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The Week in Social Analytics #98

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It’s Friday, so that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics and our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook.

25 Small Business Social Media Trends You Need [from Heidi Cohen]

“Due to smaller size and lower amount of resources, these firms tend to take advantage of social media opportunities faster than their larger competitors.”

Instagram for Small Businesses: Your New Best Friend [from Social Media Today; written by Stephanie Jones]

“People love visual content, so that makes Instagram the ideal social media marketing platform for small businesses.  It’s also currently a completely free way to market your business to potentially millions.  Follow people, engage and you will have an impassioned following before you can say hashtag.”

More Tips for Avoiding and Containing Social Media Crises [from PR Newser; written by Patrick Coffee]

Social media often rewards wit and a little bit of attitude, but how can editorial standards and monitoring allow a brand to be interesting without being risky or offensive?

Wit should be reserved for brand messaging, but never for customer service. Those coming to customer service are in need of support and aren’t looking for a witty response, but a solution to their problem or an answer to their question.

It’s a much more difficult and dangerous venture to be witty or snarky with customer service when the main goal is supporting your customer.”

25 Customer Chat Tips to Reassure and Nurture Your Online Customers [from KISSMetrics; written by Kevin Gao]

“Live chat has been around for more than a decade, but only recently have companies discovered its profound effect on website conversion rates. A recent eMarketer paper cited live chat as being directly related to 38% of online purchases. And, 62% of consumers who have used live chat said they would be more likely to purchase again from the merchant who provided the service.”

How to Use Snapchat for Business [from C-Leveled; written by Regina Lizik]

“This makes Snapchat perfect for retail establishments that target a younger audience, like clothing stores, can share coupons and give sneak peaks of upcoming merchandise.”

STUDY: Cause Marketing Creates Brand Loyalty Among Millennial Women  [from PR Newser; written by Patrick Coffee]

“54% of Millennial women switched brands because it supported a #cause they care about.”

Written by Sarah

April 18th, 2014 at 9:33 am

A little more about our new Instagram analytics

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What does Union Metrics for Instagram do?

We wanted to build bigger, better Instagram analytics – something that allows us to take our deep-dive approach to social media analytics to one of our favorite platforms. Our Instagram analytics can show you how any account or hashtag – yours or a competitor’s – is performing at a glance. We can help you understand your posts and what makes them perform well, which hashtags get the biggest response, when an audience is most active. We can show you who your biggest fans and supporters are, who likes and comments on your posts, and so much more.

How does Union Metrics for Instagram work?

Just like TweetReach, Union Metrics for Instagram analytics provide real-time, ongoing monitoring for any account or hashtag on Instagram. When you set up a new Tracker, we’ll backfill it with some historical data to get you started, and then continuously add new and future posts in real time.

So who uses Instagram?

Instagram’s more than 200 million users might not be exactly who you’d expect. Roughly 10% (20.4 million) of Instagram’s dedicated user demographic (meaning they log in at least once a month) consists of 18-34 year olds. But another 15.3 million are 35 or older, and that number is projected to grow to 20 million by 2016. Instagram is, after all, the fastest growing social media site worldwide, rivals Twitter for smartphone audiences, and captures higher interaction rates than parent company Facebook.

Instagram also inspires the most dependence, according to one survey; the 18-25 year old demographic identify with it and see it as an extension of themselves. If this is the demographic you’re looking to target, then you absolutely need to be on Instagram.

Need more convincing? Social can make ads great again. Instagram gives us more room than ever for creativity. Now is the perfect time to dive in.

Okay, you’ve convinced me. Now how do I use Instagram?

We can help you with that! Here are some fantastic resources for getting started:

- Instagram has a blog specifically for businesses

- Instagram’s own Help Center can help get you started

- Check out our Helpdesk and helpful resources

- Want to know more? Download our Instagram whitepaper to learn more about Instagram data.

How do I get started with Instagram analytics?

It’s easy! You can sign up for a Union Metrics for Instagram subscription and have your first analytics running in just a few minutes. Subscriptions start at $199 per month. And if you want to talk to someone on our sales team or set up a demo, let us know! We’ve also got a webinar coming up next week to tell you more.

What if I’m already a TweetReach or Union Metrics for Tumblr customer and I want to add Union Metrics for Instagram?

