Archive for the ‘Guides’ Category
We’ve written before about the five questions you should be asking your social analytics provider, and we wanted to make it clear what you’re getting when you choose TweetReach Pro. If you still have questions after you read this, feel free to share them in the comments below, or drop us a line. We’ll be happy to help answer them!
Does Union Metrics have access to the Twitter firehose for TweetReach?
This is a question we get fairly often, and although we address it in our help docs, we also wanted to address it here as it’s a little more complicated than it might seem. The short answer is yes. As for the long answer…
Twitter has two licensed data resellers - Gnip and Datasift - who can provide access to the full Twitter firehose to third parties. The full Twitter firehose includes full-coverage, real-time streaming access to all of the data from Twitter. In most cases, direct access to the full firehose is unnecessary, not to mention very expensive to consume and store. After all, as of last fall, Twitter has 215 million monthly active users, 100 million daily active users, and sees 500 million tweets per day.
So companies like us here at Union Metrics work with one of these data resellers, who have built powerful filtering tools on top of the Twitter firehose to provide high-quality access to the data we need. This makes it more efficient in both time and money for us provide the detailed, comprehensive Twitter analytics our customers want. We’ve elected to work with Gnip, and in fact are part of their Plugged In to Gnip partner program, which means they recognize that we can deliver you the highest quality Twitter data available through licensed access to the full Twitter firehose. This means you don’t have to worry about missing any data.
Our TweetReach Pro Trackers are built on Gnip’s real-time PowerTrack stream, meaning we have full access to all tweets as they are posted – with no rate limits! – for any keyword, hashtag or account you want to analyze. Similarly, TweetReach premium historical analytics are built on Gnip’s Historical PowerTrack product, and provide complete access to the Twitter archive, dating back to March of 2006. Both include full tweet coverage.
To sum up: TweetReach Twitter analytics are built from licensed access to the full Twitter firehose through Gnip.
What about Union Metrics’ other products?
Union Metrics is a certified Plugged In To Gnip partner, which means we have commercially licensed, full-coverage access to both Twitter and Tumblr data. That’s reliable, reputable data you can count on, both now and in the future. Here’s the breakdown of the data source for each of our products:
- Our TweetReach Pro Trackers have Gnip PowerTrack access – that’s full coverage of all public tweets in real time for any search terms you enter. That means no missed tweets and no sampling.
- Our TweetReach snapshot reports use the Twitter Search API, so they’re great for quick estimates of recent activity, but are limited to about 1500 tweets from the past week.
- Our TweetReach premium historical analytics use Gnip’s Historical PowerTrack. That gives us full access to any public tweet in Twitter’s history, dating back to the very first tweet posted in March 2006.
- Finally, with Union Metrics for Tumblr, we consume the full Tumblr firehose. That means we process 100% of all public posts, notes and other Tumblr activities.
If you have any other questions about our data access, please just ask!
Keep it simple with TweetReach snapshot reports! Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re running a snapshot report:
1. Snapshots will analyze tweets up to one week old. Snapshots pull tweets from up to 7 days ago, so be sure you run them as soon as you can after your event. Older tweets are only available through our premium historical analytics.
2. Full snapshots will include up to 1,500 tweets. Due to restrictions from Twitter’s Search API (more on that below), a full snapshot report is limited to about 1500 tweets from the past week. If your topic or hashtag had more tweets than that, we’ll go back until we hit that limit, but won’t be able to pull them all into a snapshot report. For higher-volume topics, try our historical analytics or ongoing Pro Trackers.
3. A snapshot report is just that – a snapshot. We use the Twitter Search API for our snapshot report data, and it operates more on relevancy than on completeness. This means it will pull everything that Twitter considers most relevant to your search query from the past seven days, so some tweets or users might be missing from your results. For more complete results, try our Pro Tracker, which has access to the full-fidelity, real-time Twitter stream.
4. Narrow your snapshot search dates with filters. If you want more specific results for a snapshot report, you can include date filters. The since: and until: operators allow you to select a specific date range within the past week for your search. For example, let’s say you want to see all #TBT tweets for December 12, 2013 through December 17, 2013. Search for #TBT since:2013-12-12 until:2013-12-18 (use the YYYY-MM-DD format, which is tied to 00:00 for each date). Like this:
5. Tweets in our snapshot reports are displayed in the Universal Coordinated Time zone (UTC). This is to simplify and standardize our reporting across all time zones. If you need help converting UTC to your time zone, try this converter.
