DIY Social Media Event Coverage

How do you capture an event on social media? This article describes two (of many options) for capturing live or post-edited video and pictures. Use the pictures to connect with live audiences. Or edit the images and promote future events.

Social Media Events Choices – Now or Later

Want to get the event up now (live)?

Go with a mobile device like an iPhone or Android phone. Add an external battery to ensure you don’t lose your camera to the extra power needed to process and send the data.

Want to edit the event and post it later?

Use a digital camera with a video function. Digital SLRs with a modest lens are great for zooming in and out. A digital SLR also does a better job with moving objects.

DIY Live Coverage

Extra power - go a for a little more battery

I like a multifunction battery that holds power for any situation – from my iPhone to my laptop. Do your research. Check the support and user manual to see what most people need from the battery before buying a battery that works across a range of devices.

Spring loaded tripod to hold iPhone or Android phone

Have a spring-loaded tripod. The spring is faster for mounting and unmounting the camera. I use the battery in the case to stabilise the tripod.

Do Not Disturb (DND) setting during filming

Turn on the Do Not Disturb (DND) function. Oh, I learned this tip and many other very easy, wise tricks from Jules at iPhone Video Hero ). I recommend buying membership into his training. (Jules has training for DIY  iPhone and  digital SLR videography.)

Move with battery power in backpack

Need to move around your event? Tuck the battery in into a backpack and secure the USB power cord under a clip. Zip the backpack closed so the cable is on your dominant side. (I’m right handed.) Great for those events that spread across a venue. Keep a bottle of water handy so you don’t miss a coverage.

Donate Your Time to Get Experience

Upload video to post in Facebook

Volunteer to cover a community event or a sports competition to get real experience with social media event coverage. The apps will dictate how long your video may be and what you need to capture. Being a volunteer (especially at an event you enjoy) gives you the change to learn  the limits of the apps and your device(s).

Grabbing a live event also teaches you about issues you need to prepare prior to covering major events. Patty (the Zumba fitness instructor) and I discovered she set up as a Personal Profile instead of a Business Page in Facebook, so I couldn’t be an admin. We didn’t have time before the event to convert the page, so I posted as a friend. This item is now on my checklist.

Take Your Time and Do It with Quality

Prefer to use a digital SLR instead of an iPhone? This is a better option when you want quality and have time to edit.

Hi-quality social media video from DSLR

Quality costs a little, but not a lot. If you find you expect to cover many events, and need more control over the video – go Digital SLR. The Nikon I used required 3 steps to turn on the video options.

Get to know the record instead of shutter button

Get to know where your video record button is located. On this Nikon, the orange-red video record button is small and located near the shutter button.

Got this Far, Time to Finish

 Remove the memory card from DSLR

The digital SLR files tend to be larger than the iPhone files. The Nikon video size and quality was reduced, but the files were still large. The fastest method for editing the files is by removing the memory card from the camera.

Most computers have memory card slot

And, inserting the card into the slot on the computer. Most modern laptops have a memory card slot. If your computer does not, office supply stores sell memory card readers with a USB cable. The USB readers also take multiple sizes of cards.

Use the Finder or Explorer to transfer from memory card

Use 2 windows in the Finder (Mac) or Windows to copy the files from the memory card to the computer.

Saving the iPhone Video

Use phone image app

The iPhone movies (or Android video) can be downloaded using specific apps on your Mac or Windows computer. I use Apple’s Image Capture app to copy the files off the iPhone into a folder for later editing.

The Final Destination?

Where should the live video go? What about still images? If I’m editing and posting later what are my options?

By the way, live tweeting can be a problem. Nice typo in that tweet, eh? Just as I was typing I saw a good set I wanted to capture. Posted, grabbed the next shot, and OHHH. Be ready for typos and watch out for autocorrect if you are going live.

Twitter embedded video

Choose one tool. I tried to work both the Digital SLR and the iPhone. I didn’t have enough time to work both, and the shots were hard to time even though I had a rough idea of the sequence.

Patricia Rojo-Diaz at Juan Rando Open Day

In the article to follow this, I will compare apps that I tried over a couple different events. I’ll share my opinions, and include links to experts working with specific tools.

Have you covered a live event on social media using a mobile device or digital camera? What made your coverage work?