A Beginner’s Guide to Hashtags and How to Use them Effectively

Hashtags: A Beginner’s Guide and How to Use them Effectively

Hashtags have evolved massively since their inception — even becoming part of our vernacular in some cases. They are ubiquitous with brands, products, television shows and more. You’d be hard pushed to find a marketing campaign today, whether it’s B2B or B2C, that doesn’t come complete with a hashtag.

To the uninitiated, they can seem daunting, a complex language that requires careful navigation. But when you get hashtags right, they can be a great tool for starting and joining conversations, making connections, and getting your message heard on social media.

Read moreHashtags: A Beginner’s Guide and How to Use them Effectively

5 Best Christmas Hashtag Campaigns

Christmas for most is presents and jingles, but for social media marketers, it’s a season of frenzy.  For most businesses, the Christmas season is the most hectic and busy time of the year, and a time when sales skyrocket through the roof. The catch, however, is that during the Christmas season, the competition among brands of getting seen becomes tougher. Everyone is trying to get the attention of their audience all at the same time, and so cutting through the noise and standing out from the crowd is becoming more of a challenge – even though customers buy more than ever.

With consumer spending increasing dramatically during the Christmas season, you obviously also want to be a part of the fun, and enjoy increased sales. Like most things, though, this is easier said than done. As the competition among brands increases, you need new and unique ways to approach and reach your customers when the competition is the highest.

An effective, and often underestimated way of reaching your customers during Christmas is social media.

In this article, we’ll, therefore, share with you 5 Best Christmas Hashtag Campaigns and how you can succeed with social media during the Christmas season. With these hashtag campaigns, we’re going to take inspiration and advice, in order to leverage by the time you’re ready to set up your own Christmas hashtag campaign that yields you tremendous marketing results during the Christmas season.

The power of social media

Today, social media has become a natural part of many brands’ marketing strategies. This makes sense considering the fact that 74% of shoppers make buying decisions based on social media, according to Social Media Week.

During the Christmas season, social media is one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience and convince them to buy from you, and if you aren’t leveraging it, you’re missing out on tremendous opportunities.

What’s even better is the fact that during the Christmas season, many people tend to always scout for gifts to buy to their friends and family, and oftentimes, you stand there with no clue on what to buy. As a result, many people go to social media in search of inspiration. If you can effectively reach your customers through social media during this time of year, there’s a greater chance that they’ll buy, and this is exactly what you can do with the help of a Christmas hashtag campaign.

How to run a Christmas hashtag campaign

First thing first, let’s start with the basics.

What are hashtags and how do you use them?

And maybe most importantly, how do you run a Christmas hashtag campaign that dominates and generates worthwhile results.

Well, to begin with, hashtags are ”a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), used on social media websites and applications, especially Twitter, to identify messages on a specific topic.” Think of hashtags as categories for your social media posts with which you allow your post to be showcased for other people who look at the respective hashtags that you choose to use on your post. The hashtags you use should be aligned with the content of your social media post, because this allows you to reach the correct people, since, people who look at ”Christmas tree” hashtags are probably not looking for photos of beaches and blue water (unless it’s a Christmas cruise!).

A great thing about hashtags on social media is that they increase your reach and your social media engagement. The more places your social media posts are showcased on, naturally, the more people you’ll reach, and thus the better results you’ll generate.

Simple, right?

Now, when it comes to Christmas hashtag campaigns, the way you set up such is a bit different from only incorporating them into your posts. With a hashtag campaign, a specific hashtag decided and created specifically for that campaign will be used, and it will be the center of attention in the campaign.

When using hashtags like this, as part of a social media marketing campaign, you’re using the hashtag in order to engage your audience, make them a part of the campaign, and/or gather content from your audience around a specific topic.

The way a Christmas hashtag campaign is set up, and the goal of one can vary, and this is also why the Christmas hashtag campaigns that we’re going to share later on in this article as inspiration vary as well.

What hashtag to use?

When brands create a Christmas hashtag campaign or any campaign for that matter, they normally create a ”new” ”unique” hashtag for that particular campaign.

The hashtag is created to work as an album that only contains posts that are relevant to a specific campaign (in this case a Christmas hashtag campaign) and this allows both the brand and the audience to easily go through all the posts as it significantly helps with discoverability.

Second of all is that with the campaign, as a brand, you want to have a hashtag that is relevant to the specific campaign, but also that is relevant and aligned with your brand and brand name.

It’s also worth having in mind that the hashtag should ideally be short and easy to spell so people don’t misspell it.

If you create a Christmas hashtag campaign and the idea is to gather a collection of posts from your audience, using a new hashtag that is created specifically for that campaign, and which has no previous posts will allow you to get a better overview of the posts that are part of the campaign, but also to have a keyword that is actually relevant to your brand.

Also, it can be good to have in mind that since you are running a Christmas campaign, it is a good idea to use a hashtag that is related to Christmas in one way or the other, that allows people to know exactly what your campaign is about. And as with all personalized hashtags, you want to include the name of your campaign or the name of your brand.

For example, if your brand name is Apple, and you have a Christmas giveaway, it makes sense to create a hashtag such as #AppleChristmas or similar.

You’ll also see examples of this below.

