Engaging with your customers by climbing the Vine

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Earlier this year, Vine exploded in the media news circuit with word that Twitter users would now be able to add short six-second videos to Tweets, whereas previously they could only imbed pictures. This presents a whole slew of opportunities for brands and local businesses to reach and engage with customers in a new way.

While you may think six seconds is too short to make an impact, did you think the same thing about 140 characters way back before Twitter reached critical mass? 
 
Here are some ways that brands can use these micro-videos to showcase their wares:
 
Complement your ads
For big brands that have popular ads running on TV, you can use these six-second videos to show behind the scenes, outtakes or other clips that may have wound up on the editing room floor. This can create more buzz for your brand and for the longer form ads you are already running. For small and local business, you can apply this same strategy. While you may not already have that built in fan base for your commercials, by showcase some of the “extra” footage, you’ll give consumers some insight into your company and make them feel closer to your business. This is even more important for small businesses that want to be part of their community.
 
User-generated content
User-generated content is a great way to build engagement with your customers. You can ask your customers to submit Vine videos of them using your product. You can use gather these through a contest and then if you’d like, compile the best into a longer-form ad to use in a 30-second commercial. This is a great option for both small businesses and large brands.

Geography

One of the advantages that Vine has over YouTube and others is that it lets you add location data to the video clips. This feature should be very attractive to local restaurants that want to entice customers with action shots of their food. Think seeing a piping hot margherita pizza coming directly out of a wood-fired oven…wouldn’t you immediately start to experience that gravitational force luring you to that local pizza place?
 
Teasers and locked clips
Brands that are looking to hype a new ad campaign can offer teaser clips to their followers to build hype, grow followers or get retweets. Local businesses can employ a similar technique by having a promo code or special offer that gets revealed in the clip. You can keep these clips “locked” until you reach a follower or retweet milestone. 
 
Product demos
The six-second format can be ideal for how-to videos or you can use them to highlight alternative uses for a product that aren’t as obvious. Think of fun ways to showcase your product in unexpected ways!
 
While many have reported that it could take a long time to create a quality Vine clip because there are employing time-lapse and stop motion techniques to their videos, others view it as an opportunity to get a clear, quick and concise unedited message across to their followers.
 
Regardless of how you choose to approach your video, raw vs. polished, give it a shot and have fun with it. The possibilities for this platform are endless and we are really just beginning to see the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the Tribeca Film Festival here in NY had a call for entries for these six-second videos! Since the announcement last month, hundreds of entries have been posted to Vine using the official hashtag #6secfilms. Competitors can enter their micro masterpieces in one of four categories — #genre, #auteur, #animate and #series and have until this Sunday (April 7th) to submit.
 
If you decide to give Vine a try, let me know how your experiences go in the comments below and feel free to post a link to your clip.