When Vine was first released, one of my friends asked me what it was. When I answered, she laughed. “Dang, I was hoping it was a social network for drinking wine,” she replied.
Social network? Yes. Wine? No — unless you count sipping a glass of red or white while you browse through your feed.
What is Vine? In short, it’s an app that lets you upload short videos — a maximum of six seconds long — that are then continually looped. Vine is owned by and optimized for Twitter, but Vine video files can be embedded or linked and shared on websites and blogging platforms like Tumblr and WordPress.
You may be wondering about that six-second limit. Well, Vine believes that’s part of its charm and usability. From their first blog post:
“Posts on Vine are about abbreviation — the shortened form of something larger. They’re little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life. They’re quirky, and we think that’s part of what makes them so special.”
Released in January, Vine has only about six months of use under its belt — but it’s already made waves. Big brands like General Electric, Urban Outfitters, Home Depot, addidas, Doritos, Pepsi, GAP, and more have already created Vine videos with success.
Well, that’s great for them, but how can Vine help my business?
While it’s true that big brands already have awareness and audience, Vine can help you grow your own. How?
You don’t need a big budget or fancy equipment to create a Vine video. All you need is a cell phone that records video and internet access — and if you own a business, chances are pretty high you already have those things.
Vine presents new creative opportunities unlike other social networks. Instead of announcing a new product with a static picture, you can use Vine to demonstrate how that product works. Think of it like a miniature commercial. Plus, this is your chance to experiment with animation, with stop-motion, or with different viewpoints (i.e., a typical day at the office from your coffee mug’s point of view).
Most social media is all about words, words, words. If you’re starting to find it tiresome trying to tell people what your business, services, and products are all about, why not try showing them? Vine helps put a face and voice on your brand that you can’t get with other social media marketing.
Have your customers tweeted you with questions? Try responding via Vine. Conversely, you can ask them a question and encourage them to send you video answers. Contests also foster engagement — customers and followers can send in videos based on a concept related to your company’s brand.
So what are you waiting for? When it can help your social strategy, it’s worth a shot.
Have you used Vine? What are your thoughts?