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Our Product Designer goes to Visualized 2015

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Here at Union Metrics we like to give our employees the chance to enrich themselves and their careers by attending a conference of their choice each year. Here’s Product Designer Steph Cruz’s experience at Visualized 2015, in her own words. 

Steph conference

The stage at Visualized.

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend Visualized, an annual conference that takes place in the heart of New York City. The goal of the conference is to bring together designers, artists, scientists, and general thinkers from all corners of the world to discuss data visualization and their thoughts on the future of information communication.

Speakers ranged from Adrien Segal, who creates beautiful, thought-provoking sculptures conveying information about nature and human impact on the environment to Jen Christiansen from Scientific American who made it her mission to trace the origins of Joy Division’s iconic Unknown Pleasures album art (interesting side-note: turns out it was a visualization of pulsar behavior!). Ben Wellington also spoke; he draws on New York’s public data for his blog I Quant NY and through it has had a hand in changes to street infrastructure, subway ticketing, and more. And one of my personal favorite presenters, Jonathan Schwabish, whose talk included a take on the children’s book If You Give A Moose A Muffin tailored to his audience called If You Give A Nerd A Number. 

A hot topic was big data and open data (given the push in recent years for open data legislation); as well as the tools and resources available for accessing and analyzing it. While it seems the data platforms still have a long way to go, it was exciting to see the ways many are already using what has been made available to spark discussion—  and moreover, action. Additionally, an overarching theme at the conference was the idea of “storytelling”. While this was a theme in past years and there were a few allusions to it having become an industry buzzword, it was clear to me that instead of rejecting the term altogether there was a call for a shift in the paradigm: storytelling with purpose.

There are undeniable benefits to parsing datasets, identifying important information and translating it into something that is easily digestible. However, if those who are responsible for presenting the data don’t find it meaningful, how is anyone else supposed to? Whether we create visualizations for work or hobby, we should find a purpose that drives us to keep pushing the envelope and discovering new ways to inform, engage, enlighten and entertain others.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed my time at Visualized this year and not just because of the cinnamon rolls and cake (although anyone who knows me and my sweet tooth would definitely be skeptical). After the last speaker left the stage and I finally had a moment to sift through the two days’ worth of insight floating around in my head, a key takeaway floated to the surface: If knowledge is power, then data is a sure means of tapping into that power. This led to me considering the role that our team at Union Metrics plays in this idea of data as a means for empowerment. Social media analytics is a beast in itself, one that often has the ability to make or break individuals and businesses.

At the end of the day, I’m beyond proud of the fact that we’ve created products that not only encourage our customers by giving them the ability to understand their data, but empower them to succeed by allowing them to work with that data, and not against an opaque mass of it.

Curious about our other employees’ conference experiences? See what our Social Media Manager learned at the Social Shake-Up 2014, our Senior Front-End Engineer at OpenVis, our Customer Success Manager at Pulse 2015, or our Marketing Manager at Dreamforce 2015

Written by Sarah

October 29th, 2015 at 10:29 am

Our Marketing Manager goes to Dreamforce

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Here at Union Metrics we like to give our employees the chance to enrich themselves and their careers by attending a conference of their choice each year. Here’s Marketing Manager Lisa Messelt’s experience at Dreamforce 2015, in her own words. 

Above: This is not, as it first appears, a normal-sized laptop on a table; it is a 10′ tall laptop with a working screen. Dreamforce does not hold back.

Above: This is not, as it first appears, a normal-sized laptop on a table; it is a 10′ tall laptop with a working screen. Dreamforce does not hold back.

Dreamforce hosted 120,000 people this year in San Francisco, and I was one of them. I’ve been a Salesforce administrator for the past five years, and this was the first year I was lucky enough to go. These were the highlights.

Salesforce products

Dreamforce was, first and foremost, an incredibly impressive display of just how vast Salesforce has become as a business. I didn’t realize just how behind I was on all of the acquisitions that have taken place over the last few years, but the enormous, beautiful displays at every turn sure brought me up to speed. ExactTarget/Pardot, Wave, RelateIQ, Heroku, and so many other new lines of business in the Salesforce catalog have created a truly massive footprint. I successfully got up to speed on everything except the IoT area, which was cool if not currently a business necessity for everyone.

Attendees & Speakers

My favorite thing about Dreamforce is that it attracts other companies like Salesforce, and therefore other people like me; people trying to build great enterprise SaaS companies. For any challenge that I had on my plate, there was either someone to talk to who was working through the same thing, or someone who had been through it before and had valuable knowledge to impart. For someone who’s perpetually in a department of one or two, it’s extra valuable to get this kind of outside perspective, both from fellow attendees and their experienced speaker lineup.


I am both a person who loves to shop and a person who loves new tech, so I had a great time perusing the show floor. It’s like if you set up a demo with everyone who ever cold-called you back to back to back and knocked them all out in an afternoon. I realize that may sound horrible to some, but it’s a really efficient way to catch up on all the latest tools and build relationships with the reps you may need to negotiate with down the road.

