Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Take a Social Media Leaf From Vine Advice


Over at Digiday, Seth Weisfeld - a former Ad Agency creative who is now working for Vine - gives advice for how to make your Vine videos better. In list form, his advice* is:
  • Less is More
  • Tell a Story
  • Be Useful 
  • Experiment
When I read this article, it meshed up in my mind with a couple of examples of other social media posts and I realized that the advice applies just as much to any other kind of offering as it does to video.

Example No. 1: Staples

Staples is offering a grammar test. In terms of less is more, you get a very simple test (the trickiest part for many is who vs. whom). It tells a story in the sense that you know the interwebs is a hotbed of scary grammar and spelling and the test taker gets to learn - in an easy and fun way - how to improve their own writing. Each question tells you what percentage of people who have taken the test got the questions wrong and tells you why, making it a useful tool. And, although quizzes are not experimental on their own, it's kind of refreshing to see one on a site that sells business supplies. It's a slightly different approach because it doesn't reference Staples's business at all - no ads in the middle of the 16 questions, or cutesy references to specific products, and the quiz doesn't have a branded look, but a rather old-fashioned one that pokes a little fun at grammar sticklers. Still, while you're enjoying it, you're on Staples's website - might as well look around while you're there, right?

Example No. 2: Tide

These are Vine videos, but they could just as well be print ads, and they have proven quite, quite popular. They mesh pop culture horror references with the product to make us laugh. For example, a Tide bottle dressed up as the mother from Psycho with the tagline: #Mother gets a little #Psycho about dirty laundry. #Halloween #ScaredStainless With the tie-in to Halloween, this campaign is just about perfect in terms of Seth Weisfeld's advice. By using six seconds of video, they're definitely doing more with less. Each video tells a complete story by filling in the blanks with pop culture references. Each video is useful because it reminds you that candy-eating can be a dirty job requiring a stain remover, and it's obviously an experiment in video and humor that has gone very right.

What we can see is that your social media communications don't have to be elaborate, and experiments can pay off big. Still, whatever you choose to put out there, you should know who you're talking to so you can tell them a story they'll find interesting and highlight information they will consider useful. This isn't to say that a four-item list can make social communication easy - even simple can be complicated to put together - but with these points in mind, it might be easier to tell if you're on the right track, or rather, picking the right leaves.

*To learn how he fleshes out this list, read the article.

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