Starts at Home Day is when housing associations up and down the country celebrate supported housing and the positive impact it has on thousands of lives. This day of action has a simple but important message – supported housing will always provide safe homes that meets peoples’ needs. Here, Kate Ashley, Social Media Officer at the National Housing Federation, shares her top tips for using video for your website and social media.

Why record a video?

Filming a short video for your website and social media is a great way of getting involved in Starts at Home Day. Videos are instantly engaging and easily shareable – in less than a minute, you can introduce your audience to the campaign and show why supported housing is worth protecting. 

Creating a video might seem daunting, but you can create something really special with just a smartphone. Check out this guide to help you film accessible videos this Starts at Home Day.

Top tips for recording video with a smartphone

Before you begin filming, always explain to participants how and where the video will be used and ask for their written consent.

  • Keep it steady – prop your phone on a flat, stable surface, you could use a table, or a tripod, or ask someone else to film you.
  • Hold the phone horizontally – this is the best format for posting on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook. If you are planning to upload to Facebook or Instagram stories, you should film in portrait.
  • Look up, not down – the phone should be on the same level of, or slightly higher than the face of your subject (whether your subject is you in selfie-mode or your resident).
  • Make sure your subject is well-lit – natural light is best so position them so they’re facing a window.
  • Record in a quiet space and stay close – make sure you’re standing close to your subject so their voice is recorded loud and clear.
  • Keep it under 60 seconds – that way it can be re-used on most social media platforms.

How to upload your video 

  • Upload the file to the social network itself. This performs better than linking out to a website or another social network such as YouTube.
  • When prompted, add a short description of what the video is about and add relevant hashtags, like #StartsAtHome.
    • Remember to capitalise the first letter of each word so screen-readers can identify the different words in the hashtag.

Making your video more accessible – add subtitles

This is important both for accessibility for those with a hearing impairment and for the people who don’t turn on sound when they watch videos (more than 90% of people, a 2019 study found).

Facebook and YouTube provide auto-generated subtitles, which you can download as a srt. file (a plain-text file that contains critical information regarding subtitles, including the start and end timecodes of your text to ensure your subtitles match your audio) and upload them to other platforms, such as Twitter, to ensure your video is captioned there too.

Find out how to add subtitles on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

If you upload a video for Starts at Home Day, remember to tag us (@natfednews) so we can see it; we would love to share some of these with our audience. Don’t forget to include #StartsAtHome in your post too.

Not sure if a video is right for your organisation? Have a look our guidance for writing a blog to celebrate Starts at Home Day.