The Money

Everywhere I turned, I found myself wondering, “How much did they spend on this?” Nearly everything about Dreamforce felt decadent; every display was completely over-the-top. Countless vendors hosted luxurious lounges to keep everyone comfortable. And every day ended with a handful of lavish parties (or a Foo Fighters concert).

Above via the #dreamforce tag on Instagram. 

Above via the #dreamforce tag on Instagram.


They definitely want you to feel good about the price of admission.


Dreamforce is pretty amazing, and I’ll go back whenever I get the chance. Salesforce has built something awfully impressive both as a business and with this conference, and it’s great to be a part of it.

Curious about our other employees’ conference experiences? See what our Social Media Manager learned at the Social Shake-Up 2014, our Senior Front-End Engineer at OpenVis, or our Customer Success Manager at Pulse 2015

Written by Sarah

October 15th, 2015 at 10:23 am

Happy birthday, Instagram!

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Last week Instagram turned five years old, so we’re taking a look back at some of its more notable moments and how it’s evolved since 2010. We’ll also discuss how the platform has grown into one of the largest and most important social networks, how brands have found their place there, and what might be next for Instagram.


We’re also looking at all the pretty #birthdaycandles on Instagram. 

Growing up

Instagram first launched on October 6, 2010, and by December of that same year it had 1 million users. The hashtags Instagram is so well-known for now weren’t introduced until January of 2011, and their original purpose remains the same: To help users share and discover their photos with one another (spammers be damned). By June of 2011, Instagram was up to 5 million users, and a launch of version 2.0 (with many of the filters and other features we know and love today) doubled that number to 10 million by the end of September.

If you’ve ever wondered about the history of #TBT (Throwback Thursday), wonder no longer: It was in use on Instagram in late 2011, but its popularity really took off in 2012 when more celebrities and influencers began participating. You may also remember 2012 as the year Instagram joined the Facebook family, and users grew to 30 million. This is also when the Explore tab and web profiles were launched, but Instagram took a hit in popularity with miscommunication around their new TOS (terms of service) in December of that year. Users interpreted it to mean Instagram would allow their photos to be sold and reused without their permission, but Instagram listened to user concerns and clarified their intentions to build a business model that matched the current user experience.

In 2013 Instagram added video capabilities- contributing to the video content marketing heyday of today- and direct messaging, as well as its first ads in the US. 2014 saw users at 300 million, and this year saw the end of the reign of the tyranny of the square, as well as a jump to 400 million users.

Brands on Instagram

Michael Kors was the first brand to advertise on Instagram in 2013, working to create photos that fit the feel of the app and didn’t intrude on user experience. Since then, brands across industries have increased their presence on the platform and experimented with different forms of advertising: Directly through Instagram, by sponsoring the posts of key influencers in their industry or partnering with them in campaigns, or simply running accounts that share the kind of content their Instagram audience is interested in while also letting them know where they can buy what they see.

Instagram doesn’t have a direct buy button (yet?), but there are workarounds such as Like It To Know It (can be found with the #liketkit) for brands and personal brands interested in directly monetizing their posts.

Most brands, however, use Instagram to connect with users in a way that feels natural for the platform. People use it, first and foremost, to share beautiful, memorable images of their lives. Brands have to find a way to fit in with that in a way that doesn’t feel intrusive. Users reward those who have figured out how to do this in a way that seems effortless and natural- like Lauren Conrad- and will quickly unfollow a brand that seems jarring, needy or too salesy.

Instagram now

While Instagram’s features have evolved quite a bit over the past five years, it has remained the same at its core: A place for users to share their lives and passions with each other, visually. In the coming years we expect users and brands will find new ways to express themselves through its lens.

Ultimately, Instagram’s success lies in listening to its users and adapting with them, rather than trying to force an unnatural direction. That’s a good recipe for longevity no matter your industry.

Written by Sarah

October 13th, 2015 at 9:30 am

Posted in Events

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Previewing the new 2015 fall TV shows on Twitter

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It’s September and that means it’s time for new fall TV! Over the next few weeks, the big networks will roll out their new TV series. Not all of these series will survive the year; some will be cancelled within a few weeks. One of our favorite exercises each fall at Union Metrics is to dig into what Twitter thinks about the new fall TV shows. What can we learn from early Twitter conversation and what can that tell us about whether or not a show might be cancelled?

Like last year, all of the new network series have official Twitter accounts and hashtags, so they’re all actively participating on Twitter to promote their premieres and encourage viewers to tune in. However, not all the new shows are doing well on Twitter. Let’s take a look at the crop of new shows to see how they’re doing on Twitter, and what that means for their cancellation chances.

The best of the best

First, let’s talk about the fall TV shows that are doing well on Twitter. Theses are the series potential viewers are most excited about, the ones stirring up controversy and conversation on social media. We’ll start with the front-runner, Scream Queens.

FOX’s new show Scream Queens is absolutely crushing all other the new programs on Twitter. There have been more than 330,000 tweets about the show in the past month alone. That’s more than 5x the tweet volume of its closest competitor. Scream Queens generated more tweets in the past month than even the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, which started this week. The official Twitter account has already collected more than 126,000 Twitter followers. Why?

