TweetReach Blog

Our top travel resources on Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook and more

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Summer is peak travel time for most people, so whether you’re getting a head start on planning next year’s vacation or you’re having a last minute flight of fancy, we wanted to bring you the best travel resources we’ve found across social media.

Know of one we’re missing? Leave it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

Twitter travel resources

Twitter is fantastic for all stages of travel planning: You can find local people and businesses to follow beforehand (or even other travelers who have been there before or will be there around the same time!) to do research about where you want to go and even get recommendations for things off the beaten path. If you’re not sure where to start finding these resources, we suggest joining a Twitter chat like Condé Nast’s weekly chat #TravelerHelpDesk. Get all your questions answered by someone immersed in the travel business!

For even more Twitter travel resources to get you started, check out The top travel resources on Twitter: Accounts to follow and chats to attend and find a few more chats not listed in that post in Travel resources on Twitter and more: Updated.

As for travel brands and those who work in the travel industry, you might like 2 reasons why the travel industry should be measuring share of voice and from Twitter themselves, Three new insights for travel brands on Twitter:

“Twitter is a favorite travel companion; about a third of users access Twitter before or after a trip, while 39% use the platform mid-journey. And nearly 20% of users Tweet to share feedback throughout their travel experience. Because it’s used at every stage of the travel process, Twitter can help brands develop strong relationships with consumers.”

Tumblr travel resources

Tumblr has an engaged travel community, and you can find travel companies sharing resources and vacation inspiration alongside other users. Start by visiting the Tumblr travel spotlight to find popular travel blogs to browse and follow, including Condé Nast Traveler for inspiration, or more explicit guides like this one from London’s Gatwick Airport or this NOLA city guide from a local perspective.

GONOLA

If you’re interested in everything we’ve covered on Tumblr and travel, check out the following:

Facebook travel resources

Facebook is a great place to follow your favorite travel companies to stay on top of any deals they’re offering- sometimes Facebook exclusive deals!- or contests you might want to enter. After all nothing beats a great vacation more than a free great vacation.

AirBNB FB

If you have travel blogs you love and read regularly it’s also a great idea to Like their Facebook pages to see when they post new updates. If you want to make sure you never miss an update, Facebook recently released a new way to prioritize who you see in your News Feed.

What Facebook really excels at is crowdsourcing information from your network of friends and family: Make a status update to ask for advice on what not to miss in a certain city you’re visiting, or look through albums to be sure you remember the name of that national park that looked like a can’t-miss from your college friend’s last vacation. You might even get the chance to reconnect with a long-lost friend you forgot was living in your next travel destination. Just don’t forget to post your own albums when you get home to pay it forward.

Instagram travel resources

Instagram is the place where people share photos of the places they’ve been, so browse around on #TravelTuesday to get some travel inspiration and check out the other hashtags we’ve listed here if that’s not enough for you. (While you’re browsing, don’t be afraid to follow any accounts you particularly like or ask questions about destination spots in the comments!)

#TravelTuesday Aug13

Use the same hashtags to share your own travel photos past, present, and future. Just remember not to share too many photos on Instagram at once; we recommend spacing out no more than three- or maybe five if they’re really good- a day. Use your discretion based on what you know about your followers.

Snapchat travel resources

Snapchat is a great way to share your travel adventures with your friends while they’re happening without worrying about flooding any of their feeds. You don’t have to worry about data either because Snapchat just released Travel Mode. Follow travel brands Marriott Hotels (username marriotthotels) and Condé Nast Traveler (cntraveler) on Snapchat, as well as travel personalities Jerome Jarre (jeromejarre) and Casey Neistat (caseyneistat).

Topdeck Travel (topdeck.travel) also has an account they promote as “the first travel show on Snapchat” so get some travel snap inspiration from them as well.

Finally, don’t miss out on the local Live Stories Snapchat has; it’s a great way to get a glimpse of how locals really live and what they most want to share with potential visitors around the world. Here’s a recent example from Belfast:

Bonus: Pinterest and general travel resources

Pinterest really excels for the planning stage of your trip: Set up boards around what you need to pack, what sights you want to see, and pin any good travel resources you find like “how to pack for two weeks in a carry-on” or other helpful tips you might want to reference again for future trips.

For all the other tips we have on where to get the best travel information possible across social, check out our definitive post on The 10 Best Travel Resources on Social Media and Beyond and this great post from The Girl and The Globe on How to Use Social Media for Travel Planning.

