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With over 79% of marketers in 2014 using promoted tweets as part of their campaign, Twitter hashtag campaigns are no longer a novelty in the marketing world. As demonstrated by hugely successful Twitter hashtag campaigns by NBACharmin, and Amex, Twitter hashtag campaigns can help you reap enormous rewards when done right. But how can you run and optimize a winning Twitter Hashtag campaign? Here is a simple 4-step playbook to help you create amazing hashtag campaigns.

In this blog post you will find out:

  • How to research what’s working for your competitors on Twitter
  • How to select the right KPI’s and goals for your Twitter campaigns
  • How to structure your Twitter hashtag campaign for maximum engagement
  • How to execute a flawless campaign and keep up with your audience

Step 1. Research how your brand & competitors are perceived on Twitter

What is your brand’s current position in the Twittersphere? How influential are you on Twitter? Who talks about your brand and in what context? When are your fans talking about you? What associated keywords are used to talk about your brand? These are some of the important questions you need to answer before starting your Twitter Campaign. In this step, you want to do two things:

  1. Measure your current influence. This information will be crucial for your post-campaign analysis. Your ‘influence’ metric includes your current followers, and more in-depth metrics such as contributors, and sources. You can measure your real-time influence using Keyhole by searching for your  brand name or URL of your website. This will give you the following data: contributors, reach, impressions, top sites & content, influential users, location & demographics, top sources of tweet, and related hashtags/keywords
  2. Make a list of keywords that your brand is mostly associated with. Knowing associated keywords will help you brainstorm the concepts, hashtags, and copies for your campaign. This information is also available on Keyhole in a form of word cloud.

Here’s sample data for our Twitter handle Keyholeco:

Real-time Conversation analysis for “Keyholeco” 

Here we can see the activity around our brand in the past week.

Location, Demographic, Sources ,and Keyword analysis for “KeyholeCo” using Keyhole’s analytics tool

The infamous master of war, Sun Tzu said, “Know your enemy and know yourself.” Likewise,

Monitoring your competition is as important as knowing yourself. [click to tweet]

This will help you gain a bigger perspective of the industry and guide you in crafting your own Twitter campaign. You don’t want to run a campaign similar to what your competitor has done last week.

The research method is simple; Do what you did for your own brand. Understand their current reach on twitter, read their copies, and monitor the influencers behind their brands. Analyzing yout competitor’s twitter strategy will reveal a lot about your own brand’s strategy.

Try it yourself here:

http://keyhole.co/search?utm_medium=blog&utm_campaign=sbox&utm_source=keyhole.co&utm_content=4stepguidetohashtagcampaigns

Step 2. Clearly identify the goals of your Twitter campaign

This is a step you and your team must do before creating the actual campaign content and strategy. It’s easy to get caught up with creativity and virality around the campaign that the actual business metrics and KPIs become unclear.

What is your brand aiming to get out of a Twitter hashtag campaign? Is it to promote awareness for a certain product? Increase your followers? Get people to download your new app? Metrics like followers, RTs, and mentions will inevitably increase with a successful campaign, but clearly defining your goals will be incredibly important in coming up with an effective content strategy.

Deciding which metrics to track can be tricky. Jenn Deering Davis from Kissmetrics gives some great suggestions for developing your KPIs:

If you want to measure awareness, use metrics like volume, reach, exposure, and amplification. How far is your message spreading?

If you want to measure engagement, look for metrics around retweets, comments, replies, and participants. How many people are participating, how often are they participating, and in what forms are they participating?

If your goal is to drive traffic to your website, track URL shares, clicks and conversions. Are people moving through social media to your external site and what do they do once they’re on your site?

If your goal is to find advocates and fans, track contributors and influence. Who is participating and what kind of impact do they have?

If your goal is to increase your brand’s share of voice, track your volume relative to your closest competitors. How much of the overall conversation around your industry or product category is about your brand?

A great example of a Twitter hashtag campaign built around solid metrics is UN Gender’s #HeForShe. The goal of the campaign was clear: To obtain pledges of gender equality from 100,000 males within a year. As part of their integrated marketing campaign UN Gender….

