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The Week in Social #172

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

All about Facebook.

You may have seen a dozen headlines declaring Facebook’s forthcoming “dislike” button, but that’s not actually what Zuckerberg promised. Andrew Hutchinson breaks down What Facebook’s ‘Other Than Like’ Option Will (Probably) Look Like, and What it Means for Marketers in Social Media Today. We also recommend his piece Facebook Looking to Ramp Up Instant Articles and Live Streaming on Platform to get fully acquainted with upcoming Facebook changes.

On UGC and permission.

When it comes to disclosing brand partnerships and sponsorships, we and the FTC say to always err on the side of caution with the mantra “When in doubt; disclose”. Similar to that, always ask for permission from fans and followers before you use their images, even if they tagged your brand’s handle or used a brand-related hashtag that isn’t specifically set up as a contest explicitly stating using said hashtag gives you permission to use their photos. (Even then, asking again wouldn’t hurt.) Below is an example, from the National Park Foundation:

Denali National Park, Alaska, for #TravelTuesday. #travel #Alaska #FindYourPark #travelgram #instapassport #landscape

A photo posted by Sparker (@sparkerpants) on

Need more convincing? Read On Instagram and Other Social Media, Redefining ‘User Engagement’ from Sydney Ember and Rachel Abrams for the NYT.

All about those tweets and other Twitter properties.

80% of Twitter’s 316 million monthly users are mobile. Are you optimized for that? Social Times is here to help with How to Make Your Tweets Mobile-Friendly by Lauren Dugan.

If you’re looking at adding Vine to your video content marketing plan, you might want to read over these Best Practices for Creating Budget-Friendly Branded Vine Videos from Eric Dahan.

And finally. . .shiny things.

Quinn Whissen breaks down The Social Media Shiny Object Syndrome in Marketing Land. 

If you’re worried you may have fallen ill with the Social Media Shiny Object Syndrome (SMSOS), ask yourself these questions:

  • Where does my audience hang out online?
  • Can I consistently engage my audience with unique, relevant content on my chosen platform(s)?
  • Where do I get the best engagement that actually benefits my business?
  • Am I spread too thin to the point where I can’t focus where it matters most?
  • Why am I on this platform in the first place, or why do I want to be on it?

The cure? “Focus where it matters. Spend your time wisely and strategically. Be intentional.”

And if you need help measuring to figure out where your efforts are paying off- and therefore best spent- we can help with that.

Written by Sarah

September 25th, 2015 at 8:57 am

The Week in Social #169

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

This week brought a lot of platform-specific updates and milestones, so here’s a breakdown in case you missed some of them.

On Vine.

Looking at the current state of brands on Vine compared to top Viners, Brands Still Have Catching up to do. Lots of roundups on marketing sites discuss how clever things like Lowe’s 6-second Vine tips are, so why aren’t they catching on? Kevin Johnson explains that it has to do with the platform’s demographics:

“If brands really wish to connect with Vine’s young audience, they need to realize that what works on other social media platforms will not necessarily translate to equal levels of success on Vine. Vine humor tends to focus on the slapstick, the socially awkward, the ridiculous and the profane – much of what plays out on the most popular Vine channels would never fly on television.”

If that’s your brand’s target demographic, consider pairing with a Vine influencer who already has a following and knows the type of humor that will work there, or settle in and do your research before you start planning your Vine content.

You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the Vine updates that just came out, including an improved music experience.

On Instagram.

In case you still think Instagram is only for the B2C market, you might want to read The Power of Instagram for B2B Marketers from Sylvia Jensen. It’s not “just a fun mobile app” after all, it’s “part of today’s media system”.

Andrew Hutchinson brings wisdom from within Instagram themselves, sharing the creativity that went into the first brands to use their carousel advertising option in Brand Storytelling on Instagram – Some Key Notes to Benefit Your Social Strategy. Inspiration for brands of all sizes.

And the big Instagram ICYMI: Instagram updated yesterday to allow users to upload photos in portrait or landscape, ending the tyranny of the square-shaped image. This along with the end of the plague on vertical video means social media is changing. What do you think?

On Snapchat.

Snapchat still confusing? Wondering how brands actually. . .use it? Then Five seriously creative Snapchat campaigns and their results from Jack Simpson for Econsultancy is just the read for you. Pair with Everything You Need to Know About Snapchat Geofilters from Brian Murray to learn more about one of Snapchat’s lesser talked about features.

