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The Week in Social #180

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

On video content marketing.

If you need help with your YouTube marketing, then How to Effectively use YouTube for Video Marketing by Sarah Quinn for Social Media Today is something you should definitely read. Not sure YouTube is worth it?

“YouTube has over a billion users which is almost a third of ALL people on the internet.”

At least some of your target audience probably uses YouTube, but be sure that’s true before you invest your resources in it.

Neil Mohan also has some great tips for getting more out of video content with 11 Levers to Create Social Video for Edelman.

Trolls are, unfortunately, going to troll.

When dealing with trolls, look no further than this guide- When Followers Attack: A Monty Python Guide to Maintaining Social Media Harmony- from Jonathan Crossfield for Content Marketing Institute.

On the law.

eMarketer has some alarming news: Many B2B Marketers Not Aware of FTC Sponsored-Content Guidelines.

“More than two-thirds (67%) of sponsored-content creators were aware of and understood the FTC guidelines for sponsored content. To compare, only 8% of B2B marketers felt the same way. In fact, one-third of B2B marketers said they were not aware of the guidelines, while only 7% of sponsored-content creators were in the same boat.”

FTC guideline awareness sponsored content


As we always say: When in doubt, disclose.

On regular old content marketing.

We’re competing for customer attention in a sea of more content than ever, so how do you stand out? Bryan Adams discusses in Authentic Storytelling in an Age of Mass Marketing for Spin Sucks.

If you don’t have a content marketing strategy at all, definitely start planning one for 2016. Here’s How to Create and Document a Content Marketing Strategy in Eight Steps from Jennifer Smoldt for Marketing Profs.

And finally, test out some of these 7 Copywriting Hacks Based in Psychology from Kaleigh Moore for KISSMetrics.

Written by Sarah

November 20th, 2015 at 9:08 am

The Week in Social #179

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

On content marketing.

Just producing good content is no longer enough to get noticed and stay on top: Content Shock is here. Now what?

Simply, the economics of content are changing.” 

Mark Schaefer discusses why you still need good content, but that’s not all you need.

On video content marketing.

If your brand is considering launching a YouTube channel or working with vloggers on an existing channel, you’ll want to read YouTube strategy: Tips for building an audience & working with vloggers from Richard Marriott for Econsultancy. Pair with SHIFT Comm’s 5 Tips on Creating an Extraordinary YouTube Channel for Your Brand by Amanda Loewy.

If Snapchat inspiration is more of what you’re in the market for, you’ll want to take a look at Retail’s Best Snapchat Campaigns from Elisabeth Rosen for L2. Well-designed Snapchat campaigns that make the most of multi-channel strategy pull in some pretty fantastic results:

Sephora organized a Snapchat Sweepstakes. Participants snapped a selfie and used the Snapchat drawing tool to add cartoon eyebrows. Then they uploaded those submissions to Instagram and tagged them with #SephoraSnapsSweeps; the randomly chosen winner won a $500 gift card.

Result: The campaign boosted traffic and engagement not only on Snapchat, but also on Instagram, where the contest hashtag was used over six thousand times. Posts tagged with #SephoraSnapsSweeps garnered 10% more comments than the average Index brand.”

sephora snapchat sweepstakes We’ve written more about Sephora’s excellent multi-channel social marketing approach in How Snapchat has evolved for brands. And if you’re interested in measuring just such a multi-channel strategy, we can help with that.

Finally, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be famous on Periscope, you’ll be interested in reading artist Amanda Oleander’s experience in More Than 500,000 People Watch Amanda Oleander Paint on Periscope — How Does She Do It? by Justin Lafferty for SocialTimes. An important point for brands and video influencers:

ST: Do you work with brands at all?

AO: I’ve had big brands reach out to me, but I just don’t agree with how they are. … If it’s something that I know my community is going to love, or something that I really enjoy, then I’m all for it. I’m just waiting to promote the proper things. When it comes to branding, it’s not that I’m against it, but it has to be something I’m passionate about. These people aren’t numbers to me. They might be numbers to people who work in marketing, but to me, they’re actually friends and Periscope family members I speak to every day.

Just like how you would treat a friend and you wouldn’t recommend them a pair of glasses you don’t like, it’s the same thing. But I think brands like that too, because then it’s genuine and people want to purchase it. That’s how I am. If there’s somebody on social media that I really believe in and they’re like, ‘I really love this brand,’ I’m going to trust them more than if I go on Facebook and see an ad.”

