How to Master Social Media Video

Social media videos can be scary, but they don't have to be!

Surely you’ve filmed videos for your business, right? Right? Ok, maybe you haven’t. However, as we discussed in this post about Facebook Live and this one about how to use the new algorithm changes to your advantage, if you are serious about your social media strategy, you might also want to get serious about social media video.

remove the fear from social media video

There are many excuses that come up for why NOT to get started with video:

  • It takes too long,
  • I don’t have a good enough camera,
  • I’m not good on video,
  • I have no idea what to film,
  • I’m nervous, eek!

Do you subscribe to one of these?

Today, I’ll make sure that we blast all of these excuses so that we can set you on your way to rock it on social media video.

Now is the time to remove the fear from social media video. Click To Tweet

Filming Takes Too Long

When you aren’t used to something it will certainly take longer but have no fear! It will get quicker and quicker once you find your social media video routine.

Here’s what that routine can look like:

social media video

15 minutes: Get ready for the day. You don’t have to look like you just walked out of a magazine, but checking your teeth for spinach and brushing your hair can go a really long way when filming social media video

20 seconds: Grab your camera

20 seconds: Grab your tripod… oh wait! It’s still set up from the last time you filmed, since you film really often. Phew!

5 minutes: Jot down notes for what you want to talk about. These don’t need to be extensive, but they should be there to keep you on track and ensure you hit all of your golden nuggets

20 seconds: Pop your camera on your tripod

20 seconds: Start recording

5 to 60 minutes: Film for 5-to-60 minutes. If you’re just starting out, aim for 5-to-20 minutes. That’s just enough time to share some insider secrets or a short tutorial.

If we don’t count the time it takes to get ready, since we all get ready whether we’re filming a social media video or not, this whole routine (including filming) should take 11 to 66 minutes based on the amount of time you film for.

Considering that video is content that is preferred not only by social media algorithms, but also social media followers, that’s nothing, right?

I Don’t Have the Right Equipment to Film Great Social Media Video

It might not seem like the phone or camera you have on hand is up to par for filming social media video, but don’t count it out! Many folks use a phone with a high-quality camera (most smartphones) when filming social media videos.

The great thing about social media video is that people expect it to be fairly raw, and “raw” doesn’t need to come across as poor. In fact, although there is a place for polished video, the majority of social media videos you post shouldn’t be flawless. People are visiting your social media profile or page instead of your website for a reason – they want to see a real snapshot of what you have going on now… not what you doctored up to advertise your company.

social media video

I’m Not a Video Talent

Whether you are in front of the camera or not, social media video can be anyone’s “thing”. If it feels right, talk directly to the camera or film yourself doing what you do best. Below are some ideas for different industries. If yours isn’t shown, feel free to ask for ideas in the comments area below this post.

In front of the camera:

  • Fitness: 
    • Film yourself doing a full workout video
    • Demonstrate a specific exercise.
  • Retail:
    • Model your newest merchandise
    • Display a unique way to use one of your products
  • Real Estate:
    • Do walkthroughs on video to show the awesome parts of a specific property you’re looking to sell
    • Speak directly to the camera about your top 5 tips for staging a space to sell
  • Handmade Goods:
    • Show yourself creating one of your most popular items
    • Demonstrate a sewing, crafting, woodworking, or other technique
  • Fine Art:
    • Talk to the camera about a specific piece of art you have for sale
    • Demonstrate a painting or other art technique
  • Food/Beverage: 
    • Have someone else film you interviewing one of your ‘regulars’ about their favorite aspects of your location or products
    • Create your favorite sauce or drink on camera, cooking show style
  • Beauty/Hair: 
    • Demonstrate how to do a unique makeup, beauty or hair technique on yourself
    • Have a friend or employee film you in action while tending to a client
social media video

You don't have to be in front of the camera to film great #SocialMedia video. Click To Tweet

Behind the camera:

  • Fitness:
    • Showcase your must-have fitness items
    • Ask a friend or employee to help you out. You can speak about perfect form in different exercises and they can demonstrate as you speak
  • Retail:
    • Set out your top 10 products in a certain category (i.e. baby products, men’s products, beauty items, etc.)
    • Film the inside of your store, show them around with your video and your voice. You can even interview one of your employees along the way
  • Real Estate:
    • Show things buyers often overlook and regret later
    • Show sellers the least expensive ways to improve or stage their home for selling
  • Handmade Goods:
    • Film one of your products, and show different aspects about what makes it great
    • Showcase your must-have products for a specific project (i.e. “My must-have tools for sewing the perfect dress”)
  • Fine Art:
    • Take your viewers on an art walk, talking about different pieces and displaying your expertise
    • Show different ways to display art so that it pops
  • Food/Beverage: 
    • Line up different versions of the same food or drink and speak about each one
    • Film others experiencing a taste test at your location
  • Beauty/Hair: 
    • Show your favorite hair or beauty products and speak about them while not on-screen
    • Interview your employees talking about their favorite aspect of their job

Tip: Even when off-camera, it’s ideal to show your face at least once through the video, ideally at the beginning. If this causes your heart to race, ease into it. Getting video out there is more important than obtaining perfection.

