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The 2 Ways Most People Are Misusing Vine

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In this edition of The Baer Facts, I talk with Kyle Lacy of ExactTarget about Vine, Twitter’s new super-short video/animated gif app.

Here’s the thing. Vine is strangely addicting to watch, and the ease with which you can create these short clips is astounding. But Vine is not revolutionizing content marketing. That’s just foolishness.

You’ve been able to make a 6 second video since the invention of video (tweet this).

In addition to the concept not really being new, the other issues I have with Vine are the 2 ways most people are misusing it, so that it adds nothing to the equation.

1. Not Having a Narrative In Your Vine

The best Vines tell a story (albeit a brief one). There is a narrative structure; a beginning, a middle and an end.

2. Not Using Multiple Scenes

If you just point your phone at a tree, or a car, or a building and make a Vine, you don’t have a story, you have an Instagram photo that takes six seconds to look at, which is ridiculous.

Here’s my Vine about eating chipotle seaweed snacks for the first time.


If you’re going to use Vine, think it through. Watch this short video for more:

Also, another perspective on Vine from Ann Handley on MarketingProfs. Great post.

Facebook Comments


  1. says

    Also, has anyone figured out yet that there is a whole layer of creativity available in the audio you capture? Sometimes you get unintentionally captured background sounds adding up to something interesting, but only seems available to hear when embedded into another web page. Has anyone else thought about how to use the audio features of Vine?

  2. says

    Vine will be the biggest waste of business/marketing time this year. If you have any time/money budget for Vine you should spend it all on Facebook or Twitter.

  3. says

    Guilty as charged; still early, though. I agree with Bill Hewson who comments here about a “whole layer of creativity” in the audio… I’d submit that there are layers of creativity yet to uncover. Of course, that’s true of most of social media, where we seem to get distracted by the toys and tools and spend less time (and money) on the ideas.

  4. says

    Don’t think your seaweed vine is really that profound, but agree with your assessment on ushering in new era of content marketing… This is NOT new and is not a new era. Isn’t social media an utter waste of time for many and most people? Business are still in the adoption phase of this tool, and not every Vine post is going to accomplish a marketing tactic based on broader strategy. Don’t agree with VitaminCM though, as businesses can get creative with how they spend their time and money internally to address multiple social media platforms (Instagram, Pinterest, etc.)

  5. says

    Great post, Jay – I totally agree with your point about storytelling – you must have a beginning, middle and end or don’t bother. I also think it’s way overhyped.

    But I will say this – Vine might be a good way to get clients more comfortable with Video in general as a form of content marketing. I run into lots of folks who are afraid of being on camera or the commitment of making videos, even if their community responds to them. Committing to try to do several 6 second content rich Vines is a good step towards getting better at storytelling and maybe a deeper dive into making video content that has value and that’s possibly longer form.

    • says

      I would second this. A lot of people think if you’re going to do video, you need invest in top-notch production or it’s not worth the time. While production is an important key, I think too many people too easily turn away from video simply because they think the time or financial investment is too much. Vine could push people over that cliff more often since it’s readily available and doesn’t take huge commitment as you mention.

  6. says

    Jay: Love the advice you give about tool vs. strategy, but don’t you think it may be too early to talk about the “right” way to use Vine? I mean, it’s only a few weeks old. Folks are still trying to figure out what it does. Also, if it works for YOUR audience, is there really a right and a wrong way?

    GO BLUE.

    • says

      Regardless of platform, effective content tells a story, is relevant, and is respectful of the viewer’s time. The misuses of Vine I mention above are none of these three. Thus, I do not believe it’s too early to provide counsel, and after all, that’s what I do for a living. Certainly, you (or anyone else) are free to create Vines without a narrative, or to create Vines that have only one scene.

      But if you’re going to consistently express the opinion, DJ (as you often do) that there are no best practices, and that the “right” way is 100% circumstantial, you should probably get yourself out of the consulting, blogging, speaking, and writing businesses, because evidently there’s no point to the provision of advice.

      • says

        Ha. Well. I agree with your take on effective content. Good point.

        I guess I was just trying to make the point that we – myself included – sometimes jump on a new platform and advice people on the “right” way to use it. Is there a “right” way to use Twitter? A “right” way to use Facebook? I’d argue no. There are ways that tend to work better than most, but I’m not sure there is a best way.

        Honestly, I think we are just disagreeing over semantics.

        I’ll leave you with this: Let’s just say, for example, that Trey Burke used Vine to shoot a 6-second video of Glenn Robinson III dunking. It was literally just a 6-second video. No different scenes. Would I watch it? Heck yeah. I’d watch it 100 times.

        To your last point, my advice to clients tends to be based on what I see working best for most audiences, yet we test all assumptions and hone in on what works best for them.

        • says

          The big fallacy in that comment is assuming that GRIII can get a shot off, much less a dunk, but that’s only in Assembly Hall baby! I will say that I REALLY wish I had a Vine of the Oladipo missed dunk of the century. I’d watch that.

          • says

            Yeah. He really didn’t have a good game. 2 points. Gah. That was a big difference in that game! Yeah, that dunk would have been sick. Then again, to be a “true” Vine, you would have had to get a 2 sec video of him before the dunk, 2 seconds of the dunk, then 2 seconds of the crowd.

            And … that’s a wrap!

          • says

            Or you could make a Vine that showed Michigan as #1, then the scoreboard, then Michigan as #3. That would be a great Vine. Speaking of which, one of the things that bugs me is that you can’t save them in-progress. Thus, if you actually wanted to make one like I suggested above, you couldn’t, unless you wanted to not touch Vine for a few days. I hope they fix that, because longer duration stories could be really interesting. Movember, for example.

          • says

            Zing! We’ll .. once IU loses to Ohio this week (tough team), and UM beats UW on the road, then UM will be #1 again!

            Agreed about not being able to save. They’ll fix that at some point. I was trying to Vine water freezing to ice. Pause would have come in handy…

          • boogaooga says

            Yup, I’ll second that. Plus even if it is not over a long duration of real time it becomes easier to lose them if you just keep the in progress video open. For example I just tried to tell a story about landing and coming back from the airport but somehow it disappeared–probably I deleted it but it I could save in progress I could recover.

  7. Graciousstore says

    If vine is used properly it can be a very powerful way to send a very short and powerful message to one’s followers

  8. Soo says

    I agree with your assessment of Vine. I’d rather shoot even a one minute video to flesh out the storyline. The American Airlines contest for the best Vine tweeted about their new 777 flights to London was tempting, but I didn’t. (Winner gets a free round trip flight to London. It ends tomorrow.) One guy showed his outstanding Vine entry and then proceeded to give viewers a glimpse behind one of his Vine shoots. There seemed to be a full production crew. Think I saw a sound mixer, boom operator, script person and one or two others. Seriously.

    Jay, I have a gentle suggestion on a seaweed re-shoot.

    Sec. 1 : Full face of you with a questioning look
    (maybe lower one eyebrow and lift the other)
    Sec. 2 : Reach for the bag and tear it open (have it pre-cut at the top for easy access)
    Sec. 3 : Give it a challenging look
    Sec. 4 : Shove it in your mouth
    Sec. 5 : Make that sissy face you did, only more exaggerated
    Sec. 6 : Wipe the palm of your hand down your tongue with a cry-baby face!

    I KNOW you can do it. If you do, I’ll tweet it!

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