Just about the time a client becomes proficient using Facebook and LinkedIn, another new social media platform comes along to complicate things. Pheed, Snapchat, the new and improved MySpace, Thumb…not every platform is right for every business, and a few are a guaranteed waste of time for some.
Vine is an application from the makers of Twitter that allows you to create 6-second looping video using your iPhone or iPad, and share using Twitter and/or Facebook. You don’t need any editing skill to put something together – just your iPhone or iPad and your thumb (your digit acts as the camera’s start/stop tool). Posting to social media is easy, too, and explained below. We think this latest entry into the social media universe is both viable and valuable to business, if used properly.
Here are 8 ways to use Vine to promote your business.
Show happy customers.
Most customers, even those wildly thrilled about what you do, aren’t comfortable sitting for a lengthy video shoot. But they will give you 6 seconds of their time to show peers how much they like your product. Have him or her hold cards up to the camera featuring words that best describe your product. (Vine will pick up audio, too, but if you’re not shooting 6 consecutive seconds, you’ll have a jumbled mess). A customer beaming behind signs that say “Saves $” “Decreases downtime” and “Simpler to use” are clear messages to prospects that your product is worth a look.
Showcase your work.
Present your work in a more energetic way (with movement), on a model, being devoured or performing under harsh conditions. Color Is Brave, a bi-coastal design and writing team, uses Vine to show their big, bold, colorful work in close-up.
If you’re about to introduce a new product, a redesign or an added feature, start generating buzz by giving viewers a sneak peek. Vine also works especially well for long-awaited product updates, new model year designs, new branding, and upcoming line extensions. Link viewers to your website where they can get more detail.
Use Vine to quickly show 2 or 3 options of something and ask viewers to pick their favorite of those proposed – things like logo designs, product configuration options, fabrics or colors for your product, packaging options and more. Giving people a choice gives you valuable focus-group-type input and engages viewers in your product and brand. Vine's short format makes good sense for this purpose because what you get with this type of selection is people's gut and instant reaction.
Give a tour.
What do your four walls say about your brand? If it enhances your image in any way, give viewers a glimpse of your space. You could be trying to communicate your cool factor, update customers on your renovation project or put faces to names that customers are familiar with but haven't met. Vine is also also a great recruiting tool: show candidates the empty office that could be theirs (unless it looks out on garbage in the alley) and record snippets from social gatherings to give them an idea of your culture.
Demonstrate your competitive advantage.
You keep telling customers that your widget requires fewer steps to put together, or that unlike a competitor’s product it won’t crush under the weight of a Mack truck. Capture a comparison using stop-motion. You could also use Vine to show customers how to do something that seems to be problematic, like the better way to change a machine belt or the work-around for a stuck lever.
Send a Vine message to people you want visiting your store, entering your contest, or attending a webinar….any event you want to build interest around. For a trade show, get people to visit by doing a sort of Vine-based "Where's Waldo?" Ask each to watch the video and, if he or she can spot your logo (or whatever), they can enter to win something (iPhone? iPad?) at your booth.
Show Before & After
Home improvement companies, landscapers, painters, upholsterers…anyone in the business of enhancing appearance can use Vine to show how they changed the proverbial sow’s ear into a silk purse.
How To Get Vine & Use It
Getting and using the Vine app is simple (and free). Here’s how:
Create a Vine account using your Twitter profile or email address
Find people to follow by going to your profile and clicking the People icon at the top right of your screen. Or, go to your settings and use the Find People option under Friends
Connect your Facebook account to share videos on Facebook, too (personal profiles only)
Click the video camera icon on your screen to start recording. Tap and hold your finger on the screen to record; release to stop recording
When you’re finished, click Continue to share your video on Vine, Twitter and Facebook
Before you dig in and play around with Vine, understand how it fits into your content strategy. Look at your topics and determine which are best suited to this format. Need some inspiration? Check out Brands On Vine, a site that showcases some cute, smart and/or funny ways retail, sports, charity and fashion brands are using it to talk to customers.
Check out our blog posts under the "video" category if you want more tips on using Vine or traditional video for your business. If you need to step back and understand more the value of having and posting to a Twitter account, Download our "How to Use Social Media to Attract More Visitors to Your Website" eBook now!
Posted by Meg Hoppe Meg provides creative vision to all client projects and serves as the agency's chief content writer. She has extensive experience writing for a variety of industries, including manufacturing, financial services, and healthcare. Meg started in advertising and has become a thought leader in digital content creation and inbound marketing.