7 Tips For Mastering the Vine App

The hottest app in social media, arguably, is the Vine.  Brands, celebrities and individuals are all experimenting with this new image-based messaging tool. Just last week, director James Mangold released a six second teaser for The Wolverine movie via Vine—an audacious move that testifies to the power of the app’s communication possibilities. Not everyone is churning out award winning Vine content. We are all learning as we launch Caliber’s Vine account and we’ve pulled together some of our favorite tips to share with you.

You’ve downloaded the app, now how do you create an effective message in just six seconds?

Tell a story

Vine is perfect for visual storytelling. Stitch together a series of snap shots to show the completion of a painting or use three scenes with dialogue to tell a story. While it may sound a little redundant or commonsensical,  the most important thing to keep in mind when creating a storytelling Vine is to make sure your Vine has a clear beginning, middle and end.  It is going to play on a six-second loop and you want to be sure that it is clear where the loop starts, ends as well as what happens in between those two points (and for the ambitious user, answer the why? too).

Use Wide, Medium and Short Shot Perspectives

When shooting a vine, pay attention to what you include in your frame. The wider the shot and the more you include in it, the more context you provide to the viewer, giving them a better sense of place. A good variety of shots will also help you communicate context to the viewer. For example, if you want to shoot a Vine of an event, be sure to think about how you can capture and highlight the most interesting and exciting moments. Start with a wide shot, displaying the venue and the general atmosphere of the event. Then, move in for some tighter shots to highlight specific, exciting features of the event. This could be a tight shot of the food, an event sponsor’s logo or smiling faces.

Incorporate a Variety of Angles

While Instagram’s wide-array of filters helps make your image a bit more artistic by throwing a filter on your photo, Vine requires a little more thought to achieve a creative final product. However, don’t be discouraged because it is still relatively easy to be artistic when shooting a Vine. Be cognizant of your angles—do not be afraid to hold your phone over your head to get an interesting shot. Likewise, you may be surprised as to what you’ll be able to see by shooting your Vine from a lower angle. Utilize natural framing, rule of thirds and depth of field to make your Vine stand out.

Use Detailed and Compelling Words to Describe Your Vine

Your description gives you the opportunity to re-enforce the messaging of your Vine. Use hashtags to engage with trends on Vine/Twitter. Use humor or wit to provide viewers with context as to what is happening.

Use the Full Video Option

Some things are best ‘Vined’ in only one, two or maybe even three shots. By swiping your finger to the left on the bottom grey area when you are making a Vine, you will signal the camera to record continuously until the six seconds is up.  Shooting a video Vine also allows you to use sound. While you can create tailored audio messaging by using keywords in multiple Vine scenes, recording six seconds of dialogue or narration to go along with Vine is the easiest way to maximize all of Vine’s features.

Create a Snapshot Sequence

You can create an interesting Vine by stitching together a series of snapshots. This is a useful technique when trying to depict progress, change or time-lapse. For instance, show the creation of a logo—from the initial outlines of the image to the final color additions.   When applying this technique there are two crucial variables to keep in mind. The first is keeping your camera steady. If you are stitching together a series of snapshots to create a Vine, you do not want to your camera to shake. The goal is to show movements within the frame, not to have the frame itself wobble. In addition, you should be aware of sound. Try to keep the sound as non-disruptive as possible when filming.

Show movement

An effective Vine will show something happening—this usually requires movement of some sort. This app is not for taking a six-second video of your gorgeous poached egg, turkey sausage polenta breakfast; leave that one for Instagram. Be sure that not only some sort of action takes place in your Vine, but that it is also clear what’s actually happening. On this note, try to incorporate a human element in your Vine whenever possible. Vine is a new platform for visual communication and is not to be used for all the same things Instagram or Viddy are used for. Adding a human element to your Vine is rooted deep in the fundamentals of storytelling and is one of the strongest ways to connect with your audience.

Creating an effective Vine requires a blend of new and old visual messaging techniques. For anyone who has edited together a short slideshow or video, the principals of creating an effective Vine may be intuitive. However, for those who are timid to start using the app for business or personal use, keep these tips handy to help create the most effective messaging using Vine. Do you have ideas that we haven’t included? Please share them with us! We are developing our Vine skills as well.

*We also suggest taking a look at Hubspot’s “Do’s and Don’ts” of using the app for marketing.

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