TweetReach Blog

The Week in Social #163

0 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.

Video content marketing is the new black (still).

Brendan Gahan talks Today’s Digital Video Revolution & The Future of Brand on Brian Solis’s blog. The question to be asking isn’t who will win, Periscope or Meerkat, (Vine and Instagram video have each found their own place, after all) but how can your brand keep up with the demand for video?

Related, In A Much Sharper Vision for Online VideoMatthew Schwartz reminds us that

“. . .in order for online video to work with your audience, it must have a sharp message and purpose. Technical wizardry won’t hurt your brand or organization, but the larger goal should be figuring out how the message in the video will tie to corporate objectives, financial and otherwise. It’s a steep mountain to climb (and I’ve got my Sherpa lined up).”

In other words, if you’re going to do it, do it right. And that involves putting some real time and effort into producing quality content that’s useful for your audience. Emphasis added.

Content marketing hasn’t disappeared, however.

Everyone loves to hold up BuzzFeed as an example of content marketing success but Jonathan Crossfield brings up an important point in Why BuzzFeed Shouldn’t Blow Your Marketing Mind: Unless your business model also relies on traffic over sales, theirs isn’t the model to emulate.

In How to Dig Deep for Richer Content from Rachel Truair discusses the “content iceberg”: Most content answers obvious, surface questions. By talking to your sales team, your HR department, your suppliers, or listening to your industry at large, you can uncover more difficult, frequently asked questions customers may even be reluctant to ask. That’s that kind of question you should strive to answer clearly and have easily available for prospects to read— everything “below the iceberg”.

Data still drives everything.

As Chel Wolverton  of SHIFT reminds us, Data-driven still needs human decisions. A computer might be able to tell you that you’re getting a lot of hits on your blog from a certain forum which should mean it’s a ripe target for engagement, but only human common sense can tell you not to engage if that forum is full of people you absolutely do not want associated with your brand.

In this week’s Put A Chart On It: B2B Marketers Struggle to Generate Insights from Social Data

Regalix-B2B-Social-Marketing-Challenges-July2015

 

Notably “issues with data aren’t related to collection but rather the extraction of meaningful insights”. Fortunately we know of some analytics that come with an actionable insight stream, if you’re interested in that level of clarity.

And last but not least, Facebook’s latest updates.

Finally Marisa Sanfilippo breaks down Facebook Updates Controls for News Feed with See it First: What This Means for Marketers. The bottom line? Ask your customers to include you in their list of “up to 30 Pages, friends, and/or groups they want to see first in their News Feed.” You never get what you don’t ask for, after all.

newsfeed_preferences_home


 

Thanks for reading, and see you again next week!

Written by Sarah

July 17th, 2015 at 8:52 am

Amazon Prime Day on Twitter

0 comments

So, how big a deal was Amazon Prime Day today? There certainly was a lot of hype leading up to it. How did it turn out? Let’s see what Twitter thought.

On Wednesday, July 15, there were 252,000 tweets about Amazon Prime Day, from more than 145,000 different Twitter accounts. These tweets have generated more than 1.9 billion potential impressions and a potential unique reach of 193 million. This graph shows related tweets hour-by-hour today. New tweets came in at a rate of around 10.5k per hour.

Amazon Prime Day on Twitter

Some of the top tweets discussed the biggest or most interesting deals, while other reflected some disappointment in the sales offered. Most of the really good deals sold out quickly. Here’s a sample of the most popular Amazon Prime Day tweets.

Did you participate? What kinds of deals did you score? Did you post about Amazon Prime Day on Twitter?

And of course, if you’re interested in these kind of analytics for your event or brand, take a look at TweetReach Pro. Real-time, ongoing Twitter analytics for any hashtags, keywords, accounts on Twitter, starting at just $99 per month. For $99, you get 2 real-time Trackers, unlimited full snapshot reports, and more! Questions? Let’s talk.

Written by Jenn D

July 15th, 2015 at 2:04 pm

The Week in Social #162

2 comments

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics with our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook

On improving your visual content marketing.