Everything else.

Really good read from Elisabeth Rosen for L2: Why the Viral Video is a Myth. TL;DR:

“In order to achieve significant scale, branded YouTube videos require paid support.”

viral video myth


And finally, here’s a clever cross-platform experiment to try from Nick Venezia: How to Use a $5 Twitter Ad to Redefine Your Facebook Strategy.

Social video: Facebook and YouTube, Vine and Instagram, Periscope and Meerkat

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Social video is still the new black, and when it comes to deciding which platform to invest your resources in you need all the latest and best information you can get. So we decided to help you out with that. And remember that it’s not about pitting platforms against each other, but choosing the one that’s the best fit for your brand to bring value to your audience.

Facebook and YouTube.

YouTube is the widely acknowledged granddaddy of video content marketing. Over the years it has grown to produce its own stars, and even its own studios where creators can produce work, sometimes in partnership with brands to create content that benefits both of them. YouTube supports its creators and empowers them to make money from their presence on its site and expand their personal brand through it. View counts of videos are made “at the point at which people seem to actually be engaging with the video and not just immediately clicking away” or usually around the 30 second mark, according to YouTube creator Hank Green.

If your work is stolen and re-uploaded by a different user, YouTube has a system in place (Content ID) to identify this as existing content and allow the copyright holder to claim it so they don’t lose revenue. This is an important feature for creators, and one for brands to keep in mind as they produce original video content.

Facebook has recently made more moves into the video space, introducing its own native video uploading option which the Facebook News Feed algorithm prioritizes over outside video links. Those who have worked for years to build an audience on YouTube are now working to balance their Facebook content strategy with this built-in preference in mind; most of the Internet has a Facebook presence so it’s wise to invest time and energy into having one for almost any brand, but there aren’t as many failsafes in place to protect original content (you can learn more about the issue of “freebooting” here or below).

Facebook says that they are working on this and other issues, and to be fair, YouTube has had a decade to work on these policies and grow relationships with their creators. Facebook has enormous resources, but its video program is still a fledgling with definite room for growth.

Our best tip for a brand that may have an existing YouTube presence or wants to build one but also wants to promote that content to their audience on Facebook is one that we picked up in a recent #socialchat: Post a native Facebook “teaser” video that links to the full piece on YouTube, which will still prioritize that content over an embedded YouTube video.

Platform stats

Just want the numbers for each? Here’s the latest we could find:

Final answer?

So which should you choose, Facebook or YouTube? For brands with enough resources to make it work (and you need decent resources if you’re serious about producing quality video content), we recommend using YouTube as a home base- it’s perfect for content archives and sub-channels, like highlights of the people working for you or product demos based off of FAQs- and then experimenting with different promotional tactics on Facebook.

L2 puts it well in Why Facebook and YouTube’s Competition for Views Might Be a Tie:

“Facebook provides a rapid boost of popularity and also reaches a wide audience with its interruptive viewing format. While YouTube can also achieve rapid short-term scale with advertising, the platform is better positioned for content discovery.”

Use each platform for its strengths for a more robust video content strategy.

Vine and Instagram.

Vine and Instagram are the shorter-form video options available on the social media landscape today; Twitter-owned Vines cap at 6 seconds while Facebook-owned Instagram video caps at 15. Both require creativity to pull off, but Vine even more so since you have to distill your entire story into 6 seconds. Vine also has its own language of memes, which tend to run even faster through a meme-cycle than memes elsewhere on the Internet. Brands who have seen success on Vine have either paired with influencers in the space, or launched a series of tips and tricks that fit in the 6 second format, like Lowes.

Instagram advertising is opening to everyone later this year, as previously they have only worked with select brands to produce high-quality ads that (ideally) flow seamlessly with the rest of a user’s timeline. Brands who have participated in this pilot advertising program saw a continued lift in engagement following the advertising period, according to our own research. Other brands on Instagram have paired with appropriate influencers in the space to give their content a boost, sometimes running campaigns in conjunction with various influencers in appropriate spaces.

Platform stats.

Final answer?

Vine and Instagram require a higher level of creativity to be successful for most audiences, but brands can also test using these platforms to tease a smaller part of a larger work, driving traffic back to their YouTube channel or wherever it is they desire.

