Archive for the ‘tips and tricks’ tag
One of the easiest ways to boost engagement with your Instagram posts is to use better hashtags. So, how do you know which hashtags lead to more likes and followers? It’s easy with our Instagram account checkup. So first, log in to your Union Metrics Instagram account checkup and make sure you have the newest data for your Instagram account.
(Haven’t run a free Instagram account checkup yet? Sign up here.)
Then scroll down to the hashtag section of your report. It should look like this:
We’ve highlighted your top Instagram hashtag. This is based on activity with your account from the past month, and looks at all the hashtags you’ve added to all your posts to find the ones that have resulted in the most engagement (likes and comments). It then maps your top hashtags against your average likes and comments per post. So anything above or to the right or the orange lines in your graph is above average for you.
The top 3 hashtags are shown in blue. In the above example, that’s #sunset, #clouds and #nature. Photos with these hashtags have gotten more likes and comments than the average post on this account. If this was your report, then we’d suggest that you use those hashtags more frequently. The content you’ve shared to those hashtag communities has resonated well, so you’re on the right track. In this case, pretty pictures of sunsets seem to be working well.
So once you’ve found some of your top hashtags, try using them more often and see if your engagement rates go up. But don’t overuse or spam them! As always, make sure your content fits with the Instagram aesthetic and will work well in a particular hashtag’s community. This only leads to more engagement if your content is good and makes sense with your hashtag.
So that’s it – find your top hashtags and use them more often, and you will get more engagement.
And once you’ve set up your checkup, you can refresh it once a day to get updated metrics, so don’t forget to come back later and see how your other hashtags are working.
Instagram is a social media powerhouse. In just five years, more than 40 billion photos have been shared on Instagram, and it now has more than 400 million monthly active users. 50,000 new photos were shared on Instagram in just the past 60 seconds. That’s 80 million new photos and 3.5 billion new likes every single day.
So how you can tap into this large, growing and vibrant community to create better content, grow your followers and get more engagement? Based on what we’ve seen work for brands and individuals, we’ve pulled together a list of our top Instagram tips. If you follow them, we bet you’ll start doing better on Instagram.
When is the best time to post to Instagram?
- Instagram is very active on nights and weekends.
- Consider posting content outside typical US business hours.
- Your experience will vary, so test a lot and figure out what works for your content and your audience.
How often should I post on Instagram?
- Post 1-2 times a day to maximize engagement.
- Stick to a regular posting schedule.
- Don’t stop posting for long periods of time or you will lose followers.
- Most Instagram content lives up to 3 days, but 90% of a post’s likes and comments happen in the first 12.8 hours.
How can I improve my Instagram posts?
- Post the right kind of content for Instagram.
- Post only high-quality photos and videos.
- Photos get more engagement than videos on Instagram, so post more photos than videos.
- Stick to the Instagram aesthetic, but filters aren’t necessary.
How can I better use hashtags to increase engagement?
- Research a hashtag before using it.
- Find the hashtags that work best for your content.
- Try a variety of new hashtags to see which ones work and which ones don’t.
- Use a mix of large popular hashtags, as well as targeted, lower-volume hashtags.
- Use 3-10 hashtags per post.
- Consider adding hashtags in a comment separate from a post’s caption.
- Don’t add new hashtags to older posts.
Really, our Instagram tips come down to a few simple rules. Instagram content is a lot more evergreen than people give it credit for, so take the time to create and share high-quality content. Keep up a steady cadence of new content to maximize engagement. And if you stop posting, you will lose followers. Use hashtags to reach new audiences and boost content discovery.
If you’re going to start an Instagram account, be prepared to commit to it – don’t let it stagnate. Keep trying new things and keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.
And of course, we recommend that you measure your work with Union Metrics! We have a free Instagram account checkup that provides quick metrics for your own account, as well as awesome and in-depth analytics subscriptions for hashtags and accounts.
We’ve already covered the basics of how Snapchat works and some of the specifics for how brands should be using the app, so now we wanted to show examples of how some different brands have been using snaps and stories to connect with their fans and followers. Consider their work as a guide and inspiration for how you might want to use Snapchat yourself.