We can add Union Metrics for Instagram to any existing Union Metrics account – TweetReach or Union Metrics for Tumblr. Or, you can upgrade to our Social Suite if you’d like flexible access to all three platforms. Just let us know what you’re looking for and we’ll make it happen!

Sounds good!

Fantastic. Keep your eye on this space and we’ll let you know any new and exciting details as they roll out.

Written by Sarah

April 16th, 2014 at 1:10 pm

Introducing Union Metrics for Instagram and the Union Metrics Social Suite!

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Merle is excited to start measuring robot Instagram analytics

We’re so very thrilled to share some exciting news! Today we’re releasing two brand new products – Union Metrics for Instagram and the Union Metrics Social Suite. Both will give you even more options for analyzing your social media campaigns, as we’re now on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram.

Union Metrics for Instagram

Our brand new Instagram analytics – Union Metrics for Instagram – allow you to access our real-time, ongoing analytics reporting for any account or hashtag on Instagram. Use these analytics to:

  • Discover your most popular media and hashtags

  • Identify an account’s biggest fans and advocates

  • Monitor hashtag reach and exposure over time

  • Track competitor performance to compare share of voice

  • Analyze likes and comments to determine when fans are most active

Interested? Union Metrics for Instagram subscriptions start at $199 per month.

The Union Metrics Social Suite

Our new enterprise cross-platform social analytics suite – the Union Metrics Social Suite is perfect for larger brands and agencies running campaigns across multiple social networks. This is our first-ever integrated suite, allowing you to monitor your social media presence across Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram in one place. Union Metrics Social Suite subscribers receive access to Union Metrics’ comprehensive analytics across social platforms, as well as dedicated account management and other enterprise features. Social Suite pricing starts at $500 per month.

Learn more

We’ve set up a few webinars over the next week to tell you more about our new products. Join us for one to learn more and see the new analytics in action.

Union Metrics for Instagram

April 17, 1:00 p.m. PDT

April 22,  9:00 a.m. PDT

Union Metrics Social Suite

April 23, 9:00 a.m. PDT

If you’re currently a TweetReach Pro or Union Metrics for Tumblr subscriber, we can add Union Metrics for Instagram access to your account, or upgrade you to the Social Suite for the most flexible access. Just contact us and we’ll get it set up!

And if you’d like a personal demo or have any questions, please contact our sales team anytime. And there’s lots more info on our website, so let us know if you have any questions.

Written by Sarah

April 16th, 2014 at 8:27 am

The Week in Social Analytics #97

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It’s Friday, so that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics and our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook.

How to control rumours on social media during a disaster [from Phys.org; written by staff]

“Dr Oh believes the main motivation for people turning to Twitter in a crisis is to find out what is happening in their immediate area or to acquaintances, so in order to control the flow of misinformation, emergency communication centres need to be set up quickly to respond to misinformation through social media channels.”

How Brands Can Make the Most Out of Twitter’s New Features [from Social Media Today; written by Jaylee Miguel]

“This visually-led profile will give brands the opportunity to raise awareness and drive engagement for competitions and campaign launches. Gone are the days of scrolling through days worth of tweets – instead, the pinning feature can present key information to users as soon as they land on the page.”

The redesign of Twitter is a great opportunity for brands to be able to visually express themselves better on the platform, without losing the engagement and connectivity Twitter is known most for.

What It’d Be Like To Step Inside Your Twitter Feed [from Fast Company; written by Margaret Rhodes]

“You enter your Twitter handle on a touch screen outside, then walk into the high-tech hut filled with screens and mirrors. A kaleidoscopic stream of notifications, updates, and hashtags flicker and flash around you.”

The Hashtag Test: Best and Worst Practices for Social Media Marketers [from TopRank; written by Nick Ehrenberg]

“Hashtag overuse is a common error in social messaging, sending signals of desperation and inexperience.”

In the UK, Real-Time Social Media Marketing Focuses on the Customer [from eMarketer; written by staff]

“Interacting with consumers in real time may be beneficial when it comes to fostering relationships, but it’s not easy, with UK marketers citing many challenges. More than three in five respondents said managing engagement outside of normal working hours was a top challenge, the No. 1 response. Consumers use social media before and after the workday—and they may expect brands that respond to them in real time during the day to do the same in the early morning or at night.”

