This is a quick guide to making a social video in Adobe Premiere.

You can’t scroll through Facebook without seeing a social video. They are everywhere. As a matter of fact, when I was making this guide I hopped on Facebook to find a social video and the video to the left was literally the first post I saw.

But let’s back up…what is a social video?

When I say social video, I mean a simple, short video video that is composed of: (1) b-roll or photos, (2) on screen text, and sometimes (3) music.

I am not talking about other types of videos that popular on social media, like explainers or microdocs.

Social videos can be used for a number of different purposes, including promotion of upcoming stories, generating conversation, sharing news as things are developing and — occasionally — full-fledged storytelling.

Today’s example will be promoting an upcoming story. The story is a microdoc we recently produced for Land Grant Films about the Hiking Hounds program at the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley. Here is the final video:

We want to make a social video to promote the upcoming story on Twitter. So how do we do that?

Like any video project, you need to know your story before you can produce your story. With a social video — especially if you are working in a tv news environment — you’re going to look through video that has already been shot to figure our your story.

From the video, you are going to want to pull some basic facts and information, introducing the idea or focus of the story. While doing that you want to avoid: (1) stealing the story and (2) being to advertisey.

Remember your script is going to be read by the user not spoken by a narrator. Therefore, they must be simple, active sentences. They shouldn’t have a lot of adjectives or adverbs, dependent clauses or conjunctions.

For our example, I have cut down the 20 minute interview used in the video into a 6-minute clip that provides the relevant information. Watch it and try to pull out the information you want to use to write your script.

You might need to get some additional information for the Humane Society’s website.

After reviewing everything, you should be able to write a script composed of 5 to 8 bits of information about this program.

Here are some tips to writing the bits of information:

  1. Write in present tense.
  2. Use conversational language, but do not use slang.
  3. Use short, simple sentences.
  4. Each slide should only have one bit of information.
  5. Bits of information should be simple facts or data points.

Once you have your script together, you can start looking through the video and photos you have available for the story. Make sure your b-roll lines up with the script and amplifies what is being read. Again, you want to avoid stealing the story. You want to use good images, but avoid using images that are pivotal to the reporter’s story.

I have cut together about 8 minutes of b-roll from the Hiking Hounds shoot that you can use. You can get to it by going to the video on Vimeo and clicking the download link under the video.

The final step is bring everything together in Adobe Premiere. If you have no clue how to use Premiere, read this guide to basic editing in Premiere.

Start by throwing your first video clip on to the timeline. Remember, you want your first clip to by dynamic and visual striking, so you can grab the user’s attention.

Next, create a new title through the title tool in Premiere (File > New > Legacy Title). Use the text tool (red circle #1 below) to type up your first bit of information.

Pick a simple, readable font and use it consistently through out the piece. I personally have been using Myriad Pro a lot, but Helvetica is also a pretty good one.

Once you throw your title onto your video, you can decide if you want to add a background box or use a different color. You can add a box by using the shape tool (red circle #2 above). What ever you do you want to be consistent through out. For this video, I thought white text over a black box at 75% opacity was a good fit.

Now just repeat the process. Across clips, move the text around so it is not always in the same place, but keep the presentation the same. Also, use only one title (i.e., one bit of info) per clip of b-roll.

If you want to add music you can look through YouTube’s free music or use a site like Incompetech.

Associate Professor of Journalism and Director of Land Grant Films (@LandGrantFilms) at the University of Tennessee.