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The Week in Social Analytics #117

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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.

Best Practices for B2B Social Media [from SHIFT Communications; written by Amanda Grinavich]

“Because you even though your focus is businesses, you still market and sell to people. And guess what? Those people are on social media too.”

Does Your Company’s Social Media Use Compare? 2014 Fortune 500 Social Media | Research / Charts [from Heidi Cohen]

Check out this great roundup of charts and stats from Heidi Cohen to see where your company ranks in terms of social media usage.

4 Steps To Successful Content Personalization [from MarketingLand; written by Rachel Balik]

“Above all, remember that you need to consider the solution and process that will work best for your company and your technology stack. Make sure that you’re working cross-departmentally with the right stakeholders to get complete buy-in and then the right information. Then, stay invested in the progress so you may tweak and optimize as you go.”

A Crisis Plan You Can Execute in 30 Minutes or Less [from Spin Sucks; written by Phil Gerbyshak]

“Prepare a crisis plan now—before your 30 minutes of make or break is in front of you—and your business can avoid being burned to the ground by one disgruntled ex-customer.”

Pair with: Crisis communication on Twitter for airlines, and crisis communication tactics for cruise lines.

How to Respond to Online Brand and Reputation Attacks [from Social Media Explorer; written by Whitney Gibson]

Do you respond?

“First, it is necessary to evaluate the attacker’s characteristics and find out as much information as possible about the attacker and whether they pose a significant threat.

More specifically, it will be important to determine the following:

  • Whether this is likely a one-time attack by a disgruntled party or the beginning of a full-fledged campaign attack;
  • How sophisticated the attacker is;
  • Whether the attacker has a large social media and online presence or following; and
  • How likely the attacker might be to spread the information around the Internet in highly visible places.”

How To Determine If Your Brand Should Join In [from Likeable Media; written by Rachel Hadley]

“When deciding whether or not to join the conversation, it’s important to ask yourself the following:

  1. Why are we considering participating?
    Are you really posting to spread awareness of an organization or to honor victims of a tragedy? Or are you purely marketing your brand?
  2. Does it make sense for our brand?
    If there is an obvious tie-in to your business and a clear purpose of the post, go for it!
  3. Could it be seen as insensitive?
    If the answer is yes, it will be important to determine the risk. Not everyone is going to like what you do, no matter how good your intentions are, but asking yourself this question could provide a good litmus test to determine whether or not you should join in the conversation.”

20 Creative Hyperlapses From Instagram’s New App [from Mashable; written by Brian Koerber]

Hyperlapse just rolled out this week and some brands are already testing it out. Get inspired by the fruits of their labors.

Why Interactives are the Next Big Thing in Content Marketing [from Visual.ly; written by Karl Schutz]

“If infographics blew up because they caught people’s attention where a boring report wouldn’t, interactives are blowing up because they catch people’s attention – and hold it.”

3 Ways to Create Amazing Interactive Content [from Convince and Convert; written by Jared Flamm]

This piece covers interactive video marketing, reveal-based marketing, and polling. (Check out Wedgies for a great polling tool.)

5 ways universities interact with their students on social media

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In the fall of 2012 Yale University started using our Union Metrics for Tumblr analytics to get smarter about how they were using the social blogging platform to share information and relate to their students. Since then, many more colleges and universities have created accounts on various social platforms in order to stay connected with their students in the places those students already spend their time. Here are a few examples of what universities are doing to reach students across social media.

1. On Tumblr: Share information with targeted groups

Tumblr’s unique position as a blogging platform with a built-in social element works especially well for universities wanting to target different groups of current or potential students. The tagging system means different types of posts can easily find their way to their respective communities across the site, and some universities even carve out separate Tumblrs for different areas of their university and resources. For example, the University of Texas at Austin has one Tumblr for their School of Architecture, one for the Blanton Museum, another for the Harry Ransom Center, and one more for the LBJ Library. That gives diehard Longhorns the chance to keep track of all resources UT offers, while those only interested in what the Blanton has to offer can narrow their focus.

MIT, on the other hand, chooses to focus their approach to just Residential Life & Dining on Tumblr, giving incoming students a chance to learn about their options before they arrive on campus, taking a lot of the stress out of a big life change.

The bottom line? Tumblr is the best way for universities to reach specific communities. (A full list of all the universities with a presence on Tumblr can be found here for those interested.)

