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4 tips for visual content marketing across platforms

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Merle coaster

From our Instagram account.

Whether you’re building or maintaining your brand voice online, cohesiveness is important. You need to create a consistent experience across social media channels, particularly in your visual content marketing tactics. To be successful in any social media channel, you need content that fits that channel. However, it’s time consuming and impractical to create brand new creative for every single social media platform you participate in. So it’s important to strike the balance between sharing carbon content copies on every social channel, and a taking a completely unique approach in each place.

If you don’t know where to start with your cross-channel content marketing, start with these four tips:

1. Know the best practices for images on each platform.

Audiences seem to like different image elements on different platforms; be sure you have the most up-to-date information about what performs well in each place. Get started with 4 tips for creating content that works across social channels (includes a list of resources for best practices on each platform) and see an example of a cross-platform campaign with The best back-to-school campaigns on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.

2. But your own analytics should take precedence.

If the best practice for a particular social channel tells you that photos without faces in them perform the best, but your audience engages more with photos that do have faces, then continue to include faces in your content. What your audience likes and responds to is always what you should design your content strategy around. Best practices simply give you a place to start from and something to test against.

3. Know what elements are important to tie your brand together.

Identify the elements you consider a key part of demonstrating the core values of your business and find a way to communicate that visually across platforms. Color schemes, fonts, framing, and even copy placement are all things to consider (consult your style guide, or build one). Tweak until everything feels just right, then make sure to incorporate enough in every new piece to make it clear that it’s your piece.

4. Tailor copy for every platform.

This is about visuals sure, but rarely do we post a visual without any accompanying words. Don’t just write up one caption or paragraph and paste it with the same photo everywhere you have a social presence. Tailor everything to fit what your audience has shown they like in each place. If you don’t know what that is, start testing and be sure to track your audience’s responses.

Written by Sarah

February 24th, 2015 at 9:04 am

The power of visual storytelling on Twitter (and beyond!)

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It’s no secret that in the never-ending stream of 140-character messages that is Twitter a snappy visual can make yours stand out; Twitter themselves did a study and found that across different content categories adding an image to your tweet boosted engagement in the form of a higher retweet rate.

So simply adding photos to your tweets is a great starting place and one that we’ve discussed before as Twitter has rolled out more image-friendly updates. But if you want to take it further than just adding relevant visuals to tweets, design a way to tell a visual story on Twitter. Put together something where the pieces can stand individually- after all, your tweets will be part of your followers’ stream- but when a prospective follower or curious fan looks at your homepage, they also see a cohesive visual story that communicates your campaign or company values, whatever it is that you’re trying to get across.

What does this look like?

Starbucks is great about using their timeline to tell little mini-stories, and they incorporate their fans and followers in them by retweeting their tweets as well. A great example is a recent celebration of National Croissant Day:

Starbucks visual storytelling Twitter

 

This example also takes it further, by integrating Snapchat. (We’ll talk more about expanding to other platforms in just a bit!)

Keeping things to Twitter, look at the timelines of any major brands you admire and ask yourself what makes their presentation successful or unsuccessful; do their visuals feel cohesive? Do they work together towards telling a single story and letting you know what they can do for you? Figure out how you can answer those questions and provide value to your own fans, followers, and customers.

Take it beyond a campaign.

Twitter shouldn’t just be about selling to your audience; using it like a bullhorn to shout at your fans and followers is unlikely to result in a reciprocal, engaged relationship with them. Use your social presence to tell any number of stories about your brand. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Tell the story of how your company came to be
  • Tell the story of how two companies came together as one in a merger, or the story of a rebranding
  • Show off company culture: Share spontaneous images your employees take of one another and let them tell daily office stories in their own words
  • Show off company values: Share the story of a day spent volunteering, or the different charitable things employees do on their own time and how you support them
  • Tell the story of an event or anniversary of your company
  • Tell the story of a partnership of two brands or a brand and a celebrity spokesperson around a campaign

All of these are ways to show off the human side of your brand, in addition to giving your employees some storytelling power.

Take it even beyond Twitter.

