Vine is the new kid on the social media block. The app allows users to create 6-second videos about anything, then share them within the app and on other social media sites, especially Twitter. (Think of it as the 140-character approach to video production). Plus, videos made on Vine can be embedded on web pages and blogs.
At first, I was skeptical. What could I possibly catch on film for 6 seconds that would be interesting and engaging? But I downloaded the app to do some testing, and I realized that it's actually pretty cool. Vine doesn't force you to film the six seconds all at once, you see, so there are more possibilities than I initially imagined. People are making really interesting video loops that start and end the same way (really, you can watch some of them for hours), and are also filming creative stop-motion videos. Some companies are answering FAQs sent by their Twitter followers, giving quick software tutorials, and more.
While there is tremendous potential for Vine videos, there is also room for many, many flops. Six seconds sounds short, but it can be longer than you think. Here are 7 tips for making better Vine videos:
How To Film Better Vine Videos
- Have a plan. What will your Vine be about? Are you trying to capture a moment where something does something cool (like a dog riding a scooter)? Do you want to answer a question? Tell a story? Don't just pick up your iPhone and start shooting, make a plan so you don't end up feeling rushed or trying to fill extra time.
- Do Test Videos First. Vine's interface, while simple. can take some getting used to. Holding your phone while touching the screen to start and stop filming at exactly the right moment can get a little tricky. Try some test videos - either of your great idea or just some easy stuff - to get started. My first vine was a short video about stuff on my desk - an apple, a glass, and a mug.
- Treat it like a "real" video. The immediacy of Social Media makes it easy to write things off as not "real". Your "real" videos go on Facebook or YouTube, not Vine, and your "real" photos will go on your website, not Instagram. But for businesses, everything is "real" - Whether it's six seconds or six minutes, any content you create is representing yourself and your brand - so treat it that way. If it's not high quality, forget about it.
- Invest In equipment. Compared to shooting a traditional video, Vines can be a little tricky. Since you're shooting a few things multiple times (instead of one six-second video), it's easy to move the camera and end up with a wobbly result. A better approach is using some kind of equipment to make better videos. There are a number of iPhone-friendly options (like these adorable, mini tripods) that will make your Vine videos look even more awesome - plus you can use them to help you take better photos and create nicer videos for YouTube in the future. While an iPhone isn't the ideal solution for creating great multimedia, it is an easy way to get started or to test ideas.
- Consider Audio. Although it seems that Vines default to a muted state, there's tremendous potential for incorporating audio. Even without the video component, imagine the possibilities of a six-second loop of sound: a musician can show off six seconds of new music, a company can succinctly answer a question or customer concern, a simple visual can become an interesting, engaging moment.
- Go With the Flow. The thing that makes vines so difficult - the lack of ability to go back and edit the content - is exactly the thing that can make them excellent. Sometimes, the awkward moments are the best. Imperfections, though frequently fought against, help brands appear authentically themselves - especially on social media. As long as your content is good and the concept makes sense, minor jitters are okay - just remember tip number 3 - this is a real video that is really representing your business.
Vine is the hot new way to share videos online - have you started using it? Are you looking for ways to make your videos better?
Updated from original publication on 3/4/2013.