Top tips: creating great social media videos

Top tips: creating great social media videos

Facebook recently reported that the amount of video posted by people and businesses has increased 3.6 times year-over-year. Today, more than 50 percent of people who visit Facebook every day watch at least one video. With this growing appetite, there’s no better time to start developing great social media videos. Check out these tips to help you put your best foot forward:

Section 1: Planning your social media video

Think about Health and safety

Your first priority when making social media videos must always be the safety of everyone involved in your shoot.

  • Never try to shoot stunts or dangerous practical effects. Leave that to the experts!
  • Don’t climb ladders, ascend to dangerous heights or stand in the road to get a certain shot.
  • Don’t leave your equipment or cases lying around where people could trip or slip.
  • Restrict public access to locations where there may be tripping hazards such as cables.
  • Be careful with tripods, they can be hazardous.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Are there dangers such as passing traffic?
  • Make sure that you have adequate Public Liability Insurance.

Plan your content

  • Develop a storyboard or a list of shots, so that you know what you need to shoot.
  • Prepare a script (however short) and share it with anyone who will appear in your video. Give them time to learn the lines well before the shoot. If the people appearing your video are not actors, negotiate the script with them. Allow them to make suggestions for improvement.
  • Secure permission for use of your location.
  • Make sure everyone who needs to be there knows the date and time and that they get a reminder closer to the day.
  • Pack your equipment and make sure you have fully charged batteries for all equipment and any necessary extension leads etc.

Get permission

  • Get permission from the person or organisation responsible for any building or location that you plan to shoot in.
  • Get permission from anyone who will feature prominently in your video. E.g. Anyone in close-up or in the main action. Have signs on location clearly stating that filming is in progress. You can find free release form templates online.

Section 2 – shooting your social media video

Shoot with sound quality in mind

You want to avoid making social media videos with muffled sound, inaudible voices, overpowering music or distracting background noises. We recommend using an external microphone like the RØDE VideoMic GO On Camera Microphone. If you can’t use an external microphone, make sure that your subject is close enough to the camera for the sound to be picked up. Check out our article on great low budget audio equipment.

Think about lighting

Lighting is just as important for social media videos as sound. We recommend this Red Head Dimmable Lighting Kit as a great, versatile and value-for-money lighting solution for pretty much any video project.

Avoid placing your subject in a sunbeam, against a window during the middle of the day or in very bright light as this will lead to overexposure, where the person’s face will be whited-out and featureless.

Conversely, be careful not to shoot in dim light as the lack of light will be amplified in your final video. People will quickly hit the ‘stop’ button if they have difficulty seeing the content.

Add visual interest

Try to find a background for your video that provides some added visual interest. Nobody wants to see a video of someone standing in front of a magnolia wall. People with a little bit of technical know-how may want to digitally add a background using Chroma Key technology. This great value Green Screen Background Backdrop should fit the bill.

Keep it short

Ideally, social media videos should not last longer than ninety seconds. That may sound very short, but it allows plenty of time to get any message across. You can always provide a link for people to access further information online. The research shows time and time again that people will not engage with lengthy social media videos and the number of views will drop off sharply for every minute you go over the 90 seconds. Remember that the duration of your video will appear in the link and people will consider this when deciding if they’ll watch it.

Section 3: Sharing your video

Take the time to write an effective description for the video

Use persuasive text to entice the viewer to click ‘play’. It’s also important to use tags and categories as these help search engines to sort and serve your material to others.

Select the best thumbnail for your video

A thumbnail is the screenshot form the video that visitors will see before they click play. A title slide is unlikely to attract much attention. Choose some sort of action scene from your video. First impressions count!

Keep all your videos in one place

It makes sense to upload your videos to one online service such as YouTube or Vimeo. Both services allow you to create your own ‘channel’. You can direct visitors to this channel, where they can view all your previous videos.

Avoid using copyright material without permission

Don’t make the mistake of using a song from your favourite band or from the soundtrack of your favourite movie or TV show. You could find yourself facing a substantial fine. Youtube or Vimeo are both likely to flag the copyright violation automatically with the rights holder. You can find royalty-free soundtrack music here, which you can use free of charge as long as you credit the composer.

Use branding were possible

Consider including your logo in your video. This could be easily done by having a pop-up banner in the background.

Include a call to action

Tell the viewers what you want them to do. E.g. “Visit our website at…” or “Join us on January 3rd at 8pm for…”

Provide a link

Provide a link to your website in the description.

Choose music carefully.

Disagreeable music may result in an early stop.

Don’t go crazy with transitions!

Star wipes and fades between shots are fun, but they look really amateur and can quickly become a distraction for the viewer. Pick one simple dissolve or fade and stick with it.

Upload good quality video footage

Your video doesn’t need to be high definition, but it shouldn’t be blurry or fuzzy or dimly lit.

Learn from the experts!

We can provide practical training for video production. We also have all the expertise and equipment to produce great quality videos for you. (We recently worked on Game of Thrones Season 7.) Fill in the contact form below to find out how we can help you.