Written by Sarah

August 18th, 2015 at 9:40 am

Union Metrics Twitter Trackers now include free 30-day backfill

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Great news! Our Twitter Trackers now include automatic, complimentary 30-day backfill.

Next time you create a new Twitter Tracker in your Union Metrics account*, it’ll start by filling in with existing tweets to give you some data to start. That will include tweets from the past 30 days (up to 5,000 tweets for TweetReach Pro subscriptions, and up to 20,000 tweets for Social Suite subscriptions). And then it will continue to monitor all new and future tweets in real-time, just like before.

A few reasons why this is awesome:

  • No more missing tweets if you’re a few minutes or hours late to set up a Tracker
  • Get some baseline data right away
  • Twitter Trackers now get the same data to start as the other channels we monitor
  • Makes handling a social media crisis or last-minute client changes much easier

TweetReach Pro from Union Metrics starts at just $99 per month. Give it a try, and get your backfilled data now!

Need more or older tweets? We can always backfill more tweets in any Tracker for a fee, any time you want. Submit your historical data request here.

*Automatic backfill is available to all Union Metrics Social Suite and TweetReach Pro Small, Medium and Large subscribers. If you’re on one of our older TweetReach Pro plans (Mini, Basic, Plus, Premium or Max), you’ll need to change to a new plan to access backfill. You can change plans any time in your account’s billing settings. Or email us and we’ll help find the right plan for you!

Written by Jenn D

August 17th, 2015 at 9:25 am

The Week in Social #167

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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 that content we just can’t quit.

Chances are you have a big backlog of great (and maybe some not-so-great) content already; why not dive into your archives to remarket the best, and update and repurpose the rest? Find more details in How to Repurpose Your Content Again and Again from Michael Peggs for Convince & Convert.

Do you think of Jon Stewart as a content marketer? No? How about a content curator? You can see it, right? If not, Heidi Cohen breaks down why he is a master curator and translates that into some tips for marketers in How To Be A Content Curation Master.

On Facebook.

Some fun research from Facebook: How do you laugh online? Turns out there are a lot of differences by age, gender, and even regionally. The Not-So-Universal Language of Laughter from Udi Weinsberg, Lada Adamic, and Mike Develin is a fun way to better understand your particular Facebook audience.

laughter heatmap FB research

In case you missed Hank Green’s Theft, Lies & Facebook Video piece, read that first, and then this response from a Facebook video product manager.

Finally, up your Facebook game with these 6 Lesser Known Facebook Features You Should Be Using from Simon Leeming.

And Snapchat.

Some new Snapchat updates will make regular users and brands alike very happy. Check them out in New Snapchat Update Introduces More Emoji, Enhanced Audience Data via Andrew Hutchinson for Social Media Today.

Snapchat3

Written by Sarah

August 14th, 2015 at 8:33 am

4 ways to use social media to keep fans engaged year-round

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Whether you host an annual event like an awards show or you’re a small business like a dermatologist that only sees patients once a year, social media can help you stay engaged with your fans and customers during non-peak times.

These types of events and customer relationships require a very different social media strategy from their ongoing counterparts. During a big event, for example, you’ll likely receive thousands of new followers and lots of engagement with your content. A patient sitting in a waiting room is more likely to follow a sign prompting them to follow you on Twitter or Like you on Facebook. But if you let your blog stagnate during the off period between events or you don’t think of a content strategy to engage that patient between visits, you’ll have to start almost entirely over next year.

Through our own research we’ve seen evidence that suggests if you stop posting new content, you’ll start to lose followers over time.

How can you prevent this from happening? We’ll break down some ideas, but it’s up to you to test them with your own audience, measure the results, and keep planning your engagement strategy going forward. (Don’t worry, though, we’re always here to help if you have questions!)

1. Take advantage of existing fan bases.

Find who the celebrities and influencers are in your industry and tap into their existing fan bases to encourage engagement throughout the year.

Promote these influencers’ related projects.

No matter your industry, there are influencers for you to identify and connect and engage with in appropriate ways. One way to do this is to promote the projects they’re working on that are related to your own brand values and mission. For example, a small health clinic might find some healthy lifestyle influencers who focus on nutritious diet and active lifestyle to partner with, while a hardware store might produce a series of how-tos or tips and tricks with a local woodworker. Partnering with an appropriate influencer or expert boosts your reach across both audiences, while also giving your audiences the kind of content they want: Exactly what has value for them.

