Six reasons why you should be using Vine

VineVine is the new mobile app that enables users to create short videos and share them on social networking sites. For businesses, the micro video app offers creative challenges as well as promotional opportunities — as Rachel Miller explains

Created by Twitter, the new Vine app allows users to make six-second looping videos that they can share with their social network via Twitter and Facebook.

For small business owners, Vine opens up exciting new ways to engage with online audiences. The shortness of the clips can inspire creativity and — in a busy world where we all have limited attention spans — short clips are more likely to be shared and watched. Moreover, the fact that the video is on a loop means it is likely to be seen more than once before the user clicks the off button.

One word of warning though — don’t rely on sound. It is often disabled on Twitter as a default so your video needs to work without sound, as well as with.

Here are six ways you could use Vine.

1. Show your products in action

When it comes to selling products online, buyers are looking for as much information as possible to help them make a decision. A Vine video could help to show your product in action and be the catalyst that prompts the sale. You can also encourage your satisfied customers to post their own short clips of the products they have bought — for instance, a bike shop could encourage customers to post Vine videos of them enjoying their new bike.

2. Educate your audience

Video can be a great medium to demonstrate something or convey useful information in an accessible way. Indeed, “how to” content is highly popular online. Of course, to demonstrate something in six seconds is no easy feat — so get creative, keep it simple and consider running a series of Vine demos or tips.

3. Entertain your audience

No matter how you use Vine, you should try and entertain your audience — otherwise you risk losing followers. On the flip side, like any shared content, there is always the potential for the right clip to go viral. Vine is an opportunity to be a bit quirky — as long as your brand values are not compromised. You could try and tell the story of your business in a creative way — perhaps using stop-frame animation.

4. Show people who and where you are

Social media has allowed businesses and their customers to build closer relationships based on regular dialogue. With Vine you can go one step further and show your customers moving images of who you are and where you are based. This could include footage of your team in the office, videos of your shop or even a clip of your stand at an exhibition. All these will help put faces to names and inspire customers to get in touch.

5. Engage with your audience

Engagement is the key with all social media. Vine allows you to reach out to customers and involve them — whether you encourage them to enter a competition or ask them to create their own Vine clips and use your hashtag.

6. Promote yourself

Treat your new products like films and promote them with a trailer on Vine. It’s a great way to build excitement around a new launch. Make sure you include a link to the relevant landing page on your website so that you can capitalise on the interest in your new product. In fact you can use Vine to flag up anything you’ve got planned — from a sale to an event. You can also use Vine to show off the work you have done for existing clients — a visual presentation could be even more powerful than a written case study.

How to use Vine in five easy steps

  1. Download the Vine app for your Android phone, iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
  2. Set up a Vine account on your Twitter profile.
  3. Change your Facebook account to allow you to share videos.
  4. Use the video camera icon to record videos.
  5. Once you have recorded your video, click Continue to share it on Vine, Twitter and Facebook.

Popular content on video and social media:

Find more articles, videos and tools on social networking in the Resources box.