How To Make The Best Videos For Social Media With Your Smartphone

You’re at a concert in the middle of a shoulder to shoulder crowd; look around and you’ll see every other person holding up a phone. Are you one of them? It would be hard pressed to find a millennial, or even the generation before us, without a smartphone. The internal cameras on our phones are getting better and more high definition as new versions are released, making taking videos with a home video camcorder a thing of the past. What used to be a pleasure for only the more wealthier families, recording family videos has become so easy that our entire lives are being documented with hours of footage.

When it comes to recording videos for your business, it’s possible to build a stronger trust from your clients and a more interested customer base by giving them an insightful look into your business ventures with creative, well made video content. You can do all of this from your smartphone, easily uploading to your favourite social media channels shortly after, and reaching your audience quicker than ever. If you’re succumbing to frustration when it comes to creating the best professional looking videos from your phone, let us get you started with a few handy ideas:


Take a minute to prepare. Think about how you want your video seen, what perspective and what feelings you want your future viewers to have while they’re watching. Usually this is an easy thing to think about, but many people run into choppy videos when they change this plan half way through.

Stay Horizontal

This is the most common mistake when it comes to taking videos with your phone. It may be more convenient and cooler to take a video vertically with one hand, but it just doesn’t look good. The old rule that people were told, to keep it horizontal because it kept black bars from showing up on the sides when transferred to a television, still holds up. But, if you feel you must, you must. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.


Pay attention to what’s in the background; adjust the location a bit if you have the time, because it can make the biggest difference for your video. Make sure that the subject of your video is clear and apparent to the viewer. If that means blurring out everything but them in the first screen capture, do it. An easy app to do this with is Mosaic and Blur Video.


Try different angles and edges to give your video more of a professional feel. Remember, you can take a few videos at different angles and then build a video together using an external app, such as Movie Director Pro ($3.99), afterward.

Be Careful With Zoom

You may naturally want to zoom your fingers in when you want to get a better capture of your subject, but don’t do it. Refrain from taking the lazy route and move yourself and/or the phone closer instead of using zoom. This way you won’t be left with over pixelated videos, and instead, will have a clean finished product.

Keep It Steady

Stay still and steady. If you don’t think you can take a steady video without accidentally dropping your phone, use a tripod. If you don’t have the means to acquire one, prop your phone up with something nearby (keep it up with a piece of gum if you must!) or use your body as a tripod. What we mean is, make sure your feet are a good distance apart and keep your elbows tucked in while you capture, it’ll keep your hands and arms from getting tired and ruining your shot.

AE/AF Lock

Use AE/AF lock to help create the best lighting possible for your video. For iPhone, when recording your video, or you’re about to record your video, hold your fingers down on your subject and wait for it to say AE/AF lock, and that’s it. Many Androids work the same way, but if it doesn’t seem to, try Googling your phone to find out.


Don’t forget about audio. If you have someone with you who can hold their phone over your subject to simply record the audio in their Notes app, so you can blend it on your computer afterward, use them. If not, make sure you’re close enough to your subject to be able to pick up their audio as well as possible. You can also purchase a mic specifically for smartphones for under $100. This is a great investment if you plan on creating plenty of video content.

Use An App

Try using apps for different effects. Video Toolbox is a great app with different editing abilities such as cutting, FX (we likes the Lens option) and masking. Usually when you see videos online that have been made via a smartphone, they have been edited in some way by an externally downloaded app. Try playing with a few free ones to see which one you are the most comfortable with and give you the best options for the projects you have in mind.

It’s easy to find inspiration at any moment and record many memories without the need to own a separate camcorder. Give these tips a try and experiment with your phone.


Have you taken any great videos with your phone? Let us see by sharing a link to your video in the comments!

Kimberley Falk - Multimedia Writer