Tips for Getting Started with Social Media Video: The Equipment (2022)

Lights? Audio? Camera type? Captions? Mobile? Live? Creating social media videos can be overwhelming if you’re not a professional videographer—especially if you’re new at it. I was reminded of that a couple of times this week, including when a colleague mentioned that it would be nice to have a cheat sheet for newbies after I provided feedback on his video.

The good news is there are so many options, you can pick what works for you. The bad news is there are so many options, it can make your head spin. This cheat sheet is designed to give you a starting point. Experiment. Practice. Adjust. Repeat. And then as Nike says, Just Do It.

The first videos you do won’t be your best, but I promise you, each one will get better as you learn what does and doesn’t work. I know, because I’ve been there, done that.

It’s worth noting that this cheat sheet is for the social media team (which is often a party of one) that doesn’t have the budget to hire professional videographers but still wants to shoot good video. In this post, I’ll focus on equipment, and in my next one, I’ll zero in on execution.

So, let’s dive into some tips for selecting the right equipment for shooting social media videos:

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  • Camera
  • Audio
  • Lighting
  • Other Equipment


What you use to record from your computer is likely not going to be the same thing you use to shoot other video, so you have a couple of “opportunities” to make a decision. When recording from my computer, I’ve used my built-in webcam. It does the job I need it to do, but I want more capabilities, so I’m exploring external webcams.

If you’re like me, check out this 2021 buyer’s guide. I tend to favor Logitech devices and I do a decent amount of live streaming, so I plan to go with the Logitech C922x Pro. While it’s a higher price than other webcams, it’s cost at $99 won’t break the bank.

Most of the videos I shoot for clients aren’t from my computer, so most of what I share from here on out are the goodies in my camera bag that I take with me to events but are also good for leaving up in your office.

For a camera, I really like the Panasonic HC-WXF991K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder with Wi-Fi, Built with Multi Scene Twin Camera (Black). It’s easy to use, shoots video and stills, and won’t damage your pocketbook as much as an interchangeable lens camera will. You can get my camera, which I’ve had 3.5 years, for $800, while the Sony a7s II that a colleague prefers will cost you $2,000 + another $1,100+ for the lens. If you already have a good digital camera or you have the budget to buy something like the Sony, go for it. If not, the Panasonic is a good bet.

But wait…aren’t mobile phone cameras good enough? They are for some things, and I use my iPhone 7 Plus all the time to shoot video, but for stellar video quality, you want a camera, too. I use both and would be lost without either of them.

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Don’t be a scrooge in the audio department. Really. Don’t. Yes, the majority of social media videos in feeds are watched without sound, but when the audio is on, your audience will bail if the audio is bad.

The good news is you can get decent audio without paying a hefty price. There’s a cost, but it’s doable.

When shooting on my computer, I love my Rode Podcaster USB Dynamic Microphone ($229). And while I have the Rode PSA 1 Swivel Mount Studio Microphone Boom Arm ($99), I use the DS1 Microphone Desk Stand ($30) the most. You’ll also need the shockmount for the Rode, which is $39.

Now for shooting video away from the computer. Below are the tried-and-true tools in my camera bag, and I use them with both my iPhone and my Panasonic:

  1. Rode smartLav+ Lavalier Microphone: you need two if using with the Saramonic below to mic two people ($60/each)
  2. Sony ECMAW4 Wireless Microphone: you need two here as well ($198/each)
  3. IK Multimedia iRig Mic: a handheld, wired microphone ($60)
  4. Saramonic SmartMixer: comes with two condenser microphones, but I like to use the above microphones instead, as I’m typically shooting on a loud show floor
    • Comes with the cords necessary to connect the mixer to an iPhone or Android, and then you use the iOS cord and the Rode adaptor above to connect it to the video camera
    • Has a hot shoot, so you can attach the Genaray light noted below
    • Holds a mobile phone, so you can forgo the Gimbal Stabilizer if not moving a lot ($339)

I also have two Boya mics, a single and a dual head for two people. I’ve yet to test-drive them, but I’m jazzed to try them because they:

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  • Have a long cable (20 ft) vs. the ~9-foot iRig cord
  • Are lavalier mics, so nothing to hold
  • Are wired, so no bandwidth issues (which happens at big events, like Mobile World Congress)
  • Work with cell phones and cameras

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Equipment used: iPhone 8, IK Multimeda iRig Mic, Rode SC3 3.5mm TRRS to TRS adaptor, Saramonic SmartMixer, Genaray LED-7100T, and lightning to 3.5mm adaptor.