  • Made their call-to-action crystal clear. It was easy for audience to understand what the project was about, and how to participate
  • Streamlined #HeForShe content in all of their global accounts with Hootsuite
  • Obtained influential celebrity endorsement, such as Emma Watson, whom strongly encouraged men to pledge for gender equality
  • #HeForShe team worked closely with UN Women affiliate offices around the world to report on real-time feedback from tweeters across the globe

The key learning from UN Women’s #HeForShe campaign is that they built their strategy from a well defined goal — to get 100,000 pledges from men, which they were able to obtain within the first week by the way.

Step 3. Create your Twitter hashtag campaign and strategy around it

This is the fun part. I went ahead and did the difficult work for you so you just have to follow along.

I evaluated 10 of the past three years’ most successful Twitter hashtag campaigns, such as UN Gender, Yellow Page, ZzzQuils, Lays, and Amex, and found that all of these twitter campaign had three of the four qualities I call FOAM:

  1. Fun — words says it all. It’s fun and entertaining. E.g.: Charmin toilet paper’s #TweetFromThesSeat asks people to share their voice while “doing their business,” which resulted in thousands of hilarious tweets — from the “seat”.
  2. Opinion-based — invites people to share their views/opinions/ideas on a particular issue. E.g.: General Electric’s #IwantToInvent asked people to submit ideas of their own inventions.
  3. Action — calls on audience to do something. E.g.: Mastercard’s #PricelessNewYear twitter campaign asked audience to take a photo with their loved ones and tweet with their hashtag.
  4. Meaningful — gives audience a philanthropic motivation or a monetary reward. E.g.: Ensurance’s superbowl Twitter hashtag campaign gave out $1.5 M to one Twitter user.

FOAM chart for Keyhole 4 Step Twitter Campaign Blog Post

When drafting your content, ensure that your twitter hashtag ties in with your brand in a witty, relatable way. It needs to be customized to your goals & your audience. For instance, DiGiorno Pizza used #DiGiorNOYOUDIDNT to promote their pizza delivery service by targeting football fans. How? By crafting witty football smack verses and live- tweeting them during the football season.

Digi Pizza Twitter Campaign

Why did this work?

  1. Well-targeted demography. Who else is a better target for a pizza brand than a group of adrenaline-packed football junkies?
  2. Witty & Product-focused. Not only were their tweets funny and related to football, but it also promoted their product.
  3. Relevant. They tweeted live and responded ASAP showing clear understanding of Twitter and it’s mechanisms.

There are thousands of different ways to execute a Twitter hashtag campaign, but the key is solid planning. Open your excel files, round up your team members, and be ready to make checklists. For instance, if your hashtag Twitter campaign is going to have a give-away, plan the logistics in as much detail as possible — What is the prize? How are we going to pick the winner? When are you going to end the contest? How soon will they receive their awards? If you’re asking your audience to submit user-generated-content (such as a picture of them with your product), plan out your tweet schedules. You should use data you’ve collected during the research phase to optimize. For instance, how often and during what time slots are you going to tweet? Who will you tweet at? What kind of keywords will you use? — you get the idea.

Also, if your brand has a budget for the Twitter hashtag campaign, make sure you explore all the products Twitter offers and allocate your budget accordingly.

Promotion of the campaign needs to be incorporated in your planning as well. Here are few ways to promote your Twitter hashtag campaigns:

  1. Cross promote across all your social media channels. In other words, streamline your campaign.
  2. Partner with relevant allies. This can include celebrities, spokesperson, influencers, employees, or even other companies that can benefit from your campaign.
  3. Use paid services offered by Twitter. You can read more in depth about Twitter’s business products here.
  4. Integrate your campaign with offline efforts such as events. This method is particularly useful if you’re geo-targeting your audience.

Planning a campaign will vary depending on your budget, industry, and scope. Learning from other companies’ success and failures is of paramount importance. To read more case studies on Twitter campaigns, try industry’s shorty award’s twitter brand compilations.

Step 4. Execute, Monitor, and Respond

 Now that you have your compelling copy, creatives, and a meticulous plan in your hands, it’s time to execute. Make sure your entire team is aware of the strategy and plan for your Twitter hashtag campaign as it will be crucial to amplify as soon as it’s live. Remember, 92.4% of all retweets happen within the first hour it’s been tweeted.

If you’re new to scheduling your tweets or any other social media content, here is an amazing article by Buffer that can help you with content planning.

