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4 ways branded Snapchat content is different

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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 ,

Tracking Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat with TweetReach

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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

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How Snapchat has evolved for brands

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We’ve written about brands on Snapchat before- covering both the basics and brands who do it well- but social media platforms evolve almost as quickly as snaps disappear from your screen, so we thought an update was due.

Let’s dive into an updated version of the basics, how use of the platform has evolved for brands, how brand content is different on Snapchat than on other channels, and some good brand examples to illustrate it all along the way.

How the basics have changed

You still have a score, and Snapchat still has a step-by-step screencapped guide to finding and adding friends. Brands will still want to concentrate on creating stories over sending individual snaps, however, and that makes the biggest basic to be sure you make your stories viewable to anyone who adds you.

Snapchat Story Settings for Brand

This way all fans have to do is add you, and they’ll be able to see any story that you create. Adding back every single fan or follower who decides to follow you on the platform and then manually sending snaps to each one of them would quickly turn into a logistical nightmare. You can also still decide who sends you snaps: Everyone, or just those you approve of as friends. Use your discretion.

And as of right now advertising on Snapchat is expensive with Discover being a slightly more affordable option, but not one that will be the right fit for every brand that doesn’t have the ability to produce a wealth of Discover-specific content.

How Snapchat is evolving

Aside from the arrival of Discover, when we wrote our first piece on Snapchat, “Our Story” was a new feature that has indeed become a regular thing. Now called “Our Stories” and found under the “Live” section, it looks like this:

Live on SnapchatIf you’re in the geographic location where an event is taking place, you have the option to add a snap to the story. This could be a fun thing for a brand to participate in, but ultimately it would get lost in the noise of the collaborative snap (unless you’re doing a sponsored version, like Bud Light). Our Stories are a fun way to see what’s happening live at an event elsewhere in the world and could give some insight into Snapchat users in different areas; particularly important if you’re looking to reach a global audience.

Other Snapchat feature updates since our first post include the ability to send cash using Snapcash, adding a fun Geofilter overlay to your images if one is available, as well as use Chat and Video Chat. Experiment with these in a way that makes sense for your brand. We haven’t heard of any big brands using these features with customers just yet, but that doesn’t mean smaller independent brands haven’t been experimenting. Limited chatting, for example, could be a fun way to add another layer of engagement in a Snapchat-based contest (see the official rules from a GE Snapchat contest as an example).

Brands are still largely using the platform to share behind-the-scenes content with a very intimate, down-to-earth feel, like these examples from Mashable, MTV, and NPR:

NPR in particular has been open about its experimentation with the platform and their intern shared her experiences in using it and learning what worked on their NPR Social Media Desk Tumblr. Here’s a great excerpt:

“Yes, it’s time-consuming to answer queries and respond to comments. But it’s also a really wonderful way to foster an engaged community. When I started addressing our followers directly, the number of snaps we receive went up hugely! The feedback really helped shape my editorial approach to the platform.”

Brands have also begun to experiment with interactive material on Snapchat; Cosmopolitan’s first Discover post was one users could customize and share.

How brand content differs on Snapchat

As you can see from the examples in the previous section, brands don’t go for polished video production on Snapchat; it’s a very informal, more intimate setting on this platform where even your more “permanent” content only lasts for 24 hours.

A brand that really presents itself differently across different platforms according to the prevailing tastes and culture of each place- and of their own target audience- is Sephora. On Snapchat they give product previews or even share little aesthetic pieces of their day, like this:

SephoraSnaps

 

On Tumblr they run a digital magazine full of high-impact product photos, interviews with celebrities and makeup artists, as well as tips, tricks, and how-tos. On Instagram they alternate between impeccably staged product shots with regrams of celebrities and well-known beauty names using or wearing their products, with fewer behind-the-scenes or selfie shots. Sephora’s Twitter shares product news and store events while repurposing those product shots, with a lot of the same content tailored differently for Facebook. Finally their Pinterest is a smorgasbord of products, how-tos, inspiration, and event-specific versions of how-tos and inspiration (prom hair, anyone?).

