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

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

Twitter

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

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

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

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

SXSWV2V Twitter

Instagram

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

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

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

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

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

SXSW V2V Ig

Tumblr

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

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

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

Conference Speaker on Tumblr

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

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

The bottom line

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

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

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

Written by Sarah

July 9th, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Snapchat for brands part II: Brands who do it well

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We’ve already covered the basics of how Snapchat works and some of the specifics for how brands should be using the app, so now we wanted to show examples of how some different brands have been using snaps and stories to connect with their fans and followers. Consider their work as a guide and inspiration for how you might want to use Snapchat yourself.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell was one of the first brands to embrace using Snapchat, behind a yogurt chain called 16 Handles who used the platform to send out coupons. Taco Bell initially the app to advertise its Beefy Crunch Burrito:

And since then has used the new features that launched in May to start a Doodle War with its Snapchat friends, among other things:

Mashable

Mashable uses Snapchat as a way to show some behind-the-scenes office culture- birthday celebrations, etc- and more of what the company is up to, such as events they’re attending, like in the snap below:

Photo 6-25-14, 11 59 11 AM

Mashable is a good example of how using simple enhancements like the pencil tool in several layers of text can make a snap more vibrant and interesting. To ramp up engagement, they have also hosted weekly Snapchat Challenges, like this emoji challenge:

MTV

MTV uses Snapchat as a way to share brief interviews with and photos of different celebrities and artists with their Snapchat friends, and to do show promotions like their first ever Snap promoting their show Teen Wolf. (MTVTeenWolf is now its own Snapchat account.) MTV UK previously used it as a way to promote their show Geordie Shore, the UK version of Jersey Shore.

A snap of Teen Wolf star, Tyler Posey.

Audi and Pretty Little Liars (PLL)

PLL teamed up with media sponsor Audi to send out snaps during episodes of the show meant to line up with certain scenes in the first campaign of its kind. PLL fans get exclusive content they can’t get anywhere else to enhance their favorite program, and Audi gets to introduce itself to a new and younger demographic. While that demographic might not be in the market for luxury cars now, they will have an established relationship with Audi for the future.

A fan response snap to PLL and Audi.

Pitch Perfect 2

The cast of the sequel to Pitch Perfect has been sending mostly behind-the-scenes selfies to their Snapchat friends, the same kind most users send to their Snapchat friends who double as IRL friends. This creates a sense of intimacy above what even a 10-second video interview from your favorite artist via MTV does; they’re framed so that it looks like the star themselves might have snapped the shot and sent it to you.

Anything else I should know?

Yes! Be sure you share your Snapchat username with your fans and followers on other social sites who might want to add you! Most audience members won’t think to search for brands there, so you need to be proactive about letting them know that you’re there.

And that’s about it.

Got any questions, or know of anything that we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Written by Sarah

June 30th, 2014 at 10:09 am

Snapchat for brands part I: The basics & brand specifics

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The trend of platforms providing a place for users to exchange ephemeral content isn’t an obvious one for most brands to join in on; after all, why spend hours planning and executing content only to have it disappear in moments once it hits your audience’s screens? But just like any other social platform, if Snapchat is where your target demographic is, then it’s where you should be spending some of your time. If that’s the case- or you’re just a marketer or brand who loves to experiment- read on to find out all you need to know about marketing on Snapchat for brands.

What do I need to know before getting started?

If you’re already familiar with Snapchat then you can skip this section and head straight for the second section. Otherwise stick around for a basic breakdown of how the platform works.

The very basics: Snapchat scores & finding friends

Your score is simply the total number of snaps you have sent and received, as per Snapchat themselves. That’s all there is to it!

As for finding friends, Snapchat has step-by-step instructions for how to find and add friends that includes screenshots. You can add those who have added you, and find friends via your contacts, or through searching for their Snapchat username.

Stories vs. individual Snaps

Every time you take a snap you have the option to add it to “My Story”- a collection of snaps that add up to tell a bigger story and are viewable for 24 hours- and stories are now more popular than snaps. Stories are also a better choice for brands above sending individual snaps, and we’ll discuss this more in the next section.