Giveaway/contest

A very common type of hashtag campaign, especially during the Christmas season, is a giveaway or contest.

Now, what does this have to do with hashtags? Well, often times when it comes to this type of hashtag campaign, the hashtag is used in order to gather and collect posts from the audience and customers on one place in order to more easily get access to the posts, but also to make the campaign accessible for everyone.

The best part is that doing this will allow you to run a marketing campaign – a Christmas hashtag campaign which will bring you two or even three marketing benefits at the same time.

First off, you engage your audience and customers and make them a part of your contest. Normally, the criteria for a hashtag campaign like this, and to take part in the giveaway is that the customer has to share a picture/video of something related to the campaign, share it, and include the hashtag. This is great because it means extra exposure for you as a brand, and when people take part in your campaign, they spread the word about you and your campaign. Second of all is that the content that your audience create is content that you can use as part of your own marketing in the future because creating good content demands time and resources. What’s more, 84% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations above all other sources of advertising.

This means that by leveraging the user-generated content which your audience has created, you can generate even better results than with your own professionally-created content.

Lastly, by running a giveaway/contest type of Christmas campaign, you make people a part of the campaign, which tends to engage people more, as opposed to just running a campaign and marketing to people. With this method, you promote with your audience.

Have in mind that when people have an incentive, they are more likely to do something. As such, the better the incentive is, the more people will join your Christmas hashtag campaign.

User-generated hashtag campaign

Another common hashtag campaign is quite similar to the giveaway example, however, the difference is that there is no monetary price. Instead, people are meant to be encouraged to create user-generated content for the campaign for a ”sense of belonging”, but also because they get something out of it that is non-monetary.

Daniel Wellington is a great example of this. On their Instagram, they have the hashtag ”#DWPickoftheDay”. The brand encourages people to share a photo of their watches, including that hashtag, in order to have the change of being featured on their Instagram page. Furthermore, the brand has also created a particular ”fan photos” section on their website where they showcase these images.

Both of this things are great examples of incentives which are non-monetary that you can leverage for your Christmas hashtag campaign. This method, of course, brings a great exposure for Daniel Wellington, and the best of all is that it is completely free!

Read more5 Best Christmas Hashtag Campaigns

Social Media Content Distribution Tactics that Work Like Magic

I’m sorry to say this, but you’ll never stand out like a digital peacock in the social media realm — that is, if you’re oblivious about how to distribute your content effectively.

If you’re into the whole publish and pray strategy — if you can even call it one — then your content will easily be drowned out by the millions of posts published on social media daily.

For you to succeed, you need to have a carefully crafted content distribution tactic when publishing your posts in social media.

Allow me to share with you four tactics that you can use for just that.

Let’s hop right in.

1. Build strategic partnerships with influencers.

I’m not really a huge proponent of the whole, “It’s not what you know, but WHO you know that counts” rationale. However, when it comes to marketing your content on the internet, I have to admit that it’s hard to ignore this reality.

Such is especially the case when you’re operating in the social media space where a single tweet or share from an influencer, can easily skyrocket your content views and even online sales.

That being said, it’s crucial that you pair your social content distribution endeavors with influencer marketing.

To find the right influencer, you can use Keyhole.co to gain a bit more insight into the influencer that you’re thinking of partnering with.

Here are some of the data points you can learn about an influencer if you run them through Keyhole.co:

  • Average likes
  • Average retweets
  • Average number of posts
  • Average engagements
  • Their top posts based on engagements

Here’s a glimpse of how Keyhole.co looks from the inside.

Neil Patel Influencer Tracking Statistics - Name, description, handle, total posts, followers and followings, as well as metrics: Average likes, average retweets, average engagement rate

(An overview of the influencer.)

Keyhole Account Statistics, showing number of social media posts over time in a graph, layered with Average engagements over time
(The account statistics.)

Keyhole Top Posts by Engagement - chart showing the content of the top posts created by the account being tracked, together with number of likes and retweets. Content Optimization tool.
(Top posts by engagement.)

These are just some of the many things you can learn about your prospective influencer.

When you have these details, you can judge better if the person is an ideal partner to help you distribute your content through their followers or not.

2. Leverage employee advocacy.

Before anything else, let’s define the phrase “employee advocacy.”

According to Smarp.com, it is “the promotion of a company’s messages by its employees.”

Based on the definition alone, I hope you can see how this can be important for your content distribution on social media.

Let’s face it: Your target audience might not support you immediately when you reach out to them. After all, they don’t know your company through and through so it’s quite normal for them to have doubts about you.

The same can’t be said when you ask your employees for support, however. In most cases, they will welcome the idea since they are proud to be a part of your company.

That’s why employee advocacy is crucial in your social media content distribution endeavors. You’ll barely need to convince any of your employees to help you with sharing or promoting your company’s message.

The good news is, there are online platforms that can help you streamline your employee advocacy efforts.

Smarp is one of them.

You just need to create an account, do your initial setups like creating your channels and adding people to it, and you’re pretty much set to start posting.

Here’s how the platform looks from the inside.

Creating more channels button
(When creating new channels.)

Tweaking channels
(When editing/tweaking your channels.)

New subscriber
(When adding subscribers or employees to your channel.)

Add posts
(How you can add your posts.)