I Have No Idea What to Film

When you aren’t used to thinking about what to present in live or recorded video, it might seem a lot more daunting than it is. I wrote out several ideas for you to start your journey in social media video and also to revisit when you are feeling like you’re running out of ideas.

  • Share breaking news in your industry
    social media video
  • Allow your viewers to be the first to hear Special Announcements from your brand
  • Offer one-time coupons or flash sales
  • Announce giveaways
  • Film something that will cause shock or “wow”
  • Spend time doing a Q&A
  • Film a tutorial (you can even ask for suggested topics beforehand)
  • Conduct interviews of your staff, other influencers in your industry, or impromptu at events
  • Do a video takeover of another brand’s account and allow them to do it for you. This can be great cross-promotion!
  • Share industry tips
  • Extend a deeper chat about a blog post you recently published
  • Give viewers a sneak peek into events
  • Film a face-to-camera, sincere chat about a heavier issue within your industry or life
  • Share a behind-the-scenes look
  • Take viewers along on the adventures you take
  • Bring your followers with you via live or recorded social media video when you scavenge for new items
  • Conduct investigations within your own field
  • Do a product demo
  • Show alternative uses for your products
  • Share testimonials, either via interview or by reading your customers’ words and showing pictures

I’m Nervous!

You know the deal – nerves cease when you’re prepared. Now, let’s get prepared!


Gather your camera, tripod (if you need it) and microphone (if you’re really fancy)


If you’re using Facebook Live, make sure to try it ahead of time. Here’s a bit of information on how to broadcast on Facebook Live. If you’re recording a video, good news! You can simply edit out any flubs.

Whether you are going live or not, it’s also important to know what you’ll be talking about. Write out an outline of notes and use those to steer you along. Memorizing a script might not feel genuine, but it’s imperative you know what direction you’re headed in.


Think about if you want your viewers to know you’ll be on. If you’ll be on live, consider publicizing the time and topic of your broadcast so your followers can schedule their attendance.

If you aren’t live, it might still be fun to let your fans know that you have an exciting video coming their way soon. They might just remember later that day and check back in to see if it’s been posted.

Entice with Your Title:

Keep it short and spicy. A really exciting topic can be dumbed down by a dull title just as a dull topic can be spiced up with a great title.

For example, if I was writing a title for video about my top 10 tips for excelling at social media video, I could go many ways with my title.

Jeff Goins suggested this equation to get you started creating click-worthy titles:
[Number or Trigger word: “what”, “why”, “how” or “when” ] + [Adjective] + [Keyword] + [Promise]

Let’s explore two:

[10 Tips] to Whip Out [Enticing] [Videos] [Every Time] [How] the Pros Create [Incredible] [Videos] [Daily] Keep your social media video titles short and spicy. Click To Tweet

Be Personable:

The #1 rule is to be yourself. If you aren’t people will see right through you and lose interest. Gary Vaynerchuk is known for showing the true him despite comments from his followers. Because of that, those who appreciate his personality have an incredible connection, and even some who don’t still respect him for shooting straight and putting the whole of himself out there to be seen.

Also, feel free to speak to specific followers. If you have avid followers and it fits into your chat, mention their names. If you are live, watch who pops onto the broadcast and give them a little shoutout. This is a sure way to create a connection between you and the folks taking the time to watch you on your social media video.

Ask for the Follow:

It might feel odd to ask viewers to follow you, but if you don’t ask, the likelihood that they will remember is very low. If they follow you, depending on the platform, they will be notified when you post something new.

On Facebook, it helps for followers who are interested in your social media videos to not only like your page, but also to opt to see your posts first:

social media video

On the above snapshot, you’ll see the option to turn notifications on. Encourage your followers to edit their notifications and at least opt to receive pings from Facebook when you post a video.

social media video

End with a Bang:

At the end, don’t leave your followers hanging. They’re waiting for you to wrap it up appropriately. Here are a few wickets to hit:

  • Summarize / review what you chatted about
  • Choose one call-to-action for them to get working on. Here are some ideas:
    • Remind them to follow and opt to see your posts first
    • Ask them to head to a specific URL
    • Encourage them to leave a comment with what they want to see in your next post
    • Inform them about your latest freebie (lead magnet) and where to find it
  • Give a kind farewell, and if applicable, let them know when you’ll be on next

Don’t Give Up:

You might not see success right away. In fact, it might take quite a while.

Stick with it!

Consistency breeds success when it comes to social media video and social media posting in general.

Along with that, feel free to experiment with posting / live air times and also video duration. Facebook suggests going live for 10-90 minutes so that people have a chance to jump in and watch you.

Consistency breeds success when it comes to #SocialMedia video. Don't give up! Click To Tweet

For recorded video, many folks see success with videos 2-20 minutes, although platforms like Vine, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram all encourage (and force) a shorter duration. Know where you’re posting and figure out what works best for you and your followers. If it doesn’t work one way, try another way.

Are you ready to start with video?

Recording social media video doesn’t have to be scary, but it does need to have a specific thought behind it. I think you’ll find that after going through the motions a few times, you’ll feel like a pro.

Once you get into the swing of things, play around with the different ideas in this post to up your game just a bit more. Before you go, don’t forget to share your latest video with us on Twitter or via email.

Thoughts or Questions?

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