Tag Archives: MKTG1552

What’s all the hype about Instagram video?

On June 20, 2013, Instagram introduced a video-sharing feature which lets you record 15-second videos and add 13 different kinds of filter effects to them. As a BlackBerry user, I was (and am still) not sure how exciting this new addition is and was wondering what all the hype is about it, so I decided to look into what everyone is saying about it on social media.

I used Topsy, one of my favorite analytics tools I’ve been using for quite a while, to investigate conversations about Instagram video.

First, I typed the URL of Instagram’s blog entry on the video feature and found out that the link has been shared 16K times so far as of June 22, 2013 and 548 influencers have tweeted the link so far. When you type the URL of an article or a press release, you’ll find that most people tweet the title of the page with the link, which is not a good way to gather people’s opinions on something.

Screenshot of Twitter Trackbacks for Introducing Video on Instagram on Topsy

So, to find out what everyone thinks about the video feature, I typed two keywords, “Instagram” and “video.” When you type a keyword(s) on Topsy, you’ll see a different page than the one you see when searching for a URL. The below image is the result page of tweets for the past two hours when I did research. On the left column, you can see how many times the keywords have been tweeted for a variety of time periods and other metrics.

Screenshot of the result page of Instagram and video on Topsy

The first thing I noticed is that many people have mentioned Justin Bieber. It seems that he uploaded a video onto his Instagram account a couple of days ago.

*prayer circle for justin to do an Instagram video on stage tonight* pic.twitter.com/G6etYK6ORS

[tweet 348553415820967936 hide_media=’true’]

And it looks like one of his videos is the first Instagram video to reach 1 million views.

First Instagram Video To Reach 1 Million Likes Stars Shirtless Justin Bieber http://on.mash.to/14Qnyu2

[tweet 348583435268403201 hide_media=’true’]

OK, these are not what I am looking for. Move on.

Someone has already made a slideshow about how to use Instagram video for business. Will check it later. Various media have tweeted articles regarding this new feature. So this is a big change in Instagram.

Instagram Video: 5 things brands should know: http://slidesha.re/12i0vmm  via @marshallwright

I also found one tweet saying a good thing about Instagram video and another making a suggestion about the timeline. I agree that having a tab for videos and pictures would be nice. Let’s see what Instagram will do about the interface.

Loving the Instagram video feature .. It keeps the vid in your photo library 15 seconds you can delete a section if it didnt turn out right

Instagram should make a Video and pictures tab so we don’t have to look at them both on one timeline.


Then I realized that a number of people compare Instagram with Vine.
(* To those who are not very familiar with Vine, Vine is also a popular video-recording app.)

Vine has better video quality but instagram has longer videos. Hmmmm.

I refuse to update my Instagram app. I hate the Instagram video. Long live vine.

One of my biggest pet peeves with Vine and Instagram Video apps: inability to mute and film silently.

While reading the tweets about Instagram vs. Vine, I began wondering what the difference is between them, so I searched for “Instagram” and “Vine.”

CNET has a great article regarding the comparison between the two. So basically, as the title of the article says, they’re apples and oranges. The features of each tool are very different and appeal to different types of people.

Why Instagram video and Vine are apples and oranges http://cnet.co/1azm21Z

[tweet 348416504150249472 hide_media=’true’]

Instagram just started the video-recording feature, so there’s still a long way to go. Instagram differentiates itself from Vine in some ways but hasn’t attracted Vine users or long-time Instagram users yet. It seems that many Instagram users are wondering if the overall quality of content will be dropped, as a ton of video selfies have been uploaded for the first few days since the feature was added. Instagram users love a number of filter effects which can change the look of photos in various ways. But the content of videos cannot be changed by the filters. Let’s see how Instagram will improve this new service.

This research tells me that you can find a variety of different perspectives on something by utilizing analytics tools, which can help to improve your company’s marketing activities. You can search for trends regarding your product/service, customers’ voices, complaints, suggestions, valuable content published by media, etc. Analyzing, measuring and evaluating your marketing activities are the key to a successful campaign.

Are you an Instagram user, Vine user, or both? Which one do you prefer and why? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

I’ll finish my Instagram video tweet hunt entry with a joke I found during my research.

#Vine: “Instagram you ok?”
#Instagram: “Im Vine”
Vine: “What did you say?”
Instagram: “I said I’m fine!”

Thanks for reading. Until the next time!



Filed under MKTG 1552, Social Media, Twitter

Top-ten tips for using Twitter for business

You want to use Twitter for your business and think it’s a piece of cake because you already have your personal account and have been using it for a while? Wrong! You cannot tweet random things like you do from your personal account. Moreover, you must have solid plans and strategies to reach your target.