Check out these Eight examples of effective emotional video content from Econsultancy, read up on how Meerkat’s Cameo Feature Could Unite Brands and Influencers in Exciting New Ways via Adweek, and test out 4 More Photo Tips Gleaned from the 365 Full Frame Project from Geoff Livingston. meerkatgif

On Facebook.

3 Easy Facebook Insights Tips to Boost Engagement [from The Buzz Bin; written by Rosalie Morton]

Head over to the ‘Posts’ tab to see exactly when your page’s fans are online and schedule your posts for around those times. If more of your fans are online, you’ll have the ability to reach more eyes.” 

Caveat: Posting earlier in the day doesn’t mean your posts won’t show up in their timeline when they’re active later. Test different posting times- a few hours before they’re active, just before, and during- and see which gives you the best engagement.

On storytelling and content marketing.

The Minimalist Approach to Brand Storytelling [from Spin Sucks; written by Laura Petrolino]

Show, don’t tell. You want to leave enough open to let readers fill in the rest of the story themselves in a way they best connect with it.

6 Elements Of Remarkable Storytelling [from B2B Marketing Insider; written by Carla Johnson]

Basic storytelling structure applies to every story, even brand stories.

The Difference Between Content And Content Marketing [from MarketingLand; written by Rebecca Lieb]

Deciding what, exactly, counts as content and should be overseen by a content team can start to get tricky, especially at scale (think every web page, every product description, every piece of collateral, in addition to all the content going out across blogs, social, campaigns. . .you get the idea).

A very thoughtful piece on an exceedingly grey area.

4 ways branded Snapchat content is different

0 comments

Recently we looked at how Snapchat has evolved for brands, but we wanted to dig a little deeper into how exactly content on Snapchat differs for brands, and show you with more examples across different industries. After all it’s one thing to have a vague idea about the disappearing images those kids are sending and what actually goes into the stories teams are building to send to their Snapchat fans.

Still got questions? Leave ‘em in the comments! Let’s get snapping.

1. It’s more informal

While other platforms like Instagram are all about beautiful, well-staged photography- particularly product tableaus for many brands- Snapchat is more about sharing what’s happening in the moment, with quality as a lesser concern. (Possibly a result of the in-app camera being generally darker and the photos compressed to save server space.) The relaxed tone leaves viewers feeling more like an insider than someone looking at repurposed magazine shots, and that can create a sense of intimacy with a brand that can lead to customer loyalty.

2. And less aspirational

The informal feel of Snapchat means viewers aren’t expecting to see their aspirations laid out for them the way they are in places like Instagram and Pinterest. Brands who normally present a more luxurious, well-staged feel- like Sephora- tone things down on Snapchat to bring their followers of-the-moment updates. Snapchat is the sweatpants-in-the-makeup-chair-before-a-photoshoot platform.

3. Making it perfect for behind-the-scenes shares

If you have access to the latest gadgets, the coolest musicians, or the upcoming fashion line, then Snapchat is the perfect place to share behind-the-scenes moments with these people and things in way that feels very intimate (like the sweatpants makeup chair example in the last section). Even though viewers know anyone can watch a story who chooses to follow that brand on Snapchat, it still feels like a celebrity has sent a story just to you, especially if they take over an MTV rep’s phone and shoot in selfie mode.

4. But it still matches overall brand aesthetic

While it’s important not to overly stage and process your Snapchat content- which is impossible, given the previously mentioned in-app camera quality- you DO still want it to feel cohesive with the rest of your brand. Viewers can take screenshots and those will end up on the wild of the Internet, so unless it’s a strategic brand move, you don’t want to completely depart from the rest of your visual brand.

How do you do that? Let’s look at some examples more in-depth.

Brands on Snapchat: How they do it.