With the help of social advocacy platforms, it’ll be easier for you to manage your marketing efforts and even measure the results you get out of them.

3. Leverage social scheduling.

There are a plethora of benefits to be had from using social scheduling platforms when distributing your content via social media.

For one thing, it enables you to repost your content multiple times. Also, you can control when your posts are published.

Both aspects are crucial for succeeding in the social media space.

After all, your target audience is most likely flooded with truckloads of content every day, that’s why you need to repost your content multiple times.

Also, as you study your audience, you’ll realize that there are certain times in a day where they log in. As you uncover this information, you can use the social scheduling platform to schedule your posts at the most optimum time.

4. Find out where your audience is.

Before you even start distributing your social media content, you need to know where exactly to distribute them.

I mean, sure, you can certainly post all of your content in your social media pages. However, that alone won’t do you much good.

You need to go out there, look for your audience, and distribute your content in places or groups where they frequent on.

Remember, where your customers are, there you should also be. This is a timeless lesson that businesses or marketers should never forget.

To help you with finding your audience, one of the best tools you can use is Facebook Audience Insights.

From your Facebook’s personal profile, click “Ads Manager” > the burger menu on the top left part of the page > hover to “All Tools” > click “Audience Insights.”

You will then see this page.

Facebook Audience Page

After you enter your interest and hit “enter,” click the “Page Likes” tab. (For this example’s sake, I entered the keyword “pastry” in the “Interest” section.)
Image of Facebook Audience showing where to click for Page Likes

You will then be able to view the pages relevant to your niche (and their audience sizes) as you scroll down.
Image of Facebook Audience Page showing other relevant pages

At this point, you now have access to the list of niche-relevant pages where your audience is most likely hanging out online.

The only thing left for you to do is engage, build relationships, and distribute your social media content in these pages.

It’s worth pointing out that Facebook Audience Insight has several more features that you can use to help you with your content distribution. Be sure to check out the tool and experiment with it.
What’s next?
You don’t need to have decades of experience to succeed in the social media space.

Just by following the tried and tested strategies that seasoned social media marketers are using, you’d be able to formulate your very own system of distributing your content effectively (and efficiently) via social media.

If you follow the tips that we covered — or build on them — you’ll be able to get better results out of the content you’ll publish in your social media accounts.

If you have questions and ideas that you’d like to share regarding content distribution in the social media space, feel free to add them in the comments section below. Cheers!

Man looking at whiteboard influencer marketing keyhole

How to Find Micro Influencers on Instagram to Boost Sales

Influencers have the power to win the hearts of consumers, so it is no surprise that we are seeing some of the biggest brands in the world using influencer marketing to promote their products and services. Influencer marketing is clearly effective, but the problem is small brands often don’t have enough cash in their pockets to afford a top influencer for promoting their products and services.

Fortunately, there are micro-influencers out there on whom these brands can rely. Micro influencers are everyday consumers who possess a large social media following; generally between 1,000 and 10,000, though some have up to 100,000. These influencers offer better access and higher engagement than macro influencers at a fraction of the cost. Micro-influencers are active on various social media websites and you can partner with them to promote your brand wherever your customers and prospects are most active. One major social media website on which you can easily find micro influencers is Instagram. In this post, we’ll demonstrate how you can use micro influencers on Instagram to boost sales and how you can find Instagram influencers.

Micro-Influencers should be Relevant to Your Niche

Influencer marketing can be used for achieving different goals, such as driving engagement, increasing brand awareness or sales. But to be able to achieve these goals, you must promote your content to a relevant audience.

This means that you must work with influencers on Instagram who are relevant to your niche and have a significant following. Ideally, you should find an influencer who is considered an expert in a subject that is relevant to your niche. If you fail to do this, you won’t be able to reach your target audience and there will be no point in using influencers to promote your brand.

Showcase Your Product Experience with Micro-Influencers

When consumers see a compelling picture of a certain product, they may become interested in trying that product. But, in order to make a major impact on your audience through micro influencers on Instagram, you must showcase their experience of using it. This can compel followers to enjoy the same experience themselves.
For example, if you want to promote your product, you can have the influencer use it and share their reviews about it with the audience. Micro influencers on Instagram can make a video of your product, share stories or simply post a picture with an inviting caption. The goal here is to demonstrate how your product is enhancing an influencer’s experience. Because the influencer’s following trusts them, this will compel the audience to try your product themselves. In a similar fashion, you can promote your services too by having the micro influencer show to their audience how your services enhance their experience.

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Give Influencers the Freedom to be Creative

This is perhaps the most important thing to remember when working with micro influencers on Instagram. The reason why micro-influencers have managed to grow their audience is that their audience trusts them and they know the right words that attract the audience. They know their followers, so they know the type of content that will appeal to and engage their audience.

Therefore, you should never control what a micro influencer on Instagram says about your services or products. Let them give honest reviews about your product and allow them to promote your brand in their own way. If you control the content that an influencer shares about your product or services, there is a risk of the audience losing their trust in the influencer and if that happens, you won’t be able to successfully promote your brand.