Why your brand should definitely be on Tumblr: 10 fantastic examples [from Econsultancy; written by Christopher Ratcliff]

“Tumblr has a huge youth demographic that’s growing rapidly. This demographic also has a higher than average disposable income and very little competition from other brands.

Tumblr is the fifth most visited site in the USA, but only 31 of the top 100 brands operate a Tumblr page. It seems like a no-brainer.”

SnapChat and Building Community Where Your Audience is [from Spin Sucks; written by Eleanor Pierce]

“Because there’s one big reason SnapChat worked for me: I had a community of people who were already there. I didn’t try to force a community into using a trendy new tool just because I wanted them to be there.”

Emphasis original.

The Ultimate Marketing Guide to Using Snapchat for Business [from Social Media Today; written by Ross Simmonds]

“We’re living a in a time where our attention is minimal. Snapchat is a tool that captures someones attention entirely for a few seconds and has the ability cut through the attention crisis. In a world where our attention span is limited to 5 short minutes, a tool like snapchat could be a marketers dream. Millions of people around the world have become accustomed to receiving their news in 140 characters and watching videos in under 5 minutes. It’s changing the way consumers think and the way marketers must react.”

Boards with Benefits: 5 Stand Out Brands on Pinterest [from Social Media Today; written by Deanna Baisden]

“Having 2.5 billion monthly pageviews, there is a growing opportunity for businesses to find success on Pinterest, but what makes a brand stand out amongst a sea of images?”

These brand examples can show you exactly what’s working for brands in different areas on Pinterest.

8 Ways to Get More Pinterest Followers [from Pamorama; written by Pam Dyer]

“Despite being much smaller than Facebook or Twitter at 25 million users, it accounts for more than 23% of all social media-driven sales. More than 47% of online consumers in the U.S. have made a purchase based on Pinterest recommendations, and the average order placed by users of the platform is $179 — compare that to $80 for Facebook and $69 for Twitter, and you can see why it’s important to get more Pinterest followers.”

6 in 10 Americans Aged 65+ Go Online [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“Some 59% of Americans aged 65 and older report using the internet as of the second half of 2013, up 6% points from a similar time a year earlier.”

 

Written by Sarah

April 11th, 2014 at 8:50 am

Game of Thrones Season 4 on Twitter

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The fourth season of Game of Thrones premiere on HBO last night, and Twitter was more than ready for it. Starting Friday, April 2nd and leading up to Sunday night’s premiere 344.3k tweets came from 206.8k contributors, for a unique reach of 112.1M Twitter users, all around Game of Thrones.

The most retweeted tweet came from the actress who plays Sansa Stark on the show, Sophie Turner:

With over 3k retweets and 2k favorites, this tweet was followed closely by one from the official show Twitter account, reminding us all that the next installment is only a week away:

Shows and actors getting more involved in the social conversations around their work is an important trend in social television, and the engagement from fans and followers shows it’s a smart move. Fans feel like they’re getting special access to their favorite shows and actors, and official accounts know what the ongoing conversation around their brand is. It’s hard to be surprised by a “sudden” turn in viewer sentiment if you’ve been part of the conversation all along.

HBO clearly knows this, and the top hashtags were all official hashtags supported and promoted by the brand:

#GameOfThrones

#TakeTheThrone

#GoTSeason4

#GoT

#GoTViewersGuide

The last hashtag leads to an in-depth behind-the-scenes section of HBO’s site, designed to help viewers understand the complex array of characters, relationships, and more behind the show, up to the current season.

Smart move to refresh viewers new and old alike and keep them engaged as season 4 rolls on.

Written by Sarah

April 7th, 2014 at 12:32 pm

The Week in Social Analytics #96

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It’s Friday, so that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics and our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook.

How Are Brands Using Twitter For Marketing? | INFOGRAPHIC [from All Twitter; written by Shea Bennett]

“. . .almost 80 percent [of marketing pros] are using Twitter to increase brand awareness, with the majority having been active on Twitter for 2-3 years. Almost half (46 percent) update daily and 88.7 percent regularly use hashtags in their posts.

However, just 2.4 percent implement Vine in their social media strategy, and 45 percent say that calculating Twitter ROI is their single biggest challenge.”

Click through for the full infographic.

How Twitter Has Changed Over the Years in 12 Charts [from The Atlantic; written by Alexis C. Madrigal]

“Replying is dying, retweeting is up, North America isn’t dominant anymore, but English is, and more lessons from 37 billion tweets.”

