In January 2013, Twitter announced the launch of Vine, a social media platform that enables the recording and sharing of looping six-second videos. Since then, its popularity has exploded. As of August 2015, Vine was attracting a reported 100 million monthly users—many of them between 18 and 20 years old. In addition to young people, small businesses are also hopping aboard and many entrepreneurs are finding Vine to be a valuable marketing tool.
Big companies are also using Vine often, in engaging ways. Dunkin Donuts puts out funny videos that play to its brand. Target uses the platform as a fun way to animate toys and give them personalities. Airbnb got creative and asked users to submit their own Vine videos, and the company then spliced them together to create a four-minute television ad.
As a small business owner, you would be smart to incorporate Vine into your marketing strategies. Let’s go over some helpful hints to get you started.
How to Use Vine
You can download the Vine app for free from iTunes or Google Play. You can sign in using your existing Twitter account, or create a new account using your email address. From there, the app will walk you through the simple process of recording your own videos.
After you create a video, you can post it on Vine. The social network is very similar to Instagram, and you can search for people to follow and ask them to follow you back. You can also upload your Vines to plenty of other social media sites for maximum coverage across your platforms.
Best Vine Tips for Small Businesses
There are many ways entrepreneurs can utilize Vine to gain customers and create a following. Here are a few:
- Show your human side. Record a video of yourself talking about your background and why you started your company. Create a series of Vines where your employees talk about what they do. This can help your customers feel closer to your brand.
- Announce events. Vine is a great vehicle for announcing big news. Do you have a huge sale coming up? Are you about to launch a new service? Use Vine to announce it.
- Record testimonials. Ask your best customers to get in front of the camera and talk about why they love your company. You can record a series of testimonials, or splice them all together to create a longer video for marketing purposes.
- Get creative. As long as it’s appropriate, go nuts with your creativity. Make a music video that involves your entire team. Dress up in costumes. Tell jokes. The funnier the Vine, the more sharable it will be, and who knows? Maybe your Vine will go viral!
- Make how-to videos. Every business can offer tips on how to do things. If you own a flower shop, give a tutorial on making the perfect bouquet. Owners of clothing boutiques can offer tips on how to style an outfit. CPA firms can offer quick tax-saving tips. The possibilities are basically endless.
- Hold a contest. You want your customers to interact with your Vine videos, and one great way to do that is through a contest. Offer a gift card to the customer who records the best Vine explaining why they love your company. Create a hashtag and ask them to tag you. Before long, you may have tons of videos that you can later use for marketing purposes.
- Offer a behind-the-scenes look. Customers love to know the inner workings of a company. Record a Vine of the production process of some of your products. If the process is too lengthy, take several Vines and splice them together.
Measuring Your Success on Vine
Your success on Vine—or the return on investment for the time you put into making videos—can be easily tracked. One of the best ways is to use hashtags. The more often your hashtag is mentioned (like the name of your company), the better. If you’re not sure how to track hashtags, try using platforms like tweetreach, Google Analytics, or HubSpot.
Other ways to measure success is to look at the average time a person spends on your Vine page, the number of page views you are attracting, and how many customers are coming to you as a result of seeing a Vine video (you can ask this with a customer survey).
Vine is an excellent tool for entrepreneurs and small businesses—especially creative ones. Start recording and posting those six-second videos and watch how your customer engagement soars.