What Small Biz Can Learn from Big Biz About Vine Marketing

by Swipely Team on February, 21 2013 in Marketing


Like a vine, small businesses are always growing, looking to expound upon marketing strategies, unique inventory, menu items and ideas.

And with the world moving at such a fast pace, brevity is often the best way to personify a business, and the voice of that business.

In comes Vine, an application that launched last summer, and was acquired by Twitter by the end of the year. In the last month, Vine has been taking the social media world by storm. The app, which acts and looks similar to the Instagram ecosystem,  features a very simple interface, allowing users to capture 6 seconds of video, complete with audio. The clips can't be edited, but the video is shot in increments, for as long as your finger is on the screen.

To better illustrate that description, here's a good video from CNET:


The cornerstone of small business is to offer something unique and over-deliver on its promise. Even more, word-of-mouth transforms the obscure into a destination location. From print advertisements, to radio spots and sponsorships, to television commercials, a business can get in front of hundreds, ten of thousands, if not millions of consumers at one time. But small businesses have largely been shut out of these powerful mediums, because of cost-feasibility.

That's why Vine is a great platform, like Twitter and other short-messaged social networks.

Major brands have quickly taken notice and are using the app, including Gap, Taco Bell, Price Chopper, and even the Chicago Blackhawks.

On President's Day, Gap made a quick happy President's Day video, and before that that covered colorful shoes, and also a video featuring all the different old labels of their jeans.


When Taco Bell wanted to announce a new menu item, the Cool Ranch Dorito shell, they took to vine for that too.


And what better way to highlight your in-store bakery than by creating a six-second montage of the bagel-making process like Price Chopper did?


The Roger Smith Hotel, the social media darling of New York travelers posts tons of Vine videos on their Twitter feed, including videos all over town including this one:


SoccerBible can also teach shoe stores a lesson on how to feature new shoes:


But you don't have to be a mega-corporation to put Vine to work for your business, you only need an idea, a smartphone and six seconds.

Using Vine for Small Business

Unlike most technology, there's practically no learning curve associated with this application. It's akin to a Polaroid camera, just point, tap, and shoot. And if you think that six seconds are too short, consider the fact that YouTube ads play for a minimum of five seconds before you can skip them. Advertisers know that all it takes is five seconds, and the viewer knows exactly what's being communicated.

Here are some tips for small business owners who want to take advantage of this smart advertising app:

  • Decide what your message will be. Make it succinct and memorable. Focus on just one thing and one thing only to get the most out of your campaign.
  • Include a call-to-action. Vines are meant to engage viewers, but eventually the time spent will be looking for an ROI just like every other platform.
  • Follow up old vines with new ones. Since the app is social media based, continue to be a part of the conversation. Create new vines to expand on previous ones or introduce something new.

And here are some examples to get you brainstorming:

  • Hair salons can show the before and after haircut process
  • Spas can go step-by-step through the process of a facial
  • Chefs can feature their most popular dish being prepared in the kitchen
  • Retailers can give viewers a quick-shot walk-through of sale items

There's even an analytics tool for vine, allowing small business owners to track their rate of success and refine future vines. And, if you're short on ideas or just need a bit of inspiration, you can always search Twitter for small business Vines.

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