ready to press record.

  • Speak loudly and clearly without shouting

  • Start and end recording three seconds before and after the subject begins speaking

  • Stay within the frame

Person's hand at laptop, editing on software


Every editor has their favourite software to use in post-production, but it’s important to select the one that is most appropriate for you and your business. If video editing is going to be a substantial part of your workload, it may be worthwhile investing in a more premium programme such as Adobe Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro. For those who just want a quick, simple editing option, Adobe Express, iMovie, OpenShot and many more are available. There's even numerous apps that will allow you to edit directly on your phone if you're keen to keep the whole process on one device.


During editing it’s important to keep your video looking as real and relatable as possible. There’s no need for fancy transitions and large amounts of text. Remember people are watching your video to see what’s actually in it. If you're adding music to your video, you can use copyright free music, available from free sites. Ensure the music is quiet enough that you can still clearly hear the person who is speaking to camera.



Now that you have your tools and equipment ready, it's time to get started. The best way to become a master at recording video for social media is to start doing it. Remember to keep an eye on videos you see in your social media streams, this will help you come up with some great ideas and stay on top of trends.

Catch up on all of the latest advice from our Social Media Video Academy series:


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