Share content that specifically engages current niche groups or fandoms.

Working with these influencers on your audience’s preferred platform- Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, or another, like Snapchat- also means you have in this influencer a resource that knows how to speak the language of this platform.  Be respectful of their knowledge of the particular culture of the platform, especially if it’s not one you’re familiar with. This listening is vital particularly if you want to tap into an existing niche community or fandom; you have to be authentic and build on existing fandoms in a respectful way or fans will outright reject your participation. Get to know a community before jumping right in.

#beeryoga

Yogis who love beer are a growing niche, especially on Instagram, as we’ve written about on Tumblr.

2. Showcase content exhaust.

Every industry produces a ton of content that never sees the light of day, particularly around any large-scale events, but also during the daily grind. We call this “content exhaust” – what’s left over after you create publicly consumable content. Social media loves content exhaust and it’s a great way to expand a content queue.

Share behind-the-scenes content.

Day-to-day and especially during large events, take lots of pictures and videos behind the scenes and in non-public spaces. Post them to show people who aren’t there what you see as an insider. Fans and followers love insider information; they love to feel like they’re in the loop. How can you help them feel more included?

While we might not all have the resources of The Oscars, The Academy shared this beautiful set of GIFs from the orchestra’s rehearsal before the show. This is a view fans don’t normally see on the televised broadcast, and it helps create a more intimate feel of how the show actually works. Think of how you can use this on the scale of your business. What seems boring and routine to you might be fascinating to an outsider; how a hairdresser mixes dyes, for example, or a tattoo artist sketching new ideas while on break. Try to look around you with fresh eyes, or even asking friends and family what aspects of your job or industry they’re curious about. Build from there.

Post content featuring event setup and breakdown.

It might not seem like much beyond logistics for you, but to fans learning more about the ins and outs of producing an event can be fascinating. And we mean any kind of event: A tradeshow for any industry, a convention, an open house. Share images and stories from before and after the event that show how everything comes together. For some events, this can include activities from weeks or even months before it actually happens. Tap an entertaining coworker to be your on-camera tour guide, do quick interviews with the guys setting up the stage or planning the lighting, introduce the interns stuffing the swag bags, or anything else that comes to mind.

Getting fans and followers involved at an early stage might also make them more invested in the event itself, and encourage them to attend or even just follow along the hashtag across social media as it happens. (Note: This makes planning and promoting a unique, relevant hashtag for your event across social platforms very important!)

Highlight smaller related events leading up to the main event.

Going to a tasting with a catering company? Post artful photos of the food you’re sampling, or share a quick interview with the chef who made it. Even something spontaneous and funny that happens at a copy shop you’re forced to run into when planned collateral doesn’t arrive on time is a potential source of content—  especially if the staff behind the counter starts singing and you capture it. (It should go without saying you need the permission of these participants before sharing, however!)

3. Use trends to your advantage.

Participate in rituals like #TBT.

Social media channels have so many rituals, memes and shared behaviors. Get to know them and find some you can participate in. One of our favorites is throwback Thursday, also know as #TBT. On Thursdays, people across social media share pictures or memories from their past. This is a long-standing social ritual, and one that’s easy to participate in: You can share photos from a company’s early days, baby photos of employees (bonus points for having everyone guess who it is now!), or a throwback to everyone enjoying the closing party last year around your big event that happens to be coming up again soon.

One quick cautionary note: Before you jump into a meme or conversation, check to see what it’s really about and if it’s still relevant. On many social platforms, trends can emerge and then fade away in just a few days (see this post on Tumblr that’s a meta-analysis of Tumblr memes), and you don’t want to be caught using last week’s meme.

Engage in conversation around other events and holidays.

Wish fans and followers a happy new year or Valentine’s Day. Share their excitement about the upcoming weekend or warmer weather. It’s okay to talk about regular-people-things to relate to your fans. However, in general, it’s probably best to avoid piling on to newsworthy current events (a.k.a. “newsjacking”), particularly anything where people were killed, injured or in any way harmed. Stay out of those conversations, as that rarely goes well.

