Archive for the ‘Guides’ Category
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Summer is peak travel time for most people, so whether you’re getting a head start on planning next year’s vacation or you’re having a last minute flight of fancy, we wanted to bring you the best travel resources we’ve found across social media.
Know of one we’re missing? Leave it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter @UnionMetrics.
Twitter travel resources
Twitter is fantastic for all stages of travel planning: You can find local people and businesses to follow beforehand (or even other travelers who have been there before or will be there around the same time!) to do research about where you want to go and even get recommendations for things off the beaten path. If you’re not sure where to start finding these resources, we suggest joining a Twitter chat like Condé Nast’s weekly chat #TravelerHelpDesk. Get all your questions answered by someone immersed in the travel business!
Thanks for following along in this week's #TravelerHelpDesk! Check back next week for more!
— Condé Nast Traveler (@CNTraveler) August 6, 2015
For even more Twitter travel resources to get you started, check out The top travel resources on Twitter: Accounts to follow and chats to attend and find a few more chats not listed in that post in Travel resources on Twitter and more: Updated.
As for travel brands and those who work in the travel industry, you might like 2 reasons why the travel industry should be measuring share of voice and from Twitter themselves, Three new insights for travel brands on Twitter:
“Twitter is a favorite travel companion; about a third of users access Twitter before or after a trip, while 39% use the platform mid-journey. And nearly 20% of users Tweet to share feedback throughout their travel experience. Because it’s used at every stage of the travel process, Twitter can help brands develop strong relationships with consumers.”
Tumblr travel resources
Tumblr has an engaged travel community, and you can find travel companies sharing resources and vacation inspiration alongside other users. Start by visiting the Tumblr travel spotlight to find popular travel blogs to browse and follow, including Condé Nast Traveler for inspiration, or more explicit guides like this one from London’s Gatwick Airport or this NOLA city guide from a local perspective.
If you’re interested in everything we’ve covered on Tumblr and travel, check out the following:
- Just how big is the #travel community on Tumblr? Very.
- Travel on Tumblr: Tips
- Travel on Tumblr: Oh the places brands and publications can go
- Travel on Tumblr: Cruisin’
- Travel on Tumblr: Travel Companies
- Travel on Tumblr: Travel Publications
- Travel on Tumblr: Updated
Facebook travel resources
Facebook is a great place to follow your favorite travel companies to stay on top of any deals they’re offering- sometimes Facebook exclusive deals!- or contests you might want to enter. After all nothing beats a great vacation more than a free great vacation.
If you have travel blogs you love and read regularly it’s also a great idea to Like their Facebook pages to see when they post new updates. If you want to make sure you never miss an update, Facebook recently released a new way to prioritize who you see in your News Feed.
What Facebook really excels at is crowdsourcing information from your network of friends and family: Make a status update to ask for advice on what not to miss in a certain city you’re visiting, or look through albums to be sure you remember the name of that national park that looked like a can’t-miss from your college friend’s last vacation. You might even get the chance to reconnect with a long-lost friend you forgot was living in your next travel destination. Just don’t forget to post your own albums when you get home to pay it forward.
Instagram travel resources
Instagram is the place where people share photos of the places they’ve been, so browse around on #TravelTuesday to get some travel inspiration and check out the other hashtags we’ve listed here if that’s not enough for you. (While you’re browsing, don’t be afraid to follow any accounts you particularly like or ask questions about destination spots in the comments!)
Use the same hashtags to share your own travel photos past, present, and future. Just remember not to share too many photos on Instagram at once; we recommend spacing out no more than three- or maybe five if they’re really good- a day. Use your discretion based on what you know about your followers.
Snapchat travel resources
Snapchat is a great way to share your travel adventures with your friends while they’re happening without worrying about flooding any of their feeds. You don’t have to worry about data either because Snapchat just released Travel Mode. Follow travel brands Marriott Hotels (username marriotthotels) and Condé Nast Traveler (cntraveler) on Snapchat, as well as travel personalities Jerome Jarre (jeromejarre) and Casey Neistat (caseyneistat).
Topdeck Travel (topdeck.travel) also has an account they promote as “the first travel show on Snapchat” so get some travel snap inspiration from them as well.
Finally, don’t miss out on the local Live Stories Snapchat has; it’s a great way to get a glimpse of how locals really live and what they most want to share with potential visitors around the world. Here’s a recent example from Belfast:
Bonus: Pinterest and general travel resources
Pinterest really excels for the planning stage of your trip: Set up boards around what you need to pack, what sights you want to see, and pin any good travel resources you find like “how to pack for two weeks in a carry-on” or other helpful tips you might want to reference again for future trips.