It’s once again about choosing the platform that’s best for your brand, which is the one that’s best for your audience: Are they interested in 6 second tips? Or high-quality video that’s often aspirational in nature? Know your audience and go from there.

Periscope and Meerkat.

The newest players on the block, these two live-streaming apps seem to be all many marketers are talking about lately. Meerkat debuted just before Twitter-owned Periscope, but both are quickly becoming pretty even in terms of the features they have: You can save your live-stream for later playback on both, you can connect them to existing networks to promote your stream (Facebook for Meerkat and Twitter for Periscope) and find accounts to follow, and you can use either to do a product demo, AMA, behind-the-scenes tour, exclusive interview, or give a front row seat to your mobile audience at a product launch.

Meerkat’s distinguishing features include a scheduling ability to help your audience plan around watching your stream, and Cameo, the ability to let another user take over your stream for up to 60 seconds. Periscope does not have either of these features at the moment, but that doesn’t mean something similar won’t be incorporated in a future update. Periscope does have a private broadcasting feature, a great way to set-up communication between offices or for the camera-shy to practice their live-streaming.

For a further breakdown of what each platform offers, read this piece from Newsweek or this one from Econsultancy, then supplement with Meerkat’s post about their latest update. ETA: Since we originally wrote this post, Meerkat has also introduced Live Polling and Show and Tell, and Periscope now has web profiles.

Platform stats.

Final answer?

Choose the live-streaming app that has more of the audience you’re trying to reach, and be sure you at least have an outline or rough idea of what you’re going to talk about before you just start saying things at your phone for an hour. Remember that whoever you put on Periscope or Meerkat is representing your brand, so choose a brand representative that matches brand values, is articulate and engaging, and does well in front of a camera.

Live-streaming is a new area for almost everyone, so don’t worry about producing a highly-polished video. Use this to experiment and show largely unseen aspects of your brand: Give private tours of labs or venues, interview staff setting up for an event, host an AMA around an interesting topic in your industry.

Final recommendations.

We recommend bookmarking this handy chart from Marketing Land - Social Video Chart: Your At-A-Glance Guide To 7 Major Platforms - to refer to on a lot of social video platform differences when you’re deciding where to put your content.

And if you have any other questions, please leave them in the comments or find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

Written by Sarah

August 25th, 2015 at 9:12 am

The Week in Social #166

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We spend the week reading the best things we can get our eyeballs on and on Fridays we share them here with you. Leave your thoughts in the comments, or come find us on Twitter at @UnionMetrics.

On content + video content marketing.

Video is still the new black, so if you’re anxious to jump into generating video content for your brand but aren’t sure where to start, Mike Ryan’s 10 Ways To Use Short Video For Social Media Marketing is a good jumping off point.

And B2B companies still struggle to create the kind of content that actually brings them the most leads, as eMarketer illustrates in B2B Content Strategies Have Room for Improvement:

b2b content 1 B2B content 2

If you’re in B2B, don’t make the same mistake with your content strategy.

The hunt for the millennial male continues.

Where do the millennial males hang out? The latest answer is Imgur, as Garett Sloane notes for Adweek in How Advertisers Are Getting on Board With Imgur, a Pinterest for the Millennial Male. The real takeaway from this piece, however, is that eBay was so successful with their advertising on Imgur because they took the time to really listen to their intended audience and pay attention to the kind of content they like, then delivered their content in the same language and format. Any other brand would do well to follow their example, and not just on Imgur.

On Twitter and Vine.

Question of the week from Kimberlee Morrison, via SocialTimes: Can Marketers Keep Up with Memes and Trends on Vine? Most memes go through a similar cycle, and here’s the Vine version of that cycle:

  1. The original piece of content is uploaded
  2. Users replicate the Vine, as with the Whip/Nae Nae dance
  3. Users begin to remix, or make meta posts
  4. The meme reaches peak and then drops off, often to nothing.

The other difference is that on Vine they tend to move even faster through their cycle than on other platforms. The takeaway here is the value of pairing with an influencer on a platform you’re interested in expanding your audience on; they already have an audience there and they know what kind of content will perform well. Just be sure any partnership is a good match for both parties.

If your Twitter audience growth is feeling stagnant, Corey Ferreira breaks down How to Grow Your Twitter Audience in Just 30 Minutes a Day— provided you’re willing to put in a little hard work.

