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Using social media to study fire recovery

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Any headlines predicting the “end of Twitter” or fearing that “everyone is bored with [social platform] now” fail to recognize that humanity is pretty good at coming up with innovative uses for the tools at our disposal, and that Twitter and other social media platforms are no exception to this. Case in point: A fire recovery study project currently underway in Mt. Diablo State Park done by URS and Nerds for Nature after the Morgan Fire burned 3,000 acres last year in September.

How does this work?

By setting up a series of fixed vantage points around the park- there are brackets to put your smartphone in so all the photos are taken from the same angle- the project is able to gather reliable, gradual photographic evidence of the recovery of the park’s different ecosystems. Each site has its own hashtag to distinguish it: #morganfire01, #morganfire02, #morganfire03, #morganfire04.

Looking at the snapshot reports for each of these vantage points, you can see which ones are more commonly frequented by hikers. This gives citizen scientists as well as the projects heads themselves an idea of which areas could use more visits and photo captures, and enables them to quickly and easily spread the message and make plans about where to go. Park ranger resources can also be used more efficiently this way.

The overall conversation on Twitter.

Once a news cycle on an event like this gradually shuts down in the days or weeks after it happens, it’s rare to hear much more about it; projects like this are just one way social media is changing the landscape of journalism with crowdsourcing. It also gives citizens a direct role to play in the preservation of their local environment as citizen scientists. This would be a great project for a family, group of friends, summer camp, or science class to get involved with, and social media- particularly Twitter- is one of the best ways to amplify this message and make these kinds of suggestions.

On Instagram.

While Twitter users seem to mainly be using the platform to share news about the project itself, Instagram users have been carrying out the instructions on the sign posts and posting photos from the different vantage points using the hashtags:

#morganfire02 via Instagram user mo_nini_l 

#morganfire04 via Instagram user coyotethunder

This plays to the strengths of each platform; it’s harder to describe what a project is about on Instagram which doesn’t enable link-sharing, while this is Twitter’s main strength. The stunning visuals of the recovering areas of the park posted on Instagram can capture attention and make a user curious about what the hashtags mean, leading them to ask the user or search out the information themselves on other social sites, like Twitter.

If you live in the Mt. Diablo State Park area, consider making a weekend hiking trip out to Mt. Diablo and contribute to this citizen science project on your social networks! You might be the first to see something like this wild lily coming back:

via Instagram user coyotethunder

Written by Sarah

June 3rd, 2014 at 8:12 am

The Week in Social Analytics #104

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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.

Connected Customers are Invisible to Those Who Value Demographics [from Brian Solis]

Markets are now conversations, and audiences are no longer passive or static. It’s time to move beyond old demographic profiling.

2014 Internet Trends [from KPCB; written by Mary Meeker]

Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends report is out! It’s definitely worth a look.

Social Media Platforms 2014 And Beyond | Research/Charts [from Heidi Cohen]

“Social media platforms are where your target audience spends their time. 70+% of US online adults use social media and 40+% of online adults use 2 or more social media platforms based on December 2013 Pew Internet Research. (Here’s our analysis of US social media activity.)”

Emerging Markets Drive Twitter User Growth Worldwide [from eMarketer; written by staff]

“Twitter’s user base will increase 24.4% in 2014, according to eMarketer’s first-ever forecast of Twitter users worldwide. The social media property’s user growth will continue with double-digit gains through 2018, eMarketer estimates, and there are significant opportunities for Twitter to increase its audience across emerging markets.”

You can see different breakdowns of this from All Twitter and Marketing Charts:

30% of “Socially Active” Brands Said to be on Instagram [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“Predictably, some industry categories have been quicker to include Instagram in their marketing mix than others: leading the pack are luxury retail and luxury auto, with 67% and 60% penetration among socially active brands, respectively.”

The Periodic Table of Content Marketing [from Social Times; written by Christie Barakat]

“The visualization offers an overview of content marketing’s key elements and focuses on the following areas:

  • Strategy
  • Format
  • Content type
  • Platform
  • Metrics
  • Goals
  • Sharing triggers
  • Checklist”

You can find the original article from Econsultancy here.

