Social Media

Can You Tell a Story in Six Seconds?


vineSix seconds is not a lot of time. When Vine launched, giving users a six second limit on video length, the initial response was cautious. Marketers immediately wrote Vine off as a loser. Professional content creators struggled with a way to make good use of the platform.

That is, until standard users established a Vine culture built on comedic skits and storytelling. The users turned those six precious seconds into a medium for storytelling.

In six seconds you can express your feelings about a specific subject or situation, tell a joke, or make connections between two unrelated concepts that strike a nerve with the audience.

Instagram took it a bit further by allowing 15 seconds of video, but the concept of short-form storytelling remains pretty much the same.

Why Businesses Should Pay Attention to New Platforms

Vine is big, and growing. Between Vine and Instagram, 2014 will almost surely be the year of quick, punchy video. People are starting to use their Vine and Instagram apps instead of Facebook and/or Twitter to get their social fix. Why? Because photos and short-form videos are entertaining and easy to consume. You aren’t forced to watch a 30-second pre-roll (thanks YouTube) with either platform. You also don’t have to wade through banner ads to get to the content you enjoy.

Good businesses adapt, great businesses adopt. When World Wrestling Entertainment started planning the launch of an online streaming network, it immediately began a culture shift that included full-scale adoption of Twitter and YouTube. Every WWE program is filled with hashtag and Twitter references. Viewers can use a mobile app to vote on the outcome of events during the show. The entire WWE brand shifted from push to pull in terms of audience interaction.

Without spending a dime in advertising, the WWE has a guaranteed trending topic on Twitter every Monday and Friday night during its two biggest shows. The WWE YouTube channel, which offers clips of the latest show within hours of airing on television, receives outstanding traffic. In short: The WWE is reaping the benefits of using social media to its advantage.

Now, when the new live streaming WWE Network launches, WWE fans will be easy converts to the online service via WWE apps and social media channels.

Meanwhile, traditional networks that only passively utilize these platforms are seeing constant declines in viewership and conversion rates.

Imagine what a business has to do a year from now to make an impact? With Twitter starting to show signs of wear, and the kids today spending more time on Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat than they do on Facebook, the next pivot in the industry is likely to happen in the space of short-form video.

If you can create compelling content that tells a story in 6-15 seconds, you stand a much better chance of surviving the next big shift in audience attention.

Why Businesses will Eventually Take Over Vine and Instagram

“Marketers ruin everything.”
– Gary Vaynerchuk

Marketers have a way of latching on to something that works, and turning it into a powerful platform for advertising. Twitter, while still popular and quite useful, has been pretty much run through the ringer by marketers. It isn’t totally ruined yet, but seeing an ad or “push promotion” on Twitter has become about as common as seeing a commercial on broadcast television. Marketers are slowly but surely ruining Twitter.

Vine will likely be no different. There are already several brands making small ripples in the Vine community, and often with the help of their fans. Just try exploring Vine without seeing a Minion video, or a Macklemore clip. These brands, by direct or indirect action, have already managed to burn their way into the psyche of the community.

Image: Vine

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