The Benefits of Vine as a Marketing Tool for Your Business

Update: In case you haven’t heard, Vine shut down in early 2017. If you’re interested in using video for your organization, we can still utilize 6 second videos on YouTube and other social networks. But if you’re interested in being an archeologist and reading about how we used to view Vine, read on!

If you haven’t heard about the newest social media sensation, you better look it up. It’s called Vine, and it’s quickly sweeping the Smart Phone world, originating on iOS and, as of Sunday, June 3, available on any Android Smartphone. So get used to it, because it’s not going anywhere soon.

Vine is a mobile app that enables users to create and edit video clips. These clips have a maximum length of six seconds, which can then be shared on social media platforms such as Twitter, which acquired the app in 2012. On Jan. 24, 2013, it debuted on iOS as a free app for the iPhone and iPod touch. Within two months, it was the most widely used video-sharing app on the market, and by April, it was the most downloaded app in the Apple Store.

Though Vine has become the biggest fad of the day, like so many social media apps, it must prove its worth to remain relevant, lest it fall into obscurity (remember Farmville?). Unlike these failed tools, though, one doesn’t need to search too far to see the immediate potential of the video-sharing app. It’s fun, creative and, most of all, can be used to share important news.

Vine has just begun to blossom from its infancy stage. Remember when Facebook and Twitter launched to the World? They were fresh, they were clean and we could even follow our favorite celebrities! But it was just scratching the surface of it’s real potential.

Facebook soon learned it must evolve, and it did. Over the course of several years, it transformed from a simple friend network to one that enables friends to share any information they want to either an entire community or just one individual. It replaced chat rooms and message boards overnight. The “news feed” essentially became a newspaper tailored to your individual interests and needs.

Twitter was similar in the sense that it began as a cool way to connect with friends and celebrities. It evolved into the quickest outlet for interpersonal communication in existence. The power goes out? Check Twitter. Traffic jam? Check Twitter. Need an update on news? Check Twitter. Furthermore, it allows businesses and individuals to connect. For instance, if your flight gets delayed on American Airlines, you can simply Tweet @AmericanAir and they will Tweet back explaining why it has been delayed. Who knows, they might even bump you up.

Vine is sitting at a crossroads. Yes, it has been wildly successful in recent months and yes, it seems to be taking over the World, but it hasn’t found its niche market. Two weeks from now, another video sharing platform is going to come around, and if Vine doesn’t prove its worth, it will be doomed to the social media graveyard, next to Myspace and Zynga. They’re in luck, though, because business, marketers and news outlets alike have already seen Vine’s potential as a tool for reaching a wide range of customers, and are using it with full force.

Already, forward-thinking businesses have begun using Vine as a marketing tool. Who needs to pay for a 30-second advertisement that people will just fast-forward through when they can create and edit a six-second video for free?

For instance, businesses such as Toyota, Dove and Malibu Rum all have active Vine accounts that show quirky stop motion videos advertising their product, all free of charge. Considering automotive companies spent and estimated $22 billion on advertising alone in 2012, this tool could be huge.

News agencies and sports organizations have also benefited from the newfound tool. When a second-line parade came under attack in New Orleans on Sunday, May 12, one Vine user, @MoneyMakingTUCHE, posted a video of the event, which was quickly picked up by nearly every local news agency in the area. If Vine proves its worth, this will quickly become the trend for breaking news videos.

Sports organizations have also gotten the memo. When the Pelicans unveiled the progress on their new practice facility, they decided to Vine their videos rather than relying solely on news agency. They did not have to worry about filtering or waiting to release information. It was instant, like it should be. No more waiting for the 10 o’clock news to view the Saints post-game press conference. Just log onto Vine and watch on your own time.

The world of social media is constantly changing. One second an app will change the world, the next second no one remembers. But the cream rises to the top. Sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram aren’t going away anytime soon. These benefit from a good concept mixed with great user interaction. Vine has the concept down, now all they need is the user interaction. Hopefully it hasn’t seen its six seconds of fame.