These are the three best ways through which you can use micro-influencers on Instagram to boost sales. Now that you know how to use micro-influencers, will you promote your brand through influencer marketing? If so, there’s a missing piece of the puzzle. I still haven’t told you how you can find Instagram micro influencers.

ii-img2Photo by Gavin Whitner

Finding Instagram Influencers

Turn to Your Audience

When finding Instagram micro influencers, you should start with your current fan base since you know that a connection already exists. Since they’re already interested in your content, you should look at their interests by looking at the pictures they post and the people they follow, then you should analyze what’s similar among your fan base. Do they all follow the same influencer or brand? Or, does your analysis show that a lot of the Instagram pages you’ve looked at have a common picture? Whether it’d be a picture related to fashion, and if you could look deeper into it you might be able to discover that most of your fan base post pictures of handbags, jewellery, or even hats, etc. By finding these common interests, you’ll be able to create a target lookalike audience to draw connections with others like them. If any of your followers themselves have a large following, it is an added bonus for you. Reach out to them and recommend an exchange of service or product for a review or Instagram post, it’ll be easier to convince them as they already know who you are.

Use Hashtags

The best method to find the right influencer is to simply search for the correct hashtag or keyword that’s relevant to the product you’re trying to promote. For example, if you want to promote a fashion product, you can run a hashtag search for things like #ootd or #instafashion. You can then determine how popular an influencer is by looking at how much engagement their posts are getting or their follower count. Are they gaining likes and comments on their posts, and if so, how persistent are they at posting?

Note: You can get a lot of micro-influencers who just purchase their followers and barely get any engagement on their posts, these are to be avoided so keep an eye out for them.

There are various tools, like Keyhole hashtag and Keyword tracking, which can help you easily find influencers who have published posts with the hashtag or keyword you’re searching in a simple list format with needed and additional information such as ‘Sentiment’, which basically shows you the types of emotions the post’s wording is giving. If the content they are posting is relevant to your niche, you can reach out to them to market your products or services.

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In addition, you can also track all posts that contain your hashtags in real time. This way you can analyze the engagement levels of the audience in your niche with influencers on Instagram. You can determine the influence of influencers on their audience through insights about engagement levels.

The hashtag you choose for search must be specific to reveal satisfactory results. For example, if you wish to search for Persian cats, a hashtag search around #Persiancats would yield much better results than just #cat alone. Alex of VM Interactive says that the more specific your hashtag is the more actionable results you’ll get.

With the help of an Instagram hashtag analytics tool, you can simplify your research. You can use specific keywords relevant to your niche to pinpoint conversations related to your business and target audience.

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Conclusion

Follow the advice we have provided to use influencers for promoting your brand. Remember to give influencers the freedom to be creative and find the ones that are relevant to your brand!

Image Credits
https://negativespace.co/man-working-desk-office-minimal-white/
https://negativespace.co/fashion-travel-accessories-sunglasses-bag-camera-watch/
https://negativespace.co/musician-guitar-speaker/

How The Infinite Agency Uses Keyhole to Run ‘Real-Time Marketing’ & Predict Campaign Success

Freddy Duran is the Social Media Director at The Infinite Agency, a cutting-edge, data-driven creative agency based in Dallas, Texas.


A strong advocate for the power of social media analytics, Freddy gives us his expert insight into *why* it is so crucial to use data to optimize social media campaigns at every stage, and how it helps to reach the right people with the right message at the right time.

“Anything that is not data backed, to me, is guesswork.”

Freddy Duran

In this article, Freddy focuses on how Predictive Analytics help you determine campaign success and pivot when needed. He also explores the concept of “real-time marketing”, using social media analytics to optimize campaigns as they run.

Predicting Campaign Success


One of The Infinite Agency’s Award-Winning campaigns ˄

One of the benefits of using social media analytics tools like Keyhole is predictive power, and “Predictions” is a feature that sets us apart.

GIF illustrating 'Predictions' tool being toggled on Keyhole

After just 7 days of tracking an active #campaign with Keyhole, you can predict campaign performance for the next 30 days.

I mean, I used to do these projections by hand and the methodology is the same, based on historical data by x amount of time, but the fact that you guys are including it in your dashboard is amazing.”

How does this work?: Our algorithm will learn key metrics about your campaign’s performance such as the number of posts and average engagements, and will then project those numbers based on its current status.

“Back in the day (and when I say that, I mean like 2-3 years ago) marketers had to know the algorithms and formulas to calculate these things by hand. Saving time by not doing these things by hand, and knowing that you still have accurate information is very valuable.”

Being able to predict campaign performance helps you know if your campaign is already set to get the traction you are hoping for, or if you need to be more proactive with your outreach to hit your goals before it’s too late.

Image of a Hashtag Tracker dashboard 'Predicting' campaign performance for the next 30 days

“In my personal experience with advertising, I have dealt with many tools. But Keyhole is the only one that is incredibly easy to use, and right off the bat I was blown away that you have built-in campaign performance predictions. That is something that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

Optimize Campaigns with Real-Time Marketing


Image of Infinite Agency campaign- 3 People Popping Confetti Balloons

“I’m seeing it a whole lot lately that clients ask: ‘How can we do social listening better?’, ‘How can we be more reactive to what’s going on right now?’. Real-time trackers like Keyhole help you know how people are feeling about and talking about your brand in real time. This means that we can have real-time marketing from a brand perspective and make it reactionary.”

