Engaging Social Media Users through Videos

In our fast-paced social media driven world, pictures and videos help tell the stories that are taking place around us every day. There have been many studies done that have shown that time on digital media has replaced time once spent reading.

At the Delaware County Extension office, we realized short, exciting videos are one of the ways to reach followers, so we began making videos. What kind of videos, you might ask? Videos demonstrating different trials of our On-Farm Research throughout the state. These trials are also featured in the eFields report that was just released at the beginning of January.

People looking at a computer

Since videos are becoming more popular when it comes to telling a story, I want to offer some tips and suggestions when it comes to shooting videos that you are going to post on a social media outlet.

First, think about the story you want to tell. The best videos don’t just “happen.” It is important to have a plan before going out to shoot. For example, before heading to the farm to shoot, we sat down with the Extension educator to discuss the story we wanted to tell through the video. A couple important factors that go into this process are prompting your speakers-in our case they were the farmers-with the questions you want them to address. We also knew that we needed a lot of b-roll footage. Tip: You need way more b-roll footage than you ever thought possible. Have someone on your production team record footage the entire time you are there!

Next, you will want to consider how to make your video unique. You don’t want to create a video of a talking head. That is extremely boring, and your viewers will lose interest in record time. Think of fun, interactive, engaging things for the speaker to do while you film. For example, we chose a theme for each video we produced and then had the educator and farmer partake in said theme. The Western theme has been by far and away the most popular – saddle up, cowboy!

Cell phone videoThe most important tip: Always, always, always record footage and take photos horizontally if you are using a smart phone. You will understand why when you reach the point of actually producing your video.

One final thought I will leave with you: Check your acoustics before you record. Don’t record in a windy field, the inside of a combine cab while harvesting, or even while the neighbor is mowing the lawn. This will leave you frustrated when you get back to the office.

Enjoy this trailer of one of our popular On-Farm Research videos!


Kenzie JohnstonKenzie Johnston, OSU Extension educator, CD/ANR, Delaware County.


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One thought on “Engaging Social Media Users through Videos

  1. I love this approach. . . and see application for Extension as well as in doing professional development within our Department. Maybe you could work with our Learning & Org Dev unit to do a training!

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