7 #Hyperlapse Videos You Must See

 

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On August 26th, Instagram announced the release of Hyperlapse–an app designed to help users create visually appealing, steady videos (and slow them down or speed them up). Since then, a bunch of brands have started creating hyperlapse videos and posting them with the hashtag #hyperlapse. Brands from Mercedes to Taco Bell to Arizona Iced Tea have already jumped on board. Since launching, there have been nearly 280,000 videos posted on Instagram with #hyperlapse included.

Here are some of our favorite Hyperlapse videos.

1- Russ & Daughters

2- Taco Bell

3- The Ellen Show

4- Disney

5- Bud Light

6- Foot Locker

7- The White House

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End of Summer – New SocialRank Features

As the summer winds down, we wanted to update you on some of the cool new features available in SocialRank.

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1- Refresh List- Now when you log into SocialRank, you will see a “Refresh List” button under sorting/filtering and next to showing the number of followers you have. If you press the “Refresh List” button, your account will begin updating in the background. You can continue to use all of the SocialRank features: filtering, sorting, exporting, etc while your report is being updated. Once the refresh is complete, you will either need to click the button to refresh and load the new followers (if logged in) or it will automatically update if you are not logged in (and you will see it the next time).

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2- DM- You can now direct message your followers directly from the SocialRank platform.

 

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3- Follow- You can also follow or unfollow your followers right on the SocialRank platform. The button is to the right of the DM button.

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4- Multiple Account Management- We revamped Multiple Account Management. On the upper right hand side in the SocialRank platform, there is an option to connect additional Twitter accounts. You can add multiple accounts to one log-in. For example, @socialrank links @ajt and @ogw26 to its account. When @ajt or @ogw26 log in on their own, they wouldn’t see @socialrank as the master account. This allows agencies the ability to manage multiple accounts from one location without having the fear if the brand logs in with their account they would see everything else. As long as you have the Twitter credentials to log in you are good to go.

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That’s all for now. Head over to SocialRank.com and try the new stuff out.

Any cool features you would like to see added to SocialRank? Hit us up at: hi@socialrank.com. We love new feature ideas!

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10 Things You Need to Know About the ALS #IceBucketChallenge

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The ALS Ice Bucket Competition has gone viral. The challenge started spreading like wildfire after Pete Frats, a former Boston College baseball player with ALS, posted on his Facebook. In just over 1 month, $100 has turned into almost $23 million dollars–all through social media and word of mouth. From Lebron James to George Bush to Oprah, celebrities across the world have been challenging each other and participating, all for a good cause.

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10 Things You Should Know about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:

1- This time last year the ALS foundation had only raised $1.9 million in the same time frame that $23 million has been raised this year.

2- People have shared more than 1 million videos on Facebook since June 1 and there have been 2 million mentions on Twitter since July 29.

3- After Pete Frates posted the challenge on his wall, athletes all across Boston started doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Then various sports teams across the US. Then celebrities. Everyone joined in! Here is that post from July 31:

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Map showing the spread of mentions of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge on Facebook from Boston outward.

4- “Meet the guy who made ALS ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ Go Viral” (A touching video about Pete Frates)

5- It all started on July 15 when a golfer in Florida named Charles Kennedy was nominated by a friend to do an ice bucket challenge that was not yet designated for a specific cause. He decided to link ALS to the challenge because his cousin was suffering from the disease. Charles Kennedy then nominated Pat Quinn in NY (who suffers from ALS), who then started the campaign with Pete Frates. 

6- $8.6 million was donated to the ALS Association on Tuesday.

7- One ALS sufferer, who has had ALS for 14 years, decided to take the ALS ice bucket challenge to the next level.

8- Just to review the rules: once nominated, you have 24 hours to either give $100 to the ALS foundation or pour a bucket of ice water over your head (or hopefully both), and in turn nominate 3 new people to complete the challenge.

9- Take time to read up more about ALS here.

10- Here’s the list of just some of the awesome celebrity videos from the challenge:

Chris Pratt

Charlie Sheen

Justin Timberlake

George Bush

Oprah

Taylor Swift 

Lady GaGa

Lebron James

Bill Gates

Jeff Bezos 

Mark Zuckerberg

Jimmy Fallon and the Roots

Governor Chris Christie

Steven Spielberg

Ben Affleck 

Justin Bieber (2 ice bucket challengers)

Jimmy Fallon

And arguably one of the most impressive ice bucket challenges, done by Paul Bissonnette involving a helicopter.

