Archive for the ‘Guides’ Category
Curious about what exactly Union Metrics analytics can do? We now offer on-demand demos of our Twitter and Instagram analytics! Take a tour of our analytics using live data from real accounts to see exactly what our analytics can do for you— and do it on your schedule.
What you get in the Twitter demo
Sign up here to access our live Twitter analytics demo to see exactly what you get with a subscription to TweetReach by Union Metrics. Our Twitter demo features everything you’ll see in our paid subscriptions – including live data from real Twitter accounts and topics – and allows you to access all areas of our product in read-only mode.
Union Metrics Twitter analytics allow you to easily:
- Monitor all the Twitter accounts, keywords and topics that matter to you, with full-fidelity data in real time
- Identify insights into what’s working and how you can improve your Twitter strategy
- Discover influential Twitter users and people driving the conversation forward
- Learn how to craft better Tweets to increase engagement and followers
What you get in the Instagram demo
Sign up here to access our live Instagram analytics demo to take a tour of what you get with a subscription to Union Metrics Instagram analytics. Our Instagram demo includes live data from a set of Instagram accounts and hashtags, and allows you to click around in a fully-functional Union Metrics account in read-only mode.
You can see how Union Metrics Instagram analytics enable you to:
- Monitor all the Instagram accounts and hashtags that matter to you, constantly updated and in real time
- Identify insights into what’s working (and what isn’t) and what you can do to improve your Instagram campaigns
- Discover your biggest fans and influential community members to see how and when they engage
- Explore how to optimize your content and hashtag strategies to increase engagement and followers
This is great, but I want to measure Tumblr and Facebook too!
No problem! If you want multi-channel social media analytics for everything - Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook – we can help with that too. Contact us to set up a demo of the full Union Metrics Social Suite, or check out a recording of a Union Metrics Social Suite demo here if you’re crunched for time or want to get a feel for things before getting a personalized tour. Happy measuring!
As always if you’ve got questions or comments, leave them below or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.
Our Social Media Manager, Sarah A. Parker, has been attending Twitter chats on behalf of the company for a few years now and wanted to share some of the things she’s learned. You can find us in #MMchat and #socialchat most Monday evenings (starting at 7pm CT) and we also frequent #CMWorld (Tuesdays 11am CT) and #BrandChat (Wednesdays 10am CT), all from @UnionMetrics. You can find Sarah at @SparkerWorks.
While at first glance Twitter chats seem really overwhelming- the busier ones have tweets flying by at a mile a minute- they’re one of the best ways to connect with new people in your industry, learn more about topics you’re shaky on or share your expertise on those you know inside out, and more.
Here are five things I’ve learned participating in chats. If there’s some wisdom you’d like to add, feel free to leave it in the comments!
1. You don’t have to do every chat.
Pick the most relevant for your industry and attend a few times to feel each one out, then keep an eye on the ones that you found to be the most entertaining and informative to join in when time allows or the topic is just too good to miss!
2. Don’t talk over the guest host.
Chats are meant to be interactive and being eager about a topic isn’t a bad thing, but it comes across as very rude if you’re constantly talking over the guest host during a chat. It goes without saying that you never want to be hostile during a chat either; if you’ve got something to work out with someone, a Twitter chat is not the time or the place.
3. Do tag others you think might be interested in a specific topic.
Even if they don’t normally participate in that particular chat or are outside of the industry entirely, it can be a great way to bring fresh perspective into a chat and help everyone make new, mutually beneficial connections.
4. Do set calendar reminders.
It can be easy to forget about a chat- especially if it takes place during a busy workday- so setting calendar reminders that go off half an hour or ten minutes before a chat are a great way to be sure you don’t miss one that has an especially relevant topic or guest host you’re dying to interact with.
Also don’t be afraid to drop in late if you got caught in a meeting or have a project to wrap up. Just catch up where you can and join in the conversation!
5. Do keep in touch with the contacts you make through chats.
Keep up on Twitter, add them on LinkedIn or even follow on Instagram if it feels appropriate. There’s nothing better than making a chat connection a real life connection by meeting up at a conference etc.
Bonus: Be yourself and have fun!
Don’t be afraid to show your personality and sense of humor in chats. As long as you’re professional overall, everyone loves to connect with a real person instead of a social media marketing robot. (Unless that robot is Merle, of course.)