2. On Instagram: Capture attention with compelling images

Many universities have a presence across platforms, and they play to each platform’s strengths. Yale, for example, uses Instagram to show off campus and the school’s history, beauty, and people. Instagram images can easily be shared to other platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook to quickly catch the attention of followers in those spaces.

Meanwhile the University of Texas at Austin encourages students to share their photos with them, using specific hashtags: #HookEm, #Longhorns, #UTAustin, #UTTower, and #WhatStartsHere along with specific seasonal or event-based hashtags like #UTsummer. This helps current, former, and potential students feel connected to the university even when they’re not on campus– or feel like they’re not missing out during a semester abroad.

They also have a separate Instagram account just for Longhorn football.

The bottom line? Instagram is the best place to share engaging images that will make students feel more connected to them, or attract them to become students in the first place. 

3. On Twitter: Share information quickly in critical situations

Twitter has already proven itself to be an invaluable resource for quick dissemination of information during a natural or man-made crisis, on a campus or otherwise.

In less serious situations, universities and colleges can use it to answer FAQs from new or prospective students, provide information and reminders about university events and deadlines, and share resources for students.

They can also host tweet chats to address specific topics of interest to current students, incoming students, potential students, and alums. For example, the University of Michigan Medical School hosts tweet chats to answer questions about their program, and the University of Central Missouri has hosted two allowing attendees to chat with the school’s president.

The bottom line? Twitter is the best way for universities to connect with their communities in real time. 

4. On Facebook: Provide an easily-found base

Facebook is the perfect social home base: A university profile can share resources and lead students back to other platforms. Users are comfortable using it to ask questions, and page administrators can answer them in a place that makes it easy for them to be seen by someone who might come looking to ask something similar. There’s also a review system in place, to let potential and incoming students know what life is really like on campus, like these from UT Austin’s Facebook page

UT FB Reviews

5. On Pinterest and Snapchat: Go the extra mile

While most people- especially the younger generation- expect to find some kind of social presence for businesses and institutions, they don’t expect them to be on the newer platforms. Universities with the resources have the opportunity to really connect with their students in these places, providing additional resources that will really make a difference. What do you pack for freshman year of college? How can you decorate your dorm room in a way that’s more unique than just slapping up a Pink Floyd poster? A pinboard can answer those things and more, while Snapchat can give quick and intimate looks at life around campus, snippets of lectures, a look at a spontaneous snowball fight, and more.

Drake University uses Pinterest to share Bulldog culture, while the University of Houston sends snaps to share their story with students and followers:

The bottom line? Meeting students where they are and don’t expect you to be- in a way that isn’t condescending or pandering- will win major bonus points.

The bottom line?

Universities engage their students best when they speak to them and share resources in their own language, in the platforms they already use. Strategies should play to each platform’s strengths, without sacrificing creativity.

Written by Sarah

August 27th, 2014 at 9:39 am

The Week in Social Analytics #116

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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.

10 Online Marketing Metrics You Need To Be Measuring [from Forbes; written by Jayson DeMers]

“This is because the return on investment on marketing is, in many cases, unpredictable. . .Solid metrics give you the insight to overcome this hurdle of unpredictability.”

How to Develop Rapport With Influencers via Social Media [from Marketing Profs; written by Vibhu Satpaul]

“Have different KPIs for different social media channels. After all, those channels are different from each other; your approach to each will be different, as will which objective is best suited for each.”

What is ‘best practice’? [from Econsultancy; written by Graham Oakes]

“No matter how badly we do, if we can suggest that thousands of other professionals would have done exactly the same in our situation, then we’re safe. No one can blame us for the failure. We were just unlucky.”

How Are Marketers Planning to Maximize Their Value in the Next Year? [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“Asked to choose their top 3 from 10 options, marketers responding from around the world converged on one clear response: improving customer segmentation and targeting. . .The focus on segmentation and targeting signals that marketers will be paying a great deal of attention to marketing analytics.”

The Secret Sauce For Creating Epic Curated Content [from Heidi Cohen]

“Epic curated content is a major content marketing effort that’s both original content and curated content because it’s co-created with participants.”

12 Ways to Boost Your Visual Media Performance [from Geoff Livingston]

“7) Twitter has gone the way of visuals, too. Make sure your work is noticed by using Twitter Cards to feature images and other information, such as a sign-up form.

Use Twitter Cards to feature full-sized images in the news stream.”