Now it’s your turn, have you done the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

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The Top 10 Most Followed Brands on Instagram

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Two weeks ago we released SocialRank 2.0. In the announcement we mentioned that we will be adding Instagram to SocialRank soon. We’ve begun playing around with Instagram and were inspired to put out our first blog post about it.

Here are the top 10 brands with the most followers on Instagram, and the most liked photos for each brand from the month of July.

1. National Geographic – 6.4 million followers

423,000 likes

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2- Nike- 5.5 million followers

231,000 likes

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3- The Ellen Show5.3 million followers

276,000 likes

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4. Victoria’s Secret – 5.08 million followers

185,000 likes

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5. 9GAG – 4.86 million followers

472,000 likes

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6. Forever 21 – 4.4 million followers

212,000 likes

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7. NBA - 3.26 million followers

172,000 likes

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8. H&M – 3 million followers

78,400 followers

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9. Starbucks – 3 million followers

168,000 likes

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10. Louboutin – 2.86 million

143,000 likes

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Which is your favorite photo?

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#ThrowbackThursday–The Evolution of SocialRank

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In light of #ThrowbackThursday (commonly known as #TBT) and the release of SocialRank 2.0 last week, we decided to do our own version of #TBT.

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January 2012
It all started one day when Alex Taub and Michael Schonfeld thought of an idea called MVF. Or Most Valuable Follower. It wasn’t too scientific–they basically just took all of your followers and sorted them by a combination of who had the most followers + a good ratio of follower/following. So if you had 1M followers and you followed 1M people you were less valuable than someone that had 1M followers and followed 100 people. Pretty simple, no?

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The app was intended to be for fun–a weekend side project for Michael and Alex.

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Despite being a side project, MVF was picked up by Mashable, TechCrunch and many more outlets. It went viral and tens of thousands of people used it in the first week. It was fun, but Alex and Michael had full time jobs, and after a month or so they turned MVF off and went on their way.

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2012-2013

That should have been the end of the story, but over the next two years brands continued to email Alex and Michael about bringing MVF back. While there were tons of tools out there to help brands figure out what content to push out, what time of day to tweet and what hashtags to use, there were no easy-to-use and affordable tools to help the brands manage their followers. The brands asked Alex and Michael to take MVF and build on top of it. They wanted a tool to help them identify, organize and manage their followers. From all of the inbound, there was clearly a need for this type of tool.

2014

Jan/Feb- Michael and Alex left their jobs and started SocialRank!  It started as a simple tool to help brands and people find out more about their followers on Twitter. The initial version of SocialRank looked something like this:

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The original SocialRank had a few launch partners, including GoPro and Spotify at the launch. GoPro and Spotify used the SocialRank platform to find their most engaged followers and reward them. GoPro gave away a full GoPro set and Spotify delighted one of their followers with a free month of Spotify premium. The result was authentic brand engagement from real fans.

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May 2014- SocialRank raised $1 million to get SocialRank rolling + announced 5,000 brands are using SocialRank.

May was a big month for SocialRank. SocialRank announced $1M in funding, that it had hit over 5,000 brands using the tool and a new product called Market Intelligence would be available in beta soon.

July 2014- SOCIALRANK 2.0

Last week, SocialRank introduced an updated version of the product, filled with fun new filters and upgraded sorting mechanisms in addition to new ways to save/export lists. This represents one step further in the evolution of SocialRank.

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For the 2.0 launch, SocialRank partnered with brands such as Juicy Couture, Uber and even the one and only, Muhammad Ali!

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We have started work on Instagram and have a lot more in store. The SocialRank story is just beginning.

Stay tuned!

We would love to hear your feedback about SocialRank 2.0: hi@socialrank.com.

 

 

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Today We Launch SocialRank 2.0

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We have been working hard for the past few months and are happy to announce the release of SocialRank 2.0 today. This is a major milestone and puts us on the trajectory of building a big business. SocialRank 2.0 is not a new product, but rather a natural evolution of the product released at the end of February. We also have some great brands using SocialRank involved in the launch — you can see all of them below.