Brands try out new multi-picture Twitter feature [from Digiday; written by Saya Weissman]

“The other new feature is the ability include multiple photos in a single tweet. Users can now share up to four photos in a single tweet that automatically arrange themselves in a grid. Users can just tap to get a preview and can then  slide through to the full images.”

Click through to check out several examples of brands trying out the new feature.

Instagram Usage in the US Surges 35% in 2013, Rivals Twitter for Smartphone Audience [from eMarketer; written by staff]

“By the end of this year, almost 25% of US smartphone users will snap a photo, slap on a filter and share their creations with friends on Instagram on a monthly basis (or, at least, sign in and check out what their friends are posting).”

How Smart Brands Use Instagram to Reach Women [from The Hired Guns; written by Danny Flamberg]

“You already know what Instagram is. What you may not know is just how long its marketing reach can be. Its 35 million monthly smartphone users average 257 minutes on the app per month. Forty percent of their traffic is in the United States, where 58 percent use the app daily. Seven in ten users are women age 18-44 with household incomes of $75,000+ and who are actively looking to be surprised, diverted, and delighted. According to research by L2 Think Tank, it registers 15 times the engagement and has double the engaged user base of its parent, Facebook.”

Tumblr is a ‘land of opportunity’ that allows brands to be creative, says its global head of brand partnerships, Lee Brown [from The Drum; written by Stephen Lepitak]

“The brands that do the best on our platform are the ones that show up as creators and as advertisers. The ones that want to show up and engage with the community versus broadcast to them – the ones that want to show up and earn that versus buy that – those are the ones that are having the most success, that are having the most engagement. Those are the ones that are creating a story.”

The Anatomy of a Forgotten Social Network [from MIT Technology Review; written by Physics arXiv Blog]

“In the blogosphere, reciprocity is almost non-existent. Only 3 percent of bloggers have this kind of reciprocal link. On Twitter, however, the ratio is much higher: some 22 percent of tweeters have reciprocal links.

In this respect, Tumblr is even denser than Twitter, with almost 30 percent of connections being reciprocated. What’s more, the average distance between two users in Tumblr is 4.7; in other words one user can connect to another in an average of 4.7 steps. That’s half the distance of the blogosphere and about the same as the distances in Facebook and Twitter.”

Older Adults and Technology Use [from Pew Internet; written by Aaron Smith]

“Today 46% of online seniors (representing 27% of the total older adult population) use social networking sites such as Facebook, and these social network adopters have more persistent social connections with the people they care about.”

Top TV Multitasking Activities, by Generation [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“Some 86% of US consumers (aged 14+) claim to always or almost always multitask while watching TV, up from 81% last year. Almost half of Millennials this year say they use a social network while watching TV.”

Brand Storytelling: How to Connect with Customers Though Visual Media [from Social Media Today; written by Ekaterina Walter]

 ”Your ‘official’ marketing images only show one side of the brand. Social media is a great place to show off all the aspects of your business that don’t make it onto the glossy magazine page: the behind-the-scenes photos, the customers who follow you, the human side, the communities you are part of… Rich media can tell your brand’s story in ways your official channels can’t.”

Social Pros Say Passion, Fun, and Understanding are Key to Social Success [from Convince and Convert; written by Jess Ostroff]

“Forget about trying to be on top of the next hot social trend. Unless your customers are flocking there in droves, it has no business being your priority. Instead, really listen to where your customers are talking about you, talking about the things that are important to your brand, and asking to engage with you. Then, make sure that’s where you’re joining the conversation.”

Written by Sarah

April 4th, 2014 at 8:57 am

Happy 5th birthday, TweetReach!

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They grow up so fast, don’t they? We can’t believe the TweetReach snapshot report is five years old already! We sold our very first snapshot report five years ago today, on April 3, 2009. Since then, we’ve run 6.5 million snapshot reports analyzing more than 251 million tweets.

This is what our early TweetReach Twitter analytics reports used to look like, in the spirit of Throwback Thursday. How far we’ve come!

TweetReach Snapshot Report circa 2010

TweetReach has grown so much in the past five years, and we want to thank everyone who has been a part of that journey. We wouldn’t be here without you.

