BLOG: Vine, six seconds can be enough to engage customers
AKRON —Facebook has more than 1.2 billion active users. Twitter has more than 240 million users.
These are huge numbers of people turning to social media. But as this area continues to grow, we are seeing more and more apps become powerhouses in the platform.
Doug Gross of CNN explained that over the years, it has become the smaller sharing and messaging tools — most being mobile apps — that have gained the most users.
“These services encourage users to target personalized messages to individuals or small groups instead of broadcasting posts to larger networks of people,” he wrote.
Doug said that does not mean that people are just outright ditching the bigger sites, but “these emerging social hangouts increasingly are where young users are communicating with each other.”
The article referenced a GlobalWebIndex survey that said the two fastest-growing apps used by teens were Vine and WeChat, a Chinese mobile text and voice messaging app.
Twitter Inc. acquired Vine Labs Inc., developer of the Vine six-second video app, last October for a reported $970 million. With its increasing reach and easy user ability, I wanted to touch on my personal experiences with the app and detail how it can be used for business.
How to use
I want to say that in my personal experience, Vine has come in handy numerous times while covering events for the industry and also when there was something interesting I wanted to share with friends. Each video is only six seconds long, which seems short, but once I started using the app, I realized how much could be captured in that short amount of time.
Vine has a way to “edit” your video so that if you want to combine some shorter clips, you can. For instance, when I go to auto or trade shows, I love the edit option. When showing off new cars or products, it is easy to highlight different features of the vehicle. Surprisingly, it only takes six seconds to get a good feel for the exterior of the vehicle.
One event I went to recently was the media day for unveiling of the newest Goodyear airship in Akron. Because of Vine, I was able to take full circle views from inside the gondola and also different angles from outside. This gave my audience a chance to see the blimp in real time.
To film, go to the “Vine” app on your phone; in the upper right corner there is a video camera button. Click on that and it will take you to the filming screen. Hold your finger on the screen and it will start recording. If you want to stop recording so you can start at a different angle, take your finger off the screen and it will hold your place. You will notice a green bar moving up top. That bar shows you how far along you are in the clip. Once it hits the six-second mark, it will replay it for you. Then you can decide if it is what you want to send out. If so, there is a green check at the button to click on. If not, there in an X in the upper left hand corner so you can delete the video.
How to use for business
As with anything social media, you want to be thinking about the demographics of the audience you are trying to reach.
The younger the demographic you are trying to reach, the smaller, mobile app-type platforms they will most likely be participating in.
Shayla Thiel-Stern, a journalism professor at the University of Minnesota, was quoted in the CNN article, explaining that young people are always looking for the coolest new thing. With more family members' joining Facebook and the average age of users continuing to rise, it is no longer the cool new thing.
“Second, younger people have truly embraced the move to apps that are a combination of visual, mobile and social. They carry phones that are set up to shoot photos and videos and they are quite conditioned — perhaps by their early years on Facebook — to sharing experiences in a way that previous generations might not be.”
The article further reinforced this by pointing out that in 2013, SnapChat, Instagram and Vine were all downloaded from Apple's app store more frequently than Twitter or Facebook.
This might be because there are so many people already on these large sites, but it is also because people are being drawn to them.
So how does a business capitalize on this?
One of the easiest and more efficient ways a tire dealership can use this app is to highlight its products. Do you have some new tires in the shop? Do you feel like a simple snapshot does not do the features justice? Well, six seconds can give you a pretty good rotation on the tire for your customers.
Customers may also enjoy watching some “Behind-the-scenes” views of the shop. They can see that it is organized, or perhaps you'd like to show off the smiling faces of your sales team. With social media, you are engaging your audience. You are making connections with them. This is still doing that, while giving you more visual opportunity.
Tire dealers also can get their customers involved on the app. Do they have something wrong with their car? Is it making a noise that cannot be explained correctly over the phone? Have them take a Vine video and send it over.
Yes, you are probably going to advise them to come into the shop so you can really check it out, but it is just another way for the tire dealer to assist customers.
Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you'd like to share with our readers? Tire Business would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor Don Detore at [email protected].