Beauty brand Sephora has an extensive social presence that is very cohesive and navigates the differences between each platform well; you can compare the well-staged and lit product shots and celebrity regrams on their Instagram profile, their well-executed digital magazine on Tumblr, similar product shots and information shared across their Twitter and Facebook profiles, and their extensive Pinterest presence (how-tos, inspiration) with their much more informal Snapchat presence:

 

 

NPR has a more serious expected presence as a news organization, so Snapchat is a great way for them to infuse more personality into their reporting with some behind-the-scenes tours, quick facts from various reporters, on-the-ground reporting for breaking news, and more. They’ve written extensively about their experience with Snapchat on their Social Media Desk Tumblr, with their latest intern sharing her experience with running Snapchat for a major news organization, how to engage an audience on Snapchat, and even the difference in reporting a breaking news event on different platforms (Snapchat vs. Instagram). Even if you’re not a news organization, there are some great takeaways from NPR. Particularly: Experiment, try new things, don’t be afraid to fail. It makes you more human to your audience. 

Mashable has a much lighter brand reputation, known for mixing in fun, Buzzfeed-esque posts alongside reporting from big tech events and covering product and platform updates. Their Snapchat is incredibly well-executed, utilizing all the different ways the platform has to communicate: Drawing on the screen, combining drawing with text, emojis, and more:

 

Finally GE uses Snapchat to show off a much more casual side of their brand. While their Tumblr is full of high quality images and gifs around different science and tech that you can see repurposed on their Instagram profile, while Facebook and Twitter share science and tech news of a slightly different flavor repackaged for each place, they use Snapchat to share quick science facts and encourage viewers to engage with them back on those different platforms:

Bonus: Basic updates

Recently Snapchat has released some updates that make it even easier to use. Where you used to have to hold your finger on the screen to view a snap- and if you let go, the countdown didn’t stop!- now you simply tap a snap or story to view it. Dismissing a story simply requires swiping down from the top of the screen instead of letting go, but is still an option in case you decide viewing an up-close-and-personal running of the bulls isn’t for you.

Written by Sarah

July 8th, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Posted in Guides,Trends

Tagged with ,

The Week in Social #161

0 comments

It’s Friday the Thursday before an observed July 4th holiday here in the U.S., and that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics with our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook

On storytelling.

The Secret Every Great Storyteller Knows [from Social Media Today; written by Bree Baich]

If you want to be a great storyteller, you must first and foremost be a great listener.

Digital Storytelling: How to Share Ideas in Innovative Ways [from The Buzz Bin; written by Rachel McPherson]

If you have the resources to literally immerse your audience in your content, then do it. For example, this Interactive Everest Climb from The Washington Post:

everest-promo-new

Content marketing, strategy, and inspiration from recent great campaigns and stories.

“How to” Videos – A Golden Opportunity for Brands to Generate Content [from Business2Community; written by Elizabeth Dyrsmid]

Demo your products, help your customers solve their problems, and do it all in the hot content format of the moment: video.

10 Stupidly Simple “Hacks” To Win At Content Marketing [from MarketingLand; written by Quinn Whissen]

“Content marketing is hard. But it doesn’t have to be boring.”

Read on for the author’s list of “tiny, innovative tests” that can “drive serious results”. And remember that people are lazy: Make it easy for them by creating content that will solve their problems.

Facebook content strategy is a time bomb for inbound marketing [from {grow}; written by Mark Schaefer]

“A few years ago, the major social platforms were happy to have your links to great content but now they are transforming themselves into virtual news and entertainment channels because they want you to spend time on their site, not yours.”

The landscape is changing. What do you think?

11 best social campaigns and stories from June 2015 [from Econsultancy; written by Christopher Ratcliff]

These monthly roundups from Econsultancy should go on your must reads for content marketing inspiration.

And finally, on getting that content shared, and how networks can trick us.

Five reasons people share content [from We Are Social; written by Lisa Collins]

“In his analysis of The New York Times study social media guru Jeff Bullas claims there are five reasons that we share content with others:

  1. To bring valuable and entertaining content to others
  2. To define ourselves to others
  3. To grow and nourish our relationships
  4. Self-fulfilment
  5. To get the word out about causes and brands”

So: Awe your audience. It’s that simple, and that difficult.