And finally, if Twitter’s Q2 stats had you ready to flee to greener social media pastures, take pause. Emily Alford speaks to those who know what they’re talking about in Instagram In and Twitter Out? Not So Fast, Say Experts. Here’s the key takeaway:

“Too many marketers pit social networks against each other, in terms of user base and revenue. Instead, they should focus on what consumers use each platform for and create integrated strategies that use platforms in conjunction with one another to move users down the purchase funnel.”

So focus on creating great content and giving it to your audience where they want it (that’s where they already spend their time, not where you’d like them to).

Written by Sarah

August 7th, 2015 at 9:05 am

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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The Week in Social Analytics #155

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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, content marketing, and storytelling. 

Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing: How to Get Buy-in From Decision Makers [from Business2Community; written by Michael Riley]

“Showing hard numbers will motivate any decision maker. You need to find ways to track how any “costs” can be tied to revenue growth. It helps to use technology and systems for keeping track of all the data.

The key three factors to track are:

  1. How much is a new customer worth to the business. LTV – Lifetime Value
  2. What converted them into a paying customer. CTA – Call to Action
  3. How much it cost to get them into that funnel. CAC – Customer Acquisition Cost

If the CAC is lower than the LTV, then your efforts are profitable and should be scaled up. It should just be common sense, and an easy decision to make, when done right.”

How to Execute a Carefully Thought-out Content Plan [from Spin Sucks; written by Nathan Ellering]

An in-depth guide on actually executing on that content plan you worked so hard to get buy-in for.

Storytelling In A Data-Driven, Cross-Device Era [from Marketing Land; written by James Green]

“Marketers should build stories that reach people with the information that matters to them wherever they engage — across different channels and devices.”

Platform-specific tips. 

5 Ways Brands Are Using Tumblr to Stand Out [from Entrepreneur; written by Nate Birt]

“Tumblr takes a blog-plus-the-kitchen-sink approach to storytelling, meaning brands have the flexibility to create their own template and engage with fans in ways that best suit their mission. As the fastest-growing network of 2014, Tumblr and its 420 million users deserve a second look. (Note for your sales team: Tumblr users have higher median incomes than those of Pinterest or Twitter users.)


10 practical Vine and Instagram video tips for brands [from Econsultancy; written by Christopher Ratcliff]

The most popular Vines from everyday users are just completely lo-fi, easy to make, and cost no money whatsoever. For brands it’s a good idea to do the same thing.

All the best Vines have a sense that they can be made by anyone, no matter what budget or skill level.”

As for Instagram:

Instagram is less aesthetically forgiving then Vine. Instagram users expect a slightly higher quality video and image than on Vine. But it’s also easier to make your videos look good.”

Emphasis original.

Video content marketing. 

Seven video marketing lessons learnt from #ThisGirlCan [from Econsultancy; written by Christopher Ratcliff]

“Lesson six: enjoy and share the response

In a surprising development, women starting making their own This Girl Can videos and sending them to Sport England, showing how inspired they were by the campaign.

These were then shared by the campaign team, which helped make a stronger community and strengthen the core message.”

Written by Sarah

May 22nd, 2015 at 9:15 am

A social video guide for brands

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Putting a first generation iPod on a really old television is not a recommended video hosting platform. Image via Alexandre van de sande on Flickr; used with Creative Commons license.

Still not recommended. Image via Alexandre van de sande on Flickr; used with Creative Commons license.

So you want to get into video content marketing.

Those who are excellent at video content marketing make it look easy, leaving the uninitiated with high hopes and a crushing sense of reality once they start researching the work that goes into a well-executed and branded piece of video content. Should you be live-streaming? On Meerkat, or on Periscope? Should you be on both? What about Google Hangouts, is anyone still doing those? All the kids are on Snapchat, right? What about the more established longer-form video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo? Or Vine? And what about the social media platforms that have a video option, like Instagram and now Facebook? It can all be a little overwhelming. Let’s break it down, so you can figure out which social video platforms are right for your brand, based on your resources and goals.

First things first: What does each platform do?