What’s the takeaway here? Sephora has done their homework and come up with a visual content strategy that is on brand across platforms, but also speaks to the specific aesthetics of each and the audience they’re trying to reach in each place. Tumblr is a well-executed yet accessible digital glossy, Instagram is more polished but still throws in a few behind-the-scenes shots, Pinterest has every how-to you could want categorized and organized, while Twitter and Facebook share the basic news. It makes sense then that Snapchat is a way to show a more relaxed version of their brand that gives followers and idea of the hands putting all of those other pieces together. It feels more intimate, like they’re sharing it just with you, the more dedicated fans who follow them there.

Anything else?

Yes, and it’s still a big one: Let your audience know you’re on Snapchat on every other platform you have a presence on and be sure you pick a handle that’s the same as your others or that’s simple to search for and/or figure out, like YourBrandSnaps. If they don’t know you’re there, they can’t follow you!

Oh, and have fun with it. Happy snapping!

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

Written by Sarah

June 2nd, 2015 at 11:03 am

Posted in Guides,Trends

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The Week in Social Analytics #152

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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 saying sorry

If your brand is truly trying to connect to your customers human-to-human, you’re going to make mistakes. Here’s how to apologize in a way that’s meaningful and sincere.

How brands can say sorry like they mean it [from Econsultancy; written by Christopher Ratcliff]

This piece rounds up great apology examples and concludes with a list of  tips “that can help other companies pour water on almost any fiery situation.”

Craft a Better Apology [from Spin Sucks; written by Daniel Schiller]

“Relationships are by nature complicated, requiring constant cultivation and care. Acknowledging that with open, honest, and sincere personal communication establishes the framework for your strongest business relationships yet.”

On Snapchat

What You Are Missing About SnapChat and the Future of Storytelling? [from Social Media Today; written by James Calder]

“Look at your content and ask yourself if you are providing value and helping. That is the key to everything in social marketing.”

If we could tattoo that on this blog, we would.

5 Reasons Why Brands Should Be Using Snapchat [from Social Media Today; written by Chris Kyriacou]

“There is less pressure for Snapchat users to be perfect compared to other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. Snaps will disappear over a few seconds, and you are encouraged to add drawings or captions to the photos or videos you record.

Snapchat allows you to show off the personalized side of the brand that relates to your followers. You can build stories on Snapchat that help you feel like a friend to your audience, providing a personal insight of your brand directly to your stakeholders, avoiding a lot of ‘noise’ associated to other social media channels.”

From personal experience 

The one word journalists should add to Twitter searches that you probably haven’t considered [from Medium; written by Daniel Victor]

Not just for journalists; that piece breaks down how to conduct better Twitter searches.

Nobody Famous: What it’s like to have the social network of a celebrity, without actually being famous [from Medium; written by Anil Dash]

“I sometimes respond to people with facts and figures, showing how the raw number of connections in one’s network doesn’t matter as much as who those connections are, and how engaged they are.”

 

 

Written by Sarah

May 1st, 2015 at 9:00 am

The Week in Social Analytics #151

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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 community management and employee engagement 

How to Bring Humor to Community Management [from Convince & Convert; written by Jessica Gioglio]

Community managers are uniquely positioned to look at how fans respond to humor on a daily basis and test different types of responses. Consider this a mini focus group to power a broader campaign or piece of content.”

Emphasis original.

When You Define Employee Engagement, Culture Improves [from Spin Sucks; written by Maddie Grant]

“Engagement is a result, not a variable.

It is a natural byproduct of a deep alignment among four things:

  1. The employee;
  2. The work he or she does;
  3. What is valued internally; and
  4. What drives the success of the organization.

Those last two are your culture, and most organizations fail to see how important that is to engagement.”

On content marketing

11 Content Marketing Mistakes to Avoid [from Cision; written by Jim Dougherty]

“Here’s my point: a lot of the content advice that you’ll read is either too broad or too specific to be of value to most people. What I want to do in this post is to identify 11 content marketing mistakes that you should avoid. I’ll caveat that by saying that each tip needs to be specific, applicable to most and correctable.”

