It’s just over a year since Twitter launched Vine, its six second video social network. Facebook-owned Instagram launched its 15 second video app in June. To update my online PR training course material I’ve been researching the best examples of corporate Vine and Instagram videos for reputation management, CSR, investor relations, crisis communications, stakeholder relations and public affairs.
I found a lot of quite creative consumer examples, but corporate examples were a lot harder to find. It’s relatively easy to find good corporate case studies for just about every other type of content and social network, so why not for ‘micro-video’? Asking my Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn network elicited a few more examples, but not many.
Not all of the Vine and Instagram videos I’ve listed below can truly be classified as corporate, but they are all good enough to help spark ideas that corporate communications professionals can use.
GE six second science fair
If you want to find good corporate use of social media then General Electric is usually a good place to start. Its #6secondscience fair on Vine is great because the very concept embodies GE’s message of science and technology. It seeded the idea with its own six second science experiments/demonstrations and then opened it up to the community to share their own Vine science ideas on Twitter using the #6secondscience hashtag. More than 600 Vine videos were submitted and GE used a Tumblr blog to curate them and edited a selection of the best into a YouTube video compilation.
While other companies are working out if Instagram or Vine works best for them GE is using both. This GE Instagram video shows an engine during a ‘water ingestion’ test and takes the tried and tested ‘behind the scenes’ idea to show a ‘dry’ subject that most people would never normally see.
Barack Obama and The White House
Another great source of social media ideas and case studies is always Barack Obama and the White House. Many of their ideas are more easily translated into corporate public relations than the fluffier examples from consumer PR and marketing. This is the first White House Vine to actually feature Obama and was published quickly to congratulate ‘Batkid’. (Miles Scott is a Californian boy recovering from leukaemia who became a viral internet hit when the Make-A-Wish Foundation made him Batman for the day and had him hurtling around San Francisco to save ‘Gotham City’.
Some of the most interesting uses of Vine are coming from traditional publishers. USA Today is using it as an alternative way to report news such as Obama’s State of the Union speech. Similar ideas could easily be used by companies to help communicate company news and stories more effectively.
German regional newspaper Rhein-Zeitung uses Vine to show just how much work goes into laying out a print newspaper. Showing how you do what you do is a great way to use either Vine or Instagram videos.
National Geographic used Instagram to give readers an insight into how its photographers get those fantastic shots by giving them a peak into Michael Yamashita’s rucksack. Behind the scenes is another great way to create short videos that give your stakeholders an alternative insight from the one they would normally see.
Kids Company is a UK charity for deprived and neglected children. Despite the fact these Kids Company videos are created by an advertising agency I’ve included them because I love the concept of a two part Vine. Each video shows a neglected child with a call to text an instant £5 donation. This unlocks a second ‘thank you’ video with the same child in a better environment.
Charity: Water is a New York based charity with a mission “to bring clean and safe drinking water to every person in the world.” It used a 15 second Instagram video to showcase the highlights of its activity in 2013. This is a simple, but effective technique that companies could emulate to promote annual reports or financial results.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
On World Aids Day, December 1, 2013 Bill Gates used Vine as a moving ‘infographic’ to show the number of people around the world with HIV. Another idea that companies could adapt to show financial results or indeed any data or statistics.
Doug Richard: School for Start-ups
Finally UK-based entrepreneur Doug Richard created this Vine to encourage start-up entrepreneurs to pitch him for personal mentoring and for a place in his School for Start-ups. It shows that you don’t need fantastic production values and creativity to make a good Vine. You could do this style quite easily yourself.
There are some other great uses of Vine and Instagram video out there. For example US home improvement retailer Lowe’s uses Vine to provide six second home improvement tips, which it then curates onto its Fix in Six Tumblr blog. While UK retail bank NatWest is using Vine to give customer service tips such as showing how to use its smart phone app.