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Snapchat for brands part II: Brands who do it well

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We’ve already covered the basics of how Snapchat works and some of the specifics for how brands should be using the app, so now we wanted to show examples of how some different brands have been using snaps and stories to connect with their fans and followers. Consider their work as a guide and inspiration for how you might want to use Snapchat yourself.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell was one of the first brands to embrace using Snapchat, behind a yogurt chain called 16 Handles who used the platform to send out coupons. Taco Bell initially the app to advertise its Beefy Crunch Burrito:

And since then has used the new features that launched in May to start a Doodle War with its Snapchat friends, among other things:

Mashable

Mashable uses Snapchat as a way to show some behind-the-scenes office culture- birthday celebrations, etc- and more of what the company is up to, such as events they’re attending, like in the snap below:

Photo 6-25-14, 11 59 11 AM

Mashable is a good example of how using simple enhancements like the pencil tool in several layers of text can make a snap more vibrant and interesting. To ramp up engagement, they have also hosted weekly Snapchat Challenges, like this emoji challenge:

MTV

MTV uses Snapchat as a way to share brief interviews with and photos of different celebrities and artists with their Snapchat friends, and to do show promotions like their first ever Snap promoting their show Teen Wolf. (MTVTeenWolf is now its own Snapchat account.) MTV UK previously used it as a way to promote their show Geordie Shore, the UK version of Jersey Shore.

A snap of Teen Wolf star, Tyler Posey.

Audi and Pretty Little Liars (PLL)

PLL teamed up with media sponsor Audi to send out snaps during episodes of the show meant to line up with certain scenes in the first campaign of its kind. PLL fans get exclusive content they can’t get anywhere else to enhance their favorite program, and Audi gets to introduce itself to a new and younger demographic. While that demographic might not be in the market for luxury cars now, they will have an established relationship with Audi for the future.

A fan response snap to PLL and Audi.

Pitch Perfect 2

The cast of the sequel to Pitch Perfect has been sending mostly behind-the-scenes selfies to their Snapchat friends, the same kind most users send to their Snapchat friends who double as IRL friends. This creates a sense of intimacy above what even a 10-second video interview from your favorite artist via MTV does; they’re framed so that it looks like the star themselves might have snapped the shot and sent it to you.

Anything else I should know?

Yes! Be sure you share your Snapchat username with your fans and followers on other social sites who might want to add you! Most audience members won’t think to search for brands there, so you need to be proactive about letting them know that you’re there.

And that’s about it.

Got any questions, or know of anything that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Written by Sarah

June 30th, 2014 at 10:09 am

Snapchat for brands part I: The basics & brand specifics

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The trend of platforms providing a place for users to exchange ephemeral content isn’t an obvious one for most brands to join in on; after all, why spend hours planning and executing content only to have it disappear in moments once it hits your audience’s screens? But just like any other social platform, if Snapchat is where your target demographic is, then it’s where you should be spending some of your time. If that’s the case- or you’re just a marketer or brand who loves to experiment- read on to find out all you need to know about marketing on Snapchat for brands.

What do I need to know before getting started?

If you’re already familiar with Snapchat then you can skip this section and head straight for the second section. Otherwise stick around for a basic breakdown of how the platform works.

The very basics: Snapchat scores & finding friends

Your score is simply the total number of snaps you have sent and received, as per Snapchat themselves. That’s all there is to it!

As for finding friends, Snapchat has step-by-step instructions for how to find and add friends that includes screenshots. You can add those who have added you, and find friends via your contacts, or through searching for their Snapchat username.

Stories vs. individual Snaps

Every time you take a snap you have the option to add it to “My Story”- a collection of snaps that add up to tell a bigger story and are viewable for 24 hours- and stories are now more popular than snaps. Stories are also a better choice for brands above sending individual snaps, and we’ll discuss this more in the next section.

Our Story

Snapchat just launched a new feature called “Our Story” that is meant to let Snapchatters collaborate on a bigger story around an event they are physically attending. At the moment the first and only event to have “Our Story” is the Electric Daisy Carnival, but the wording on the page about the feature suggests it will be open to other events in the future. People who aren’t currently attending an “Our Story” event can still add the event as a friend to view the ongoing, collaborative story so they don’t miss out on the experience entirely. This is a great way for event organizers and attendees to persuade them to attend in the future.

