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Since it’s debut in January, Vine has quickly captured the imaginations of businesses large and small. Brands have used Vine to offer short, often witty, messages to their customer bases. The themes of these posts are naturally varied, with each innovating in exciting ways.

For those of you who have yet to experience the platform, Vine is Twitter’s “micro video” app. Much like the 140-character limit Twitter puts on posts, Vine only allows you to shoot and post six seconds of video. The beauty of a limitation like this is that it forces brands and marketers to cut out the filler and stay on message.

Take this little gem from a recent Next campaign. No confusing the message here.

How Does Vine Work?

Vine is designed for mobile devices. Just download the app, sign in through your Twitter account, and you’re ready to go. This means that all Vine videos are shot using the cameras on their users’ respective mobile devices. This may sound somewhat lo-fi, but that’s also part of its charm.

Vine allows users to string together as many separate shots as they can into their six-second clips. Take this Gap video, which uses a stop-motion philosophy to pack as many images as it can into its six seconds.

Honda: At the Corner of Hashtag and Vine

In July, Honda promoted its summer clearance sale by encouraging users to take to Twitter using the hashtag #wantnewcar. Honda and its affiliated dealerships then created personalized responses to these messages and posted them through Vine.

For instance, when one user tweeted that he had the best duct tape sunroof in America, Honda awarded that person a trophy.

This campaign was part of the larger #HondaLove campaign that Honda has championed for more than two years. More recently, the company cleverly rode in on the Shark Week wave with this clip.

Aside from crafting some charming, witty videos, Honda is also upholding one of the central tenets of social media marketing: dynamic, two-way exchanges. Celebrate the customer, and they will help you celebrate your brand.

Lowes and GE: Condensed Education

Lowes and General Electric are both upholding another central tenet of social media marketing: providing content with value. Both brands have demonstrated that six seconds is plenty of time to teach a quick lesson.

Here’s Lowes showing users how to remove a stripped screw.

And here’s GE teaching users some fun things about chemicals. This clip shows a cool trick with a Q-Tip. And this one shows the chemical composition of coffee.

Imagination Knows no Bounds

With these examples, it’s clear that the potential for marketing with Vine is limited only by the imagination of your marketing team. Before setting out to make your own videos, decide what kind of approach you want to take—and how you can get your audience involved.

For instance, if you want to teach users a lesson similar to the way Lowes and GE have, think of a few tidbits that would be useful to your customers, then determine the best way to present them. Practice what you’re going to do a few times before filming, and make sure that everything is well-lit, clear, and distinctive.

Have you seen any good Vine marketing lately? Has your business unleashed Vine’s power yet? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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