Our Story

Snapchat just launched a new feature called “Our Story” that is meant to let Snapchatters collaborate on a bigger story around an event they are physically attending. At the moment the first and only event to have “Our Story” is the Electric Daisy Carnival, but the wording on the page about the feature suggests it will be open to other events in the future. People who aren’t currently attending an “Our Story” event can still add the event as a friend to view the ongoing, collaborative story so they don’t miss out on the experience entirely. This is a great way for event organizers and attendees to persuade them to attend in the future.

Replaying Snaps

You can only replay one snap every 24 hours, so choose carefully! Also keep in mind that your audience can only do the same; that’s important to keep in mind if you’re designing a Snapchat contest or sending coupons.

Notifications

Snapchat notifies the sender of a snap whenever a recipient takes a screenshot of their snap or a chat between them. They have different icons to let you know if your snaps and chats have been sent, viewed, and more. Snapchat will also notify you if someone replays a snap.

And that’s it for the basics; if you have more questions you can find answers to them in Snapchat’s own support site.

What do I need to know specifically as a brand?

This is where we get into the specifics for brands using Snapchat; while creating consistently intriguing content is a given, there are also different settings you’ll want to consider than if you were using Snapchat for personal reasons.

Settings

In your settings you’ll want to make sure that you set “Who is allowed to view my story?” to “Everyone”. Otherwise only those you’ve added as “My Friends” will be able to see it, and you’ll be missing out on voluntary eyeballs until you manually add everyone who adds you. With a popular brand that could be quite an undertaking.

The manual aspect of individual snaps can be a daunting prospect for brands- as of now there’s no way to create a single snap and click on a “send to all” option; you have to go through your list and choose each recipient individually-  but the workaround is adding all of the content you create to your story. (Whether or not you choose to let your audience send you snaps back is up to you, and would mostly be useful in terms of building engagement through reciprocation they can see- the icon will let them know you viewed their snap- or in conducting a Snapchat contest. The option of who is allowed to send you snaps is controlled in “Settings”.)

Also be sure to check out “Manage” under “Additional Services” to turn on the “Front-Facing Flash”, “Replay” option, and enable “Special Text”, all of which will enhance the content of your snaps.

Kinds of content to post

Truly creative content is what makes Snapchat sing, so you’ll want to plan and execute content using all of the features we mentioned earlier to make your snaps as interesting as possible:

  • Draw on your photos using the pencil icon in the upper right-hand corner using the full range of colors available; this gives you the ability to turn your snaps into just about anything

  • Tap on the screen to add text; turning on special text lets you alter it to be larger and adjust the positioning

  • If you have an emoji keyboard on your phone, Snapchat will support adding these characters in with your text

Other than utilizing those features, the kind of content you want to share will depend on your brand and what your goals are with the platform. Is it to share behind-the-scenes company culture? Is it to share brief behind-the-scenes interviews and photos with the stars of your show or movie? Is it to show off your products in new and interesting ways?

We’ll look at a few different types of brands using Snapchat in the next post to give you some ideas of what kind of content has been successful.

Frequency of snaps

While regular snaps are limited to a maximum time limit of 10 seconds, stories aren’t limited except to a 24 hour period of existence. However, since Snapchat was built to be a quick and fleeting experience, you might not want to be the first to discover what the limits of a story are. Keep it simple, sweet, and relatively short; set up stories of different lengths and see if you get an increase in activity around one type or length above others.

What do we mean by increased activity? Well, measuring Snapchat is difficult, but pay attention to things like how many people are adding you to their friend list, taking screenshots, choosing to replay your snaps, or even sending you snaps in reply if you choose to make that option available.

Anything else?

That’s it for now! Check out the basics in the first section of this post if you need to, or stick around for our next post covering which brands use Snapchat well. If you still have questions, leave ‘em in the comments!

Written by Sarah

June 26th, 2014 at 8:40 am

3 dos and don’ts for running a campaign across platforms

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Every social media platform has its own way of operating that stems from its users reasons for being there; the same person might use Twitter mostly for professional work connections and news, Facebook for family updates, Instagram to connect with friends, and Tumblr to keep up with the fandoms around their favorite shows, for example. If that person matches the ideal customer for a brand and that brand wants to run a social campaign across most or all of those platforms to reach that person, they need to tailor their message for each place.

