The enormous popularity of social media is paving the way for new and exciting channels to emerge. I’m typically cautious to embrace the ‘new stuff’ until I know that a) the bugs are worked out and b) that it’s more than just a passing fad. Of course, I also want to make sure these new tools are relevant for my business clients. (And despite the recent articles on the business benefits of Snapchat, the jury is still out on that one)!
The video snippet app named Vine just celebrated its first birthday, and I recently began taking a closer look at how to use it. I can say that I’m pleasantly surprised with its user-friendliness, how it caters to our short attention spans and the potential to help businesses engage an audience. Vine currently has 40 million users and I’m actually one of the newer ones. And, now that I’ve learned the ropes, I’ve been having a blast! If you haven’t embraced Vine yet, here’s a quick guide to diving in!
What is Vine?
Vine is a free mobile phone app that creates six-second looping videos with literally the touch of a button. These videos can be easily shared on other social media channels and within your own community of users.
How Do I Use It?
The app is accessible from an iPhone, Android, or Windows phone. I downloaded mine from the iPhone App Store in less than a minute. You have the option of signing in with Twitter or creating an account with your email address. Once you’re registered, you can find friends from other channels or search for shared interests (i.e. cats, health and music).
When you’re ready to create a video, simply open the application, tap the video button in the upper right, frame your shot and hold your finger on the screen. As you hold, you’ll see a green bar across the top, which lets you know how much of your six second allotment you’ve filled. Once you release, it will pause. Then you can frame another shot and hold/release the screen until you’ve completed the shots you want or you’ve filled the time. Once you’re finished, simply select the arrow button and you’ll see the loop of the video you just created. Here’s a step-by-step visual:
My Video is Ready. Now What?
Once you’re video is complete, you have the option to share it on Vine with a caption. From there, you can also share it to Facebook, Twitter or send a link as URL or embedded code that can be used on other sites. Here’s a sample of a video, which I’ve shared by copying the link and sending it to myself. You’ll see that I shot the video holding my phone lengthwise. Because of this, the viewer sees it ‘sideways.’ I have not been able to rotate the video within Vine, so I send the video to myself and open it with a desktop program (such as Windows Movie Maker), then adjust and save. From there, it can be shared directly to any place on the web that will accept video. I’ve loaded this video to my YouTube channel to help increase my search engine rankings and to allow me to share the YouTube link anywhere I want.
There’s no need to overthink it, though. And, that’s the beauty of this app. I’ve been having fun taking shots of all kinds of things – my cats, friends at dinner and even playing around with some ideas for business.
What Ways Can I Use Vine?
I’ve found it to be a lot of fun trying to think of creative ways to use Vine. I’ve created a few silly, but brand-relevant five second videos. I asked Lauren, our creative director, to brainstorm a few ideas for the #Strella team and was very excited with her ideas. In fact, most of her ideas are applicable to just about any business. Here are three of my favorites:
Quick polls. Want to spike engagement? Try a quick poll for your audience. Of course, this work best with product-based brands but as you can see from my example below, you can get creative with a poll for service-based businesses, as well. (Note: The post below was created by sharing the post from Vine via the 'Embed' option. From there, I chose the 'Postcard' view, which allowed for a display of my Vine channel information).
Client testimonials. Could your customers endorse you in six seconds? I bet they could if you extracted the best line in the testimonial. I just watched one of our clients’ video testimonials, which was 30 seconds long. The part where she explains exactly how we’ve helped her business was only 5 seconds. Hmmm…
Brand personality. I can sound like a broken record when it comes to reminding our clients about the importance of showcasing their human side. Get behind the scenes, show some personality and integrate social media into your daily work routine. You could grab a quick shot of your team at the weekly staff meeting, your booth at a show or a ‘day in the life’ of your work space! The ideas are truly limitless, but these were my favorites. This blog offers 16 different ways to showcase your business using Vine as well as some incredible real-life examples.
And... just for fun! For those of you who know I love my cats...
Are you using Vine for your business? Share how it’s working for you!