Live-streaming platforms:

  • Meerkat: A live-streaming app where footage is not accessible later. Twitter pulled their official card access after launching their competing acquisition, Periscope, leaving some to speculate on Meerkat’s eventual fate. (Update: Meerkat now lets you connect with your Facebook friends on the app.)
  • Periscope: Owned by Twitter, it’s a live-streaming app with videos you can replay later. There’s a private broadcast option as well. (For a more in-depth comparison of Meerkat and Periscope, read this.)
  • Google Hangouts: Face-to-face video conversation where your broadcast is automatically recorded and uploaded to YouTube after you’re finished.

Prerecorded video platforms:

  • Vine: 6 seconds of glory, but recent research shows you only get about 3 to catch your audience’s attention, so don’t rule it out for length.
  • Instagram: Videos on Instagram are limited to 15 seconds, giving you a lot more creative room than on Vine.
  • Snapchat: Send quick snaps in video or photo form, or build bigger and longer stories using both; stories expire in 24hrs whereas snaps last for the duration set by the sender (up to 10 seconds). Recipients can replay one snap a day and they can save snaps by taking a screenshot, but it tells the sender you did so.
  • Facebook video: Facebook has recently launched their own native videos, which autoplay on the site (and the same 3-seconds-to-catch-your-audience’s-attention rule stands) but without volume. Another recent update has made their videos embeddable on other sites.
  • YouTube: The granddaddy of video, they’ve been moving into the original content space as more and more of the younger generation move away from traditional TV (and even admire YouTube personalities over celebs). YouTube offers a lot of tools for building your audience, advertising, and being part of the Google family makes it good choice for SEO rankings.
  • Vimeo: Another option for brands producing high-quality video is Vimeo, which gives you branded players and the ability to embed elsewhere as on YouTube. Here are Vimeo’s brand guidelines.

So what is each platform best for?

As more users adapt to these newer platforms and shift with changes on the established ones, they’ll come up with new and creative ways to use them. In the meantime, here are some ideas for how you can use each platform based on what we’ve seen in the wild. Choose according to your brand’s goals, the type of content you’ll be producing with the resources you have available, and first and foremost, where your audience is.


  • Meerkat: Livestream an event that’s part of a series to get people interested in coming next time- a conference series, or an interview with a well-known expert in your industry- but they have to buy a ticket to the next one or catch the stream in time. If an element of exclusivity works well with your brand’s audience, then this might be the best approach for you. (Update: Meerkat now lets you save video in a library, but you choose what is public, so this strategy might still work for you.)
  • Periscope: Livestream a speech or presentation to increase your audience. Share the playback to your established audience that might have missed it, and be sure to watch it yourself to help you tweak your delivery for next time.
  • Google Hangouts: Google Hangouts function best for meetings and the recordings are often best suited for internal use or transcribing an interview. However, long pieces can be edited down into a summary and other usable pieces. It’s not a bad idea to start with longform content and repurpose it across other platforms, given you have the time and resources to do so.

Pre-recorded video 

  • Vine: Got a clever way to show a how-to or answer a question? Vine’s for you. (Econsultancy does a monthly roudup with great brand examples on Vine.)
  • Instagram: For creative that’s a little longer than 6 seconds that you want to fit into your overall visual brand, there’s Instagram. Post a clip from longer content, as mentioned above, share tips and tricks, or even produce a series of short videos like Gap did for their spring campaign.
  • Snapchat: If your target audience is young, then sending fun behind-the-scenes Snapchat stories is a great move embraced by a lot of the brands currently on the platform. Here are some other creative ways brands are using the platform, from Convince & Convert.
  • Facebook video: If your audience is dedicated to Facebook, you might want to consider making this your video content hub. If you’re already invested in YouTube, you can repurpose content from your channel for Facebook or experiment with Facebook-exclusive content. Here’s a great example of shifting strategy from PopSugar on Digiday.
  • YouTube: Your video hub- create a dedicated brand channel from which you can spin off side-channels, if that makes sense for your content strategy, brand, and resources- from which you can repurpose content into smaller, shorter videos for all the above, aforementioned networks.
  • Vimeo: ReelSEO has a great breakdown of the differences between YouTube and Vimeo for brands, depending on what your priorities are. If you’ve got the resources, consider optimizing videos for both.

What else should I know?

It’s probably worth mentioning the biggest con in live-streaming video: Not everyone is a natural in front of the camera and with the lack of editing available when you’re streaming live, well, unless you’re famous or dealing with extremely topical subject matter in an entertaining way it can be tough to find an audience. The golden rule of content applies here as it does everywhere else: Be sure you’re creating content that’s of value to your customers and making it available on the platforms where they prefer to spend their time. Put in the work to find out where that is, and what it is they want from you.