The bottom line: Authenticity can’t be faked, and brands and influencers need to be sure they’re a good match on campaign goals and overall values before they decide to form a partnership. 

Emphasis added.

The Week in Social #178

without comments

We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

On content marketing.

Working on a content strategy for 2016? Demian Farnworth cautions that you Don’t Create Your Content Strategy Until You Research These 6 Things for Copyblogger. The bottom line? It all begins and ends with knowing the consumer. 

And if you’re more of a visual learner, check out Content Marketing Done Right: 8 Examples You Can Learn From from Pratik Dholakiya for Marketing Land.

On visual and video content marketing

In case you need a reminder, Neil Patel has one for Content Marketing Institute about Visual Content Strategy: The New ‘Black’ for Content Marketers.

“Content in general – your blog, your website, your articles – demands images, too. Content with images gets 94% more views than content sans images. It doesn’t matter what industry, topic, niche, or specialty, images matter.”

Emphasis added.

Dive into the article for more tips on execution, etc.

If you’re well into visual content and conquering video, you may be left wondering YouTube vs. Vimeo: Which Is Better for B2B Content Marketing? In which case that piece from Wendy Marx for Business2Community was practically written just for you.

And finally, Jack Simpson takes a look at Buzzfeed: The art and science of social video for Econsultancy. The biggest takeaway?

“The important thing to note in all of this, however, is that the way to successfully appeal to people through content has fundamentally changed in the digital age.

‘If you’re trying to get people to watch a TV program it has to appeal to the mass market,’ Lewis argues.

‘But with digital, the more you can connect with an individual the more likely they are to engage with and share that content.’”

Emphasis added.

The second takeaway was this gif:

Eternal Maru

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

The Week in Social #177

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

On Twitter and Facebook updates.

Excited about Twitter polls but not really sure what to do with them? Jack Simpson breaks down New Twitter polls & the opportunities for marketers for Econsultancy. Another recent update is Twitter’s Curated Stories, and you can get a breakdown of what they are and why they matter from Marion Simpson, for Social Media Today.

You’ve probably heard that Facebook is testing different reaction buttons in place of the simple “Like”, but will this change your brand’s Facebook approach? Brad Friedman talks 3 Ways in Which Facebook’s Reactions Will Change Your Social Media Marketing Approach also for Social Media Today.

“Previously, ‘engagement” insights were limited to Likes, comments, shares, and web clicks. Adding a wider range of emotions to that spectrum should allow brands to gauge their audience’s true reaction to a post and adjust their strategy accordingly. If, for example, you post about a new promotion but receive an emotion that’s different from what you were expecting, you may look at and adjust similar posts in the future to better align with your plans.”

On content marketing and brand voice.

Do you treat content like a channel? Rebecca Lieb explains why Content: It’s Not Another Channel:

“Otherwise put, content is the lifeblood of digital channels (and offline channels, as well). Content is not itself a channel.”

Whether or not you’ve checked out Blab yet or considered its future, this piece from Jay Baer asking Is Blab the Savior of Podcasting and Online Radio is worth a read.

And finally, with all the advice out there for brands to “be human”, you want to fully consider The dangerous art of using humour in marketing, also by Jack Simpson for Econsultancy. The bottom line? Humor is subjective, so be sure you know your audience- and what type of humor will resonate- well, and that your attempts also match context for you brand.

Happy reading.

Written by Sarah

October 30th, 2015 at 8:39 am

The Week in Social #176

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

All about Twitter

Twitter hosted their developer conference this week (Flight) and made several announcements around platform updates, which you can get a summary of in this piece from Chris Thilk at Voce, and a great breakdown of how to use the new Tweet Grid embeddable display option here, via Andrew Hutchinson for Social Media Today. If you were at Flight or watching the live-stream, you may have seen a quick demo of our new product Echo, an entirely new way to access and analyze every tweet ever. What do you do with all that wonderful data at your fingertips? Our Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jenn Deering Davis has some advice in How to Use the Power of Twitter’s Archive to Drive a Multi-Channel Social Strategy for SocialTimes.

Twitter also hosted a video event in NYC last week which Andrew Hutchinson also breaks down in How Twitter’s Approaching Video – Highlights from Twitter’s #VideoNOW Event for Social Media Today.

All about content marketing.