Go beyond just adding a photo to your tweets and use photos to tell a story not just on Twitter but across platforms: Tailor your story so that it’s told on your Facebook timeline, on your Tumblr, across your Instagram page. You can choose different parts of your story to tell in each place, if that feels more appropriate for your brand. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your narrative as long as you stay true to your brand values and the voice you’re trying to build or strengthen. 

See an example of each for inspiration: IKEA built a catalog on Instagram last year, Charity: Water mixes in stories from their different well-building campaigns with user-generated stories on their Facebook page (also seen below), and Sephora’s Tumblr acts as a combination catalog and digital magazine repository of inspirational images, tips, and tricks for their followers.

Charity Water FB

One woman even used Pinterest to tell the story of her Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler, which eventually expanded to a presence on other networks and a book. In that case a powerful visual story became a brand.

Test content types constantly.

Finally, use the engagement levels on the types of visual content you use- images with words superimposed on them, images without words but with captions, etc- to plan content types moving forward. And you’ll want to keep testing; your audience’s tastes will most likely shift over time.

Written by Sarah

February 18th, 2015 at 9:41 am

5 ways to make the most of snapshot reports

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Our snapshot reports are a great way to get some quick analytics about a conversation or topic on Twitter, and we want to help you get the most out of them that you can! Here are five ways to make the most of your snapshots.

TweetReach snapshot report for #brandchat

1. Maximize your results

Take your snapshot as soon as a tweet chat, event or campaign ends to capture the best data possible. Free snapshots include up to 50 Tweets and $20 full snapshots include up to 1,500 Tweets, both from the past couple days (up to one week back in many cases). The longer you wait to run your report, however, the better chance that you’ll miss the best data. So don’t wait!

2. Narrow your results

Taking a snapshot of a weekly chat? Use the “since” modifier (example: #RKChat since:2015-01-30 would go in the search bar) to get results from just that day’s chat, and not any anticipatory chatter from the night before. To narrow your search in other ways to get exactly the data you want, check out this full list of advanced operators.

3. Do your research

Running a few free reports around different keywords, topics or hashtags can help you narrow your focus and decide which will be worth paying for a full snapshot, or even going Pro if you’ve got that option in your budget. Test out a variety of queries to see how the metrics compare.

4. Scope out the competition

A snapshot report on a Twitter account can give you a quick idea of that account’s recent activity; which tweets are the most retweeted? Who’s talking to and retweeting their posts? How large is their social footprint? You can run a snapshot report for any public Twitter account, so take a look at how your competitors stack up.

5. Scope out influencers

Who else is important in your industry? Run a few snapshots on the influencers in your community to find common threads and use them to improve your Twitter content strategy. See what you can learn from the experts. You may find new hashtags or people to follow.

Give it a try! Run your own free snapshot report right now.

Written by Sarah

February 12th, 2015 at 8:36 am

Using Twitter lists to understand your audience

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2015 is well underway and it’s a great time to take a look at how your content is performing with your audience across the board, and admit some hard truths if things aren’t resonating as well as you’d hoped in the rosy plans you made at the end of 2014. If January has been slow with your audience it’s not a reason to give up. It is a reason to utilize a Twitter feature that’s been around for a while in a whole new way: Twitter lists. (Completely new to Twitter lists? Here’s a guide from Twitter themselves.)

To Do List by John Schultz via Flickr

This may seem overwhelming at first, but putting in the work now can help keep track of various customer segments- and competition- going forward. Image used with permission via Creative Commons License. Via John Schultz on Flickr.

 

How do I organize these lists?

This will take some time, but it’s worth it, since keeping up with your entire Twitter stream every day (never mind retaining all of that information about everyone you follow) is impossible. What should these lists look like? Start with these general categories, and then make more specific lists that uniquely fit your brand and your customers:

  • Customers: A list to frequently check in on regarding purchases, and to interact with regularly
  • Former customers: Consider breaking this down into smaller lists; why did they leave? Did they have the budget for just one campaign with you? Did they go to your competitor? Monitor that list to see if they’re unhappy with your competitor too (some people can never be pleased), or if your competitor offers something you don’t.
  • Influencers: A list to retweet great content from, and interact with regularly; important people to build respectful relationships with
  • Competitors: An easy way to keep an eye on what your competition is up to so you don’t get blindsided with new developments in your market
  • Tweet chat attendees: Do you attend a lot of Twitter chats around your industry? Consider individual lists for those you interact with regularly in specific chats
  • Employees: An easy way to find everyone’s handle if you’re celebrating their hire, anniversary, or highlighting great work that they do
  • Businesses you work with: A list makes it easy to help share their announcements, big wins, etc; they’re more likely to do the same for you in return!
  • Brand advocates: Customers you definitely want to interact with regularly, and reward in a way that makes sense for your brand

Before you start making these lists, be sure you know if you want them to be public or private. Choosing to make a list of influencers in your industry public could be a smart move, as it inspires a little healthy competition between influencers, but you might want to keep a list of your competitor’s customers private so they don’t feel like you’re intruding on them, and your own customers private so your competitors don’t have a handy list to poach from.

How do private lists work?

When you add someone to a public list on Twitter, they are notified about it. Private lists, however, are only accessible to you and anyone that you add to them will not be notified that you are following them via a list. No one else can see them either.

Anything else?

It’s okay to have overlap on these lists; everyone doesn’t have to fit neatly onto a single list. This is also a reason you’ll want to make some of your lists private. If you add one customer to the customer list, the brand advocate list, and two Twitter chat lists, that could be a little overwhelming for them. Always err on the side of being cautious when you communicate with your customers. You want to be friendly and responsive, but never make them feel like you’re stalking them. Don’t be creepy.

Written by Sarah

January 26th, 2015 at 9:34 am

Posted in Guides

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Quick Twitter analytics with TweetReach snapshot reports

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Here’s a brief primer on TweetReach snapshot reports – great for quick Twitter analytics on recently posted tweets.

Our free Twitter analytics snapshots include up to 50 tweets posted in the past few days. And our full snapshot reports include Twitter analytics on up to 1500 tweets from the past week (whichever comes first) for just $20. Both are perfect for fast insight into recent Twitter activity around anything – a hashtag, phrase, tweet, account, keyword, or any combination. You can run TweetReach snapshot reports any time, for any topic, on tweetreach.com.

Use our snapshot reports to learn more about:

  • Hashtag analytics – How has a hashtag been used recently? How large is the conversation around a hashtag? How are the main influencers using a Twitter hashtag?
  • Twitter account analytics – How far are your tweets reaching? Who is retweeting and engaging with your account?
  • Competitor analysis – How do multiple Twitter accounts compare to each other? Who has the largest reach on Twitter? Who’s getting more engagement?
  • Quick research – What kinds of things were people tweeting about a particular keyword, phrase or hashtag?
  • Tweet analytics – How far did a particular tweet spread? Who was retweeting or quoting a tweet? Who was responsible for the most impressions?

Try it now! You’ll have results in seconds.

And if you like our snapshot reports, you can now get more of them than ever before! TweetReach Pro subscription plans now include unlimited full snapshot reports, and start at just $99 per month. Learn more and sign up now.

Written by Jenn D

January 19th, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Want to analyze older or historical tweets? We can help!

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At Union Metrics, we can access any tweets in Twitter’s history for TweetReach analytics reporting! So if you’re interested in understanding the impact of tweets about a past campaign or project, we can help. Use this guide to see which TweetReach product you need, depending on when your tweets were posted.

When were the tweets posted?

Recently

If the tweets you’re interested in were posted in the past week, try running a snapshot report. Snapshot reports are great for recent, smaller events. Free snapshots include up to 50 recent tweets, and our full $20 snapshots will include up to 1500 tweets from the past few days (usually up to a week).

A while ago

If the tweets are more than one week old, you’ll need our premium historical analytics. With our historical Twitter analytics, we access the full Twitter archive and can analyze any public tweets that have ever been posted, dating back to March 2006. Pricing starts at $199 and is based on report duration and total tweet volume. Request a quote or more information here.

In the future

If the tweets haven’t been posted yet, set up a Tracker with our TweetReach Pro Twitter analytics subscriptions. That starts at just $99 per month, which includes real-time, ongoing monitoring for two topics, hashtags, keywords or accounts and up to 100,000 tweets per month. You just need to set up your Tracker before tweets start going out, and we can capture them all. You can see full pricing here.