Image showing a Sentiment score of 98
This sentiment score from one of the Agency’s campaigns indicates healthy overall brand sentiment.

Real-time marketing entails tracking conversations as they happen on social media, and reacting to both positive and negative conversations in a way that benefits your overall marketing strategy.

For Example:

Positive posts can be shared as social proof, and you can chime in on trending topics during spikes of activity to amplify your message.

Negative Posts can be addressed right away and mediated in order to prevent a change in your brand sentiment.

This approach helps Freddy and his team optimize campaigns during their entire run.

“My life would be terrible without social media analytics tools. Being able to look at a tool like Keyhole is incredibly important because it gives you a look at not only what a brand is doing right but also how people are responding to it.

Being able to assess how audiences are feeling is the end game. Advertisement is based on happiness and persuasion, and if you can determine how people are reacting to things or how they’re talking about it, that gives you good insights into what you should do as an advertiser or a marketer, and you guys take away a lot of the guesswork in that.”

How the USTA is Leveraging Social Media to Reach the Next Generation of Tennis Players

Learn 3 of the social media marketing strategies that the USTA uses to yield incredible (700% year-over-year!) growth in content engagement.

From grassroots community tennis to the US Open, the USTA strives to grow tennis at every level.

One of the driving forces in accomplishing this mission is the USTA social media team. Led by Director of Social Media & Strategy, Qianna Smith-Bruneteau, the USTA has built a social strategy that has landed their campaigns in the billion+ impression category and that leads to a consistent 700% year-over-year growth in content engagement.

More importantly, every person their content reaches is inspired by tennis-related content that is positive, motivational and inclusive.

QIanna-header

Read on to learn 3 key social media marketing strategies that Qianna’s team implements to reach their goals and guide these numbers.

1. Reach Generation Z & Millennials Through Youth Ambassadors

One of the ways that the USTA social team is engaging a younger audience on social media is by leveraging the power of influencers.

The team has built partnerships with 100 youth ambassadors who share their stories through social media, inspiring others in their age group to become involved in this sport and community, and driving home their mission.

“We have this incredible mission to inspire the next generation of tennis greats through our Net Generation brand. Leveraging social media, we have developed relationships with Generation Z and millennial audiences. We’ve assembled a movement of 100 ambassadors, the Net Set, age 5 to 19, who share their personal tennis journeys and stories on social media, and it’s through their lens that I see the magic and the mission of the organization unfold.”

Not to mention, their winning strategy has also won them several awards, the most recent being the 10th Annual Shorty Award for best celebrity & influencer campaign on Snapchat.

Bonus Tip:

Notice the USTA’s use of emoji CTA’s- calling for comment engagement by showing which emoji to use to show your support for USTA athletes/ partners?.

2. Monitor the #Conversation to Increase Engagement

Qianna’s team also maximizes overall engagement by leveraging hashtag analytics, or in other words, tracking #USOpen during the run of the event and year-round to understand how their content is being engaged.

“I never imagined during the US Open that our hashtag would enter into the billion+ impression category. Having the ability to download the content tagged with our hashtag really allowed us to identify super users and reward them with surprise and delight moments throughout the tournament.”

Screen-Shot-2018-04-27-at-12.24.24-PM

By monitoring how people are engaging with your hashtag, you can identify most engaged users and the types of content they are engaging with. You can then adjust your content strategy in real time, replicating high-engagement content and delighting your audience.

“Keyhole allows us to analyze the conversations around turnkey marketing moments, and to understand the organic/earned media associated with our brand.”

3. Use Competitive Benchmarking to Inform your Strategy

Competitive Benchmarking means comparing your own performance to your top competitors’ as a way to hold your metrics to a standard.

“Keyhole.co is an invaluable tool for competitive benchmarking and seeing where we stack up in the space.”

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With benchmarking, Qianna and her team were able to determine that they had the most engaged hashtag, #USOpen in the Grand Slam space in 2017 (US Open, AU Open, French Open, Wimbledon), which demonstrates the value of her team’s efforts within the organization.

“On the US Open channels, we had a 700% year-over-year increase in interactions and video views across the big 5. And our USTA social media channels did the most interactions and video views, an increase of over 1,200% year-over-year when compared to the other 3 governing bodies associated with a Grand Slam.”

Key Takeaways

Some key takeaways:

  • Create engaging content by partnering with influencers or brand ambassadors.
  • Monitor hashtags to understand engagement and double down on top content.
  • Use competitive benchmarking to measure your results.

That’s the USTA’s winning formula ??.

“Keyhole is an incredible tool for any social media marketer. I used it when I was head of social media at Saks Fifth Avenue, and it was one of the first tools I selected at the USTA.”

NMAAHC logo and Photo of SOcial Media Director at Museum Tour- Hashtag analytics -Cover

How the National Museum of African American History and Culture Transforms Conventional Narratives Through Social Media

Recruited before the museum even opened its doors, Lanae Spruce has become
The National Museum of African American History and Culture’s influential voice on social media.

As the Manager of Social Media and Digital Engagement, Lanae focuses on finding creative ways to take the rich stories that live within the museum walls and spread them far and wide online.