Pair with What to Know Before Creating a Content Marketing Strategy also from Cision.

Maximize Your Content Creation Commitment [from Convince & Convert; written by Dorie Clark]

We’re all working with a limited amount of time in our lives, so leverage your investment in content creation. 

Stats on youths 

Targeting Teens? Get on Instagram [from eMarketer; written by staff]

“There’s still plenty of room for Instagram adoption among companies. Based on recent research by GfK for Pew Research Center, the platform presents brands with a good channel on which to reach teens. The study found that 52% of US teen internet users used Instagram—the second most popular social media platform among the group after Facebook (71%).”

teens on ig

Teens & Social: What’s the Latest? [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

Good read looking at two recent studies from Piper Jaffray and Pew:

“In sum, it’s probably safe to assume that Facebook-owned properties (whether Facebook or Instagram) are among the most popular with teens, with Snapchat very much in the conversation. Twitter’s position seems a little more difficult to ascertain, although it’s clearly in the top 4.”

PiperJaffray-Teens-Most-Important-Social-Network-Apr2015

Pew-Teens-Most-Frequently-Used-Social-Network-Apr2015

Written by Sarah

April 24th, 2015 at 8:07 am

The Week in Social Analytics #145

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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 content strategy 

Five more examples of interesting content from ‘boring’ businesses [from Econsultancy; written by Dan Brotzel]

Are you an “apparently unsexy business”? That doesn’t mean your content has to be boring. Get inspired by those who have already done it right.

Why Snapchat Should be the Inseparable Addition to Social Media Strategies [from Social Times; written by Rohan Ayyar]

“The value of a marketing platform for a brand can be gauged to a certain extent by asking these questions:

  1. Who are its primary users?
  2. How popular is it with them?
  3. Do these users fit the bill as your brand’s target audience?
  4. What is the closest alternative to target these users?

Now consider this:

Snapchat has a median user age of 18 years, with the majority of its users between 13 and 25 years of age. Facebook on the other hand, has an average user age of 40 years. The last few years in fact, have seen a sharp decline in teen users on Facebook.”

On visual content marketing 

4 Ways to Dramatically Improve Your Social Media Photos [from Convince & Convert; written by Jay Baer]

A great breakdown of photography basics in a fun and funny presentation. Bonus points for a Myspace reference.

10 Ways to Create Beautiful Content: Storytelling, Visuals and More [from Social Media Today; written by Julia McCoy]

Add DIY Videos to Your Content Pieces. Following the same approach, don’t hesitate to post videos that complement your written ideas and basically convey a very simple message: “I’m the author, I’m real, I’m here for you, my readers!” Whether you choose to record Skype interviews or combine text, images and music in simple programs such as Animoto to reach your audience, uncomplicated DIY videos will help you amplify your messages and boost their realness and overall power of seduction.”

An In-Depth Guide on How to Create Awesome Visual Content That Gets Noticed [from Jeff Bullas]

“. . .let’s be honest for a minute. At the end of the day, the meat is still what matters the most. This means that if the core message that your publication/post conveys is subpar, no amount of great visuals will make it popular.

If, on the other hand, you do know that what you’re publishing is worth of your audience’s time, good visuals can be the difference between making the piece mildly well received vs. making it a true hit.”

Emphasis added.

On stats 

US Instagram User Estimates, by Age Group, 2013-2019 [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“While eMarketer doesn’t forecast last year’s 60% growth rate being matched in the years to come, the platform should maintain double-digit growth until 2018, when it will exceed 100 million US users and reach almost one-third of the US internet population.”

eMarketer-US-Instagram-User-Estimates-by-Age-2013-2019-Mar2015

Written by Sarah

March 13th, 2015 at 9:07 am

The Week in Social Analytics #139

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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 your audience 

Do You Know What Your Audience Is Doing On Social Media? [from Heidi Cohen]

“. . .marketers must create and update their social media persona for each of their key audiences and assess where, when and how they engage on social networks.”

If you haven’t done an audience audit in a while, it’s time.

6 Ways Social Data Can Improve Communications [from Cision; written by Jim Dougherty]

“Mining social data is entirely fallible, however.