How? Get started with these do’s and don’ts.

1. Don’t: discount a platform because you think you know what people are there for.

Do: The research to see how conversations form around things that matter to your brand. Instagram, for example, is often thought of as a place where people simply share photos with friends and family, but that’s not necessarily the case. Big events like the World Cup have enormous conversations happening around them on the photo-sharing site, and smart brands like Adidas have caught onto that.

Our Instagram analysis* showed that Adidas was a top publisher around the World Cup conversation on Instagram, and they received 22.7k actions (likes and comments) on their 5 World Cup related posts, earning 6.3 million impressions. That’s a big return on a relatively small effort, especially considering fan-run sports accounts and even official soccer athlete accounts are making anywhere from 14-128 posts related to the World Cup.

 2. Don’t: assume you know how to talk the talk.

Do: Listen first, then join the conversation respectfully. Tumblr, for example, has many different communities that all have different ways of speaking to each other, making jokes, and presenting information, all of which is part of the larger Tumblr community and culture. What works well in Twitter or Facebook advertising will not work well here; the users are part of a larger creative community and they respond well to brands who take the time to understand how Tumblr really operates (or they’re smart enough to hire and work with someone who does).

Denny’s, for example, has an extremely popular Tumblr that users have responded well to because it speaks in the language of Tumblr. It isn’t just an attempt to ape it.

Denny's Tumblr

3. Don’t: Be afraid to experiment.

Do: Learn from and build on your failures and successes alike. FIFA has a Twitter account for their official match ball. While normally inanimate objects spontaneously get their own parody Twitter accounts following a big cultural event with social coverage (Pharrell’s hat following the GRAMMY’s, for example), FIFA decided to give their match ball its own autonomy and hashtag early.

Running a quick free TweetReach report shows that the conversation and engagement around #ballin is already good, and there’s still more than a month of World Cup matches left to go. While something like a snapshot report gives a good idea of the general success of the account relative to the hashtag- it’s not just a bunch of people using the term in other, World Cup unrelated ways- more in-depth monitoring could tell FIFA what was successful and unsuccessful in their approach specific to Twitter, and help them plan better for next time. (You can read more about how to monitor a Twitter campaign with TweetReach here.)

So what does this mean for campaigns, exactly?

The bottom line is that you have to tailor your message to fit in each place, and that can only be done by taking the time to understand how the conversation around what your audience is interested in operates. Adidas looked at how sports fans use Instagram, Denny’s hired someone familiar with the culture of Tumblr and gave them the freedom to do it right, and FIFA is experimenting with giving their match ball its own voice.

After you’ve decided on the messaging for each platform- visual for Instagram and Tumblr, with different wording and approach on Twitter, for example- build goals based on how the audience you aim to reach in each place talks to one another about you or your industry. Are you there to increase your share of voice in the industry (here’s more on how to measure share of voice, and how to grow it), or to build engagement with your existing fans, while hopefully earning new ones? Your goals for the same campaign might be different for each platform, which increases the necessity for tailored messages in each place. 

The basic approach is the same in each place, however: Research, plan, test, measure, rinse, and repeat.

 

*Interested in our Union Metrics for Instagram analytics? Learn more here

Written by Sarah

June 18th, 2014 at 7:58 am

10 tips for live-tweeting sports events

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

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

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

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

Written by Sarah

June 12th, 2014 at 1:02 pm

Posted in Events,Guides

Tagged with ,

Travel resources on Twitter and more: Updated

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With Memorial Day approaching this weekend, summer travel is on the minds of many, and the resources to plan and execute the best trips for business or for pleasure lie within the social sites you know and love. Last year we looked at the Top travel resources on Twitter: Accounts to follow and chats to attend as well as the 10 best travel resources on social media and beyond. So what does the travel landscape look like on social in 2014?

On Twitter

All of the travel advice and perspective accounts from our Twitter travel resources post are still active and providing information on everything from amateur and budget travel to high-end luxury accommodations; skim the list to find and follow the users that fit your needs.

