Last week, Twitter released a new stand-alone video app called Vine that’s been causing a stir. Vine is being called the Instagram for video, and seems to have the staying power to prevail over apps with similar intentions, such as Keek and Cinemagram. Vine allows people create to create 6-second looping videos by combining smaller video clips. It shares many similarities with Twitter’s succinct usability and doesn’t require any post-production editing.

Vine videos are easy to create and even easier to consume. Its use of video loops makes it a great tool for creating brand recognition. This also seems to be a step forward for Twitter in terms of what it offers to brands and businesses. Some savvy brands have already taken to Vine, including Urban Outfitters, Gap, BuzzFeed, and PBS.

But does Vine have the potential to be a valuable tool for your brand? Here are some things to consider before your jump on board.

Use Vine for Demonstrations and Product Teasers

GE on Vine

Product demos are the most obvious way brands could utilize Vine. This approach could work particularly well for consumer electronics brands; it makes for an easy way to communicate and demonstrate hidden or lesser known features.

Vine has potential for building hype around new products. It can be used to provide viewers with a sneak peek of what they have to look forward to. Imagine seeing the latest Samsung Galaxy Android phone and its new features displayed on Vine prior to its release.

You could also release snippets of upcoming advertising campaigns and celebrity spokespeople to get people talking about your brand. This strategy would work well for a wide array of different industries, from consumer packaged goods to fashion and clothing brands — even business-to-business companies.

Create a Contest on Vine

For brands already using social media contests to attract and convert new customers, Vine might be just the thing to get people even more involved. Vine allows consumers to exercise their creativity and make something unique, sharable, and tangible.

In its blog, Twitter said its intention when developing Vine was to inspire creativity using the brevity made popular by the microblogging platform. A Vine contest could provide brands with never-ending material by crowdsourcing mini-advertisements from the consumers directly, simultaneously providing Vine users a shot at fame and fortune for the best submission.

Advertising With Twitter and Vine

Over the past year, Twitter has made some major additions to its brand offerings, including the option to promote tweets, trends, and brands. A study commissioned by Twitter showed that its advertising methods increased brand awareness and sales, while being less intrusive than traditional banner ads. If you’ve been considering advertising with Twitter, it may be time to further explore the option with the release of Vine.

Brands like GE and Wheat Thins are already running Promoted Tweets with Vine videos attached. Jumping on the wagon this early could be an advantage for marketers; what they post could be some of the first interactions consumers have with Vine itself. Assuming that Vine catches on among the masses, using Promoted Tweets could push your Vine video to the top of Twitter feeds and into the common consciousness.

Is Vine Right For You?

At this early stage in its deployment, we recommend that you experiment with Vine to see what works and what doesn’t. Get a feel for Vine’s strengths and its limitations (remember, you only have six seconds). When dealing with an app less than a week old, it’s unlikely all of its kinks will be ironed out; reports of server crashes are quite common at this point. It could take a few weeks, perhaps months, before Vine gains a significant user base.

But this is a great time to unleash your team’s creativity by encouraging employees to create their own Vines and start brainstorming ideas. Because the platform is new to everyone, minor missteps on your behalf will quickly be forgotten, forgiven, or simply overlooked. Many brands, such as BuzzFeed, have used Vine as an insider’s look into their offices. Industry experts seem to think that Vine has staying power — a nod of approval that’s hard to come by these days.

Have you experimented with Vine? Share your experiences in the comments below

[Image credits: Esther VargasMac Morrison, runran]