 

From CheapTweet to TweetReach to Union Metrics: Here’s a throwback to the CheapTweet days. Were you following us then? #TBT #throwback #tech #smm #socialmediamarketing #TwitterMarketing #CheapTweet #TweetReach #UnionMetrics

A photo posted by Union Metrics (@unionmetrics) on

 

4. Upcycle existing content.  

If your company or industry has a long history, you probably have a lot of historical content. Fans both new and old would love to see it! How can you share it with them throughout the year? Create a content calendar of ideas, if that helps, but don’t feel like you have to stick to it rigidly. It’s always best to leave room for new ideas and spur-of-the-moment inspiration.

Celebrate historical moments and anniversaries.

Talk about important dates in your history. What was going on this time last year, five years ago, 20 years ago? When did you start? Is an employee having an anniversary with the company you can celebrate? Even a funny post memorializing the first company laptop makes for a good moment of levity in a follower’s feed.

Share archive materials.

Dig up interesting content from your past. This could be old photos of early days, notes or minutes from your first meetings, screenshots of old websites, the CEO’s cover letter for their first job, anything.

A final note

It requires having someone dedicated to social media year-round if you want to truly keep fans engaged and continue to grow your audience during the off season. But with a little work and the right content, there’s no reason you can’t turn a one-time event, annual office visit, or semi-annual haircut into an ongoing social media sensation.

Written by Sarah

August 11th, 2015 at 10:38 am

The Week in Social #166

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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 + video content marketing.

Video is still the new black, so if you’re anxious to jump into generating video content for your brand but aren’t sure where to start, Mike Ryan’s 10 Ways To Use Short Video For Social Media Marketing is a good jumping off point.

And B2B companies still struggle to create the kind of content that actually brings them the most leads, as eMarketer illustrates in B2B Content Strategies Have Room for Improvement:

b2b content 1 B2B content 2

If you’re in B2B, don’t make the same mistake with your content strategy.

The hunt for the millennial male continues.

Where do the millennial males hang out? The latest answer is Imgur, as Garett Sloane notes for Adweek in How Advertisers Are Getting on Board With Imgur, a Pinterest for the Millennial Male. The real takeaway from this piece, however, is that eBay was so successful with their advertising on Imgur because they took the time to really listen to their intended audience and pay attention to the kind of content they like, then delivered their content in the same language and format. Any other brand would do well to follow their example, and not just on Imgur.

On Twitter and Vine.

Question of the week from Kimberlee Morrison, via SocialTimes: Can Marketers Keep Up with Memes and Trends on Vine? Most memes go through a similar cycle, and here’s the Vine version of that cycle:

  1. The original piece of content is uploaded
  2. Users replicate the Vine, as with the Whip/Nae Nae dance
  3. Users begin to remix, or make meta posts
  4. The meme reaches peak and then drops off, often to nothing.

The other difference is that on Vine they tend to move even faster through their cycle than on other platforms. The takeaway here is the value of pairing with an influencer on a platform you’re interested in expanding your audience on; they already have an audience there and they know what kind of content will perform well. Just be sure any partnership is a good match for both parties.

If your Twitter audience growth is feeling stagnant, Corey Ferreira breaks down How to Grow Your Twitter Audience in Just 30 Minutes a Day— provided you’re willing to put in a little hard work.

And finally, if Twitter’s Q2 stats had you ready to flee to greener social media pastures, take pause. Emily Alford speaks to those who know what they’re talking about in Instagram In and Twitter Out? Not So Fast, Say Experts. Here’s the key takeaway:

“Too many marketers pit social networks against each other, in terms of user base and revenue. Instead, they should focus on what consumers use each platform for and create integrated strategies that use platforms in conjunction with one another to move users down the purchase funnel.”

So focus on creating great content and giving it to your audience where they want it (that’s where they already spend their time, not where you’d like them to).

Written by Sarah

August 7th, 2015 at 9:05 am

Twitter and the Republican presidential debate losers

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As you’ve undoubtedly heard, there’s a big presidential candidate debate tonight. Ten Republican candidates – the current GOP front-runners – will gather for the 2016 presidential race’s first major televised debate. Fox News selected these 10 debate participants from a larger group of 17 possible candidates based on averages from five recent national polls.

And to absolutely no one’s surprise, this list has generated considerable controversy. So we thought it would be fun to take a look at how these national polls compare to Twitter, our favorite polling source for this kind of thing. In particular, how do the losers – those seven unlucky candidates who were not selected for tonight’s GOP debate – stack up on Twitter?

