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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

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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.

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 #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.

The Week in Social #170

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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.

Brand lessons.

We may not all have the resources and budgets of the big brands, but that doesn’t mean we can’t glean some knowledge from how they run things. Andrew Hutchison interviews Emma Williamson,  L’Oréal’s manager for Consumer Affairs and Social Media for the Australia and New Zealand region for Social Media Today’s Big Brand Theory: L’Oréal Stays Connected to Their Audience via Social.

“All channels of social media allow for us to have this relevant and on time discussion with our consumer – we need to be available in multiple channels and don’t value one over the other.”

Be available where your customer expects to find you, not just where you think your brand should be.

Michele Linn highlights another great example of this in How to Get the Right Content to the Right People at the Right Time: A Look at This American Life for Content Marketing Institute. Today’s content creators need to aim for:

“The right person to get
The right content
At the right place
At the right time
In the right format
In the right language
On the right device”

On choosing the right format.

Not sure if you should use a GIF or a Cinemagraph, or what the difference between them is anyway? Nicole Effendy at Ogilvy has you covered:


On Periscope.

Smart phones have helped end the taboo of vertical video, but now Periscope is giving the option for landscape purists to broadcast in their preferred format, as Martin Beck reports for Marketing Land. If you’re still not convinced your brand needs to be on Periscope, Chris Kyriacou has six reasons to convince you.

On Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook brand page layouts might be getting tweaked, while Instagram Ads Go Global, Including New 30-Second Commercials according to Josh Constine for TechCrunch.

And finally, a big milestone for Snapchat.

They hit 4 billion video views daily. Good work for a ghost.

Written by Sarah

September 11th, 2015 at 11:16 am

The Week in Social #168

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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.

Emotions + Emoji

If you think emoji are just for the teens, this piece by Shel Holtz for Holtz Communications wants you to reconsider (if your audience is into emoji, that is): Emoji are here to stay so start figuring out how they fit in your communications.


Bonus of emoji? It’s universal:

“You don’t need to speak a common language to understand emoji. No translation is necessary. Emoji—like so many other images—transcends language barriers.”

And while social media has given us a whole new set of shiny tools to communicate with each other, human communication itself hasn’t actually changed. John Unger talks How to Tap Into Emotions and Boost Your Content Marketing for the Jeff Bullas blog.

Video + Periscope

If you’re staring at a blank video content marketing plan with mild panic, don’t worry: Simon Crofts lays out Seven ways you can achieve more with video for Econsultancy.

Wondering How to Use Periscope in Your Content Marketing? You’re in luck because Dave Murrow answers just that for Bussiness2Community. This piece has a great breakdown of the app’s basics, plus some examples of how brands are using it already and how other brands could be using it. (That’s you!)

Everything else.

Okay, maybe not everything, but here’s 5 Things Everyone Should Know About Pinterest from Jim Dougherty for Cision. Think Pinterest is only good for food blogs and crafty moms? You may want to reconsider:

Thirty percent of this business’s social traffic comes from Pinterest. What business is it?

Odds are that Bank of America didn’t come immediately to mind, but that’s the answer. Bank of America’s popular Better Money Habits Pinterest boards host original content explaining many money-related questions, and they enhance their original content with relevant re-Pins such as wedding budgeting information.”

Trying to get good organic reach on Facebook seems like a battle brands can’t win lately, but Gini Dietrich has been experimenting over at Spin Sucks, and they’re sharing their results so far in Facebook Rewards Longer Content: Here’s What We Found. Spoiler alert: longform content on Facebook might not be the kiss of death you assume it is, especially as they revamp Notes.

And last but not least, a great interview with Erin Gleeson, the outreach specialist at 1-800-PetMeds, by Kristen Matthews for Convince and Convert: How to Comply with FTC Guidelines. Read firsthand how someone running a blogger outreach program keeps everything on the up-and-up with Johnny Law.

TL;DR? When in doubt, disclose.


Have a great weekend, everyone!

Written by Sarah

August 21st, 2015 at 8:59 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.


Written by Sarah

August 14th, 2015 at 8:33 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

The Week in Social from Union Metrics #164

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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 the serious stuff: Law and crisis communication.

At it’s crux, social media is really just the latest tool humans have for communication; the nature of human communication itself hasn’t actually changed. This works both for and against brands in the midst of a social crisis, as Andy Gilman elaborates in How Social Media Changes Crisis Communications, an interview with Geoff Livingston:

“The Internet is just a vehicle. It really starts with who you are as an organization. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a company, a nonprofit or an NGO. What are your values and your messages? You can decide ‘I don’t want this community to be my customer base,’ that’s your choice. But then you suffer the consequences for it, and it is so much easier to spread that information.”

The speed and ease of communication in the social age simply means you might be facing those consequences a lot sooner and from more people than might have heard about it in a bygone era.

And if you haven’t had time to really take in the new social guidelines from the FTC, check out Adhering to the FTC’s Updated Social Media Guidelines: 5 Tips for Brands from Kristen Sussman. Truly savvy brands will run an audit to make sure even existing content meets the new guidelines. The general rule is always “when in doubt, disclose”.  

And on content marketing and storytelling, because we just can’t get enough.

Social media marketers love to declare that things are dead, occasionally, and this week it’s poor brand storytelling. Bernadette Jiwa responded with a great piece asking Is Brand Storytelling Dead?.

“. . . a brand story is more than cleverly crafted copy. A story isn’t something you choose to tell or not to tell. It’s what people believe when they encounter you or your brand, the impressions they form and the assumptions they make at every interaction with you, both in personal and business settings. Customers are making sense of your story even when they aren’t consciously paying attention.”

Emphasis added.

Want to get inside your customers heads? Then you’ll want to read Six psychology principles that can help your content marketing, from Anna Francis for Econsultancy.

Think you’ve got everything covered in your content marketing? Couldn’t hurt to be sure you haven’t missed something obvious that could be helping, and is an easier fix to make: 5 Obvious Content Marketing Strategies Most Companies Overlook from Neil Patel. (Hint: Just throwing a stock image into a post doesn’t make it “visual content marketing”.)

Finally Katie Gaab reminds us to take time for ourselves and trust in our ideas in Speak Up: Identify Influential Ideas to Make Your Mark. Maybe make time to do a little of that this weekend.

Written by Sarah

July 24th, 2015 at 9:00 am