Extra bonus: Measure your efforts! There’s nothing like seeing the reach of your ideas in a chat. Use something like our free TweetReach by Union Metrics snapshot reports to get an idea of a conversation, or go Pro and set up ongoing monitoring of regular chats you attend or host. Want to see just what our Pro analytics can do before you commit? Check out our live demo, or watch a recording of one here. And as always you can ask us any questions below or on Twitter @UnionMetrics.
With all the talk about video it’s easy to forget one of the better established visual content marketing platforms- especially for B2B- that’s been around since 2006. Maybe you’ve created a profile and uploaded a presentation or two, but with a little more love you can make your SlideShare presence sing— and boost your visual content marketing as a whole while you’re at it. (If you’re looking for more on a visual content marketing strategy, we can help with that too.)
SlideShare best practices
Putting together a successful deck for SlideShare is a little bit different than putting together a deck for a live presentation. After all, you’re not going to be standing behind every viewer, narrating and moving the process forward, so you have to be sure the whole presentation makes sense on its own and has enough arresting visuals and interesting storytelling to keep your audience clicking through slide after slide. How? Here are a few best practices we’ve run across in our own research (Mainly pulled from SlideShare Best Practices: How to Turn Written Content Into a Winning Deck and Best-of-the-Best Practices on Slideshare – My private collection):
- Have an attention-grabbing title image: All of your visuals should be something aimed at piquing your audience’s attention, but the title image especially should make viewers want to know more.
- Don’t be afraid to have more slides than in a live presentation; you’ll need some to bridge ideas and clarify since you’re not narrating.
- Slides dedicated to bridging ideas should reflect your brand voice. If you have a lot of them vary the text formatting to keep things visually interesting.
- If you’re breaking down something like a text-heavy blog post, reduce everything to its core concepts and write them down on sticky notes to have a mobile outline. This way you can really test for flow.
- Be sure to check for spelling and grammar. It’s not a bad idea to have a fresh set of eyes look the whole thing over before you upload to check for this and for overall flow.
- Treat SlideShare like a social network: Find interesting relevant presentations to click through, comment on, ask questions, like, share and more. This will encourage others to come and check out your own content, just like on any other network. Also let your audience on other platforms know you’re active on SlideShare; most people aren’t motivated to search for brands of their own accord, but are happy to check you out if they’re already there.
You can also browse the Tips and Best Practices category on SlideShare’s own blog.
Great SlideShare examples
We recommend checking out these great roundup posts to see some amazing SlideShare presentations:
- 10 Best Social Media SlideShare Presentations of 2014
- 10 Most Popular Slideshares for Marketers and Publishers
- The Must-Read SlideShares of 2014
SlideShare Best Practices: Content Marketing Tips from Top SlideShare Marketers also contains some great example decks and pulls out the author’s favorite slide from each deck with a pertinent lesson in case you’re in a tl;dr situation. (Would it be “too long; didn’t keep clicking” in this case?)
First and foremost: Think beyond the deck. SlideShare can also host infographics, and a great way to work it into your cross-channel strategy would be posting part of an infographic on Twitter and/or Instagram and having it point back to the full infographic on your SlideShare. Sharing something piecemeal across other platforms is a great way to break down a difficult concept gradually and for a time-stressed audience.
Want to follow us on SlideShare as we start practicing more of what we just preached in this article? Find us here.
Partnering with an influencer is one of the best ways for a brand to increase their reach across a platform and particularly to a specific audience they’re trying to target. Influencers already speak the language of the space and have a following that respects their tastes and recommendations. Still need proof it’s a good move? Recent research shows that partnering with influencers is generating impressive results across industries.
Before you definitely decide to partner with someone, however, you need to ask a few questions to make sure they’re absolutely the best fit for your brand. Influencers, you should be asking similar questions of brands who want to partner with you, too— but that’s a separate post.
1. Does their audience match your target audience?
First things first: There’s no point in investing time and energy into a partnership if their dedicated following doesn’t match the audience you’re trying to reach. Brand awareness doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t translate into direct action, at least for most brands. Look for someone who operates successfully in the spaces you’d like to be able to speak in; they already know the language of the platform and have the trust of their followers.