For all the other tips we have on where to get the best travel information possible across social, check out our definitive post on The 10 Best Travel Resources on Social Media and Beyond and this great post from The Girl and The Globe on How to Use Social Media for Travel Planning.
Whether you host an annual event like an awards show or you’re a small business like a dermatologist that only sees patients once a year, social media can help you stay engaged with your fans and customers during non-peak times.
These types of events and customer relationships require a very different social media strategy from their ongoing counterparts. During a big event, for example, you’ll likely receive thousands of new followers and lots of engagement with your content. A patient sitting in a waiting room is more likely to follow a sign prompting them to follow you on Twitter or Like you on Facebook. But if you let your blog stagnate during the off period between events or you don’t think of a content strategy to engage that patient between visits, you’ll have to start almost entirely over next year.
Through our own research we’ve seen evidence that suggests if you stop posting new content, you’ll start to lose followers over time.
How can you prevent this from happening? We’ll break down some ideas, but it’s up to you to test them with your own audience, measure the results, and keep planning your engagement strategy going forward. (Don’t worry, though, we’re always here to help if you have questions!)
1. Take advantage of existing fan bases.
Find who the celebrities and influencers are in your industry and tap into their existing fan bases to encourage engagement throughout the year.
Promote these influencers’ related projects.
No matter your industry, there are influencers for you to identify and connect and engage with in appropriate ways. One way to do this is to promote the projects they’re working on that are related to your own brand values and mission. For example, a small health clinic might find some healthy lifestyle influencers who focus on nutritious diet and active lifestyle to partner with, while a hardware store might produce a series of how-tos or tips and tricks with a local woodworker. Partnering with an appropriate influencer or expert boosts your reach across both audiences, while also giving your audiences the kind of content they want: Exactly what has value for them.
Share content that specifically engages current niche groups or fandoms.
Working with these influencers on your audience’s preferred platform- Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, or another, like Snapchat- also means you have in this influencer a resource that knows how to speak the language of this platform. Be respectful of their knowledge of the particular culture of the platform, especially if it’s not one you’re familiar with. This listening is vital particularly if you want to tap into an existing niche community or fandom; you have to be authentic and build on existing fandoms in a respectful way or fans will outright reject your participation. Get to know a community before jumping right in.
2. Showcase content exhaust.
Every industry produces a ton of content that never sees the light of day, particularly around any large-scale events, but also during the daily grind. We call this “content exhaust” – what’s left over after you create publicly consumable content. Social media loves content exhaust and it’s a great way to expand a content queue.
Share behind-the-scenes content.
Day-to-day and especially during large events, take lots of pictures and videos behind the scenes and in non-public spaces. Post them to show people who aren’t there what you see as an insider. Fans and followers love insider information; they love to feel like they’re in the loop. How can you help them feel more included?
While we might not all have the resources of The Oscars, The Academy shared this beautiful set of GIFs from the orchestra’s rehearsal before the show. This is a view fans don’t normally see on the televised broadcast, and it helps create a more intimate feel of how the show actually works. Think of how you can use this on the scale of your business. What seems boring and routine to you might be fascinating to an outsider; how a hairdresser mixes dyes, for example, or a tattoo artist sketching new ideas while on break. Try to look around you with fresh eyes, or even asking friends and family what aspects of your job or industry they’re curious about. Build from there.
Post content featuring event setup and breakdown.
It might not seem like much beyond logistics for you, but to fans learning more about the ins and outs of producing an event can be fascinating. And we mean any kind of event: A tradeshow for any industry, a convention, an open house. Share images and stories from before and after the event that show how everything comes together. For some events, this can include activities from weeks or even months before it actually happens. Tap an entertaining coworker to be your on-camera tour guide, do quick interviews with the guys setting up the stage or planning the lighting, introduce the interns stuffing the swag bags, or anything else that comes to mind.
Getting fans and followers involved at an early stage might also make them more invested in the event itself, and encourage them to attend or even just follow along the hashtag across social media as it happens. (Note: This makes planning and promoting a unique, relevant hashtag for your event across social platforms very important!)
Highlight smaller related events leading up to the main event.
Going to a tasting with a catering company? Post artful photos of the food you’re sampling, or share a quick interview with the chef who made it. Even something spontaneous and funny that happens at a copy shop you’re forced to run into when planned collateral doesn’t arrive on time is a potential source of content— especially if the staff behind the counter starts singing and you capture it. (It should go without saying you need the permission of these participants before sharing, however!)