Here’s the top-ten tips for using Twitter for business.

1. Choose a username which best describes your business

If you get an account for your company, it’s the best to choose your company’s name as your username. If you create an account for your company’s product, service, brand line or community, use its name. If the name is long, make it short. If the username you’d like to get is not available, choose a similar name. Do not create a username which is very long or does not describe what your account will be focusing on at all. The important thing is choose a simple name so that people can easily type it, remember it and recognize it as your business.

2. Engage with your audience

Push marketing won’t work on Twitter. Start a conversation with your audience and ask them questions. Retweet, favorite and reply to tweets from your audience and even those outside of your circle. Interacting with your audience is crucial to build a strong relationship between you and your audience. If someone says a good thing about you, thank them. If someone complains about you, ask them what their problem is and what you can do for them.

3. Use hashtags

Tweet with hashtags relevant to your tweets to reach wider audience. For example, if your company attends an event, use the hashtag(s) for the event. By doing so, people interested in the event or attending it can see a whole conversation regarding the event when they search for the hashtag(s). You can even create a unique hashtag for your business so that your audience can find the conversations about specific topics they’re interested in. Yet do some research before using it. Make sure your hashtag is unique. Don’t use those already used for another topic, which may confuse your audience.

4. Utilize useful Twitter tools

There’re tons of Twitter tools out there. Some of my recommendations for account management are HootSuite, TweetDeck, Buffer and Echofon. When I was in charge of a Twitter account for one of my clients, I used HootSuite. With HootSuite, you can schedule your tweets, analyze your activity, customize your stream with your timeline, @ tweets, lists, etc., and do many more. If you have multiple Twitter accounts or other social media accounts including Facebook and Google+, you can manage up to 5 accounts with HootSuite.

For URL shortening services, Bitly is the best in my opinion. Not only can you shorten links, but  you can also customize a short domain if you’re a Pro user. If you’re not a Pro user, you can still customize the ending of links (e.g. bit.ly/cancustomizehere). Bitly also offers the stats for all of your bit.ly links. And even if you’re a HootSuite user and use ow.ly links, you can also check the stats for any ow.ly links you share through your account(s) by connecting your Twitter account to your Bitly.

If you’d like to know more about other awesome Twitter tools, read 10 Twitter Tools Used by Social Media Experts at KISSmetrics.

5. Analyze your tweets

Analyzing your activity is important. Check how many times your links are clicked and shared, from where and through what channel they are clicked, what the peak traffic time is and so on. Rebuild your strategies and evaluate your activity based on the analysis in order to improve your social media marketing.

6. Tweet updates on your website and other social media accounts

Never think your Twitter account and your website or other social accounts are separated things. Keep your audience updated with your online activities besides Twitter. Lead them to your website or blog. Twitter is limited in space to talk deeply about your business. Get your audience know more about you by driving traffic to your website and other social media accounts.

7. Connect your social media presence on your website

Like I said in #6, promote all of your online activities! Add a link to your Twitter account on your home page, blog, Facebook, etc. It’s also a good idea to display your timeline on your website.

8. Share photos and videos

Don’t just text tweets. Post photos and videos too. According to Track Social Blog, tweets with photos outperform text tweets by 91% for Twitter engagement. Similar data can be found for Facebook engagement at HubSpot as well.

9. Talk about non-business topics too

Show your personality! Post humorous tweets sometimes. Let your audience know who you are to make them feel close to you and want to follow your account.

10. Use effectively your profile photo, cover image, background and profile

Make sure you upload your profile photo, cover image and background to show the audience your brand story. Also, tell who you are in your user profile. It’d be nice to tell your audience when your active time is so they know when they can receive a reply from you. If you don’t plan to respond to every @ tweet, let your audience know that in advance. For example, write “Unfortunately we cannot reply to everyone, but we appreciate all of your replies.” in your profile.

I could go on and on forever but I’ll stop here. I’m sure you have other tips you want to add to this list. Please feel free to share your insights!

Leave a comment

Filed under MKTG 1552, Social Media, Twitter

Make selling social to generate sales

I’ve been wondering if companies’ social marketing activities really lead to sales. I Digged Bob Knorpp’s article on Ad Age and found it very interesting, as it discusses a relationship between sales and social media from a unique angle.

As Knorpp says in the article, many still think that the objectives of social marketing are “to create engagement, gain followers or generate Facebook likes.” Yet does any of them really generate sales? They’re all important elements in social media marketing, but having engaged fans, many followers or many people who like your page doesn’t mean it directly leads to sales.

According to Knorpp, “the object of social marketing is not simply to collect audience appreciation, but to make every customer experience shareable — including the purchase.”