Any more questions?

Leave ‘em in the comments. Just remember to have fun; your audience can tell when you are.

The Week in Social Analytics #119

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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.

On content:

5 ways to produce content that drives revenue [from iMedia Connection; written by Erika Goldwater]

“. . .some 90 percent of marketers invest a huge portion of their budget on content without a formal strategy in place. A documented strategy can dramatically improve resource and budget allocation, buyer targeting, and content idea generation. And it should include concrete and measurable goals, as well as a system for tracking performance relative to those goals across the lead-to-buyer lifecycle. If driving sales and revenue is your goal, there’s only one way to know if your strategy is working: measure effectiveness across the funnel and make adjustments accordingly.”

Content marketing and the difficulties of storytelling [from Econsultancy; written by James Curtis]

“The other big contributing factor to why content marketing campaigns fail to deliver good storytelling is that we forget that most obvious of challenges with digital media, the narrative is often non-linear.”

Visual content:

Visual Content, Confusion, and Copyright Laws [from Spin Sucks; written by Lindsay Bell]

Take it from the macaque: It’s your job to make sure you’re keeping up with and following copyright laws on the images you use in your visual content and marketing.

5 Visual Platforms to Boost B2B and B2C Engagement [from Social Media Today; written by Mordecai Holtz]

If you’re looking to produce and share more visual content, consider these platforms.

Three Instagram accounts every marketer and designer should follow [from Econsultancy; written by Edwyn Raine]

Any overlooked suggestions to add to this short list?

Master the platform:

How to Build Your Brand on YouTube and Reach New Customers [from Social Media Today; written by Joy Mali]

“Video is the best way of communicating your brand to your customers since it establishes a real time experience within them, and your customers feel as if they have really connected with your product. Hence, video can easily support your branding effort like no other medium.”

Brand Marketing on Vine: How to Sell Yourself in Six Seconds [from Social Times; written by Jon Mowat]

Key takeaways from some of the brands best at using Vine:

  • They all have the brand’s community at their heart. GE showcases science, Samsung showcases extreme outdoor sports and French Connection showcases their clothing range to those interested in fashion and travel.
  • There is never a hard sell. In fact, it’s best to avoid traditional advertising calls to action, as they just don’t work on the platform. Each of the Vines above simply give you something to think about; the takeaway is a simple, personal moment. Connection to the brand has to be more subtle and often only establishes itself after you’ve hooked your audience on your style of Vine.
  • They left the door open for you to return. Great Vines will make sure to leave you wanting the next story with anticipation.
  • Creativity was a watchword. Each Vine used the format to its strengths and didn’t try to make a Vine something it can’t be. With the platform, you’ve got a precious few moments to make an impact. Don’t waste them, but at the same time don’t try to cram everything in. Efficiency and the simplicity of your message is key.

Everything else:

Does Social Media Make Crisis Communications More Difficult to Manage? [from PR Newser; written by Shawn Paul Wood]

Seems especially applicable in the wake of DiGiorno’s Twitter mistake earlier this week, and brands’ inability to keep quiet on 9/11.

How to Incorporate Social Media Into Your Product Packaging [from Social Mouths; written by Francisco Rosales]

“Product design and product packaging are two of the only ways you can draw consumers back into your online campaigns as they navigate the physical world. A social campaign may get the ball rolling, but a single hashtag or slogan on your packaging will encourage users to engage more deeply both in person and online.”

The Ultimate Guide To Social Media Contests, 15 Steps [from Social Fresh; written by Erica Campbell Byrum]

Helps you build a plan with a timeline from three months out.

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 first Vine from space

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NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman posted the first Vine from space this weekend, condensing hours on the ISS and an orbit showing a never-quite-setting sun into six seconds:

Social media has been the perfect tool for NASA to use to educate the public about their work, and give curious citizens direct access in real time to the astronauts living and working in space above us. The Vine was shared by many in the Twitter science community dedicated to science education and outreach:

After all, the projects started up there often come back down to earth to be used in our daily lives, and new windows into science education are the best way to spark the interest of the next generation of scientists and inventors.

Written by Sarah

June 10th, 2014 at 12:39 pm