Few simple strategies to further promote your hashtags while the campaign is live:
1. Write a tweet in relation to a trending tweet that also ties in with your campaign hashtag
2. Tag (@ at) your top influencers and ask them to participate in your campaign
3. RT or Mention any participants for amplification
4. Create blog posts that aggregates your favorite tweets and share with your audience while mentioning the relevant participants

Twitter needs to be on-watch constantly during the entire duration of your twitter campaign. Make sure your hashtag is monitored realtime using tools like Keyhole. How is your campaign doing in comparison to your original goals? If it’s not doing as well as you’ve expected, perhaps an intervention is necessary. While monitoring, your designated twitter-warrior needs to respond to most if not all of the audiences participating in your campaign for amplification. Remember,

70% of surveyed Twitter users expect a response from brands they reach out to on Twitter. Of those users, 53% want that response in under an hour.

Here is a fun infographic that can help you optimize your Twitter response.

@keyholeco if you have any questions. We’re always here for you.

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10 Types of Visual Social Media Posts That Get Shared Like Crazy

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10 Types of Visual Social Media Posts That Get Shared Like Crazy

Do you want double your social engagement and get your content shared like crazy?

For small businesses and brands everywhere, posting multiple images on social media has been proven to have massive traction

It seems simple right? But if it was so easy wouldn’t everybody do it?

Like most good things, in life – there’s a catch. And it isn’t not needing a huge budget or incredible graphic design skills.

When it comes to content creation, many people make this simple mistake: they add more visuals just for the sake of it. This is a basic approach. Smart content marketers create visual content that reach people’s emotions – content with real psychological impact.

If you’re not a graphic designer or artist, don’t freak out. I’m going to walk you through you ten types of powerful visuals that are easy to create and can double your social media engagement. Let’s get started.

1. High quality stock photography

Beware: your fans will smell a cheesy stock photo from a million miles away. Not only will it lead them to discredit your professionalism as a brand, but will deter them from wanting to share your post.

On the other hand, high quality stock photography can do the complete opposite. As well as making your brand seem more credible, high quality and relevant images help establish your brand’s reputation and boost engagement. If you’re looking for original content, check out this handy article that lists and rates over 70 free stock photography websites.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-1.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Elite Daily

Take a look at this post on Elite Daily’s Facebook page. By using relevant and high quality stock photography, the band achieves a “wow factor” which immediately tempts the viewer to click through to the blog.

After all, everything your audience shares on social media will reflect back on themselves. You can’t blame them for wanting to look good, but you can choose the right images to make it possible.

2. Screenshots

You’ve probably heard the old adage “seeing is believing”. In terms of visual content, the psychological lesson here is that when people can see something for themselves, they’re more likely to trust the source – which develops its credibility.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-2.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Buffer

In this Twitter post Buffer gauge interest around one of its growth experiments by showing two screenshots of an A/B tested email. By doing so, Buffer are able to immediately impress the viewer which intrigues them to read on.

The text used to accompany the post is short yet effective: providing a hook for the article but letting the image become the compelling factor.

3. Infographics

The most basic way to understand why visual content is so effective on social media is to consider that the brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. When we’re scrolling through hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of posts, tweets and updates – images are simply easier to digest.

Infographics take this concept to the next level, allowing brands to capture complex pieces of information and turn them into engaging social media posts.

Notice how Charity World Vision have created a Pinterest board dedicated solely to its infographics. By doing so, they’re able to share large chunks of information in a single visual post.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-3.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: World Vision

By following design guidelines to ensure your infographics are easily readable and visually engaging, this is a great opportunity to increase impact beyond what a single image could achieve.

4. Personal photographs

The best way to connect with your audience on a deeply authentic level is to show them that you’re human, no matter how successful you are. If your business or brand doesn’t have a human face, people will find it hard to relate to.

To execute this personal element in your visual social posts, add snaps of your CEO or management staff. In this example taken from fashion retailer Nastygal’s Instagram, the brand’s CEO Sophia Amoruso is seen at a book signing of her recent book #GIRLBOSS.

Not only does this boost interest around the book, it builds the authenticity of the brand. Look at her: she’s a boss!

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-4.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Nastygal

5. Behind the scenes shots of your workplace

Another way to connect  people to the human aspect of your brand is to show behind the scenes shots of your workplace. This exclusive insight fosters a personal connection with your fans and strengthens their brand loyalty.

