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Use Vine to Market Your Body Shop

Twitter’s new Vine app creates short, looping videos that you can use to reach and retain customers.

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BSB Contributing Editor Mark Claypool has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of workforce development, apprenticeships, marketing and Web presence management with SkillsUSA, the I-CAR Education Foundation, Mentors at Work, VeriFacts Automotive and the NABC. He is the CEO of Optima Automotive (www.optimaautomotive.com), which provides website design, SEO services and social media management services.

Last month, we discussed using Twitter as an outreach marketing tool for your business. Tweets are short and sweet and engage your followers in your business on an ongoing basis. Twitter helps you get your brand in front of your followers – if you’re posting often enough. It’s also a great way to engage Generation Y in your business (people under 30 years old). And now there is Twitter’s new Vine app.

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Vine, which was launched early this year, allows you to shoot and upload videos to your Twitter account. It’s similar to Instagram, but what makes it different is that it’s video, not pictures. Vine allows you to do so much more with Twitter than you ever could before.

How Does It Work?
Vine inserts a short (six seconds or less) looping video (with sound) into a tweet. You can easily start and stop your video by clicking a button, so you can create interesting videos literally in seconds. However, Vine is currently only available for the iPhone and the iPad Touch.

Five Simple Steps
1. Start by downloading and installing Vine from iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vine/id592447445?mt=8.
2. Set up a Vine account with your business Twitter profile. You may also use your email address.
3. On your iPhone, look for people to follow, go to your profile, and click on the “People” icon on the upper-right side of the screen. This can also be done from your settings screen, where you can use the “Find People” option in Friends.
4. Start recording videos by clicking on the video camera icon. Start and stop your recording by simply tapping your finger on the screen.
5. Once you’re finished recording, click on “Continue,” which will then allow you to share your video on your Vine and Twitter accounts.

Business Uses
There are many uses for Vine in a collision repair business. Generation Y has about a six-second attention span anyway (just kidding, sort of), so there’s a lot you can do. Consider the following:

1. Send a quick vehicle status update to a customer who’s active on Twitter.
2. Send a message from the owner or CSR.
3. Recognize employees on their birthdays or work anniversary dates, or for training received, certifications earned, expertise and more.
4. Ask happy customers to give a quick testimonial.
5. Show your lobby area, signage out front, remodeling in process, etc.
6. Show new equipment.
7. Highlight charitable campaigns and events your shop participates in.
8. Show cool cars you’re working on or see (don’t show license plates, however).
9. Do quick public service announcements on buckling up, no texting and driving, proper use of car seats, etc.
10. Airbag demonstrations.
11. Recognize first responders.
12. Celebrate holidays.
13. Setting clocks forward and back an hour at that time of year as a reminder.
14. Show how paint is sprayed on a car.
15. Grinding (lots of sparks make a dramatic video).
16. Welding (people enjoy seeing this, but guard your eyes when doing so).
17. Do a brief demonstration.
18. Promote contests.
19. Record something funny.

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Examples
I can’t show you examples from our industry…not just yet, anyway. It’s too new and I couldn’t find anyone using it yet. If you’re using Vine, please send me your examples so I can include them in future columns. But let’s look at some other industry examples. Visit https://vine.co/v/bvlaYggdIiU to see a Vine video by Taco Bell. Makes you hungry just watching it, doesn’t it? Or visit https://vine.co/v/bdYhY50DL33 to see an example from OneNine Design promoting an Art Walk.

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Using this OneNine Design example, consider how you can promote local community events, fundraisers, etc., while getting your brand included in the process. It will loop over and over, creating marketing impressions each time.

According to Drew Gorlewski, social media account manager at Optima Social Media, “Vine can be used to be creative and unique. It can be used to advertise the product thoroughly, and advertising is on a completely low budget, like in Taco Bell’s video. No fancy cameras, special effects or actors. A simple idea is taken to the next level when a creative twist is added.”

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You don’t need a high-tech camera or even video editing software. All you need is your iPhone (and eventually, any smartphone). Now click, click, click, hold button, click and post. You’re done. You know, this whole Vine video process sounds ridiculously easy, doesn’t it? That’s because it is.

Make sure your videos are funny and creative and showcase your logo, people and services. If you follow these guidelines, people will be more likely to view your stuff and look forward to more. And they’ll pay more attention to these than written tweets. Vine is a great way to spice up your Twitter feed and get you noticed!

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BSB Contributing Editor Mark Claypool has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of workforce development, business/ education partnerships, apprenticeships and Web presence management. He is the CEO of Optima Automotive (www.optimaautomotive. com), which provides website design, development, SEO services and social media management services. Claypool’s work history includes stints at Metro Paint Supplies, VeriFacts Automotive, the National Auto Body Council (NABC), the I-CAR Education Foundation and SkillsUSA. He is the founder of Mentors At Work and co-founder of the Collision Industry Foundation. He served, on a volunteer basis, as the Skills-USA World Team Leader for the WorldSkills Championships from 2003 to 2011.

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