The Essentials of Social Media Training for Students [from Social Media Today; written by Chris Syme]

“Last year, I conducted an informal survey of college student-athletes in my Practice Safe Social™ training workshops and found the following:

  • The social media behavior of first-year college students is more closely related to the behavior of high school students than that of their older college cohorts.
  • Most college seniors desire to align their social media habits more with adults and less with typical college-age behaviors.” 

Is all engagement created equal? [from Social Media Explorer; written by Tracey Parsons]

A proposal to start looking at engagement on two different levels: Active engagement, and passive engagement. A like and a share are not the same.

Written by Sarah

May 30th, 2014 at 9:09 am

The Week in Social Analytics #103

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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.

The 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report from Social Media Examiner came out this week, and while you should definitely take the time to read the whole thing if you can, there are also a lot of great pieces highlighting different aspects of the findings:

How the Older Generation is Embracing Social Media | Infographic [from Social Times; written by Christie Barakat]

“Did you know that one in five Twitter users are over the age of fifty? Or that of the 53 percent of
of Americans 65 and older who use the Internet, 77 percent of them are active on a typical day?

What’s more, the older generation has the most spending power of any age group and accounts for 80 percent of all online luxury travel spending. Baby boomers also contribute 43 percent of America’s philanthropic activity.”

Click through for the full infographic.

Three Key Elements in Building Your Brand Through Social Media [from Social Media Today; written by Andrew Hutchinson]

“It’s not enough to broadcast your message anymore, you need to be able to establish trust, your place in their day to day lives. How does your brand help and improve your consumer’s world? What ways can your business contribute? Answering these questions are the first steps towards working out how you can use social media to achieve them.”

Facts Tell, Stories Sell – How Infotainment Inspires Action in B2B Marketing [from Top Rank Online Marketing; written by Lee Odden]

Stories aren’t just for B2C; check out these examples of creativity in connecting in the B2B market from Lee Odden, as well as a full ebook from other B2B marketers.

How to Spot Good Social Media Marketing Research [from Social Media Today; written by Chris Syme]

“Dr. Freberg also has some tips for marketers on how to wade through the large volume of data labeled “study” on the internet.

Always look at the data itself, the sample and method in which the data was collected, and whether or not the results match up with the question posed for the actual research and the method being used. A lot of times, there are some methods and statistics that do not match up with the results. In some cases, there are research studies that try to “spin” the results to make these big conclusions when in reality, the data does not reflect on this.

If the study does go into detail on how the research was collected and is transparent with the methods and audience they used, that is a good sign. However, there are a lot of studies that don’t give readers any clue about sample size, audience numbers, how the data was collected, or what questions were asked. Having a solid base and understanding in traditional research methods to explore, critique, and analyze the results yourself is critical to know as a social media marketer now to determine what is good research versus promoted research.

How Instagram Became the Best Crisis PR [from New York Magazine; written by Maureen O'connor]

“Modern celebrity relies on the illusion of intimacy, and Instagram PR is the ultimate tool for pseudo-intimate fan management: It emphasizes the celebrity’s direct connection with her fans (illusion) without forcing her to reveal any facts (reality). It feels more genuine than a press release, but still allows for meticulous image control.”

How to get strangers to retweet your tweets [from Wired UK; written by Olivia Solon]

“The team found that when it sent local information tweets to individuals identified by the algorithm, 13.3 percent retweeted it, compared to just 2.8 percent of people picked at random. This was improved to 19.3 percent (a 680 percent increase) when they timed the RT request to match the periods when people had been most active in the past.”

Read the full study here.

Written by Sarah

May 23rd, 2014 at 8:46 am

Travel resources on Twitter and more: Updated

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With Memorial Day approaching this weekend, summer travel is on the minds of many, and the resources to plan and execute the best trips for business or for pleasure lie within the social sites you know and love. Last year we looked at the Top travel resources on Twitter: Accounts to follow and chats to attend as well as the 10 best travel resources on social media and beyond. So what does the travel landscape look like on social in 2014?

On Twitter

All of the travel advice and perspective accounts from our Twitter travel resources post are still active and providing information on everything from amateur and budget travel to high-end luxury accommodations; skim the list to find and follow the users that fit your needs.

