What Jewelers Should (and Shouldn’t) Do on Social Media App Vine

The new video-sharing app allows you to showcase moving images—in six seconds or less

Twitter’s recent acquisition of Vine, a video-sharing app for iPhones, underscores one inarguable fact: In social media, imagery is king. Camera phones—whose capabilities and pixel count are expanding rapidly—are ubiquitous, making the creation of artsy imagery easier than ordering a cheeseburger at a drive-thru. Simultaneously, image-centric websites such as Pinterest and 500px are multiplying. Visual file sharing, it seems, is here to stay. And that’s good news for jewelry retailers, whose brilliant products represent, for many consumers, the ultimate eye candy.

“Image sharing is at high experimentation levels right now and that’s because of its novelty and ease,” says social media expert and author Paul Gillin. “Over the last two years, apps and phones and websites have made sharing these things automatic. It used to be that it took a little work to get a photo on Facebook.”

Though video apps are “not at all new,” notes Gillin, Vine broke free of the pack when Twitter bought the company in January, quickly making it the most downloaded free video app on iTunes. Here’s a look at how Vine works and how the short-and-snappy app could potentially benefit your business.

What’s the deal with Vine?

Like Twitter, Vine requires users to express themselves in a very abbreviated format—six seconds, to be exact. “Its brevity is a virtue,” says Gillin. “It forces people to figure out how to say things in a much more compact form. It also frees you from the need to be long, which is good, because many people are not comfortable with length.” Younger generations, particularly, are more likely to watch a six-second clip than a drawn-out video spot.

How do I use it?

A major virtue of this app is its ultra­simple interface. You place your thumb on the screen to signal the camera to start recording video. When you remove your thumb from the screen, the camera stops. This lets you record multiple short clips that are strung together into one continuous video—eliminating the need to edit your video.

What can it do for me?

Vine videos have a built-in audience: Twitter’s 500 million-plus users. Retailers now can soup up their 140-­character Tweets with tiny, artfully edited product videos—a major upgrade in the quest to capture customers through social media channels.

What shouldn’t I do with Vine?

The brevity of Vine videos means retailers shouldn’t consider the app a place to post traditional ads. “If you’re going to use Vine as a promotion, it can’t be a straight sell,” social media expert Fiona Severson wrote on SocialMediaToday.com. “It has to be more of a tease, [like] ‘Look what we’ve got in the works but aren’t going to show you yet.’?”

How can I create Vine videos that really pop?

With only six seconds to show your wares, Vine forces you to get creative. Rum brand Bacardi demonstrated how to mix a Cuba Libre cocktail in six seconds, while Dove captured a bar of its iconic white soap knocking down bottles of body wash as though it were a bowling ball. The cheeky Tweet that accompanied the clip: “Definitely a strike.”