Archive for the ‘Guides’ Category
So you want to get into video content marketing.
Those who are excellent at video content marketing make it look easy, leaving the uninitiated with high hopes and a crushing sense of reality once they start researching the work that goes into a well-executed and branded piece of video content. Should you be live-streaming? On Meerkat, or on Periscope? Should you be on both? What about Google Hangouts, is anyone still doing those? All the kids are on Snapchat, right? What about the more established longer-form video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo? Or Vine? And what about the social media platforms that have a video option, like Instagram and now Facebook? It can all be a little overwhelming. Let’s break it down, so you can figure out which social video platforms are right for your brand, based on your resources and goals.
First things first: What does each platform do?
- Meerkat: A live-streaming app where footage is not accessible later. Twitter pulled their official card access after launching their competing acquisition, Periscope, leaving some to speculate on Meerkat’s eventual fate.
- Periscope: Owned by Twitter, it’s a live-streaming app with videos you can replay later. There’s a private broadcast option as well. (For a more in-depth comparison of Meerkat and Periscope, read this.)
- Google Hangouts: Face-to-face video conversation where your broadcast is automatically recorded and uploaded to YouTube after you’re finished.
Prerecorded video platforms:
- Vine: 6 seconds of glory, but recent research shows you only get about 3 to catch your audience’s attention, so don’t rule it out for length.
- Instagram: Videos on Instagram are limited to 15 seconds, giving you a lot more creative room than on Vine.
- Snapchat: Send quick snaps in video or photo form, or build bigger and longer stories using both; stories expire in 24hrs whereas snaps last for the duration set by the sender (up to 10 seconds). Recipients can replay one snap a day and they can save snaps by taking a screenshot, but it tells the sender you did so.
- Facebook video: Facebook has recently launched their own native videos, which autoplay on the site (and the same 3-seconds-to-catch-your-audience’s-attention rule stands) but without volume. Another recent update has made their videos embeddable on other sites.
- YouTube: The granddaddy of video, they’ve been moving into the original content space as more and more of the younger generation move away from traditional TV (and even admire YouTube personalities over celebs). YouTube offers a lot of tools for building your audience, advertising, and being part of the Google family makes it good choice for SEO rankings.
- Vimeo: Another option for brands producing high-quality video is Vimeo, which gives you branded players and the ability to embed elsewhere as on YouTube. Here are Vimeo’s brand guidelines.
So what is each platform best for?
As more users adapt to these newer platforms and shift with changes on the established ones, they’ll come up with new and creative ways to use them. In the meantime, here are some ideas for how you can use each platform based on what we’ve seen in the wild. Choose according to your brand’s goals, the type of content you’ll be producing with the resources you have available, and first and foremost, where your audience is. Live-streaming
- Meerkat: Livestream an event that’s part of a series to get people interested in coming next time- a conference series, or an interview with a well-known expert in your industry- but they have to buy a ticket to the next one or catch the stream in time. If an element of exclusivity works well with your brand’s audience, then this might be the best approach for you.
- Periscope: Livestream a speech or presentation to increase your audience. Share the playback to your established audience that might have missed it, and be sure to watch it yourself to help you tweak your delivery for next time.
- Google Hangouts: Google Hangouts function best for meetings and the recordings are often best suited for internal use or transcribing an interview. However, long pieces can be edited down into a summary and other usable pieces. It’s not a bad idea to start with longform content and repurpose it across other platforms, given you have the time and resources to do so.
- Vine: Got a clever way to show a how-to or answer a question? Vine’s for you. (Econsultancy does a monthly roudup with great brand examples on Vine.)
- Instagram: For creative that’s a little longer than 6 seconds that you want to fit into your overall visual brand, there’s Instagram. Post a clip from longer content, as mentioned above, share tips and tricks, or even produce a series of short videos like Gap did for their spring campaign.
- Snapchat: If your target audience is young, then sending fun behind-the-scenes Snapchat stories is a great move embraced by a lot of the brands currently on the platform. Here are some other creative ways brands are using the platform, from Convince & Convert.
- Facebook video: If your audience is dedicated to Facebook, you might want to consider making this your video content hub. If you’re already invested in YouTube, you can repurpose content from your channel for Facebook or experiment with Facebook-exclusive content. Here’s a great example of shifting strategy from PopSugar on Digiday.
