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Union Metrics at Austin Startup Week 2014

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Austin Startup Week kicked off yesterday, and we were excited to be a part of the Built In Austin Startup Career Fair!

Built In Austin ASW14

Miss us? Don’t worry, you can catch us again on Thursday morning at the Austin Open Coffee Club and again that evening at the Startup Crawl. We’ll be in the lobby of the Omni hotel downtown from 5-10pm, so be sure to stop by our table and say hi, drop off a resume, talk analytics, and grab a Merle sticker.

Wondering what positions are open? We’re currently hiring for a Data Engineer,  Full Stack Engineer, Support Engineer, and Inbound Sales Rep, all in Austin. Feel free to read more about the company and the team here, and we’ll see you on Thursday!

 

Written by Sarah

October 7th, 2014 at 12:48 pm

10+ Takeaways from the Social Shake-Up 2014

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The Social Shake-Up (TSSU) 2014 went down in Atlanta, Georgia, last week and we sent our Content Marketing Specialist Sarah Parker to check it out. She came back with new connections and a bunch of fantastic insights! We’ve pulled together her favorite insights from each of the panels, discussions, and keynotes from her two days at TSSU 2014 for your benefit.

The Social Shake-Up | Day One

Day one’s opening conversation with Brian Solis covered the changing digital landscape, and how it is more important than ever to put people first.

Many highlights of the two-day conference were captured by the talented people behind Ludic Creatives.

Two of the standout sessions on day one covered visual marketing and the art and science of storytelling. We already shared a quick tip on crisis communication picked up in the visual marketing session, but what other memorable information was there? Here are five of day one’s big takeaways:

  1. Choose organic hashtags over branded hashtags. Find a way to incorporate your brand message with an already popular or trending hashtag; just be sure you double and triple check the meaning of that hashtag before you use it.
  2.  Use the newsroom approach. Oreo’s Super Bowl Oreo Moment happened because they were prepared and they had set up a command center to quickly capitalize on the big game’s moments and execute content. Build your own version of this to maximize on big social moments, but don’t force your way in to a conversation that doesn’t make sense for your brand.
  3.  Take a content selfie. Measure how your content is performing beyond vanity metrics to those that really impact your business and your business goals.
  4.  Make your information bite-size. Long form content can easily get lost in a world of short attention spans; break off smaller bits of the longer content you have for easily-digestible tweets and more.
  5.  Consistent brand personality is important. But that doesn’t mean that your brand’s personality can only strike one note. Human personalities cover the spectrum from the serious to the silly and it’s possible for brands to pull this off if they put their voice in the right hands.

The Social Shake-Up | Day Two

Day two’s morning keynote from Jeremiah Owyang covered the collaborative economy and what it means for the future of business. Where does social fit into all of this?

How else would we communicate about all the pieces of The Honeycomb?  Day two’s sessions included a case study from Coca-Cola on real-time analysis and storytelling, social audience targeting, and a panel discussion on crisis communication. Here are five of the day’s big takeaways: 

  1. Listening to the existing conversation around your brand gives you openings to become a part of it. Brands should look for these serendipitous openings, but also be strategic in when and how they join conversations. For example, the sentiment around Coke’s #AmericaIsBeautiful big game advertisement on social media was ultimately positive, because the marketing team released the behind-the-scenes videos of the making of the commercial once the backlash against it started. This helped turn the conversation around.
  2. Show your audience that you’re listening by actually addressing their concerns. Coke was sponsoring an event with a health-focused track that was unhappy with their presence, so Coke replaced their opening promotional, sponsor speech with a video interview from their lead scientist addressing the health concerns that had been aired to them on Twitter.
  3. Audience targeting methods will vary depending on your industry. Luxury markets focus on keeping organic followers, because they want those who come to them to stay. Any outreach will be very targeted, because it’s about reaching the right people over the most people possible. This isn’t true for non-luxury brands. Research and emulate the approach of other brands in your field, then test slightly different approaches to see what works for your brand.
  4. Target lookalike audiences: What do your best customers look like? Build out that profile, then target those that look just like them on previously untapped platforms.
  5. Never leave out a platform in your monitoring of a crisis. You never know where people prefer to receive- or distribute- their information.

 The closing keynote on day two from Baratunde Thurston conveyed with humor that digital storytelling doesn’t, in fact, have to be boring. 

Want more?

Check out the posts published on Social Media Today about various aspects of TSSU 2014 from networking to other attendee’s takeaways, as well as the conversation on Twitter. Don’t have time to dig through the whole hashtag? Here’s a Storify from Insightpool, sponsor of the opening night party.