So let’s look at recent tweet volume about each of the Republican candidates. Over the past three weeks*, there has been a metric ton of conversation on Twitter about a few of the party’s frontest (or in some cases, loudest) runners, including Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker and Ted Cruz. But things start to get interesting – and much closer – when we look at the candidates further down the list of tonight’s top 10.

Republican Debate Participants

Several of the debate losers (those not selected to participate) scored higher on Twitter than many of the winners (those selected to participate). For example, there have been more than 169k tweets about Rick Perry in the past three weeks. He scored higher than half of the winners, at least in terms of conversation volume. Bobby Jindal and Lindsey Graham are also well represented, though they didn’t score a spot in tonight’s debate. But Ben Carson and Chris Christie will participate, even though they got fewer tweets in the last three weeks than your grandmother**.

Now, we realize these are simple tweet volume counts, and there are a lot more factors that go into polling results, like affinity for a candidate and her (well, mostly his) stance on the issues. But for the debate in an election that’s still 15 months away, with such a crowded slate of potential candidates, isn’t the main thing we’re interested in controversy? If we want to drive viewers to tonight’s debate, shouldn’t we select the candidates people are talking about the most? Twitter shows us a fairly different list than the polls do. Perry should certainly be included, and there’s a strong case for Jindal and Graham as well.

Stay tuned over the next 15 months, as we’ll be exploring all kinds of election issues on social media, including deeper analysis of how the candidates rate on Twitter, as well as what candidates are doing well – or not so well – across social. And we might need to have a talk with a few of these campaigns about hashtag use. Like for starters, that you should use them. More on that soon!

Update as of 7:30 ET: The runners-up debate, a.k.a. the Kiddie Table, which was comprised of the seven lowest-polling GOP candidates, just wrapped up. A quick count of tweets from the debate show Carly Fiorina as the overwhelming Twitter favorite. She received 2.5x more tweets than the next closest candidate (Rick Perry). A large segment of those tweets are positive, even. Here are the hourly tweets around today’s debate.

Tweets about the kiddie table GOP debate

*These tweet counts represent all tweets about each candidate from July 15 – August 5. That includes mentions of their name in various forms, their Twitter handle(s), and any major campaign hashtags. 

**Your grandma is actually doing great, by the way. Many companies would be happy to see numbers that high.

Written by Jenn D

August 6th, 2015 at 9:57 am

Sharing your vacation across social: What to post where, so you don’t overwhelm

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Seeing vacation photos from friends, family, and colleagues can be a nice mini-vacation for the viewer, or it can be an irritating nightmare of never-ending hot dog legs and sandy feet. To keep from being That Friend, we have a handy guide for how much to share on each platform so when you get home everyone will be asking for more instead of awkwardly trying to hide the fact that they unfollowed you.

#travelgram

On Twitter: Full steam ahead

With Twitter as established as it is, most users feeds are a constant stream of content, so multiple updates a day or even live-tweeting a tour or other vacation adventure would be welcome rather than scorned.

While you’re away from home posting regularly is a great way to find new accounts to follow and interact with in time zones you’re not normally active in. Use the opportunity to ask locals for recommendations on where to eat and must-see attractions, and don’t be afraid to check out local hashtags for events in the area and more.

On Facebook: Use sharing settings to your advantage

Facebook changes its algorithm of which posts it shares with users fairly often- right now you can select up to 30 accounts to prioritize seeing updates from in your feed- but even your closest friends and family probably don’t want their entire newsfeed filled with hundreds of your vacation photos. Post up to three times a day, sharing the best and brightest of what you’ve captured (consider sharing directly from Instagram to keep things quick and simple if you’re on limited time or data).

If you want to share more, Facebook’s detailed setting options work really well for situations like this: Consider using friends/family only settings for more frequent updates, if you have an aunt you know will love to see every single detail of your trip as soon as possible.

On Instagram: Showcase the best of the best

Instagram thrives on gorgeous vacation photos- just take a look at the screenshot of #travelgram seen at the top of this post- but the constricted nature of an Instagram feed means you can easily overwhelm your followers, so consider posting up to three times a day, maximum, spread out over the course of the day. You might be able to get away with more if you’re in a completely different time zone than the majority of your followers, but nobody wants to wake up to 25 pictures of the same mountain either.

Share the best and brightest of each day’s adventures for maximum impact and save the rest to share on #TravelTuesdays when you’re sitting at your desk and could use a little mini-escape.