Lighting or the lack thereof can make a big difference in video quality. And hotel lighting is the worst! So many cast a yellowish tinge over everything.

When shooting at events, I like to use Genaray LED-7100T 312 LED Variable-Color On-Camera Light ($169). It is a lightweight, bright, soft light with adjustable color temperature and works with both my mobile phone and video camera setups.

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For my office and shooting on my computer, I use Fovitec Studio Pro ($190), which offers three-point lighting. Although, often, when I’m in a hurry and lighting isn’t as important, I just use the top light and open the blinds in my office to let in the natural light.

But what if you don’t have lights? What can you do? Here are a few tips:

  • Find natural light if you can
  • Stand directly under a ceiling light
    (I used this trick in the Orange County Convention Center before I had the Genaray; also the Panasonic does a nice job countering some underexposed shooting conditions and filtering out some of the bad light)
  • Keep bright objects, like a window, computer screen, or light, out of your background
  • Use the biggest aperture your camera allows

Other Equipment

After camera, audio, and lighting, the rest of the equipment is pretty easy (although there’s still an overabundance of choices!). Here are a few of my must-haves to round out my camera bag:

  • Manfrotto 055 video tripod: it’s big, but it’s worth it to me. It’s stable, fluid, and works for multiple film activities. Other colleagues prefer smaller tripods, because they’re easier to carry and manage, which is valid. So, choose one that meets your needs and preference. ($400)
  • Live Periscope Meerkat: this little tool is a must if you’re shooting both from a camera and a cell phone, don’t want to carry two tripods, and would rather not have to hold the phone with a Gimbal Stabilizer. It allows you to attach your phone to your camera tripod. ($11)

Some other tools that you might want to have on hand, depending on what you film:

And if you’re interested in a smartphone tripod, here are two:

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Well, that’s it for equipment. If you have questions, just post them in a comment, and I’ll get back to you.

In my next post, I’ll dive into tips for creating engaging, compelling social media videos, covering preparing, length, filming, editing, captions, and sharing. If there’s anything else you’d like to make sure I cover, let me know.

Tips for Getting Started with Social Media Video: The Equipment (1)


How do I start a social media video? ›

Possible everything from your title to your description. And tag words need to include the keywords

How do you script videos for social media in 5 steps? ›

Through you may not have incredible footage to make people stop and watch your video. But instead

What are some general tips for social media success? ›

5 Tips to Successful Social Media Marketing
  • Create a Strategy. Each platform needs its strategy. ...
  • Be Consistent. While posting consistency depends on the platform, posting content regularly is always a good rule of thumb to follow. ...
  • Create Engaging & Interesting Content. ...
  • Engagement. ...
  • Track and Analyze Metrics.
1 Mar 2022

How do I start making video content? ›

How to Create Video Content Ideas | Where should I start? - YouTube

What social media platform is best for video? ›

Top 11 Social Video Platform
  • Instagram. Gone are the days when the common masses check doubt Instagram just for keeping up with celebrity pictures. ...
  • Facebook Watch. The brainchild of Mark Zuckerberg has been proving its relevance since it started. ...
  • TikTok. ...
  • YouTube. ...
  • Vine. ...
  • Periscope. ...
  • Pinterest. ...
  • Flipgrid (Vidku)
14 May 2021

How do I make the best video content? ›

Tips to create video content
  1. Be a storyteller. ...
  2. Mobile-friendly. ...
  3. Tailor your video to each social media platform. ...
  4. Work on an interesting title and thumbnail. ...
  5. Engage the viewer in the first few seconds. ...
  6. Don't forget the CTAs. ...
  7. Be informative. ...
  8. Choose your production quality wisely.
6 Mar 2021