2. Forget followers— how’s their engagement rate?
Someone with only 2k followers who gets a 50% engagement rate on their posts is more valuable than someone with 100k followers who gets a .001% engagement rate; their audience is actually listening to what they have to say and taking the time to respond with likes, comments, and shares. A highly engaged audience will pay more attention to what the influencer they admire has to recommend.
3. Have they worked with a competitor?
Decide if this matters to you, based on the capacity of that relationship. If they were one of several influencers taking part in a campaign several months or even years ago, I wouldn’t rule them out if they’re a perfect fit otherwise. If, however, they’re very heavily involved in a partnership with a competitor right now, you might want to rethink the match.
4. How do they present themselves across social media?
If this is an Instagram campaign, don’t just look at their Instagram. Check Twitter, Facebook and any other public social media profile they have to be sure you want your brand represented by all this person has said, to the best of your ability to find it. You should have a portion of your crisis communication plan dedicated to dealing with potential fallout from an influencer or advocate who comes under fire. Most likely this won’t happen, but it’s better to be safe than sorry and scrambling.
5. What are their goals for their personal brand and how does partnering with your brand help them?
The best partnerships help move both parties forward, but you can also look at this in a completely selfish way: If the influencer is as motivated as you are to make the partnership or campaign work because it helps advance one of their personal goals or goals for their personal brand, they’ll put more time and effort into the campaign and both of you will still benefit!
Etiquette definitely evolves over time and that’s just as true of social media etiquette as it is of which fork you’re supposed to be using at Thanksgiving dinner (and now much anyone actually cares about it). We’ve covered how to be the Emily Post of Twitter chats, so we thought we might be sure everyone has brushed up on the rest of their Twitter manners too.
Disagree with an element of our updated etiquette or have something to add? Tell us about it in the comments, or find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.
The old advice: We’re not sure who started the idea that automatically sending every new follower a direct message asking them to Like your Facebook page or answer a very broad (and obviously auto-generated) question was a good way to grow your audience, but even if it was true at one point, it’s no longer true now.
The new advice: If you have these set up, disconnect them. Unless you have hard numbers that prove people are engaging with them and loving them, it’s more likely they go ignored at best and get you unfollowed at worst.
The old advice: Never meet someone in person from the Internet! (And your mom might still be worried about this, because your mom remembers when people weren’t really who they said they were in an AOL chat room circa 1994. But times have changed, mom.)
The new advice: Don’t be afraid to ask for a meet-up when it makes sense! Twitter connections are great to tap for some face time when you’re both at the same conference or other event, or even if you find yourselves in the same city and want to talk shop over a cup of coffee or a cocktail.
On asking for favors
The old advice: Don’t immediately ask for something from a new connection.
The new advice: This advice stands because this is sound, timeless advice.
The old advice: Once hashtags were conceived it was only a matter of time before someone decided that where one hashtag was a great way to gather ideas into a single, searchable space, 1000 hashtags could do that even better! And then the spammers were born.
The new advice: These days Twitter themselves have a whole explainer for hashtags, and it’s a general best practice not to use more than one or two in a single tweet. Although they can also be used to make a great #punchline. Just do what works with your brand and your brand voice.
The old advice: Follow everyone back who follows you!
The new advice: Some still take this approach, but it’s usually best to avoid following spam accounts or other accounts who aren’t customers or relevant to your industry that would simply clutter your feed. Conduct regular audits to unfollow any accounts that have gone inactive or are no longer relevant to make room for new customers and upcoming leaders and personalities in your industry.
How have you seen Twitter etiquette evolve over bios, profile shots, retweeting and favoriting? Leave your thoughts below!
While the number of followers you have on any given platform isn’t the end-all, be-all of your existence on that platform, learning how to grow an audience is one of the most important aspects of social media marketing (even if all you’re marketing is your personal brand!).
With that said, we thought we’d share some of the best practices we’ve found and the tips we’ve learned through our own research across social platforms, growing our own audiences. As always if you have any questions feel free to leave them in the comments or come and find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.