If you’ve ever wondered What Do Marketers Consider to be the Most Effective Types of Social Media Content?, wonder no more because Marketing Charts is sharing that information:



Video is still having its moment, and infographics are still a popular choice as well. Just remember to create content for your specific audience, in the forms they respond to in the places where they like to hang out. If you don’t know the answers to those questions, do your research, test, measure, and don’t expect overnight success.


Written by Sarah

October 23rd, 2015 at 9:13 am

The Week in Social #175

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

 On content, influencers and storytelling.

If your content could use a boost (and that’s most of us), you might want to check out this piece from Wojtek Mazur for MarketingLand on How To Get Your Content Amplified By Influencers. Spoiler alert: The key is relationship building that is first and foremost beneficial to the influencer. And here’s an important reminder about what influence actually means:

“First off all, a word for the wise: Don’t be fooled by large numbers. An account may have many Twitter followers or Facebook fans, but that can mean next to nothing. How many of those followers are active and committed users? It is better to look for someone with an engaged audience.”

Emphasis added.

If you’re looking to boost B2B content, specifically, then these 10 Tactics To Maximize Your B2B Content Reach [Research] from the always-excellent Heidi Cohen are for you.

Cartoonist Rob Cottingham shares the best storytelling lessons he’s learned in Draw Me a Story: Six Storytelling Lessons From Cartooning for Shonali Burke Consulting.

Twitter's down

Brevity, humor and surprise are all recommended.

On specific platforms.

If you’re worried about Twitter’s announcement that they’re going to eliminate share count, Cision has a breakdown for you via Jim Dougherty in Twitter to Eliminate Share Count. What’s It to You?

Jack Simpson brings you all the wisdom he’s gathered from putting together monthly roundups of the best branded Instagram videos for Econsultancy in A marketer’s guide to Instagram video.

Up your Facebook game with Five Tips for Brands That Want Success on Facebook from our very own Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jenn Deering Davis.

Finally, on dealing with change.

Social media has an announcement about the twelve different ways it’s changing every week, and that can understandably get overwhelming. How do you deal? Mark Schaefer has some advice in 5 ways to calm down and not be overwhelmed by social media change at {grow}.

“So you see, social media hasn’t changed everything. I could argue that it has changed nothing, except that it helps us focus on the human elements of marketing that really matter. How do you work with customers in real-life?  Do that.”

Social media is just a new set of tools for the same old human communication we’ve been involved in since the dawn of time. If you’re still feeling a little overwhelmed, take a look at this photo:

social media change

And if it’s not knowing where to start in measuring your social efforts that has you feeling overwhelmed, we can help with that.


Written by Sarah

October 16th, 2015 at 8:41 am

The Week in Social #174

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

On video and visuals.

While answers vary as to what, exactly, the visual web is, everyone does seem to agree that it’s very important. You can see these responses in eMarketer’s What Is the Visual Web?: Instagram, Pinterest are the social sites most closely associated with the visual web:

visual web

“Asked specifically about social media, respondents said Instagram was the service most closely associated with the visual web. At 92.4% of respondents, Instagram was about 10 percentage points ahead of second-place Pinterest. Facebook, at 58.1%, and Vine, at 56.2%, were far behind, and less than half of respondents (47.6%) named Snapchat.”

Emphasis added.

For those more specifically interested in the state of social video, check out 10 big trends happening in social video by Ben Davis for Econsultancy, and to act on that knowledge, check out 3 Types of Video to Incorporate Into Your Social Media Strategy via Navneet Kaushal for Social Media Today.

If you’re still skeptical about video numbers, you might want to take a look at Seven in 10 US Internet Users Watch OTT Video: The vast majority are regular YouTube viewers also from eMarketer.

OTT video service


The times, they are a changin’.

On Twitter.

You’ve probably heard of Twitter’s launch of Moments this week, but what about Twitter’s “Promoted Moments” & What They Mean for Brands? Aaron Rales sums it up for Ogilvy:

“Instead of slotting promoted tweets within live Moments feeds, Twitter is giving brands their own Moments called Promoted Moments. The Company is calling them ‘dedicated pieces of real estate…where a brand can curate a series of different tweets or Vines to actually tell their story.’ Like a Promoted Trend, Promoted Moments will be considered ‘premium’ purchases and thus given significant visibility on the platform (they’ll appear in every category list of Moments). Pricing has not yet been disclosed and testing will begin in ‘weeks, not months’ according to the company.”