As for the travel chats, read over the transcripts to get an idea of which ones would be worth joining in on before you plan your next trip:

  • #MexMonday (all day Mondays): Check this one out if you’re planning a trip to Mexico 
  • #TravelTuesday (all day Tuesdays): Chat about all things travel-related
  • #CruiseChat (2pm EST Tuesdays): Whether you’re a veteran cruiser or new to boat-bound travel, find out all you need to know in this chat
  • #NUTS (Not-so-usual-therapy-session, aka travel and specifically roadtrips) seems to be used more as a generic hashtag than a travel related chat, but you can still check out the session recaps on their site.
  • #TTOT (5:30 am/pm EST Tuesdays): standing for Travel Talk on Tuesdays, you can check out the topic ahead of time on their Facebook page.
  • #LuxChat (2:30pm PST every 3rd Wednesday): While #LuxChat doesn’t always cover travel, keep an eye on the month’s chosen topic if treating yourself while you travel is your goal. You can find recaps of their chats on their Tumblr.
  • #TourismChat (2:00pm CST bi-weekly on Thursdays): Check the @tourismchat account for topics and transcripts.
  • #FriFotos (all day Fridays): You can find out each week’s theme from @EpsteinTravels

Other chats to check out:

Aren’t sure how to participate in a Twitter chat, or want to host your own? Check out our posts about how to get the most out of a chat as a participant or as a host.

Other social media travel resources

All of our holiday travel tips from last year still hold true, and if you’re looking at how to get the most out of travel blogging on Tumblr we’ve covered that too. (You can see all of our travel-related Tumblr posts here.)

We still recommend Pinterest for planning what you’re going to pack, what sites you want to see at your destination, and more. Instagram is an amazing way to catalog your travels that lets everyone at home follow along with you and avoids overwhelming them with an album of 200 new photos to parse when you get home.

But what about using Instagram for inspiring and planning your next trip? Stay tuned. We’ll have that for you soon!

If you’ve got any social media travel resources we missed, leave them in the comments, or let us know on Twitter.

Photo courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery. 

Written by Sarah

May 21st, 2014 at 1:31 pm

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

The Week in Social Analytics #101

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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.

The Surprising Data Behind How Often Brands Should Post On Instagram [from Forbes; written by Jeff Bercovici]

 ”Union Metrics also looked at activity around paid content — ie. advertising — on Instagram, and found that it’s remarkably effective as a tool for driving follower acquisition and engagement. One big brand saw a 32% increase in followers after a 30-day paid campaign, translating into tens of thousands of new followers, plus a corresponding 25% increase in engagements on organic, non-paid posts. That suggests that followers obtained through paid promotion are as valuable as or more valuable than those acquired for free — another reversal of conventional wisdom, if it holds up on a wider scale.”

Want to learn more? Download our full Instagram whitepaper here.

10 Actionable Research Based Instagram Marketing Tips [from Heidi Cohen]

93% of prestige brands have a presence on Instagram, up from 63% in July 2013 according to L2 Think Tank research.”

Emphasis original. Pair with another great piece from Heidi this week: 10 Small Business Marketing Lessons You Need Regardless of Size.

10 Kinds of Stories to Tell with Data [from Harvard Business Review; written by Tom Davenport]

“Narrative is—along with visual analytics—an important way to communicate analytical results to non-analytical people. . .What’s needed is a framework for understanding the different kinds of stories that data and analytics can tell. If you don’t know what kind of story you want to tell, you probably won’t tell a good one.”

7 Ingredients for Employee Social Advocacy [from Convince and Convert; written by Jay Baer]

“. . .employee social media advocacy gives you Authenticity, Trustworthiness, and Reach. But, getting there isn’t a snap. There are many steps involved in creating and maintaining an effective program of this type.”

Click through for the full SlideShare.

The best crowdsourced social media campaigns [from iMedia Connection; written by Drew Hubbard]

Examples of the best crowsourced social campaigns in recent memory. Do you have one to add? Or a failed attempt everyone can learn from?

