On September 25th, OLC attended the meet up, “Branding with Vine and Instagram” with presentations by M80, OMD, Ogilvy, Etsy, Vine, and Instagram.
The format of the event was that of a Q&A moderated by Charlie Oliver, director of digital media strategy at Served Fresh Media.
Charlie Oliver kicked off the event with the question, “What is the difference between Vine and Instagram?”
Heather Taylor, VP head of social content and strategy at Oglivy took to the stage and distinguished the two social media tools with different purposes. Vine as Heather interprets, “creates immediate content” and Instagram, “cultivates an image.”
For Vine and Instagram influencers such as Meagan Cignoli and Nicholas Megalis, each social media tool has its own uses for different creative purposes. Nicholas has a preference for Vine when creating musical work because Instagram, “is not the same as vine.” Instagram, for him, isn’t as musically oriented like Vine.
Meagan also expressed her preference for Vine when working with stop-gap animation but explained that Instagram has its own uses for creative, for example, “it is easier to do dream sequences with Instagram due its 350 fps compared to Vine’s 120 fps.”
For both influencers, Vine and Instagram can be used interchangeably or together depending on the work that needs to be done.
However, Dan Ragan, strategist for M80 had a more quantitative interpretation of the difference between Vine and Instagram. For Dan, the real difference had to do with “Vine’s 6 second limit compared to Instagram’s 15 seconds.” In the age where social media is very heavily intertwined with television, the time limit on each social media tools have very big implications to how brands can engage their consumers. The 9 second difference between Vine and Instagram can influence how much money is spent for air time for advertisements.
Next, David Morgan, social media coordinator for Etsy, had a different take on the time difference between Instagram and Vine. For David, the 15 seconds Instagram provides can articulate a story. “How do we want our followers to feel? What actions and emotions do we want to elicit?” asked David. Agreeing with Heather’s interpretation of the two social media tools, David thinks that while Vine is great tool for immediate content creation, Instagram is a good tool for identity cultivation. Etsy, for example, “uses Instagram to try to articulate the image of creativity and cultivate a community in craft and art.”
Soon after, Charlie Oliver transitioned the topic of the Q&A to the advantages that social media can bring to brands; with Ben Winker, Chief digital officer of OMD responding that social media is “a safe outlet for brands to market their products” since if “a certain product isn’t ‘liked,’ it doesn’t get shared to other users.”
Winkler continued, “Companies can try things out” without the fear of major repercussions.
The influencers had their own interpretation of how brands can benefit from social media as Nicolas Megalis and Meagan Cignoli suggest that Brands are also able to select creative that best fit what they want through social media.
Nicolas says his work “attracts the brands that he wants to work with” since “Social media branding is interactive unlike T.V.” Nicolas continued, “I spend 3 hours responding to my followers… From death threats, even marriage proposals… Advertising is disconnected, what I do is authentic.” Hence brands looking for a certain image or targeting a particular demographic can recruit influencers such as Nicolas through his works.
Dan Ragan, Strategist for M80, also chimed in and talked about the potential within social media to find greater creative than in major companies. “You can’t commodify creativity but you can commodify followers.” Said Ragan. What social media brings to brands is an open network where influencers can actively create content that already fit the brand’s image (or desired image.)
However, Dan as well as the other presenters present a main concern of the brand and influencer dynamic. How are brands going to perpetuate this relationship long term? Since the nature of influencers and their followers are fickle, brands must figure out a way to perpetuate longevity.
In response to this problem, Ben Winker expressed the two values that influencers bring to brands; Content and followership. The goal of the brand should be to solidify their image through their content since once they have the content; all they need are the followers of the influencers.
Heather Taylor expressed the importance of the partnership between brands and influencers by asking the question “What is your long term strategy?”
A strong partnership between Brands and influencers are characterized by organization, Heather believed when asking the question, “Who is going to be doing what?” Brands find the particular trend or demographic that they wish to tap into and build a loyal followership but it is the influencers that bring in the followers. A strong partnership is founded on brands that know what they want and influencers that can fit into or cultivate the desired image.
The moderated Q&A session ended with Jeff Semones, President and co-founder of M80, answering his own question, “How can we use these new mediums to create a story?” “Togetherness,” Social media bridges the gap between brands to its consumers through interactive connectivity.