Replaying Snaps

You can only replay one snap every 24 hours, so choose carefully! Also keep in mind that your audience can only do the same; that’s important to keep in mind if you’re designing a Snapchat contest or sending coupons.

Notifications

Snapchat notifies the sender of a snap whenever a recipient takes a screenshot of their snap or a chat between them. They have different icons to let you know if your snaps and chats have been sent, viewed, and more. Snapchat will also notify you if someone replays a snap.

And that’s it for the basics; if you have more questions you can find answers to them in Snapchat’s own support site.

What do I need to know specifically as a brand?

This is where we get into the specifics for brands using Snapchat; while creating consistently intriguing content is a given, there are also different settings you’ll want to consider than if you were using Snapchat for personal reasons.

Settings

In your settings you’ll want to make sure that you set “Who is allowed to view my story?” to “Everyone”. Otherwise only those you’ve added as “My Friends” will be able to see it, and you’ll be missing out on voluntary eyeballs until you manually add everyone who adds you. With a popular brand that could be quite an undertaking.

The manual aspect of individual snaps can be a daunting prospect for brands- as of now there’s no way to create a single snap and click on a “send to all” option; you have to go through your list and choose each recipient individually-  but the workaround is adding all of the content you create to your story. (Whether or not you choose to let your audience send you snaps back is up to you, and would mostly be useful in terms of building engagement through reciprocation they can see- the icon will let them know you viewed their snap- or in conducting a Snapchat contest. The option of who is allowed to send you snaps is controlled in “Settings”.)

Also be sure to check out “Manage” under “Additional Services” to turn on the “Front-Facing Flash”, “Replay” option, and enable “Special Text”, all of which will enhance the content of your snaps.

Kinds of content to post

Truly creative content is what makes Snapchat sing, so you’ll want to plan and execute content using all of the features we mentioned earlier to make your snaps as interesting as possible:

  • Draw on your photos using the pencil icon in the upper right-hand corner using the full range of colors available; this gives you the ability to turn your snaps into just about anything

  • Tap on the screen to add text; turning on special text lets you alter it to be larger and adjust the positioning

  • If you have an emoji keyboard on your phone, Snapchat will support adding these characters in with your text

Other than utilizing those features, the kind of content you want to share will depend on your brand and what your goals are with the platform. Is it to share behind-the-scenes company culture? Is it to share brief behind-the-scenes interviews and photos with the stars of your show or movie? Is it to show off your products in new and interesting ways?

We’ll look at a few different types of brands using Snapchat in the next post to give you some ideas of what kind of content has been successful.

Frequency of snaps

While regular snaps are limited to a maximum time limit of 10 seconds, stories aren’t limited except to a 24 hour period of existence. However, since Snapchat was built to be a quick and fleeting experience, you might not want to be the first to discover what the limits of a story are. Keep it simple, sweet, and relatively short; set up stories of different lengths and see if you get an increase in activity around one type or length above others.

What do we mean by increased activity? Well, measuring Snapchat is difficult, but pay attention to things like how many people are adding you to their friend list, taking screenshots, choosing to replay your snaps, or even sending you snaps in reply if you choose to make that option available.

Anything else?

That’s it for now! Check out the basics in the first section of this post if you need to, or stick around for our next post covering which brands use Snapchat well. If you still have questions, leave ‘em in the comments!

Written by Sarah

June 26th, 2014 at 8:40 am

3 dos and don’ts for running a campaign across platforms

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Every social media platform has its own way of operating that stems from its users reasons for being there; the same person might use Twitter mostly for professional work connections and news, Facebook for family updates, Instagram to connect with friends, and Tumblr to keep up with the fandoms around their favorite shows, for example. If that person matches the ideal customer for a brand and that brand wants to run a social campaign across most or all of those platforms to reach that person, they need to tailor their message for each place.

How? Get started with these do’s and don’ts.

1. Don’t: discount a platform because you think you know what people are there for.

Do: The research to see how conversations form around things that matter to your brand. Instagram, for example, is often thought of as a place where people simply share photos with friends and family, but that’s not necessarily the case. Big events like the World Cup have enormous conversations happening around them on the photo-sharing site, and smart brands like Adidas have caught onto that.

Our Instagram analysis* showed that Adidas was a top publisher around the World Cup conversation on Instagram, and they received 22.7k actions (likes and comments) on their 5 World Cup related posts, earning 6.3 million impressions. That’s a big return on a relatively small effort, especially considering fan-run sports accounts and even official soccer athlete accounts are making anywhere from 14-128 posts related to the World Cup.

