Video Maximus Part 7: Live Tweeting as a Video Production Tool

Video Maximus

Here is part 7 in a 7-part series of articles examining how a nonprofit organization with a small staff and limited budget can successfully delve into video, and utilize it in a variety of powerful ways to achieve multiple goals. See if it doesn’t get you thinking about Video Production for your organization. Access the previous entry here.

Let’s flash back to the day you are there with your camera filming your event. Once you are comfortable with this process, there is another element you can add that really takes your video production and social media to a new level – and that is “Live Tweeting.” This simply means to send out tweets from the event as it is happening, often including pictures of and quotes from the speakers.  This can be helpful later when you begin to edit the video.

In posting tweets as the event unfolds, you are creating a record of what transpired – and this is very helpful later when you edit the video. By referring to your earlier tweets, you do not need to re-watch the video footage as much in order to write headlines and other content to accompany the videos when you upload them to YouTube and begin to promote them.

When I am going to Live Tweet an event while filming it, I set up a laptop computer near the camera. Usually the venue has Wi-Fi access, but I also have hotspot service setup on my cell phone, so that I can connect my laptop to the internet over my smart phone if necessary.

For Live Tweeting, it is a big help to do your Twitter homework ahead of time. Prepare a Word document that you can keep open on your laptop, with a list of the speakers (names all spelled correctly) and the organizations they are affiliated with. Make a list of all Twitter handles for both people and organizations.   Take note of any special hashtags for the event. Then you can prepare (ahead of time) a template for tweets, such as:

“ ,” says @ChrisGreen of @XYZinc, at today’s #MajorEvent conference.

With the template tweet ready, when the time comes (while the video camera is busy recording the speaker), all you need do is listen closely for the speaker to say something “quotable,” then insert the quote into your template and tweet it. I generally try to tweet at least one really good quote for each speaker during their segment (and often times I am able to tweet many more). But bear in mind that you are also filming so you need to keep your eye on the camera all the time.

If I’m not sure that what the speaker just said is a great tweet, I write it in my Word document and hang onto it for the time being. Sometimes I end up using it, sometimes not. If for some reason I’m not able to Live Tweet from the event (for example, if the venue has no internet or hot spot connectivity for Internet access) the tweets can be sent out afterwards.

Ideally, I like to include photos of the speakers in my tweets. For this, I add a still camera to the mix. While the video is filming, I take a few photos and transfer them to my laptop. I already have Photoshop open, ready to edit the photos if necessary. Then I save them to my hard drive, so they are ready to attach to a Tweet when the time is right.

How Live Tweeting Helps Video Production

Later, when it’s time to edit, post and promote the videos, the tweets become extremely useful. In referring back to your tweets, you can recall great quotes from each speaker without having to watch the videos again – saving time and labor costs. I often use these quotes as the headlines for my videos when I upload them to YouTube. And I replicate the headlines in posts in newsletters, on the website, in Facebook, and Twitter, etc.

Wrapping Things Up

If it sounds like it is an intense amount of work to film, tweet, edit, and promote video – IT IS. However, it also takes place over a short period of time – many of these events are only an hour long, though I have worked on events that ran for an entire day or longer. And the final result is very accessible and promotable series of videos that feature your speakers, your organization and your cause in the best possible light. Active and regular video production can easily become a routine and important tool in your marketing and public relations, without the cost of hiring outside companies.


The articles in this series, and others relating to nonprofit social media, can be accessed at

My company is called SocialNet Works, LLC, & our motto is “Helping Faith-Related Nonprofits Gear for Growth through Social Media.” We provide all of the video services described in this series, as well as offer training to in-house staff on the same practices..