On Tumblr: Queue while you’re away

Instagram also has the option to share photos directly to Tumblr, making it easy to keep your blog from becoming stagnant while you’re away. If you have the time and internet connection, consider using Tumblr as a vacation blog to record your memories as you go with daily updates. This will not only entertain your followers, it might also help you find new ones who enjoy reading about your adventures with the added bonus of giving you something fun to read through when you get home.

You can also set a queue before you leave so your followers don’t wonder if you’ve disappeared forever on a long trip; queue up enough content to roughly match the pace of your usual posting, if not a little less. If your Tumblr presence is fairly anonymous you can post to your most interactive followers that you’re going away and won’t be around to reblog for a while.

How anonymous you truly are, however, brings us to our final point.

One caveat

Some criminals have targeted victims posting about going on vacation via social media, so be sure you don’t have location data turned on that lists your home address on any of your accounts or you might return home to something less than relaxing. If some of your accounts are more anonymous than others, be sure you aren’t cross-posting secure information from one over to your most public presence.

Here’s a guide from Discover that covers some important social media safety points.

Written by Sarah

August 4th, 2015 at 8:03 am

The Week in Social #165

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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.

What marketers struggle with: Multichannel, influencers, video.

Why Marketers Haven’t Mastered Multichannel? While marketers say they want to make this a focus- “84% of senior marketers worldwide said multichannel marketing was a key focus of their current marketing strategy”- many struggle with understanding and buy-in from higher ups, as well as time to invest in planning and the necessary tools to comprehensively and continuously measure their efforts.

multichannel marketing challenges

As for that last challenge, we know a good Social Suite marketers should look into.

You’ve probably heard of this strange phenomenon of moving pictures used in marketing at this point, but how you do you Start Smart, Scale Up, and Stand Out With Video? Robert Rose takes on these challenges for Content Marketing Institute:

  1. How do businesses empower themselves to create videos (cost effectively) in the first place?
  2. Once businesses are creating videos, how do they scale this ability across the business?
  3. Once businesses have a functional process for creating videos, how do they use this new skill to differentiate the content they’re producing?

Click through to read the whole piece and see what themes address successful video creation and more.

Working with a social influencer is one of the best ways to boost reach across a target audience, but that doesn’t mean it’s free of challenges and Ayaz Nanji takes this on in Marketers’ Biggest Challenges With Social Influencers:

challenges-influencers-280715

We would add one very important caveat: Be sure the partnership matches brand values on both sides. Throughly vet anyone you decide to partner with, be it brand or personal brand/influencer; that goes a long way toward “predicting behavior”.

The platform-specific info you need.

Because you can never get too good at Instagram, Jim Dougherty has 10 Pro Tips for Instagram from the pros, via Cision.

Heard about the Twitter Q2 announcements but weren’t sure what to make of them? SHIFT Comm has a great breakdown from Chris PennState of Social Media 2Q 2015: Twitter Users Plateau. The best takeaway?

“Should marketers be concerned with Twitter’s lack of growth? Perhaps, but that’s a determination marketers will need to make on an individual basis. Look in your web analytics at Twitter’s traffic over a multi-year period. Here’s an example:

shift comm

In this particular instance, while Twitter’s overall membership may not have increased, Twitter’s ability to drive traffic to a desired web destination has improved substantially in very recent times.”

Emphasis added.

Last but not least, Jay Baer is laying down 5 Reasons You Don’t Buy Likes with Facebook Advertising over at Convince and Convert. The bottom line?

“Remember: clicks first, fans second.”


 

So what’s the best thing you’ve read this week?

3 ways entertainment marketers can better engage fans on social media

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This post originally appeared on MediaPost and we are pleased to be able to share it with you here!

Some of the most popular social media accounts belong to entertainment brands — celebrities, TV shows, movies, entertainment media — the list goes on. These brands have built up large, loyal followings by sharing lots of great content on social media. These brands resonate well on visually focused channels like Instagram, Tumblr and Snapchat, and on social hubs like Facebook and Twitter.

What can we learn from these successes? How can other entertainment marketers better engage fans on social media? Luckily, entertainment brands have plenty of engaging, social-ready content at their fingertips; it’s just a matter of figuring out what to share and how. If you’re working with an entertainment brand, here are three ways to more deeply engage with your fans on social media.