Friday was expected to be the biggest travel day of the year, but a lot of you are still headed home for the holidays and maybe still scrambling to book last minute New Year’s plans. Whether it’s something fairly local, or that big trip abroad you’ve always wanted to take that you’re finally booking as a New Year’s resolution, we’ve got some tips and resources to help make traveling easier on you:
Your network: Get information about experiences from those who have been there that you trust by talking to your network on Twitter, Tumblr, and more to see what you should splurge on, what you should skip, and what to expect in different cities and countries. A Twitter friend might even offer to show you around, or point you to someone who can help with local recommendations. (Want to grow that network? Check out our list of Twitter travel resources.)
Check out the social accounts of locals: Headed to Paris, or Perth? Check out the accounts of some locals to get an idea of the kinds of non-touristy activities and places to eat and drink around around your destination. Strike up a conversation and ask questions if they seem open to it; a lot of people love to share hidden gems of their own town so visitors enjoy themselves.
Connect with companies: Is the place you’re staying on Instagram? Is the rental company you’re getting a car from on Twitter? Does the airline you’re flying on have a Tumblr? Get familiar with their services through these channels– and you might even stumble onto a social-media-only deal or two!
Utilize Pinterest for Planning: Start a Pinterest board for ideas for your trip: sites you want to see, things you don’t want to forget to pack, places you want to eat. Search the site to see if anyone has made such a board already, and you might pick up some unexpected and handy tips. Same goes for boards from locals; their fashion board might tell you more about what to pack than any weather report could.
Catalog: Instagram is a great way to share snapshots of your trip as you’re on it. Limit yourself to one to two photos a day so you’ve got a little something to let friends and family know what you’re up to without distracting yourself from enjoying the moment.
Save some pennies: Couchsurfing and Airbnb have both become popular alternatives to hotels. Couchsurfing in particular is a free service, where hosts give travelers a place to stay out of the kindness of their hearts in the spirit of travel. Airbnb lets you choose from a variety of accommodation options that give you a more local feel than a hotel. If you decide to use either service, be sure you check out the reviews of the host and/or space to make sure you know what you’re getting into
YouTube Travel Channels: If you like your travel advice in video form with the possibility of inappropriate jokes, then YouTube travel channels are just for you. The channel Maila AuParis has a series on CouchSurfing in addition to a lot of other travel videos. The Expert Vagabond and Mashable both have roundups of YouTube travel channels to inspire, instruct, and more. And don’t forget about the big guys: Lonely Planet and The Travel Channel both have YouTube channels of their own.
Traveling with pets: BlogPaws has a travel category with safety tips and more for traveling with pets. Keep track of pet-friendly hotels at PetsWelcome, and be sure to check the TSA guidelines for flying with pets if that’s in your plan. You’ll want to see specifically what your airline says about traveling with pets as well.
Traveling with children: Last year the New York Times covered innovative travel products to ease the burden of packing for and hauling around quick-to-tire small children. The CDC has health and safety tips while the TSA goes over what is expected of your child in airline security lines. If you’re sending a minor unaccompanied on a flight, check with your particular airline to see what the procedures and expectations are.
Apps to check out: CNN has a whole category on their site covering travel apps of all descriptions. If you’re a lover of travel guides, check to see if they offer apps to go along with them. That way you’ll have information on the ground without carrying around the guide itself, and many also have a social component. Also consider downloading a few language apps if you’re traveling to a foreign country, so you can practice common words and phrases.
Got any tips we missed? Leave ‘em in the comments, or tell us about them on Twitter. Safe travels, and happy holidays!
Good native advertising isn’t about blending so seamlessly into the platform you’re advertising on that you trick consumers into clicking on your ad– it’s showing them that you’ve taken the time to deeply understand the place they choose to spend their time by crafting an original piece of content that fits the form and spirit of it. You don’t just want to appear to be a part of the community; you want to take the time to become part of the community, and show that you have something to offer it just like any other member.
The holidays in particular are a time brands should be mindful of how they approach the communities their customers have built on different platforms. In the stream of continual “BUY! GIFTS! SPEND!” you don’t want to come across as pushing into a formerly free, personal space with an aggressively out of place advertisement. Take the time to do it right, like these examples that follow, or rethink doing it at all.