Slow growth is always frustrating, but it’s the kind of growth that tends to stick: Putting in the time and effort to find the kind of accounts you’re interested in who might also be interested in what you have to say (and later, sell) means they’re more likely to stick around for the long haul. So as tempting as it may be to have that follower number shoot right up for only $x, don’t buy bots. Instead, try these tactics:
- Conduct regular follower audits: Follow back appropriate accounts, and unfollow anyone who has gone inactive or is no longer relevant to your brand or industry
- Participate in chats: Twitter chats are a great way to find quality accounts in your industry, and you never know who might be in the market for exactly what you have to offer. They’ll be more interested in buying from someone they’ve already established a rapport with via chats than a strange brand, too.
Jumping in for my very first Twitter chat – I'm brand new to Twitter… It's seems harder to get followers here, tips? #socialchat
— Sara (@sarainshanghai) August 25, 2015
- Social listening is key: Track industry keywords and enter conversations but bring something of value, don’t just show up to sell yourself/your brand. That will turn people off quickly and you’ll be more likely to get blocked than followed.
- Follow first: Follow relevant accounts you find in chats or through keyword tracking. Don’t worry too much about whether or not they follow you back immediately. Just work on sharing valuable information and interacting with these and other accounts when appropriate.
- Copy industry leaders: See who leaders in your industry- even competitors- are following and follow them. (Just don’t follow 1,000 of them in one day. In addition to being somewhat creepy, Twitter puts a cap on how many accounts your account can follow in order to avoid spam.)
- Tap your followers: Who are your followers following? Who do they retweet? Some of these will be relevant for you to follow, and many will follow you back. Circle back around to regular audits and you can unfollow any accounts who have lost relevance or haven’t followed you back when you’ve honestly tried to engage them.
You’ll notice a lot of these revolve around finding accounts to follow. How does that help your follower growth? Many accounts will follow you back if they see that you’re posting things that are relevant and interesting to them. Others will as soon as you engage with them in a meaningful way— such as in a Twitter chat. The key is that you’ve got to put in a little work to prove that you’re worth following.
It’s hard to read much about Facebook marketing advice these days without reading “pay to play”, but you don’t have to have an enormous budget to grow your Facebook audience. Here’s a few tips to get you started without breaking the bank:
- Tap into existing connections: Ask relevant Facebook connections to “Like” your page. You don’t have to send the request to every single person you went to college with. Think about who might be interested in hearing from your brand based on the type of content you plan to share on Facebook; chances are you have connections interested in your industry or who work in a related area.
- Tap into existing followers: Ask those already following your page to put you in their top 30 priority News Feed accounts. Any actions they take are more likely to be seen by their followers, and they’re more likely to take an action if they actually see your content.
- Run an inexpensive campaign at a targeted audience. Who’s your target audience on Facebook? Set up an ad that’s relevant to them and cap it at a budget you’re comfortable with. It will stop running when the money runs out, and you’ll have some new followers who are piqued to hear what you have to say.
- Share interesting, relevant content. Test different content types too; Facebook is always changing the algorithm favoring different types of content (natively uploaded Facebook video is favored at the moment!) and your particular audience might favor one over all others.
- Ask questions in status updates. Creating interactive content is a great way to get your existing audience involved, which may prompt them to tag others to join the conversation too. Just be sure whoever handles social for you is prepped to handle any resulting volume increase!
- Host a Facebook contest. Work to create and interesting and engaging contest for your followers beyond just “Like our page to be entered to win [x]” and any new followers will be more likely to stick around once the contest ends.
- Promote your most successful posts. Once again you can set things up to end once you’ve spent your budget, so set things at an amount you’re comfortable with.
Based on this post on the Union Metrics Tumblr.
- Post great content: Postcontent people actually want to see. The best brand content on Instagram shows off a product in an alluring or inspirational way without feeling too much like an advertisement, and also stays true to the brand voice. For example, what works for Sephora isn’t the same as what works for Dennys:
Time your posts appropriately: The most successful Instagram and Tumblr accounts post at least once a day, and typically not more than five times a day. If you’re looking for the best time to post to these platforms, post outside traditional US business hours.
Find and follow interesting people: Try searching on a hashtag related to a topic you’re interested in, and follow people posting content you like. If fans are talking about your or your brand, give them a follow back and engage with them – they’ll appreciate it. Basically, if you follow new people, many of them will follow you back.
