Prime Vine

While I’m new to the Vine scene (read as “I downloaded it yesterday”), I’ve already been sucked into the endless looping videos and found myself scrolling away into the wee hours of the night to see what the Vine is all about. I can verify that there is a very long stream of videos that thrives off of one liners and copy-cat videos.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vine

Here are my initially observations:

  1. The best vines have a story
  2. The coolest Vines typically have been edited down from multiple shots
  3. Viral is king…I don’t know what “Damn Daniel” means but I know it’s a big deal on Vine at this very moment
  4. Outside of viral things I don’t understand, relatable comedy, cute animals, and shocking stunts are a safe bet in ensuring a great Vine

After browsing around a ton of the latest trending videos on Vine, I noticed that the top trending videos are mostly made by amateur Viners or Vine influencers. But there is a place on Vine for brands if they take advantage of the elements of a successful Vine.

Let’s look at Amazon:

Amazon currently has a Vine presence, which is great! A lot of major companies (Microsoft, Google, Yahoo) don’t have any content on this fast and fresh platform. But Amazon could step up it’s game in the Vine world.

First, let’s see if Vine is even a good place for Amazon to be in the world of social media by performing the Platform Fit Test!

Platform Fit Test

Question 1: Audience Connection — Can we reach and engage our target audience on the platform?

Yes! The audience of Vine skews heavily towards teens who are part of the instant satisfaction generation where Prime video streaming and same day delivery services speak their language.

Question 2: Brand Association — Does my brand align with the platform’s brand and its user behavior?

Yes! Amazon is about creating a one-stop shop where customers can find and discover anything they want online and delivering products fast. Vine is all about the fast, instant entertainment. Brands matched!

Question 3: Goal Alignment — Can we achieve our goals via this platform?

Sort of…Depends on how you define Amazon’s goals, which brings us to the next test of the Amazon and Vine relationship…

#relationshipgoals

Goals

There are four buckets that social media goals fall into: Brand, Revenue, Cultural, and Operational.

Vine is going to fill Brand goals for Amazon by appearing “cooler” in the eyes of teens. As Amazon Instant Video is competing with the likes of Hulu, Netflix, and HBO, strong brand recognition could go along way with teens exploring new streaming options through Amazon.

A stronger Brand among teens may lead to new Revenue, but that’s likely the only revenue boost Amazon will see through the Vine. There are currently no instant purchase options within the Vine App, so users are not going to be transported to their Amazon shopping cart. But this could be an added feature down the line and a strong Vine presence now could set up Amazon for Revenue success in the future.

Scrolling through Amazon’s Vine’s, it is obvious that there is one Amazon employee with the cutest little bulldog that is benefitting from the Cultural aspects of Vine. Otherwise, the Amazon Vines are not representative of the greater Amazon employee population and likely many Amazon employees are not on Vine due to the high teen demographic.

Amazon is currently using some of it’s Vine time to advertise its own products, which enhances advertising Operations, but Amazon is not going to start recognizing Employees of the Month through Vine or change their shipping logistics because of the latest viral Vine.

So what are the Amazon and Vine #relationshipgoals: Brand recognition for teens!

How can Amazon improve on Vine?

Content!

Three ideas to help Amazon continue to have a presence on Vine that all involve content.

  1. Influence — Amazon has started to use influencers like KalaniBallFree who has a million followers. Adding in more influencers who already do the crazy, funny, and shocking videos well will help boost street cred of Amazon with the teens who dominate Vine.
  2. Broaden the content — There are a lot of dogs on the Amazon Vine right now, which can be a great strategy but shouldn’t be the only one. Amazon should think about showing off their warehouse robots or follow a same day delivery van through the streets of NYC. Get creative with the every day stories that happen to Amazon employees to help bring in the cultural element of the huge Amazon family. Amazon also owns it’s own studio! Use your own original content!!
  3. More — While Amazon has a Vine presence, I was easily able to scroll back to 2013 videos. With so much content on Vine, Amazon doesn’t want to get lost by only having a bare minimum of content on the platform. To fully experience the benefits of the platform, Amazon should be posting more frequently to attract a larger audience.

Prime Vine

By simply being on Vine, Amazon has taken the first step towards benefiting from the social media platform and its audience of teens. But Amazon needs to step up its game to make sure it is really extracting value. Amazon and Vine have great brand compatibility and should take their relationship to the next level by investing in more diverse content that leverages both their own content (from Amazon Studios and their employees) to influencers already crushing it in the Vine-o-sphere.

SK Callanan — MBA Candidate at MIT Sloan in Social Media Management