Where you at The Social Shake-Up? Leave your highlights and takeaways in the comments!

Written by Sarah

September 24th, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Crisis Communication Quick Tip from the #SocialShakeup

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We sent our Content Marketing Specialist Sarah A. Parker to The Social Shake-Up in Atlanta, and in her first session she caught this great tip from Andrea Harrison of Rebel Mouse (paraphrased) for crisis communication strategies:

Buy promoted tweets based on the keywords associated with the crisis; that way the first thing people see when they search Twitter for more information is your apology tweet.

That means your first step is still, obviously, to write an apology.

Are you at The Social Shake-Up? If you spot Sarah, be sure to say hi!

Want more on crisis communication tactics on Twitter? Here are 3 ways DiGiorno reacted well to their recent Twitter crisis, as well as some specific tips for airlines and cruise lines dealing with a crisis (part one and part two). 

Written by Sarah

September 16th, 2014 at 11:51 am

3 ways DiGiorno reacted well to their Twitter crisis

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It happens. Brands tweet first and check the meaning behind a hashtag or topic later; never a good idea. The latest installment came from DiGiorno Pizza when they jumped on a trending hashtag without checking its origin first:

DiGiorno WhyIStayedUnfortunately, it was a hashtag on which women were sharing their experiences with domestic violence. When many who saw the tweet reacted with the kind of snark DiGiorno is known for, saying there would soon be an opening for a new social media manager, the brand took action immediately. While it’s important to have a social media crisis communication plan in place, brands also have to act on any unique situation that presents itself in a way that best reflects their brand values.

DiGiorno did three things right immediately to take control of this potential social media crisis.

1. Deleted the offensive tweet, immediately.

Although things can never be permanently deleted in an age of screenshots- like the one taken from the Huffington Post article detailing the offensive tweet in question, above- taking the action alone signals that a brand understands that they have done something wrong and that they are taking action to right it. An important first step in the right direction, provided it is done immediately. Waiting to delete a tweet until intense backlash builds signals that a brand doesn’t think they’ve done anything wrong, or doesn’t care enough to do anything about it.

2. Apologized, and then reiterated the apology.

Immediately after deleting the tweet, DiGiorno followed up with an appropriate apology:

And a day later they reiterated it:

DiGiorno is working to communicate that they understand the magnitude of their mistake, and they know it cannot be fixed in a single tweet. Or even with two. Which brings us to the third thing they did right.

3. Personally responded to those who were offended, individually.

Most brands delete an offensive tweet, apologize, and lay low before moving forward when enough time has passed. DiGiorno took things a step further and reached out individually to Twitter users offended by their tweet:

DiGiorno individual apologies

That takes a lot of time, and shows that DiGiorno takes their fans, followers and customers seriously. They are willing to respond to those who have reached out to them with concerns – and not simply with a canned, repeated answer.

The bottom line.

This is a powerful lesson for brands: Take the time to research any trending hashtag or topic before joining the flow of conversation. As DiGiorno said above in one of their individual response tweets, that’s an inexcusable and highly avoidable mistake. But mistakes happen; and DiGiorno owned up and made amends as quickly as possible. DiGiorno did that part right.

Want to make TweetReach a part of your social media crisis plan? We can help: Using TweetReach to monitor a social media crisis. And talk to us if you’d like to start monitoring tweets about your brand. 

Written by Sarah

September 10th, 2014 at 8:39 am

SXSWi 2015 panel proposal | Why the future of film depends on social media

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We’re proposing two panels for next year’s SXSW conference, and if you like the sound of either one, we’d love your vote!

At SXSWi 2013, Jenn Deering Davis, one of our founders, gave a presentation about how Twitter has changed how we watch TV. (Miss it? Listen to it here.)  At SXSW V2V 2014, she spoke on how to Market Like The Movies (Without the Studio Budget). For SXSW 2015 she’d like to take it further and discuss Why the future of film depends on social media.

So why should you vote for her panel proposal? Below is a quick interview that answers just that question, and more:

1. What inspired you to propose a panel around this subject? 

We talk a lot about social media and TV. But the film industry has just as important a relationship with social media as television does. I’m interested in discussing the particular challenges and opportunities movie marketers face with social media. What impact do sites like Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter have on how fans engage with their favorite movies? How can we use social media better to market movies? How is #SocialFilm different from #SocialTV?

2. What makes you qualified to discuss it? 

At Union Metrics, we’ve worked with thousands of brands and agencies to help them measure and improve their social media activities. I’ve personally dealt with many entertainment brands, including TV networks, movie studios, production companies and agencies, to help them understand Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. I also have a Ph.D. in Organizational Communication & Technology from the University of Texas at Austin, where, among other things, I studied the intersection of pop culture and technology. Not to mention, I love movies and probably watch way more than I should.