How Using Images in Social Media Marketing Can Help Improve Business [from Social Media Today; written by Nilay Dhamsania]

“Just think about all the updates, posts, tweets, status messages and pins you see every day. What is it that makes you read or click through a post? A careful analysis shows that most activity in social media sites is triggered by visual representations or images.”

How to Use Instagram Hashtags to Expand Your Reach [from Social Media Examiner; written by Eric Sornoso]

“At this point, Instagram hashtag density tends to be much greater than Twitter’s because companies realize the success of their Instagram marketing depends on proper hashtagging.”

Emphasis added.

The Moment of Truth: Best Practices For Discovering More Moments to Engage [from Social Media Today; written by Bernadette Coleman]

“These vital moments are where you capture your customer, that moment of truth. It’s the time when a consumer shows that they are intent on purchasing something. Basically this is when all your social media, blogging, advertising, coding, among many other things you do collide. The question you seriously need to ask is, will you be the one to meet their needs?”

Written by Sarah

August 22nd, 2014 at 8:14 am

The Week in Social Analytics #111

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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.

The 8 best brands on Tumblr [from iMedia Connection; written by Brad Brief

“Part of [brands'] hesitation [to use Tumblr] could be linked to the level of commitment that a Tumblr campaign requires. To use it, and use it well, brands must provide new, interesting, and engaging content on an ongoing basis.”

Finding Tumblr’s Place In Your Social Strategy [from MarketingLand; written by Ric Dragon]

“If you do the online ethnography for your important segments, you’d do well to know if they are represented on Tumblr.  If your company sells micro-oscillator widgets that go into industrial machinery, no, this might not be the place for you. If you are consumer-oriented in any way, though, you should take a look.”

Instagram is ready to take its shot [from Fortune; written by Jessi Hempel]

“That’s true in part because Instagram has helped spawn a powerful new social phenomenon: Just as Kodak’s invention of a roll of film made it easy for almost anyone to take photographs a century ago, Instagram’s invention of a social feed paired with easy-to-use editing tools makes everyone capable of creating and sharing nuanced, edited pictures today. And that photo sharing has empowered people in powerful, unexpected ways—even those not named Kardashian or Bieber.”

The Kinds of Photos Instagram Followers Want to “Like” [from Social Media Today; written by Alexandra Jacopetti]

“Instagram is arguably the social media platform with the most opportunity for brands, but don’t post what the CEO had for lunch.”

That doesn’t mean that food is off limits; just tap into the big communities wisely. Like Dunkin Donuts and Oreo did to announce their partnership:

How brands can be brilliant at Vine [from Econsultancy; written by Christopher Ratcliff]

“Beyond the differences in length and available tools, Vine and Instagram video remain able to operate in the same space, whilst remaining unique in their own way, with brands tending to choose one or the other platform based on its own audience, content and tone of voice.”

As always, choose the platform where you audience spends their time and that fits your brand voice the best.

10 Reasons to Use Vine to Help You Build Your Brand [from Mashable; written by Bob Cargill]

“Vine presents brands with an innovative, surprisingly powerful way to take advantage of the fact that visual content performs well on social media.”

Does social media influence purchasing decisions? [from SHIFT Comm; written by Chris Penn]

“The big picture conclusion here is that while the Gallup and SHIFT polls showed that social media has influence in the minds of the consumer, the data you should be paying attention to most is your own. Pay attention to the statistical and methodological validity of data you see in the news, absolutely, but pay even closer attention to the things that influence your business first and foremost.”

A simple tip for improving your brand tone of voice guidelines [from Econsultancy; written by David Moth]

Consumers expect a consistent tone of voice from brands. Here’s how to lay out consistent ground rules for achieving that.

6 in 10 B2B Execs Agree That Social Business Has Created Value [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“The authors note that B2B companies are leveraging social business in a number of ways, including social data analysis to aid in product development.”

Quiz: Can You Tell What Makes a Good Tweet? [from the New York Times; written by Mike BostockJosh Katz and Nilkanth Patel]

A little informative Friday fun.

Turning ‘Likes’ Into a Career: Social Media Stars Use Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr to Build Their Career [from the New York Times; written by Sheila Marikar]

“In an era of new economies, this may be one of the most curious: the network that has sprung up to help the follower-laden stars of Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and other social media services make money by connecting them with brands wanting to advertise to their audiences. People like Mr. Lachtman and his co-founder, Rob Fishman, run what may be seen as a parallel universe to Hollywood, one in which shares and likes matter more than box-office sales and paparazzi shots. Here, authenticity — a word that comes up often in this arena — trumps a Photoshop-perfect facade or publicist-approved message.”