What is the best video marketing strategy? ›

How to Build a Video Marketing Strategy
  1. Understand your audience and set campaign goals. ...
  2. Stay on brand, and nail down your message across videos. ...
  3. Make sure your video budget makes sense. ...
  4. Optimize your videos and target for each channel. ...
  5. Test and Test again. ...
  6. Don't forget Connected TV ads (CTV)
14 Aug 2018

How do you make a short video interesting? ›

How to make a short but mighty video - YouTube

What are the four main steps of creating a video? ›

The process of creating a video should consist of 4 different steps: Pre-Planning, Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production.
  • Pre-Planning. The first step in our production process is the Pre-Planning, where we agree on the strategy and goals for the project. ...
  • Pre-Production. ...
  • Production Phase. ...
  • Post Production.

How do you write a good video script? ›

7 Simple Steps to Writing an Effective Corporate Video Script
  1. Write a Video Brief First. ...
  2. Turn Your Message into a Story. ...
  3. Speak in a Language Your Audience Understands. ...
  4. Keep it Short and Sweet. ...
  5. Don't Just Use Words. ...
  6. Do Several Script Readings. ...
  7. Tweak, Re-tweak, and Check Against Your Brief.
26 Sept 2016

What are the five most effective social media marketing strategies? ›

The five most effective social media marketing strategies are:
  • Always educate and give value to your audience.
  • Create varied content.
  • Leverage customer loyalty, reviews, and user-generated content.
  • Focus on the best social media channel that works for your strategy.
  • Connect with other influencers in your niche.
24 Aug 2022

What makes good social media marketing? ›

Social media marketers need to be able to think strategically to curate content that meets business goals, but we also need to know how to measure that content's performance. Yes, creating cool images and striking video is exciting, but we need to know if that content actually resounds with our audience or not.

What is a video strategy? ›

Video marketing is the strategy designed by marketing teams to create, curate, and utilize videos as a means of marketing their products or services to their target audience. The idea is to keep audience members engaged with the brand in a way that's simple and easy to digest.

What is video content strategy? ›

A brand-wide video content strategy defines the design, animation, and/or cinematography style, content style and tone, and other key features of the videos and/or motion graphics that will be produced across your brand. And it can come in pretty handy over the long term.

Which video platform is most popular? ›

The most popular video hosting website is YouTube, 2 billion active until October 2020 and the most extensive catalog of online videos. There are some countries in the world placing restrictions on YouTube, instead having their own regional video sharing websites.

Where should I post my videos? ›

Which Social Media Platforms Should I Post My Videos On?
  • Facebook. As one of the largest content-sharing platforms, Facebook is an ideal platform to upload video, allowing up to 20 minutes of view time. ...
  • Twitter. Twitter has just pipped Instagram to the post with a video update. ...
  • YouTube. ...
  • LinkedIn. ...
  • Pinterest.
8 Apr 2016

What do people use to edit social media videos? ›

What are the best social media video makers?
  • Promo.
  • Ripl.
  • Adobe Spark.
  • Canva.
  • Filmora 9.
  • InShot.
  • Animoto.
24 Aug 2022

What makes an effective video? ›

If you want to create effective video content, you should try to be relatable once in a while. Video content that resonates with the audience and gives people an idea about what your company is all about is a lot more effective. Behind-the-scene videos, live streams, etc.

What makes a great short video? ›

A good short film expresses one concept or one idea in a complete way without unnecessary diversions and then gets to its point. The ending is important in a short film and the short film filmmaker needs to make sure their ending is satisfying, coherent, and works with the rest of the film.

Which app is best for making short videos? ›

  • Quik.
  • Adobe Premiere Clip.
  • Splice.
  • InShot.
  • KineMaster.
  • iMovie.
  • WeVideo.
  • PicPlayPost.
1 May 2019

How can I make my edit quality better? ›

Luckily, we have a few tips and tricks up our sleeve to help you avoid losing quality during the editing process.
  1. Import High-Resolution Videos. ...
  2. Increase the Sharpness. ...
  3. Blending in Multi-Layer. ...
  4. Don't Set the Tracking Blur Too High. ...
  5. Try to Avoid Merging Clips. ...
  6. Select the Highest Export Resolution.
3 May 2021

What are the 3 main stages of video production? ›

The process of creating a video from concept to completion consists of three phases: Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production.

