IMHO With Wesley-Anne: Vine makes things better

ImageWesley-Anne Rodrigues is a cross-cultural strategist and Miami Ad School planning graduate. She started off as a planner in India with Law&Kenneth Communications , went on to study in the States and worked as a marketer with ZoomerMedia here in Toronto. Advertising has always been her first love and she’s looking to get back into the game. She authors Beyondthemaple and is always down for coffee and conversation. You can get in touch with her at wesleyanneR@gmail.com Or @wesleyanne on Twitter. We’ll let her take it from here – 

One of the newer entrants on the social media scene, Vine, a mobile app that makes it easy to create and share six second animated GIFs, generated its fair share of buzz when it launched early this year. A lot of people have started to play with the app, including a few big name brands. What’s still TBD is whether brands will begin to officially recognise this tool as a part of their social media arsenal. Will we have analytics and data monitoring mapping the numbers? I pondered over the implications and uses and here’s some of my views on it:

Initial thoughts on Vine
Personally, I think it’s great. It encourages creativity and is a unique way of telling your story. My initial reaction was “hmm,I wonder if this thing will get annoying real quick”. Afterall, you’re giving people the ability to record and easily share an audio-visual experience. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how the time limitation has forced some levels of ingenuity.

Just another fad or is it useful to brands?
Vine, just like any other social media toy, does not have to be hard-wired to a brand. It is useful provided there’s a pre-determined purpose/objective for it in the brand’s overall scheme of things. It’s a medium that can tell an engaging story, in a limited time. However, unlike twitter or facebook, Vine requires some thought; especially if you want people to be interested in what you’re Vining about, you have to keep it creative. It’s like a free six second television spot with a reach as wide as your twitter following. Brands that hop on the Vine wagon just to follow the next shiny thing will give up on it before the half year mark.

How so and what can brands do with it?
Anything that stimulates content creation, is useful. However, we’re just at the tip of the iceberg with Vine. In the initial teething period, brands started out creating amateur vines and have now moved on to showcasing ‘behind the scenes’ at work, how their product gets created and some funky stop motion Vines. It’s still baby steps but there’s definitely some ground rules coming into play.

I think firstly brands need to figure out what their Vine avatar is going to be like; that sets the tone for what follows. For instance, is Vine going to showcase your brand’s goofy side? Will Vine be used to demo new products? Will your brand create instructional Vines? Will you use a mascot?

Secondly,in my opinion the litmus test in Vine aiding the brand-consumer relationship depends on how interactive it can become. For instance, what if brands encouraged their people to respond to a Vine, with a Vine? Or contests around Vine generation? People like being involved in telling their stories, classic example – the hashtag #photoaday on instagram proves just how popular UG (user-generated) is. Vine is a phenomenal platform to involve the consumer in the story-telling process.

How relevant?
Content creation is relevant when shared. If brands are out there creating Vines that people want to talk about, they’re doing something right. Because along with growing their share of market, these early adopter brands are also tasked with popularizing the medium. It’s a good time to shine and do something cool while the field is freshly painted, relevancy will depend on Vine content.

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