- YouTube: Your video hub- create a dedicated brand channel from which you can spin off side-channels, if that makes sense for your content strategy, brand, and resources- from which you can repurpose content into smaller, shorter videos for all the above, aforementioned networks.
- Vimeo: ReelSEO has a great breakdown of the differences between YouTube and Vimeo for brands, depending on what your priorities are. If you’ve got the resources, consider optimizing videos for both.
What else should I know?
It’s probably worth mentioning the biggest con in live-streaming video: Not everyone is a natural in front of the camera and with the lack of editing available when you’re streaming live, well, unless you’re famous or dealing with extremely topical subject matter in an entertaining way it can be tough to find an audience. The golden rule of content applies here as it does everywhere else: Be sure you’re creating content that’s of value to your customers and making it available on the platforms where they prefer to spend their time. Put in the work to find out where that is, and what it is they want from you.
Any more questions?
Leave ‘em in the comments. Just remember to have fun; your audience can tell when you are.
You’re probably familiar with our TweetReach snapshot reports. Maybe you even have a TweetReach Pro subscription. But did you know we offer a variety of other analytics options at Union Metrics, including analytics for Instagram and Tumblr, along with our Twitter analytics? That includes free Instagram and Twitter analytics reports! We have analytics tools perfect for every budget.
We offer free analytics reporting for both Twitter and Instagram!
On Twitter, our free snapshot reports are perfect for quick insight into recent tweets. A free snapshot report will include up to 50 tweets from the past few days. It’s great to get a sense of the size and rate of a conversation, as well as what people are tweeting about. You can search for anything that appears in a tweet – a hashtag, phrase, username, URL, etc… Run a snapshot report any time here: http:/tweetreach.com
On Instagram, we offer a free account checkup. Our free Instagram account checkup includes analytics on the last 30 days activity with your Instagram account. It’s great to help you see what’s working and how you can improve your Instagram account. You can refresh your report daily to get updated metrics. You can run your free Instagram account checkup here.
Small to medium businesses, $20 – $400
We sell one-off Twitter snapshot reports for just $20 each. That will include analytics on up to 1500 tweets posted in the past days, so it’s perfect for recent events, smaller campaigns, research into conversation on a hashtag or Twitter account, and so on. Run a free snapshot report here, then you’ll get the option to purchase the full snapshot for $20.
We also have single-channel analytics plans that start at just $99 per month. That includes 2 concurrent real-time Trackers with up to 100,000 social posts* per month. At that plan level, you can pick one channel – Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. And if you select Twitter, your subscription also includes unlimited snapshot reports (normally $20 each). We offer a few plan levels, all under $400 per month, that include more Trackers and higher monthly post volumes. You can view our pricing here.
Enterprise, $500 and up
We offer a full social analytics suite for larger brands, agencies and businesses. It starts at $500 per month for 10 Trackers and 1 million social posts. Our social suite includes access to analytics for all the channels we work with (currently Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr), plus a variety of features perfect for enterprise use. Suite subscribers also get early access to new features and channels as we add them, and larger accounts will get access to a dedicated account manager. You can view our enterprise plans and pricing here.
*Social posts refers to the allotted post volumes each month. On Twitter, that includes all tweets, retweets and replies. On Instagram, that includes posts for a hashtag Tracker and posts plus likes for account Trackers. On Tumblr, that includes posts plus notes. If you have any questions about what volumes your topics might bring in, just let us know and we can help you pick the right plan for your needs.
1. Do let your followers know you’ll be tweeting a lot for the hour of the chat
It’s a common courtesy and allows your followers to mute you if they want to for the duration of the chat. Not warning them runs the risk of an unfollow.
2. Don’t speak over the guest host
Tweet chats are meant to be interactive, so feel free to share your expertise and ask questions, but it looks rude if you’re constantly talking over the person who is meant to be the expert for that chat.
3. Don’t be overly promotional
Sharing one or two relevant links is okay, but you don’t want to run the risk of being obnoxious or looking spammy. If you have more relevant links you think chatters might be interested in, wait until the chat ends and share them, or write a roundup post about the topic and share it using the chat hashtag.