Learn more

If you’d like to learn more about our premium historical analytics, let’s talk! Email us if you have any questions or read more on our website.  You may also want to read this post on how to take advantage of our historical Twitter analytics.

Old Skool Tweet

 

Image via Iain Farrell on Flickr 

Written by Jenn D

January 9th, 2015 at 10:01 am

Posted in Guides,Help

Tagged with , ,

4 steps to use metrics from a past campaign to improve a future campaign

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Everything in life is a learning experience, but sometimes it seems that social media campaigns can teach us particularly frustrating lessons. You can meticulously research best practices for campaigns in your industry across social platforms, and still get results below expectation. That doesn’t mean that campaign was a complete failure; it’s just telling you that your customers, fans, and followers don’t fit neatly into the best practice mold. 

So take this opportunity to meld any best practice suggestions with what you’ve learned to be true about your audience. How? All you need is your most recent Twitter-based campaign and these four steps to get started.

Step 1: Get your data, and decide what went well.

Hopefully you set up comprehensive tracking before you launched the start of your campaign, or took something like regular snapshots during its execution in order to track its performance. If you didn’t, don’t panic. We offer premium historical Twitter analytics that can get however much or little campaign information you need from the past into the present. Either way, once you have your data it’s time to dig in and take a look. First, the good news; what went well? Collect your best-performing tweets and set them aside until we get to step 3.


Twitter campaign

 

Pay attention to what causes spikes in your reach; did you get a boost from an influencer? Be sure to nurture your relationship with them!

Step 2: Decide what went badly, and ask yourself some honest questions.

Find the tweet that got the lowest engagement, and ask yourself some questions about why its engagement was so low:

  • Was it the time that you posted it compared to others?
  • Did it have an image?
  • Did it have hashtags?
  • How many hashtags?
  • Was there an Instagram link without an image directly uploaded to Twitter?
  • Was there a link to a blog post, but no image or hashtags?

You get the idea. Figure out the common threads between successful tweets, and figure out the common threads between your least successful tweets and base your next campaign’s content off of the former.

Step 3: Utilize specific insights from steps 1 and 2 to decide what you can do better.

From your analysis of what went well and what went not-so-well, choose a set of criteria around which you’ll plan your next campaign. Be sure to include the following:

  • Time of day: Post during the times that yielded the best results before, and avoid the least-engaged times.
  • Hashtags: Note the number used in successful tweets, which particular hashtags performed well, and identify some new ones to try out. Did you have a dedicated campaign hashtag? Test one this time around.
  • Content type (images etc): Did tweets with images perform better? What style of image? Did one style perform better on Twitter vs. Instagram? Were your images and branding cohesive?
  • Repeated post performance: Did you post the exact same tweet several times, or tweaked versions? Did you use the same content across platforms?
  • Promotion from team: Did your team help promote the campaign from their personal accounts, where appropriate? Encourage them to do so, or with different tactics in your next campaign.
  • Promotion from brand advocates: Identify who the biggest influencers and advocates around your campaign were and nurture the relationship. This will make them more likely to be an influencer in your next campaign as well.

Step 4: Plan what to measure with your next campaign.

Once you have your content plans in place, plan what you’re going to track, and how you’re going to track it. Once that campaign has ended, do a side-by-side analysis of the two campaigns to get an even clearer picture of how your fans, followers, and customers engaged with your content. If you do this with every campaign, they can only get stronger.

Written by Sarah

December 16th, 2014 at 9:02 am

How to track share of voice and the competition across platforms

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We’ve talked before about how to track your share of voice in the industry on Twitter (and how to increase it), but how do you monitor your share of voice and the competition across platforms? Here are some steps to get you started doing just that. Have questions or something we didn’t cover here? Leave it in the comments, find us on Twitter, or email us!

 First: Identify keywords for your industry

If you’re in marketing, for example, start with broader terms like “marketing” and then look at the more specific terms you’re interested in, such as “social media marketing” and “content marketing”. Who is talking about these things? What hashtags go with them? (We’ll get more into this one in the next step.)

