Every Friday is ¨Taller de asesoría,¨ or Consulting Workshop day in my SPAN 202 "Business Spanish" class.
So what did we do today?
We practiced making original videos for social media marketing.
Our client, La Línea, gave us ideas for posts they would like to have during the month of October which is Immigrant Justice Month, sponsored by CU Immigration Forum. Here is one item:
· What does social justice/immigrant justice mean to you?Interview a few community members and ask them to try to answer this question in one to three sentences.
Of course you could approach this a number of ways:
- Do an email interview and post it as text.
- Do a telephone interview with the person, write up the interview notes, look up a picture of them online and post the write-up along with the picture.
- Meet them face-to-face, film them answering and upload the video.
From my experience working with students, I have seen that they are very adept at searching online for information, pictures and videos. That is a good skill to have.
But they seem to be less practiced at creating their own on-line content.
So today I had them practice creating videos by filming each other as they answered the question, ¨What does social justice-immigrant justice mean to you?¨
I didn´t give them any instructions, just told them to use their phones or other devices to take the videos and upload them to our Facebook Page: UIUC Spanish Community Service Learning. I wanted to see how they approached it and what they results would be.
We analyzed them and noted the following things that are important for anyone who is making and posting quick, low-tech videos for social media marketing:
- Problem. Our instinct is to take the videos vertically. However, after we upload them online, they show up skinny on the screen, with a lot of black on both sides.
- Solution. Remember to hold the camera horizontally when you take a video. It's not easy! We're used to holding our phones vertically. But the outcome will be better if you hold it horizontally, especially if you upload to YouTube.
- Problem. The sound in the video is very low. This is very, very annoying to the viewer. I would even say that it is better not to upload a video than to upload one with poor audio.
- Solution. Get closer with the phone! It doesn't have an external microphone, so you need to get close. Closer! Closer still! Yes, you will probably end up seeing mostly the person's face in the video. Yes, you will feel a little uncomfortable getting that close. But you really have to in most cases.
- Problem. There is too much background noise, and it interferes with being able to understand what the person on the video is saying.
- Solution. Always, always find a quiet place to film. Even the wind can cause distracting background noise--I learned that the hard way!
- Problem. The person speaking in the video talks too softly and/or doesn't look/speak into the camera.
- Solution. This is tough. Some people are just naturally shy. You can try to film again, asking them to speak louder and into the camera. If that doesn't work, then maybe it is just best to take a picture of the person (if they allow it) and write up their answers. That's okay, too!
And here are just a few additional tips:
- Length. How long should a video be? Well, go to your Facebook page right now and scroll through your feed. When you see a video that is 30 seconds long, what's you're reaction? When you see one that is 5 minutes long, what do you do? Then just make a mental note of which videos you click on during the next week, and which ones you don't. I say to do this because it's easy to say nobody watches anything longer than 2:00. Well, it depends! There are some 30-second videos that are 25-seconds too long. And there are some 3:00 minute videos that keep me entranced. Don't make them long, but do think about what you're trying to achieve with the video. Too short can feel like you missed something important.
- Raw or edited? If you know how to edit video, then do it. Even just a little editing can take a video from good to great. Honestly, I don't know how to edit video. Rather, I haven't taken the time to practice it enough to actually do it when I need to. If your videos are informational, just focus on giving really great, clear information.
Students did a second round of filming and uploading. The videos were better. The students still weren't entirely comfortable filming and being filmed, but I think it broke the ice and made them think more about how they can create their own short videos for social media marketing purposes.