Reaching New Audiences on Instagram or Vine

What is the purpose of using Vine and Instagram for your business? The answer is easy! To make you look “cooler!”

While they are still influential social networks, Twitter and Facebook are no longer the main resources for reaching millennials and young adults—their audiences have aged. According to a 2011 Forrester report, “only six percent of 12- to 17-year-olds who use the Web want to be friends with a brand on Facebook.” In an article published by tech writer Teddy Hunt, he describes a conversation with a 13-year-old girl where she states, “Facebook is what my parents use.”

Hunt states that, “While tens of millions of young people—college students, high schoolers and others—continue to use Facebook, others have turned to other social networks such as Instagram or Vine.”

With the decline of teens and young adults on Facebook, for profit and nonprofit organizations are updating their marketing strategies to incorporate these mobile applications in the hopes of offering new and exciting ways to reach younger audiences. Regardless of the size of your organization, one thing holds true: short videos can help consumers, donor, and volunteers get excited about your organization’s product, service, and mission.

The Facebook-owned photo and video application, Instagram, offers users the option of taking pictures which they can later alter with a variety of filters or 15-second videos which can be edited before being uploaded to Instagram. Vine videos, on the other hand, are around 6.5 seconds long and aren’t editable. One positive aspect about Vine is that Twitter owns it, which means that your Vine posts can easily be displayed in your Twitter feed.

Instagram and Vine seem very similar, and since both platforms allow for a series of pictures or video segments to be strung into one cohesive video, you are still left with the question, “Which one should I use to reach new audiences for my business?”

instagram or vine

Since Vine offers a shorter video, the ideal way to use it would be for brief or funny insights into your company. An example of this would be a quick look at what your office atmosphere is or a string of promotional pictures. Instagram on the other side offers editable videos with more length as well as photos.

These videos could be used to show a tutorial of a product or inspirational video for a nonprofit cause. The photos could be used to show your product or current marketing poster for a project. The edit-ability of these posts can also come in handy because it allows you choose the perfect vibe or light for your photo, even if it wasn’t completely planned. You can use both of these applications in different ways. Some companies prefer to use predetermined or professionally taken photos, but if the goal of your business or nonprofit is to connect to constituents then you may wish to model your account after your consumers. A more casual or spontaneous ambiance will make your company more relatable.

Free People is one company that has appropriated these outlets as a way to identify their brand personality. Free People’s goal for these accounts isn’t solely to promote their products but to separate them as a brand; they use them in order to personally connect with the style of their consumer. They pride themselves on selling to the unique bohemian woman or young adult. Their vine account has a variety of different videos ranging from animated outfits to personal brand blogger videos to beauty tutorials.

These videos don’t only showcase the clothing but also make the company more relatable thus building popularity. Their Instagram features everything from personal office photos to consumer photos to behind the scenes photo-shoot insights. What is really unique about Free People’s Instagram strategy is that they feature consumer Instagram posts on their website to show how their clothes look on real women with unique styles. Each of their posts on these sites appeal to their ideal consumer; the insights make the consumer feel more like a friend or confidant which gives more loyalty to the brand.

instagram or vine

Toyota and Ford are both leaders in the market for American motor vehicles. Their social campaigns, however, couldn’t be more different. The toyotausa Instagram account identifies with a rough, durable and tough vibe while the fordfiesta Instagram account distinguishes itself as fun, quirky, young and adventurous. Toyota’s pictures and videos are all based around the outdoors, unless a new car is featured. They feature stop-motion videos as well as motivational nature pictures. Ford Fiesta on the other hand, features colorful cars in landscapes ranging from urban settings to dirt roads.

They also take advantage of the tagline or description option, which tells a lot about the types of consumers they are attempting to reach. Their tag line currently reads, “Because life’s too short to stay in one place;” this appeals to young travelers and the idea of being adventurous and spontaneous. When you get down to it, these companies are selling the same product. Sure, they are different brands and have different models, but ultimately they are selling a motor vehicle to get you from point A to point B. These companies take a unique approach and use these outlets in order to customize their message and separate themselves from their competitors.

What can your organization do with Instagram or Vine? Get creative! Show your consumers, volunteers, and donors what they can do with your product and what your organizational events are like. Mobile applications and social sites like these allow you to showcase your brand’s personality and separate your business or nonprofit organization from your competitors.

If you’re still looking for information on the differences between Instagram and Vine, feel free to check out this helpful infographic by Neomobile.

Suggested Reading

  • Social Brite | How nonprofits can reach youths with Vine & Instagram
  • HubSpot | The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Vine for Marketing
  • Burrelles Luce | Hashtag #Six-Second Attention Spans: Adding Twitter’s Vine to Your PR Toolbox
  • Forbes | Why Facebook May Not be Enough for the Next Generation
  • Jeff Bullas | 6 Tips on How to Use Twitter’s New Vine Video App for Marketing

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Jacqueline Pruter

Jacqueline Pruter is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Strategic Communications at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.

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