Use (hash)tags: Hashtags increase content discoverability, so use them in your posts. Adding a hashtag is the single best way we’ve found to get content in front of new audiences.
Based on this post on the Union Metrics Tumblr.
- Search relevant tags: You’ll find some great blogs to follow, and as you may have picked up, many accounts will check you out and follow you back if you’re relevant to their interests on almost any platform.
- Search relevant featured tags: Featured tags have changed on Tumblr over the years, but Unwrapping Tumblr has an entry about them here and keeps an updated list of them here.
- Track tags: Some of the tags you searched earlier that are relevant to your brand and industry might be relevant enough to keep constant tabs on, in which case you’ll want to designate them as “tracked” tags. Read exactly how to do that here, and once you do they’ll pop up any time you drop your cursor into the Tumblr search bar.
- Make good art (as Neil Gaiman says): Whatever it is that you’re creating or curating on Tumblr, make sure the content that you’re sharing is the very best it can be. If you’re bored or underwhelmed by your own blog, who else is going to be interested in following- let alone sharing- what you’re producing?
- Be sure you’re using the best tags: We can’t emphasize enough how important proper tag usage is on Tumblr. It’s how your content can be found by new followers interested in whatever it is that you’re talking about.
- Interact with your followers: Like, reblog, follow back. Consider thanking new followers in a post periodically and inviting them to ask any questions (you have an ask box, or you can set up a particular post to be able to receive answers) they might have about your brand. Also consider sharing UGC when it makes sense, either through reblogging, a campaign, or both. Anyone new who stumbles across your blog is more likely to follow if they see you interact with your followers.
- Cross-promote: Let people know you’re on Tumblr! Post about it on your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on another blog if you have one. Pin images from posts on your Pinterest and send Snaps about your Tumblr. It’s a lot harder for people to find you if they don’t know you’re there.
That list tip really works across all platforms: Be sure you have a consistent handle and occasionally let your followers on Twitter know you’ve got a Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Snapchat, and vice-versa.
We haven’t officially experimented with growing our own followings on Pinterest or Snapchat (yet!), but other people have. We recommend reading A Marketer’s Guide To Snapchat & How Brands Can Build Followers Through “Stories” from MarketingLand along with NPR’s excellent Engaging an audience on Snapchat for building out your Snapchat audience, and 6 Ways to Get More Pinterest Followers from Social Media Examiner for Pinterest.
Got any tips we missed or other resources you’d recommend? Leave ‘em in the comments!
The best brands on Facebook don’t just throw up a page, post occasionally and call it a day— they really work to share engaging content with their audience and work to make them feel included in their conversation. A lot of that stems from having good Facebook manners. Below are the basics in Facebook etiquette that nearly anyone can benefit from a brush-up on.
Know of anything we’ve missed? Leave it in the comments or share it with us on Twitter @UnionMetrics. Just be sure you use the right fork.
1. Don’t turn on those new Facebook messages unless you can handle them in a timely manner, or your rating will suffer.
This guide from SocialTimes breaks down the best approach for brands to take with this new feature.
2. Respond to comments in a timely manner.
Always put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what you would want from a company if you were reaching out to them in similar circumstances on the same platform. Then do everything in your power to fix the problem. Even if you don’t have the power to fix the problem, sometimes it’s enough for them to feel heard by an empathetic brand representative in a timely manner.
3. Don’t flood people’s feeds with similar posts; do use dark posts to your advantage!
Not sure exactly what dark posts are, or how to use them? This piece from Social Media Today covers how you can use dark posts to share several similar posts to targeted audiences without cluttering everyone’s feed and your own timeline.
4. Do ask to be included in your follower’s 30 accounts they’ll see updates from first in their News Feed.
Facebook recently changed things so that users can elect which 30 pages are a priority to see updates from, in a mix of both friends and pages. Asking your followers to include you in this is an easy way to get a boost in who sees your content— after all, they’re already following you! Just ask politely and include a description or link of how to do it to maximize results.
5. Don’t delete negative reviews.
Instead, address them as honestly as possible and try to fix the problem. Move things to email if it’s too complicated of an issue to solve on Facebook, but never ignore what your customers are saying in any space. Do, however, delete anything that is obviously hateful or threatening. Block and report as necessary, particularly if hatred or threats are directed at a specific employee. Make your employees feel safe.