Although Instagram ads haven’t been around very long, they’re already showing a lot of promise, which likely has a lot to do with Instagram’s commitment to rolling ads out slowly and working with brands that are taking the time to understand what users enjoy about the platform: Interesting visuals, a way to examine and showcase the things they love with friends they know in real life, and the virtual ones they’ve made.
Instagram also feels more intimate and candid than a press photo of a celebrity, allowing users who follow their “faves” to feel a little like they have an inside look at the life of who they admire. This can extend to brands, who have an opportunity to share a creative, more personal side not achievable in other forms of advertising; smart brands are taking advantage of this.
Ben & Jerry’s has been celebrated for doing it right on Instagram by posting creative images simply sharing their enthusiastic love for ice cream while also incorporating timely themes. According to AdWeek, they’ve gone from an “average daily follower growth [of] 429, pre-ads, to more than 7,200, post-ads.”
Tie-in ad with the new Anchorman movie: 250k+ Likes
Likes and follows might be dismissed by many as vanity metrics, but they’re the perfect jumping off point. Growing your audience is the first step to getting more eyeballs on your products, but a lot of ad formats can achieve that. Social platforms go further by increasing engagement with customers and potential customers, especially if brands reach out with questions and contests that reward participation.
Tumblr recently released its 2013 Year in Review, including a look at which sponsored posts performed the best. The top posts from the Tumblr Radar also included some promotional content; namely Beyoncé from the Super Bowl (we wrote about her Super Bowl popularity over on our Tumblr). Sponsored Radar posts were the first form of Tumblr advertising, and seeing a promotional post in the top posts of the year is important as it means users loved the content enough to share it as many times as the original content that came out of every other community on the site.
The most popular sponsored post on Tumblr was from streaming site Hulu and featured a gif from a movie they were showing from the Criterion Collection, free for a weekend: The Red Balloon. Visual elements like gifs perform consistently well on Tumblr, and the copy had the kind of slightly off-beat sense of humor Tumblr users are known for.
This gif post saw 326.2k+ notes
Hulu didn’t just slap a gif on a site known for using them; they spent the time to create and share something they hoped members of the film community- and anyone else who came across it- on Tumblr would genuinely enjoy. It seems they succeeded.
Brands are entering the social spaces where people have been exchanging ideas, creations, friendship, and more for years. In approaching that with respect, brands can become meaningful contributors to the communities full of the customers they hope to reach, rather than resented traveling salesmen.
Adding a little festive cheer in this time of year won’t hurt, either.
Just follow the lead of the ice cream men.
When you’re setting up a Tracker in your Pro account we want to make sure you get the best results possible. One thing that can be tricky is words with accent marks, such as crêpe, doppelgänger, or crème brûlée. Twitter treats accented letters as completely different letters from their unaccented counterparts. If you are searching for a hashtag or keyword that’s accented, it’s best to set up your Tracker terms to include both the accented and un-accented spelling (but only in Trackers; snapshot reports will return both results regardless of which you search and you can see an example of one at the end of this post), like this:
For more specific results, there are two ways to filter by language in a Tracker to help capture more relevant tweets. For example, let’s say you’re tracking crêpe as the keyword for a contest for a French company, but you think some English speakers participating might leave off the accent marks. You can select the Universal language filters to only return results in French, like this:
Or you can set it up to return accented results in French and non-accented results in English by putting a separate language filter at the end of each query line, like this:
If you’re keeping it simple just to get an idea of the conversation around crêpes, a snapshot report would look like this.
Are you new to TweetReach or want to learn more about our products?
Second, if you’d like to set up ongoing monitoring for any Twitter account or keyword-based topic, check ourTweetReach Pro. Starting at just $84 per month, it’s a great and affordable way to start tracking and analyzing your tweets in real time. Contact our sales team if you have any questions at all.
Hashtags are a delightful, double-edged sword. On one hand, they enable you to organize your tweets so they can be found by others interested in the same type of content. On the other hand, they can be hijacked by those looking to capitalize on the popularity of particular hashtag. With that in mind, you’ll want to go through a checklist of several hashtag best practices to get the most out of using them without wasting a good tweet on a bad hashtag.
Create your hashtag
Keep it short, relevant, and simple. If you use a really long hashtag, people won’t have as much room to add their thoughts. For example: #MMchat stands for #MarketingMondays (a Twitter chat*), but the full version is too long to use in an interactive Twitter event. You want attendees to be able to add as much as possible to the conversation.
