Hashtag #Six-Second Attention Spans: Adding Twitter’s Vine to Your PR Toolbox

October 28th, 2013

Adding Vine to your PR ToolboxWhile the Wall Street types are figuring out whether to invest in Twitter’s IPO or wait to buy in, journalists, PR professionals and marketers have been figuring out if and how to invest in Vine, Twitter’s emerging micro-video service. It’s just another example of adapting social media strategy to an ever-evolving landscape of tools.

With Twitter’s hotly-anticipated $1.4 billion early November #IPO trending in the investor community, the company’s micro-video sharing app Vine, which integrates into Twitter and Facebook feeds, is heating up with journalists and advertisers. The app, which takes six-second videos and bets on a short attention span, has taken off so quickly that NowThis News, a mobile news service, has hired a Vine video journalist.

By hiring its first Vine journalist, NowThis News, a year-old network with an 18- to 34-year-old niche market, is betting that video news in Vine’s six-second micro-video loop will be as successful as Twitter’s 140-character text format. Their Vine journalist, Cody Johns, now commands more than 1 million followers on his Vine account.

Vine, which was acquired by Twitter in October 2012, lets users shoot six-second videos and share them on Vine, Twitter and Facebook. It has been seeing success with a steady increase in users, climbing the free app charts with an August overall app rank of No. 18, according to Onavo, an app analytics company. Vine says that its community numbered 40 million active users in August.

NowThis News uses Vine to put out political news, with Vines of Sen. John McCain’s position on Russia’s involvement in the Syrian situation.  Vine Journalist Johns, speaking on CNN Reliable Sources, said that NowThis News is working to get more politicians to do six-second Vines. “Vine is geared toward a young audience between ages 13 and 26. [They] need to be exposed to politics and Vine is the perfect medium for them,” Johns said of their targeted demographic.

And since just 5 percent of people younger than 30 closely follow news on Washington and politics, political journalists trying to reach such a demographic might want to invest in creating Vines.

Other news outlets are also finding Vine a useful news gathering and delivery tool. Meaghan Anselm of KSDK-TV in St. Louis says her newsroom uses Vine to find story ideas by searching local hashtags. KSDK-TV is also using Vine in its own marketing by showcasing newsroom personalities and behind-the-scenes news-gathering processes in a bid to gain viewership. “People think it is just a light-hearted, fun thing, but you can get serious content from [Vine],” Anselm says.

In addition to news organizations, Dunkin Donuts, Target, Samsung and Burt’s Bees are just some of the corporate users of Vine for their marketing purposes.

For journalists, PR professionals and marketers with an existing Twitter and Facebook presence and who are looking to more successfully reach a younger demographic more responsive to a micro-video content strategy, integration of Vine into their present social media mix could maximize Twitter and Facebook followers.

Though Vine is an app for Android and iOS, it integrates nicely with Twitter and Facebook, allowing for a useful role on those platforms and for both mobile and desktop viewing.

For NowThis News, the Vine’s six-second video format has proven more successful than its Twitter distribution, capturing 107,300 Vine followers compared to 23,250 on Twitter. And with Vine’s integration into its Twitter feed, NowThis News can leverage its Vine followers to help extend its Twitter reach. It can also better leverage Vine journalist Johns’ 1 million Vine followers to boost the following of the news organization itself. The Vine format has also proven more successful than its Instagram video strategy, where the news service has 53,000 followers.

How is your social media strategy evolving with a constantly changing social media landscape? Has adaptability been your policy when it comes to your social media strategy? Are you seeing a disparity in followers between your social platforms? What are your examples of cross-leveraging social media platforms to fight those disparities?

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