Taco Bell was one of the first brands to embrace using Snapchat, behind a yogurt chain called 16 Handles who used the platform to send out coupons. Taco Bell initially the app to advertise its Beefy Crunch Burrito:
And since then has used the new features that launched in May to start a Doodle War with its Snapchat friends, among other things:
Mashable uses Snapchat as a way to show some behind-the-scenes office culture- birthday celebrations, etc- and more of what the company is up to, such as events they’re attending, like in the snap below:
Mashable is a good example of how using simple enhancements like the pencil tool in several layers of text can make a snap more vibrant and interesting. To ramp up engagement, they have also hosted weekly Snapchat Challenges, like this emoji challenge:
MTV uses Snapchat as a way to share brief interviews with and photos of different celebrities and artists with their Snapchat friends, and to do show promotions like their first ever Snap promoting their show Teen Wolf. (MTVTeenWolf is now its own Snapchat account.) MTV UK previously used it as a way to promote their show Geordie Shore, the UK version of Jersey Shore.
Audi and Pretty Little Liars (PLL)
PLL teamed up with media sponsor Audi to send out snaps during episodes of the show meant to line up with certain scenes in the first campaign of its kind. PLL fans get exclusive content they can’t get anywhere else to enhance their favorite program, and Audi gets to introduce itself to a new and younger demographic. While that demographic might not be in the market for luxury cars now, they will have an established relationship with Audi for the future.
A fan response snap to PLL and Audi.
Pitch Perfect 2
The cast of the sequel to Pitch Perfect has been sending mostly behind-the-scenes selfies to their Snapchat friends, the same kind most users send to their Snapchat friends who double as IRL friends. This creates a sense of intimacy above what even a 10-second video interview from your favorite artist via MTV does; they’re framed so that it looks like the star themselves might have snapped the shot and sent it to you.
Anything else I should know?
Yes! Be sure you share your Snapchat username with your fans and followers on other social sites who might want to add you! Most audience members won’t think to search for brands there, so you need to be proactive about letting them know that you’re there.
And that’s about it.
Got any questions, or know of anything that we missed? Let us know in the comments!
The trend of platforms providing a place for users to exchange ephemeral content isn’t an obvious one for most brands to join in on; after all, why spend hours planning and executing content only to have it disappear in moments once it hits your audience’s screens? But just like any other social platform, if Snapchat is where your target demographic is, then it’s where you should be spending some of your time. If that’s the case- or you’re just a marketer or brand who loves to experiment- read on to find out all you need to know about marketing on Snapchat for brands.
What do I need to know before getting started?
If you’re already familiar with Snapchat then you can skip this section and head straight for the second section. Otherwise stick around for a basic breakdown of how the platform works.
The very basics: Snapchat scores & finding friends
Your score is simply the total number of snaps you have sent and received, as per Snapchat themselves. That’s all there is to it!
As for finding friends, Snapchat has step-by-step instructions for how to find and add friends that includes screenshots. You can add those who have added you, and find friends via your contacts, or through searching for their Snapchat username.
Stories vs. individual Snaps
Every time you take a snap you have the option to add it to “My Story”- a collection of snaps that add up to tell a bigger story and are viewable for 24 hours- and stories are now more popular than snaps. Stories are also a better choice for brands above sending individual snaps, and we’ll discuss this more in the next section.
Snapchat just launched a new feature called “Our Story” that is meant to let Snapchatters collaborate on a bigger story around an event they are physically attending. At the moment the first and only event to have “Our Story” is the Electric Daisy Carnival, but the wording on the page about the feature suggests it will be open to other events in the future. People who aren’t currently attending an “Our Story” event can still add the event as a friend to view the ongoing, collaborative story so they don’t miss out on the experience entirely. This is a great way for event organizers and attendees to persuade them to attend in the future.
You can only replay one snap every 24 hours, so choose carefully! Also keep in mind that your audience can only do the same; that’s important to keep in mind if you’re designing a Snapchat contest or sending coupons.