The Social-Network Illusion That Tricks Your Mind [from MIT Technology Review]

Meet the Majority Illusion:

Majority illussion

“They illustrate this illusion with a theoretical example: a set of 14 nodes linked up to form a small world network, just like a real social network (see picture above). They then color three of these nodes and count how many of the remaining nodes link to them in a single step.

Two versions of this setup are shown above. In the left-hand example, the uncolored nodes see more than half of their neighbors as colored. In the right-hand example, this is not true for any of the uncolored nodes.

But here’s the thing: the structure of the network is the same in both cases. The only thing that changes is the nodes that are colored.

This is the majority illusion—the local impression that a specific attribute is common when the global truth is entirely different.”

Marketers may recognize this in the form of identifying the influencers in any particular space.

Bonus read: How to Build Rapport and Pitch Media Using Twitter via SHIFT Comm.

Tracking Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat with TweetReach

0 comments

We’ve briefly discussed before that you can track anything cross-posted to Twitter from an account on another social platform - a Vine video or Instagram photo – by using TweetReach, but we wanted to give some more specific tips about how these different platforms work together so you can get the best results possible for anything you’re tracking.

As always, let us know if you still have questions by leaving them in the comments, or shooting us an email.

TweetReach and Vine

Since Vine is a Twitter app and TweetReach is made to measure Twitter, you might think the easiest way to measure a Vine would be to track a particular tweet it was embedded in, but tracking the unique URL of the Vine itself will get you better results; if it gets picked up or shortened anywhere else on Twitter we should still be able to grab it.

With snapshot reports, all you need to do is put the URL of the Vine in the search box, like with this Vine of a panda from the San Diego Zoo. (For more details on what you can search in a snapshot report, see this.)

Vine TR report

And your returned report will look a little something like this.

Remember, however, that snapshots return limited results; even a full report purchased for $20 will only return results for up to 1500 tweets (reports will always tell you at the top if there are enough tweets to warrant purchasing a full report) so if it’s a wildly popular Vine that has been shared widely, your report won’t cover all of those shares. But if you don’t have a big budget or just want to get an idea of the scope of a single Vine, a snapshot is perfect for your needs.

For those with a bigger budget, TweetReach Pro can track a Vine as one of the queries in a Tracker; just be sure you use the URL of the specific Vine you want for the best results rather than its title. Just putting the word “Vine” will give you a Tracker filled with much more useless noise than with the information that you want. Always be as specific as possible with your search terms! 

TweetReach and Instagram

While Instagram revoked display cards for Twitter, never fear, you can still track any Instagram photo cross-posted to Twitter by its unique URL, or by any unique hashtags you may have paired with it. You can track both and compare results; it’s possible that someone saw your tweet and picked up a hashtag for their own use, perhaps purposefully for a contest, or as an organic use of online language.

Instagram tracking

For a full breakdown of how to track Instagram with a TweetReach Pro Tracker, see this post. For running a quick snapshot report, it will be the same as with Vines above: Simply plug in the URL of the Instagram photo you’re wanting to track, and you’ll get an idea of the spread of that particular Instagram photo on Twitter shortly.

TweetReach and Snapchat

Snapchat is a little bit trickier to track, simply because anything from the site will be a screenshot that someone has taken of a snap or a story and shared. If the screenshot of a snap was directly uploaded to Twitter, all you have to do is track that particular tweet; best results will be by tracking a specific hashtag tweeted with it (for example, #PatriotSnapsWhatUp for the snap below), but you can also search the specific wording of the tweet in quotes.

Is that everything?

That’s all we’ve got for now. Got any questions? Check out our help page for more details on what you can track with TweetReach and how, or leave any additional questions in the comments!

Written by Sarah

June 30th, 2015 at 8:37 am

Posted in Guides

Tagged with , , ,

The Week in Social #160

2 comments

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics with our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Link to it in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook

On big questions, social media crisis, and the law.

Better Client Insights Begin With Why [from SHIFT Comm; written by Chel Wolverton]

“It’s important to note that while asking ‘Why?’ helps understand what the client needs, what the client needs may not always be what they want. We need to come to a mutual understanding and relationship built on trusting our experience. Our job in revealing client insights is to help them grow and prosper. Understanding ‘Why?’ helps us explain to our clients the choices we make, especially when they run contrary to their expressed desires.”

