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Everything you need to know about Twitter for conferences

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We’ve written quite a bit about Twitter and conferences over the years, so we thought we’d combine the best of our existing knowledge with anything new we’ve learned through our own experiences and research. If you have wisdom of your own to share or questions we didn’t cover, leave it in the comments!

From the Union Metrics Instagram, our Social Media Manager attended the #SXW2O pre-conference at SXSWi 2015.

From the Union Metrics Instagram, our Social Media Manager attended the #SXW2O pre-conference at SXSWi 2015.

If you’re planning and running the conference

  1. Choose a unique, relevant hashtag and keep it as short as possible.
  2. Make sure you promote the hashtag ahead of time on your site, in official emails, on your social accounts, and on physical collateral throughout the event
  3. Consider unique hashtags for particular panels so attendees can hyper-connect and discuss particular issues of interest to them. Just keep them as short as possible so they can be used in conjunction with the official conference hashtag.
  4. It should go without saying, but make sure you have the wifi power and physical number of power outlets available for attendees so they’re not cut off  from social at any time during the event.
  5. Encourage conversation among attendees by being responsive, retweeting interesting points and questions, promoting speakers and panelists, and favoriting clever responses to your tweets. Fix any problems brought to your attention as soon as humanly possible, and quickly communicate any schedule or venue changes.
  6. Continue to connect post-conference with presenters, speakers and attendees by sharing any wrap-ups written by your team or by others, sharing video clips of panels or keynotes, photos from cocktail hours or meet-ups, and anything else you’re able to source through your official hashtag!
  7. Measure your conference-related social efforts. Ideally you’ll want to set up extensive social tracking on Twitter (and any other channel you have a presence on and will be using your official hashtag with), but if things go awry you can always look at a historical measurement option. See how big of a boost this event gave your presence! Measure engagement in three ways:
    • Measure total Twitter audience size. With the spread of conference content on social media like Twitter, the size of the audience can grow well beyond the number of attendees physically present (some might attend virtually!). Measure the total reach and exposure for conference tweets, as well as the number of total tweets and unique contributors.
    • Determine popular speakers and presentations. Analyze conference Twitter engagement by tracking metrics like retweets, replies, favorites and impressions to learn which topics are generating buzz. Search for speaker and panel names, presentation topics and track titles to see which ones are most talked about. Find out which images are being shared the most to determine attendees’ favorite moments, and track shared URLs to see which websites and pages have been most useful to participants.
    • Share metrics with sponsors. Report this information back to conference sponsors to demonstrate the value of their sponsorship. Showing sponsors how many more people their brands reached beyond in-person conference attendance can be very valuable to securing future sponsorships. When possible, share specific examples of effective tweets about or from conference sponsors.
    • Bonus: Use all of this data to plan your next conference. It will tell you what went well, what you can improve, and how your conference compares to other similar conferences with available numbers.

And if you want more details on marketing your conference across social channels, check out Marketing your conference across platforms: Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr and Marketing your conference across platforms: Snapchat and Pinterest.

If you’re attending the conference

  1. Use that official hashtag! Use it to network and connect with other attendees, use it to share your thoughts during panels and ask questions, use it to find new people to follow and interact with not only during the conference, but after.
  2. Be sure you’re following official accounts, and follow presenters and other attendees you find interesting. Take things a step further by thanking organizers and speakers after the event; they’ll definitely appreciate it!
  3. Browse the official hashtag in your downtime, along with any unique hashtags for panels you didn’t get the chance to attend. Retweet, favorite, and respond to connect with any tweets or tweeters who catch your eye to extend your networking even further.
  4. Upload photos of you and other attendees at official and unofficial events around the conference and tag it with the official hashtag to add another layer to your presence.
  5. If you’re a local, share tips for non-local attendees and presenters on where to eat or relax in their downtime. Offer to meet up with fellow attendees to show them around and take them out on the town or for a run on your favorite trail. And if you’re not local, take any kind locals up on these offers and let the conference know what a great time you’re having in the town they’re hosting in.

If you’re attending the conference virtually

  1. Use that official hashtag just like you’re there! Comment on live-streamed panels and keynotes, ask questions, connect with attendees who are there.
  2. Share quick reports around different panels- like a TweetReach from Union Metrics snapshot report- particularly if they have a unique hashtag for them. Those running the event and speaking most likely won’t have time in the moment and will very much appreciate the feedback. Want to know how it works? See our example of #smx at a glance.
  3. In a similar vein, you can put together a Storify of tweets from a favorite panel to share back with attendees, panel speakers, and the conference itself. Write up a blog summary of what you’ve learned and include this in it.
  4. If it feels right, share a photo of you from your command room from afar, toasting with a morning coffee or even a cocktail at the close of the day, and tag it with the official hashtag. It’s a fun way to get a little face time even though you’re not in the same room with everyone else.
  5. If you planned to attend virtually but missed all or part of the proceedings in real-time (hey, life happens), check out our post Miss a conference? 5 tips for getting the most out of the hashtag on Twitter.

