Vine as a Marketing Tool? Brands and Nonprofits That 'Vine' Right

 Original image by Kelly Nigro via  Wikimedia Commons

Original image by Kelly Nigro via Wikimedia Commons

To Vine or not to Vine, that is the question. Is Twitter's 6-second video-making app just hype, or will it soon be planted firmly in the social media landscape?

Let's take a look at Vine, and whether any brands are using it successfully.

I mentioned Vine as a cool real-time marketing tool in a previous post, but I must confess that I only created a personal Vine account very recently. I liked what I'd read about it, and certain Vine videos I've come across, but hadn't tried it firsthand until last week. The verdict? I'm already hooked!

So fun and easy to use, Vine certainly has the potential to become as addictive as Twitter and Instagram. Speaking of addictive, the website Vinepeek, which randomly airs Vine videos in real-time, has an incredible way of holding your attention way longer than it should.

As with any new social media craze, it's worth considering how Vine can be used as a marketing tool. Here's a brief breakdown:

What are Vine videos?

Vine videos are 6-second clips, often comprised of multiple short video snippets, taken with the Vine app and shared via social media, primarily Twitter.  

Can Vine be used as a marketing tool? 

While there's an obvious appeal to sharing short snippets of video to friends and family, the question remains: should businesses and nonprofits start using Vine? The answer is a tentative 'yes'. If used right , Vine   can be a fantastic way for businesses and nonprofits to engage their followers and 'softly' promote their brand.

Which brands are using Vine successfully? 


Hardware store Lowe's may seem an unlikely fit for Vine. Most Lowe's customers spend their time outside the virtual realm, getting their hands dirty with tangible DIY construction projects. What could their customers gain from following them on Twitter? Well, as it turns out, Lowe's treats its social media audience to quite a lot of handy tips via Vine. Their 'FixInSix' Vine campaign offers genuinely useful, visual tips on how to make simple household tasks easier.

The social media team at Lowe's clearly recognized the growing desire among Internet audiences for 'lifehack' style content. The trend of offering simple DIY solutions is popular on Pinterest, blogs and now, Vine. For example, take a look at their 6-second tip on how to remove a broken light bulb.


As a communications / social media contractor based in Seattle, I love looking to local businesses for inspiration. Last week, I blogged about Seattle brands with great marketing strategies, and though I didn't mention fashion retailer Nordstrom, the way the brand has successfully taken up Vine-ing could have easily earned it a spot on my list.

Nordstrom mainly uses Vine just for a bit of fun, rather than to directly promote products. This Vine vid of theirs is a perfect examples of how you can take your offline marketing strategy and digitize it by sharing it through social media. By showcasing one of their cool in-store features, they're enticing their online followers to visit the store and get shopping.

Chelsea FC 

OK, English Premier League football club Chelsea has it a bit too easy. Access to star footballers, breaking team news and, of course, hundreds of thousands of devoted fans is pretty much all you could ask for as a social media professional. However, you have to hand it to the team for taking advantage of these perks and sharing some real, quality content with their followers.

When former Real Madrid manager José Mourinho returned to the team earlier this month, the official Twitter account released this cool 6-second clip of him accepting his Chelsea shirt at a press conference. It was an ideal way to boost excitement among fans during the off season.

Diabetes U.K. 

Looking again to our friends across the pond, Diabetes U.K. is an example of a nonprofit that's using Vine really successfully. As much of my work involves doing social media and communications for healthcare nonprofits, I am happy to see a healthcare charity that's making the most of Vine.

Diabetes U.K. is excellent at using the app to thank specific followers with special video 'shout-outs' just for them. Modest, yet genuine, their simple 'thank you' to a follower who raised £90 for their cause really helps personalize their fundraising effort and was quite inspiring (it's even inspired a few copycats!). Another example of the charity's savvy use of Vine is their announcement of the winner of one of their competitions.

Are you on Vine? Do you love it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.