Twitter’s New Analytics Suite

Alright folks, we’ve been waiting for this. Twitter has launched a new analytics suite that will allow advertisers to see more granular tweet metrics for both paid AND organic tweets. These analytics are long-awaited, as social marketers have had access to a plethora of analytics from Facebook for a long time that have left us longing for more in-depth metrics from other sites like Twitter and LinkedIn.

The new analytics feature stats about tweets, followers, and Twitter cards (their new paid tweet offering that can pull in content from websites). Below is a breakdown of the metrics.

Tweet metrics:

Tweet metrics

Tweet metrics

  • Impressions: the number of times users saw the tweet on Twitter.
  • Engagements: the total number of times a user has interacted with a tweet. This includes all clicks anywhere on the tweet (including links, hashtag, avatar, username, and tweet expansion), retweets, replies, follows (follows are only collected on paid tweets), and favorites.
  • Engagement rate: the number of engagements (clicks, retweets, replies, follows and favorites) divided by the total number of impressions.

Follower metrics:

Follower metrics

Follower metrics

  • Followers over time
  • Interests (most unique interests and top interests)
  • Location (top countries and states)
  • Gender

Twitter card metrics:

  • URL clicks
  • Install attempts
  • Retweets
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Insta-cinegram

Instagram Logo

Instagram announced today that it’s launching video functionality. According to their blog post, when you go to take a photo you will see a movie camera icon. You can record videos from 3 to 15 seconds long, which is longer than what Twitter-owned Vine offers at 6 seconds maximum. Instagram also added 13 filter options specifically for videos. Another great feature is that you can choose a frame to set as the “cover photo” for the video, which is what will display in the Instagram feed.

The video recording functionality seems to operate the same as Vine, though, where holding your finger on the record button allows you to film, and removing your finger allows you to pause until you are ready for the next segment. Unlike sharing photos on Instagram, but similar to uploading videos to Vine, you cannot add a video that already exists on your device on Instagram.

Currently the video recording functionality is open only to iPhone users operating a 3GS device or newer running iOS 5.0 or later, and Android users running Android 4.1 or later. At this point, there is no mention of analytics, but I bet Instagram will soon offer that to brand accounts on the platform.

What do you think of this announcement? Will you be using Instagram to share videos?

Facebook Joins the #HashtagParty

Better late than never. Last week, Facebook announced the implementation of hashtags into the social network. Facebook is now recognizing the usefulness of hashtags in organizing and discovering content. As with other changes Facebook has implemented in the past, the change is being rolled out to Facebook users over the course of the next few weeks. With Facebook hashtags, you can:

  • Search for a specific hashtag from the search bar
  • Click on hashtags in posts that originate other services, such as Twitter and Instagram (services linked directly to your Facebook account)
  • Compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results

 Here, you see a hashtag feed for the #Bruins hashtag at the end of their (winning!) Stanley Cup playoff game tonight:

bruins fb hashtag

I was able to open this by clicking on the hashttag I posted on my Timeline, but I can also pull up a feed from the search bar which allows me to “Say something about #Bruins…”

say something about #Bruins

According to Facebook, Here is what marketers need to know:

  • If you are already using hashtags in an advertising campaign through other channels, you can amplify these campaigns by including your hashtags in Facebook advertising. The same creative best practices on Facebook still apply – compelling copy and photography that is in the brand voice works best.
  • Any hashtags that you use on other platforms that are connected to your Facebook Page will be automatically clickable and searchable on Facebook.
  • Like other Facebook marketing tools, hashtags allow you to join and drive the conversations happening about your business. We recommend you search for and view real-time public conversations and test strategies to drive those conversations using hashtags.
  • Hashtags do not impact your distribution or engagement in News Feed on either desktop or mobile. We recommend you continue to focus on your existing campaigns to drive your most important business objectives.

Facebook has long allowed the targeting of ads and promoted posts to people with specific interests by placing a hashtag in front of the word, e.g. #Gardening. The platform will likely create a new ad product from this rollout, but will also gain a wealth of intelligence about topic trends. Although some #hashtag-haters will be annoyed, I think Facebook is smart to capitalize on the behavior that’s already occurring across the social space, and that many other platforms have embraced. What do you think?

