Instagram or Vine? What works better

Simply put, Vine is the video version of a Tweet, allowing you to use short videos in conjunction with your Twitter account. The twist is that you’re limited to only six seconds, which is akin to the 140-character cap that Twitter allows for text posts.

So, instead of a photo (Instagram) or a short burst of text, Vine allows you to get your message across via video.

This unique social media opportunity should be taken advantage of for several reasons:

  1. It’s new — newer social media platforms present high-value real estate to businesses and websites.
  2. Social media integration — Vine fits in seamlessly with Twitter, giving you more dynamic opportunities with your tweets.
  3. Better than a photo — Videos are a more memorable and effective method of building your brand.

If your marketing strategy needs a boost, Vine might be just what the doctor ordered. While it certainly has its limitations, anything that upgrades your Twitter account is a good thing, especially with the value of a text-based tweet in question.

Particularly if you have a business or product that lends itself well to videos (like a how-to or instructional topic), Vine can work incredibly well for you.

Here are a few tips for getting the most out of a Vine marketing campaign:

1. Unveilings or Sneak Peeks — If your company has a new product or some kind of teaser to unveil, a six-second Vine video is the perfect way to reveal it. Consider that most online users have a short attention span, to begin with, so you know that it will be easier for them to pay attention to a six-second video.

Taco Bell’s unveiling of the Doritos Locos Taco is a shining example of a great template you might want to consider following.

2. Personality — You want to make sure that your videos have a touch of personality and character to them. If they don’t, you run the risk of putting work and energy into something that will fall flat. Since the video is only six seconds, you need to present content that will speak volumes quickly— making sure your video has feeling and personality is the best way to do it.

3. More than a picture — If you can get the point across using a picture, Vine isn’t the right solution. Be careful to avoid posting videos that are simply displaying something, which can be tempting considering the short amount of time you have.

Add an element of surprise, suspense, humor or information that goes beyond what could be communicated via a still photo.

4. Keep it useful — If your business or website lends itself to how-to videos, make sure to take full advantage of that when planning your Vine marketing campaign. If you can show somebody something useful in six seconds, you’re already making your posts more valuable to followers and potential consumers.

Lowes does a particularly good job of incorporating useful tutorials and DIY tips into their Vine marketing program.

Vine’s Shortcomings

Vine has no approval process for brand names, and there’s also no way to save drafts of your videos. This makes the editing and approval process tremendously more difficult.

There are also no tools for editing or making even the smallest changes to your video before publishing. If you don’t like something, you’ve got to redo the whole thing, which on the bright side, is only six seconds anyway.

Navigation of the app itself can also be a bit of a problem, though it’s not a deal breaker.

Using Vine means you’ve got to be sure of the video you’re creating through one cut. No editing or approval process means all the work and approving has to be done up front; though, for smaller companies and outfits, this shouldn’t be a major issue.

A Valuable Component

Despite its shortcomings, Vine has the potential to be a valuable extension of your Twitter feed. If you’re able to plan effectively and go into your Vine experiment with a good list of best practices, your odds of improving your social media success is fairly high. Even if you’re just looking for a new way to share information with your followers, Vine is the perfect tool for the spreading your message.