A final word

Have fun! Don’t be afraid to let your personality and sense of humor shine through in your tweets. Just because you’re at a professional event doesn’t mean you have to be boring.

Written by Sarah

August 27th, 2015 at 9:00 am

Posted in Events,Guides

Tagged with , ,

Union Metrics San Francisco Crafts for a Cause

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On July 2nd, Union Metrics’ San Francisco team visited our local Raising a Reader office to “Craft for a Cause,” and build educational block sets designed to inspire creative storytelling in the classroom and at home for program participants.

SF volunteer

Raising A Reader’s programs provide books and educational materials, like the block sets we assembled, designed to help caregivers encourage children to read, cultivate creativity and aid in school success by increasing literacy, especially in low income communities. Our time at Raising a Reader helped us better understand early learning and the needs of schools and families in communities around the Bay Area, and knowing the benefits of early education and the importance (and fun!) of creativity in school and eventually at work, we wanted to support this cause and provide children with tools that will aid them in their literacy journey.

The blocks that we assembled, which include photos of a diverse array of people and animals, are designed to help children and adults use their imaginations to create stories about the characters. By inventing made-up narratives of what the individuals on the blocks might be doing, even children who may not yet be able to read or caregivers who might not have access to children’s books in their native language can learn and apply the art of storytelling.

We love being part of a community as diverse as San Francisco and to have found an opportunity to assist an organization promoting such an important cause locally and around the country. Volunteering not only gives us a chance to meet our neighbors and learn about the different needs that exist for local groups, but it also gives us a chance to connect as a team on a new type of project, which is why we make community service a regular activity in both our offices. And in this case, even hone our block-making skills and uphold our values of creativity and craftsmanship!

Our volunteering program allows us to help the community and spend time with colleagues in a new way, and we are so happy to offer it as a regular team building and local activity. Here’s what some of our San Francisco teammates had to say about our work at Raising a Reader:

“I like and appreciate the volunteer work we do because it allows us the time to make a valuable contribution to those who are either in need, or whose lives we can better. The experience of volunteering at Raising a Reader more recently was great especially after understanding how it impacts the children. I remember our guide/instructor telling us about how children from low income families enter kindergarten well behind the average in their reading and language skills and as a result of already starting well behind the curve, as a result they end up remaining behind throughout their school careers. Therefore it was great to be able to make a contribution and to be able to hear about the impact of our contribution along with the contribution of others.” – Sam, Customer Success Manager

“The most beneficial aspects of the UM volunteer program for me are the perspective I gain from it and the opportunity to spend time with my colleagues outside of an office setting. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind and volunteering has served as a reminder that the minor issues I encounter pale in comparison to a lot of the major issues going on on our very own doorstep. Working with organizations like the Marin Food Bank and Raise A Reader has not only taught me a bit more about some of the adversities that others in our community face, but also given me the opportunity to take part in doing something to help!” – Steph, Product Designer

Our Austin office also recently volunteered at Austin Animal Center, so stay tuned for some adorable photos of our Austin team with local dogs and cats! (Can’t wait? Check us out on Instagram for a preview!)

Written by Sarah

July 23rd, 2015 at 8:39 am

Social TV: Between and serialized Netflix

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Until now all of Netflix’s original programming has been binge-able; whole seasons released at once that fans park themselves to consume on the couch while they tweet about it. This changed with the recent release of Between, a show developed in partnership with a Canadian channel that follows the traditional one-new-episode-released-per-week formula. Episodes air on City TV in Canada then become available on Netflix several hours later.

How this affects the conversation

As expected, the biggest spike in Twitter conversation around Between so far in terms of the number of people tweeting and the subsequent reach of their tweets was the day the first episode was released, May 21st, followed by a second, smaller spike the day the second episode was released, May 28th: Between contributors Between reach exposure The most tweets, however, came the day after each episode aired:

Between tweets

And nearly all of the most retweeted tweets came from the show’s star Jennette McCurdy:

Or from Netflix’s Twitter account:

What does this tell us?