Marketing

Make a list of these keywords and hashtags to set up your tracking with. You don’t have to come up with them off the top of your head, either; searching one in Twitter’s search bar, for example, will turn up the top tweets associated with that term and show you with other terms and hashtags those top tweeters are using. This helps you narrow down your list much quicker!

#contentmarketing

Alternatively, you can start or supplement by browsing the timelines of big names in your industry and seeing what keywords and hashtags they use.

Second: Ask, are these keywords and hashtags the same across platforms?

Popular hashtags are rarely the same across all platforms, with the exception of big ones like #TBT. The group of people you might want to be found alongside in an audience member’s search result might be using #smm on Twitter, something else entirely on Tumblr, and nothing like that at all on Instagram, because your competitors are using that particular platform to show off their company culture. Do your due diligence in research to find out what exactly you need to be tracking in each place.

#contentmarketing Ig

Who is using this hashtag on Instagram? Is it your competitor, or those in a different industry?

And don’t worry too much if it isn’t obvious at first; you can always adjust as you keep going. This is just to get started!

Third: Set up trackers for benchmark numbers

To know what your share of voice is you’re going to need some starting numbers to work from, or benchmarks. Set up a tracking system- something like our TweetReach Pro Trackers would work wonderfully to keep an eye on several conversations- to capture the conversation around the key terms and hashtags you identified earlier, then monitor these over time and compare how often your brand appears in conversation versus that of your competitors.

TR Tracker content marketing

TweetReach Pro doesn’t just cover Twitter conversations either; it can keep track of content posted on Twitter from other platforms, like links shared from Tumblr or Instagram photos. If you do want a comprehensive suite to track your keywords and hashtags in each place, we can help with that.

Fourth: Analyze and recalibrate

Once you have a good chunk of data to work with, ask yourself some questions, such as:

  • Are you using the popular hashtags you already identified to their full potential in the posts you’re making across platforms?
  • Who else is regularly using these hashtags; are you already following them? Do you engage them in conversations? (Start doing this if you aren’t already!)
  • What about your competitors’ strategy can you emulate; a certain posting style, or frequency? Test this alongside what your results tell you that you’re doing well.

If you’re using TweetReach Pro, you can find the answer to which other popular hashtags to use and who the top contributors are in the conversation- to include in your conversation- in their respective sections of the Tracker:

SM Analytics Top Hashtags

Are you tracking and using these hashtags?

SM Analytics Top Contributors

Are you following, listening to and engaging with these top contributors to the conversation you’re monitoring?

Additionally you can see how active these influencers are on other platforms, and how they’re contributing to the conversation in each place. A personal brand might have a strong following on Twitter, but only use Instagram for photos of family, friends and hobbies.

One more thing

Don’t have the budget to go TweetReach Pro? If you time it right, you can compare free or full snapshot reports from regular intervals to get at least a slice of the conversation. While real-time, ongoing analytics that can encompass an entire conversation are more comprehensive and will give you much richer data, small slices give you a starting point!

Written by Sarah

December 9th, 2014 at 10:24 am

3 ways to take advantage of social media in football stadiums

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NFL Game Day

From the NFL’s official Instagram account

Many NFL and college football stadiums have built-in wifi to help fans post to their social accounts during games, but teams are still trying to figure out to take advantage of social media IN the stadium. We have three suggestions for how to get fans to increase their existing social activity, or start posting if they aren’t already.

1. Make it worth your fans’ while

Consider working with vendors to create and share some social-only deals during the game. Customers will get used to routinely checking their accounts for deals on hotdogs, drinks, merchandise and more during games. Just make sure they know about it ahead of time by promoting it across social media leading up to games and by announcing it around the stadium with physical collateral.

Want to take it a step further? Organize a contest to meet one of the players, be an official game photographer for five minutes, or take a game ball home. You could also organize social contests to win tickets to a game, or special VIP seats and treatment, increasing your reach when the winner shares their experience and tags your accounts in it! It’s also possible that a winner who is a casual fan will be motivated to invest more on tickets, merchandise, and more for future seasons because they had such a great experience.

2. Show some behind-the-scenes action

While this may, at first, seem counter intuitive- after all, if you’re posting it on social media anyone anywhere can see it, not just those in the stadium- if done correctly you can encourage more casual fans to want to be in the stadium where the behind-the-scenes action is taking place.