As for the travel chats, read over the transcripts to get an idea of which ones would be worth joining in on before you plan your next trip:

  • #MexMonday (all day Mondays): Check this one out if you’re planning a trip to Mexico 
  • #TravelTuesday (all day Tuesdays): Chat about all things travel-related
  • #CruiseChat (2pm EST Tuesdays): Whether you’re a veteran cruiser or new to boat-bound travel, find out all you need to know in this chat
  • #NUTS (Not-so-usual-therapy-session, aka travel and specifically roadtrips) seems to be used more as a generic hashtag than a travel related chat, but you can still check out the session recaps on their site.
  • #TTOT (5:30 am/pm EST Tuesdays): standing for Travel Talk on Tuesdays, you can check out the topic ahead of time on their Facebook page.
  • #LuxChat (2:30pm PST every 3rd Wednesday): While #LuxChat doesn’t always cover travel, keep an eye on the month’s chosen topic if treating yourself while you travel is your goal. You can find recaps of their chats on their Tumblr.
  • #TourismChat (2:00pm CST bi-weekly on Thursdays): Check the @tourismchat account for topics and transcripts.
  • #FriFotos (all day Fridays): You can find out each week’s theme from @EpsteinTravels

Other chats to check out:

Aren’t sure how to participate in a Twitter chat, or want to host your own? Check out our posts about how to get the most out of a chat as a participant or as a host.

Other social media travel resources

All of our holiday travel tips from last year still hold true, and if you’re looking at how to get the most out of travel blogging on Tumblr we’ve covered that too. (You can see all of our travel-related Tumblr posts here.)

We still recommend Pinterest for planning what you’re going to pack, what sites you want to see at your destination, and more. Instagram is an amazing way to catalog your travels that lets everyone at home follow along with you and avoids overwhelming them with an album of 200 new photos to parse when you get home.

But what about using Instagram for inspiring and planning your next trip? Stay tuned. We’ll have that for you soon!

If you’ve got any social media travel resources we missed, leave them in the comments, or let us know on Twitter.

Photo courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery. 

Written by Sarah

May 21st, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Twitter Tip: How Instagram posts translate to Twitter

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Ig Share Twitter

One of the highlights of using Instagram for brands is that once you’ve uploaded a post, you can quickly share it across several other platforms once you’ve connected your accounts: Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and Twitter.

It’s important to know the details of how exactly Instagram posts translate to each platform before you hit the share button; that way you can tweak your posts to get the best results across all of them.

On Twitter

Instagram posts on Twitter are shown as a link in the tweet, and they pull in all the text and the hashtags used to caption a post before the allotted 140 characters are used up. Here’s an example of this post as it was shared to Twitter, below:

Captions longer than 140 characters are truncated with an ellipses, as above, and if all of your hashtags are at the end of a long caption, none of them will translate to Twitter. If you want the full caption and hashtags to show up, keep it short; a short caption and no more than two or three hashtags (three will probably only work if you’re using shorter hashtags like #TBT). Remember that some of the characters will be used up on the link to the Instagram post itself.

Instagram will also translate another Instagram user’s account name that you’ve tagged in a post to their Twitter account username, if they’ve connected their accounts. If they haven’t connected their accounts, the tweet will show the person’s Instagram account name and will remove the “@” symbol so it doesn’t tag anyone on Twitter.

However, if you use the incorrect Instagram username when you tag someone in a post and it doesn’t match any Instagram users, it will translate to Twitter using the “@” symbol. Another reason to be sure you’re using the right account name (you should see it pop up while you’re typing it in, as in the photo below) when you decide to mention someone in a post you plan to share.

Ig mentions

Want more?

For more tips about using Instagram as a brand, head over to the Union Metrics blog.

For more Twitter tips, or tips specific to TweetReach, check out our master post from last week.

Written by Sarah

May 14th, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Best practices and tips for Twitter and TweetReach

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Whether you know someone just getting started with Twitter as they’re launching their new business, or you want to brush up on some of the basics yourself, we’ve rounded up all of the Twitter and TweetReach tips and best practices we’ve written up and tested and put them here for your convenience.