Although the overall numbers for this show are lower than around Game of Thrones or fellow Netflix original Daredevil, that’s to be expected for a small, original show without a fanbase to draw on from previous seasons (GoT) or a successful comic book universe (Daredevil, part of the Marvel Universe). It does, however, have star Jennette McCurdy’s existing fans to draw on; those who grew up watching her on iCarly or Sam and Cat are older and excited to see her take on a darker, more serious role in this sci-fi show, so it makes sense that she’s promoting her latest project to her fans and followers on Twitter, encouraging them to tune in when it’s available and even offering to tweet with her fans while they watch.

The episodes become available on Netflix at 11:30pm Eastern, which explains why more tweets around the show are made the next day; fans might be tweeting about their excitement around the latest episode the day it airs, then discussing it or live-tweeting a second viewing (or a first, if they have an early bedtime) the day after it originally airs on Canada’s City TV.

Final takeaways

The overall success of a serialized television show on Netflix vs a binge-able one remains to be seen, but they’re doing everything on the social promotion front right on Twitter, including show-specific hashtags and live-tweeting hashtags:

They could be doing a little more on other networks where their target audience has a presence: Instagram, for example. The official Netflix Instagram account has one photo referencing the show vs. much more promotion for their other original series (Marco Polo, Orange is the New Black, Daredevil, etc) , but this likely has to do with the City TV partnership and the fact that City has established their own Instagram profile for the show. Netflix could still use a third-party app to do some re-gramming, however.

Written by Sarah

June 4th, 2015 at 10:15 am

Bare-faced on Twitter & Instagram: Amy Schumer’s #GirlYouDontNeedMakeup

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On Tuesday a new episode of Inside Amy Schumer aired on Comedy Central, and in anticipation of this boy band parody sketch, Amy posted a no-makeup selfie on Twitter and Instagram asking her followers to share selfies of themselves without makeup on either platform with the hashtag #GirlYouDontNeedMakeup.

And the response has been as sweet as a boy band’s choreographed dance moves.

On Twitter

Since it started on Tuesday, more than 13,000 tweets have been posted with the #GirlYouDontNeedMakeup hashtag by more than 12,000 different people, for a potential reach of 40 million unique Twitter users*. Many of the most retweeted tweets came from Amy herself, Comedy Central, or big media and tech outlets like Mashable or Slate, but some came from non-celebrity hashtag participants: 

(Though of course funnyman Zach Braff did add his own somewhat inexplicable and terrifying entry.)

On Instagram

While fewer posts were made on Instagram in the same window, they still had quite the impact with a maximum potential reach of 1.5 million**. The three most popular posts with the #girlyoudontneedmakeup tag were these two from Amy and one from Comedy Central, respectively, but the rest were all from Instagram users sharing their no-makeup faces, not other branded accounts as on Twitter:

#girlyoudontneedmakeup #catyoudontneedmakeup #insideamy

A photo posted by Emily Gordon (@thegynomite) on

One of the most popular Instagram posts includes an important related hashtag, #catyoudontneedmakeup.

Have you posted your no-makeup selfie yet?

Brand takeaways

The smaller number of posts made on Instagram likely has a lot to do with the interconnected nature of Twitter as a platform with its built-in retweets vs Instagram’s third-party apps as the only option for regramming. Twitter’s constant flood of information also makes it acceptable to post original and curated content several times a day, making it more likely for others to see, share, and/or participate in a hashtag than with a more contained stream like Instagram where users are more selective with what they participate in and share.

Both of these are things to keep in mind when planning a campaign, either for a specific platform or to run across platforms; you want to play to the strengths of each.

 

*read more about how we calculate reach on Twitter here

**read about how our Instagram analytics hashtag trackers work here

Written by Sarah

April 30th, 2015 at 9:00 am

Social TV: Netflix binge-watching, Daredevil and Twitter

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The prevalence of the second screen and social television have been established for some time now, but how does the conversation differ around a show when the whole season is released at once and the audience has the option to binge-watch it all in one go?

We looked at the Twitter conversation around Netflix’s recently released Daredevil to find out.

The overall conversation

345.5k tweets have been posted about Netflix’s latest original series since the beginning of April, from 137.5k contributors, for a total unique reach of 76.2 million. That’s smaller than the few days of Twitter conversation around the fourth season premiere of Game of Thrones on Twitter, but consider that Game of Thrones was working with an established fan base and audience who were anticipating the season premiere. Daredevil does have an existing fanbase from the success of other Marvel projects, Netflix originals, and of course the original comic book character to draw from, but new shows still have to prove themselves and the social conversation is becoming an increasing part of that success. Netflix and Marvel know that, so their Twitter accounts are at the forefront of the conversation, along with two of the show’s stars, Rosario Dawson and Deborah Ann Woll if you take a look at the top contributors to the Daredevil conversation:

  1. Marvel
  2. IGN
  3. AgentM
  4. Netflix
  5. EW
  6. Rosario Dawson
  7. Daredevil
  8. Deborah Ann Woll
  9. THR (The Hollywood Reporter)
  10. TVAfterDark

And these accounts consequently have some of the most popular tweets (by retweets):

As expected Game of Thrones chatter only got louder as the season progressed as each episode was released in the traditional serialized manner. With a show available all at once, what do we see? The answer that the biggest spike in the conversation happened on April 10th, the day Netflix released the full season, probably does not surprise you: Daredevil release spike

The day of release

Netflix releases new shows at midnight Pacific Time (3am Eastern) on Fridays (weekend timing makes it perfect for binge-watching), and announces that move with a tweet:

Which coincided with a spike in the conversation for that day, too:

Daredevil release day 3am spike

 

As for the conversation itself, there was some self-aware humor around binge-watching reflected in some of the most retweeted and other prominent tweets:

As well as good old-fashioned jokes that only make sense if you’re familiar with the main character—  or start watching the show to be in on it:  

Mashable and Netflix even brought Twitter’s new live-streaming sister app, Periscope, into the conversation by using it to discuss why you should binge-watch the show and to bring fans behind-the-scenes content:

A Periscope URL wound up being one of the top URLs in the overall conversation, alongside articles around the show (like the one from Entertainment Weekly in the tweet posted above) and a Netflix link to the show itself. Something for brands- and perhaps especially for entertainment brands- to take into consideration as part of a promotional content marketing plan.

Other takeaways

Whether or not you’re an entertainment brand or have anything to do with social television and the second screen at all, you still want to maximize your social listening. Daredevil caught criticism for being a show about a blind superhero that was released without a way for visually impaired fans to fully enjoy it. Netflix heard this, however, and several days later an audio description track was added for the show, along with news that the service would be expanded to its other original series.

That’s taking a blunder, really listening to your fans and followers, and fixing it in a timely manner that results in good PR. 

That’s an excellent lesson for any brand.

 

Do you binge-watch series? Do you tweet about it? Leave your thoughts in the comments! 

 

Written by Sarah

April 22nd, 2015 at 12:44 pm

Monitoring tweets about the Brazilian 2014 presidential election: A TweetReach case study

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Brazilian 2014 presidential electionLast fall, Medialogue, a digital agency based in Brazil, was tasked with monitoring social conversation about the 2014 Brazilian Presidential election for the Aécio Neves campaign and supporting the efforts of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party. Medialogue selected Union Metrics’ TweetReach Twitter analytics to support this effort.

The Brazilian 2014 presidential election was a record-breaking event for the country on social media, even compared to the 2010 election, on which Medialogue also worked. The sheer volume of conversation on social media surpassed all estimates based on the previous national election, generating more than 40 million total tweets. However, by using TweetReach to sort through the noise, Medialogue was able to make informed social media recommendations back to their client.

Click here to read our full case study about how Medialogue used TweetReach to measure millions of tweets about the election.

Image source: Economist, Brazil’s presidential election: A riven country

Written by Jenn D

March 24th, 2015 at 7:23 am

SXSW 2015 Panel Recommendations

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Every year we bring you our recommendations for panels and more you might want to attend while you’re in town for all the rest of the SXSW madness. Without further ado, here are our picks for 2015.

Visual Storytelling: The Power of Design + Data | Fri, March 13 | 2:00pm-3:00pm

Using big data to tell a story in graphics rather than in words.

Digital Disruption: Do or Die | Fri, March 13 | 5:00pm-6:00pm

What is digital disruption? What are some examples of brands using it to put older, more established brands out of business?

The Future Of Distributed Media | Sat, March 14  | 12:30pm-1:30pm

Learn from the best at creating original content to distribute across platforms: BuzzFeed.

Future15: Why the Future of Film Depends on Social Media with Union Metrics Editor-in-Chief Jenn Deering Davis | Sat, March 14 | 2pm-2:15pm

Big studios have had to change marketing tactics to reach audiences where they are, while indie films have a whole new time-and-money-saving way to market. What tactics from the former can help the latter?

How Technology Colonized Fashion Week | Sat, March 14 | 3:30pm-4:30pm

Fashion week is no longer just for the elite thanks to technology— and this has revolutionized the industry.

Future15: Social Data in the Time of Cholera with Gnip Principal Data Scientist Dr. Scott Hendrickson | Sun, March 15 | 5:15pm-5:30pm

“With social data serving as the largest archive of human behavior to ever exist, how can we turn this data into real-time warning systems? I’ll look at how social data has been used in the past, our own research and endeavors and the possibilities we see for social data in humanitarian efforts going forward.”

