Melanie Dyann Howe

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Mobile Phone Video - Do's and Don'ts

Taking videos for social media does not have to be anything too glamorous. You don’t need a fancy DSLR camera or to be editing your videos with the latest Adobe software (although, that is one way to create some pretty amazing videos). If you have a smartphone, then you have a magical video creating device right in your hand.

Creating videos using your smartphone can show that your business can be social and create videos on the fly. Using your phone may not always be the best, but we do recommend it for quick and easy social media marketing videos. They are a natural way to talk to your audience in a down-to-earth manner.

Here are a few do’s and don’ts for making videos on your phone.


  • Do make sure you have good lighting. A video that is underexposed or overexposed can prevent viewers from clearly seeing what is going on in the video. Always choose a well-lit area when filming (natural light works great). You can use touch focus as well, but if you are still having trouble, try adjusting the white balance settings on your phone.
  • Do treat sound importantly. A video can look great, but if a viewer can’t hear what is going on in it, it’s going to put a damper on things. When shooting on your phone, make sure your hand doesn’t muffle the speaker. There are also attachments you can buy to increase the quality of your audio. If you aren’t looking to buy an audio attachment or external audio device, just be sure to shoot in a quiet place.
  • Do have a steady hand or use a tripod. Shaky and blurry videos are not fun to watch, and can actually give people a headache. If you know you aren’t going to be able to hold the camera still, look into getting a tripod, which can also be an asset to film Facebook Live videos. If a tripod is not in the budget, or maybe you left it at home, you can always find something to lean your phone against like a chair or desk, but keep in mind you may muffle the microphone that way too.  

  • Do get excited before you go on camera. Hey, it’s not easy being on camera and one way to avoid looking stiff when you’re supposed to be excited is to “Get Loose.” Watch this entertaining video from Wistia on why this is so important. It’s one of my personal favorites.


  • Don’t shoot videos in vertical format. Horizontal videos look better and playback better on devices. Not everyone has the same phone, therefore the videos will not always look the same in vertical format. Horizontal eliminates this issue. Here’s a fun PSA just in case you have vertical video syndrome. Exception - as of right now it’s recommended you hold your phone vertically for Facebook Live.
  • Don’t shoot from far away. Make sure to get up close with your subject. Being too far away can lead to distracting objects being in your background. You want to be aware of the space around you.
  • Don’t make lots of fast motions, but also, don’t just sit there. Moving around can make viewers dizzy, but no motion at all can make viewers uninterested. Find a happy medium to ensure your audience’s viewing pleasure. Just always keep in mind when you are panning the camera (moving it side to side to showcase alternate views) move at a steady and comfortable pace.

These are just some basic tips, but there are tons of ways you can get creative with video. For instance, check out Animoto to create awesomely professional videos in minutes, and Fiverr for cheap animation options that can make your video stand out.

If you'd like even more help creating great mobile videos, check out this super awesome video by Wistia. They offer even more insight into how you can best shoot video with your mobile phone.

My biggest advice is to just get out there and try it. Video is so engaging and great for social media. Don’t let a small budget and lack of production equipment hold you back. Give it a try and be yourself.

*Some links may be affiliate links, which means I may get a commission if you purchase. However, none of the fees of these resources have been increased to compensate me.


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