Provide sneak peeks for your fans

Give your followers something extra or early. Reward their loyalty by sharing content earlier on your social channels than anywhere else. Some brands post new trailers first on social channels. Others send a secret password to share new content with lucky contest winners before sharing it publicly. No matter how you decide to do it, giving your social audiences early access to new content is a great way to reward followers (and get new ones).

Sony Pictures’ Goosebumps movie recently encouraged fans to tweet to unlock a new trailer. When fans posted enough tweets to hit a volume threshold, Sony released a new full-length trailer for the movie. It was a great way to get fans excited about the film and spread the word across Twitter.

Make the most of your content exhaust

Content exhaust is anything that’s left over after a project is finished, all the extra content that’s created and discarded as you work on polishing the final product. That can be outtakes, behind the scenes stories, images from the cutting room floor, backstage video, pre-Photoshop photos, and more. What may seem mundane to those involved in a production can be extremely interesting to fans who don’t experience the entertainment business every day. Inviting your fans behind the scenes makes them feel more connected and invested in your project. And on social media, it’s completely acceptable to share less polished content, particularly on channels like Snapchat. Just because something is public doesn’t mean it has to be perfect, so don’t feel like everything you share has to have the same production values as the show or movie itself. Use the content exhaust you’re already creating to your advantage.

ABC Family does a wonderful job with Pretty Little Liars. Across the “PLL” social accounts, they’re constantly posting pictures of the cast goofing around together, attending red carpet events, even posing with signs about fans. This kind of content rewards fans for following and makes them feel included in how the show is made.

 

We do too! #PLL #Ezria #EzriaForever

A photo posted by Pretty Little Liars (@prettylittleliars) on

Go beyond the story on screen

Fans of a show or movie will want to go deeper into the story, beyond what can be shown on screen. Use social media to provide more information for them. You could share extended scenes, deeper dives into a back story, more information about real-life events that influence a story, interviews with writers and directors — anything that extends the story beyond the main screen. The more information you provide about a story, the more invested the audience will be in its outcome. A lot of fans will try to piece together this information on their own, so provide some help or participate in the conversation when you can.

True Detective on HBO does this very well. The show’s story is full of mystery already, and every week fans discuss possible clues and conspiracies across social media. On Instagram, the show shares images and short videos through the season to encourage this conversation. They could take further advantage of this by sharing more information from the show’s writer about the unusual real-life events and locations that inspire the storyline.

 

#TrueDetective

A video posted by True Detective (@truedetective) on

 

Want to measure the impact of your social media content? Take a look at all the analytics we offer at Union Metrics.

Written by Sarah

July 30th, 2015 at 8:12 am

Our favorite social media stats and facts

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Social media changes quickly, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest usage information for the top channels. We thought we’d make it easier by rounding up our five favorite nuggets for our four favorite social networks: Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook.

Many of these come from Union Metrics research, so feel free to check out our resources page or see how we can help you measure your efforts in each of these places, if you’re eager to see how that after-hours Tumblr queue is paying off.

Tumblr

  1. Tumblr is a night owl. 42% of all Tumblr activity takes place between 5pm and 1am ET (Source). Takeaway: Brands should try posting outside of traditional business hours to see how their content performs.
  2. Disney is by far the most popular brand on Tumblr, seeing more overall activity and stronger engagement than any other brand – nearly two times more (Source). Takeaway: Consider a Tumblr presence to join in on the fan conversation that inevitably already exists around your brand.
  3. 50% of Tumblr users have gone out and bought something they’ve seen on their dashboard (Source). Takeaway: Make it easy for your followers to buy the things you show them on their dash. With the ”Buy” button introduced last year, it’s easier than ever.
  4. Saturday and Sunday are the most active days on Tumblr (Source). Takeaway: Have a content plan for the weekends. Pay attention to when the most original content is published (bonus stat: that’s 4pm on Sunday) and see how your content performs posted at or around that time.
  5. Fandom thrives on Tumblr (Source). Takeaway: Movies and television shows should know that their fandoms are on Tumblr, and they are legion. Incorporate fan art (like Teen Wolf) or photos (like Doctor Who) into your content strategy where it makes sense. Make fans feel heard, and appreciated.

