By Ty Collins, Senior Account Executive, Velocidi @TyLCollins

Imagine this scenario: you’re a small to medium sized food product company that produces the best salsa this side of San Antonio. You’ve developed social media communities on Facebook and Twitter, but you are looking to expand your social presence and use a more visual platform to scale up. Two services can deliver on this promise — Instagram and Vine — but the question remains, “Which visual social platform is right for my brand?”

At a glance it might seem like these two platforms are the same, but that is similar to mistaking Facebook and Twitter as interchangeable platforms. When used strategically, Instagram and Vine can allow you to accomplish very different marketing objectives. For example, Instagram’s user base exceeds Vine’s, with 150 million users to Vine’s 40 million. However, Vine has drawn a more devoted and creative user base, helping it to essentially win over the video community ahead of Instagram.

Deciding which of these two platforms should lead your visual efforts in social may seem like a daunting task, but fear not, we’ve outlined a guide below that presents the value of Instagram and Vine, in order to help you best leverage either platform for your brand.


1. Sharing at Scale: Instagram has more than 100 million users over Vine. Instagram also allows you to share to a larger selection of social media channels directly from the app, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. This gives you the chance to share your beautiful food videos/photos with a larger audience and cast a wider net for possible brand evangelism.

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Local food company Raleigh Cake Pops on Instagram, @raleighcakepops.

 2. Photo Posts: Unlike Vine, Instagram boasts photo-sharing capabilities and short-form video that allow you to tell a more dynamic brand story online. Photo filters that bring out colors and contrasts previously unseen let you transform images and videos to help you engage your audiences in uniquely visual ways. Instagram photos also help to feed the appetite for your audience’s growing love of food photography on social media!

 3. 15-Second Videos: Instagram allows you to shoot up to 15 seconds of video, and you’d be surprised how much information and entertainment you can fit into 15 seconds! Short commercials, video series, recipes, and FAQs are just some of the things you can do to not only engage your audience, but also convey important brand information.


1. Master the Loop: Arguably the most unique Vine feature is its loop, in which 6-second videos play seamlessly on repeat. These videos give you the opportunity to make a GIF-style video (a looping animation) to boost potential engagement with your content. Time your 6-second videos right, and you can produce a very sharable piece of content that your audience can’t look away from! Here’s an example from Dunkin Donuts.
Oreo uses stop motion to create delight and wonder on Vine.

 2. Creative Animation: Stop motion videos on Vine have taken off due to the seamless loop and sensitive shutter controls, and this has been one very successful tool in engaging with audiences on the video platform. By moving the subject of your Vine in small increments before shots, you can animate by creating the illusion of movement. This creative method can be very effective for highlighting the deliciousness of your product.
Trident gum uses humor to communicate the importance of 'flavor' for the brand.

3. Focused Storytelling: Your vines should ultimately tell one cohesive brand story, so that when someone comes to your profile, they’re aware of the brand’s visual story through its collection of videos. Six seconds may not seem like enough time, but that’s why Vine has thrived (more than Instagram) in creative storytelling — it forces you to really focus on the core messages and intrinsic qualities of your product or brand.

Ultimately, you will need to consider how each platform’s attributes will enhance your brand story and even potentially drive customers to purchase. If you are trying to reach a wider audience and you believe photos will capture the product more readily, Instagram is definitely the app for you. But, if you’re willing to invest a little bit more time and creativity, Vine’s loyal fan base has the potential to propel you to viral fame.

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