It’s important to understand who you’re targeting, what you’re measuring, the quality of your data and the reliability your measurements in order to use social data most effectively.”

The Difference Between Popularity and Influence in Social Media [from Social Media Today; written by Brett Relander]

“It should always be kept in mind that a large number of visitors can sometimes stem from a significant number of one-time visitors. Of course, all visitors begin as first-time visitors, but if a user only visits your landing page and then quickly moves on, never to return, you are not gaining anything from them. You have no real opportunity to build influence with one-time visitors. With regular visitors, you are able to cultivate a true relationship. Over time, those visitors become invested in your brand and truly care about what you have to say. For this reason, it is vital to consider whether your viewership is based more on one-time visitors or on return visitors who are truly invested in what you have to say.”

Emphasis added.

Platform-specific marketing

Everything Brands Should Know About Twitter’s New ‘Recap’ Feature [from Social Media Today; written by Tim McMullen]

“The catch here is that Twitter is taking into account your inactivity. Which presumably means tweets posted at mostly inactive hours will–in a way–be rewarded. We could all be bombarded with midnight brand Tweets in the race to be displayed in the coveted morning recap. Eggs just taste better with a side of subliminal messaging.”

Emphasis added.

If your brand is looking to expand your strategy on Pinterest, check out these two pieces: The Definitive Guide To Pinterest For E-Commerce from Marketing Land and Five Keys for Using Pinterest to Market Your Business from Social Media Today.

If the recent changes to Snapchat have you wanting to investigate how your brand can use that platform, learn by example with Econsultancy’s Eight brands experimenting with Snapchat for social marketing.

Stats

28% of Time Spent Online is Social Networking [from SocialTimes; written by Shea Bennett]

“. . .average usage times for social media sites rose from 1.66 hours per day in 2013 to 1.72 hours per day last year.

Micro-blogging, which includes Twitter, is also up slightly to 0.81 hours per day, and now accounts for about 13 percent of total time spent online.”

time-spent-social-networking

 

Written by Sarah

January 30th, 2015 at 8:49 am

The Week in Social Analytics #120

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It’s Friday, so that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics and 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.

Crafting Your Analytics Story: 2 Guidelines to Keep in Mind [from ClickZ; written by Robert Miller]

“Identifying what information you need to present, and to whom, in order to progress your wants.”

Majority of Marketers Say ‘More’ to Brand Awareness Efforts [from eMarketer; written by staff]

“Brand awareness was a higher priority for eMarketer’s audience than demand gen, global business expansion efforts, or spending on events—none of which attracted a majority to increase spending.”

Business Investment Plans According to Marketing Professionals Worldwide

5 Marketing Myths [from Geoff Livingston]

“1) Analytics Make Your Marketing Program Succeed

Analytics will inform marketing toward the best way to encourage desired customer behaviors. They will not make a brand better at marketing (myth revealed). . .Creative alone is wild and unpredictable. Data alone informs direction, but can’t stop crap communicators from producing, well, more crap. Together, informed creative is flat out dangerous.”

Listen Up. Your Customers Are Complaining On Social Media. [from Marketing Think; written by Gerry Moran]

“79% of your customers who complain on social media do so in hope that their friends see their dissatisfaction with your brand, reports Edison Research.”

Be sure you’re listening, and have a plan in place for how you’re going to respond.

Can Snapchat Really Work for Marketing? [from Marketing Profs; written by Dan Virgillito]

“Snapchat provides urgency, with powerful content that prompts quick action. Snapchat users have a few seconds to react, so they may be more impulsive and willing to interact to a Snapchat marketing campaign, as opposed to using other image-sharing platforms to do the same.”

8 Tips for Managing a Social Media Crisis [from Pamorama; written by Pam Dyer]

“Social media can be a useful tool to build your company brand or a nail in its coffin.”

Have a plan in place, but react to each situation as the unique confluence of events and technology that it is.

3 Post-Sale Content Marketing Strategies You Need [from Heidi Cohen]

“. . .the initial sale is only the beginning of the customer relationship.”

