The complexity of social media continues to be somewhat of a thorn in the sides of a number of brands. In a blink of an eye, back when Twitter was gaining more and more traction and Facebook had already asserted itself as a social-media juggernaut, Instagram exploded in popularity and relevance, as did Pinterest, Linkedin, Quora, Foursquare and Yelp, among a host of others.
Old news, right? Top brands aren’t the only ones using social media; small businesses are integrating a great deal of the aforementioned sites into their day-to-day marketing operations.
Likewise, not too long ago I wrote about the emergence of video sites like Viddy and SocialCam, their unique capabilities, and their potential to become what many call the “Instagram for video.” I certainly feel that moniker will prove to be true sooner rather than later. But brands and businesses are few and far between on these platforms.
Celebrities such as Justin Bieber (the kid is everywhere), Rihanna and Taylor Swift understandably rank atop the leaderboards on Viddy. Madonna and MC Hammer are among the top stars on SocialCam. Fans will flock to practically any platform necessary to get an up-close-and-personal glimpse at these beloved Hollywood celebs, from their indelible red-carpet moments to quirky self-shot spoofs.
Scattered somewhere in between are a few brands daring to get a head start on these social mediums. Here are four Viddy and/or SocialCam brand accounts testing the video-sharing waters in fresh and inventive ways.
No. 1: Red Bull
If there was a brand that had the material to promote and deliver a continuous flow of outrageous and exceptionally awesome video content, it’s Red Bull.
The world’s most popular energy drink endorses a multitude of extreme sports from grand prix auto racing to big wave African surfing, as well as BMX biking, skateboarding, snowboarding, and freestyle motocross. So it’s no surprise that the brand’s 36 “viddys” are comprised of an array of brave, extreme stunts and extreme sport highlights.
The quality of the content is even greater thanks to some proficient editing by the Red Bull team, captivating its select audience by flashing several camera angles and slow-motion points during the clip.
And let’s not forget Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the middle of the earth’s stratosphere last weekend dubbed “Red Bull Stratos Mission to the Edge of Space.” According to Mashable, 54 percent of the free-fall’s internet mentions came from Twitter, 26 percent from Facebook, and a respectable 14 percent from video sites.
Baumgartner’s jump on Viddy produced Red Bull’s most liked clip on the platform, with 1,031 likes and 57 comments. It seems as though there’s a bright future for Red Bull on Viddy.
No. 2: General Electric
As Olivia Roat already demonstrated, General Electric is one of the few brands that is not only well versed in social media, but that also utilizes each social media platform to further their brand philosophy and mission.
“We’re experimenting,” executive director-global digital marketing of General Electric Linda Boff told Sean Callahan of BtoBonline.com. “We have fun and we’re learning.”
While GE’s Pinterest page delves into both inspirational, fun and lighthearted material, its Viddy page is comprised of 21 viddys that focus on GE’s mission to move, cure, power and build, and more importantly to highlight the people and the machines that help accomplish that mission.
GE’s recent Flyover campaign allows users to vote on which area its helicopter-cam should showcase next. The Flyovers gives GE’s 21,300 followers an in-depth and more personal look at some of its fascinating equipment and the people that work at GE plants nationwide. The viddys are teasers that invite followers to check out the full Flyover at GE’s Facebook or Tumblr page.
Even for a self-proclaimed sports buff like myself, I found the material very interesting and felt the need to watch the entire video, thus engaging with the brand on numerous social media platforms. This is one of the inherent challenges of Viddy: captivating an audience with short, 15-second clips. GE was able to do this, at least for me, despite providing material that’s not exactly on par with Red Bull’s exhilarating content.
Additionally, GE is also the 34th-ranked brand in terms of followers on SocialCam.
The GE SocialCam profile utilizes several of the same Viddy clips, but also new and more detailed videos as well, including the story behind the inventor of the LED, Nick Holonyak.
No. 3: Southwest Airlines
Southwest is by far one of the most active brands on Viddy with 59 videos and more than 29,000 followers. The Dallas, Texas-based low-cost flight carrier shares a variety of content via Viddy, including contests for free flights as well its frequent “guess the airport” challenge.
A survey conducted by Buyology and uSamp back in February revealed that Southwest Airlines is the “most desired” brand in the United States. From blogging to Facebook to Twitter, Southwest has proven it’s as savvy as they come when it comes to proper and effective use of social media.
Southwest’s social media specialist Christi McNeil told Matt Joyce of the Dallas Business Journal that Southwest’s purpose on said social platforms is to “Provide outstanding customer service. Show a unique, fun personality, and then provide relevant information to our customers on the platform that they prefer to get it.”
In terms of its Viddy profile, Southwest succeeded by conducting a couple of different challenges, including its “Wanna Get Away” campaign. Submitted videos were graded on creativity, entertainment value and “Southwest Appeal,” meaning the video needed to reflect the airline’s culture and “fun-LUVing attitude.” The airline awarded followers free round trips through other contests as well.
Southwest not only invites its followers back for future engagement, but it provides fun, interactive and even sometimes enlightening content through its Viddy profile.
No. 4: Sierra Mist
Pepsi Co. soft drink Sierra Mist is the fifth ranked brand on SocialCam, behind three professional sports franchises (the Brooklyn Nets have the most followers among brands) and Discovery Shark Week.
With nearly 767,000 followers, Sierra Mist evokes a great deal of engagement through both comments and likes, with several of its videos garnering more than 1,000 combined likes and comments. It’s apparent at first glance that Sierra Mist uses its SocialCam to promote engagement through lighthearted skits and guessing games, as well as to further its brands vision as “the natural choice” of soft drinks.
That’s especially true since the majority of its videos are cooking tips entitled: Eating Together, A Natural Tradition, featuring acclaimed American chef Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez stimulates viewers’ taste buds with his delectable dishes, from slow chorizo empanadas to his Chipotle chicken recipe which includes a can of Sierra Mist.
These “natural” recipes help market Sierra Mist Natural as a healthier option for consumers, well, at least for soda drinkers.
Predicting the future
Interestingly enough, among the top 50 brands on SocialCam, four are soft drinks, including Pepsi’s Sierra Mist and Brisk, and its competitors: Lipton Iced Tea and Sprite (Coca Cola). These are obvious signs that these brands mean business despite SocialCam’s popularity compared to its social media brethren.
Both SocialCam and Viddy are simple ways companies can create interesting, thought-provoking and easy-to-share content. The Internet’s shift to everything visual will continue, but the question still remains: what video sharing app will become the Instagram for video?
In the 140-character society we live in, fueled by a 24-hour news cycle and instant gratification, Viddy’s short but sweet app may reign supreme in the marketing world. While I believe SocialCam is much easier and efficient to use, brands may be more apt to utilize Viddy’s 15-second window in creative and engaging ways, even if they lack the thrilling content that Red Bull is able to pump out on a daily basis.
Which site do you enjoy using most?