In the article, Knorpp shares his pleasant customer service experience with Zappos. When he sent an anonymous gift with them, the operator was so impressed by his act that this operator sent him multiple gift packages over the next two weeks. Because Knorpp was amazed by Zappos’ quality customer service, he still talks about it (And as you see, he even wrote an article about it for Ad Age).

If you’ve ever visited Zappos’ Facebook page, you probably know that Zappos is great at social media marketing. After reading Knorpp’s story, I realized that Zappos is also great at making their customers talk about them online by giving them memorable and shareable sales experience.

Zappos doesn’t do social to generate sales. Zappos makes selling social.”

Social media marketing can build a strong relationship between a company and the audience and get the public talk about the brand; however, you cannot really tell that it directly leads to sales. Knorpp is right. Customer service experience plays a big part in building the trust. If you have a bad experience of buying something from a company, you won’t probably buy anything from them again, though they have excellent social media activities. If you have great sales experience with a company, you will buy their product again. In this context, whether the company has strong social media activities or not does not really matter when making a purchase decision.

Companies should not just focus on gaining followers/fans/likes or creating engagement, but also offering customers meaningful and shareable sales experience, and get them talk about it online. By making selling social, companies can convert social media into sales.


Filed under MKTG 1552, Social Media

Importance of transparency in social media

I did not realize that transparency is an issue in the world of social media until I read this John Cass’ blog post.

I used to run a couple of social media accounts for my clients and write content but I have never considered myself a ghostwriter. I thought that everyone knows that some companies outsource their social media management and no one thinks that it is a problem not to tell the audience about it. Well, if you’ve been in a certain industry for a while, you tend to forget that some standards in your industry do not always apply to different industries or the real world.

Ellie Brown has made some great points about the importance and impact of transparency in social media on her blog. One of her statements made me wonder something regarding my work in the past.

If asked, be honest about who you are.

I have been in a blog team for one of my clients before. On the blog, it was clearly stated that the writers were just freelance writers, not from the company selling the products. The content was also claimed to be written by the writers. However, there was actually so much editing done by my client before the content was published all the time. If you look at the first draft and the finished work, they are completely different. If I were just a reader, not knowing the whole system of this blog, I’d think that these writers know too much about the products and doubt that they are actually an employee of the company. Because my client was extremely passionate about this blog and would like to tell the audience about every single detail of the products, some of the entries were even more detailed than the product pages. The blog itself was very informative, relevant and valuable to the audience and accessed by many people from around the world. It was a successful blog.

Yet, is the content really transparent? Does everyone know that some of the published work in social media is edited, monitored, or controlled by the client(s), although it is stated that someone not from the company writes the content? Is transparency important in every part of social media?

Transparency may not always matter to some degree in the world of social media.

In my opinion, I don’t mind who writes the content and how much editing has been taken place by their clients before the content is published online as long as it is valuable to audience. However, I hesitate to say that the content is transparent.

What do you think? If you would like to share your opinion, feel free to post a comment.

Until next time!


Filed under Blog, MKTG 1552, Social Media

How does social media change the way we work?

Client: “Can you tweet something to promote this event at 1 pm local time in Vancouver tomorrow?

Me: “…Of course. So that’s Saturday at 5 am in Japan if I’m correct?

Client: “Yes. Sorry, it’s a bit early for weekend but please tweet something from your home!

Hung up the phone and wondered if the time zones have vanished in the marketing industry.

This is one of the most shocking and memorable favors I’ve ever been asked when I was working at an ad agency in Japan. Some of you may think it is no problem because you can easily schedule your tweets with HootSuite. Well, this conversation was taken place in Fall 2009 and yes, HootSuite already did exist. However, unfortunately I knew nothing about such handy tool at the time, so I had to wake up before 5 am on my precious weekend and posted some tweets myself. I tweeted like a zombie and thought I couldn’t hate anything more than running a Twitter account for business.

As digital media has played a significant role in marketing for the past few years, the way people work in the marketing industry are now different than the way they used to. Especially if you are running social media accounts for your client, everything moves so quickly and so do you. If someone tweets a question to your client’s account, you have to respond immediately. Whether your client has some news to tweet or post on Facebook or not, you have to post something relevant and valuable to your fans/followers every day in order to keep them interested in your client and to gain new customers.

Here are some questions.

How does social media change the way marketing people work and what else does it change? What kind of benefits and problems does social media create in terms of marketing?

Please think through these questions. I’ll talk about them in future posts.

In this blog, I’ll be focusing on the marketing industry and discussing social media from the creator’s view.

Stay tuned!


Filed under Introduction, MKTG 1552, Social Media