The marketing team behind Scream Queens has been working hard for months to promote the show across social media, sharing teasers and news and behind-the-scenes pictures, starting early this spring. And of course Scream Queens’ celebrity firepower doesn’t hurt. It stars Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nick Jonas, Ariana Grande, Lea Michelle and a host of other well-known names. It’s also created by Ryan Murphy (who created American Horror Story, which has performed very well on social media over the past few years). And finally, the demographic this show is targeting is perfect for Twitter – that young, hip audience so many advertisers want to reach. So it’s no surprise that no other show comes close to Scream Queens’ numbers on Twitter. It’s practically perfect for social media. But what about the others?

The rest of the best

Beyond Scream Queens, there’s a handful of other shows that have excited Twitter. A few of these are expected to be big hits and have had huge marketing campaigns around them, so it’s not surprising to see them here. All of them have generated at least 1,000 daily tweets on average over the past month. They are:

  • The Muppets on ABC
  • Heroes Reborn on NBC
  • Blood & Oil on ABC
  • Quantico on ABC
  • Supergirl on CBS

Here’s a look at how they compare in terms of tweets over the past month.

Tweets about the top fall TV shows

Supergirl doesn’t premiere until the end of October, so it’s likely to continue to gain momentum over the next six weeks. The Muppets and Heroes Reborn are nearly tied right now, and premiere just a couple days apart the week of September 21. Blood & Oil has had a few flurries in tweet activity recently (see the purple spikes on the chart). And Quantico is performing well so far.

The mediocre middle

In order not to leave any shows out, there are a set of new series that are doing fine on Twitter. There has been some conversation about them, but nothing record-setting or particularly impressive (good or bad). We’ll monitor these are they get underway to see if they trend up or down, but for now, here are the mediocres:

  • Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris on NBC
  • Minority Report on FOX
  • Blindspot on NBC
  • Grandfathered on FOX
  • Rosewood on FOX

Best Time Ever premiered this week on NBC, and gained a little traction during the premiere. The first episode only generated about 20k tweets on premiere day – that’s a fairly small showing for a brand new show with such a big name star.

The back of the pack

Not all the new shows are doing well. There are a few that haven’t made much of an impact at all on Twitter. As we’ve seen in past years, some shows just don’t make the cut – on Twitter or on television. Maybe their marketing departments haven’t spent enough time promoting the shows on Twitter, maybe the concepts just don’t excite potential viewers, maybe the cast hasn’t been active enough in their own accounts. But these six shows haven’t generated very many tweets (some of them getting 50 or fewer tweets a day!) and are in risky territory.

  • Life in Pieces on CBS
  • Limitless on CBS
  • The Player on NBC
  • The Grinder on FOX
  • Code Black on CBS
  • Dr. Ken on ABC

Now just because a show isn’t generating many tweets, that doesn’t guarantee it’ll be cancelled. But many shows that can’t find a Twitter audience probably aren’t finding a TV audience either. If no one’s talking about it, that either mean no one’s watching it or they’re watching it but it’s just so dull there’s nothing to talk about. That’s a good first step for cancellation.

The most surprising show in this bottom group is FOX’s The Grinder, which stars Fred Savage and Rob Lowe. These are two big names who should draw in a bigger crowd. The show doesn’t premiere until the very end of September, so it has a couple weeks to grow, but we would expect more early chatter for this one. The same goes for ABC’s Dr. Ken.

Some shows still have some time before they premiere – a set of new series don’t start until mid October or November. We’ll keep an eye on those are we get closer to their premiere dates, as they still have time to develop a larger audience on Twitter. That includes Truth Be Told and Chicago Med on NBC, Wicked City on ABC, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on The CW, and Angel From Hell on CBS.

We’ll check back in on these numbers in a couple weeks, once most of these shows have premiered. In the meantime, what do you think? What shows will stay? Which will get cancelled?

Want to monitor tweets (or Instagram or Tumblr or Facebook) about your show this fall? Take a look at the social media analytics we provide at Union Metrics.

Written by Jenn D

September 17th, 2015 at 3:10 pm

Posted in Events,Trends

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Twitter and the 2015 MTV VMAs

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How many tweets did fans post about the MTV VMAs yesterday? A LOT. There were more than 11.5 million tweets posted about the VMAs during the 2.5-hour show and 20.9 million tweets during the full day on Sunday. A few other highlights:

  • Kanye West announced he will run for president in 2020, and generated 2.8 million tweets in just an hour and 4.6 million tweets all day.
  • There were more than 3.6 million tweets about Miley Cyrus yesterday.
  • Justin Bieber made a big appearance – with a brand new haircut – and spurred 2.9 million tweets yesterday.

MTV’s big publicity push around this year’s show really paid off, making it one of the most-tweeted about VMAs in history. What was your favorite moment?

Written by Jenn D

August 31st, 2015 at 9:19 am

Posted in Events

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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

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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