If you’re a social media manager, you know two things: your job is often reliant on your smartphone and your job is reliant on high quality photos and video. Despite some awesome apps out there trying their best, smartphone cameras can still struggle delivering on those Instagram worthy pictures and videos. So to make up for those shortcomings, I’ve rounded up some smartphone gadgets to take your social media game up a notch.
My favorite Instagram account (@Foster_Kittens) uses a wide angle iPhone lens in order to capture the most kittens possible in a frame, while maximizing picture detail and thus cuteness. Depending on your brand, you’ll have different needs than trying to squeeze six kittens into a frame. Luckily, brands like ollo clip have a wide range of lenses from wide angle, telephoto, macro, and fisheye.
If you’re running social media for a travel company and you need to take beautiful, detailed shots of where your company takes clients, the wide angle is for you. If you work for a restaurant and you need to show the detail the chefs put into every single meal, a macro lens is for you.
Even novice photographers will tell you that lighting is everything when it comes to pictures. Professional photographers use big lighting rigs and filters to control their light on a photo shoot, but if you’re a social media manager on the move and trying to take pictures in the moment, you’re not carrying around a huge lighting kit!
If you have another set of hands and a couple more phones, you can use the flashlight feature on the extra phones and take the picture with another. But seeing as that is a lot to hope for, a small light like this one from Manfrotto in one hand and your phone in the other will do the trick in those spots with low or strange lighting.
So now we’re going to move into video gadgets. Not that the aforementioned gadgets can’t be used with video (they can!) these next two are pretty much for video only. At Roundpeg, we use a small microphone connected to a phone for all of our videos and it has been a dramatic improvement in our audio quality. This Movo mic is what we use because as a cardioid microphone, it does a great job of blocking out background noise of cats running around and other noises.
If you need to get up close and personal with a subject for a video, a super cardioid microphone like this Comica might be better for your uses. This mic is better at limiting background noises than the cardioid mic Roundpeg uses, but that’s because the subject has to be closer to the mic to pick up sound. So where the super cardioid mic might be a good option for an interview, the cardioid mic is going to be better for a concert. So choose wisely!
Unless you’re going for a Blair Witch Project camera style, shaky video is bad! At Roundpeg our videos are stationary so we use a tripod to ground the phone, but what if you’re filming a tour somewhere? Or a concert? A tripod isn’t going to be the best option for anywhere that requires you to be moving with your camera while it’s recording a video or shooting a Facebook live for followers.
There are a few options for this. A simple, handheld rig like this one from Shoulderpod can get the job done with very little bulk and a small price tag. But there are rigs on the market, like this one from iographer that Social Media Examiner recommends, that are more complicated but have the benefit of holding lenses, lights and mics all in one handy dandy rig! Which, as someone who drops and loses things constantly, is a pretty big bonus.
Did I miss a smartphone gadget you love to use for your social posts? Let me know at @PageJones31 and read the rest of my blogs here.