This is a guest post by James Knight
When Vine first came out (something we announced in Seriously Social News #7), the concept of six-second, looping videos seemed rather unassuming. However, this quirky social media app quickly blew up in popularity, acquiring 40 million registered users in less than a year, according to The Verge. Vine users range from individuals to international brands looking to stake their claim in this Twitter-backed enterprise. Twitter made its name by requiring users to become succinct with their words in 140 characters or less. Now, it’s doing the same thing with videos through Vine. Higher education institutions use Vine to market their schools, promote their projects, and remain relevant in an academically competitive world. Here are four ways to create Vine videos that will put you on the map:
#1 Break Your Message Down to the Bare Bones
Six seconds goes by quickly, but it’s plenty of time for you to deliver a powerful message to your audience. Figure out what you want to get across to your students. Are you trying to show off your campus, your classes or your clubs? Brainstorm moments that make sense in six seconds, and practice making Vine videos until you get the essence of your message across in that limited time frame.
The video doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive to produce. Some of the best Vine videos are those that capture spur-of-the-moment excitement that surrounds your campus. Campus events, particularly sports events, are a good example of many Vine-worthy moments. Plus, with college sports always being big draws to athletic-centric campuses, this is a good way to establish your school further in that area.
#2 Create a Unique Style
Once you’ve determined the best way to reach your students, alumni or other audience, you want to stand out in their minds. Some big name brands, such as GE, have implemented distinctive styles through handwriting and stop motion animation that work particularly well in the short Vine videos. Consider what your school is well known for, and work that into your stylistic choices. For example, a pharmacy technician at Pennfoster.edu could shoot a video showing off the classroom labs, research study tests, and other ways of showing off the degree program.
#3 Ride the Trending Topics
Like Twitter, Vine uses hashtags to get into a content conversation on a site-wide level. After working with your niche and localized hashtags, tie your Vine videos to trending topics and current events. You’ll draw more eyes, and working with current pop culture, news and viral trends is a way to make a name for yourself and your school. Media Bistro reported Vine hit the top of the iOS AppStore in 2013, so its popularity is certainly holding strong.
#4 Vine as a Classroom Tool
Vine isn’t limited to marketing alone. Some professors are beginning to incorporate Vine into their lessons. For example, Online Universities reports on a professor who conducts chats using a combination of Vine and Twitter for questions and answers, event Vines that highlight speakers, and student Vines that reflect their feelings on the course and course material. Social media tools for active engagement are invaluable to teachers in any class, particularly business and marketing.
This infographic from Buzzfork shows the latest stats for Vine:
James is a Web developer and smartphone aficionado from Phoenix.
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