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Essential equipment for a successful Facebook community: photography

Essential equipment for a successful Facebook community: photography

By far, the most popular posts on social media (measured in terms of likes, shares and comments) are those featuring great photographs. Good photography is an essential ingredient for a successful Facebook community.

Whilst camera phones and snapshot digital cameras produce acceptable photographs, it is worth investing in a Digital SLR camera. Thanks to their many automatic features and precision optics, these professional-style cameras will produce hugely better photographs, even in the hands of the most amateur photographer.

By investing around £300 you could purchase a camera that, if treated with care, will provide a useful service for many years to come. These cameras can also be used to easily record high definition video.

The Nikon D3300

We recommend the Nikon D3300 (pictured) which is now available for around £300 (price checked at £329 on 20th January 2017) with an excellent lens included. It is easy to use, has excellent online reviews and is packed with features. You can buy it online from Amazon by clicking here.

Essential extras

  • An SD memory card – this is where the camera stores the photographs. We recommend at least an 8gb card. These are inexpensively available here.
  • A bag/case for your camera – it’s worth spending a few pounds extra to get a good quality bag that will protect your very fragile camera and lenses. Remember that the camera will be carried over shoulders and in the boots of cars, so protection is essential. A good example can be found here.
  • Access to a computer with an SD card reader built in or with a USB SD card reader, for storing, editing and sharing photographs. Most modern computers will have a built-in card reader.
  • Someone to take the photographs. (See below.)
  • Good lighting is essential if you are photographing products, especially food. For small products, we recommend a studio box light tent kit like this great option.


  • A tripod for use when shooting video. You can find a very affordable one here.
  • Photo editing software for enhancing your photos. We recommend the excellent Photoshop Elements 16. It features almost all of the advanced editing features that the full version of Photoshop is so famous for, but at a fraction of the price. It is also much easier to use as it adapts to the skill level of the user. Available here. This excellent guide book will have even a beginner using the software like a professional in no time at all.

By making a modest investment, you can create stunning social media content that people will love to engage with.

Social Media: the SME brand-building powerhouse

Social Media: the SME brand-building powerhouse

The potential benefits of Social Media are huge, but many SMEs fail to capitalise on the opportunities on offer.

Social media provides an easy way to learn about your customers and keep abreast of your competitors. It can help you reach new customers and expand your market. Facebook alone has more than a billion daily users. Social media can allow you to engage directly with the public, building relationships, bolstering your brand and strengthening your reputation as a thought leader.

The potential benefits are thrilling, yet many SMEs fail to capitalise on them. Some rush in and engage without the planning that they would apply to any other marketing initiative, placing these powerful tools in untrained hands. In a worst case scenario, they find themselves involved in a public relations crisis without knowing how to respond. Others are reticent about engaging because they lack the know-how or they are deterred by the risks.

Social media should be an integral part of your overall marketing strategy and, because of its real-time nature and the high level of reputational risk involved, it needs to be managed by well-trained people. Chapter House can help you put your best foot forward with social media and position your business to exploit all of the potential benefits.

Chapter House have managed some of the busiest social media communities in the world for some of the biggest brands on the island of Ireland, including Vodafone, Carlsberg, Guinness and Vivo.

Through our engaging and hands-on training workshops, we can help you with…

  • Developing a social media strategy
  • Conducting an audit of your current social media presence, your potential audience and your competitors
  • Identifying online conversations about your organisation
  • Building your community
  • Developing great content and maximising its reach
  • Developing safe, legal and effective promotions/competitions
  • Maintaining a safe and productive community
  • Managing a crisis and responding to negative feedback, complaints and criticism
  • Measuring success: understanding analytical data

Fill in the contact form below to start putting this SME brand-building powerhouse to work for your business

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Expert Social Media Training

Expert Social Media Training

We can help with every aspect of getting your Facebook community up, running and thriving.



Social Media training workshops for your staff and volunteers


We offer a broad suite of skills-development workshops, tailored to meet your needs.

  • Developing a strategy
  • Building your community
  • Maintaining a safe and productive community
  • Measuring success
  • Handling criticism and Crisis management
  • Running safe and legal promotions
  • Optimising paid advertising for greater results
  • Creating great compelling graphics using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Writing persuasive text for social media
  • Photography for social media
  • Photoshop for social media

Our most popular workshop: Creating great content

We will equip you with the skills and know-how to create great content with compelling graphics and persuasive text.

Content is king! We enable you to boost your digital brand by developing great content that new and existing customers will love to engage with. We’ve done this for some of the biggest companies on the island of Ireland.

Nobody knows your business like you do. Our team of creatives, digital boffins and marketeers will work with you to nurture a culture of creativity and innovation in your business. We will help you to evaluate your existing content and contrast it with key competitors and market leaders. Teaching by example: we will highlight proven effective content that is relevant to your business.

We can also help with

  • Setting up your Facebook business page
  • Initial networking
  • Developing community rules
  • Developing a profile
  • Graphic design
  • Advice on recruitment of volunteers
  • Moderating your community

Be sure to check out our portfolio section to learn what our current and past clients have to say about our services and to see examples of our work.

Take your first steps towards creating a really engaging social media presence:  Fill in the contact form below and we’ll be in touch.

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