3. Use trends to your advantage.
Participate in rituals like #TBT.
Social media channels have so many rituals, memes and shared behaviors. Get to know them and find some you can participate in. One of our favorites is throwback Thursday, also know as #TBT. On Thursdays, people across social media share pictures or memories from their past. This is a long-standing social ritual, and one that’s easy to participate in: You can share photos from a company’s early days, baby photos of employees (bonus points for having everyone guess who it is now!), or a throwback to everyone enjoying the closing party last year around your big event that happens to be coming up again soon.
One quick cautionary note: Before you jump into a meme or conversation, check to see what it’s really about and if it’s still relevant. On many social platforms, trends can emerge and then fade away in just a few days (see this post on Tumblr that’s a meta-analysis of Tumblr memes), and you don’t want to be caught using last week’s meme.
Engage in conversation around other events and holidays.
Wish fans and followers a happy new year or Valentine’s Day. Share their excitement about the upcoming weekend or warmer weather. It’s okay to talk about regular-people-things to relate to your fans. However, in general, it’s probably best to avoid piling on to newsworthy current events (a.k.a. “newsjacking”), particularly anything where people were killed, injured or in any way harmed. Stay out of those conversations, as that rarely goes well.
4. Upcycle existing content.
If your company or industry has a long history, you probably have a lot of historical content. Fans both new and old would love to see it! How can you share it with them throughout the year? Create a content calendar of ideas, if that helps, but don’t feel like you have to stick to it rigidly. It’s always best to leave room for new ideas and spur-of-the-moment inspiration.
Celebrate historical moments and anniversaries.
Talk about important dates in your history. What was going on this time last year, five years ago, 20 years ago? When did you start? Is an employee having an anniversary with the company you can celebrate? Even a funny post memorializing the first company laptop makes for a good moment of levity in a follower’s feed.
Share archive materials.
Dig up interesting content from your past. This could be old photos of early days, notes or minutes from your first meetings, screenshots of old websites, the CEO’s cover letter for their first job, anything.
A final note
It requires having someone dedicated to social media year-round if you want to truly keep fans engaged and continue to grow your audience during the off season. But with a little work and the right content, there’s no reason you can’t turn a one-time event, annual office visit, or semi-annual haircut into an ongoing social media sensation.
Seeing vacation photos from friends, family, and colleagues can be a nice mini-vacation for the viewer, or it can be an irritating nightmare of never-ending hot dog legs and sandy feet. To keep from being That Friend, we have a handy guide for how much to share on each platform so when you get home everyone will be asking for more instead of awkwardly trying to hide the fact that they unfollowed you.
On Twitter: Full steam ahead
With Twitter as established as it is, most users feeds are a constant stream of content, so multiple updates a day or even live-tweeting a tour or other vacation adventure would be welcome rather than scorned.
While you’re away from home posting regularly is a great way to find new accounts to follow and interact with in time zones you’re not normally active in. Use the opportunity to ask locals for recommendations on where to eat and must-see attractions, and don’t be afraid to check out local hashtags for events in the area and more.
On Facebook: Use sharing settings to your advantage
Facebook changes its algorithm of which posts it shares with users fairly often- right now you can select up to 30 accounts to prioritize seeing updates from in your feed- but even your closest friends and family probably don’t want their entire newsfeed filled with hundreds of your vacation photos. Post up to three times a day, sharing the best and brightest of what you’ve captured (consider sharing directly from Instagram to keep things quick and simple if you’re on limited time or data).
If you want to share more, Facebook’s detailed setting options work really well for situations like this: Consider using friends/family only settings for more frequent updates, if you have an aunt you know will love to see every single detail of your trip as soon as possible.
On Instagram: Showcase the best of the best
Instagram thrives on gorgeous vacation photos- just take a look at the screenshot of #travelgram seen at the top of this post- but the constricted nature of an Instagram feed means you can easily overwhelm your followers, so consider posting up to three times a day, maximum, spread out over the course of the day. You might be able to get away with more if you’re in a completely different time zone than the majority of your followers, but nobody wants to wake up to 25 pictures of the same mountain either.
Share the best and brightest of each day’s adventures for maximum impact and save the rest to share on #TravelTuesdays when you’re sitting at your desk and could use a little mini-escape.
