Archive for November, 2013

HashTracking and Tagboard

November 26, 2013

I sat down to write the top things I learned after hosting the 2013 Association of College Unions International Region 8 Conference this past week and was sidetracked when a student emailed me.  She was doing some research and entered the conference hashtag (#acui8) into HashTracking to analyze the results.  I’d heard of HashTracking before, but it had completely fallen off my radar and onto the my long list of things to look into when I have some time. (Right below Flipboard and above the list of professional development books I’d like to read.)  Since that email my day has been derailed diving further into the insights provided by HashTracking.

Every week the Student Affairs Blog sponsors a Twitter chat (#SAChat), so I decided to track the chat via HashTracking.  It was very interesting to look at the results.  From this information organizers can tell how many people contributed, how many Tweets were composed, what percent of tweets were original or retweets, and what systems were being used to access the chat.  I caution against putting too much emphasis on the reach of the tweet and timeline deliveries because tweets have very short shelf lives and those measurements can be misleading – especially during a Twitter chat.

Another great aspect of tools such as HashTracking is that you can also listen to what customers are saying.  Account managers can get a better feel for where their company name is popping up and what is being said about it.  Many of these tools don’t just measure hashtags, but also words and phrases.  Below are some of the analytics from the #SAchat session on November 21, 2013.

 Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 3.21.56 PM

If you’re planning an event I highly recommend establishing a hashtag early and setting up HashTracking.  (You can sign up for a free 30 day trial and then move onto paid options if you utilize a lot of hashtags.)  Because we didn’t set up tracking prior to the conference, we weren’t able to fully analyze the results.  The system doesn’t work very well going back in time.  We were also able to set up monitors in two locations in the building that displayed live tweets throughout the conference and we displayed the live tweets during receptions and prior to keynote speakers.  It was a great way to encourage interaction with other conference attendees via Twitter and see what attendees were talking about.

In addition to using HashTracking, I’ve been having some fun with Tagboard.  Tagboard is great because it allows you to monitor conversations across multiple platforms.  You can see what people are saying about you and where they’re saying it.  This provides you with the opportunity to see which social networks your customers are on and if you should or should not join.  Tagboard is a great listening tool.

Twitter was a great resource for our conference and has been very successful in enhancing customer engagement for many companies.  Though the metrics are still being developed, there are some great tools out there to start measuring hashtag engagement.  Is anyone else using HashTracking or Tagboard?

Q/A with Ian Greenleigh, author of “The Social Media Side Door”

November 12, 2013

Ian Greenleigh ET BannerLast week on LinkedIn, Jason Falls posted a link for the opportunity to win a copy of the recently released book “The Social Media Side Door: How to Bypass the Gatekeepers to Gain Greater Access and Influence.” In order to win, I had to submit one question to the author, Ian Greenleigh, about the changing landscape of social media. The chosen questions would be subsequently answered by Ian on his blog.

Even though my question does not appear on his blog, Ian reached out to let me know that he liked my question and that I would be receiving a copy of his new book! Ian has graciously given me permission to share on this blog his answer to my question.

Q: How does Integrated Marketing factor into the social media landscape? 

A: “Integrated marketing is always the ideal, but it’s easier said than done. For one thing, different marketing units within the larger organization are typically evaluated against separate goals. Success to the PR team, for example, is not the same definition of success that guides the email marketing team.

That said, all teams are interested in executing more efficiently and easily. That’s why I think the best integrated campaigns are modular and repurposeable. By modular, I mean that the larger effort can be broken down into many pieces for myriad applications. By repurposeable, I mean that the same content can live in a variety of formats, and appeal to more than one audience, across several efforts.

For example, say you’ve just created a white paper based on company research. It contains dozens of interesting statistics, facts, and statements. This white paper can serve as the basis for a webinar, and can be repurposed into presentations for use at conferences. The sections of the paper can be the basis for a series of blog posts that will require very little editing from the original text. The statistics can be visualized and posted as images on Facebook, and each one can be a separate tweet. The section subheads are bold and provocative, so why not use them as headlines in your next advertising campaign?

Integrated marketing, done right, means the output is greater than the sum of its parts. It means that each marketing team take something of value from a larger effort, and as such, each team should be eager to contribute.” (Greenleigh, 2013)

What do you think of the concept of “modular” and “repurposeable” as it relates to IMC?

Instagram launches first paid image to mixed reviews

November 6, 2013

Last Friday Instagram ran its first sponsored image, an ad for a Michael Kors watch, and received mixed reviews. The ad featured a high-quality image of a gold watch next to a plate of macaroons and has received over 229 thousand likes and over 1,700 comments — many of which are not particularly positive.

Michael Kors Instagram ad

Instagram first announced its move to start showing “sponsored” images and videos on its blog last month, letting U.S. users know that they may start to see “occasional” ads in their feed. “Seeing photos and videos from brands you don’t follow will be new, so we’ll start slow,” wrote Instagram. “We’ll focus on delivering a small number of beautiful, high-quality photos and videos from a handful of brands that are already great members of the Instagram community.” The move to start offering sponsored posts is not terribly surprising considering Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, started pushing sponsored posts to user feeds last year.

While many of the comments for the Michael Kors image are negative, it’s likely they are from non-followers given the two most common complaints are seeing a “sponsored” image in their feed and seeing an image for a luxury brand.

According to AdAge, there are nine other brands that Instagram has lined up to produce ads, including Adidas, Ben & Jerry’s, Burberry, General Electric, Levi’s, Lexus, Macy’s, PayPal and Starwood.

Time will tell if Instagram users start to become generally accepting of the unsolicited images in their feed, however, it’s unlikely Instagram would abandon the idea given the potential growth this could bring for Facebook’s mobile revenue. After all, complaints about sponsored posts in the Facebook news feed didn’t stop them!

What do you think about Instagram’s new foray into paid images?