How do you make a video step by step? ›

Here are the essential steps to making a great instructional video:
  1. Step 1: Determine and get to know your audience.
  2. Step 2: Write a storyboard and script.
  3. Step 3: Record your narration.
  4. Step 4: Record your screen or capture video.
  5. Step 5: Edit the video.
  6. Step 6: Add a video intro.
  7. Step 7: Share your video.

How can I make my script more engaging? ›

Write an Engaging Video Script with these 6 Tips
  1. 1) Start with an outline.
  2. 2) Write conversationally.
  3. 3) Write to the video.
  4. 4) Talk to yourself.
  5. 5) Keep it short, simple, and direct.
  6. 6) Tell a story.
  7. Valuable scriptwriting advice.
  8. Creating videos on Screencast-O-Matic.

How do you start a video script? ›

  1. How to make an instructional, informational, or tutorial video script. ...
  2. Step 1: Find a good spot to write a script. ...
  3. Step 2: Use a template. ...
  4. Step 3: Be conversational. ...
  5. Step 4: Tell a story. ...
  6. Step 5: Edit your script. ...
  7. Step 6: Read your script out loud. ...
  8. Step 7: Get feedback.

Do YouTubers use scripts? ›

sometimes. Every YouTuber does things a little different, and scripting their videos is no exception to that. There are different levels of scripting, however, and by understanding what they are, you should be better placed to work out which will work for you.

What is a video outline? ›

An outline is the architecture of your proposed film—a sketch of the audio and visual elements that will make up the finished film, arranged in order, illustrating the storyline of your film.

How do you write a short film script? ›

6 Tips for Writing Short Film Scripts That Connect
  1. Find a small, specific, significant idea you can tell well in a short script. ...
  2. Craft a complex character with a small, significant want. ...
  3. Create a pattern of external and internal change. ...
  4. Start your story on page one. ...
  5. Hit your scenes late and get out early. ...
  6. Show don't tell.
26 Aug 2020

What is social media for Beginners? ›

Social networks and/or social media services allow you to network with people who share interests, professions, hobbies, backgrounds or real-life connections. These services are based online and often have mobile apps to allow users to access the service on the go. There are hundreds of social networks.

How can I improve my social media marketing skills? ›

Here are some marketing tips for social media success:
  1. Identify the right social media channel.
  2. Make the most of live videos.
  3. Create your brand's story.
  4. Leverage user-generated content.
  5. Use social-friendly images.
  6. Use Instagram for posting ads.
  7. Use relevant hashtags.
  8. Utilize the power of employee advocacy.

Which platform is best for advertising? ›

What Are the Best Digital Advertising Platforms?
  • 1. Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads are a great way to reach your target audience. ...
  • Google Ads. ...
  • YouTube Ads. ...
  • Bing Ads. ...
  • Amazon Ads. ...
  • Instagram Ads. ...
  • TikTok Ads. ...
  • LinkedIn Ads.

What should a social media plan include? ›

10 Things You Should Include in a Social Media Plan
  • The Baseline Metrics. ...
  • Competitor Benchmarks. ...
  • Goals and Objectives. ...
  • Naming Strategy. ...
  • Staffing Plan. ...
  • Content Calendar. ...
  • Partner Integration. ...
  • The Ideas!
16 Oct 2011

How can I improve my marketing skills? ›

  1. Keep writing. Content marketing was a popular strategy in the past, and it remains a popular strategy. ...
  2. Follow the trends. You will realise that there are different marketing techniques used today that work well. ...
  3. Undergo training. ...
  4. Try something new. ...
  5. Go back to traditional advertising.

What are social media skills? ›

What Are Social Media Skills? Social media skills are traits and abilities to create and convey marketing material on social media platforms to achieve a business goal. People who thrive in these positions normally understand how social media platforms work, are creative, and enjoy creating written or visual content.