6. Don’t share too much.
Avoid excessively long Facebook posts, unless you’re experimenting with the revamped Notes feature! A general Facebook best practice is to keep your posts pretty short and sweet, unless you’re a writer with a devoted following or sharing a specific important story. However, some brands have done experiments to find their longer content rewarded, which brings us to our final piece of advice.
7. Do test everything to your audience specifically.
Best practices will always give you a jumping off point, but it’s up to you to tailor your strategy to your customers and the target audience you hope to make your customers.
Everyone has their favorite social network just like they have favorite shows and celebrities, so we thought it would be interesting to look at how the conversation around those favorites has evolved across different networks. Even if you’re not in entertainment marketing, this post should give you a deeper look at the language and culture of various social platforms, giving you a better idea of which one is the best fit for your brand. (Hint: It’s always the one where your audience prefers to spend time.)
Twitter: Live-tweet your heart out
Twitter is, of course, known for the live-tweet: Join in with thousands of others as they tweet along to an awards show, their favorite show each week, or a movie they’re just seeing for the first time. Hollywood has caught on to this phenomenon and extended the sense of intimacy social media gives to fans of celebrities by encouraging the stars of shows to live-tweet along with their fans when the show airs, doing Q&As and sharing their own behind-the-scenes photos and videos. Stars Hayley Atwell and Bridget Regan were active live-tweeters during Agent Carter, and Hayley Atwell continues to post fun behind-the-scenes shots during the off-season to keep fans engaged.
— Bridget Regan (@BridgetRegan) February 18, 2015
This activity actually boosts overall tweeting about the program, based on research from Twitter themselves:
“As it turns out, one of the most powerful and direct ways to drive conversation about a program on Twitter is to have the stars of the show engaged on Twitter, particularly during the airing. In fact, we found that shows live-Tweeting from cast members during the premiere had 64% more Tweets that day compared to programs that did nothing.”
Aside from live-tweeting, fans tend to tweet about how excited they are leading up to a broadcast, or make a lot of cynical jokes about it if it’s an awards show (but hey, they’re still watching it!). They’ll follow official accounts and chat with each other about different fan theories, but this is obviously all a bit truncated due to the 140-character limit on tweets. Fans who want more, more, more on their favorites- especially during the off-season- head to Tumblr.
Tumblr: Where fandom lives
Tumblr is the undisputed home of fandom. This is the place fans go to share their fan-fiction (fanfic), write posts about different character and storyline theories (or their own “fanon”; things they’ve read in fanfic or theories they’ve seen reblogged that they’ve added to the canon of the show for themselves) and theories about the larger universe behind a show or film franchise, write about the actors who portray their favorite characters and share photos of them, create and share fan art, and so much more.
You might read that and think, well, isn’t that what fans do on every social network? What makes Tumblr so special? And the answer is the reblogging feature: Being able to reblog someone else’s fan theory and add your own thoughts to it really accelerates the conversation and makes it deeper. Certain posts become inside jokes for a fandom, and fandoms even create their own “official” blogs, run right alongside official blogs from a network. (The official Doctor Who Tumblr often reblogs fan art and other fan posts to keep their readership engaged.)
Sometimes fandoms merge into super fandoms, like SuperWhoLock, a mix of Doctor Who, Sherlock and Supernatural fans. Sometimes the actors themselves get involved in a fandom, like Orlando Jones and the Sleepyheads (Sleepy Hollow fandom).
All of this adds up to fans being very engaged in their shows between seasons, and giving an even longer shelf-life to Tumblr content as old fandom posts can resurface to be rehashed and reblogged again and again with newer insights and theories.
Facebook: Beware spoilers
There are a few different forms of fandom on Facebook:
- Pages built as hubs for fandom outside of Tumblr to share information, as seen here.
- Individual, often spoiler-filled posts on your NewsFeed from various friends and family members after a big finale like Game of Thrones.
- Posts from Facebook themselves around different fandoms like March Madness.
Facebook is the perfect place for a friend to drop a link about your favorite show onto your wall or even set up a private group to plan a viewing party, but fandom doesn’t go as deep here as it does on Tumblr, and it’s more difficult to live-Facebook a show than it is to live-tweet it. Twitter feeds move much faster than Facebook News Feeds do, making them much more ideal for sharing the experience of a live-viewing with an audience.