Over 100 B2B Content Marketing Statistics for 2014 [from TopRank Online Marketing Blog; written by Lee Odden]

This roundup covers everything from “insourcing vs. outsourcing to the most effective tactics”, but we pulled B2B content marketing and social media tactics here:

B2B content marketers use an average of 6 social media platforms

  • 91% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content
  • 85% of B2B marketers use Twitter to distribute content
  • 81% of B2B marketers use Facebook to distribute content
  • 73% of B2B marketers use YouTube to distribute content
  • 55% of B2B marketers use Google+ to distribute content
  • 40% of B2B marketers use SlideShare to distribute content
  • 34% of B2B marketers use Pinterest to distribute content
  • 22% of B2B marketers use Instagram to distribute content
  • 22% of B2B marketers use Vimeo to distribute content
  • 16% of B2B marketers use Flickr to distribute content
  • 15% of B2B marketers use StumbleUpon to distribute content
  • 14% of B2B marketers use Foursquare to distribute content
  • 14% of B2B marketers use Tumblr to distribute content
  • 14% of B2B marketers use Vine to distribute content”

On Being Useful [from Social Media Explorer; written by Tracey Parsons]

Excellent follow-up piece on the discussion on the balance brands need to strike between being human and being useful; shows examples of brands who strive to be useful in a human way.

The Ecommerce Brand’s Guide To Pinterest [from Social Fresh; written by Julie Bee]

If you’re an ecommerce brand that has already set up a Pinterest Business Page and gotten verified, then this article tells you where to go next.

How 4 Brands Embraced Tumblr’s New Mobile Design [from AdWeek; written by Garett Sloane]

“‘Tumblr is a place where brands can breathe,’ the company said in today’s mobile redesign announcement. ‘We’re once again stretching the canvas for brands and marketers to create a mobile identity that is truly representative of their brand.’”

Pair with Tumblr declares war on the internet’s identity crisis from The Verge.

Twitter’s Marketing Problem [from stratechery; written by Ben Thompson]

The headline takes away from the interesting potential ideas for Twitter’s future in this article:

“So why not embrace the complexity? Instead of trying to teach new users how to built a curated follower list, build the lists for them. Don’t call them lists, though; embrace Twitter’s TV connection and make them ‘channels.’ Big basketball game? Go to the basketball channel, populated not with the biggest celebrities but with the best and most entertaining tweeters. Build similar channels for specific teams in all sports. Do the same for Apple, Google, and technology; liberals, conservatives, and politics in general; have channels for the Oscars, the Olympics and so on and so forth. And make them good, devoid of the crap that pollutes most hashtags and search results. If the ideal Twitter experience is achieved with a curated list, then provide curated lists and an easy way to switch among them.

Now you have a value prop: easily join the conversation about what is happening in the areas you care about, without the months-long process of building a perfectly customized Twitter feed. Oh, and by the way Ad Person, here is a very easy-to-understand ad unit built around a specific topic filled with self-selected followers.”

Written by Sarah

May 9th, 2014 at 9:27 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

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

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

The Week in Social Analytics #91

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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.

New Research: Most Companies Do Not Have the Talent to Leverage Marketing Analytics [from Convince & Convert; written by Tom Webster]

“The simple truth is that many marketers can’t show the business impact of social because they can’t show the business impact of a lot of things.

“All of which is to say this: if you are in the business of using social for your marketing efforts, either on the brand-side or the agency-side, now is a great time to dig those wells before you get thirsty. Use those extra dollars, and that extra optimism, to build analytics and pre/post campaign measurement into everything you do and to recruit or develop tomorrow’s analysts. End 2014 with more actionable insight and knowledge about the impact of social on your business than you have today. Hold your efforts to the highest possible standards–and let Darwin take care of the rest.”

Emphasis original.

A Marketer’s Guide to SXSW Brands try to keep Austin wired [from Adweek; written by Christopher Heine]

“For those braving the South-by crowds, be prepared for a little something weird. That’s just part of the deal, friendo.”

Adweek, preparing you for the “controlled chaos” of SXSW. As for us, this is what we’re up to during SXSWi. See you there?