What skills do you need to be a social media influencer? ›

You should have excellent multitasking skills, a creative way of thinking, brand understanding, and be comfortable presenting ideas and results to both clients and internal teams. You'll have previous experience in social media and influencer marketing and be comfortable leading your own projects.

How do you make a good video of yourself? ›

  1. Use plenty. of light. Practice. your camera. presence. Get prepared. and hit record. Use a clean. ...
  2. Recording on. a webcam with. your computer. Watch yourself. and share. Prioritize crisp, clear audio. Position your- ...
  3. How-to guide for filming yourself.
  4. Use plenty of light.
  5. Use a clean background. Use your phone or tablet horizontally.

How do you make a good Facebook video? ›

Here are some quick tips to make sure your Facebook video is as good as it can be!
  1. Keep it short. Two minutes or shorter is best.
  2. Make it look professional. Use tight editing and good lighting in the video.
  3. Have movement in the first two to three seconds. ...
  4. Edit your video, so you have a good thumbnail chosen.
9 Feb 2015

What are social media clips? ›

A social video is a short-form video crafted specifically to drive engagement actions and captivate viewers on social networks.

What are social media clips for short? ›

Social media clips, for short Crossword Clue Answers

The solution to the Social media clips, for short crossword clue should be: VIDS (4 letters)

What makes a good video? ›

When it comes to creating successful video, you must bring your story to life quickly, so as to instantly gather interest as people scroll through their feeds. In the opening seconds, you must give clarity to what your video is about and give the viewer confidence that what they're about to watch is work their time.

Where do I look when making a video? ›

Where to Look When Recording with Your Phone | Video Making Tips

What is the easiest way to record a video? ›

Here are some of the best ways to record videos on a PC: Screen Capture – an online service. Windows Game Bar – a built-in program. Movavi Screen Recorder – a desktop app.
... webcam recorder
  1. Open Screen Capture in a supported browser. ...
  2. Select Microphone. ...
  3. Record your webcam video. ...
  4. Download your webcam video.
11 Apr 2022

What is the most important element in a Facebook video? ›

The Five Main Key Elements of Creating Video for Social Media
  • Great content is not enough. ...
  • Remember, Facebook & YouTube need to make money! ...
  • Element #1 – A Hook. ...
  • Element #2 – Video Introduction. ...
  • Element #3 – Delivery. ...
  • Element #4 – Bonus/Offer. ...
  • Element #5 – Call to Action. ...
  • Summary.
8 Apr 2022

What type of videos work best on Facebook? ›

We found that square videos outperformed landscape videos in terms of average engagement, views, and reach, especially on mobile. And we aren't the only one to see these results. Here're a couple possible reasons: More than 92% of Facebook users use Facebook on their mobile every day.

What kind of videos work best on Facebook? ›

Vertical video outperforms square.

Their goal was to determine which worked best, vertical or square video. Revealing the results of their study, Brian Peters writes that vertical videos performed best on Facebook.

How long should social media video be? ›

For viral content, Facebook recommends videos that are less than one minute or stories that are less than 20 seconds in length. But that doesn't mean long videos perform poorly. Instead, they suggest that 3+ minutes is best for episodic web series, developing stories and live streaming.

How do you make an effective short video? ›

10 Beginner Video Tips for Making Professional Videos
  1. 1 Plan Ahead for Your Video. ...
  2. 2 Use a High-Quality Camera. ...
  3. 3 Make sure you have enough lighting. ...
  4. 4 Upgrade the Audio Quality. ...
  5. 5 Use a Powerful Video Editing Software. ...
  6. 6 Avoid Using Shaky Footage. ...
  7. 7 Improve Your Video Composition. ...
  8. 8 Be Comfortable on Camera.
28 Dec 2021

What is the social media? ›

What is Social Media? Social media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. The Office of Communications and Marketing manages the main Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts.

Where Oberlin College is located NYT? ›

Oberlin College is a private liberal arts college and conservatory of music in Oberlin, Ohio.


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