Snapchat notifies the sender of a snap whenever a recipient takes a screenshot of their snap or a chat between them. They have different icons to let you know if your snaps and chats have been sent, viewed, and more. Snapchat will also notify you if someone replays a snap.
And that’s it for the basics; if you have more questions you can find answers to them in Snapchat’s own support site.
What do I need to know specifically as a brand?
This is where we get into the specifics for brands using Snapchat; while creating consistently intriguing content is a given, there are also different settings you’ll want to consider than if you were using Snapchat for personal reasons.
In your settings you’ll want to make sure that you set “Who is allowed to view my story?” to “Everyone”. Otherwise only those you’ve added as “My Friends” will be able to see it, and you’ll be missing out on voluntary eyeballs until you manually add everyone who adds you. With a popular brand that could be quite an undertaking.
The manual aspect of individual snaps can be a daunting prospect for brands- as of now there’s no way to create a single snap and click on a “send to all” option; you have to go through your list and choose each recipient individually- but the workaround is adding all of the content you create to your story. (Whether or not you choose to let your audience send you snaps back is up to you, and would mostly be useful in terms of building engagement through reciprocation they can see- the icon will let them know you viewed their snap- or in conducting a Snapchat contest. The option of who is allowed to send you snaps is controlled in “Settings”.)
Also be sure to check out “Manage” under “Additional Services” to turn on the “Front-Facing Flash”, “Replay” option, and enable “Special Text”, all of which will enhance the content of your snaps.
Kinds of content to post
Truly creative content is what makes Snapchat sing, so you’ll want to plan and execute content using all of the features we mentioned earlier to make your snaps as interesting as possible:
Draw on your photos using the pencil icon in the upper right-hand corner using the full range of colors available; this gives you the ability to turn your snaps into just about anything
Tap on the screen to add text; turning on special text lets you alter it to be larger and adjust the positioning
If you have an emoji keyboard on your phone, Snapchat will support adding these characters in with your text
Other than utilizing those features, the kind of content you want to share will depend on your brand and what your goals are with the platform. Is it to share behind-the-scenes company culture? Is it to share brief behind-the-scenes interviews and photos with the stars of your show or movie? Is it to show off your products in new and interesting ways?
We’ll look at a few different types of brands using Snapchat in the next post to give you some ideas of what kind of content has been successful.
Frequency of snaps
While regular snaps are limited to a maximum time limit of 10 seconds, stories aren’t limited except to a 24 hour period of existence. However, since Snapchat was built to be a quick and fleeting experience, you might not want to be the first to discover what the limits of a story are. Keep it simple, sweet, and relatively short; set up stories of different lengths and see if you get an increase in activity around one type or length above others.
What do we mean by increased activity? Well, measuring Snapchat is difficult, but pay attention to things like how many people are adding you to their friend list, taking screenshots, choosing to replay your snaps, or even sending you snaps in reply if you choose to make that option available.
That’s it for now! Check out the basics in the first section of this post if you need to, or stick around for our next post covering which brands use Snapchat well. If you still have questions, leave ‘em in the comments!
Every social media platform has its own way of operating that stems from its users reasons for being there; the same person might use Twitter mostly for professional work connections and news, Facebook for family updates, Instagram to connect with friends, and Tumblr to keep up with the fandoms around their favorite shows, for example. If that person matches the ideal customer for a brand and that brand wants to run a social campaign across most or all of those platforms to reach that person, they need to tailor their message for each place.
How? Get started with these do’s and don’ts.
1. Don’t: discount a platform because you think you know what people are there for.
Do: The research to see how conversations form around things that matter to your brand. Instagram, for example, is often thought of as a place where people simply share photos with friends and family, but that’s not necessarily the case. Big events like the World Cup have enormous conversations happening around them on the photo-sharing site, and smart brands like Adidas have caught onto that.
Our Instagram analysis* showed that Adidas was a top publisher around the World Cup conversation on Instagram, and they received 22.7k actions (likes and comments) on their 5 World Cup related posts, earning 6.3 million impressions. That’s a big return on a relatively small effort, especially considering fan-run sports accounts and even official soccer athlete accounts are making anywhere from 14-128 posts related to the World Cup.