Twitter Best Practices

Twitter Hashtag Best Practices

Why you should use lists on Twitter

Use favorite tweets to find new resources

Brands: why you should favorite tweets

Using Twitter Trending Topics to your advantage

Twitter Quick Tips

Twitter Tip: Authorized apps 

Twitter Tip: Turn off mobile alerts at bedtime

Twitter Tip: User Widgets

Twitter Tip: Emergency alerts

Twitter Tip: Personalize

Twitter Tip: Discover

TweetReach Tips

Tracking Instagram, Vine and more with TweetReach (And now, of course, you can also use our Union Metrics for Instagram analytics!)

TweetReach Tip: Measuring the results of a Twitter contest

Using TweetReach to monitor a social media crisis

TweetReach Tip: Find & engage influencers on Twitter with TweetReach snapshot reports

TweetReach Tip: Common Tracker mistakes

TweetReach Tip: Improve your snapshot report search query

TweetReach Tip: Measuring the reach of a Twitter account

TweetReach Tip: Saving your snapshot reports

TweetReach Tip: Excluding tweets from your search

TweetReach Tip: Searching for a specific tweet

TweetReach Tip: Searching for URLs

TweetReach Tip: How to isolate specific dates in a Tracker

TweetReach Tip: How to isolate specific dates in a snapshot report

Today’s TweetReach Tip: When tweets are available for analysis

Got any good tips we missed or questions you want answered? Leave them in the comments, or find us on Twitter. We’re always happy to answer your questions!

Image courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery. 

Written by Sarah

May 7th, 2014 at 11:24 am

Healthcare companies and social media metrics: What to focus on, what to measure.

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At one point, cigarettes were apparently a trusted source of medical advice.

The industries that have moved more slowly to embrace the social media world have, understandably, been the more highly regulated industries such as law and healthcare. But as social has moved from what some saw as a quirky new marketing fad into a steady part of our daily lives, so too have these industries followed– and now they’re playing catchup. After all, the percentage of Americans alone who turn to social media- and trust it- for health information is growing.

The first step is making a plan to figure out what metrics are going to be important to measure on each of the social sites you decide to have a presence on, such as Twitter. So what metrics should healthcare companies focus on?

1. Decide what your goals are

Healthcare companies or professionals using social media will obviously have very different goals with their accounts compared to businesses in the beauty, travel, or other industries; there’s never a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to social.

By figuring out what you want to accomplish you’ll know what it is that you need to measure. Here are a few ideas of what a social presence can mean for a healthcare company:

  • Provide health resources

  • Provide support by answering company-specific questions

  • Provide support by hosting chats with qualified professionals to answer health-related questions

  • Communicate new information; for example, explaining recent changes to your company, or explaining what the new Affordable Healthcare Act means to those using your services

  • A combination of some or all of these

Many of these things will spread awareness of your brand and amplify your brand voice, particularly if you decide to participate in or host tweet chats. (If you want more information on building or establishing a brand voice, go here.) Tweet chats also lead to higher engagement with your audience. Which brings us to our next step.

2. Measure based on those goals.

If your goal is to increase awareness of your brand, you’ll want to look at share of voice, or specifically metrics like volume, reach, exposure, and amplification relative to the volume, reach, exposure, and amplification of your closest competitors, if they’re on social media. If they’re not on social media but your target audience is talking more about them than you, you need to really ask what they’re doing that you’re not. Here are more resources to break down how to measure each of these metrics specifically:

Amplification is definitely tied to share of voice- most metrics have some manner of overlap- but it’s also important to look at how others are helping to amplify your voice or your messages, which means looking at engagement as well. Retweets, annotated retweets (think the classic retweet, with commentary before the RT), link shares from your website, etc. The above resources cover much of this as well.

3. Rinse, repeat.

Social media is a constantly changing landscape, which can make it daunting to tackle, but the best way to go about it is just to jump in and listen, then start swimming. Establish a time period for regular evaluations- compile specific monthly metrics, schedule quarterly metric revisions- and investigate and change whatever isn’t working.

Social media basically consists of constant experimentation and adjustments, but with the right information it’s more of a fun and exciting project that a terrifying task. And as always, we’re here if you have questions.