And if you want to check on the reach of your tweets, you can run a snapshot report here any time (as always, the first 50 tweets are free, and up to 1500 are just $20). Here’s to the next five years, and beyond!

Written by Sarah

April 3rd, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Using TweetReach historical analytics to build brand voice

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A strong and authentic brand voice is more important now than ever in the age of social media; you want to be approachable, human, and responsive on your social accounts while still matching the overall tone and messaging of your brand. Accomplishing all of that can seem incredibly overwhelming, and there are several circumstances where building from the past can be especially helpful: taking over from someone else who built the voice for a brand (or even created it), creating and establishing the voice of a brand yourself, or wanting to build something bigger and better than your brand- or a competitor- has built in the past.

So just exactly how do you go about doing this? Let’s break it down.

Taking over a brand’s voice.

As your predecessor most likely won’t leave behind a checklist of how they went about establishing a brand’s voice and what you should do to maintain and further build it, that burden falls to you.

Depending on your resources- just you, or a team and branded documents that provide guidelines, etc- there are a few ways you can go about doing this. Obviously a good start is reading over recent posts, but sampling from accounts such as Twitter a few different times throughout the brand’s history is the best way to really learn how the voice evolved– and if and when it ever derailed. Sampling from specific campaigns will give you an idea of how a brand’s voice was meant to reach larger audiences, bring in new customers, and interact with them.

Here are some good questions to keep in mind while you work:

  • Is the existing voice appropriate for our audience? This is the most important question to ask, because it should inform your entire plan.
  • Is there a lot of turnover in the voice, or consistency? If there hasn’t been consistency in the past, pay attention to the interactions during more experimental times to take note of what worked and what didn’t. Use that information to build out brand voice guidelines, both for yourself and any teammates you have now or in the future. 
  • What about cross-platform consistency? Did tweets get automatically shared to Facebook? Or Instagram posts? Was the language the same in each place, or were messages tailored to each platform, but matching in tone? The latter is definitely what you want to aim for.
  • Which formats have been most successful? Does the brand Twitter account, for example, only tweet in proper English? Has it used popular abbreviations in the past, seriously or as a joke? (And were these jokes well-received?) What about photos and videos; if those are used, do they match the tone of the tweets or did they clearly come from another team with little communication?
  • How many interactions and how much sharing has there been vs. straight promotion? If the brand hasn’t been answering questions, interacting with fans and followers, and sharing useful content from other sources in the past, these are good practices to implement immediately. They make a brand friendlier, more human, more approachable.

These questions will help you establish consistency in brand voice, which makes you instantly recognizable to customers, potential customers, and fans.

Building a brand voice from scratch.

Starting from scratch is always both terrifying and liberating, and fortunately there is also the example of those who have come before- both good and bad- to lead your efforts.

The list of questions in the previous section can still apply to you; simply build guidelines of your own based on them. The most important question is still the first one: Who is my audience, where do they spend time, and how do they speak to each other and to or about brands in that space? Nothing other than listening can address this question and help you build from there. It doesn’t matter how clever and helpful the voice is that you establish if it doesn’t reach the right people or is reaching those who aren’t interested in what your brand offers.

An additional strategy involves looking at past tweets from campaigns of brands you admire or that are your competition. These can give you invaluable insight into how to build things for your own brand moving forward. Ask:

  • What did well? (Or badly.) 
  • Where?
  • And for whom?

The simplest questions are often the most important ones. Address details like cross-sharing on platforms, tailoring messages, frequency of posts after you’ve established the foundation of your voice. These things are still important and still inform the overall presentation and reception of your brand.

So what’s my next step?

If you’re interested in gaining access to old tweets and Twitter campaigns, then our premium historical analytics are for you. We have ability to reach all the way back to the first public tweet posted in March 2006 – we have access to the full archive of historical Twitter data from Gnip – and we can search anything and everything you can think of. This goes beyond the scope of basic Twitter search and anything that can be pulled with Twitter’s public API; the information you can get from those sources is limited to about a week back. But the historical archive includes the full archive from Twitter itself, and you cannot get that just anywhere.

There’s more here about the specifics of how it works and you can also request a quote. Historical analytics start at $49. Pricing is based on report duration and tweet volume.

Got any more questions? Shoot us an email.

Image courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery

Written by Sarah

April 2nd, 2014 at 9:18 am

Posted in Guides

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The Week in Social Analytics #95

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It’s Friday, so that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics and our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook.