Instagram: Fans share excitement in photo form
It might not seem like the most intuitive way to use Instagram, but fans definitely post about their favorite shows and the actors in them on their Instagram accounts alongside their personal photos. Sometimes they share official promotional photos from a show’s upcoming season, or maybe the set-up for their viewing party. Smart brands know about this activity and capitalize on it, becoming part of the conversation that’s already happening. For examples see how Teen Wolf fans post about the show on Instagram, and learn from the very best in terms of audience engagement with ABC Family’s Instagram activity.
Sports fans are active in their Instagram activity too, and you can see examples in our posts about The World Series on Instagram: San Francisco Giants vs. Kansas City Royals or The NHL on Instagram: On being official, fans, and more.
The majority of the connection and amplification of posts on Instagram comes through hashtags; fans can find other fan accounts they may want to follow by using Instagram’s improved search, and any entertainment brands who want to get in on those conversations would be wise to listen to the talk that’s already happening before figuring out how to encourage it and join in.
The bottom line?
That’s just what we’ve seen looking at fan activity in these places over the years. Does your personal network look different? Tell us about it in the comments, or on Twitter @UnionMetrics.
You’ll also notice we haven’t talked about fan activity on Pinterest, Snapchat, or live-streaming apps. How have you seen fans or fandoms using those?
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!
If you’re planning and running the conference
- Choose a unique, relevant hashtag and keep it as short as possible.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Use that official hashtag just like you’re there! Comment on live-streamed panels and keynotes, ask questions, connect with attendees who are there.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Social video is still the new black, and when it comes to deciding which platform to invest your resources in you need all the latest and best information you can get. So we decided to help you out with that. And remember that it’s not about pitting platforms against each other, but choosing the one that’s the best fit for your brand to bring value to your audience.
Facebook and YouTube.
YouTube is the widely acknowledged granddaddy of video content marketing. Over the years it has grown to produce its own stars, and even its own studios where creators can produce work, sometimes in partnership with brands to create content that benefits both of them. YouTube supports its creators and empowers them to make money from their presence on its site and expand their personal brand through it. View counts of videos are made “at the point at which people seem to actually be engaging with the video and not just immediately clicking away” or usually around the 30 second mark, according to YouTube creator Hank Green.
If your work is stolen and re-uploaded by a different user, YouTube has a system in place (Content ID) to identify this as existing content and allow the copyright holder to claim it so they don’t lose revenue. This is an important feature for creators, and one for brands to keep in mind as they produce original video content.
Facebook has recently made more moves into the video space, introducing its own native video uploading option which the Facebook News Feed algorithm prioritizes over outside video links. Those who have worked for years to build an audience on YouTube are now working to balance their Facebook content strategy with this built-in preference in mind; most of the Internet has a Facebook presence so it’s wise to invest time and energy into having one for almost any brand, but there aren’t as many failsafes in place to protect original content (you can learn more about the issue of “freebooting” here or below).
Facebook says that they are working on this and other issues, and to be fair, YouTube has had a decade to work on these policies and grow relationships with their creators. Facebook has enormous resources, but its video program is still a fledgling with definite room for growth.
Our best tip for a brand that may have an existing YouTube presence or wants to build one but also wants to promote that content to their audience on Facebook is one that we picked up in a recent #socialchat: Post a native Facebook “teaser” video that links to the full piece on YouTube, which will still prioritize that content over an embedded YouTube video.
Just want the numbers for each? Here’s the latest we could find:
- Facebook video views a day: 4 billion
- Hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute: 300
- Facebook unique video viewers May 2015: 85.59 million
- Google sites unique video viewers May 2015: 162.14 million
- Facebook counts a view as: 3 seconds
- YouTube counts a view as: 30 seconds
So which should you choose, Facebook or YouTube? For brands with enough resources to make it work (and you need decent resources if you’re serious about producing quality video content), we recommend using YouTube as a home base- it’s perfect for content archives and sub-channels, like highlights of the people working for you or product demos based off of FAQs- and then experimenting with different promotional tactics on Facebook.