3. What would you hope attendees take away from your panel? 

I hope attendees will better understand how they can use social media to help promote their film projects, maybe be inspired to develop creative social campaigns of their own. 

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If that sounds good, you can vote for it here. And look out for an interview with Union Metrics CEO Hayes Davis on his panel proposal: Something from Nothing: Bootstrapping Your Startup.

Written by Sarah

September 2nd, 2014 at 9:10 am

Posted in Events

Tagged with , , , ,

Marketing your conference across platforms: Snapchat and Pinterest

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While Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr are the main three platforms brands tend to work with, other brands are making strides in places like Snapchat and on Pinterest. If you have the resources to play around with these platforms in addition to the big three- or if you know that’s where you audience spends a large amount of their time- take the opportunity to see what you can do in these places to supplement and enhance everything you’re doing elsewhere. They’re particularly fun platforms to utilize in a cross-platform campaign.

Snapchat

We’ve covered the basics and specifics for brands on Snapchat, as well as showing which brands are using it well. Snapchat is a perfect way to keep in touch with event attendees in a lighthearted way throughout a conference; you can send snaps showing upcoming events, or recapping a session or a cocktail party. You can ask for snaps back in order to share free drink tickets or admission to a packed keynote; your creativity is the limit on Snapchat in terms of interaction with your followers. Like Instagram, it’s a great way to show off the atmosphere and get future attendees more interested in booking their trip for the next year.

It’s also a great way to foster conversations between attendees; intimidating names in a field can seem more approachable to build a connection with when they’re willing to send a silly snap.

Photo 6-25-14, 11 59 11 AM

 

A snap from Mashable attending a Google event in San Francisco. 

Just be sure you’re letting attendees know ahead of time across your other platforms that you’re on Snapchat, because most won’t think to look for you there. Having signage up around your conference will also let attendees know where to find you across platforms, and keep official hashtags in play, making post-event tracking easier for you!

Pinterest

Pinterest is a great way to help attendees get organized around a conference; build boards for them so they know what to pack, and what sites to see around town if they decide to come a few days early or stay a few days after. You could even encourage speakers to build their own boards around their areas of expertise, driving traffic back to their sites and letting attendees have a better idea of who they are and what their professional and personal focuses are.

SXSW Pinterest

 

An example of a Pinterest board from SXSW, showing off photos from Instagram and helping attendees figure out what to pack. 

The number and variety of boards you want to build up for your event is up to your creativity, time, and resources. Also keep in mind that Pinterest is great at driving sales, so pinning books your speakers have written after an event is a good idea as well as the same kind of snappy visual reminders you put on Instagram around deadlines for ticket prices.

The bottom line

The bottom line remains the same as in our previous post covering the big three social marketing platforms (aside from Facebook): Play to the strengths of every platform you have a presence on, but especially with these two, don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun.

If you have any questions or examples of great conference marketing we missed, please leave it in the comments!

Written by Sarah

July 15th, 2014 at 8:36 am

Marketing your conference across platforms: Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr

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We recently discussed 3 dos and don’ts for running a campaign across platforms, but what about marketing a conference or similar event across platforms? Successfully marketing an event requires tailoring your message for each platform, just as with any successful campaign. We’ll break down some of the specific uses for each platform here, playing to their individual strengths and making note of what to keep in mind based on how each works and interacts with the others.

Twitter

We’ve covered 16 ways to use Twitter to improve your next conference and 7 tips to maximize your conference attendance using Twitter, so what’s different when you’re adding other platforms to the mix?

When building your communication plan for your conference you want to keep in mind the strengths of each platform to plan which content you’re going to disseminate where; Twitter’s strength lies in it being the ultimate real-time tool. Use Twitter to broadcast quick updates and reminders throughout your event, such as:

  • Remind everyone of the official hashtag
  • Make announcements and reminders of keynotes, session start times, and any other events like a cocktail hour or party 
  • Let everyone know if a session, talk, or cocktail hour has been delayed, canceled or moved to a different location
  • Make suggestions about where attendees can head for meals or drinks offsite, tagging the handles of those businesses where applicable
  • Introduce speakers by their handles
  • Thank speakers, organizers, and any companies that have provided staff for catering or bars (and be sure to mention their handles too)
  • Answer any questions from attendees, and resolve any problems they bring to light quickly

Also be sure to prominently and consistently use and track the official hashtag you’ve created for your conference, which will tell you everything that went well and everything you can improve for the next time.