This particular type of imagery is more suitable for Instagram and Facebook, which are often considered the more “social” mediums. Designer Jen Gotch does this well on her instagram account by regularly featuring quirky shots of team activities.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-5.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Jen Gotch

These images give the impression that the team are “real people” and even encourage fans to consider Jen as a friend.

6. Quote graphics

A throwback to those motivational posters in your school counselor’s office – a quote graphic is still very beloved, and highly sharable. In fact, quote graphics work on every social media platform, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

The three things to consider with a quote graphic are the quote, the font, and the imagery. Go for a short quote with words that are easily digestible. Consider a font that’s readable on smaller screens because a lot more people are viewing through mobile devices these days.

Be sure to find an image that captures the spirit of the quote without competing with it for attention. The image should serve as a meditation space for the mind to go while its considering the quote.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-6.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Canva Quotes

Original images designed in Canva

7. Original designs

Branding your images is essential in order to build recognition on social media – a goal that should always be at the forefront of your visual content creation.

Also consider that generic images are rehashed over and over again, so creating unique content gives you a much steadier chance of becoming memorable.

When designing your own images, always create a style guide to ensure brand consistency. This means determining rules for your fonts, color scheme, and image personality. The goal: you want your brand to be instantly recognizable.

Take a look at how Amanda Fuller, creator of Kaleidoscope Blog, uses a simple yet original design over and over in her posts on Pinterest. Whenever I see a pin from the Kaleidoscope Blog on my Pinterest feed, I know exactly who its from based on this unique calling card design.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-7.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Kaleidoscope

8. Images that reflect the essence of your brand

If you want to create images that impact your target audience always consider: what made them choose you over your competitors?

The answer to this question is your unique selling point. By choosing images based around it, you’ll be strengthening the foundations of brand loyalty.

Consider VOSS Water. Propelled by brand values of purity, distinction, and social responsibility, VOSS Water visual social media posts always reinforce one (or more) of these ideals.

In the Facebook examples below, you’ll find the distinctive VOSS Water bottle featured prominently as anchor branding. Both images convey a sense of nature/ natural, and the fruit infusions look fresh and healthy, right on target with branding.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-8.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Voss

9. Action shots

Stimulate the imagination of your audience with an action or experience shot. Nothing is quite as convincing as a still photo that captures a moment in time.

Charity Water understood how to engage its audience with this vibrant image of clean water and outreached hands. Without reading, you instantly get the visual: What’s a bigger need than clean water? And what’s a great joy than having access to it?

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-9.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Charity Water

While you may not be providing clean water to those in need, you can still use this type of visual social media post to inspire your followers to feel good about you and themselves, also, for following you.

Share images of your product or service in its ideal use. There’s a reason why, depending on the brand, beer ads show customers partying at the hottest club or lounging on the beach–that’s the desired experience.

Whatever you’re selling, you want a product shot of your ideal customer actively reaping the benefits of it,

10. Images with a striking color palette

Colors can depict and elevate mood. Whether you’re looking to compel or commiserate, colors play a huge role in human psychology. Consider: what are the feelings you want to evoke from your social media audience? Try and replicate that feeling with the colors you choose.

image: http://www.jeffbullas.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/types-of-visual-social-media-posts-10.jpg

types of visual social media posts

Image: Experiment with different color palettes

An easy way to do this is to use a color picker tool to extract colors from your favourite images. Before you start designing, you should always set out to limit yourself to four main colors – this will help establish a theme or feeling for your designs and increase their impact.

Now it’s your turn

Adding visual content to your social media strategy is a no-brainer, but using visual content that reaches your fans emotions and catches their eye is the smart marketer’s approach.

Whether you’re creating original content, sourcing photographs or shooting your own always consider how it will impact your audience.

How do you stand out from your competitors? Do certain types of visual posts work better for you than others? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author: Anna Guerrero heads up Editorial at Canva. Canva is launching new features to enable small businesses, bloggers and their teams to create more stunning graphics and boost their traffic

Read more at http://www.jeffbullas.com/2015/05/05/10-types-of-visual-social-media-posts-that-get-shared-like-crazy/#YiQp6yohRHLWX3gB.99