 

Written by Sarah

July 18th, 2014 at 9:18 am

The Week in Social Analytics #110

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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.

Is Your Twitter Strategy Missing This One Essential Element? [from All Twitter; written by Lauren Dugan]

Are you keeping an eye on the competition?

Why you don’t get to decide what your brand means [from Eli Rose Social Media; written by Liz Jostes]

 “If others have a high likelihood of incorrectly interpreting your sentiment or developing a negative feeling about a brand as a result of your name, imagery or marketing message, head back to the drawing board and figure out something better.”

Two unsolved problems of Big Data studies: confirmation and controls [from Junk Charts; written by Kaiser Fung]

“One of the biggest myth of Big Data is that data alone produce complete answers.”

Three Ways to Visually Present Information (Without Spending a Fortune) [from Marketing Profs; written by Pooja Lohana]

“Most humans (40-65%) tend to learn things visually. In other words, they process information more quickly by seeing things. The other learning modalities are auditory (hearing, 25-30% of people) and kinesthetic (touching, 5-15% of people).

The answer goes way back to our biology. Humans are wired for visualization. We can easily make sense of shapes, patterns, and colors—and therefore graphs, charts, and infographics.

Which means that if you want to turn data into digestible, bite-sized chunks, you must make use of…pictures.”

Instagram Reaches Almost One-Third of the US Adult App Audience [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“Instagram in May reached 32% of US smartphone mobile media users aged 18 and older who use iOS and Android platforms. . .up from 29.3% reach the prior month.”

Re-thinking social media engagement [from {grow}; written by Mark Schaefer]

Engagement isn’t a strategy; it’s a tactic.

9 B2B Marketing Lessons from Judging Online Campaigns [from Social Media B2B; written by Jeffrey L. Cohen]

“Marketing cannot exist in a silo. This is one of the biggest issues that marketers, especially social media marketers, have. They create their own set of goals that are not important to anyone else in the company. While those goals may be important to the marketing team, you also need goals that relate to the high level business goals.”

How brands can be brilliant at Instagram video [from Econsultancy; written by Christopher Ratcliff]

A great breakdown of the tactics it takes to successfully create content and build a following via video social media marketing.

7 Best Practices for Using GIFs & Cinemagraphs for Business [from Business 2 Community; written by Brian Honigman]

“GIFs and cinemagraphs are similar pieces of media, but have quite different features and uses. GIFs are image files that are compressed to continually loop the same motions over and over again — basically, a small portion of a video that repeats.

A cinemagraph is an image file where the whole photo is stationary, except for an isolated section of movement. Cinemagraphs aren’t as widely used as GIFs, which presents an opportunity for brands to stand out with this form of media amongst the noise.”

6 Steps to Nurturing the Sales Funnel with Social Media [from Jeff Bullas; written by Dave Landry Jr.]

“Customers are lead from awareness to sale by way of incremental exposure to a brand or product. While these same principles still apply today, social media has shaken up the paradigm by shortening the gap between people and information, meaning that the funnel has changed and offers a new way to pull in customers and to build off brand loyalty to turn them into your public spokespeople.”

 

Written by Sarah

July 11th, 2014 at 8:35 am

The Week in Social Analytics #109

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Since tomorrow is Independence Day here in America we thought we’d put out This Week in Social Analytics a day early. Here are our favorite posts of the past week in the world of measurement, analytics, and social media. See a great piece we missed? Let us know in the comments, or tell us about it on Twitter or Facebook.

Finally, Most Brands Measuring Social Content Effectiveness [from eMarketer; written by staff]

While the metrics being used are fairly simplistic, it’s a good start.

How Psychology Will Shape the Future of Social Media Marketing [from The Huffington Post; written by Jayson DeMers]

“Technology will never replace the human ability to extract meaningful data from volumes of information.”

More Evidence that Visuals Far Outpace Text [from Geoff Livingston]

“Digiday surveyed attendees of its Agency Innovation Camp about how visual native ads stack up against text based native ads (hat tip: Richard Binhammer). More often than not, attendees favored visuals by 75 percent or more.”

While that might be a very specific audience with very specific opinions about visuals, it’s hard to ignore the overwhelming evidence that humans are visual creatures.