SXSWV2V Twitter

Instagram

Instagram is new territory for many marketers, which is why we’ve written a series for those new to the platform over on our Union Metrics Tumblr. Specifically for events you’ll want to check out how to effectively use hashtags, the nuances of sharing to other platforms via Instagram, and even the different moves personal brands should make there (in case you’re an event attendee in the future, wanting to promote yourself and connect with other attendees and organizers).

So whether you’re established on Instagram when you decide to market your event there, or you’ve decided to make the conference the official launch of your Instagram presence, there are a few things to keep in mind. Instagram’s purely visual nature is a strength for any brand looking to tell a succinct story in photographic terms. However, the single-track feed on mobile means that too many posts can easily overwhelm your followers, so established brands with a large following who know only a portion of that following will be present at an event will want to consider setting up a side account if you plan on frequent event updates.

With that in mind, some of the ways to use Instagram at a conference include:

  • To show off the conference venue, including what the weather in the host city is like
  • Share photos of sites to see around the host city
  • Tap into other big communities on Instagram by showing off the #food available on and offsite of your conference (be sure to tag any offsite restaurants and bars that have an Instagram presence, and follow their accounts)
  • Post reminders about meetups in other cities leading up to the conference, or after it, like this one from SXSW V2V
  • Share engaging photo reminders of deadlines for submitting speaker applications, getting a discount on event passes, and more
  • Post photos of keynote speakers, tagging their Instagram accounts with permission so that attendees can get a better idea of who they are
  • Post photos to highlight your event organizers, staff, and even regular attendees to give a behind-the-scenes look at everything that goes into the work of organizing and executing a conference (and tag their accounts too, where appropriate, or at least follow them)

Bonus: If you’re short on resources, use the snappy photo reminders around deadlines as a starting point to share the same reminder across platforms, tweaking the message for each. For example, hashtags don’t seem to increase engagement on Facebook, so if you’re going to use the sharing buttons native to Instagram, wait to post all of your hashtags in the first comment. They’ll work the same way for categorization and discovery across Instagram as when you put them in your initial photo caption, but they won’t clutter your post across platforms. 

SXSW V2V Ig

Tumblr

More and more brands have been experimenting with marketing on Tumblr and seeing some fantastic results. The built-in social aspect allows for amplification of announcements and photo recaps of any event or conference in  a way that’s not possible with traditional blogging platforms. A brand hosting an event on Tumblr might use the platform to:

  • Go into more detail about deadlines and what’s required on applications for speakers, but be sure to put it all behind a cut and underneath a snappy visual (maybe a version of the same one you used on Instagram!) 
  • Use the photo post-type collage option to show off the mood of the event, the venue, official accommodations, shots of the host city, past event parties and attendees, speakers and more (Tumblr automatically builds a collage as you upload multiple photos in one post)
  • Do a series using each of the ideas above, or pull a few of each type into one post for a photo overview. Pull these from Instagram or post a mix of Instagram photos and those from other sources
  • Use embedded video posts to show clips from the speakers you’re featuring, or a video summary of a past event; even a video tour of the host city
  • Video post types will also host SlideShares of presentations using their embed codes, perfect for recaps and previews of sessions and topics from speakers
  • Link to articles or blog posts from event speakers, or quote things past speakers have said using the quote post-type
  • If past event attendees have written up their experiences, link to those as well, or quote excerpts from what they had to say

Remember that Tumblr’s reblogging feature is what makes it so powerful; be sure to reblog anything appropriate or related to your conference from the Tumblrs of your upcoming or past speakers, regular attendees, organizers and more. Doing so will only encourage them to reblog you, amplifying your message to their audiences and possibly tapping new audience members. 

Conference Speaker on Tumblr

Example of a post from a speaker that SXSW V2V could reblog– if they had a Tumblr. 

After all, if they follow your speakers and attendees, it’s likely that they’re interested in the type of event you’re putting on.

The bottom line

Play to each platform’s strengths, and put in the work ahead of time to figure out where your attendees spend the most time. If you have limited resources, put your work into those places. Anything else after that will be a bonus.

Oh, and one more bonus tip: All of these platforms use hashtags, so search each one for any hashtags you can think of that are related to your conference or event to see how people are already talking about it in each place. Keep that tone and style in mind as you plan your approach, or use it to tailor and rethink your approach if you already have a presence there.

Got any questions, or have any ideas or examples of great conference execution across platforms that we’ve missed? Leave it in the comments!

Written by Sarah

July 9th, 2014 at 12:28 pm

10 tips for live-tweeting sports events

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Photo from the official FIFA World Cup Instagram account. Check official accounts other than Twitter to see how the conversation is going across platforms.

