Should your Brand be using Vine?

It’s been five months since a little thing called Vine debuted in the app store. And it still appears it’s spreading like weeds – when used correctly.

In Vine’s first month, the percentage of highly active users using Vine was much higher than the percentage that used competitor tools like Viddy and Socialcam, according to a study by RJMetrics. Despite the initial craze for Vine, it still remained popular, with repeat usage also more likely than the other apps.

Within three months, and despite a bit of a pornography snafu, Vine had grown to be the top free app on iTunes.

Individuals are still using Vine regularly – five Vine tweets are sent every second. But brands are also seeing Vine as an opportunity, with branded content accounting for 4% of the Top 100 tracked Vines. Comparatively, only 1% of content is branded in the Unruly Viral Video Chart Top 100 Most Shared Videos.

However, of the top 20 retweeted Vine videos of all time, only one is from a “brand” – which is the Movie Teaser from The Wolverine. The most retweeted Vine video so far? Harry Styles’ “Emo’s getting ready” – with nearly 48,000 retweets. Well done, One Directioners.

Three Shortcomings of Vine

No approval process for brands

Unfortunately, if your brand does have a stringent approval process, Vine simply isn’t an option. Vine videos can’t be saved as drafts, and must be published instantly. This means you can’t send the video to your brand manager for approval before it goes live. Got a bit of background noise that you didn’t want? Too bad, so sad – you’ll need to re-do the whole thing.

Difficult navigation

Stop-motion videos appear to be the most popular for brands – see Trident, Lowes and Walgreens. Vine could also benefit from a timer toolbar of sorts, which would allow you to see exactly how long you’ve held your finger down to create more precise stop-motion videos. URLs also don’t explicitly feature usernames as Twitter does. You can’t click on the brand’s icon on the Vine video and see more of their videos via web. If on a computer, you have to search through their tweets to find the link.

Apple only

Vine still isn’t available on Android. (Let’s hope your CM loves Apple.) Vine did recently add front-facing camera support (for optimal selfie-video use), but we doubt this is useful for brands.

Should your brand use Vine?

Can you make it useful?

Lowe’s has done an amazing job on Vine, creating short tutorial videos that show “life hacks” using their products, along with a hashtag, #lowesfixinsix. If you have a product whose practicality can be shown in six seconds, do it.

Got something to unveil?

Taco Bell capitalized on the release of their Cool Ranch Doritos Loco Taco with a Vine video, and were rewarded with more than 2,500 retweets. This technique is smart, in that it drives hype and awareness of a product without an expensive marketing campaign. If your brand is unveiling a new product, a short Vine video is a better way for fans to see the product, without taking up too much of their time. It also comes off more “exclusive” to social, which should drive more organic growth.

Got a celebrity?

Most of the top retweeted Vine videos were posted by a celebrity. If you have a brand celebrity in your video, history tells us you’re much more likely to get retweets and interactions. See The White House’s video with LeVar Burton & Bill Nye – 235 retweets for a video that simply has them saying their catch phrases at the White House Science Fair.

Is it better than a photo?

If your video is about as dynamic as an Instagram photo, don’t put it on Vine. Six seconds of staring at your lunch isn’t worth six seconds of a potential consumer’s time.

Click here for more information on how to set your brand up on Vine, and how best to use it for social media marketing.

Ignite Social Media