Times of Tumblr

Twitter

  1. Most customers expect a response on social media within an hour (Source). Takeaway: This is true even of nights and weekends, so brands looking to have an active Twitter presence need to be prepared for that.
  2. Tweets with images or videos in them get more engagement than tweets with text alone (Source). Takeaway: Add appropriate visuals to your tweets whenever possible, but don’t just stick any old image on there just to have one. Choose striking, meaningful visual content to catch your audience’s eye.
  3. Related to that last point? Tweets with images take up more than twice as much vertical space in the timeline (Source). Takeaway: Simply taking up more space on someone’s feed- particularly when they’re out and about, scrolling through mobile- means your tweets are much harder to simply scan and dismiss. Especially if you choose that visually arresting image we talked about.
  4. Speaking of mobile users, recent numbers show “80% of users access Twitter via their mobile device” (Source). Takeaway: This means that unless those mobile users are on wifi, they don’t have as much bandwidth to work with and they aren’t going to want to wait forever for images to download, so make sure those visually arresting images aren’t huge. If it’s a big infographic, choose one piece to show and link back to the whole thing.
  5. When a show’s stars live-tweet an episode during its airtime, they “generate 64% more discussion (ie. tweets about the show) than programs whose cast members abstain” (Source). Takeaway: Even if you’re not in TV, live-tweeting a relevant event- a webinar, a conference, a presentation or panel during an industry meetup- will make you part of a bigger discussion and introduce you to new contacts. Just be sure to use the official hashtags—  or create them.

Instagram

  1. Our own Union Metrics research recommends brands try posting outside of U.S. business hours (Source). Takeaway: Evenings and weekends are times most people have free to browse social and catch up on their streams. Brands should test posting during these times and see if they get a bump in engagement from fans and followers who are otherwise busy during the work day.
  2. Keeping up your content cadence matters more than how often you post (Source). Takeaway: Obviously you don’t want to completely flood the Instagram feed of your fans and followers, but it’s not unusual for brands to post several times a day. If you have a large queue of content for a campaign, however, and it runs dry afterward before you can plan a robust content calendar, you will start to lose followers.
  3. Content on Instagram lives longer than you probably realize (Source). Takeaway: Although most activity happens in the first several hours after a brand posts to Instagram, it’s not unusual to see low-level content for days and weeks after a post is first made. Don’t be afraid to edit old posts with newer hashtags to see if you can boost engagement on them.
  4. Brands who advertise on Instagram may continue to see increased engagement after an advertising period has ended; in one case we saw a brand with “a nearly 10% increase in engagement rates across the board, increasing the total activities received per organic post by 25% on average” (Source). Takeaway: If you’re thinking of taking the plunge and advertising on Instagram, the benefits could be longer lasting than you might have assumed.
  5. Related to the previous point, Instagram is opening up advertising to everyone this fall (Source). Takeaway: Just be sure your creative is up to snuff; Instagram users are used to high-quality, well-executed content.

 

 

Facebook

  1. Images that include people and faces perform well on Facebook (Source). Takeaway: Facebook is a place people connect with friends and family they’re close to in real life, so reflecting this ease and friendliness in your visuals helps your content resonate with those who choose to connect with your brand there.
  2. You have three seconds to get your fans’ attention in a video (Source). Takeaway: Videos need to be immediately arresting, and also perform well without sound since not everyone opts to turn it on. Shorter videos also tend to perform better than long videos on Facebook.
  3. Posts with a ton of hashtags don’t perform well on Facebook (Source). Takeaway: Your audience may love hashtags on Facebook, but it seems like most don’t, unless they’re a big popular hashtag like #TBT or popular and annual, like #NationalRunningDay. Use your discretion and test one or two on your posts to see how your audience responds. But definitely don’t leave all 30 from your Instagram post on Facebook; edit that cross-post down!
  4. 79% of all users are accessing Facebook from their mobile (Source). Takeaway: A lot of social activity is happening on people’s phones, when they’re out and about, commuting, or at home in the evenings. Be sure your content is optimized for mobile to capitalize on this audience. Think about what you want to see within the confines of a smartphone screen and how much data you have to work with.
  5. Facebook isn’t just Facebook; most people know they own Instagram, but some forget about the other entities in the Facebook ecosystem, including WhatsApp, Messenger, and Occulus (Source). Takeaway: These other apps are something to keep an eye on as the industry develops over the coming years, particularly in the private messaging space. It’s direct access to consumers, but difficult for brands to balance without coming across as creepy or intrusive.

Written by Sarah

July 28th, 2015 at 9:08 am