What started as a test to see if a 30-second video could get a few thousand loops on Vine turned into a viral video with millions of views, comments, shares, retweets, memes and GIFs.
I was working on a story about local people from the Hampton Roads area who became social media stars through Vine, YouTube and Twitter.
The idea came up (and I seriously can’t remember who first said this in the newsroom) that I should do my own video to tease the upcoming story. I went straight to two coworkers who are extremely creative and who enjoy making their own funny videos for Vine. Andrew Bond and Marquis Cotton listened to my initial video idea and very quickly told me it wouldn’t work. Long story short, my idea would not make sense in a six-second clip, which is all the time you get on Vine. So, how could I creatively tease an upcoming story about social media stars in six seconds? Marquis and Andrew told me they would come up with some ideas and get back to me.
The next day, they had the idea. They worked on it together and told me what song we were using and the concept. I laughed but I was up for the challenge. My job that night was to learn one Beyoncé dance move. Seemed pretty simple.
The idea: take something that’s hot right now and work that into the video. What is everyone talking about now? Beyoncé’s halftime performance at the Super Bowl. Love it or hate it, you’re talking about it, right? Most people saw it or heard about it.
I showed up the next day at work, ready to shoot our video. Marquis and Andrew walked me through each scene. We got everything done in less than an hour. And the rest is history.
So how did the video go viral? We posted the Vine version of the video on a Saturday morning, sometime before 1 a.m. I didn’t even have a Vine account until that moment. I texted one of the Vine stars who I interviewed for my upcoming story, Melvin Gregg. I told him to check out the video. He did. His review: “It’s actually really good. I didn’t know what to expect. LOL. I revined it for you.”
The video literally took off. Thousands of loops, revines, comments. Melvin has millions of Vine followers and billions of video loops, so when he revined my video, he was giving his stamp of approval. Thanks, Melvin!
I added the 30-second Twitter version the next day, followed by the 15-second Instagram version. By Monday, the video was showing up everywhere.
The first week isn’t even complete and it’s had millions of views, at least 3 million. Keep in mind we can’t keep track of every hit the video gets. We are just tracking that from my Facebook page and some of the major Facebook and Instagram pages that have posted the video.
I have to give a huge THANK YOU to Andrew and Marquis. It was their idea. I would occasionally throw in a suggestion but most of it was already planned out. Yes, the tissue on the heel was supposed to be there! And the guy at the elevator is Andrew. No, the meteorologist, Dominic Brown, was not live on TV at the time. He was a big help as well and I thank him for playing along.
There are too many comments to read, but the overall response has been overwhelmingly positive. Some people say they were offended I used a song that sparked so much controversy. My job was not to make some sort of political statement or weigh in on what I thought about Beyoncé’s performance or song. I just showed up and did a dance with some Flamin’ Hot Funyuns and a Slim Jim. The goal of the video was just to grab your attention, make you laugh and get you talking about the story I did on social media stars. And it worked.
It’s very surreal to see your face flooding your own Facebook timeline because your friends are sharing your original post or an article they discovered about you on someone else’s site. “You’re trending” and “You’ve gone viral” were showing up all over my timeline. It’s been a lot of fun. And I hope you’ve had fun watching the video.