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To Vine or not to Vine?

If you’re somewhat knowledgeable on social media, you’ve probably heard the word “Vine” thrown around in conversation here and there. Maybe you have an account, maybe your friend has one; maybe you’ve simply read an article about the growing trend. And if you’re as knowledgeable as you think you are, you’re probably aware that as of last week, Instagram released video functions comparable to Vine. Although it may seem counterintuitive that I’m discussing Vine less than a week after Instagram released rival video capabilities, it’s important to highlight each platform before effectively comparing the two.

For the rest of you who are still left scratching your heads, who have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, Vine is one of the latest, fastest growing social media platforms around. Vine is a mobile video app that enables users to post short, six-second videos that can be shared on other social services such as Twitter and Facebook. The app was originally only available for iOS, but don’t worry, Android users—Vine recently became available for you guys, too.

So, What Makes Vine So Divine?

The technology itself isn’t new—but it’s the quickness combined with mobile that makes it so popular. And although the app is largely consumer-based, businesses have been taking advantage of the (free) opportunity it offers them to show off their personalities. Other things Vine can be effective for are how-to tutorials, engaging followers in conversation and bringing company projects to life. However, before you get ahead of yourself, grab your phone and immediately start downloading the app, thinking your business’s social media is suddenly going to skyrocket, you may want to weigh in on an important question:

Is Vine Right For You?

Before I started preaching about the benefits of having a Vine, it might have been a good idea to include a disclaimer stating that HMG, in fact, doesn’t have one. It’s important to be able to distinguish which social networking services are appropriate for your industry—if you sign up for an account on every site, you’ll be swallowing more than you can chew. A good rule of thumb is to select a few social media platforms and focus your efforts on those, so that your messages aren’t too scattered. If you feel like you can expand to more, then do so. However, we’ve found it most effective to focus our social media efforts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. A retail company, for instance, may be more interested in Vine, because it could be an excellent way to garner excitement for a new product. A PR firm may find Vine useful for showing off client work. Regardless of your industry, it’s crucial to assess whether investing time and effort into something will pay off in the long run.

Whether or not you have a personal Vine, a professional Vine, or this is the first time you’ve ever heard of Vine, there’s no doubt that it’s groundbreaking for social media. It’s fun, it’s different and best of all it’s mobile. Although we don’t feel like Vine is in our deck of cards right now, maybe it will play out one day in our future.

Still hooked? Want to give Vine a try? iPhone users, you can find the app in the iTunes store, and Android users can download the app from Google play. And don’t forget to stay tuned for an upcoming post comparing Vine to Instagram Video. In the mean time, follow us on Instagram @hmgcreative. We’ll be experimenting with the video feature soon to see how it steps up to Vine!

Emily Weeks is the Social Media Coordinator at HMG Creative in Austin, Texas. She is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook 'Em!) and will be graduating in May with a B.S. in Public Relations and a certificate in Business Foundations.

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