Test your hashtag
Once you’ve come up with a snappy hashtag, you need to find out: Is it already being used? Is this particular hashtag routinely spammed by random, unrelated accounts? (If you’re using a general hashtag to increase reach on a post- which we cover in the next section- you’ll want to avoid hashtags that get spammed by unrelated accounts.) Do a quick search on Twitter to see if a hashtag is already being used and, if so, how. For example, searching #socialchat turns up that it’s already a popular hashtag in use for a tweet chat which means you’d want to pick something different for your chat or event. The general hashtag #socialmedia is fast moving and full of information, but also routinely gets spammed. You might test out using it, but know that it’s easy for your post to get lost in the flow of information.
For a more detailed look at how to maximize your hashtag use for both tweet chats (similar to Twitter parties, but reoccurring) and events such as conferences, you might want to check out these other posts:
Get more out of a hashtag
You can extend the reach of a post by using more popular and general hashtags– in moderation. For example: If you’re talking about analytics, #measure and #msure are great hashtags to use in order to expose your post to a larger audience of people interested in data measurement. We don’t recommend using more than three hashtags in the majority of your tweets, however; too many hashtags look spammy.
Searching broader hashtags related to your industry will also help you find interesting content to learn from and share on your own accounts, in addition to surfacing interesting influencers to follow.
Hashtags are also a great way to find people who share similar interests to you outside of work, particularly with the rise of social television:
Track your hashtag: Includes TweetReach-specific tips
You can track hashtags using our tools- either to get an idea of a conversation in a snapshot report (free, or a $20 full report) or monitor an ongoing conversation in a TweetReach Pro Tracker. Why would you want to do this? Hashtags can give you a great idea of the conversation around specific topics or events that are affecting the general population– or you in particular, if it’s a campaign hashtag you want to know the reach and results of.
How do you make sure you’re getting all the information you need? Check out:
Have a hashtag question we didn’t address? Leave it in the comments, or find us on Twitter. Happy hashtagging!
*Twitter chats, or tweet chats, are reoccurring virtual events where people meet to discuss various topics using a hashtag to connect the conversation. They’re a great way to network, and increase or share your knowledge on a topic.
You don’t have to go Pro to save your TweetReach snapshot reports. As long as you’ve registered for a free TweetReach account - and you’re logged in! – you can save every report you run for future access in your My Reports archive. That applies to both free, 50-tweet snapshots, as well as full, $20 snapshots. Just be sure to log in to your account before you run your next snapshot report.
And whenever you purchase a full snapshot report, you’ll still receive an email copy and a receipt. If you happen to purchase a report while you were logged out, just send us an email and we’ll be happy to move it into your account.
Are you new to TweetReach or want to learn more about our products?
Second, if you’d like to set up ongoing monitoring for any Twitter account or keyword-based topic, check our TweetReach Pro. Starting at just $84 per month, it’s a great and affordable way to start tracking and analyzing your tweets in real time. Contact our sales team if you have any questions at all.
If you buy one of our full snapshot reports (up to 1500 tweets, posted up to one week ago), then we’ll send you an email with your snapshot report, as well as a receipt for your purchase.
In that report email, you’ll have links to access your report and receipt online, download a PDF, export a CSV file and find our support contact information. Here’s an example of that email:
So, when you order your report, don’t lose this email! It has your receipt and report info, in case you need it later. But if you do lose the email, call or email us and we’ll be happy to send you another copy!
You can exclude certain tweets from your results by using the minus (“-”) operator in your TweetReach search. You can exclude tweets that include certain keywords or tweets that mention a certain account. For example:
The second example is a good one to use if you find a spammer or someone whose tweets you really don’t want to include in your reports.
Note that there should not be a space between the minus and the word you’re excluding. If you’d like to exclude a two word phrase, wrap them in quotation marks, like this:
What airlines should look for on Twitter and what to measure, before, during, and after a crisis
Social media is both a blessing and a curse in a time of crisis. While companies are able to rapidly disseminate information, share updates, and directly interact with the public in real time, misinformation can also spread like crazy on platforms like Twitter.
For something as high stakes as air travel, it’s important for airlines and travel companies to have a plan in place should a crisis arise, particularly during the stressful holiday travel season. We have some advice for creating just such a plan, or reassessing it if you already have one.