On Tumblr: Queue while you’re away
Instagram also has the option to share photos directly to Tumblr, making it easy to keep your blog from becoming stagnant while you’re away. If you have the time and internet connection, consider using Tumblr as a vacation blog to record your memories as you go with daily updates. This will not only entertain your followers, it might also help you find new ones who enjoy reading about your adventures with the added bonus of giving you something fun to read through when you get home.
You can also set a queue before you leave so your followers don’t wonder if you’ve disappeared forever on a long trip; queue up enough content to roughly match the pace of your usual posting, if not a little less. If your Tumblr presence is fairly anonymous you can post to your most interactive followers that you’re going away and won’t be around to reblog for a while.
How anonymous you truly are, however, brings us to our final point.
Some criminals have targeted victims posting about going on vacation via social media, so be sure you don’t have location data turned on that lists your home address on any of your accounts or you might return home to something less than relaxing. If some of your accounts are more anonymous than others, be sure you aren’t cross-posting secure information from one over to your most public presence.
Here’s a guide from Discover that covers some important social media safety points.
This post originally appeared on MediaPost and we are pleased to be able to share it with you here!
Some of the most popular social media accounts belong to entertainment brands — celebrities, TV shows, movies, entertainment media — the list goes on. These brands have built up large, loyal followings by sharing lots of great content on social media. These brands resonate well on visually focused channels like Instagram, Tumblr and Snapchat, and on social hubs like Facebook and Twitter.
What can we learn from these successes? How can other entertainment marketers better engage fans on social media? Luckily, entertainment brands have plenty of engaging, social-ready content at their fingertips; it’s just a matter of figuring out what to share and how. If you’re working with an entertainment brand, here are three ways to more deeply engage with your fans on social media.
Provide sneak peeks for your fans
Give your followers something extra or early. Reward their loyalty by sharing content earlier on your social channels than anywhere else. Some brands post new trailers first on social channels. Others send a secret password to share new content with lucky contest winners before sharing it publicly. No matter how you decide to do it, giving your social audiences early access to new content is a great way to reward followers (and get new ones).
Sony Pictures’ Goosebumps movie recently encouraged fans to tweet to unlock a new trailer. When fans posted enough tweets to hit a volume threshold, Sony released a new full-length trailer for the movie. It was a great way to get fans excited about the film and spread the word across Twitter.
— Goosebumps (@GoosebumpsMovie) July 8, 2015
Make the most of your content exhaust
Content exhaust is anything that’s left over after a project is finished, all the extra content that’s created and discarded as you work on polishing the final product. That can be outtakes, behind the scenes stories, images from the cutting room floor, backstage video, pre-Photoshop photos, and more. What may seem mundane to those involved in a production can be extremely interesting to fans who don’t experience the entertainment business every day. Inviting your fans behind the scenes makes them feel more connected and invested in your project. And on social media, it’s completely acceptable to share less polished content, particularly on channels like Snapchat. Just because something is public doesn’t mean it has to be perfect, so don’t feel like everything you share has to have the same production values as the show or movie itself. Use the content exhaust you’re already creating to your advantage.
ABC Family does a wonderful job with Pretty Little Liars. Across the “PLL” social accounts, they’re constantly posting pictures of the cast goofing around together, attending red carpet events, even posing with signs about fans. This kind of content rewards fans for following and makes them feel included in how the show is made.
Go beyond the story on screen
Fans of a show or movie will want to go deeper into the story, beyond what can be shown on screen. Use social media to provide more information for them. You could share extended scenes, deeper dives into a back story, more information about real-life events that influence a story, interviews with writers and directors — anything that extends the story beyond the main screen. The more information you provide about a story, the more invested the audience will be in its outcome. A lot of fans will try to piece together this information on their own, so provide some help or participate in the conversation when you can.
True Detective on HBO does this very well. The show’s story is full of mystery already, and every week fans discuss possible clues and conspiracies across social media. On Instagram, the show shares images and short videos through the season to encourage this conversation. They could take further advantage of this by sharing more information from the show’s writer about the unusual real-life events and locations that inspire the storyline.
A video posted by True Detective (@truedetective) on
Want to measure the impact of your social media content? Take a look at all the analytics we offer at Union Metrics.
Social media changes quickly, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest usage information for the top channels. We thought we’d make it easier by rounding up our five favorite nuggets for our four favorite social networks: Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook.
Many of these come from Union Metrics research, so feel free to check out our resources page or see how we can help you measure your efforts in each of these places, if you’re eager to see how that after-hours Tumblr queue is paying off.
