VINE: all the cool twerks (and brands) are using it

imagesI3OVW5TIUnfortunately, you may be more familiar with twerking than you are with Vine.  But, you can thank this video-sharing app for the instant success of the provocative dance move.  In July 2013, a group of women posted a video of themselves twerking to the song “Don’t Drop That Thun Thun.”  The video went viral, the unknown song reached #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and thousands of response videos ignited the hip hop phenomenon.  Twerking has actually been around since the 1990s; however, it needed this social network (and a little help from Miley Cyrus) to gain publicity.


untitled (5)So what is it exactly?  Vine, not Twerking.

Vine is a video-sharing app that is designed to record and share short videos.  Typically, clips are recorded in 2 second increments and looped together to create a 6 second video, which can inspire creative time lapse techniques.  The in-app camera records when the screen is touched, pauses when you lift your finger, and automatically stops at the 6 second mark.  Users can also import videos they’ve recorded on their camera roll or downloaded on their phone.  The videos can be imported as one full clip or a series of multiple clips.  These videos, aka vines, are viewable in Vine’s timeline and can be easily embedded in webpages.  If you’re familiar with Instagram, you’ll be comfortable with Vine.  Users can follow friends, and the homescreen feed will display their recent vines.  Customizable profile pages allow users and brands to personalize their account.  Vine is a mobile app designed for smartphone usage, but vines can be explored through both the mobile and web version.

What’s the history?
June 2012 – Vine founded by Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Kroll
October 2012 – sold to Twitter for a reported $30 million
January 2013 – official launch as a free iOS app
June 2013 – Android app released
November 2013 – Windows Phone app released
May 2014 – web version launched to explore videos
October 2014 – Xbox One version released
January 2015 – launched Vine Kids, an iOS app designed for children
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What does it offer?
Although Vine is still relatively new, it does include some useful features.  The Explore tab displays a list of channels to browse; categories range from OMG to News.  Trending hashtags and popular videos are featured on the page as well.  The Activity tab shows users who follows them, as well as who comments on, likes, or shares their vines.  Similar to Instagram, Vine has an option to like, revine, or comment on each post.

By default, vines are public.  However, users have the capability of protecting posts to keep them private.  Protected vines can only be viewed by approved followers.  Videos are easier to record with new camera updates which include a grid, focus, and ghost tools.  In addition to the in-app camera tools, Vine has added advanced desktop editing and importing features.  This addition makes Vine far more appealing and user friendly to marketers.  If you’re interested, you can find more on its features here and here.

Just this past August, Vine launched a few music-friendly features.  With a large community of musicians (and twerkers) already using the social tool, these features should enhance their experience.  Not only has the company made it easier to add music to vines, but they’ve introduced a library of featured tunes within the app.  They’ve also included auto-looping of songs, and added “music discovery” which will identify the name and artist of the 6 second track.  And, for even more exposure, the Billboard Social 50 chart will now include viners as well!

These recent additions illustrate Vine’s willingness to enhance user experience.  Perhaps we’ll see additional features soon.

post-vine-videoDoes it share?
Good news: vines recently became easier to integrate!  As of April 2015, new sharing features allow users to post to multiple platforms at once.  Viners can share personal vines or revine others to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter all at once.  Private Vine Messages (VMs) can also be sent to friends simultaneously.  Owned by Twitter, Vine integrates well with the social platform.  Disguised as an animated image or GIF, the vine fits seamlessly into your Twitter stream.

Vines may be embedded into existing webpages as well.  Co-founder Dom Hofmann writes, “When we launched Vine, we described posts as ‘little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life.’  With today’s update, you can display them almost anywhere.”  Two years later, Vine is providing more than glimpses into people’s lives; it is successfully connecting digital creatives to a young, mobile audience.

agedistributionatthetopsocialnetworksWho uses it?  
According to Pew Research Center, 24% of American teens use Vine.  This is a demographic many marketers are anxious to reach.  Although Twitter hasn’t been forthcoming with Vine demographics, assumptions can be made that the visual, mobile platform targets teens and young adults.  In 2013, there were over 40 million registered users.  Today, that number has more than doubled.

Teens aren’t the only ones interested in Vine; many celebrities have active profiles.
You can find Tyra Banks posing for yet more selfies…

Ellen DeGeneres dancing with just about anyone…

The Chicago Cubs highlighting World Series type talent…

Everyone is joining in on the fun.  Check out some of the top celebrity accounts.
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Are brands winning with Vine?
Even brands are engaged.  Many marketers have begun to use Vine as an advertising avenue. If the platform can score “twerk” an official spot in the Oxford dictionary, there’s no doubt it can grow awareness of almost any brand.

And yes, some brands are winning with Vine.

MTV knows where to find its market: Instagram, Twitter, and Vine!  With the use of hashtags, MTV has collected social votes for the VMA Awards through these networks for the past two years.  The brand has also used its Vine account to produce behind the scenes videos and humorous mashups.  MTV provides consumers entertainment and transparency.

Dove is a great example of how brands can successfully integrate Vine into their IMC approach.  The brand is well known for its “Love Yourself” campaign where they share the importance of positive body image.  Dove uses hashtags such as #beautyis to connect their campaign across platforms and engage more followers.

USA Today takes advantage of random events like National Junk Food Day and Harry Potter’s birthday to engage viewers.  The random videos provide a hint of creativity and entertainment.  Many of the videos include a call to action, which requires users to visit one of their other channels to participate in a survey or contest.

Visit 20 Brands Killing It With Vine Marketing for more inspiring examples.

Is it measurable?
Vine provides a unique opportunity to deliver visible content to your audience, but it’s not all fun and games.  Although these 6 second videos can be created on the fly, there’s often strategy behind the success of famous viners.

Strategies require objectives.
Objectives must be measurable.
Data is measurable.

Vine offers basic information directly on the vines themselves.  The number of likes, revines, and comments display on the bottom of the post.  The loop count, which totals the number of views, including views from embedded vines, displays on the top.

Additional analytics can be acquired through a variety of supplemental tools.  Simply Measured is just one company that offers an analysis package; this data can project the true impact of your Vine content.


Pretty impressive, right?
Interested in creating the next viral vine and launching your brand into twerk worthy success?
Then check out this Prezi and get to twerking working!

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