With the re-emergence of GIFs as a trending method of sharing video clips, it was not long before somebody tried to capitalize upon the popularity of the format and develop an application to assist in creating and distributing short-form video. Currently owned by Twitter, Vine was among the first to try and gain popularity through facilitating the sharing of brief, six-second videos. Vine, according to Twitter, presently has over 23 million members and is obtainable on both Android and iOS devices.

Here is a list of five brands that are making the most of the Vine platform. And afterward, I've included five things to do to improve your own Vine posts.

Recently, General Electric introduced a fantastic ad in which acoustic engineer Andrew Gorton and musician Mathew Dear compose a tune from the sounds of GE's machinery. Vine professional Mark's Basement Records, at the brand's request, remixed the tune into an electrifying six-second sample.

Currys PC World took to the platform like a duck to water. Browsing Sony's booth during the IFA Electronics Show in Berlin, they captured this great concept aquarium, which features water-resistant Xperia smartphones.

Vine's "how-to" genre, which covers all things from cocktail mixing to home improvement, was mastered by Lowe's. This loop is a wonder of visual know-how and creativity, with rarely a hair out of place.

Nicely drawing the viewer's attention, Samsung exhibits imagination within this Vine, advertising its Galaxy Note 4.

Intel, an innovator in short-form content, is among the top brands to use a timely US Open reference. Indeed, well played.

Eric Dahan, CEO and co-founder of InstaBrand, says, "Vine has become a popular and extremely effective platform for influencer marketing. Brands are able to build incentives that encourage users to share the content through the 're-Vine' feature, thus continuing the exposure. In sum, this makes Vine an important platform for brands to share their company values, brand identity, and uniquely connect with their users. In general, witty and comedic content fares the best. By using comedy, influencers effectively reach their audiences and intertwine the brand's message with their 'sticky' content.

"Film, television, tech companies, music, auto, and food industries have invested heavily in Vine because of its enormous returns in positive brand perception and the highly receptive audiences with whom they can share their company values. An added feature that makes Vine attractive to brands is the loop-count feature as a measure of performance. This type of key performance indicator (KPI) is unique to Vine and lets brands know just how much their content is viewed."

And Aidan Cole, founder and CEO of Prospersocial, says, "Think about the saying, 'a picture is worth a thousand words.' Then think of each six-second Vine post as not just many pictures, but a dynamic experience. The more adept you become at understanding the interests of your audience, the more relevant you can make the experience to improve engagement!"

Five Things to Do to Improve Your Vines

1. Be very creative. Just because you're able to make a video on this platform in just six seconds does not mean you should. Nearly all the top brands that use Vine put lots of effort into developing highly creative videos that incorporate everything from stop motion animation to pets.

2. Offer assistance. Lowe's serves as an excellent example of this, as they're a DIY business and their Vines reflect this willingness to provide solutions and help with the normal, everyday issues that most of us face in our day-today lives around the home. If you're a brand that provides solutions, making a Vine account that is centered around assisting other people might be an excellent method of accumulating followers and receiving engagement.

3. Run a contest. Dove Men Care hired a stuntman to get hit in the face by various objects, which included paint, baby food, and sand, as voted on by their community on Facebook. As you may not need to go to this extreme, you might run a contest that not only engages the Vine community but additionally assists in bringing new users in.

4. Regularly post. As with your Facebook page or blog, to keep readers engaged and develop a loyal following you will need to make sure you're posting to this platform on a consistent basis. This schedule may be one time per week, one time per day, or maybe every other week, but you must stick to it. Updating one time every couple of months isn't going to assist you in building an audience that wants to share your content and leave comments.

5. Be human. Utilizing video, particularly brief video clips like the ones on Vine, can be an exceptional method of showcasing behind-the-scenes footage featuring staff and other aspects of your business which fans of yours ordinarily wouldn't be privy to seeing.

The Vine platform is a growing social network that has the complete support of Twitter behind it. And with more than 23 million members, it's definitely worth investigating. The sole downside to the platform is that Instagram, a social-media channel that has more members and Facebook's backing, recently launched videos as an addition to its photo app, and it provides 15-second-long videos rather than Vine's six-second limit. If your strategy for social media includes integrating short-form video, you might want to look further into Instagram and Vine to check which one works best for you prior to completely dedicating yourself to one platform or the other.

Published on: Jan 12, 2015
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.