Twitter’s Vine and Instagram’s new video feature have many brands wondering, “Do I now have to create video for these social media channels?” The answer is no, not yet—but it might also be “why not?”
Video is a fantastic tool to use to engage consumers, and these new features on Twitter and Instagram make using video easier. You don’t necessarily have to incur huge production costs, but you should still make sure your videos are appealing and well done.
Before you jump in though, ask yourself these questions for both channels:
- Do you have a story to tell with video that would interest your customers?
- Is there a story you’re currently telling that would be better shown through video?
- Can you get your fans to create brand-oriented videos for you and reward them for it?
If you answer yes to any of the above questions, you should try your hand at producing these short videos. Just don’t try to cram too much into such a short timeframe.
Here’s a quick rundown of each:
Six seconds isn’t much time to tell a story, so keep your video simple. Look for brands that are already using Vine well. General Electric, Urban Outfitters, Oreo and Microsoft are just some of the brands to watch and learn from.
GE made a Vine creation to celebrate Pi Day. Simple idea, creative and fun execution. In six seconds, they essentially show an endless pie—or Pi pie. The lesson here? Don’t feel you have to always tell your brand’s story and keep things focused on you. Have some fun with Vine, but stay within your brand’s personality. GE did this perfectly.
Contests can be easy too. Create a Vine video to promote it and then let your fans do the work.
Urban Outfitters teamed up with Converse to create a #yourchucks contest in which fans were encouraged to submit Vine videos showcasing their own Converse “Chucks” sneakers.
Note the voice Urban Outfitters used—true to brand and audience—in this contest promotion on their blog:
Okay, guys! To win the UO x Converse Vine contest, we want you to tell us where your Chucks go. All you need to do is upload a video of your Chucks in action to Vine and tag the vine #YOURCHUCKS. If you win, you get a boatload of awesome shit, including two nights in San Francisco, $1500 in UO gift cards and, of course, 10 pairs of Converse sneakers. Contest ends 5/6 so get to Vining. (Vining is a very real verb, okay?) —Katie
Have a contest idea for your brand? Make sure it’s fun and easy to do. Give your fans an idea they can run with (in six seconds) and have their creativity pay off with an enticing reward. Keep it simple.
Instagram makes things easier for you by giving you 9 seconds more (15 seconds total) to work with than Vine. Mashable’s recent article title “Twice As Many Top 100 Brands Use Instagram Video As Vine” gives you an indication of where you may want to start.
If you’re already on Instagram, you’re used to using a visual medium—and getting good fan engagement, hopefully—so the shift to short videos should be relatively painless.
The payoff can be great if you use it well. Look at Lululemon, a popular fitness clothing store. Their Instagram photos averaged about 5,785 likes a piece. Their first Instagram video received double the likes, and the brand is getting great exposure for it in well-known marketing and social media blogs.
What Should Your Business Do?
Remember, you don’t have to be on every social media channel (See our previous post on Going Social) and you don’t have to join in with every new craze. But each time something new comes out, you should be considering whether it makes sense for your brand and watching to see how other people use it.
Need advice on where to apply your social media efforts? Contact one of our social media strategists today.