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10 ways brands can use Vine

Twitter introduced a video service last week called Vine. It enables you to create a six second video and share it with your social network.

It has huge potential as a means of storytelling for communication, marketing and public relations. Brands such as Gap, The Daily Beast, NBC News and Urban Outfitters have been quick to jump on board.

The app is only available on iOS at the moment. There’s no news of when other flavours such Android will be available but according to Twitter’s Vice President of Product, Michael Sippey they are in the works.

How to use Vine
The Vine app feels a lot like Instagram but for video content rather than images.  It strips back the process of producing a video to the absolute basics.

You construct a video by pointing your device at the subject that you want to shoot and capture a clip by holding your finger on the screen.

You can shoot a single video clip for six seconds or build up a series of short shots. Once you’re done – and it only takes six seconds remember – you hit publish and share the video with your Facebook or Twitter network.

Videos play back in a loop. Audio is turned off by default because if you have cut together a series of scenes it’s an audio mess and doesn’t make any sense.

Content and storytelling
I’ve played with the service for the last few days. It’s delightful because it removes the complexity of video production enabling you to focus on your content and storytelling.

“Posts on Vine are about abbreviation – the shortened form of something larger. They’re little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life,” said Dom Hofmann, general manager, Vine.

A note of caution: we’ve been here before. Video sharing services aren’t new to the social web. But the functionality of Vine’s predecessors hasn’t been stripped to the extent of Vine, and none has had the backing of one of the major social networks such as Twitter.

Opportunity for communicators
Vine will generate a wave of creativity across the social web as communicators road test the app in the coming days and weeks. Here are a few ways that it might be used.

  1. Messages – Vine is to video what a tweet is to text. Can you convey your message in six seconds?
  2. Storytelling – six seconds is sufficient time to tell a story and start a conversation. Here’s my first attempt.
  3. News – journalists are experts in stripping back stories to their basics. They are already early users of Vine.
  4. Product or service – can you explain how your product or service works within six seconds? Deliver your elevator pitch via Vine.
  5. Stop motion animations – Vine allows you to capture a series of short videos and is ideal for creating stop motion animation, itself a fantastic form of storytelling.
  6. Events – create a video of highlights from your event. It’s a form of reporting. Here’s an example of a fashion event from the Vine blog.
  7. Crowdsourcing – the simplicity of Vine makes video crowdsourcing a real viability for brands. Ask your audience to engage with you via a Vine post.
  8. Presentations – forget death by Powerpoint, share the highlights from your presentation in six seconds.
  9. Behind the scenes – share an insiders’ view of your organisation by creating a Vine clip.
  10. Recipes – instructions are already proving popular on Vine. This is likely to be a rich genre for restaurants and supermarkets.

Inevitably as with any other new form of social media Vine will be evaluated and tested to destruction in the coming weeks.

There’s already a hack site called vinepeek that shares newly posted content and if you hang around long enough you’ll spot porn and spam.

You have been warned. Have fun.

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Stephen Waddington

European Digital & Social Media Director at Ketchum and President of the CIPR. Author of Brand Anarchy and Brand Vandals; and editor and contributor to Share This and Share This Too.