See more brand implications + specifications at the link.

If you think earthquakes have nothing to do with marketing you’re right, except in the case of this particular case study Andrew Hutchinson broke down for Social Media Today: What Marketers Can Learn from How Tweets are Used to Track Earthquakes.

“The USGS case study provides an insightful example of how social data can be used, and the importance of tracking the right information to convert social data into something practical. The first step in the process is ascertaining what it is, exactly, you need to know. In this case, the team have started with mentions of earthquakes then narrowed down the data by cross-matching posts for relevance. For your business, maybe you’re tracking all mentions of your brand name (which you should be), maybe all mentions of your industry, all of your target keywords in some capacity. Track too much and you’ll likely never glean much insight, as you’ll be setting yourself a mammoth task in monitoring all those mentions every day. But through refining, though working out the key messages you need to track that are actually actionable and relevant to your business interests, you can focus your efforts onto the conversations and mentions that matter the most.

Emphasis added. Oh, and we can help with that refined tracking, by the way.

On everything else.

Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jenn Deering Davis tells it like it is in Mastering Engagement in Emerging Social Channels (by Anna Papachristos for 1to1 Media); calling networks like Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest “unconventional” really sells them short. She also takes a look at the 11 most memorable social media marketing successes of 2015 (by James A. Martin for Network World) along with some other marketers, for all your 2016 content planning needs.

And finally, Jay Baer of Convince & Convert tells it like it is: Your Blog Post Is Too Damn Long aka tl;dr.

So thanks if you’ve made it this far.

The Week in Social #173

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

Getting the most from Twitter.

If you’ve struggled with writing effective promoted tweets- or effective tweets at all- definitely make time for Twitter Releases Guidelines on Tweet Copy Best Practices for Promoted Tweets from Andrew Hutchinson for Social Media Today.

And while the focus of their advice is on one specific Twitter ad element – ‘Mobile App Install’ campaigns – the notes outlined really apply to all promotional tweets, even all tweets more generally. If you want to make better use of your tweets and generate better engagement, there’s some solid learnings in here, based upon research gleaned from 3,200 mobile app promotion campaigns from US-based advertisers.” 



If you need help tracking a Twitter campaign to see how all those tweets are performing, we know someone who can help with that.

For those in the PR industry, this piece from Shannon Felder for Lewis PR covers how you can reach your full potential on Twitter in a PR capacity.

Catch the latest on the Twitter buy button from Justin Lafferty for Social Times, and ICYMI, there’s a rumor going around that Twitter isn’t going to limit itself to 140 characters forever, which Chris Thilk covers for Voce.

On social media policy and getting customers to share your content.

Banning employees from social media entirely is a terrible plan (because they will always find ways around it) and brands are much better off crafting a policy to guide and maximize return from employee use of social. If you’re a brand who needs help with that, we offer How to craft an effective social media policy from Jennifer Lonoff Schiff for CIO.

As our fearless Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jenn Deering Davis puts it,

“The best social media policies are direct and specific, and communicate clearly to employees what they should and shouldn’t do. Make sure your guidelines are both easy to understand and to follow.”

If it’s customers sharing your content you’re struggling with, check out 11 ways to encourage your customers to share your content from Scott Gerber for Mashable. They should know.

Finally, what you might not have considered about Periscope.

If you’ve immediately dismissed Periscope from your visual content marketing plan, consider Why Embracing Periscope Opens Up New Avenues for Your BrandShawn M. Smith makes a great case for exposing yourself to a new audience (global and millennial; good to note if those are your target audiences), having a home for supplemental content, and more.

Written by Sarah

October 2nd, 2015 at 9:21 am

The Week in Social #172

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

All about Facebook.

You may have seen a dozen headlines declaring Facebook’s forthcoming “dislike” button, but that’s not actually what Zuckerberg promised. Andrew Hutchinson breaks down What Facebook’s ‘Other Than Like’ Option Will (Probably) Look Like, and What it Means for Marketers in Social Media Today. We also recommend his piece Facebook Looking to Ramp Up Instant Articles and Live Streaming on Platform to get fully acquainted with upcoming Facebook changes.

On UGC and permission.