For the past four years, during a crucial time in US history, Lanae and her team have led transformational conversations about race and national identity on social media, subverting stereotypes and changing “minds & hearts”.

Quote Image: “We always think about how we are doing this for the culture. We ask ourselves, how can we create moments about African American history that will really allow people to educate themselves about the contributions of African Americans to this country and also really change minds and change hearts about what it means to be an American?”

Social Justice Leads the Conversation

One of the unique things about monitoring social media through hashtag analytics in the long-term is that clear patterns begin to emerge.

“We use Keyhole to monitor our hashtag campaigns and engagement. We also use it to find and look at our influencers, reshare content and find new stories.”

Lanae’s team (pictured below), for instance, finds that leading the conversation on issues of social justice attracts their highly-engaged audience.

IMG_8424--1-

“Through our analytics, we’ve been able to determine that we have one of the highest engaged audiences on social media in the museum industry, and that’s informed our practice directly. We’ve found that commenting on issues related to social justice really resonates with our audience. Whenever we can offer historical context for any of these contemporary issues they love it. By being timely and also by standing up for what’s right we continue to engage our followers.”

For instance, on National Watermelon Day (August 3), the team found an opportunity to subvert a common stereotype.

watermelon-enamel-pin-denim_4460x4460

“Watermelons are a stereotype associated with African Americans. What we were able to find through our research with historians here is that at one point in time, many African Americans owned watermelon farms. And it was seen as a symbol of empowerment because they were able to create their own wealth and lifestyles by buying and selling watermelons. So we were able to take a stereotype and flip it on its head.”

Tracking the Pulse

By listening to the goings-on of social media, Lanae’s team also keeps on top of fresh stories and adds their voice to relevant conversations as they emerge.

“I think for us we’re very in tune with the pulse side- what people are talking about right now, and how we can use that to create moments to educate the public”

For instance, Lanae shares that after the horrific events in Charlottesville last summer, her team thought a lot about the best way to respond on social media. Ultimately, they created a thread on Twitter that spoke about the history of terror for African Americans in the United States immediately following the civil war period, “during reconstruction”.

The impact?

“We got thousands and thousands of retweets, and Twitter created a stand-alone moment for that particular Twitter thread because it was so important and it led the conversation for what everyone was talking about at that time.”

Image Capture of the NMAAHC Twitter Moment on August 17,2017 "Historical Examples of White Supremacist Intimidation Provide Context for Today"
Click this image to see the Twitter Moment

Of course, the NMAAHC is in a unique position to lend their voice to this conversation, both as an educational institution and as experts in African American history.

“I remember one of my peers asking me, how can a museum tweet using #BlackLivesMatter? The answer is: because we directly have collections and exhibitions and programming that support the issues there, and as long as we are able to offer context on these issues we are doing our job at the Smithsonian as an educational institution.”

The Power of a Post-It

The intention that Lanae came to this job with has continued to inspire an approach to social media that transcends common marketing objectives. Far beyond any metrics or KPIs, the NMAAHC is leading an important conversation online.

Sticky note reading:'How do we honor African American experiences outside the common narrative?'

“I think for me one of the things that really drew me to the role is that my boss at the time posed a question to me that has stuck with me throughout this role (I still have the sticky note from our conversation!):

‘How do we honor African American experiences outside the common narrative?’


This question has since driven this team’s approach and guided how they choose to communicate online, the types of stories they highlight, and the content they create.

“I really thought about that: how can we create an impact and tell stories about LGBTQ African Americans, about the contributions of women and children during the struggle for African American civil rights?”

Key Take-Aways

The NMAAHC team has done extremely well through their social media channels, launching social campaigns like ‘Our Hidden Hurtstory’, daily ‘This Day in History’ content posts, and creating unique hashtags like #APeoplesJourney and #OurNationsStory that have, for instance, been used by 4 US presidents to date.

They are using social media differently, and in all their conversations they are reaching audiences with a message that is educational, progressive, and inclusive.

Using social media analytics, and specifically, hashtag analytics to monitor their conversations, they have created an approach that furthers their mission while also highly resonating with their audience.

We are thrilled that Keyhole is part of the mix that helps this museum regularly create significant conversations that move the needle.

How PROJECT 375 Uses Keyhole to Track the Conversation Around Mental Health

Erica Jellerson gives us her expert insight into how the conversation around mental health is changing on social media, and how she and her team are using social media analytics to lead the conversation.

PROJECT 375

PROJECT 375 is a non-profit organization centered around reducing the stigma around mental health.

Erica-Jellerson Photo and Quote: "“Until now, no one talked about it.But we’re changing the conversation.”

The organization was born out of the experiences of its co-founders, NFL star Brandon Marshall and his wife– mental health advocate Michi Marshall.

Photo of Brandon-and-Michi-Marshall-PROJECT 375 Co-Founders

In 2011, Brandon was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and spent 3 months in an intensive outpatient program at McLean Hospital.

After his experience, the critical need for stigma reduction and mental health education was immediately apparent. That’s why he, his wife, and the team are now dedicated to changing the conversation around mental health through PROJECT 375, which aims to “unlock human potential through conversation, education, and inspiration”.