6 Brands That Will Have You Rethinking Your Social Media Marketing Strategy [from Jeff Bullas dot com; written by Elli Bishop]

The big boys have bigger budgets and resources, but smaller brands can still take queues and get ideas from their strategies.

On Instagram, faces are 38% more likely to get ‘Likes’ [from Futurity; written by Jason Maderer]

“Researchers looked at 1.1 million photos on Instagram and found that pictures with human faces are 38 percent more likely to receive likes than photos with no faces.

They’re also 32 percent more likely to attract comments. The number of faces, gender, or age didn’t make a difference.”

Instagram Hits 200 Million Users: What Does This Mean For You? [from Social Media Today; written by Avtar Ram Singh]

“If your target audience is the younger demographic between the ages of 12-24, then you should definitely have a presence on Instagram – even if it’s one that involves you not talking about your product at all, but simply engaging and interacting with your fans to understand what they like.”

The Top 5 Brands on Instagram to Follow [from Jeff Bullas; written by Jason Parks]

Look to some of the best on the platform for inspiration in  your own strategy.

Pinterest Tacks On Paid Ads [from the Wall Street Journal; written by Mike Shields & Douglas MacMillan]

“. . .Pinterest Inc. now has a new goal: to reinvent online advertising.”

Who’s Engaging in Social TV? [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“Broken down into demographic groups, the study finds that the most socially engaged were Hispanics, for whom 10.5% of viewing occasions could be deemed ‘socially connected viewing.’ The next-most engaged were 25-34-year-olds (9.6%) and 15-24-year-olds (9.2%), while Asians (4.2%) and 45-54-year-olds (4.4%) were by far the least likely to engage in this activity.”

G.M. Uses Social Media to Manage Customers and Its Reputation [from The New York Times; written by Vindu Goel]

“G.M.’s dual approach — going about its normal business while trying to help specific customers — reflects the tightrope the company must walk on social media like Facebook and Twitter, where a customer’s perceptions of a brand are shaped by both what the company does and what other people say about it.”

Who, What, and Where Can You Personalize? Real-Time Personalization is Simpler Than You’d Think [from the Marketo Blog; written by Mike Telem]

“If you’re worried about creating enough personalized content for your real-time campaigns, stop worrying — you can personalize the content you already have. Real-time personalization can leverage existing content, personalizing your calls-to-action, user experience, images, and product offers.”

5 Must Read Perspectives on Social Media Marketing Strategy [from TopRank Online Marketing Blog; written by Lee Odden]

Stepping out of your own perspective sometimes can help inform your plans better than anything else.

10 Video Content Elements To Help You Become A Director [from Heidi Cohen]

If you’re going to get into video, do it right. The audience is there:

77% of global Internet users watch video, according to Global Web Index. In total, 1.15 billion people view video on a connected device. Of these, 626 million view video on a smartphone and 297 million view video on a tablet.”

Emphasis original.

Brands Respond To Customer Support Enquiries 8 Times Faster On Twitter Than On Email | STUDY [from All Twitter; written by Shea Bennett]

“Brands who offer consumer support on Twitter respond to tweets on average eight times faster than the typical brand email response, but only two in five successfully resolved the customer’s enquiry on the social network, reveals a new study.”

 

Written by Sarah

March 28th, 2014 at 9:18 am

Automotive social media marketing: Who’s doing it right, what to measure, and more

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Over the last few years we’ve watched the handwringing over social media and its usefulness evolve into campaigns with large social tie-ins, and stand-alone social campaigns. One of the industries that embraced this early- with both success and failure- was the automotive industry. Cars are seen as a necessary purchase for many households, particularly in cities where no reliable public transportation exists.

While Millennials are buying fewer cars right now, that doesn’t mean they won’t be doing so in a future of improved economic prospects. Smart automotive companies are targeting the next generation of car buyers on the social networks where they hang out.

Who has done it right?