The Conundrum of Ethics and Data Collecting [from Eli Rose Social Media; written by Sunny Serres]

“We need these companies to be more socially responsible because we are entrusting them with our information. In order for us to remove ourselves from these types of data collections, we have to opt out of all of the conveniences that we rely so heavily upon to function within society. . . This just isn’t plausible in today’s society – our reliance on technology has grown so rapidly that opting out of many of these things simply puts those individuals “behind.” It is a vicious cycle, but if companies can perform with more integrity and think about their customers first and foremost rather than profitability or academic accolades, then maybe the question of ethics will become moot.”

3 Steps to Demystifying Social Media Personalities [from Social Media Today; written by Ida Cheinman]

1. Treat Every Tool as a Touchpoint

2. Metaphor the Medium

3. Secure Success Through Story

So How Many Millennials Are There in the US, Anyway? | Updated [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“Before putting out some numbers, there are a few problems to take note of. Chiefly, there is no consensus definition of a Millennial.

Nevertheless, things being the way they are, marketers and researchers often look at age groups. So here’s a reference list of some commonly used age brackets and their corresponding population estimates and population shares as of July 1st, 2013.

  • 12-17: 25 million (7.9%)
  • 18-24: 31.5 million (10%)
  • 25-34: 42.8 million (13.6%)
  • 35-44: 40.5 million (12.8%)
  • 45-54: 43.8 million (13.8%)
  • 55-64: 39.3 million (12.4%)
  • 65+: 44.7 million (14.1%)” 

Pair with Millennials Most Likely to Rely on W-O-M For Private Label Shopping Guidance and Who’s Regularly Going Online While Watching TV?.

5 Principles for Creating a Social Media Following That Sticks [from Social Media Today; written by Will Blunt]

“TIP: Your customers care more about themselves than they do you. Ask them questions about what THEY want. Don’t fall into the trap of TELLING them what they want.”

6 Ways To Engage And Maintain A Loyal Twitter Following [from All Twitter; written by Shea Bennett]

Based on a video released by Twitter for Small Business.

Why Brands Should Use GIFs [from Likeable Media; written by Angela Kuo

GIFs are the language of the Internet, after all.

4 Ways To Expand Your Content Marketing With Social Content [from Heidi Cohen]

 “Social content is about how the content is created, not shared or distributed!”

Written by Sarah

July 3rd, 2014 at 10:40 am

The Week in Social Analytics #108

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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.

Gallup released a poll recently reporting that consumers aren’t that influenced by social media, but a closer look at the methodology reveals some problems:

Gallup’s Buzzy Social Media Report Appears ‘Deeply Flawed’: 2012 called and wants its data back [from Adweek; written by Christopher Heine]

“And Gallup told Adweek that some of the surveys were completed through snail mail, though the company would not say how many. While of course there’s nothing inherently wrong with conducting research this way, it’s difficult to imagine those respondents being on par with normal social media consumption. Brands employ social marketing to reach people who are actually there—not those who are not.

Emphasis added.

While the methodology of the Gallup poll is certainly questionable, ClickZ did get some good takeaways from it, in the form of actionable marketing lessons:

3 Social Media Marketing Takeaways From Gallup’s Study [from Clickz; written by Ashley Zeckman]

“Customers are people, not numbers. They want to be engaged and have trust in your brand before they’ll make a purchasing decision.

We also need to recognize that while there is a significant amount of value in utilizing social media as a marketing channel, we need to be realistic about what we will gain by interacting socially. We may not see immediate gratification (a conversion or purchase) but we’re spending time interacting where are customers are spending their time, and working to build trust in the process.”

Emphasis added.

This week also kicked off with some great pieces on storytelling: Storytelling For Business: The Only Difference Between You And The Competition Is The Story You Tell from Web.Search.Social, written by Carol Lynn Rivera, and Breaking Out of Boring: Tell Unexpected Stories from Ann Handley.

Word-of-Mouth Proves Highly Influential for Millennial Women [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“Results from the survey of 1,100 American Millennial women without children also indicate that 93% have purchased a product after hearing about it from a family member of friend.

That’s a reflection of the trust they put in those recommendations: 89% said they trust recommendations from a friend, peer or family member more than from a brand.”

Why Brands Don’t Respond on Social Media [from Social Times; written by Richard Dumas]

“. . .while more than 68 percent of businesses recognize social media as a necessary service channel, 60 percent of companies are not formally supporting social customer care.”

You need to be where your customers are.

