By: Nikki Williams, media relations manager, American Cancer Society
Over the past few weeks, I have had different friends in different situations tell me to “Do it for the Vine”. And I just look at them with this “ummm…OK” blank sort of stare. After the fourth or fifth person said this to me I decided to take a look into Vine. I have had Vine on my phone since last year, but I have never done anything with it. When I first downloaded it, no one was really using it, but NOW…my goodness, have people perfected art short-film making. I spent hours just laughing and being amazed at the creativity of these videos.
What is Vine? It is one of the most entertaining forms of social media. It is Twitter’s micro-video social network and with a limit of six seconds per video, it gives a whole new meaning to short-movies and opens up a whole new realm of creativity.
I’ll admit, I for one get on Vine and get lost in all of the hilarious, innovative and crazy things that people come up with in such a short amount of time and the production for these six seconders are above amazing. So, I began to think: how can Vine be used to the advantage of PR professionals? How do we give in and just “Do it for the Vine” and be successful at it?
Vine has become one of the five most downloaded apps which is evidence of how prevalent it is. What makes Vine so unique is the ability to record and edit interactions and turn it into a short film in the palm of your hands which incredibly enhances the ability to communicate. People love to know what goes on behind the scenes, and social media almost gives them the right to feel that they should know what is going on behind closed doors of companies, organizations, and non-profits in which they support.
To start, think of how you want to let your audience in and how often. Perhaps there is a big event coming up for your company and you want people to know why it is important. In one word, have individuals let people know why they should come: inspiring, innovative, mind-blowing, hilarious, or motivating. The ability to start and stop with Vine gives time to use different settings, props and individuals to help make your production a success. And even though it is only six seconds, keep in mind that as long as the person is on your Vine it will replay itself over and over again, so if they didn’t get it the first time, they have another opportunity to see automatically.
How often? Well, that all depends on how much time you have. It could be every day, once a week, once a month but with Vine, unlike other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter I really believe it is quality over quantity. I think of Vine as I do Christmas, I’d rather have a handful of thoughtful gifts than a room full of stuff that I will end up giving away throughout the year. A well-thought-out production takes some time…even if it does only last six seconds. You have to remember, there is always Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to communicate daily tid-bits of information that your publics could find more or less useful. Once a month may be more than enough, as long as it is impactful. Remember, Vine is a bonus. So use wisely.
The beauty of social media is the ability to integrate all platforms. When looking for individuals to follow you on Vine, you can simply find friends from Twitter on Vine and start to follow them and comment on their short-films as well. You can even embed the videos on Facebook, Twitter, company blog pages and websites. If there are individuals in your Vine video you have the ability to tag them and let’s not forget the wonderful hashtag for special campaigns. Using these platforms together will only enhance visibility and create “fan-base” growth in the ever-growing world of social media. I encourage you to be like Elmo, go on and give in and DO IT FOR THE VINE! J
Do you use Vine? If so, please share your tips in the comments below!