So many social video platforms, so few ideas for using them. Vine, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, etc. How does the average chain restaurant CEO or sports equipment store owner use social videos to their benefit? What kind of videos should be used for which social media platform? Can Vine and Instagram videos even do your business any good?
It’s true, there are plenty of businesses who are using Vine and Instagram videos and not seeing a single extra follower, much less a boost in customer engagement, and especially not an increase in sales.
That’s because those businesses aren’t doing it right.
There are right and wrong ways to go about using social video platforms like Vine and Instagram. You have to think about how to optimize video content for each platform. You also have to consider which social media the various video platforms were created for (Instagram for Facebook, Vine for Twitter) how long videos are allowed to be, and what can be done with that time allotment. It’s also important to know what not to do, as well as what works.
Create Desire for More
This may be easier to do with Vine than Instagram, since Vine’s videos are limited to six seconds. Stir up your social media audience with a six-second flash of the coolest side of a new product or the best thing about your services. If done creatively, your followers will eat it up. You can check out Instagram videos from Nike and Vine videos from Volkswagen for great examples of using these social video platforms to rouse consumer lust. Or just spark innocent curiosity.
Entertain Your Followers
There are many ways you can use Vine and Instagram videos to achieve this. If your videos are not engaging anyone or being shared, they are missing that special quality: the entertainment factor. If you haven’t had much luck, try one of these tactics:
Contests – hold a simple contest on Instagram and challenge followers and fans to submit their best video according to your theme. Let’s say you’re a car sales owner. You could hold a contest for the best road trip videos. Always ask your followers to share.
How-to videos – in addition to entertainment, people like to find stuff out. So, show them something – tips, tricks, home remedies, DIYs, whatever. How-tos give your audience something of value, which will encourage them to come back.
Creativity – use visuals and concepts to engage followers. This low-budget Vine video by Etsy is a good example of simple visuals to represent its brand.
Many businesses are using a “behind the scenes” approach to engage followers and fans. One of the advantages of this is that both Vine and Instagram can be used equally well for such a tactic. Whether you want to show six seconds of your smiling employees happily working away or an Instagram video of your company’s latest energy management solutions, people are intrigued at the goings-on of brands.
Regardless of what platform you use, social media should never be all about your business. Use it to raise awareness or drive funding for your favorite charity. Don’t be shy about asking followers and fans who share your passion to share your charity or cause-related videos. By sharing the campaign material, they also share your brand name with others.
Honda demonstrated this use of Vine and Instagram beautifully, with live interaction and responses to individual followers in real-time, using the #wantnewcar hashtag. Vine videos are great for this because they can be embedded directly into your tweet, stream and all. What does direct, individual communication do? It shows you have personal interest in your audience. People also tend to share when they feel they have been paid special attention.
The same other rules apply to Vine and Instagram videos as any social media marketing – no hard sales, and use call to action. In other words, don’t try to use Vine and Instagram like mini-infomercials. Also – ask, ask, ask. Always ask your followers to share when you want them to share. It will occur much more frequently.
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