- Tumblr is a night owl. 42% of all Tumblr activity takes place between 5pm and 1am ET (Source). Takeaway: Brands should try posting outside of traditional business hours to see how their content performs.
- Disney is by far the most popular brand on Tumblr, seeing more overall activity and stronger engagement than any other brand – nearly two times more (Source). Takeaway: Consider a Tumblr presence to join in on the fan conversation that inevitably already exists around your brand.
- 50% of Tumblr users have gone out and bought something they’ve seen on their dashboard (Source). Takeaway: Make it easy for your followers to buy the things you show them on their dash. With the ”Buy” button introduced last year, it’s easier than ever.
- Saturday and Sunday are the most active days on Tumblr (Source). Takeaway: Have a content plan for the weekends. Pay attention to when the most original content is published (bonus stat: that’s 4pm on Sunday) and see how your content performs posted at or around that time.
- Fandom thrives on Tumblr (Source). Takeaway: Movies and television shows should know that their fandoms are on Tumblr, and they are legion. Incorporate fan art (like Teen Wolf) or photos (like Doctor Who) into your content strategy where it makes sense. Make fans feel heard, and appreciated.
- Most customers expect a response on social media within an hour (Source). Takeaway: This is true even of nights and weekends, so brands looking to have an active Twitter presence need to be prepared for that.
- Tweets with images or videos in them get more engagement than tweets with text alone (Source). Takeaway: Add appropriate visuals to your tweets whenever possible, but don’t just stick any old image on there just to have one. Choose striking, meaningful visual content to catch your audience’s eye.
- Related to that last point? Tweets with images take up more than twice as much vertical space in the timeline (Source). Takeaway: Simply taking up more space on someone’s feed- particularly when they’re out and about, scrolling through mobile- means your tweets are much harder to simply scan and dismiss. Especially if you choose that visually arresting image we talked about.
- Speaking of mobile users, recent numbers show “80% of users access Twitter via their mobile device” (Source). Takeaway: This means that unless those mobile users are on wifi, they don’t have as much bandwidth to work with and they aren’t going to want to wait forever for images to download, so make sure those visually arresting images aren’t huge. If it’s a big infographic, choose one piece to show and link back to the whole thing.
- When a show’s stars live-tweet an episode during its airtime, they “generate 64% more discussion (ie. tweets about the show) than programs whose cast members abstain” (Source). Takeaway: Even if you’re not in TV, live-tweeting a relevant event- a webinar, a conference, a presentation or panel during an industry meetup- will make you part of a bigger discussion and introduce you to new contacts. Just be sure to use the official hashtags— or create them.
- Our own Union Metrics research recommends brands try posting outside of U.S. business hours (Source). Takeaway: Evenings and weekends are times most people have free to browse social and catch up on their streams. Brands should test posting during these times and see if they get a bump in engagement from fans and followers who are otherwise busy during the work day.
- Keeping up your content cadence matters more than how often you post (Source). Takeaway: Obviously you don’t want to completely flood the Instagram feed of your fans and followers, but it’s not unusual for brands to post several times a day. If you have a large queue of content for a campaign, however, and it runs dry afterward before you can plan a robust content calendar, you will start to lose followers.
- Content on Instagram lives longer than you probably realize (Source). Takeaway: Although most activity happens in the first several hours after a brand posts to Instagram, it’s not unusual to see low-level content for days and weeks after a post is first made. Don’t be afraid to edit old posts with newer hashtags to see if you can boost engagement on them.
- Brands who advertise on Instagram may continue to see increased engagement after an advertising period has ended; in one case we saw a brand with “a nearly 10% increase in engagement rates across the board, increasing the total activities received per organic post by 25% on average” (Source). Takeaway: If you’re thinking of taking the plunge and advertising on Instagram, the benefits could be longer lasting than you might have assumed.
- Related to the previous point, Instagram is opening up advertising to everyone this fall (Source). Takeaway: Just be sure your creative is up to snuff; Instagram users are used to high-quality, well-executed content.
- Images that include people and faces perform well on Facebook (Source). Takeaway: Facebook is a place people connect with friends and family they’re close to in real life, so reflecting this ease and friendliness in your visuals helps your content resonate with those who choose to connect with your brand there.
- You have three seconds to get your fans’ attention in a video (Source). Takeaway: Videos need to be immediately arresting, and also perform well without sound since not everyone opts to turn it on. Shorter videos also tend to perform better than long videos on Facebook.
