If your kids have access to a tablet or smartphone, chances are, they’ve been all over TikTok and Instagram lately.
These platforms give your savvy tweens and teens endless possibilities when it comes to digging deep into their creative side. Although a lot of these videos might be less than a minute long, there’s a lot that goes into coming up with content, filming, editing, and sharing it for the world to see.
And even though summer’s winding down, you’ve got a few weeks left to engage with your kids before they head back to school, and our in-depth guide on producing top-notch social content will be a perfect fit.
Whether your budding social media star is already posting their own creations or just watching for now, with the tips below you can help them create top-notch, influencer-quality content safely and creatively.
First things first, it’s crucial to have an open and honest talk with your child about staying safe on the internet. Lay down ground rules like never sharing personal information, being cautious of strangers, limiting daily screen time, and being kind to others.
It’s important to be proactive in ensuring your child’s account is protected as much as possible. Consider encouraging your child to share only their first name, or come up with a unique alias altogether.
When it comes to sharing posts, Instagram and TikTok both have options to set an account as “private”. When this mode is activated, content posted on these accounts can only be viewed, liked, commented, and shared by followers the account owner has approved of.
Filming Like a Pro
Like with any video production, picture and sound quality is everything. Here are some things to keep in mind that just might bring your kids’ videos to the next level.
Natural Lighting: Social media influencers everywhere can attest to the magic of natural lighting. If your child or someone else is the subject of the video, having them face a window during daytime as a source of light can work wonders.
Artificial Lighting: If natural lighting just isn’t enough, consider investing in a ring light. A popular choice amongst video creators, ring lights are economical, dynamic, easy to use, and flattering.
Positioning the Camera: Make sure the camera is at eye-level, and the subject of the shot is centered. Keep the shot steady by leaning your phone against the window or using a tripod. If your kids prefer the hand-held look, they can rest their elbow on something, such as a stack of books, to keep it from tiring out.
Audio: For recording audio, it helps to be in a quiet room that doesn’t give off a lot of echo. When shooting outside, the microphone included on most earphones can pick up voice and distinguish it from background noise.
But What Should My Video Be About?
Trends on social media are constantly evolving. To stay on top of the game and gain inspiration for great content, it’s crucial for aspiring videographers to consume more videos than they produce.
Every social media site also has different communities centered around certain interests. Food and cooking have certainly become hot trends during the spring months, with more people eating at home! But whether it’s food, DIYs or the latest tech, fashion trends or comedy skits, travel inspo or makeup tips, it might not be easy to find the perfect niche right away.
Some users like to post whatever comes to mind, while some might devote their entire account to a particular genre of video. Spontaneity can be great, but don’t be afraid to plan out your videos to make the most out of them — it’s something you and your kids can do together.
Whatever it is your kids decide to post, it’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to curate their profile. When first starting out, they should remain focused on learning from the process rather than trying to gain popularity right away.
TikTok vs. Instagram
To those not familiar with Instagram and TikTok, it might be hard to differentiate between posting on the two platforms. But, there’s actually a lot that makes the two unique.
TikTok is all about short videos. TikToks are usually 15 to 60 seconds long and the app is optimized for allowing users to edit and film videos creatively. Users can post videos with their own audio or with recordings from the sound library.
Instagram lets you post pictures and longer videos. It might not have as many editing functions, but videos can be uploaded as a story, post, or as an IGTV, which can be as much as 15 minutes in length.
TikToks are high-energy and packed with content. Because these videos are so short, a lot needs to happen in a small amount of time. Typically, dialogue is quick and each clip lasts for only a few seconds.
Instagram is great for interacting with followers. Users can take advantage of unlimited hashtags, polls, questions, reactions and chat features in the app to keep their followers engaged.
Stepping Up Your Game
So your aspiring influencer has made a couple of great videos, and now, they’re ready to take their TikTok or Instagram game to the next level. This is a super exciting moment that might open up a lot of doors in the future, but there’s also a couple of things to consider for the long term.
First, ask your child if they’ve got a good grip on a genre of video, and if it is something they are passionate about. Then, try coming up with a 3-to-6 month plan together to brainstorm what future posts might look like. Maintaining consistency will compel viewers to continue watching in the long run.
If your child is getting to the point where a smartphone just isn’t cutting it anymore, remember that you’re not limited to it. In fact, many top TikTok and Instagram creators film or photograph on cameras to get the best quality.
Here are three handpicked, entry-level options for those coming from the smartphone world:
Point and Shoot: Sony DSC-W830B
Camcorder: Sony HDR-CX405B Handycam Kit
The world of social media moves at a fast and exciting pace, which might seem daunting for a lot of parents, but it doesn’t have to be. Navigating platforms like TikTok and Instagram together with your child can open up many doors and opportunities to learn, create, and connect with one another in a way that’s safe and rewarding for everyone.