Behind The GIF: The Future of Online Visual Culture | Mon, March 16 | 9:30am-10:30am

“This panel will bring together an unprecedented conversation between the creators, platforms, and commentators of the evolving visual frontier of the web. We’ll tackle the latest developments in the space, and give a glimpse of what’s to come.”

image

Evolve or Die: The Traditional Agency Revolution | Mon, March 16 | 9:30am-10:30am

Mad Men days it isn’t.

IBM and Twitter: The Future of Digital Engagement | Mon, March 16  | 3:30pm-4:30pm

How do you build real engagement with fans and followers on social?

Hamburger Helper Is My Bae: Weird Brand Twitter | Mon, March 16 | 5:00pm-6:00pm

When Weird Twitter and Brand Twitter collide, we ask the important questions:

“Why am I laughing at a frozen pizza? I buy the frozen pizza, do I have to be its friend, too?”

Beyond Live, Why the L+3 Social TV Convo Matters | Tues, March 17 | 9:30am – 10:30am

Interested in the changing nature of social TV?

“The landscape is changing from measuring success by ‘trending’ to building dedicated fandoms. The fandom conversation peaks after the show airs and continues to resonate until the next episode, and even between seasons.”

Viva Album Art! | Wed, March 18 | 5pm – 6pm

“We’ll discuss how musicians can use digital media to express their stories, and invite their fans to emotionally connect with their music, using the best platforms and practices that the digital world has to offer.”

Got any great panels we missed? Leave ‘em in the comments.

Written by Sarah

March 5th, 2015 at 9:13 am

Union Metrics at SXSW 2015

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Are you coming to Austin for SXSW Interactive this year? We’d love to see you! Here’s where you can find us (and possibly score a Merle sticker):

Austin Startup Crawl | Thursday, March 12, 2015 | 5pm-1opm

Every year the Startup Crawl unofficially kicks off SXSWi and we love being a part of it! No badges required. See more details and register, here.

Startup Crawl 2015

Union Metrics team at the Pre-SXSW Startup Crawl 2014. From our Instagram Account

Mentor Session with Co-Founder and CEO Hayes Davis | Saturday, March 14, 2015 | 12:30pm-1:30pm

Our CEO and Co-Founder Hayes is available for a mentor session during SXSWi. RSVP for a slot here!

Future15: Why the Future of Film Depends on Social Media with Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jenn Deering Davis | Saturday, March 14, 2015 | 2pm-2:15pm

Stop by the Austin Convention Center for Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jenn’s Future15 session on Why the Future of Film Depends on Social Media. See more details here.

Metrics and Mimosas SXSW Brunch | Sunday, March 15, 2015 | 11am-2pm

We’ve held our share of brunches and happy hours for SXSWi, and this one should be better than ever! Come see us at Easy Tiger for Metrics and Mimosas. Just don’t forget to RSVP! 

Want to keep up with all of our events? Bookmark this page

Written by Sarah

March 2nd, 2015 at 9:10 am

Superhero Super Bowl Bet: The stunning conclusion

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Since Star-Lord and Captain America set a wager on Twitter about whose team would win last night’s Big Game, we’ve been watching them and the rest of the social media sphere egg each other on good-naturedly. Good Morning America got into the discussion last week, and some other celebrities even asked to get in on the action:

Since January 19th, 182k tweets and counting have been made around this superhero Super Bowl bet by 93k contributors (and counting). The two most retweeted tweets came from Captain America and Star-Lord themselves wrapping up the bet last night on Twitter:

So while in the end Captain America won his bet, Christopher’s Haven and Seattle Children’s Hospital are the real winners with all of the donations made in honor of this bet and the upcoming superhero visits to the kids.

Stay tuned for more on the rest of Super Bowl XLIX!

Written by Sarah

February 2nd, 2015 at 9:46 am

Superhero Super Bowl Bet: Updated

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The Big Game is Sunday, so how’s that big Superhero Super Bowl Bet going? Since the bet started, more than 50k people have posted more than 88k tweets, and counting.

Good Morning America has joined the conversation on Twitter, and they’re asking their fans and followers to retweet the superhero whose team they want to see win on Sunday. Want to wager who’s winning in terms of retweets as of this writing?

It’s Captain America, with over 4k retweets on “his” GMA tweet to over 2k retweets on Star-Lord’s.

Keep an eye on the conversation on Twitter with the three most popular hashtags:

  1. #SuperBowl
  2. #GMASuperBowl
  3. #SuperBowlBound

The tides can always turn on Sunday. Will you be watching?

Written by Sarah

January 31st, 2015 at 9:00 am