- Posts with a ton of hashtags don’t perform well on Facebook (Source). Takeaway: Your audience may love hashtags on Facebook, but it seems like most don’t, unless they’re a big popular hashtag like #TBT or popular and annual, like #NationalRunningDay. Use your discretion and test one or two on your posts to see how your audience responds. But definitely don’t leave all 30 from your Instagram post on Facebook; edit that cross-post down!
- 79% of all users are accessing Facebook from their mobile (Source). Takeaway: A lot of social activity is happening on people’s phones, when they’re out and about, commuting, or at home in the evenings. Be sure your content is optimized for mobile to capitalize on this audience. Think about what you want to see within the confines of a smartphone screen and how much data you have to work with.
- Facebook isn’t just Facebook; most people know they own Instagram, but some forget about the other entities in the Facebook ecosystem, including WhatsApp, Messenger, and Occulus (Source). Takeaway: These other apps are something to keep an eye on as the industry develops over the coming years, particularly in the private messaging space. It’s direct access to consumers, but difficult for brands to balance without coming across as creepy or intrusive.
As we’ve built out the Union Metrics Social Suite, we want to be sure we continue to provide analytics for those at a range of available resources. Along those lines, we’ve created this guide to help you find the perfect piece of UM to bring clarity to your social efforts, organized by your needs.
I have little or no budget.
Fear not my friend, we have some free tools to help you track your social efforts, even with $0 in the budget for it. As long as you plan accordingly, you should be able to cover a small Twitter campaign- a weekly chat, your own account growth, a hyper-local contest, etc- with TweetReach snapshot reports. Just make sure you run a snapshot within a couple days of your event – they can only go back 1-7 days. You get analytics on 50 tweets for free! If you do go over the allotted 50 tweets for the period you’re capturing on a free report, you can purchase a full snapshot report covering up to 1500 tweets for just $20.
As for Instagram, you can run a free Instagram account checkup to see which of your photos and hashtags are performing the best (plus more, like the best day and time for you to post!), and you can refresh your report once a day for updated metrics.
I want to track an upcoming campaign on one social media channel.
Union Metrics offers single-channel analytics starting at $99 per month to monitor two accounts or topics on one social media channel. You can get analytics for Twitter, Instagram or Tumblr with one of these plans. You can keep your subscription running for new campaigns or clients (and change what you’re monitoring at any time), or you can cancel when you’re done. It’s an easy way to get the real-time analytics you need without a long-term commitment.
Simply pick the channel where you’ll be running your campaign, and sign up for the plan that meets your needs. We can walk you through a demo to show you exactly what you’ll be getting. We offer monthly and annual pricing.
I want to track an upcoming campaign across multiple social media.
For our larger customers or anyone wanting analytics across social media channels, the Union Metrics Social Suite is a great choice. With it you can monitor your social efforts on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram AND Facebook, all in one place. That includes analytics for all accounts and topics you’re interested, plus cool features like our actionable insight stream.
Don’t worry, we still have different plan sizes to choose from so you can pick the one that best suits your needs, or the needs of your clients. The Social Suite starts at just $500 per month!
Why should I use Union Metrics?
We’re always happy to help!
Recently we looked at how Snapchat has evolved for brands, but we wanted to dig a little deeper into how exactly content on Snapchat differs for brands, and show you with more examples across different industries. After all it’s one thing to have a vague idea about the disappearing images those kids are sending and what actually goes into the stories teams are building to send to their Snapchat fans.
Still got questions? Leave ‘em in the comments! Let’s get snapping.
1. It’s more informal
While other platforms like Instagram are all about beautiful, well-staged photography- particularly product tableaus for many brands- Snapchat is more about sharing what’s happening in the moment, with quality as a lesser concern. (Possibly a result of the in-app camera being generally darker and the photos compressed to save server space.) The relaxed tone leaves viewers feeling more like an insider than someone looking at repurposed magazine shots, and that can create a sense of intimacy with a brand that can lead to customer loyalty.
2. And less aspirational
The informal feel of Snapchat means viewers aren’t expecting to see their aspirations laid out for them the way they are in places like Instagram and Pinterest. Brands who normally present a more luxurious, well-staged feel- like Sephora- tone things down on Snapchat to bring their followers of-the-moment updates. Snapchat is the sweatpants-in-the-makeup-chair-before-a-photoshoot platform.