4. Do ask questions
Especially if there’s something you don’t understand! Chatters love to share knowledge and resources, so don’t be shy.
5. Don’t be combative
It’s fine to be opinionated, but don’t be obstinate. Do clarify your point if someone misunderstood what you were trying to say.
Bonus: After the chat
- Follow people you’ve engaged in conversation with, and even send some invitations to connect on LinkedIn if it feels appropriate
- Create a Twitter list of regular chatters
- Share resources you come across that might be relevant to the topic, before and after the chat; all you have to do is add the chat’s hashtag to your tweet
- Invite others to join the chat you think might be interested in an upcoming topic or guest host
Most importantly? Have fun with it! Don’t be afraid to be yourself and have a sense of humor.
Want more Twitter chat resources? Check out 10 tips for getting the most out of Twitter chats: As a participant, 9 tips for getting the most out of Twitter chats: As a host, and learn how you can Track Twitter chats and generate transcripts with TweetReach. Related: TweetReach Pro plans start at just $99 if you want to track a recurring chat.
One of the strongest forms of recommendation is still good old fashioned word of mouth, and the best way to cultivate that is to establish and strengthen relationships with your fans, followers, and brand advocates. The trouble is that they don’t usually take the time to message you announcing that they are going to recommend you to everyone now, so it’s up to you to pay attention to everyone discussing your brand— and that can be overwhelming.
The good news is, we’re here to help! And if you pay attention to the full conversation around your brand, it’s easy to pick out and identify the fans and followers who are acting as your brand advocates, as well as influencers in your industry that you want to keep an eye on and engage in conversation when appropriate. Let us show you how.
There are many different monitoring tools to choose from on Twitter, but we will admit to being wildly biased and preferring the ones we’ve built: Free and paid, full snapshot reports ($20) and our comprehensive tracking with TweetReach Pro Trackers (available at a variety of price points). Now the following is what you can do with them.
There are several different ways to find influencers around a particular topic with a snapshot report:
- Run a free snapshot report and check out the top contributors to the conversation, be it about a topic keyword, hashtag, or account. It’s that easy.
- Run a full report around that same topic keyword, hashtag, or account to get a fuller picture of that conversation and consequently, the top contributors.
- Run two reports around an event using a keyword topic or hashtag and compare them. Here’s an example from the #CometLanding.
With TweetReach Pro Trackers, you can look in several places to see who influencers are around a particular keyword topic or hashtag, and who your brand advocates might be if they keyword topic has to do with your brand, or it’s a Tracker around your Twitter account. Look at:
- Contributors: Test different time frames to see if the same people are always at the top of the list.
- Most Retweeted: Do the same people always talk about you and get retweeted by their followers more than anyone else who follows you? Congratulations, you have just identified a brand advocate!
- Top URLs: Does someone tweet about your blog posts and share them frequently? That might show up here.
Again you have a choice of metrics providers, and again we are biased when we suggest our own tools (be sure you’re asking the right questions while you’re shopping). We understand not everyone has a lot of resources, however, and are happy to be able to offer you a free option in our Instagram account checkup and more comprehensive tracking options with our Instagram analytics.
Now here’s how you can find those who are already supporting you on Instagram.
Above: An example of our Instagram analytics dashboard.
With our free account checkup, the Top Fans section makes it easy: These are your three biggest fans who have engaged with your content the most over the last 30 days. Be sure you’re at the very least following them back, and reciprocate the engagement with their posts where appropriate. Keep an eye on total fans too, because someone might be lurking just out of the top three who is an important fan and potential brand advocate.
With our premium Instagram analytics, you can set up a hashtag tracker or an account tracker. With a hashtag tracker you’ll want to pay attention to the top publishers as well as the publisher summary. Are any of these people also in the top ten posts? If you narrow the tracker down to different time frames, are the same people always in top publishers? That’s who you want to pay attention to.
Account trackers are similar; pay attention to top participants and the participant summary in the same way described above. Clicking through to see participant details will tell you more about that particular follower, and whether or not it would be appropriate to engage with them. (When it wouldn’t be: They’re a minor using social, they’re a spam account, etc. Use your discretion for what’s appropriate for your brand.)