One of the earliest and most comprehensive social campaigns came from Ford- an overall early social media embracer- and was centered around the launch of their new Ford Fiesta in 2009. It was successful enough that they’ve “remixed” the campaign for the 2014 Fiesta. The key to Ford’s success in this campaign was reaching out to their target customers where they were already hanging out- in this case, courting successful YouTubers- and giving them content for compelling storytelling: a car to use and take on adventures, and give honest reviews about. This strategy was designed to benefit both Ford and the vloggers, and it did, as per this Businessweek article discussing the campaign’s results:

“Fiesta got 6.5 million YouTube views and 50,000 requests for information about the car—virtually none from people who already had a Ford in the garage. Ford sold 10,000 units in the first six days of sales. The results came at a relatively small cost. The Fiesta Movement is reputed to have cost a small fraction of the typical national TV campaign.”

YouTubers don’t just spend time on YouTube either; they use platforms like Twitter to increase their exposure, find new viewers and subscribers, and connect with fans new and old– along with other YouTubers and brands.

Reason enough to remix it.

Other notable campaigns include an effort from AutoTrader, who put the fate of a car hanging over the Thames in Twitter’s hands, and more recently Toyota, who partnered with The Muppets around their latest movie Muppets Most Wanted to let the public know their Toyota Highlander has #NoRoomForBoring. Launched around this year’s Super Bowl, the ad campaign featured massive social tie-ins, with related tweets and posts to Instagram from both companies.

 

From Toyota’s Instagram.

From The Muppet’s Instagram.

We took a look at their Super Bowl results after the game (along with other brands), and partnering with lovable, family friendly Muppets was definitely a wise choice for Toyota. They’ve continued the brand partnership and campaign through the premiere of Muppets Most Wanted.

How do I plan this?

Before you start planning a social campaign, there are important questions to ask yourself. These will help you figure out what you’re going to measure as well (which we’ll get to in a minute):

  • Who is my target audience? Specific demographics tend to spend more time on specific platforms. Do the research and go where your people are.

  • Where do they hang out? Obviously whichever platform that is, is where you’ll want to be. If you’re a luxury vehicle brand, you might want to use Instagram to show off stunning visuals of your vehicles, tapping into the aspirational among Instagram users.

  • How do they talk in that space? Pay attention to how your target audience speaks to their friends, to brands, and just about brands. The golden rule of social media marketing is always listen first.

  • How do you, as a customer, like to be approached? Everyone has had good and bad customer experiences. Reflecting on your own can help in building a good experience for others.

Once you’ve answered those questions, plan to:

  • Talk to your audience and with them, not at them. This is why listening is so important.

  • Present your content in a beautiful and compelling way. Looking and listening can also inform the storytelling you’ll be doing on any platform. It should be high-quality, compelling, useful, and beautiful in form and function. When you’re approaching someone on a space they use for social interaction with their friends and family, be respectful of their time and attention so they won’t resent your presence and think of it as an unwanted invasion.

  • Involve your audience. The successful campaigns we referenced earlier have been interactive and smartly researched. The campaigns involving user-generated content that have backfired didn’t take the time to understand the audience they would be involving– and the audience shot back.

What should I measure?

There is no one right answer to this, because every company’s goals are different, as are the goals of every campaign. A lot of this is going to depend on how you answered the questions in the previous section; certain tactics will be more successful with different demographic groups and on different platforms.

Twitter is “especially appealing to 18-29-year-olds”, but there are “no significant differences by gender, household income or education” according to Pew Research via Marketing Charts. The same survey found Instagram to be especially appealing to women of the same age group. Do your research and use demographic information like this to tailor your campaign message for each platform, speaking to your target audience in the platform’s native language and to whomever you’re trying to reach there.

Further, look at what kinds of storytelling do best on each platform and let that inform your measurement goals: Will visuals on Instagram help raise brand awareness, while you tailor your message for Twitter to bring in sales? The most important question to answer is: What does success look like to you and your brand? That will tell you what you need to be measuring. For example:

  • If brand awareness is your goal, share of voice measurement will be important to monitor before, during and after your campaign 
  • If you’re looking to drive sales, bring your sales team onboard to decide what success will look like and how you’ll measure the traffic driving it
  • If you want to gain new fans and followers, share of voice will be important alongside paying attention to the reach of your campaign; don’t just concentrate on vanity metrics like the number of followers you have (though these are good baseline indicators).
  • If you want to see how a new Twitter campaign has improved over past campaigns, you’ll need historical Twitter data.

Need more references and help? Check out The 5 Easy Steps To Measure Your Social Media Campaigns, or shoot us an email to see how we can help. We’re always here.

Written by Sarah

March 26th, 2014 at 12:11 pm