3. Making it perfect for behind-the-scenes shares
If you have access to the latest gadgets, the coolest musicians, or the upcoming fashion line, then Snapchat is the perfect place to share behind-the-scenes moments with these people and things in way that feels very intimate (like the sweatpants makeup chair example in the last section). Even though viewers know anyone can watch a story who chooses to follow that brand on Snapchat, it still feels like a celebrity has sent a story just to you, especially if they take over an MTV rep’s phone and shoot in selfie mode.
4. But it still matches overall brand aesthetic
While it’s important not to overly stage and process your Snapchat content- which is impossible, given the previously mentioned in-app camera quality- you DO still want it to feel cohesive with the rest of your brand. Viewers can take screenshots and those will end up on the wild of the Internet, so unless it’s a strategic brand move, you don’t want to completely depart from the rest of your visual brand.
How do you do that? Let’s look at some examples more in-depth.
Brands on Snapchat: How they do it.
Beauty brand Sephora has an extensive social presence that is very cohesive and navigates the differences between each platform well; you can compare the well-staged and lit product shots and celebrity regrams on their Instagram profile, their well-executed digital magazine on Tumblr, similar product shots and information shared across their Twitter and Facebook profiles, and their extensive Pinterest presence (how-tos, inspiration) with their much more informal Snapchat presence:
NPR has a more serious expected presence as a news organization, so Snapchat is a great way for them to infuse more personality into their reporting with some behind-the-scenes tours, quick facts from various reporters, on-the-ground reporting for breaking news, and more. They’ve written extensively about their experience with Snapchat on their Social Media Desk Tumblr, with their latest intern sharing her experience with running Snapchat for a major news organization, how to engage an audience on Snapchat, and even the difference in reporting a breaking news event on different platforms (Snapchat vs. Instagram). Even if you’re not a news organization, there are some great takeaways from NPR. Particularly: Experiment, try new things, don’t be afraid to fail. It makes you more human to your audience.
Mashable has a much lighter brand reputation, known for mixing in fun, Buzzfeed-esque posts alongside reporting from big tech events and covering product and platform updates. Their Snapchat is incredibly well-executed, utilizing all the different ways the platform has to communicate: Drawing on the screen, combining drawing with text, emojis, and more:
Finally GE uses Snapchat to show off a much more casual side of their brand. While their Tumblr is full of high quality images and gifs around different science and tech that you can see repurposed on their Instagram profile, while Facebook and Twitter share science and tech news of a slightly different flavor repackaged for each place, they use Snapchat to share quick science facts and encourage viewers to engage with them back on those different platforms:
Bonus: Basic updates
Recently Snapchat has released some updates that make it even easier to use. Where you used to have to hold your finger on the screen to view a snap- and if you let go, the countdown didn’t stop!- now you simply tap a snap or story to view it. Dismissing a story simply requires swiping down from the top of the screen instead of letting go, but is still an option in case you decide viewing an up-close-and-personal running of the bulls isn’t for you.
We’ve briefly discussed before that you can track anything cross-posted to Twitter from an account on another social platform - a Vine video or Instagram photo – by using TweetReach, but we wanted to give some more specific tips about how these different platforms work together so you can get the best results possible for anything you’re tracking.
As always, let us know if you still have questions by leaving them in the comments, or shooting us an email.
TweetReach and Vine
Since Vine is a Twitter app and TweetReach is made to measure Twitter, you might think the easiest way to measure a Vine would be to track a particular tweet it was embedded in, but tracking the unique URL of the Vine itself will get you better results; if it gets picked up or shortened anywhere else on Twitter we should still be able to grab it.
With snapshot reports, all you need to do is put the URL of the Vine in the search box, like with this Vine of a panda from the San Diego Zoo. (For more details on what you can search in a snapshot report, see this.)
And your returned report will look a little something like this.
Remember, however, that snapshots return limited results; even a full report purchased for $20 will only return results for up to 1500 tweets (reports will always tell you at the top if there are enough tweets to warrant purchasing a full report) so if it’s a wildly popular Vine that has been shared widely, your report won’t cover all of those shares. But if you don’t have a big budget or just want to get an idea of the scope of a single Vine, a snapshot is perfect for your needs.
For those with a bigger budget, TweetReach Pro can track a Vine as one of the queries in a Tracker; just be sure you use the URL of the specific Vine you want for the best results rather than its title. Just putting the word “Vine” will give you a Tracker filled with much more useless noise than with the information that you want. Always be as specific as possible with your search terms!
TweetReach and Instagram
While Instagram revoked display cards for Twitter, never fear, you can still track any Instagram photo cross-posted to Twitter by its unique URL, or by any unique hashtags you may have paired with it. You can track both and compare results; it’s possible that someone saw your tweet and picked up a hashtag for their own use, perhaps purposefully for a contest, or as an organic use of online language.