Why and When to Re-Evaluate Your B2B Brand Strategy [from Marketing Profs; written by Bob Domenz]

“This article details the signs that indicate it may be time to re-brand your business. Usually, that time comes during one of the following three circumstances:

  1. When it’s clear: Your company is about to undergo a Big Change.
  2. When it’s fuzzy: The brand hasn’t been evaluated in some time.
  3. When in a growth spurt: You’re trying to just get through today and don’t have a chance to think about tomorrow.”

How to Be a Visual Social Media Marketer [from SpinSucks; Eleanor Pierce]

Know when to go pro, and always keep things authentic.

To gain a customer’s trust; meet them on their preferred digital stomping ground [from Marketing Pilgrim; written by Cynthia Boris]

Different demographics and audiences prefer to communicate with brands in different places, using different methods; knowing this and acting accordingly can help brands gain trust faster than acting along more traditional routes.

Written by Sarah

September 19th, 2014 at 9:48 am

The Week in Social Analtyics #115

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It’s Friday, so that means it’s time for This Week in Social Analytics and 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.

Brand Storytelling Beyond the Marketing Silo [from Business2Community; written by Anton Rius]

“Content, then, can play a part in nurturing the relationship far beyond the point of sale. With a holistic content strategy, the marketing department becomes less of a vertical within the organization and instead reaches across many departments and can affect multiple company initiatives.”

Content Marketing and Social Media: What Nonprofits Must Know [from Maximize Social Business; written by Claire Axelrad]

“. . .content marketing is not a synonym for social media. Nor is it a synonym for social deployment.”

3 Big Benefits Brands Can Get From Visual Content on Instagram [from Jeff Bullas; written by Mairead Ridge]

“. . .90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Instagram’s visual appeal is a very effective way to showcase products and influence purchasing decisions.”

Is Snapchat Right for Your Brand? | Infographic [from Social Times; written by Kimberlee Morrison]

A simple flowchart can be made even simpler: If Snapchat’s demographics match your target audience, then that’s where you need to be.

How 12 Brands Used Snapchat [from Fast Company; written by Jeff Beer]

“A recent Comscore report found that with 32.9% penetration, Snapchat was the third most popular social app among 18-34-year-olds (behind Facebook and Instagram, but ahead of Twitter, Pinterest, and Vine). And if you look at just the 18-24-year-old base, the app has 50% penetration. The company is said to have about 30 million active users and claims that people send and view more than 700 million pictures and 500 million “stories”–which allow brands to create longer narratives that last 24 hours–a day.”

If that’s your target audience, then you need to pay attention to how these brands are using Snapchat to inform your own strategy. Want even more on Snapchat for brands? Check out our pieces: Snapchat for brands part I: The basics & brand specifics and Snapchat for brands part II: Brands who do it well.

Will your company’s social media efforts pay off? [from All Twitter; written by Shea Bennett

“Here’s a few social media truisms that many brands simply don’t want to hear.

1. Social media success takes time. Don’t expect overnight success. While customers increasingly expecting an almost instantaneous response to their enquiries, generating a worthwhile return on investment (ROI) requires considerable effort and patience.

2. Social media success takes resources. Do you have someone with several hours of quality time per week available to dedicate to your social strategy?

3. Social media success takes you out of your comfort zone. Are you prepared to share other people’s content in your social channels – even that of your competitors? Are you will to engage with other people and open conversations? Do you create original content that other people will want to share? Are you able to handle and respond to public criticism and customer complaints?”

Five Signs Your Company is Ready For a Brand Ambassador Program [from Mack Collier]

“The companies that aren’t ready for a Brand Ambassador program are the ones that view their customers as transactions, not people.”

US CMOs Rank Their Biggest Concerns [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

What’s your biggest concern, CMO?

Written by Sarah

August 15th, 2014 at 9:38 am

In case of emergency: Cruise lines and crisis communication on Twitter, Part II

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Costa Concordia Instagram

People fascinated by a disaster will create their own news accounts, that may or may not contain misinformation. This is happening on networks outside of Twitter as well, like this example on Instagram.