The 375 Team at a Mental Health First Aid Training:

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Mental Health on Social Media

Social media is one of the primary channels where the conversation around mental health is taking place, and, thanks to the public nature of social, it is also the one we have most visibility into.

According to Erica, who has been using Keyhole to monitor the conversation around mental health for years, we are currently experiencing a positive shift in its tone.

“I think we have been seeing a shift in the kinds of conversations surrounding mental health on social media. Just looking at the number of conversations taking place on these platforms, we can see it has grown instrumentally over the past couple of years. We are witnessing celebrities and everyday people alike, looking to social media to tell their stories.”

Naturally, social media is also one of the main ways that PROJECT 375 leads the conversation about mental health and connects with and understands its audience.

“We believe in meeting people where they are at. The fact is people are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all day long! Our presence must be robust on these social channels to continue to galvanize the community and move these critical conversations forward.”

The organization uses its platforms to amplify news, celebrity posts, and studies that support its messaging and further a positive dialogue around mental health, using Keyhole to track, optimize and understand their own success.

Creating Success with Keyhole

“Keyhole is my go-to for all things analytics. Knowing our audience, their likes and dislikes, the kinds of content they prefer and the times they are looking at us is mission critical. I am constantly looking at the data to see what patterns emerge and the different ways we can tweak our strategies to best serve our supporters. Social media is ever-changing and Keyhole gives us the ability to change in lockstep with the latest trends and audience preferences.”

With Keyhole, Erica and her team are able to look at key social media account and hashtag analytics that give them insights into their audience and industry and help them amplify their message.

Knowing Your Audience: Likes, Dislikes & The Content They Prefer.

Knowing your audience is key.

In a non-profit space, this helps build ideal content to increase engagement and brand awareness. By targetting the right people by demographics or location, you can also improve your success with fundraising, petition signing, or event attendance.

Some of the Insights that PROJECT 375 uses Keyhole to measure are:

Follower Location (Worldwide & US-specific):

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Keywords in Bio (to gauge personas, understand interests):
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Top Engagement Times (to optimize content scheduling):

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“Keyhole offers us information that we can’t get by attempting to just pull analytics from each channel. It is the most user-friendly, targeted program we have used. As our communications strategies have changed over time, Keyhole has allowed us to make the most informed decisions to achieve our goals.”

Keyhole helps PROJECT 375 understand the changing conversation around mental health, as well as their own content efforts. The Marshalls, Erica and their team are then able to use this data to further their mission, reducing the stigma around mental illness through awareness and community building.

Follow PROJECT375 on Twitter to continue listening.

If you are interested in tracking conversations on social media, try Keyhole for free!

SportQuake’s Data-Driven Recipe for Sports Marketing Success

SportQuake is a go-to international sports marketing agency that provides strategic brand ideas, insight-driven campaigns and executional expertise.

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Worthy of note:

  • A unique ‘360° Style Review’ that sets them up for success.
  • Their use of sentiment data to drive influencer partnerships.

The 360° Review

Before SportQuake even takes on a new client, or starts a new campaign, they first consider the full scope of the project by overlaying key client data like average engagement, share of voice, and follower demographics with Sports Marketing data and insights into the sports ambassadors (#influencers) they connect their client with.

“We do it in 360° review style, which involves research and insight. This is where we use tools such as Keyhole to analyze our Key client data and overlay that with sports marketing data to provide 360° view of everything in the market that is relevant to our client.”

This helps deliver a full-scope strategy that is customized and specific to their needs. By taking all these factors into consideration at this early stage, SportQuake can predict success with high acuracy, making sure their clients get the best ROI possible.

Sentiment and Influencers

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“There are certain [Keyhole] features that we didnt know about before, and they opened a new lens for us to look at campaigns through. One of them is sentiment, which is underestimated.”

This new lens has given Oliwia and her team have a unique approach to selecting influencers: using sentiment to drive decisions alongside common metrics like engagement and reach, and best practices.

“It’s about the feeling and likeability. Especially with content creators like influencers.”

Now, when considering top athletes to connect their client brands with, they
look at sentiment to understand how likeable influencers are in the eyes of their followers.

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“But, it’s hard to understand Sentiment just from scrolling through someone’s profile and posts, and it would take you ages to analyze the profile enough to figure out average sentiment. So it’s great that Keyhole does this job for you: basically taking the wording and context of posts and reactions and using the algorithm to analyze the sentiment behind the copy.”

Olivia’s Tips for Choosing Influencers:

When looking for influencers, consider:

  • Is this person heavily commercialized?
  • Does their lifestyle represent the brand?
  • Are their followers in the same demographic as our target audience?
  • Are they likeable?

“At the proposal stage we want to be as efficient as possible when it comes to gathering data. Keyhole is definitely an advantage to save time. Before, we would collect data from each social account or influencer separately and it would take ages. It was in excel files, and as you can imagine everyone has their own way of managing this data. It would be one big mess, whereas now, everything is there.”

In a Nutshell

In sum, SportQuake’s approach shows us that a clear path to success in marketing efforts includes taking all relevant data ♥️ into account up front.

Also, consider following Oliwia’s advice and utilizing sentiment to drive powerful, successful partnerships and campaigns, and don’t forget to share your successes with us @keyholeco!

kids tweeting on phone Keyhole Twitter Analytics

4 Tweets That Went Viral…For The Right Reasons

The importance of social media virality simply cannot be overestimated; it can bring you fame, infamy, pain, and prosperity.

