Instagram took over the world of apps by storm. If you have a Smart Phone that supports Instagram, you probably downloaded the app and uploaded photos of cats, cars and selfies (Is 'selfie' in the dictionary yet?) Brands and marketers immediately picked up on the app and used it to their advantage. I'm sure many of us marketers were anticipating the next big thing...and then along comes Vine.


I downloaded the app once buzz started generating around it, but I never actually used it until recently. I love it. I tried following a few brands on my Twitter network (Vine is owned by Twitter, so it automatically connects your account) but because it's still a new app, I haven't seen too many brands really utilizing it. The downfall is that only iPhone users can use the app right now, so that also puts the amount of users into perspective.

I think brands should start using this app because it has a lot of marketing opportunity, and really should be applied to your social media strategy. Three brands I have noticed that have taken advantage of Vine are Holt Renfrew, Real Sports Bar and Grill in Toronto, and also the Toronto Raptors. Three very different niches - a sports bar, an upscale fashion retail store, and the Toronto Raptors; obviously a sports team. They all use it in ways that have attracted me to the brand / team more-so than I already am.

Here's why:

Holt Renfrew

If you love fashion (I do!), Holt Renfrew used Vine to show a behind the scenes look at a photo shoot. I think this is really cool. With a photo you get an idea of what's going on. But with a 6 seconds video, users get to see more. Photos are attractive, but videos are more attractive. The user can see movement, and also how the clothing looks when the model moves around. I thought this video was really creative, as opposed to a short video sifting through racks of clothing, or even a photo of the photoshoot. I like the idea of seeing different segments of the photoshoot in motion.

Real Sports

Real Sports has gotten fairly creative. A few of the videos show a bartender making popular drinks. This is great. Bartenders are cool...everyone loves bartenders! I should know, I am one (hahaha). Showing a bartender making drinks is a creative way to attract someone to your business. Especially when they are flaring! It's added entertainment that entices the consumer to go and check it out. They also uploaded a few videos of the TFC Kick off party. This is a good tactic to get locals to come out to the bar at that moment. If I lived in Toronto and saw that video, I might round up my friends and go check things out. I really love how Real Sports is using this app!

Real Sports Bar and Grill

Toronto Raptors

Going to Toronto Raptors games are a lot of fun. But you don't really get to know the athletes. You just watch them playing. Their Vine shows videos of the athletes goofing around a practice, going to photoshoots and events which give users a look at the athletes on a more personal level. It allows users to connect with the team, which is really great for fans.

Toronto Raptors

How Do You Use It?

Like Twitter and Instagram, you can still use hashtags to search for specific things. The Toronto Raptors used hashtags "#Raptors" and "#RTZ" which are popular hashtags users use to search for photos and Tweets about the Raptors. This is is great from a marketing perspective because brands can hashtag their videos making it easier for users to find them. Vine is used very similarly to Instagram. Once you get the hang of creating the video it gets a little bit addicting. You can film just about anything, and it's easy to operate camera allows the user to get creative without having to go back and edit it.

My suggestion is to download the app and optimize your profile, and then start following other users and brands and see what their videos are like. I don't recommend uploading your first video because it will likely be terrible and possibly embarrassing. Give yourself some practice and film something enticing and visually appealing. Add some hashtags, and then upload it. The app is still new, so there are not a TON of posts in my feed yet. Unlike Instagram, I can't go through my feed every hour and see several new videos. Although I expect this to change.

The Next Big Thing?

Vine is a great marketing tool. Used for added visual effect, it can likely make an impact on sales (indirectly of course), brand awareness, and my favorite - word of mouth. I'm anticipating this app going head to head with Instagram. You can get really creative with it from a marketing perspective, and personally I would rather watch a 6 second video of my favorite brand than check out a photo.

What are your thoughts on Vine? Do you like it? Do you think it will become more popular than Instagram?