2. Don’t: assume you know how to talk the talk.
Do: Listen first, then join the conversation respectfully. Tumblr, for example, has many different communities that all have different ways of speaking to each other, making jokes, and presenting information, all of which is part of the larger Tumblr community and culture. What works well in Twitter or Facebook advertising will not work well here; the users are part of a larger creative community and they respond well to brands who take the time to understand how Tumblr really operates (or they’re smart enough to hire and work with someone who does).
Denny’s, for example, has an extremely popular Tumblr that users have responded well to because it speaks in the language of Tumblr. It isn’t just an attempt to ape it.
3. Don’t: Be afraid to experiment.
Do: Learn from and build on your failures and successes alike. FIFA has a Twitter account for their official match ball. While normally inanimate objects spontaneously get their own parody Twitter accounts following a big cultural event with social coverage (Pharrell’s hat following the GRAMMY’s, for example), FIFA decided to give their match ball its own autonomy and hashtag early.
Running a quick free TweetReach report shows that the conversation and engagement around #ballin is already good, and there’s still more than a month of World Cup matches left to go. While something like a snapshot report gives a good idea of the general success of the account relative to the hashtag- it’s not just a bunch of people using the term in other, World Cup unrelated ways- more in-depth monitoring could tell FIFA what was successful and unsuccessful in their approach specific to Twitter, and help them plan better for next time. (You can read more about how to monitor a Twitter campaign with TweetReach here.)
So what does this mean for campaigns, exactly?
The bottom line is that you have to tailor your message to fit in each place, and that can only be done by taking the time to understand how the conversation around what your audience is interested in operates. Adidas looked at how sports fans use Instagram, Denny’s hired someone familiar with the culture of Tumblr and gave them the freedom to do it right, and FIFA is experimenting with giving their match ball its own voice.
After you’ve decided on the messaging for each platform- visual for Instagram and Tumblr, with different wording and approach on Twitter, for example- build goals based on how the audience you aim to reach in each place talks to one another about you or your industry. Are you there to increase your share of voice in the industry (here’s more on how to measure share of voice, and how to grow it), or to build engagement with your existing fans, while hopefully earning new ones? Your goals for the same campaign might be different for each platform, which increases the necessity for tailored messages in each place.
The basic approach is the same in each place, however: Research, plan, test, measure, rinse, and repeat.
*Interested in our Union Metrics for Instagram analytics? Learn more here.
One of the highlights of using Instagram for brands is that once you’ve uploaded a post, you can quickly share it across several other platforms once you’ve connected your accounts: Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and Twitter.
It’s important to know the details of how exactly Instagram posts translate to each platform before you hit the share button; that way you can tweak your posts to get the best results across all of them.
Instagram posts on Twitter are shown as a link in the tweet, and they pull in all the text and the hashtags used to caption a post before the allotted 140 characters are used up. Here’s an example of this post as it was shared to Twitter, below:
— Union Metrics (@UnionMetrics) May 14, 2014
Captions longer than 140 characters are truncated with an ellipses, as above, and if all of your hashtags are at the end of a long caption, none of them will translate to Twitter. If you want the full caption and hashtags to show up, keep it short; a short caption and no more than two or three hashtags (three will probably only work if you’re using shorter hashtags like #TBT). Remember that some of the characters will be used up on the link to the Instagram post itself.
Instagram will also translate another Instagram user’s account name that you’ve tagged in a post to their Twitter account username, if they’ve connected their accounts. If they haven’t connected their accounts, the tweet will show the person’s Instagram account name and will remove the “@” symbol so it doesn’t tag anyone on Twitter.
However, if you use the incorrect Instagram username when you tag someone in a post and it doesn’t match any Instagram users, it will translate to Twitter using the “@” symbol. Another reason to be sure you’re using the right account name (you should see it pop up while you’re typing it in, as in the photo below) when you decide to mention someone in a post you plan to share.
For more tips about using Instagram as a brand, head over to the Union Metrics blog.
For more Twitter tips, or tips specific to TweetReach, check out our master post from last week.
