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Vining Your Brand
By: Brian Perry
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Now that Vine has been out for a while, brands have started to take notice and integrate Vine into some of their social media outreach. Vine is another way for brands to reach consumers and engage in conversations. But what are brands doing with Vine? Do they know what to do with it? Based on a search of brands such as McDonald's and Starbucks, they have Vine accounts but little to no activity. With any new social media platform, brands will take a cautious approach about how they will utilize it. Some brands will take a wait-and-see approach to see what other brands do and how consumers will react to them. They will look at both the positive and negative examples and develop a plan accordingly.

However, Vine is pretty much Twitter but with a video and not 140 characters. Brands need to figure out how to get consumers to interact with them to create conversations and spark interest in themselves. I have read some articles and blogs recently that give “keys” of how Vine should be used by brands. While those articles are helpful, the way to use Vine is really simple (very hypocritical, I know). Via a brand's Twitter and/or Facebook account, let followers see how your brand is making a commercial, give them a sneak peek at a new product launch, or show them interacting with consumers at a local level; something/anything to get the interest flowing with followers. Once they are accustomed to seeing your brand, use Vine. Engage them by asking them to post Vine videos about any number of ideas: What do they like about you? What is their favorite thing to do with your brand? What new products would they like to see? From here, you start a dialogue with your followers and create a new brand engagement platform. This can also lead to contests and other situations where the brand rewards its followers for posting on Vine.

Here is an example of what can be done with Vine from a brand standpoint. Your brand has a new LTO (limited time offer) that they are rolling out in the summer to help boost soft sales. Normally, a brand will do a full-scale media campaign with TV, radio, and digital, including social media. Now with Vine, a brand can incorporate a new channel to talk to consumers. Vine can be used to give a sneak peek at the new LTO coming out, then once it comes out, have consumers interacting with it and telling people what they like about it. Just think about the fun McDonald's will have using Vine when the McRib rolls back around in the markets.

Vine will be a powerful new social media tool that will allow brands to have another touch point at their disposal. Brands will be slow to incorporate this new piece of technology. However, once they figure out the right way to utilize Vine, watch out...because their Vine will grow.

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About the Author
Brian Perry is an accomplished communications professional with expertise in all aspects of successful marketing, advertising, public relations, promotions, and social media. Brian's outside interests consist of Hockey, Lacrosse, Insanity (basically any type of sport), books, and family time. Find him on LinkedIn and Twitter
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