This week had a ton of great articles on Instagram:

Fantastic Infographics, Drawn From A Study of Instagram Selfies [from Wired; written by Liz Stinson]

Finally the selfie gets the serious scientific study it deserves:

“Right now, there are more than 79 million photos on Instagram that fall under #selfie. This is not counting #selfies (7 million photos), #selfienation (1 million photos), #selfiesfordays (400,000 photos) or the countless number of photos with no hashtag at all. You might be thinking: “Finally, we’ve reached peak #selfie!” But according to a new study, only 3-5 percent of photos on Instagram fall into the category.”

Keys to Photog Jamie Beck’s Success: Tumblr, Insta, Hard Work [from Racked; written by Chavie Lieber]

Did social media help at all with the jump start?

‘Well, I was kind of behind on Twitter, but Tumblr for sure, it was amazing. They were really supporting our community of original content creators. We were part of the original smaller group of people [on Tumblr] so it was easier to engage. We went to meet-ups, and made friends who were incredibly supportive. It was definitely right time, right place.’”

Emphasis original.

How Instagram Harnesses the Awesome Power of Mobile, Social Media and Photos: 3 Success Stories [from Jeff Bullas]

“This visual self expression and sharing culture combines the power of three.

  1. People’s obsession with their iPhone (read smartphone)
  2. Engagement power of Facebook
  3. The love of photos that seems to have been reinforced with the easy availability of the camera in your pocket

The only challenge for marketers is how to harness that through a touch of creativity.”

Instagram Captures Higher Interaction Rates than Facebook [from eMarketer; written by staff]

“While Instagram’s community of 150 million monthly active users was a fraction of the size of Facebook’s, and even smaller than Twitter’s, the digital marketing organization found that interaction rates for posts made by the 249 prestige brands studied were some 15 times higher than those on Facebook.

Emphasis added.

Can Flickr Catch Instagram? [from Geoff Livingston]

“Flickr celebrated 10 years of serving photos earlier this month, making it an old man amongst social networks. But the photo network is still relevant today, ranking in the top 10 social networks thanks to a resurgence under Marissa Mayer’s watch. In fact, Flickr is now ranked just one spot behind rival photo network Instagram.”

Here’s how to become the ultimate Tumblr power user [from The Daily Dot; written by Aja Romano]

A fantastic roundup of basic Tumblr tips- including all the changes from Tumblr’s recent revamps- and some excellent power user tips.

10 Must-Know Tips to Leverage Pinterest for Your Business [from Social Media Today; written by Brett Relander]

“Pinterest offers perhaps the most unique benefits among all social media platforms. And if your businesses’ content marketing strategy has not factored Pinterest in the mix you are missing out on a huge chunk of traffic from a site that sends more visitors to web properties than the much-vaunted Twitter and has more than 70 million users.”

Three Ways Twitter Chats Can Help Build Your Technology Brand [from Edelman PR; written by Aurora Arlet]

You can find us hanging out in #MMchat  followed by #socialchat on Monday evenings starting at 7pm CT.

Facebook Pulls Ahead of Twitter in Social TV Battle, But Can It Win the War? [from Social Media Today; written by Elizabeth Kent]

“Why Does Social TV Matter for Marketers?
Last but not least, what does all this mean for marketers? The data acquired from Facebook and Twitter on TV viewing and social media use can be used for:

  • Better insights: Social TV data is critical because it allows marketers to better understand who their audience is.
  • Campaign optimization: Through these insights, marketers can optimize their advertising campaigns to maximize effectiveness.
  • Cost-effective ad purchasing: Understanding when certain ads are most effective will allow marketers to make advertising purchases that are more cost-effective.
  • Real-time change: With real-time data comes real-time change. Marketers may be able to use social TV data to improve their advertising campaigns in real-time for immediate results.
  • Social media integration: Data has shown that when networks and advertisers incorporate social media content into their broadcasts, they are able to engage more effectively with their audience.”

Introducing Promoted Accounts in search [from Twitter; written by Nipoon Malhotra]

“With this launch, relevant Promoted Accounts can be presented to users in search results along with recommendations of people to follow. We automatically select relevant search queries for presenting Promoted Accounts based on an advertiser’s targeting choices, so no additional action is required for your business to access this capability.”

 

Written by Sarah

February 28th, 2014 at 9:12 am