When “Video on Instagram” came out, I wrote a blog post with my take on the differences between the solid and established Instagram with its newly minted feature and what was once one of the fastest growing social apps, Vine. While their use and dominance continues to swing, they remain two highly engaging and expressive platforms for interacting with the passionate and digitally connected.
I’m definitely one for immersion and exploration when it comes to the latest, greatest expression of tech geekosity (often to my wife’s chagrin). So, after several months of stop-motion Vines with my kids, acquisition of my trusty iPhone-compatible multi-lensed Olloclip, and checking the apps obsessively every two or three hours, I’ve made a few observations I thought I’d share.
In a word, it’s all about “surprise”...you have only six seconds, so make the best of them. The feel of Vine is puckish, curious, and experimental. It’s highly communal, with its ardent fans often expressing a mixture of adoration, appreciativeness, collaboration, positivity, and just a dash possessiveness...in a good way. If you’re in, you’re in. How do you get “in”? You participate. Vine memes run rampant, with fun ideas spreading like wildfire from the highly influential “Vine-stars” to their fans and back again through use of hashtags. Themes have ranged from musical collaboration (#songcollab), to the celebratory/absurd (#LNPP - late night party patrol), to the caring and altruistic (like finding a kidney for someone, or raising funds for a popular Viner with cancer).
Instagram has a very different feel to it than Vine. With a video length of fifteen seconds (over twice Vine’s) and a less responsive means of capture, Instagram is a bit more long-form than Vine. There’s more time to linger and savor...to express. It’s really about sharing moments. These are captured moments in time...more artful, often more personal. It’s less of a dialogue and more of a “performance”. What really seems to work is when you let someone in to your world, and give them a peek behind the curtain.
Incidentally, Vine very recently updated their app with two new features. One, Sessions. You can start a Vine and finish it later. Two, Time Travel. You can remove, reorganize, or replace any shot at any time. With these two features, Vine will be nearing feature parity with Instagram and its editing capabilities and likely remaining the app of choice for extra-creative video creators.
SO, consider that several months of obsessive-compulsive behavior saved (your significant other thank me later). If either of these platforms sound right for your brand/organization (and hey, you can share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, your web site, etc.), here are a handful of tips and ideas to get you going:
Experiment with ways play to bring your brand to life
Vine’s great for stop motion / time lapse (be sure to get a good tripod).
Try different looks, angles, filters, and lenses
Olloclip is a favorite of the smartphone auteur. Want to see a master at work? Check out Adam Goldberg's Vines.
Use sound to create greater impact and connection
Viners have experimented in a number of ways, from simple ambient sound, to video-hacking and adding audio overlay, to stretching audio digitally for stop-motion efforts. Consider grabbing up a product like Zoom’s forthcoming iQ5 iPhone microphone to give your social videos bigger presence.
Play with cross-promotion
Do an extended edition of your Vine on Instagram, promote live chat sessions on Omegle, or promote regular posts to YouTube. Some Viners have embraced Instagram as a means of providing images and video that compliment a story, extend it, show behind-the-scenes shots, or even compile their Vine creations. Some Viners, like comedy king Will Sasso, have pointed out how weird it feels to create an Instagram video when you’re used to the snappiness of Vine.
Want to really up your game and reach? Connect with the pros.
Lowes had a great series of highly engaging Vines with photographer Meagan Cignoli, Peanuts and MTV tapped into stop-motion paper artist Khoa, and Virgin Mobile was one of the earliest brands to tap the first Vine talent agency, Grape Story. This approach also allows for you to tap into their base of followers to get your brand off to the races. The key here is to let your creators do what is authentic to their style, humor, and nature. Forcing them into other shapes feels unnatural and their ardent followers can smell it a mile away.
Give them a peek behind the curtain
Red Bull shares incredible photography from their Red Bull Media House army, and has most recently shared captured moments of their athletes in motion. Lauren German and other cast members have been creating Vines betweens scenes of their show, NBC’s Chicago Fire.
More than anything, be authentic to the platform and community
Play. Experiment. Participate in memes. Post consistently. Tag well, tag often. And most importantly, find your voice and be true to your brand.