Production Scheduling for Social Media Videos

Social media videos can be as simple or complex as you like. In either case, we recommend spending solid time developing them so your shoot goes as smoothly as possible.

We first need to differentiate between videos you post on social media, and videos you link to through social media. In the second case, your video can pretty much be any length you choose. You’re simply going to let your video reside somewhere, whether your website or a hosting site like YouTube/Vimeo (see our page on Video Streaming for the pros and cons of each). Then, you post a link to it on Facebook, Twitter, etc. or through email links.

Make sure you do not underestimate how much time it takes to create social media videos

Make sure you do not underestimate how much time it takes to create social media videos

If you’re posting directly on social media, your video’s length may be limited by the video hosting site you’re using. Vine is a perfect example. Users can post six-second videos (OK, six-and-a-half if you split hairs). Twitter plans to soon incorporate longer videos, up to 30 seconds long. You can get much longer videos on Facebook. The length of your video will play a large part in production scheduling.

If you’re going for short videos, you can get an awful lot done in one day. This is great from a production scheduling standpoint, because the director of photography, producer, makeup artist and audio operators only need to have one day set aside. And the same applies to you, which is nice for your schedule. So if you’re interested in doing a month’s worth of 30-second videos, with plans to send them out three times a week (12-15 videos total), you’re looking at no more than a day of production.

The trick here is, making sure you spend enough time in pre-production processes to ensure the video shoots go smoothly. Whether it’s you or someone else you have appearing in the videos, nothing will wear them out more than having to do take after take of a simple 30-second script because you keep making minor changes. This is why it’s important to include storyboarding in the process. Tight scriptwriting is also a must.

We recommend you meet with the production company before the shoot day to rehearse the scripts. This will give you a chance to try different delivery styles to ensure you’re keeping up the persona you want to generate on your social media sites. It also gives you a chance to see what’s working, and what may need tweaking. Nothing slows down a shoot more than having to do take after take because you’re making last-minute changes, or trying to get just the right delivery. It will not only bog down the shoot, it will also drain the life out of you or anyone else who’s appearing in the video.

How do you allot time for a group of short videos?

We recommend planning a few hours for the discovery meeting with the production company ahead of your first shoot. This will allow you to set a basic timetable and discuss all of the elements you need for your videos. If you plan on working with this company long-term on a monthly basis, this probably won’t be necessary after the first couple of months, because you will have a process down.

If the company is helping out with scriptwriting, you need to set aside a few hours to discuss the topics you want to cover, and then give them an appropriate amount of time to write the scripts. If you’re doing the writing yourself, this isn’t counted in the production schedule, but you do need to keep to a deadline. You must set aside time to rehearse the scripts with the producer. This will also be the time you discuss any special needs, such as using props or perhaps shooting one or two of the videos in a separate location (this will add time to the overall production schedule, depending on how far away you end up going). Then, allot one full day for the shoot, and at least one day for the editing. Finally, you have to decide who is going to deliver the video to social media sites. If it’s the production company, you should allot another full day for that. Delivery can often be prescheduled all at once, so you don’t have to worry about the company remembering to put out the content on the assigned days.

One-time items you may need to include in the schedule

For example, if you want to have some sort of animated open, it will take time to create that (this can be done between the discovery meeting and the shoot day, so it needn’t delay the overall production). You may also want to have a standard graphic at the end of the video pushing to your main website, if you have one, and listing all of your social media channels including YouTube/Vimeo. If you need special music for the open and to play underneath the video, it can also take several hours for the production company to comb available clips and create a list of suggestions for you. However, once these elements are complete, you can use them for all of your videos, so you won’t have to budget time for them again unless you decide to change one or more of those elements.

Here is the basic breakdown for your first shoot with the company:

  • Discovery meeting        3 hours
  • Discussing topics          3 hours
  • Scripting                        12 hours
  • Graphic design              8 hours
  • Music selection             3 hours
  • Rehearsal                       4 hours
  • Shoot                              5-6 hours
  • Editing                            8 hours
  • Delivery                          8 hours
  • TOTAL                          54 hours

Again, bear in mind that things like music selection and graphics design are one-time processes, so your next production schedule would be down to 43 hours. After the second shoot you probably won’t need a discovery meeting, just the topic discussion, so that takes you down to 40 hours. If you’re taking care of all the scripting, you also won’t need to discuss topics with the production company, so you’re down to 25 hours.

To make your social media video campaign as effective as possible, consistency is a must. You have to post on a regular basis or people will simply lose interest in you. This is why having a solid production schedule, with a heavy emphasis on the pre-production phase, is so important. Hencar can help you devise a schedule that fits your time and your needs, allowing you the opportunity to become a social media sensation.