 2. Don’t: assume you know how to talk the talk.

Do: Listen first, then join the conversation respectfully. Tumblr, for example, has many different communities that all have different ways of speaking to each other, making jokes, and presenting information, all of which is part of the larger Tumblr community and culture. What works well in Twitter or Facebook advertising will not work well here; the users are part of a larger creative community and they respond well to brands who take the time to understand how Tumblr really operates (or they’re smart enough to hire and work with someone who does).

Denny’s, for example, has an extremely popular Tumblr that users have responded well to because it speaks in the language of Tumblr. It isn’t just an attempt to ape it.

Denny's Tumblr

3. Don’t: Be afraid to experiment.

Do: Learn from and build on your failures and successes alike. FIFA has a Twitter account for their official match ball. While normally inanimate objects spontaneously get their own parody Twitter accounts following a big cultural event with social coverage (Pharrell’s hat following the GRAMMY’s, for example), FIFA decided to give their match ball its own autonomy and hashtag early.

Running a quick free TweetReach report shows that the conversation and engagement around #ballin is already good, and there’s still more than a month of World Cup matches left to go. While something like a snapshot report gives a good idea of the general success of the account relative to the hashtag- it’s not just a bunch of people using the term in other, World Cup unrelated ways- more in-depth monitoring could tell FIFA what was successful and unsuccessful in their approach specific to Twitter, and help them plan better for next time. (You can read more about how to monitor a Twitter campaign with TweetReach here.)

So what does this mean for campaigns, exactly?

The bottom line is that you have to tailor your message to fit in each place, and that can only be done by taking the time to understand how the conversation around what your audience is interested in operates. Adidas looked at how sports fans use Instagram, Denny’s hired someone familiar with the culture of Tumblr and gave them the freedom to do it right, and FIFA is experimenting with giving their match ball its own voice.

After you’ve decided on the messaging for each platform- visual for Instagram and Tumblr, with different wording and approach on Twitter, for example- build goals based on how the audience you aim to reach in each place talks to one another about you or your industry. Are you there to increase your share of voice in the industry (here’s more on how to measure share of voice, and how to grow it), or to build engagement with your existing fans, while hopefully earning new ones? Your goals for the same campaign might be different for each platform, which increases the necessity for tailored messages in each place. 

The basic approach is the same in each place, however: Research, plan, test, measure, rinse, and repeat.

 

*Interested in our Union Metrics for Instagram analytics? Learn more here

Written by Sarah

June 18th, 2014 at 7:58 am

Twitter Tip: How Instagram posts translate to Twitter

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Ig Share Twitter

One of the highlights of using Instagram for brands is that once you’ve uploaded a post, you can quickly share it across several other platforms once you’ve connected your accounts: Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and Twitter.

It’s important to know the details of how exactly Instagram posts translate to each platform before you hit the share button; that way you can tweak your posts to get the best results across all of them.

On Twitter

Instagram posts on Twitter are shown as a link in the tweet, and they pull in all the text and the hashtags used to caption a post before the allotted 140 characters are used up. Here’s an example of this post as it was shared to Twitter, below:

Captions longer than 140 characters are truncated with an ellipses, as above, and if all of your hashtags are at the end of a long caption, none of them will translate to Twitter. If you want the full caption and hashtags to show up, keep it short; a short caption and no more than two or three hashtags (three will probably only work if you’re using shorter hashtags like #TBT). Remember that some of the characters will be used up on the link to the Instagram post itself.

Instagram will also translate another Instagram user’s account name that you’ve tagged in a post to their Twitter account username, if they’ve connected their accounts. If they haven’t connected their accounts, the tweet will show the person’s Instagram account name and will remove the “@” symbol so it doesn’t tag anyone on Twitter.

However, if you use the incorrect Instagram username when you tag someone in a post and it doesn’t match any Instagram users, it will translate to Twitter using the “@” symbol. Another reason to be sure you’re using the right account name (you should see it pop up while you’re typing it in, as in the photo below) when you decide to mention someone in a post you plan to share.

Ig mentions

Want more?

For more tips about using Instagram as a brand, head over to the Union Metrics blog.

For more Twitter tips, or tips specific to TweetReach, check out our master post from last week.

