Is Vine the next big social media marketing channel?

5 minute read

I’ve been a fan of the new social network Vine for a while now. It often captivates me more than other social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It’s a fairly new idea, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s not popular. At the time of writing this blog post Vine has surpassed the 40,000,000 user mark, making it a platform that shouldn’t be ignored. If you’re new to the concept of Vine it’s basically a platform for recording videos, much like YouTube. What sets Vine apart from YouTube is that users are limited to six seconds of video time and the videos have to be recorded through the smartphone app. This means no editing or special effects.

The concept of Vine was born in June 2012 and then was quickly snapped up by Twitter in October 2012. January 2013 saw the launch of the Twitter-built smartphone app and a loyal set of users followed close behind. By April 2013 the iPhone version was listed as the number one most downloaded free app in the iOS App Store.

With the growth of a new social network such as this it’s important for a business to ask themselves what they should do about it. After all, where there are people there is a marketing opportunity. The question is, as a business, how do you approach a new and unique social network such as Vine? Below are some interesting examples of companies that are already using Vine for marketing purposes.

  • General Electric VineGeneral Electric isn’t a company I was expecting to find marketing themselves on Vine but they seem to have really cracked it. They’ve created a series of videos called “6 Second Science” which perfectly demonstrate how Vine can be used creatively by businesses. Encouraging other Vine users to record their own “6 Second Science” videos and contribute to the Vine Science Fair has helped engagement.
  • French Connection have come up with a creative way to promote clothing ranges and product sales. They manage to make fairly mundane things, such as packing your holiday suitcase, exciting and engaging for their followers. View this Vine.
  • Best Buy VineBest Buy aren’t exactly early adopters of Vine (they posted their first video on Tuesday 6th August), but it seems they’ve carefully thought about the marketing strategy they’re going to employ on Vine. From what I’ve seen so far they’ve hit the nail on the head when it comes to the type of videos people want to see. Starting off with a ‘College Life’ campaign they’ve hit Vine’s largest demographic, the teenager and young adult market, perfectly.
  • NatWest are fairly unknown on Vine, boasting just 95 followers (at the time of writing this post), but the videos they’re producing are brilliant. Their first few videos were answers to simple customer support questions, like a visual FAQ, and their more recent videos are very much aimed at the student market. This is an account which I have no doubt will increase in popularity quickly. View this Vine.

It’s not all sales, sales, sales

Vine isn’t just about companies and service providers trying to sell their products. It’s jam-packed with creative people coming up with some ridiculous videos, a lot of which leave you wondering how they were creating. This is specially the case when you consider the limited recording options at their disposal. Check out these great examples.

  • JehReh VineJehReh brings some serious creativity to Vine. Specialising in camera trickery, the idea behind most videos is objects appearing and disappearing, seemly without a cut in the recording. Very clever.
  • Bo Burnham is very much an observational comic. He picks everyday objects or events and generally makes them funny. He’s quickly gained recognition on Vine and now has over a million followers. View this Vine.

What next?

When new social networks start increasing in popularity it’s important you take an interest in them. It’s key that you start looking into ways you can use the platform to increase exposure of products or services; however, it’s also important not to pursue with a network if the marketing channel isn’t right for your business. If you haven’t already, I suggest downloading the Vine app for your iPhone or Android phone and start exploring what the platform has to offer. Don’t underestimate the power of a six second video!