Execs Still Not Capitalizing on the Value of Social Media for Business

A study conducted by The Conference Board and the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University reveals that business executives still do not understand the value and potential of social media for business.

Key findings include:

  • While 90% of respondents claim to understand the impact that social media can have on their organization, only 32% of their companies monitor social media to detect risks to their business activities and 14% use metrics from social media to measure corporate performance.
  • Only 24% of senior managers and 8% of directors surveyed receive reports containing summary information and metrics from social media. Approximately half of the companies do not collect this information at all.
  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents (65%) use social media for personal purposes, and 63% for business purposes. Of those who use social media, 80% have a LinkedIn account and 68% have a Facebook account, demonstrating that executives and board members are familiar with this medium.
  • Still, only 59% of companies in the survey use social media to interact with customers, 49% to advertise, and 35% to research customers. Approximately 30% use social media to research competitors, research new products and services, or communicate with employees and other stakeholders.

“Companies appreciate the potential that social media can have to transform all aspects of their business: branding, reputation, communication, outreach, and identifying strategic risks,” says Professor David F. Larcker of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and lead author of the study. “They also realize the serious threats that it can pose. They’re just not doing very much about it.”

Two of the top risks cited in the study include “Possible loss of control of product branding,” and “Possible loss of control of corporate reputation”. If companies approach social media correctly, these two “risks” are actually taken under control with the implementation of a corporate branded social presence. Launching a corporate presence ensures that a business can get involved in existing conversations about them and their industry. Being able to answer a consumer question, or provide valuable information can position a company as an expert in the field, and recruit new believers due to their presence and initiative.
Larcker suggests that companies take the following steps to get started with social media strategy:

  1. Assess their current capabilities with social media
  2. Determine how social media fits with their strategy and business model
  3. Map their companies’ key performance indicators and risk factors to information available through social media
  4. Implement a “listening” system to capture social media data and transform it into metrics
  5. Develop formal policies and guidelines for employees, executives, and directors
  6. Consider the legal and behavioral ramifications that could be involved if the company’s board receives summary data about social media

They should also research their target consumer to see which outlets make sense for their brand, as well as which types of content are important to provide to their audience. If a company doesn’t have a designated person (or team!) to spearhead their social initiatives, they should consider investing into it, either by hiring new staff, or outsourcing to a consultant or agency.

New Twitter Design: Incorporating the Header Image

If you are a Twitter buff, you’ve likely seen the new profile design that Twitter announced a month ago, which includes a header image and a centered avatar (profile picture). Many social media enthusiasts and designers are criticizing the new design for its awkward layout, and undeniable similarity to Facebook’s cover photo which rolled out with the launch of Timeline.

Image Courtesy of Twitter.

So, why update your header image? As of June, 2012, 60% of Twitter’s 140-million-person active user base accesses the service via mobile devices (up from 55% of 100-million in September, 2011). On mobile (and tablet) devices, the Twitter background imagery is not displayed, however the header image and avatar are prominent. According to Twitter, eventually, all profiles will be updated to the new design automatically but Twitter will notify all users before making this change.

Need help getting started? Learn more from Twitter’s profile page one-sheet, or check out Cypress North’s blog post which features design tips and templates for you to download and use. Aslo, here are the spocs you need to know:

  • Header image:
    • The display size of the Twitter header image is 520px x 260px
    • Maximum file size of 5MB
    • 1252px x 626px for optimal viewing across all devices
  • Profile background: JPG, PNG, or GIF file, up to 800kb. For custom designs, be sure to account for the following:
    • Background position: left, center or right
    • Background color
    • Link color
    • Overlay: black or white

What do you think of Twitter’s new profile design? Have you uploaded your header image? Comment with your Twitter handle and your thoughts below!

Industry Spotlight: Social media for Non-Profits

Social media has proven to be a highly effective, cost-efficient tool for non-profit organizations. Through social media, organizations and causes are able to connect with donors, prospects, event participates, advocates and sponsors. It allows them to showcase their partnerships with other organizations and businesses.