Written by Sarah

May 14th, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Best practices and tips for Twitter and TweetReach

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Whether you know someone just getting started with Twitter as they’re launching their new business, or you want to brush up on some of the basics yourself, we’ve rounded up all of the Twitter and TweetReach tips and best practices we’ve written up and tested and put them here for your convenience.

Twitter Best Practices

Twitter Hashtag Best Practices

Why you should use lists on Twitter

Use favorite tweets to find new resources

Brands: why you should favorite tweets

Using Twitter Trending Topics to your advantage

Twitter Quick Tips

Twitter Tip: Authorized apps 

Twitter Tip: Turn off mobile alerts at bedtime

Twitter Tip: User Widgets

Twitter Tip: Emergency alerts

Twitter Tip: Personalize

Twitter Tip: Discover

TweetReach Tips

Tracking Instagram, Vine and more with TweetReach (And now, of course, you can also use our Union Metrics for Instagram analytics!)

TweetReach Tip: Measuring the results of a Twitter contest

Using TweetReach to monitor a social media crisis

TweetReach Tip: Find & engage influencers on Twitter with TweetReach snapshot reports

TweetReach Tip: Common Tracker mistakes

TweetReach Tip: Improve your snapshot report search query

TweetReach Tip: Measuring the reach of a Twitter account

TweetReach Tip: Saving your snapshot reports

TweetReach Tip: Excluding tweets from your search

TweetReach Tip: Searching for a specific tweet

TweetReach Tip: Searching for URLs

TweetReach Tip: How to isolate specific dates in a Tracker

TweetReach Tip: How to isolate specific dates in a snapshot report

Today’s TweetReach Tip: When tweets are available for analysis

Got any good tips we missed or questions you want answered? Leave them in the comments, or find us on Twitter. We’re always happy to answer your questions!

Image courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery. 

Written by Sarah

May 7th, 2014 at 11:24 am

Twitter hashtag best practices

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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:

16 ways to use Twitter to improve your next conference

7 tips to maximize your conference attendance using Twitter

Miss a conference? 5 tips for getting the most out of the hashtag on Twitter

The key to a successful Twitter party? Planning ahead.

9 tips for getting the most out of Twitter chats: As a host

10 tips for getting the most out of Twitter chats: As a participant

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:

9 tips for watching TV on Twitter

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:

Common Tracker Mistakes

What to do when your campaign hashtag gets hijacked on Twitter

In conclusion

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. 

Written by Sarah

December 11th, 2013 at 11:18 am

TweetReach Tip: Saving your snapshot reports

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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? 

First, run a free snapshot report about your Twitter account, hashtag, keywords or URL on tweetreach.com. If you have any questions about our metrics, read this.

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.

 

Written by Sarah

December 3rd, 2013 at 11:56 am

TweetReach Tip: Excluding tweets from your search

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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:

 Sandwiches -ham 

or

#swag -justinbieber

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:

#swag -”justin bieber”

Written by Sarah

November 21st, 2013 at 9:08 am

TweetReach Tip: Searching for a specific tweet

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Say you want to search for a specific tweet in a snapshot report, like this one from our Twitter timeline:

TR Tweet

Be sure to search for the text of the tweet, rather than the tweet’s unique URL. Try searching for the first part of the tweet text. Keep it short – under 60 characters – and wrap it in quotations marks in order to catch any and all retweets. Like this:

“Vanity metrics- like FB Likes- have their uses”

Written by Sarah

November 14th, 2013 at 2:29 pm

TweetReach Tip: Searching for URLs

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If you want to follow a piece of news through Twitter, try searching for the article’s URL instead of its title or a set of keywords. In TweetReach snapshot reports, we can search for a root URL, so even if a link is shrunk into a t.co, bit.ly or other shortener, we’ll pick it up.

Some more tips to get the results you’re looking for:

  • Exclude the http:// or www. They don’t impact your search and lengthen your search query. And depending on the URL shortener, might not even be included in the link.
  • Keep queries at about 60 characters or under. If you have a long URL, consider searching for the second half – the unique part – of the URL to save space.

Want to see an example? Say you want to follow this New York Times article Sushi’s New Vanguard and watch how it spreads through Twitter. In your TweetReach search, you can leave out the http:// and www. portions of the URL. Search just for this:

nytimes.com/2013/10/30/dining/sushis-new-vanguard.html

That will result in this snapshot report. Note how it includes tweets that use nyti.ms shortened URLs, among others.

Have any questions about your URL? Just ask us!

Written by Sarah

November 5th, 2013 at 10:50 am