What to look for on Twitter during a crisis
First, you need to set up a monitoring plan for Twitter. Exactly what you’re looking for will depend on the nature of the crisis you’re dealing with and your communication goals around each type of crisis.
In case of common crisis
For flight delays and stranded, angry customers, for example, you’ll definitely want to focus on catching every mention of your brand on Twitter and doing everything you possibly can to make affected customers feel listened to and understood. If possible, give your customer service representatives on Twitter the power to offer reconciliations: everything from drink tickets, to discounts on future flights, full or partial refunds; even free tickets for a future flight if the situation is bad enough.
This is vital for turning an angry person who swears they will never fly with you again- whether the circumstances of the situation were under your control or not- and someone who will brag about your customer service on the same forum they just used to share their unhappiness, while remaining a customer.
In case of not-so-common crisis
If the situation is more serious- like the recent shooting that happened at Los Angeles International Airport, or a natural disaster like an earthquake- you don’t have to bother to look for misinformation; it will already be out there. Use Twitter as a way to let everyone know you’re aware of the situation, the safety of your employees and passengers, and any updates you can make on the situation, waiting as long as possible to confirm new information before you send it out while still making any corrections as necessary.
In both cases- and the rest of the time, as a general rule of thumb- you should be monitoring not only direct replies to your brand’s handle on Twitter, but also mentions of your company name in any variety of spelling imaginable, any well-known nicknames your brand has (official or not), and the airports you operate from. Depending on your resources, you might want to include the names of prominent employees, such as founders, board members and c-level executives. Something like our TweetReach Pro Trackers will allow you to do this. (We’ll talk more about what to measure in the next section.)
Go the extra mile
Monitoring mentions of the airports you operate from will be vital should a tragic incident such as the LAX shooting occur again, and the rest of the time it will give you an advantage in listening to and addressing problems you might not have caught otherwise. Is a passenger stranded, and you have room on a flight? Even if they weren’t booked on your airline, you’ve probably just won a new loyal customer. If you make someone’s day, you’ve reversed their story of a bad trip gone awry and be more likely to be the first brand on their mind the next time they travel.
What to measure on Twitter in times of crisis, and after
Now that you know what to look for, you need to have a plan in place for how to measure it. What, exactly, should you be measuring on Twitter as a crisis unfolds?
Before; or what you should have set up right now
Ideally you will already have Trackers set up to capture what we mentioned above- tweets directly to your official handle, mentions of your brand in any variety of spelling imaginable, any well-known nicknames your brand has (official or not), and the airports you operate from. If you’re not already doing that, now is the time to implement Trackers or take frequent snapshots (using something like our aptly named snapshot reports) around those terms once a situation arises and begins to unfold.
During a crisis
Often during a crisis situation, a hashtag will be born organically. If you’re being proactive about communicating via Twitter, however, don’t hesitate to create one of your own and immediately set up a Tracker to measure it, or take continual snapshots of the situation. If another hashtag emerges organically, use that one in your messaging as well and be sure you’re tracking both.
After a crisis
If everything flies by too quickly and you’re a small enough team not to have time to set up Trackers or take frequent enough snapshots of the situation, a historical option to capture the entire incident is available. This can also be used to fill in any noticeable gaps in your data once you’ve begun to look through everything you’ve gathered.
In the aftermath of the event, you might also want to track a specific news story (using specific key words from the title if it’s unique enough not to return a lot of noise, or you can track via a specific URL) that went around if it directly involved comments from your brand, or got a lot of circulation with commentary from people passing it around. This will give you a much more accurate read on the sentiment around your crisis messaging, and let you see any missed opportunities as well as highlight every win.
Go the extra mile
Once you have all of this data and you can clearly see how the situation unfolded and evaluate the strength of your response, take it a step further: What can you plan better next time, with this experience? What did you and your team do really well, that you should be sure to praise and also pass on as protocol to new team members? This knowledge can be distilled and turned into training and on-boarding materials for any new communications employees in the future.
If you’re not an airline a lot of these tactics still apply to you; if you’re a hotel, for example, you can offer to put up stranded travelers or victims of a natural disaster or other tragedy. Car rental companies and car sharing services can work out deals to get stranded people home if they don’t have far to go. Tour companies can even offer to keep stranded passengers entertained with local sites while they’re waiting for delayed travel to get sorted out.
The bottom line is to listen and step in where you’re needed, even if you’re not expected to.