Tumblr does give you built-in analytics, and much like those that Twitter gives you, using ours alongside them compliments what you can learn about your audience while taking your knowledge deeper in certain aspects.
Our Tumblr analytics offer both topic tracking and blog tracking. With topic tracking you want to look at popular contributors as well as top curators, to see who is contributing to a certain conversation the most. If someone who appears in either of those two sections also appears in the top ten most popular posts, then that’s someone you really want to follow and pay attention to at the very least, and consider a deeper relationship with- brand advocate, short-term collaboration partner etc- if that makes sense.
With blog trackers, you want to look at the top curators. These are the people who are consistently liking and reblogging your content. Are they adding commentary when they do? Is it praise, constructive criticism? Engage them in a dialogue about it if it’s appropriate.
The bottom line
Enthusiastic fans will be discussing your brand whether you’re there to listen or not, but many stop once they realize no one is paying attention. Brand advocates are built from nurtured relationships. Take the time to find them and connect in a way that’s appropriate and mutually beneficial.
Still have questions? Ask ‘em in the comments. Don’t be shy.
You’ve been paying attention to your fans and followers on your established networks and they’ve been asking why you’re not on That New Social Network, so you signed up, if only to reserve your brand’s handle. Your target audience is here, but you haven’t posted anything yet. So. . .now what? What should you do first?
Start with these three steps.
1. Research, research, and then research some more.
How are people using this space? This is likely to shift as the network becomes more established and more users join and experiment with what it has to offer, but it’s always a good idea to know the existing protocol backwards and forwards before you start posting.
Always be sure your content fits the place but is still true to your brand’s voice and core values.
2. Ask your audience: What do you want to see from us here?
How do you figure out what your audience wants from you in a specific place? Try asking them. Ask them on the new network, ask them on your established networks. Send out a survey via email, or tweet and Facebook links to a survey asking what they’d like out of your social media presence, including on the new platform.
Don’t assume you know. Ask, and listen. Then plan your new content strategy accordingly.
3. Test, measure, plan, repeat.
Experiment with different types of content, pay very close attention to the results, and base your strategy going forward on those results. What is touted as a best practice on a new network might not necessarily be what your specific audience wants to see from you in that specific place.
Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things. Anything your audience reacts positively towards isn’t something to just repeat ad nauseam, but to analyze and figure out what about it worked and why. Then use those elements in all of your content strategy moving forward.
It seems like there’s a new, hot social network The Kids Today are talking about just about every day. So how do you know when it’s time for your brand to check it out and seriously considering joining? After all, you don’t want to sink time and resources into something that loses steam inside of a few weeks.
Look for the following signs before you decide to sign up.
1. You notice your customers or target audience discussing The New Network on other, established social networks.
Here it’s very important to pay attention to how they’re discussing it; if you just count the number of mentions without noticing that everyone is making fun of the new network rather than praising it, well, you might be making a huge mistake in joining.
Tone can and will shift over time though. It’s not too distant of a memory that brands didn’t take any social networks seriously, and now they’re the backbone of many a big brand campaign. The key here is to listen to what your customers and target audience want from you.
Which brings us to our next point.
2. Your customers or target audience are flat out asking you why you aren’t there, or when you’re joining.
One request to join a new obscure network can be just that, but if you’re repeatedly seeing your fans and followers on your established networks asking why they don’t see you on their new favorite network, it’s definitely time to consider joining. They’ll only ask for so long before they’ll look for someone else in that space who can fill their needs.
3. When the competition is there.
This can be a balancing act, depending on the resources you have compared to the resources your competitor has. If they have 10x the budget and staff that you do, they obviously will be more equipped to establish a strategic presence on every network. If your team is already overworked and understaffed, then new networks are at the bottom of the to-do list.
Don’t ignore the first two signs though; they can act as a warning signal that your customers or target audience may be shifting their time spend to another network. It can be frustrating to redistribute resources to uncharted territory- especially if you feel like you’re just hitting your groove where you already are- but the alternative is watching your competition snap up your customers because you were too slow to adapt.
Bonus: When the competition isn’t there.
If you are the brand that has the resources (or a small team that has the masochism), moving into uncharted territory can make you the undisputed king of it as it is more widely adopted. Just be sure to pay attention to how your customers and target audience are using the new network and be responsive to their needs.