When it comes to disclosing brand partnerships and sponsorships, we and the FTC say to always err on the side of caution with the mantra “When in doubt; disclose”. Similar to that, always ask for permission from fans and followers before you use their images, even if they tagged your brand’s handle or used a brand-related hashtag that isn’t specifically set up as a contest explicitly stating using said hashtag gives you permission to use their photos. (Even then, asking again wouldn’t hurt.) Below is an example, from the National Park Foundation:

Denali National Park, Alaska, for #TravelTuesday. #travel #Alaska #FindYourPark #travelgram #instapassport #landscape

A photo posted by Sparker (@sparkerpants) on

Need more convincing? Read On Instagram and Other Social Media, Redefining ‘User Engagement’ from Sydney Ember and Rachel Abrams for the NYT.

All about those tweets and other Twitter properties.

80% of Twitter’s 316 million monthly users are mobile. Are you optimized for that? Social Times is here to help with How to Make Your Tweets Mobile-Friendly by Lauren Dugan.

If you’re looking at adding Vine to your video content marketing plan, you might want to read over these Best Practices for Creating Budget-Friendly Branded Vine Videos from Eric Dahan.

And finally. . .shiny things.

Quinn Whissen breaks down The Social Media Shiny Object Syndrome in Marketing Land. 

If you’re worried you may have fallen ill with the Social Media Shiny Object Syndrome (SMSOS), ask yourself these questions:

  • Where does my audience hang out online?
  • Can I consistently engage my audience with unique, relevant content on my chosen platform(s)?
  • Where do I get the best engagement that actually benefits my business?
  • Am I spread too thin to the point where I can’t focus where it matters most?
  • Why am I on this platform in the first place, or why do I want to be on it?

The cure? “Focus where it matters. Spend your time wisely and strategically. Be intentional.”

And if you need help measuring to figure out where your efforts are paying off- and therefore best spent- we can help with that.

Written by Sarah

September 25th, 2015 at 8:57 am

The Week in Social #171

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

On social strategy and content marketing.

Work smarter not harder when it comes to your social strategy, says Matt Walker for Social Media Today in Using Competitors to Guide Your Social Media Strategy.

As for your content marketing you can always find lessons in unexpected places, as Kerry Jones reminds us in 3 Content Marketing Lessons Reddit AMAs Can Teach via Marketing Land. And here are The 3 best brand storytellers on social media, as told by our very own Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Jenn Deering Davis for iMedia Connection.

All about that video and live-streaming.

First, the numbers from Marketing ChartsMarketers Say Video’s Effectiveness Is Increasing. Which Content Types Are Working?



If you’re struggling with video, an effective strategy might be what you’re missing. And what do you need for that?

“One of the chief elements of an effective strategy, of course, is setting appropriate objectives.”

Like brand awareness, online engagement, or customer education. But don’t forget:

“As is sometimes the case in these surveys (and in life?), what’s most effective is also most difficult.”

Tough breaks. But the effort seems to be well worth it, when it comes to video success:

“…just 15% reporting a lack of success achieving their objectives through video marketing.”

Our fearless Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jenn Deering Davis also discusses how The Future of Video is the Stream (But Not Streaming) for SocialTimes. See if you agree:

“This streaming video trend will prove to be just that — a trend. The truth is, most of us just aren’t that interesting. On YouTube and Facebook, we can prepare a script, rehearse and edit to make a high-quality video. On Snapchat and Vine, the videos are short, forcing their own sort of creativity. But most of the time on streaming platforms, there’s just nothing there to watch. Getting more celebrities and brands who have more streamable content (and lives) will help, but the average user just won’t have much of their own to stream. Streaming video isn’t a standalone product; it’s a feature in the rest of the social stream.”

Emphasis added.

If you’re feeling strapped for resources but still want to tackle adding video to your content strategy, you’ll want to check out Why Brands Should Syndicate Videos: Example From Benefit Cosmetics from Homa Zaryouni for L2′s The Daily. And get a great overview of the very latest happening with streaming video apps in Blab and Periscope [are] Generating Buzz – but Don’t Count Out Meerkat Just Yet, as told by the always-informative Andrew Hutchinson for Social Media Today.

Last but not least, platform-specific news and tips.

Whether you’ve been paying attention to fashion week or not, Sarah Hecks has Live tweeting lessons from the catwalk courtesy of We Are Social’s blog.

Finally, if you’re looking to get the scoop on Instagram advertising, we recommend reading Instagram Advertising: A Media Buyer’s Perspective from Paul Van Winssen.