Whether you know someone just getting started with Twitter as they’re launching their new business, or you want to brush up on some of the basics yourself, we’ve rounded up all of the Twitter and TweetReach tips and best practices we’ve written up and tested and put them here for your convenience.
Twitter Best Practices
Twitter Quick Tips
Got any good tips we missed or questions you want answered? Leave them in the comments, or find us on Twitter. We’re always happy to answer your questions!
Image courtesy NYPL Digital Gallery.
Keep it simple with TweetReach snapshot reports! Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re running a snapshot report:
1. Snapshots will analyze tweets up to one week old. Snapshots pull tweets from up to 7 days ago, so be sure you run them as soon as you can after your event. Older tweets are only available through our premium historical analytics.
2. Full snapshots will include up to 1,500 tweets. Due to restrictions from Twitter’s Search API (more on that below), a full snapshot report is limited to about 1500 tweets from the past week. If your topic or hashtag had more tweets than that, we’ll go back until we hit that limit, but won’t be able to pull them all into a snapshot report. For higher-volume topics, try our historical analytics or ongoing Pro Trackers.
3. A snapshot report is just that – a snapshot. We use the Twitter Search API for our snapshot report data, and it operates more on relevancy than on completeness. This means it will pull everything that Twitter considers most relevant to your search query from the past seven days, so some tweets or users might be missing from your results. For more complete results, try our Pro Tracker, which has access to the full-fidelity, real-time Twitter stream.
4. Narrow your snapshot search dates with filters. If you want more specific results for a snapshot report, you can include date filters. The since: and until: operators allow you to select a specific date range within the past week for your search. For example, let’s say you want to see all #TBT tweets for December 12, 2013 through December 17, 2013. Search for #TBT since:2013-12-12 until:2013-12-18 (use the YYYY-MM-DD format, which is tied to 00:00 for each date). Like this:
5. Tweets in our snapshot reports are displayed in the Universal Coordinated Time zone (UTC). This is to simplify and standardize our reporting across all time zones. If you need help converting UTC to your time zone, try this converter.
When you’re setting up a Tracker in your Pro account we want to make sure you get the best results possible. One thing that can be tricky is words with accent marks, such as crêpe, doppelgänger, or crème brûlée. Twitter treats accented letters as completely different letters from their unaccented counterparts. If you are searching for a hashtag or keyword that’s accented, it’s best to set up your Tracker terms to include both the accented and un-accented spelling (but only in Trackers; snapshot reports will return both results regardless of which you search and you can see an example of one at the end of this post), like this:
For more specific results, there are two ways to filter by language in a Tracker to help capture more relevant tweets. For example, let’s say you’re tracking crêpe as the keyword for a contest for a French company, but you think some English speakers participating might leave off the accent marks. You can select the Universal language filters to only return results in French, like this:
Or you can set it up to return accented results in French and non-accented results in English by putting a separate language filter at the end of each query line, like this:
If you’re keeping it simple just to get an idea of the conversation around crêpes, a snapshot report would look like this.
Are you new to TweetReach or want to learn more about our products?
Second, if you’d like to set up ongoing monitoring for any Twitter account or keyword-based topic, check ourTweetReach Pro. Starting at just $84 per month, it’s a great and affordable way to start tracking and analyzing your tweets in real time. Contact our sales team if you have any questions at all.
You don’t have to go Pro to save your TweetReach snapshot reports. As long as you’ve registered for a free TweetReach account - and you’re logged in! – you can save every report you run for future access in your My Reports archive. That applies to both free, 100-tweet snapshots, as well as full, $20 snapshots. Just be sure to log in to your account before you run your next snapshot report.
And whenever you purchase a full snapshot report, you’ll still receive an email copy and a receipt. If you happen to purchase a report while you were logged out, just send us an email and we’ll be happy to move it into your account.
Are you new to TweetReach or want to learn more about our products?
Second, if you’d like to set up ongoing monitoring for any Twitter account or keyword-based topic, check our TweetReach Pro. Starting at just $84 per month, it’s a great and affordable way to start tracking and analyzing your tweets in real time. Contact our sales team if you have any questions at all.