The bottom line?
The cardinal rules of social media always apply: Listen first, and always work to solve problems and provide value in any space that you occupy.
The lamentations of Twitter display cards being turned off for Instagram posts may have died out, but the need to measure all aspects of a content marketing strategy has only intensified, particularly when it comes to the visual. So how can you track and measure your Instagram content’s performance on Twitter? Let us show you how, using TweetReach.
The basics of URL tracking with TweetReach
The best way to keep track via TweetReach of how an Instagram photo travels around Twitter is by tracking its URL. TweetReach Trackers can monitor up to 15 separate queries about a single campaign or topic, including one or more URLs. (Full details on setting up topic Trackers here.) Here’s an example of how to set one up for specifically tracking a single Instagram URL:
URL queries should be set up as url_contains:instagram.com/p/utBPU3D5cL or with the full URL in quotes, as in the screenshot above. (You can find more details about specific searches and URL queries here.) This will search for all tweets containing this URL or portion of URL. Be sure that you have the full URL for a particular photo you want to track, since just adding a basic Instagram address (instagram.com) would return information on every Instagram photo posted to Twitter, drowning out the results you want.
Also keep in mind that a Tracker will find all tweets that match any of your search queries and aggregate their metrics together in your Tracker, so make sure all the queries in a Tracker are related; in this case one or more Instagram photos, depending on if you want to track a single photo or a set. You can drill down into some details (usernames, hashtags, URLs, etc…) if you set up all the terms around a campaign, but summary metrics will be calculated for the entire set of tweets.
So if you really want to concentrate on the data for just your Instagram photos, consider setting up a separate Tracker for any hashtags or keywords.
What if I already have a Tracker running, and want to see how the Instagram content I’ve cross-posted is doing?
Great question! First, check the Top URLs section of your Tracker to see if any Instagram links are there:
If you don’t see any, don’t get discouraged. Clicking on the menu bar in the top right corner of that section (the three dots and three lines) will take you to a full list of URLs shared that is automatically ranked by impressions, but you can change that to reflect ranking by tweets, retweets, or contributors as you prefer.
We recommend paying attention to how your Instagram and other visual content URLs rank depending on how you’ve sorted them. This way you can answer some questions about your content strategy so far: How many of your tweets contain Instagram URLs? Do those get retweeted more or less than those with other content type URLs? The answer to these questions can help you tweak your content strategy, including how often and how you share Instagram content via Twitter.
Find even more details
Click through on each high-ranking Instagram link to see what these high performing visual content pieces have in common. Is it a hashtag you used with all of them? The subject matter, like the inclusion of a celebrity spokesperson? It might even just be the lighting, tone (warm or cool), or absence or presence of people in the photos. Finding a common thread in your Instagram posts will let you know how to best present your content for the maximum impact on your audience.
This page will also tell you which day a link was posted when you hover over a spike in the display, letting you know if certain days of the week work better for certain content (because you should repeat these steps with every kind of content that you’re producing, from YouTube videos to blog URLs):
If you have fans and followers who independently share your Instagram URLs to their audiences, you’ll likely see this show up here since they can only share it after you have initially posted it. Watching the performance of a repost from your Instagram account can let you know which of your fans and followers have a strong following of their own. In time you can consider them for a brand ambassador partnership if appropriate, or see if they would be interested in using your product in a sponsored post. You can even just thank and reward them for being a dedicated follower.
The bottom line?
Keeping track of what kind of content consistently performs the best with your audience lets you know what kind of content to plan more of for the future. Knowing how your Instagram content is performing is simply one piece of that puzzle, which TweetReach can help put together.
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.”
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.
Whether you’re building or maintaining your brand voice online, cohesiveness is important. You need to create a consistent experience across social media channels, particularly in your visual content marketing tactics. To be successful in any social media channel, you need content that fits that channel. However, it’s time consuming and impractical to create brand new creative for every single social media platform you participate in. So it’s important to strike the balance between sharing carbon content copies on every social channel, and a taking a completely unique approach in each place.
