5 Ways Startups Are Using Vine

Not sure how to use Vine in your marketing strategy? Here are five examples from companies experimenting with the new video app.
March 06, 2013

Twitter launched its video-looping service Vine in January, and the app has quickly gained steam, with users posting more than 100,000 Vine videos in a weekend just three weeks after the app's debut.

Startups and small businesses are already experimenting with the new mobile service, creating and sharing 6-second videos with their social media fans and growing Vine followers. Vine videos that have surfaced so far run the gamut from showcasing products to offering sneak-peeks of a company's behind-the-scenes office grind.

Here are five different examples of ways that businesses are using the Vine app.

1. Promote and Pitch Your Product

What is Martini? Check out our new video to find out! vine.co/v/bnbjzQUDjIY —Martini(@martini_app)

Martini—an iPhone app that acts as a matchmaker for groups of friends, setting them up on mixers with other nearby groups of friends—hopped on Vine to create a quick promotional video for its product. The video, created by Martini's agency Appular, showcases the Martini app at work as much as it possibly can in the maximal 6-second time frame.

Appular account manager and Martini PR representative Haley Hammerling says that Martini also hopes to get its users involved in creating Vine videos that capture the social aspect of the app. "We love the idea of capturing short videos to share the moments that happen on Martini meetups," she says. "A photo is great, but having a video of your friends together taking a toast at a bar with new friends really captures the fun of the evening."

The startup's Vine strategy is young, but Hammerling anticipates at least some community engagement. "We're expecting our users to get really fun and creative when we ask them to share their Martini moments with us on Vine," she says. "We also plan to share the most epic Martini meetups via our existing social media channels and email."

2. Showcase Your Product

Sliders treats are all-natural and are made in the USA! Get a deal on a bag on our website before they sell ... vine.co/v/b1iW9YgXFmw —doggyloot (@doggyloot)

Product demos seem to be one of the most common business use cases on Vine so far. After all, video is an ideal medium for showcasing products in use. Canine-focused daily deal site Doggyloot has posted a number of Vine videos showcasing its latest products offered.

Doggyloot's director of social media Giselle Gonzalez says she signed the startup up for Vine because it seemed like a fun opportunity to engage early adopters and people who may not be as active following brands on other social channels, such as Facebook and Twitter.

"I noticed that Vine's 'Explore' section has #pets as a featured tag," Gonzalez says. "So many people are sharing Vine clips of their pets because they have such a strong connection. Everybody loves puppies, right? We want to engage with these people and let them know about our new products."

Gonzalez says that engagement on the app has been minimal at this point, with the company attracting followers, but not much conversation. However, its Vine videos are garnering favorable responses on Facebook and Twitter, she says.

3. Educate Users

Did you know that you can book more than one night through HT? vine.co/v/bv26qIEPMTH —Hotel Tonight (@HotelTonight)

Hotel-booking app Hotel Tonight recently used Vine to showcase a potentially confusing product feature—that users can book more than one night of hotel reservations through the app.

This particular Vine video acts as both an educational tool and as a product demo, showcasing the process for booking a multi-night reservation on the app.

The "did you know?" style tweet that accompanies the video is a nice touch that succinctly explains what the viewer is about to see.

4. Ask for User Feedback

Getting ready to send out a new CakeStyle box! What's your favorite look? vine.co/v/b15BjnDVmMI —CakeStyle (@CakeStyleMe)

Sometimes there's no better way to get feedback than to just ask. That's a lesson that CakeStyle—an online personal styling service for women—took to heart when posting one of its first Vine videos.

The startup has already posted a number of videos on the app, many focused on style trends and current products. With this video, however, the tone takes a turn toward letting the viewer in on a sneak-peek of a style box that is about to be mailed out and asking for her opinion on which outfit is her favorite.

Cameron Jacoby, CakeStyle's social media manager, says that Vine is a perfect fit for the fashion industry and CakeStyle's clientele, whom she describes as being all about imagery. "A huge part of CakeStyle's online presence is showing our clients and potential clients how to style outfits for certain events or holidays," Jacoby says. "Our followers look to us for these tips, accompanied by engaging imagery, and it's going to be really fun using Vine to enhance this process."

The startup's traction on Vine isn't too high yet, but Jacoby says utilizing the #fashion tag has enabled her team to engage with some individuals who were then converted into followers.

5. Go Behind the Scenes

Came to @wework for a meeting and this is what I walked into. vine.co/v/bvxL2BuJEg3 —Helena Price (@helena)

Having worked at startups, I can confirm that startup employees are down to share their office shenanigans with the world. So many fun things go on at startups. I mean, just take a look at the Vine video captured above, which was shared by Skillshare's head of communications and partnerships Helena Price, after she walked in on the entire WeWork co-working space doing the Harlem Shake. Is that the perfect Vine moment, or what?

Price has also captured other startup-life moments on Vine, including a pretty hilarious 6-second video of a startlingly stationary hipster Skillshare office dog.

Co-working space General Assembly recently took part in the fun of sharing startup scenes with a moment that was little less traditional: a look at the chocolate fountain at its recent Valentine's Day event. I don't know about you, but my FOMO radar peaked after seeing that.

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Photo: Vine.co