The World Cup kicks off today, and with other exciting sports events on the horizon- the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup, US Open, and more World Cup this weekend alone- we thought we’d expand our 9 tips for watching TV on Twitter to include, specifically, sports events:

  1. Definitely announce ahead of time if you’re going to be live-tweeting a game so your followers who can’t watch in real-time can mute you or avoid Twitter as a whole. Sports fans do not take kindly to being spoiled on events they plan to watch later.
  2. Related: “Do not tweet spoilers” is a trickier rule with sports events; after all, how else can you talk about what is going on if you’re not referring to the plays that are being made and how that can or is affecting the game? With enough warning ahead of time that you intend to live-tweet, and use of official hashtags so your followers can mute event-related tweets, you should be fine talking about everything that’s happening in the game.
  3. Check for an official hashtag. These days it’s rarer that a big event won’t have its own hashtag already set up; check official accounts to see which ones they’re using to talk about events and excitement leading up to the big game. @FIFAWorldCup is keeping it simple with #WorldCup this year for the event as a whole, but they’re also using other hashtags for individual matches: #BRACRO for Brazil vs. Croatia, for example.
  4. Mention official accounts for the teams playing, individual players, the organizers, or even the event itself, if applicable. You never know when you might get a retweet, and those accounts often have a large following. (You can find them by searching Twitter for the show name and choosing the official account that pops up with a verified checkmark, or by going to a team or organization’s website – social profiles are usually prominently displayed.)
  5. If you already have a large following for something unrelated to sports- you’re popular YA author John Green, for example- you might consider setting up a second account for live-tweeting sports events, so those who follow you for the latest news about your book-to-movie adaptations won’t have to mute you every time a game comes on, and you can even potentially reach new fans who are sports fanatics.
  6. Interact with other people talking about the game to enrich your conversation, which should help you find new accounts to follow related to your favorite sports teams, events, organizations and more.
  7. That said sports talk can be contentious, so don’t be afraid to mute someone who is especially volatile, or even block them if they become excessively aggressive or rude.
  8. If you’re having a party to watch the game with friends, consider posting pictures of your setup, and include guest’s handles in your tweets. Some event sponsors have contests around using their products in watch parties, so check those out ahead of time to see if you can win something for a party you were planning to throw anyway!
  9. Share your content to other networks like Tumblr and Instagram. If you’re trying to build a following around live-tweeting games (something you could translate into writing articles, perhaps) you might consider condensing the best of your live-tweets into a story and putting them on your Tumblr, or using Instagram to share a visual live-tweeting of your watch party. But be careful of auto-sharing everything you post elsewhere; those who follow you in multiple places might get bothered by the redundancy and decide to unfollow you. It’s great to cross-post some, but be selective.
  10. Related to that: See what the conversation is like about these events on other networks. What’s the World Cup conversation like on Tumblr, or Instagram? Seeing how people talk about it in those places can give you new outlets to discuss your favorite sports, new ideas for how to talk about them, and new accounts and people to connect and share with.

Do you tweet while you watch sports? Got any tips we missed? Tell us how you do it in the comments below!

Written by Sarah

June 12th, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Posted in Events,Guides

Tagged with ,

The first Vine from space

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NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman posted the first Vine from space this weekend, condensing hours on the ISS and an orbit showing a never-quite-setting sun into six seconds:

Social media has been the perfect tool for NASA to use to educate the public about their work, and give curious citizens direct access in real time to the astronauts living and working in space above us. The Vine was shared by many in the Twitter science community dedicated to science education and outreach:

After all, the projects started up there often come back down to earth to be used in our daily lives, and new windows into science education are the best way to spark the interest of the next generation of scientists and inventors.

Written by Sarah

June 10th, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Apple’s WWDC 2014 by the numbers

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Chances are you’ve seen some of the big announcements coming out of Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC 2014) in San Francisco this week, and we thought we’d take a look at the size of the entire conversation around it. Since the conference started on Monday, 704.6k tweets have been made so far about the WWDC by 266.2k contributors for a reach of 151.1 million unique Twitter accounts.

Some of the most retweeted tweets so far have come from John Shahidi (Co-Founder, creator, and CEO of Shots, an app for selfies and photos) and from Tim Cook, CEO of Apple:

 

If you want to keep up with the conference as it continues through Friday, check out these top five hashtags:

  1. #WWDC14
  2. #WWDC
  3. #Apple
  4. #iOS8
  5. #WWDC14_Ar

Written by Sarah

June 4th, 2014 at 9:24 am