We’ve previously discussed how airlines should handle crisis communication in case of an emergency, and recently we shared the first part of the plan for cruise lines to do the same. This is the second part, which picks up after looking at what cruise lines should look for on Twitter, to what they should measure during and after a crisis, plus what to look for on platforms outside of Twitter.

What to measure on Twitter in times of crisis, and after

Now that you know what to look for, you need to have a plan in place for how to measure it. What, exactly, should you be measuring on Twitter as a crisis unfolds?

Before; or what you should have set up right now

Ideally you will already have Trackers set up to capture what we mentioned previously- tweets directly to your official handle, mentions of your brand in any variety of spelling imaginable, any well-known nicknames your brand has (official or not), and the ports you operate from. If you’re not already doing that, now is the time to implement Trackers or take frequent snapshots (using something like our aptly named snapshot reports) around those terms once a situation arises and begins to unfold.

If your resources have grown since you first made your plan, consider monitoring your major competitors and major keywords related to your industry as well.

During a crisis

Often during a crisis situation, a hashtag will be born organically. If you’re being proactive about communicating via Twitter, however, don’t hesitate to create one of your own and immediately set up a Tracker to measure it, or take continual snapshots of the situation. If another hashtag emerges organically, use that one in your messaging as well and be sure you’re tracking both.

After a crisis

If everything flies by too quickly and you’re a small enough team not to have time to set up Trackers or take frequent enough snapshots of the situation, a historical option to capture the entire incident is available. This can also be used to fill in any noticeable gaps in your data once you’ve begun to look through everything you’ve gathered.

In the aftermath of the event, you might also want to track a specific news story (using specific key words from the title if it’s unique enough not to return a lot of noise, or you can track via a specific URL) that went around if it directly involved comments from your brand, or got a lot of circulation with commentary from people passing it around. This will give you a much more accurate read on the sentiment around your crisis messaging, and let you see any missed opportunities, as well as highlight every win.

Go the extra mile

Once you have all of this data and you can clearly see how the situation unfolded and evaluate the strength of your response, take it a step further: What can you plan better next time, with this experience? What did you and your team do really well, that you should be sure to praise and also pass on as protocol to new team members? This knowledge can be distilled and turned into training and on-boarding materials for any new communications employees in the future.

If you’re not a cruise line (or an airline) a lot of these tactics still apply to you; if you’re a hotel, for example, you can offer to put up stranded travelers or victims of a natural disaster or other tragedy. Car rental companies and car sharing services can work out deals to get stranded people home if they don’t have far to go. For a less serious crisis, tour companies can even offer to keep stranded passengers entertained with local sites while they’re waiting for delayed travel to get sorted out.

Any of these companies can work out deals with each other ahead of a crisis to come in and support each other if and when it makes sense to.

Platforms other than Twitter

While Twitter is the best platform to use during a crisis because of the speed at which you’re able to share information and connect with concerned parties as well as news outlets, you need to be sure you have messaging in place on all of the other platforms you also have a presence on in the case of an emergency. For Facebook, be sure to make periodic, informative updates and answer as many questions as you can from concerned parties that may not be on Twitter. Do as much as you can with the resources that you have; don’t be afraid to make a post and then direct everyone to Twitter or your website for more information if those are the two places you plan to concentrate updates.

Tumblr will support text updates and it’s also a place where you can reblog information from the news outlets also on Tumblr, but it’s much more difficult to answer questions if they come in the form of reblogs. Do answer any questions directed to your inbox, publishing those that may help answer the similar questions of others.

Photo-based platforms like Snapchat and Instagram are more difficult to navigate; it’s hard to think of a tactful snap for announcing information around an emergency situation, but if that’s the only line of communication open to you and you’re in touch with your customers there, don’t hesitate to do what you can. If you do feel it’s appropriate to post a screenshot with emergency update protocols on your Instagram account directing followers to your website or Twitter for ongoing information, do so. Many of these details will depend on what’s right for your brand, the nature of the crisis, and the resources available as it unfolds.

The takeaway

The bottom line is to listen and step in where you’re needed, even if you’re not expected to.

Written by Sarah

August 12th, 2014 at 10:12 am