L2 puts it well in Why Facebook and YouTube’s Competition for Views Might Be a Tie:
“Facebook provides a rapid boost of popularity and also reaches a wide audience with its interruptive viewing format. While YouTube can also achieve rapid short-term scale with advertising, the platform is better positioned for content discovery.”
Use each platform for its strengths for a more robust video content strategy.
Vine and Instagram.
Vine and Instagram are the shorter-form video options available on the social media landscape today; Twitter-owned Vines cap at 6 seconds while Facebook-owned Instagram video caps at 15. Both require creativity to pull off, but Vine even more so since you have to distill your entire story into 6 seconds. Vine also has its own language of memes, which tend to run even faster through a meme-cycle than memes elsewhere on the Internet. Brands who have seen success on Vine have either paired with influencers in the space, or launched a series of tips and tricks that fit in the 6 second format, like Lowes.
Instagram advertising is opening to everyone later this year, as previously they have only worked with select brands to produce high-quality ads that (ideally) flow seamlessly with the rest of a user’s timeline. Brands who have participated in this pilot advertising program saw a continued lift in engagement following the advertising period, according to our own research. Other brands on Instagram have paired with appropriate influencers in the space to give their content a boost, sometimes running campaigns in conjunction with various influencers in appropriate spaces.
- Instagram monthly active users: 200 million+ worldwide as of 2014
- Vine registered users: 40 million
- Instagram mobile only visitors in the US: 40 million
- Vine loops per day: 1.5 billion
- That’s more than half a trillion loops yearly.
- About 12% of consumers share photos of products they bought on Instagram at least once per month.
Vine and Instagram require a higher level of creativity to be successful for most audiences, but brands can also test using these platforms to tease a smaller part of a larger work, driving traffic back to their YouTube channel or wherever it is they desire.
It’s once again about choosing the platform that’s best for your brand, which is the one that’s best for your audience: Are they interested in 6 second tips? Or high-quality video that’s often aspirational in nature? Know your audience and go from there.
Periscope and Meerkat.
The newest players on the block, these two live-streaming apps seem to be all many marketers are talking about lately. Meerkat debuted just before Twitter-owned Periscope, but both are quickly becoming pretty even in terms of the features they have: You can save your live-stream for later playback on both, you can connect them to existing networks to promote your stream (Facebook for Meerkat and Twitter for Periscope) and find accounts to follow, and you can use either to do a product demo, AMA, behind-the-scenes tour, exclusive interview, or give a front row seat to your mobile audience at a product launch.
Meerkat’s distinguishing features include a scheduling ability to help your audience plan around watching your stream, and Cameo, the ability to let another user take over your stream for up to 60 seconds. Periscope does not have either of these features at the moment, but that doesn’t mean something similar won’t be incorporated in a future update. Periscope does have a private broadcasting feature, a great way to set-up communication between offices or for the camera-shy to practice their live-streaming.
For a further breakdown of what each platform offers, read this piece from Newsweek or this one from Econsultancy, then supplement with Meerkat’s post about their latest update. ETA: Since we originally wrote this post, Meerkat has also introduced Live Polling and Show and Tell, and Periscope now has web profiles.
- Meerkat users: about 156k
- Daily active Periscope users: 2 million
- Video content streamed on Meerkat: 91,776 as of March 2015
- Video content streamed daily on Periscope: 350k hours of video (40 years per day!)
- 20% of Meerkat users watch over 2 hours of live video daily.
- More than 10 million people have created Periscope accounts since the product launched at the end of March.
Choose the live-streaming app that has more of the audience you’re trying to reach, and be sure you at least have an outline or rough idea of what you’re going to talk about before you just start saying things at your phone for an hour. Remember that whoever you put on Periscope or Meerkat is representing your brand, so choose a brand representative that matches brand values, is articulate and engaging, and does well in front of a camera.
Live-streaming is a new area for almost everyone, so don’t worry about producing a highly-polished video. Use this to experiment and show largely unseen aspects of your brand: Give private tours of labs or venues, interview staff setting up for an event, host an AMA around an interesting topic in your industry.
We recommend bookmarking this handy chart from Marketing Land - Social Video Chart: Your At-A-Glance Guide To 7 Major Platforms - to refer to on a lot of social video platform differences when you’re deciding where to put your content.
And if you have any other questions, please leave them in the comments or find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.