Here are the basic ways social media allows non-profits to expand their reach:

  • Awareness: sheds light on important causes and topics in a viral environment, garnering feedback and shares from those who are moved by the cause. Many non-profits achieve heightened awareness through creating an integrated online/offline presence at events and through networking.
  • Advocacy: rallies supporters in favor of issues to petition and invite their friends to get involved. Organizations can empower the public to be their best ambassadors, gaining extensive word of mouth support from peers.
  • Fundraising: spreads the message to prospects, and makes it easier to fundraisers to raise money through their own isolated and team efforts. Non-profits can raise funds through tools like individual fundraiser pages, apps, and via email.
  • Recruitment: recruits event participants and volunteers has been made easier through digital and social media. Not only can event participants and volunteers almost always register to take part online, but they can recruit others to join them.
  • Prospecting: enables non-profit event and development teams to research and connect with prospective donors and sponsors, especially through tools like online databases and LinkedIn.
  • Cultivation: facilitates connections and repeat communication through Facebook and Twitter, blogs, and email. Organizations can spotlight their supporters, and publicly engage with their business partners, which extends their reach and credibility.

This will likely be a recurring series due to my interest and experience in the subject, so feel free to give me a shout if there’s something specific you’d like to read about.

Social Marketing During the Election

It seems like we can use a little humor after tonight’s second presidential debate. Yes, I am watching late night TV which will inevitably poke fun at the event for the rest of the week, but that’s not where I’m heading…

During this crucial time in an election year, we’re all bombarded with campaign attack ads via mass media. These messages pick at the opposition, and further confuse voters. But, have you caught any of the fun and entertaining TV spots from big brands capitalizing on the political sentiment this season?

This morning, I received HubSpot’s “8 Clever Ways Brands Are Newsjacking the Election for Marketing,” and I was impressed by the span of industries participating in the political satire – not only via TV, but with integrated digital and social campaigns. Noted in the article:

  1. Pizza Hut: This video drives to “The Pizza Party” Big Dinner Box as its candidate, asking their customers to show support by signing up to receive deals. HubSpot’s article also states offering unlimited pizza for a year or a $15,600 check to anyone who asks the presidential candidates if they prefer pepperoni or sausage during the second debate tonight, which did not happen. According to this article, Pizza Hut took this question off of the table following some bad press about the stunt.
  2. JetBlue: JetBlue Election Protection website, which stems from the overwhelming “I’m leaving the country if…” statements that spur out of negative feelings each election. JetBlue will send winners on vacations to destinations based on popular votes.
  3. PBS (Featuring Big Bird!): The campaign fights back against Mitt Romney‘s statement that he will cut funding to PBS (despite his respect for Big Bird). PBS purchased a promoted tweet on Twitter to appear whenever users searched for  http://valuepbs.org, which strives to educate consumers about PBS’s worth.
  4. Boston Market: “Market Bowl Poll” asks consumers to vote on one of two new dishes, chicken (the left wing) against turkey (the right wing). The video incorporates #marketbowlpoll and drives to http://marketbowlpoll.com/ where consumers can read up on the two “platforms”.
  5. FedEX: you’ve likely seen the “Candidates” TV spot, which jabs at political attack campaigns.
  6. Cabbage Patch: Really? Did you ever think Cabbage Patch would get in on this? Check out their politician dolls: Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, Mitt Romney, and Paul Ryan, up for auction, from which proceeds benefit Rock the Vote.
  7. 7-Eleven: From HubSpot, “customers choose coffee cups that are either blue for President Obama or red for Mitt Romney, with the votes tallied at the check-out counter. Every day, the results are calculated on the 7-Eleven website.”
  8. Heaven Hill Distilleries: “To capitalize on the election season at the start of the primaries in January, Heaven Hill Distilleries introduced two types of bourbons: Red State Bourbon and Blue State Bourbon. Along with launch of its left wing and right wing bourbons, the distillery also launched two separate Facebook pages in support of each position. And for every Facebook like they receive, Heaven Hill Distilleries is also donating $1 to the Veterans of Foreign Wars,” HubSpot writes.

What do you think of brands making “light” during this very heavy political time frame? Have you seen any other brands doing a stellar job?