Emphasis added.

Do Social Media Crises Actually Exist? [from Social Media Explorer; written by Kat French]

Before you panic, read this:

“Heightened, alarmist language like ‘social media crisis’ creates unnecessary fear and drama around something that should be a normal part of doing business. It supports the unrealistic expectation that nothing negative will or should ever be said about your company online.

Unfortunately, managing the fallout from mistakes is a part of every business. But the odds are, unless your situation is truly unprecedented, business will soon get back to normal.”

So: Make a crisis communication plan (here’s a free tip sheet from Cision) and be prepared for the worst, but don’t panic.

Emphasis added.

What You Need to Know About the FTC’s New Social Media Ethics Q&A [from PRNewser; written by Patrick Coffee]

When in doubt, disclose. But here are some basic takeaways:

  • ‘The purchase/sale of fake ‘likes’ or followers is ‘clearly deceptive’
  • Followers participating in contests used to promote a given brand must make that fact clear (preferably by using “contest” or “sweepstakes” in the hashtag
  • The client is ultimately responsible for the individuals who post on its behalf
  • Sponsored videos should note their status in the videos themselves (information below is not good enough)

All things platform-specific

Instagram Marketing: What Instagram’s New Ad Business Means for Brands [from AdWeek; written by Francis Trapp] 

“The specializations of influencers allow brands a more refined and controlled advertising solution. The scope of aspirational categories that Instagram influencers fall into is entirely consumer-driven: From health and beauty tips, to niche diet guides and emerging fashion trends, Instagram influencers reflect what consumers want to see and want to be.

This, in turn, creates a captive market of consumers searching for the products with which they can recreate the lifestyle of an influencer.

The process is the evolved by Instagram’s ad business: The simple association between a brand and an influencer translates an unfamiliar product to an aspirational product; Instagram’s integrated external links seal the deal and make the sale.”

Just be sure you’re doing all the necessary disclosing as laid out in the FTC post above.

Emphasis added.

And finally, the best of this week on content marketing

7 Essential Roles for a Successful Content Marketing Strategy [from B2B Marketing Insider; written by Liz Bedor]

Keep these roles in mind when building a content marketing team. If you are one person performing all seven of these roles, godspeed.

Written by Sarah

June 26th, 2015 at 9:29 am

10 ways for brands to succeed on Facebook

0 comments

Even though Facebook is currently the most widely-used social network on the planet with more than 1.3 billion users, it’s not always easy for brands to know how to create relevant content that reaches the widest audience. Not only is Facebook itself always changing how it displays page content, but users are constantly using Facebook in new and different ways. So here are some tips to help you make the most of Facebook.

PS – Did you know we offer Facebook analytics now? We do! Learn more here.

1. Post visual content

Visual content marketing is everywhere (we should know; we wrote an ebook about it), and Facebook is no exception. It’s why your aunt posts so many unfortunate memes that flood your News Feed. Eye-catching images make you at least pause and go, Wait, what is that? Just be sure to take your images beyond “WTF” to “whatever is useful and engaging to your particular audience”. Unless WTF is on-brand for you.

2. Post more content when your audience is around

This seems obvious but can be neglected when you’re stressed out and just need to get something posted every day. Pay attention to what Facebook Insights- or your attractive and insightful Union Metrics Facebook analytics- tell you about the time your fans spend on Facebook, and use that to help decide when to post to your page. If you post at 11am and they all log in at 6pm, are they still going to see your post on their News Feed? Test a few different times, pay attention to the engagement rates, and plan accordingly going forward.

3. Use hashtags effectively

While a ton of hashtags might work well to get your content in front of more eyeballs on Instagram, our research has shown that you should use just one or two hashtags per post on Facebook. But again, this is something you’ll have to test and gauge the response of your own audience on. Maybe they’re #triple #hashtag #threat people.