Your Customers Control Your Brand [from Spin Sucks; written by Gini Dietrich]

“While you can help motivate your customers to talk about you in a good way, ultimately they are the ones who control the message.

Your canned messages are no longer enough.

Yes, the things you, your executive team, your sales team, and your employees are saying about the brand should be consistent.

But you also have to be open to listening to how your customers describe your organization, your products, or your services.

If they perceive it differently than you do, it’s time to rethink your messaging and your brand positioning.”

Are You Ready For Multi-Platform Social Media Use? [from Heidi Cohen]

“Therefore, use a mix of different social media platforms with tailored messages to ensure your marketing reaches your target prospects where and when they spend their time.”

Getting Started Guide: Tumblr for Small Businesses [from Business2Community; written by Taylor Loren]

A great guide for small businesses just getting started on Tumblr.

Written by Sarah

June 27th, 2014 at 9:13 am

The Week in Social Analytics #107

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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.

7 best practices for using GIFs and cinemagraphs for business [from The Next Web; written by Brian Honigman]

“Don’t create this media just for the sake of doing it, but look to create GIFs and cinemagraphs that sync with your campaigns, as well as your consistent product or service offerings.”

How You Can Use Instagram in Your Business [Business 2 Community; written by Renee Shupe]

“Inject some personality into your marketing efforts. Even businesses that provide services or create products that are not ‘pretty’ enough for Instagram can use the service to their advantage by showcasing their human side. Simple photos of you and your team in action will be interesting to many users, especially if they are accompanied by a fun or thought-provoking caption. It’s also good to show your business engaging in charitable work. You could even post photos of your employees or clients along with brief profiles.”

Pinterest Vs Instagram: Visual Content Marketing [from Heidi Cohen]

Check what your competitors are doing on Pinterest and Instagram. What are they doing that’s successful that you’re not? Also check out the top performers on each platform. Take note of ideas that are worth adapting and making your own.”

The minimalist’s guide to boosting brands’ Instagram engagement [from The Next Web; written by Eric Dahan]

“A brand’s greatest challenge is communicating a sincere message to its followers with each and every Instagram post. A successful grassroots campaign prioritizes quality over quantity; therefore, while multiple hashtags will naturally yield higher potential reach, one or two incentive hashtags will generate better follower engagement.”

Should My Brand Be Active on Tumblr? [from Social Media Today; written by Margaret Murphy]

Visibility. Tumblr incorporates tagging and blog categorization to help users find the subjects they’re interested in. Many blogs garner so much attention online that they have even led to book deals. Have you ever heard of the book ‘Stuff White People Like’? How about ‘Humans of New York’? These both started as Tumblrs.”

Social Brands: The Future Of Marketing In 127 Slides [from Viral Blog; written by Igor Beuker]

“Don’t chase social channels like race dogs on steroids. Certainly not based on reach. Claim your domain, go big, go niche or go home.

The brands that will succeed in the future won’t just give back to communities; they’ll actively build and nurture communities.”

Millennials Lead the Way in Sharing Product and Service Info on Social Media [from Marketing Charts; written by staff]

“Millennials were 22% more likely than the rest of the respondents to report having shared a link to a product or service on social media (39% vs. 32%), and 52% more likely to have posted a picture of a product or service (38% vs. 25%). “

5 Grammar Rules You Can Break on Social Media [from Likeable Media; written by Theresa Braun]

You’ve got to learn the rules in order to responsibly break them.

Welcome to the Era of Surround Storytelling [Edelman Digital; written by Jimmie Stone and Kendra Eash]

“How exactly do we show up differently and tell a brand story that still makes sense in this incredibly windy, fragmented environment?”

Written by Sarah

June 20th, 2014 at 9:16 am

Using social media to study fire recovery

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Any headlines predicting the “end of Twitter” or fearing that “everyone is bored with [social platform] now” fail to recognize that humanity is pretty good at coming up with innovative uses for the tools at our disposal, and that Twitter and other social media platforms are no exception to this. Case in point: A fire recovery study project currently underway in Mt. Diablo State Park done by URS and Nerds for Nature after the Morgan Fire burned 3,000 acres last year in September.

How does this work?

By setting up a series of fixed vantage points around the park- there are brackets to put your smartphone in so all the photos are taken from the same angle- the project is able to gather reliable, gradual photographic evidence of the recovery of the park’s different ecosystems. Each site has its own hashtag to distinguish it: #morganfire01, #morganfire02, #morganfire03, #morganfire04.