Image courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery

Written by Sarah

April 28th, 2014 at 9:23 am

Using TweetReach historical analytics to build brand voice

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A strong and authentic brand voice is more important now than ever in the age of social media; you want to be approachable, human, and responsive on your social accounts while still matching the overall tone and messaging of your brand. Accomplishing all of that can seem incredibly overwhelming, and there are several circumstances where building from the past can be especially helpful: taking over from someone else who built the voice for a brand (or even created it), creating and establishing the voice of a brand yourself, or wanting to build something bigger and better than your brand- or a competitor- has built in the past.

So just exactly how do you go about doing this? Let’s break it down.

Taking over a brand’s voice.

As your predecessor most likely won’t leave behind a checklist of how they went about establishing a brand’s voice and what you should do to maintain and further build it, that burden falls to you.

Depending on your resources- just you, or a team and branded documents that provide guidelines, etc- there are a few ways you can go about doing this. Obviously a good start is reading over recent posts, but sampling from accounts such as Twitter a few different times throughout the brand’s history is the best way to really learn how the voice evolved– and if and when it ever derailed. Sampling from specific campaigns will give you an idea of how a brand’s voice was meant to reach larger audiences, bring in new customers, and interact with them.

Here are some good questions to keep in mind while you work:

  • Is the existing voice appropriate for our audience? This is the most important question to ask, because it should inform your entire plan.
  • Is there a lot of turnover in the voice, or consistency? If there hasn’t been consistency in the past, pay attention to the interactions during more experimental times to take note of what worked and what didn’t. Use that information to build out brand voice guidelines, both for yourself and any teammates you have now or in the future. 
  • What about cross-platform consistency? Did tweets get automatically shared to Facebook? Or Instagram posts? Was the language the same in each place, or were messages tailored to each platform, but matching in tone? The latter is definitely what you want to aim for.
  • Which formats have been most successful? Does the brand Twitter account, for example, only tweet in proper English? Has it used popular abbreviations in the past, seriously or as a joke? (And were these jokes well-received?) What about photos and videos; if those are used, do they match the tone of the tweets or did they clearly come from another team with little communication?
  • How many interactions and how much sharing has there been vs. straight promotion? If the brand hasn’t been answering questions, interacting with fans and followers, and sharing useful content from other sources in the past, these are good practices to implement immediately. They make a brand friendlier, more human, more approachable.

These questions will help you establish consistency in brand voice, which makes you instantly recognizable to customers, potential customers, and fans.

Building a brand voice from scratch.

Starting from scratch is always both terrifying and liberating, and fortunately there is also the example of those who have come before- both good and bad- to lead your efforts.

The list of questions in the previous section can still apply to you; simply build guidelines of your own based on them. The most important question is still the first one: Who is my audience, where do they spend time, and how do they speak to each other and to or about brands in that space? Nothing other than listening can address this question and help you build from there. It doesn’t matter how clever and helpful the voice is that you establish if it doesn’t reach the right people or is reaching those who aren’t interested in what your brand offers.

An additional strategy involves looking at past tweets from campaigns of brands you admire or that are your competition. These can give you invaluable insight into how to build things for your own brand moving forward. Ask:

  • What did well? (Or badly.) 
  • Where?
  • And for whom?

The simplest questions are often the most important ones. Address details like cross-sharing on platforms, tailoring messages, frequency of posts after you’ve established the foundation of your voice. These things are still important and still inform the overall presentation and reception of your brand.

So what’s my next step?

If you’re interested in gaining access to old tweets and Twitter campaigns, then our premium historical analytics are for you. We have ability to reach all the way back to the first public tweet posted in March 2006 – we have access to the full archive of historical Twitter data from Gnip – and we can search anything and everything you can think of. This goes beyond the scope of basic Twitter search and anything that can be pulled with Twitter’s public API; the information you can get from those sources is limited to about a week back. But the historical archive includes the full archive from Twitter itself, and you cannot get that just anywhere.

There’s more here about the specifics of how it works and you can also request a quote. Historical analytics start at $49. Pricing is based on report duration and tweet volume.

Got any more questions? Shoot us an email.

Image courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery

Written by Sarah

April 2nd, 2014 at 9:18 am

Posted in Guides

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