Twitter is one of the most popular social media outlets on the planet and a viral tweet can bring many thousands of dollars worth of publicity to your business.

Below I’ve looked at 4 tweets that went viral for the right reasons and run through why they are examples that your brand should learn from.

Recommended reading:How #CMWorld Tweets Reached More than 45 Million Users in 4 Days

1. Support against tragedy

Hurricane Harvey was a disaster; it caused $125 billion worth of damage, created a landfall, and led to apocalyptic flooding. But the greatest tragedy was the 30,000 people who were displaced and 108 who were killed as a result of Harvey.

Pennsylvania State University Interfraternity Council tweeted their support and offered their help to the people affected by Harvey, by pledging $0.15 in aid for each retweet. Its retweets were among Twitter’s highest of 2017 and saw Pennsylvania State University IFC donate thousands of dollars to help repair the damage caused by Harvey.

Showing your support for the victims of a tragedy by putting your money where your mouth is not only helps those affected, it also offers your brand the chance to put your name out there to a wider audience – while there is certainly such a thing as bad publicity, showing your brand to be a goodwill ambassador is among the very best attention you can get.

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2. Despite what you think, 2017 was a good year

As with any year, there was much that was bad about 2017. While your temptation might have been to dwell on this as the year reached its close, a 20-year-old biology major, studying at University of Iowa, took Twitter as his platform to remind you that there plenty of good things happened in 2017.

Jacob Atkins, created a thread with no less than 11 wonderful moments from 2017, with no strings attached other than the desire to pull on the ones that operate your heart. Jacob’s thread was retweeted 242K times.

People’s engagement levels are heightened when they read a story that promotes positivity. If your brand can find a way to shine a light on the good things that are happening around your followers, you can position yourself as a beacon of positivity in your their’ lives.

You don’t need to spend a huge amount of time each day devoted to looking for news that will put a smile on your audience’s face. If you allocate one day a week to searching for feel good stories you can queue up your tweets and spread them out over the course of the whole week.

You can make the whole process even easier through time-saving tools. Twitter Feed is a brilliant tool that helps you to compile the best tweets from the web. If you’ve used an online store builder to create the website for your brand, it will take you minutes to add and could save you hours of time every week.

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3. Newsjacking + hilarity = virality

Whatever your political leanings and feelings are, there’s no denying the enormous social media reach of America’s 45th President, Donald J. Trump. Twitter is his vehicle for connecting with the world and people hang on the edge of their screen to read his comments. It’s fitting then that one of our tweets which went viral features the man himself.

Freelance legal/tech reporter, James Doleman uploaded his tweet in April 2017 and offered nothing beyond humor – no overt political agenda, no cutting put down, and no inflammatory commentary. However, with Trump being a figure of such interest, and a perennial topic on trend, he secured just shy of 134,000 retweets.

So, why did this go viral for the right reasons? Doleman noted that if you tweet about an individual with a huge following you have a significantly greater chance of accessing the numbers needed to go viral. But not only that, he knew that humor is one of the best tools at your disposal to drive audience engagement – Doleman didn’t get political, he just played Twitter right.

Your brand may not want to enter into a discussion about a political figure and that’s not a problem – we’re not throwing our support or opposition behind any political agenda here, we just love Doleman’s mastery of Twitter.

However, if you can add your name to a topic which people have strong opinions about, and do so with humor, you give your brand a great chance of picking up virality. The key thing is to pick your topics wisely, as putting yourself into a testy area could bring you virality for all the wrong reasons.

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4. #Metoo

OK, so the initial tweet might not have reached the virality of some of the others to feature in this article. However, the earthquake that came in the aftermath of Alyssa Milano’s call-to-arms against sexual exploitation was seismic.

The phrase was coined by American civil rights activist Tarana Burke in 2006, as a rallying cry against sexual assault and abuse. But it was the sexual misconduct allegations against the disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein that saw Milano publish her tweet, which led the #meetoo movement to explode.

The movement created a tipping point, with wave of global reckoning leading to countless women who had been the victims of sexual assault given the courage to come forward and name their accusers.

It can be difficult to make a stand in social media; the Internet’s not written in pencil, it’s written in ink and that means if you take on the establishment your brand may receive a series of punches back from them.

But the flip-side is true; if you see oppression and let your followers know, they will fight alongside you and see your brand as the champions of a higher cause: moral decency.

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With 319 million monthly active users, and 24% of US adults using it each day, Twitter remains one of the most powerful social media tools on the planet.

While there are other social media platforms you should also target, going viral on Twitter is a skill that every brand would love to master, as doing so can raise your profile and your revenue in one fell swoop.

My 4 examples show how you can achieve virality in the right way. There is plenty that you can learn from them and apply to your own social media strategy.

However, the most important lesson to remember is that going viral for the wrong reasons could cost you big – just ask Snapchat, whose $1.3 billion share price loss is said to be the result of just one viral tweet.

Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she covers marketing, content writing, and how brand’s can evolve their social media strategy to meet their ever-changing needs.

Life is short and the internet is vast.