4. Boost some of your content

Which posts have gotten high organic engagement? Compare them to pull out common elements, then try posting something that includes many or all of those elements. Then boost that post to see if you can improve your reach and engagement even more. Boosting some content will help all the rest of your content get shown more often.

5. Create content that works across channels

Even with unlimited resources, it’s smart to design content you can get mileage out of across the platforms your fans, followers and customers are active on. Ideally you’ll want to create striking images that can be tweaked for maximum impact on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and wherever else it is that your people are.

6. Include relevant people and locations in your posts

Employee advocacy is an important part of growing your brand, and socially savvy employees will enjoy the recognition of being tagged in event photos or for writing a post. You can also mention influencers or personal brands in posts. Tagging relevant people and places will give your content the chance to earn an extra boost from being seen by the networks of those people and places, and just maybe someone new will decide to check you out.

7. Post often, but not too often

While a Facebook News Feed moves slower than a typical Twitter timeline, you can still update a few times a day without overwhelming your followers, simply based on the algorithm Facebook uses to show fans and followers new content; unless a fan has specifically updated their settings to see as many of your posts as possible, they’ll most likely only see one. You easily can post 2-3 times a day, maybe more. But in general, we advise against posting more than 5 times a day for most pages.

8. Be responsive

According to some reports, a majority of brands aren’t responsive to customer queries and complaints on their Facebook pages; be sure you’re one of the ones that is! This is an easy way to stand out from your competition, and it’s just plain good customer service. Treat it just like you would Twitter for customer questions.

9. Learn from the best

Take a look at successful Facebook pages in different industries to get new ideas for what might work for your brand. You can learn a lot by watching others (both what to do and what not to do!). Test a few different things with your audience before sticking to what works as measured by the things that matter most to you and your brand.

10. The bottom line

Work to understand which content performs best for your audience. Start with best practices but don’t be afraid to experiment. Then measure, learn, and implement what you’ve learned.

 

What’s the best branded Facebook page you’ve seen? Tell us about it in the comments! 

Written by Sarah

June 25th, 2015 at 10:27 am

Announcing the updated Union Metrics Social Suite: Now with multi-channel analytics AND Facebook!

0 comments

At Union Metrics, we strive to build the best social media analytics possible and we are so excited to finally share with you the latest result of our work: the addition of multi-channel reporting and Facebook page analytics to the Union Metrics Social Suite!

Union Metrics Multi-Channel Detail Trackers by Channel

If you’ve been a regular user of TweetReach or our Instagram or Tumblr analytics and have been thinking of upgrading, there’s never been a better time! Now you can have everything you need to monitor your social efforts and strategize for the future in one seamless place; these updates are only available in the Union Metrics Social Suite.

If you want to learn more, join us for a webinar onThursday, June 25, where we’ll demo the new functionality and show you how you can use our multi-channel reporting to improve your social media strategy. Or email us to talk to our sales team right now.

Want more details on what’s included? Keep reading!

Multi-channel dashboard

Our new multi-channel analytics provide a holistic view into campaign performance across social media channels, in one easy-to-read dashboard. To provide answers to our customers’ biggest social media questions, we now bring you insights across all the social channels you monitor. You can:

  • Compare content across channels to see what’s working where
  • Identify spikes in engagement across social media to uncover trends
  • Easily measure share of voice and benchmark against competitors
  • And so much more!

Union Metrics Facebook Analytics Tracker Overview Short

Facebook analytics

We’ve also added another social media channel to our offering – Facebook! Starting today, Social Suite subscribers can now access Facebook analytics in their account and pull all their most important social media analytics into one place. You can:

  • Learn which posts are performing the best – and why
  • Understand the impact of paid and organic activity on your page’s success
  • Analyze fan growth and demographics to better know your audience
  • Create more relevant content that generates more engagement

Learn more at unionmetrics.com and please let us know if you have any questions!

Written by Sarah

June 23rd, 2015 at 9:21 am

4 things for personal fitness brands to consider in building their brand

0 comments

We’ve looked at how brands provide virtual support for fans and followers of all levels looking to live an active lifestyle, and wanted to look at how personal brands approach the same audiences.