How? Talk to the social media teams behind each team, and see what kind of content they can work up that gives a feeling of access to what players, coaches, supporting staff, and overall teams go through leading up to a game. If the content is good enough, you can foster some serious FOMO (fear of missing out) for those not experiencing the action both in real life and on their screen; they’ll want to be the ones explaining to their buddies in the seat next to them exactly what everyone was doing that lead up to that great scoring play.

3. Be consistent

This is a major rule of playing in social in general: The more consistent you are with your content, the more your existing audience is going to stick around and engage with you, and the more new fans and followers will be encouraged to become just that in first place. If they come to your profiles in the offseason and don’t see plans for what you’re going to be doing when things start back up again, they’ll be less interested in checking back in later.

If you are posting consistent, engaging content even in the offseason- sharing how teams plan, how players train, what else goes on in keeping a stadium up and running that most fans never think about- they’ll be even more excited for official season activities to launch because they’re so much more a part of the entire process.

And it all starts with some good, strong, in-stadium wi-fi.

Written by Sarah

November 25th, 2014 at 11:02 am

Posted in Guides

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NFL fans and Instagram: 5 steps to follow fan activity

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NFL fans

From the @nflfanstyle Instagram account, a good start at UGC content and fostering fan engagement

To keep your fans’ attention, you’ve got to meet them where they are, and they are definitely on Instagram. User-generated content is an important part of a robust social strategy that engages your fans and followers; it’s exciting for them to know that you’re paying attention to what they’re posting for a sports team that they love, and that they might even have a chance to be featured on an official account or win a prize from their activity.

Step 1: Follow the general #NFL hashtag on Instagram.

What kinds of content do you see? Click around on some of the photos, keeping an eye out for those that seem like they were posted (or at least taken, we’ll get to that in a minute) during a game. What do they have in common? You will want to pay attention to those that fall into two categories: Those posted from an off-site watch party such as their home, a bar, or a friend’s house, and those posted from the stadium itself.

If your aim is to boost engagement from fans who are in the stadium during games, pay attention to the captions on photos, as well as the other hashtags being used. Are they posting a photo taken in the stadium, but uploading it from a different location after the game, or even days later, because they couldn’t get service in the stadium? The hashtag #latergram is a big indicator here.

What other hashtags should you look for? That’s in the next step.

Step 2: Check out related hashtags used on those #NFL posts.

What other hashtags are people using? If you see a lot of #latergram, you know you need to do something like implement better wifi in your stadium so fans don’t have to rely on using their cellphone data or an overcrowded network that isn’t reliable. Pay attention to any other recurring hashtags from the fans you’re wanting to connect with. Is there an organic hashtag they’ve created around their favorite teams or players? Which ones are you seeing over and over? Make a note of them, because you’ll need them in the next step.

Step 3: Track and listen.

Using something like our Union Metrics for Instagram analytics, set up some monitoring around the hashtags that specifically target the fans you want to reach. Concentrate on any hashtags fans have created and spread to one another. These will give you unparalleled insight into how fans discuss teams, players, and their overall experience with being an NFL fan.

Step 4: Implement a plan to increase engagement where you want it

Now that you have an idea of what the existing conversation is like, you can make a plan for how to improve it. Would more fans post during games if you improved wifi or cell service in the stadium? Do fans seek an incentive, like contests or social-only deals that go out during a game? How else can you increase engagement from fans?

Figure out what it is, make a plan, and make it happen.

Step 5: Measure, rinse, repeat.

Once you have some benchmark numbers from your initial analysis, make sure you keep checking to see if your engagement levels are increasing with each new step that you implement, like upgrading service connections in the stadium, for example, or before, during, and after a contest. This will tell you what’s working and what’s not, to let you know what you should keep doing more of and give you new ideas for content and strategy moving forward.

Anything else?

This doesn’t just apply to the NFL either; these same steps can work for college football or any other sports you’re interested in.

Have specific questions about how to make that happen, or how you can start using our Union Metrics for Instagram analytics? Leave us a comment, or shoot us an email. We’re always happy to help!

Written by Sarah

November 24th, 2014 at 8:23 am