Recently, I was on a panel, speaking to the audience at the UNH Paul College of Business and Economics annual digital marketing symposium. The topic was simple, and many wanted to know, “What tools do you use on a daily basis at your job?” and “How do they help you?” There are many tools I use each day, but only two of them I simply couldn’t live without… Hootsuite and Talkwalker.
Hootsuite is a social media management platform that displays a dashboard where I can manage multiple networks, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more…
I can create content to post, schedule, or add to the content library for a future campaign. I can also monitor hashtags, keywords, social profiles, and locations. This allows the social media team at UNH to hear what people are saying about our brand – and respond accordingly. We can also monitor competitors, like Vermont, UConn, and UMass to see what type of content is going viral and what’s trending.
Hootsuite also provides teams. For example, if a social post or message mentions the athletics team, but was meant for campus recreation – they can assign it all within Hootsuite to the appropriate team to respond, making collaboration easy and allowing for nothing to ever get lost.
Hootsuite also allows me to see how posts are performing with their analytics tool, so I can track ROI, measure growth, and see what worked and what might need improvement.
Talkwalker is social media analytics and monitoring tool I just started using in July. Previously the UNH social media team used Hootsuite Insights, which was okay, but Talkwalker digs below the surface to monitor mentions, impressions, trends, and help out with crisis communications.
Alerts are setup for the UNH brand within Talkwalker, so if something negative happens that’s been amplified, I will know about it within seconds. This tool allows us to never miss a conversation going on about The University of New Hampshire. Talkwalker looks at social media, but it also searches blogs, news feeds, print, even television.
The best part about Talkwalker is that it’s real time, so I’m never catching up, or looking at old data. It also shows brand sentiment and demographics like gender, age, and location, along with competitor comparisons. But my favorite part about Talkwalker right now is visual insights, which allows me to see posts associated with the UNH brand and if they were taken inside or outside – also allowing me to see the most engaging photos. This can help with future posts and the type of content resonating with stakeholders or it shows me what type of content is being tagged with our brand and if it’s something I want to look into or simply ignore. Lastly, Talkwalker provides clean reports that can be scheduled and they’re available in both pdf and email.
Last summer, a member of the UNH Alumni family reached out to us via Twitter asking if we had any room for a tweet mentioning the Pan-Mass Challenge. We try not to get involved with every fundraiser, or else we'd be tweeting and sharing on Facebook nonstop. Despite our willingness to always help our alumni, it's very hard to assist and please everyone, but this one was different. It involved an alumna and a current student riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge with her family raising money for cancer research in her late mother's name. It was summer, it was a good cause, and I wanted to share a tweet about the connection to The University of New Hampshire and help bring more awareness to their ride, but also bring attention to the Pan-Mass Challenge.
We shared the tweet, tagging Dana Farber, TeamJenStrong, and we linked to an article all about the the team, their cause, and why the ride was so important. It received modest attention with 5 retweets and 8 likes, but it was retweeted by @TeamJenStrong and @UNHAlums, which is our Alumni Twitter account. It was an important tweet on more than one level... it was about helping our alumni and students with an important cause, but it was also about engaging with our stakeholders and making a new connection.
Remember when we posted images to get more reach on Facebook? Then, we were told to upload and use videos to rise to the top and reach larger audiences despite the new quirky Zuckerberg algorithm… Since Facebook is (still) going through changes with the news feed once again, we’re now being encouraged to create and share live video to increase reach and hopefully the engagement rate, too. Recent research shows Facebook live videos get up to 6 times more interaction than regular videos. Is your team prepared and ready to create more live content?
If Facebook Live is truly the answer to increased interaction, then how do we create quality content that works and gets the results we need?
Through simple research and talking to a handful of other higher education institutions and few brands, it seems Snapchat is on the decline. The majority of Snapchat users (Gen Z, Millennials) currently use it to simply chat, or interact with friends and are not using Stories, Snap Maps, or Discover. It’s part of the new dark social, like Facebook Messenger, iMessage, and WhatsApp. Advertisers and brands are not getting the engagement they need from Snapchat, we think… but there is now way to measure ROI for sure, so good luck finding useful metrics.
The absence and unawareness by Snapchat of analytics is unfortunate. Even with third-party tools like Snaplytics or Mish Guru (did you read the Snapchat terms of service?) it’s still just an estimate you’re looking at, because Snapchat has not given users, or brands, the data and analytics they need to make it a valuable marketing tool. With little scientific data to go on, it’s a complete guessing game.
If it’s March, it’s time for South by Southwest in beautiful Austin, Texas. This year’s experience was nothing short of amazing and full of great speakers, great food, software updates, new apps, new connections, and tons more. After getting situated and adjusting to the 70 degree temperatures and noisy sounds of the grackles, I headed to the Austin convention center to pick-up my SxSW badge, grab a taco for lunch, and take a look at the overwhelming amount of sessions available over the next 6 days. This year, SxSW was broken down into the following tracks, all of which were available to badge holders…
Let’s review some of the key Interactive and Convergence sessions I attended…