— Lilach Bullock (@lilachbullock) May 1, 2013
About three months ago, a new app that works with Twitter, named Vine, was launched. This easy to use and already very popular app “lets you capture and share short looping videos.” Vines are basically regular tweets, but in a different format: video; that’s because they are very short, no longer then 6 seconds. Unfortunately at the moment the app is only available on iPhone and iPod Touch, but the developers are working to bring it to other platforms soon so everyone can make full use of this great new app, as Dom Hofmann, one of Vine’s co-founders, recently announced. The new app opens up lots of new possibilities for businesses on Twitter. It’s a new, exciting and entertaining way that businesses can break apart from the usual standard tweets and boost their engagement and traffic to their website. A few vines every now and then will make your business seem more fun and your audience will definitely appreciate that. Let’s take a look at a few ways that you can use Vine to grow your business online:
1. Encourage audience participation
Making vines is fun – it’s as simple as that. And if you have a decent following on Twitter already, I recommend you simply ask them to create their own vines that have something to do with a subject that you propose. You stand a decent chance to get some cool vines out of it and boost your engagement on Twitter in a really exciting way. Asos, for example, had a great idea for engaging their followers: they asked them to take a vine of themselves while unboxing something they got from Asos and they might even get something new out of it.
2. Use hashtags
Just like with regular tweets, you can use hashtags in your vines so they are more easily discovered by others. It’s a very useful tool that can help you grow your Twitter audience. Vine has an “Explore” section that makes it easy to find all the best content being shared, including the most popular posts and hashtags. Recently, they’ve added “trending hashtags” where you can see all the fastest-rising hashtags on Vine. With that information, you can then create your own Vines inspired by and using one of those hashtags, which will give your Vine a much better chance at being discovered by more people, and therefore helping you raise your engagement and follower numbers.
3. Promote your products
Vine is an amazing tool for product promotion. You can make six-second videos of your products, old or new. Make sure you also link to your landing page in the Vine description, so if anyone is interested in your product they can easily find out more about it. Dove, for example, made a very simple Vine that highlights their products, and in the end, also turned out to be funny – great combination if done right!
Contests are a great way of gaining new followers, promoting a new product, boosting engagement and website traffic, as well as boosting your brand awareness. Vine offers us a new medium in which to run a fun, entertaining contest. Ask your followers to get creative and they could win a fabulous prize from you – it’s that simple! Lots of brands are already using Vine to run contests, such as the Cavendish Hotel in London who asked their followers to create romantic Vines and use the hashtag #ValentineVine to potentially win a romantic stay at the hotel for Valentine’s Day.
5. How to’s
People love how to guides – I personally see lots of extra traffic whenever I have a “how to” post on Socialable. That probably happens because people always want to learn something new and this is an easy way to do it – and more importantly, a fast way to do it. So why not make the “ultimate” how-to guide: a 6 second looping video? You can start with a quick guide to how to use one of your products. This way you shoot several birds with one stone: you get to promote your product, to raise awareness and entertain and educate your audience at the same time. Here’s how to make a Cuba Libre in 6 seconds, courtesy of Bacardi UK:
6. Show your personal side
There’s nothing like seeing that there are humans behind a business, and Vine is perfect for showing that side. Why not take your audience behind the scenes, and show them how you work? You can also make an informal tour of the office, or of your store/café/pub etc. Take a look at how Heidi Moore of the Guardian USA shows us a glimpse of @kairyssdal in the studio:
7. Be funny!
The internet is all about being funny – just look at the popularity of the Cheezburger Network, 9Gag, Reddit and many other websites that share videos, memes and gifs. Vines are great for being funny, so whenever a picture isn’t enough to express how funny something is, just vine it and get your followers laughing. Laughs get lots of shares, retweets and mentions! Don’t forget that you don’t have to wait for something funny to happen to you, you can also fabricate it. Check out Fred Armisen taking a guided tour of the Wired offices with a tiny red robot:
8. Promote a future event
Vines are great not just for promoting products, but also future events. Whenever you’ve got a speaking event, conference etc. coming up, make a vine to let your followers know so that they can come and meet you. You can easily do that by making a short presentation, for example. This way you stand a much better chance that people will hear your message.
9. Think out of the box
Don’t focus just on what you’re selling, but other fun things that your audience might enjoy. They will definitely appreciate that you’re not always trying to sell them stuff and your business will be more “human”. Among your promotional vines, it would be a good idea to include a few vines that have nothing to do with what you are selling. It can be something funny, like I’ve mentioned earlier, or you could be celebrating a particular holiday, or maybe a fun fact that you’ve just learned about. Some examples of fun facts would be how in 2008 Norway knighted a penguin, or how there is a mushroom-flavored Fanta somewhere in this world. Just saying! Take a look at how Urban Outfitters made the cutest vine with the cutest dogs:
— Urban Outfitters (@UrbanOutfitters) January 24, 2013
10. Vine your brand
Why not create a vine where you introduce your brand to the social media world? You can show short glimpses of everything that makes your brand what it is: the boss, the key employees, the brand’s logo, a snippet from the office and whatever else you think represents your brand and what it stands for.
Have you started using Vine yet? Have you been using it for your business? And if so, what were the results? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.
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