If you don’t know where to start with your cross-channel content marketing, start with these four tips:
1. Know the best practices for images on each platform.
Audiences seem to like different image elements on different platforms; be sure you have the most up-to-date information about what performs well in each place. Get started with 4 tips for creating content that works across social channels (includes a list of resources for best practices on each platform) and see an example of a cross-platform campaign with The best back-to-school campaigns on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
2. But your own analytics should take precedence.
If the best practice for a particular social channel tells you that photos without faces in them perform the best, but your audience engages more with photos that do have faces, then continue to include faces in your content. What your audience likes and responds to is always what you should design your content strategy around. Best practices simply give you a place to start from and something to test against.
3. Know what elements are important to tie your brand together.
Identify the elements you consider a key part of demonstrating the core values of your business and find a way to communicate that visually across platforms. Color schemes, fonts, framing, and even copy placement are all things to consider (consult your style guide, or build one). Tweak until everything feels just right, then make sure to incorporate enough in every new piece to make it clear that it’s your piece.
4. Tailor copy for every platform.
This is about visuals sure, but rarely do we post a visual without any accompanying words. Don’t just write up one caption or paragraph and paste it with the same photo everywhere you have a social presence. Tailor everything to fit what your audience has shown they like in each place. If you don’t know what that is, start testing and be sure to track your audience’s responses.
It’s no secret that in the never-ending stream of 140-character messages that is Twitter a snappy visual can make yours stand out; Twitter themselves did a study and found that across different content categories adding an image to your tweet boosted engagement in the form of a higher retweet rate.
So simply adding photos to your tweets is a great starting place and one that we’ve discussed before as Twitter has rolled out more image-friendly updates. But if you want to take it further than just adding relevant visuals to tweets, design a way to tell a visual story on Twitter. Put together something where the pieces can stand individually- after all, your tweets will be part of your followers’ stream- but when a prospective follower or curious fan looks at your homepage, they also see a cohesive visual story that communicates your campaign or company values, whatever it is that you’re trying to get across.
What does this look like?
Starbucks is great about using their timeline to tell little mini-stories, and they incorporate their fans and followers in them by retweeting their tweets as well. A great example is a recent celebration of National Croissant Day:
This example also takes it further, by integrating Snapchat. (We’ll talk more about expanding to other platforms in just a bit!)
Keeping things to Twitter, look at the timelines of any major brands you admire and ask yourself what makes their presentation successful or unsuccessful; do their visuals feel cohesive? Do they work together towards telling a single story and letting you know what they can do for you? Figure out how you can answer those questions and provide value to your own fans, followers, and customers.
Take it beyond a campaign.
Twitter shouldn’t just be about selling to your audience; using it like a bullhorn to shout at your fans and followers is unlikely to result in a reciprocal, engaged relationship with them. Use your social presence to tell any number of stories about your brand. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Tell the story of how your company came to be
- Tell the story of how two companies came together as one in a merger, or the story of a rebranding
- Show off company culture: Share spontaneous images your employees take of one another and let them tell daily office stories in their own words
- Show off company values: Share the story of a day spent volunteering, or the different charitable things employees do on their own time and how you support them
- Tell the story of an event or anniversary of your company
- Tell the story of a partnership of two brands or a brand and a celebrity spokesperson around a campaign
All of these are ways to show off the human side of your brand, in addition to giving your employees some storytelling power.
Take it even beyond Twitter.
Go beyond just adding a photo to your tweets and use photos to tell a story not just on Twitter but across platforms: Tailor your story so that it’s told on your Facebook timeline, on your Tumblr, across your Instagram page. You can choose different parts of your story to tell in each place, if that feels more appropriate for your brand. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your narrative as long as you stay true to your brand values and the voice you’re trying to build or strengthen.
See an example of each for inspiration: IKEA built a catalog on Instagram last year, Charity: Water mixes in stories from their different well-building campaigns with user-generated stories on their Facebook page (also seen below), and Sephora’s Tumblr acts as a combination catalog and digital magazine repository of inspirational images, tips, and tricks for their followers.
One woman even used Pinterest to tell the story of her Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler, which eventually expanded to a presence on other networks and a book. In that case a powerful visual story became a brand.
Test content types constantly.
Finally, use the engagement levels on the types of visual content you use- images with words superimposed on them, images without words but with captions, etc- to plan content types moving forward. And you’ll want to keep testing; your audience’s tastes will most likely shift over time.