It’s challenging to connect to an audience across levels of interest and ability that might be drawn to a personal brand for different reasons; everything from just liking how the person behind the brand presents themselves, to respecting their work ethic, sense of humor, a combination of all three, or something else entirely.

There are takeaways for non-personal brands here too, the least of which is understanding how personal brands operate if you’re a traditional brand looking to partner with one in a current or future campaign.

 

1. Show shared values.

Increasingly customers want to spend their money on brands who share the same values as they do; a 2013 Edelman brandshare study said “92 percent of people want to do business with companies that share their beliefs”. This is somewhat easier to achieve as a personal brand- after all, your audience is relating to you as a person rather than a logo or a corporate entity- but that also makes the stakes higher if your audience discovers you aren’t authentically living up to your values.

Decide what’s most important to you as a personal brand that you want to communicate to your audience and design creative ways to share that, both visually and with written content. (What does that look like? We’ll cover it with some examples in #4.)

2. Choose carefully who you partner with in a campaign or sponsorship deal.

Shared values become even more important when brands and personal brands are looking to partner up for a campaign or in a sponsorship deal; either risks alienating their audience if that audience feels the partnership isn’t born of genuine, shared values. (That’s when the term “sellout” starts getting thrown around a lot.)

Both brands and personal brands should do their research to vet each other out as a good match on a campaign or sponsorship deal, figure out where their audiences overlap, and especially what parts of their audiences don’t overlap so they can discover how best to reach each of these segments with inspiring content of value for them.

3. Add a personal touch.

The advantage of being a personal brand is that it’s automatically more, well, personal. You’re free to let thoughts and feelings shine through, particularly during tough training sessions, setbacks, and winning moments that come with living an athletic lifestyle. Personal brands can communicate this in ways that are difficult for traditional brands to master. After all you’re just one person, talking to your audience about the same issues they deal with during their own athletic journey.

Use this to your advantage and be authentic without oversharing unnecessary personal details.

4. Look at who does it well.

We mentioned Tone It Up as a great example of an inspiring lifestyle and fitness brand in the previous post, and the two women behind it are an even better example of personal brands coming together to create a bigger brand with a strong community they’ve inspired behind it.

Separate from their Tone It Up Instagram account, they have a joint personal account that shares photos of the two of them shopping for healthy foods for a week’s worth of meal preparations, celebrating big moments in the community, behind-the-scenes shots for upcoming TIU events, and just being themselves and relating to their followers over common interests and indulgences, like in this image:

TIU wine

Image via karenakatrina on Instagram. 

The TIU brand is the two women behind it, and they work to make themselves as relatable as possible while still posting images that keep their community inspired.

A similar approach comes from Kelly Roberts of Run, Selfie, Repeat. Her blog is all about her personal experiences with running and she’s very open and honest about every missed run, every difficult run, and her tactics for getting through those tough moments (a lot of selfies and singing Taylor Swift). She’s currently asking her community of fans and followers to help her get on the cover of Runner’s World.

Run Selfie RepeatImage via kellykkroberts on Instagram

For an example of a professional athlete with a well-executed personal brand, look no further than ballerina Misty Copeland, a soloist with the American Ballet Theater. Her recent partnership with Under Armor in the I Will What I Want campaign is a fantastic example of shared values and inspiration in action.

On her Instagram account, she reposts images from collaborators and her community, a great way to further engage with fans and followers and share across audiences (remember that overlap we mentioned earlier? Here’s a great way to reach across it).

Misty CopelandImage via mistyonpointe on Instagram 

The bottom line?

Personal brands have an edge over traditional brands in connecting with their fans and followers over shared values around a fitness lifestyle, but the stakes are also higher if the audience ever feels like they were mislead about the authenticity of those values. Personal brands should share what honestly inspires them, and never be afraid to share difficult moments in their athletic journeys. These serve to make the audience feel like they can really connect with the person they’re following behind the “brand” because they’ve had the same experiences.

Written by Sarah

June 22nd, 2015 at 11:10 am