Looking at the snapshot reports for each of these vantage points, you can see which ones are more commonly frequented by hikers. This gives citizen scientists as well as the projects heads themselves an idea of which areas could use more visits and photo captures, and enables them to quickly and easily spread the message and make plans about where to go. Park ranger resources can also be used more efficiently this way.

The overall conversation on Twitter.

Once a news cycle on an event like this gradually shuts down in the days or weeks after it happens, it’s rare to hear much more about it; projects like this are just one way social media is changing the landscape of journalism with crowdsourcing. It also gives citizens a direct role to play in the preservation of their local environment as citizen scientists. This would be a great project for a family, group of friends, summer camp, or science class to get involved with, and social media- particularly Twitter- is one of the best ways to amplify this message and make these kinds of suggestions.

On Instagram.

While Twitter users seem to mainly be using the platform to share news about the project itself, Instagram users have been carrying out the instructions on the sign posts and posting photos from the different vantage points using the hashtags:

#morganfire02 via Instagram user mo_nini_l 

#morganfire04 via Instagram user coyotethunder

This plays to the strengths of each platform; it’s harder to describe what a project is about on Instagram which doesn’t enable link-sharing, while this is Twitter’s main strength. The stunning visuals of the recovering areas of the park posted on Instagram can capture attention and make a user curious about what the hashtags mean, leading them to ask the user or search out the information themselves on other social sites, like Twitter.

If you live in the Mt. Diablo State Park area, consider making a weekend hiking trip out to Mt. Diablo and contribute to this citizen science project on your social networks! You might be the first to see something like this wild lily coming back:

via Instagram user coyotethunder

Written by Sarah

June 3rd, 2014 at 8:12 am

Travel resources on Twitter and more: Updated

with 2 comments



With Memorial Day approaching this weekend, summer travel is on the minds of many, and the resources to plan and execute the best trips for business or for pleasure lie within the social sites you know and love. Last year we looked at the Top travel resources on Twitter: Accounts to follow and chats to attend as well as the 10 best travel resources on social media and beyond. So what does the travel landscape look like on social in 2014?

On Twitter

All of the travel advice and perspective accounts from our Twitter travel resources post are still active and providing information on everything from amateur and budget travel to high-end luxury accommodations; skim the list to find and follow the users that fit your needs.

As for the travel chats, read over the transcripts to get an idea of which ones would be worth joining in on before you plan your next trip:

  • #MexMonday (all day Mondays): Check this one out if you’re planning a trip to Mexico 
  • #TravelTuesday (all day Tuesdays): Chat about all things travel-related
  • #CruiseChat (2pm EST Tuesdays): Whether you’re a veteran cruiser or new to boat-bound travel, find out all you need to know in this chat
  • #NUTS (Not-so-usual-therapy-session, aka travel and specifically roadtrips) seems to be used more as a generic hashtag than a travel related chat, but you can still check out the session recaps on their site.
  • #TTOT (5:30 am/pm EST Tuesdays): standing for Travel Talk on Tuesdays, you can check out the topic ahead of time on their Facebook page.
  • #LuxChat (2:30pm PST every 3rd Wednesday): While #LuxChat doesn’t always cover travel, keep an eye on the month’s chosen topic if treating yourself while you travel is your goal. You can find recaps of their chats on their Tumblr.
  • #TourismChat (2:00pm CST bi-weekly on Thursdays): Check the @tourismchat account for topics and transcripts.
  • #FriFotos (all day Fridays): You can find out each week’s theme from @EpsteinTravels

Other chats to check out:

Aren’t sure how to participate in a Twitter chat, or want to host your own? Check out our posts about how to get the most out of a chat as a participant or as a host.

Other social media travel resources

All of our holiday travel tips from last year still hold true, and if you’re looking at how to get the most out of travel blogging on Tumblr we’ve covered that too. (You can see all of our travel-related Tumblr posts here.)

We still recommend Pinterest for planning what you’re going to pack, what sites you want to see at your destination, and more. Instagram is an amazing way to catalog your travels that lets everyone at home follow along with you and avoids overwhelming them with an album of 200 new photos to parse when you get home.

But what about using Instagram for inspiring and planning your next trip? Stay tuned. We’ll have that for you soon!

If you’ve got any social media travel resources we missed, leave them in the comments, or let us know on Twitter.

Photo courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery. 

Written by Sarah

May 21st, 2014 at 1:31 pm