For a full breakdown of how to track Instagram with a TweetReach Pro Tracker, see this post. For running a quick snapshot report, it will be the same as with Vines above: Simply plug in the URL of the Instagram photo you’re wanting to track, and you’ll get an idea of the spread of that particular Instagram photo on Twitter shortly.
TweetReach and Snapchat
Snapchat is a little bit trickier to track, simply because anything from the site will be a screenshot that someone has taken of a snap or a story and shared. If the screenshot of a snap was directly uploaded to Twitter, all you have to do is track that particular tweet; best results will be by tracking a specific hashtag tweeted with it (for example, #PatriotSnapsWhatUp for the snap below), but you can also search the specific wording of the tweet in quotes.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) June 19, 2015
Is that everything?
That’s all we’ve got for now. Got any questions? Check out our help page for more details on what you can track with TweetReach and how, or leave any additional questions in the comments!
Even though Facebook is currently the most widely-used social network on the planet with more than 1.3 billion users, it’s not always easy for brands to know how to create relevant content that reaches the widest audience. Not only is Facebook itself always changing how it displays page content, but users are constantly using Facebook in new and different ways. So here are some tips to help you make the most of Facebook.
PS – Did you know we offer Facebook analytics now? We do! Learn more here.
1. Post visual content
Visual content marketing is everywhere (we should know; we wrote an ebook about it), and Facebook is no exception. It’s why your aunt posts so many unfortunate memes that flood your News Feed. Eye-catching images make you at least pause and go, Wait, what is that? Just be sure to take your images beyond “WTF” to “whatever is useful and engaging to your particular audience”. Unless WTF is on-brand for you.
2. Post more content when your audience is around
This seems obvious but can be neglected when you’re stressed out and just need to get something posted every day. Pay attention to what Facebook Insights- or your attractive and insightful Union Metrics Facebook analytics- tell you about the time your fans spend on Facebook, and use that to help decide when to post to your page. If you post at 11am and they all log in at 6pm, are they still going to see your post on their News Feed? Test a few different times, pay attention to the engagement rates, and plan accordingly going forward.
3. Use hashtags effectively
While a ton of hashtags might work well to get your content in front of more eyeballs on Instagram, our research has shown that you should use just one or two hashtags per post on Facebook. But again, this is something you’ll have to test and gauge the response of your own audience on. Maybe they’re #triple #hashtag #threat people.
4. Boost some of your content
Which posts have gotten high organic engagement? Compare them to pull out common elements, then try posting something that includes many or all of those elements. Then boost that post to see if you can improve your reach and engagement even more. Boosting some content will help all the rest of your content get shown more often.
5. Create content that works across channels
Even with unlimited resources, it’s smart to design content you can get mileage out of across the platforms your fans, followers and customers are active on. Ideally you’ll want to create striking images that can be tweaked for maximum impact on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and wherever else it is that your people are.
6. Include relevant people and locations in your posts
Employee advocacy is an important part of growing your brand, and socially savvy employees will enjoy the recognition of being tagged in event photos or for writing a post. You can also mention influencers or personal brands in posts. Tagging relevant people and places will give your content the chance to earn an extra boost from being seen by the networks of those people and places, and just maybe someone new will decide to check you out.
7. Post often, but not too often
While a Facebook News Feed moves slower than a typical Twitter timeline, you can still update a few times a day without overwhelming your followers, simply based on the algorithm Facebook uses to show fans and followers new content; unless a fan has specifically updated their settings to see as many of your posts as possible, they’ll most likely only see one. You easily can post 2-3 times a day, maybe more. But in general, we advise against posting more than 5 times a day for most pages.
8. Be responsive
According to some reports, a majority of brands aren’t responsive to customer queries and complaints on their Facebook pages; be sure you’re one of the ones that is! This is an easy way to stand out from your competition, and it’s just plain good customer service. Treat it just like you would Twitter for customer questions.
9. Learn from the best
Take a look at successful Facebook pages in different industries to get new ideas for what might work for your brand. You can learn a lot by watching others (both what to do and what not to do!). Test a few different things with your audience before sticking to what works as measured by the things that matter most to you and your brand.
10. The bottom line
Work to understand which content performs best for your audience. Start with best practices but don’t be afraid to experiment. Then measure, learn, and implement what you’ve learned.
What’s the best branded Facebook page you’ve seen? Tell us about it in the comments!