SocialRank began as a simple tool to help brands find out more about the people that follow them on social networks, starting with Twitter. We released SocialRank in February and have been listening to what brands are looking for and need. We are evolving into an easy-to-use and affordable central location to help brands manage their followers across multiple networks (we also have begun development on Instagram and plan to add more networks soon).

There are many popular tools out there that help brands do everything from figuring out what time of day to tweet and what content to push out to what hashtags to use and how to get more followers. But we haven’t found an extensive or all-encompassing product that helps brands manage their followers across multiple networks that is also easy-to-use and affordable. Whereas a company like Hootsuite or Buffer has built a central location/dashboard to help manage posting across multiple networks, we are building a central location/dashboard to help manage followers across multiple networks. We are building the Hootsuite or Buffer for followers.

We see this happening in three phases: Identifying followers (original SocialRank launch), Managing followers (2.0 launch), and Performing Actions with your followers (coming in the next few months). We are excited about the direction the company is taking and want to share the big update.

Before we go through all the changes, let’s do a little housekeeping and give a short summary of what’s new.

Website

SocialRank.com (log in and start using SocialRank 2.0 today)

What’s New?

SocialRank 2.0 pulls in all of your followers for free instead of just your top 10 (free in original version) or top 100 (paid in original version). You can now also sort your followers by Most Valuable (MVF), Most Engaged (MEF), Best Followers (BF), as well as two new terms, Most Followed Follower and Alphabetized. In addition to sorting, you can filter your followers by bio keywords, location, verification, activity, and more. Lastly, once you have sorted and filtered, you can save searches (automatically updated when someone new follows you that fits into that query), export to Twitter and export to a CSV file.

 

SocialRank 2.0

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As we discussed above, SocialRank 2.0 is the easiest way to identify, organize, and manage your followers on Twitter. We have added a lot of awesome features in 2.0 and will walk through all of them here.

Sorting

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We’ve brought back the three terms from original SocialRank: Most Valuable, Most Engaged, and Best Followers, and added two new ways to sort your followers.

Most Valuable

Nothing has changed here, but the definition of Most Valuable is your followers that are the most in demand, important, and sought after in terms of engagement (but not necessarily engagement with you). The formula for Most Valuable takes into account everything from follower count, follower to following ratio, verification, how many times you are added to a Twitter list, and more. It does not take into account how much engagement they have had with you.

Most Engaged

Similar to Most Valuable, nothing has changed, but the definition of Most Engaged is your followers that engage with you the most. The formula to determine Most Engaged looks at everything from total number of interactions, RTs, @ mentions, favorites, added to list, and more. Each one is weighted differently. Most Engaged does not take into account value in the equation.

Best Follower

Like Most Valuable and Most Engaged, Best Followers has not changed. The definition of Best Follower is the perfect combination of your Most Valuable and Most Engaged. Basically, the Best Follower equation helps bring some of the bigger accounts that engage with you to the top. Best Follower takes both value and engagement into account.

Most Followed Followers

Many brands asked us if they could sort their followers by most followed follower down. So we added it. This is a new way to sort your followers and is as simple as it sounds.

Alphabetized

Another request from brands was the ability to turn their followers into an address book. This can be done using sort by Alphabetize.

Filters

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The biggest upgrade from SocialRank to SocialRank 2.0 is the ability to filter your followers. We are really excited about this feature and will walk through it here.

Location Filter

This filter allows you to enter any city, state, or country and set a distance. Then your SocialRank database will populate with people that fit this criteria. There is a lot that we plan to do with the Location filter. We want to get to a point where we show strong and weak signals depending on where the account is (i.e. if you live in NYC, but traveled to San Francisco that month, it should have a strong signal in NYC, but a weak signal in SF).

Bios, Names and Handles Filter

This filter lets you input any word and search your followers’ bios, names, and handles. For example, you can enter the word “fashion” or “sports” and it will show you all the people that have the word fashion and sports in their bio, name, or handle. Right now you can only search one word, but in the future I can see potential for a multi-word search.

Verification Filter

Instead of making Verification a sorting feature, we thought it made more sense to put it as a filter. In the Verification filter you can either filter by Verified or Unverified accounts that follow you. Many brands have been interested in looking at their biggest followers that aren’t verified. We’ve seen that when you filter by Unverified and sort by Most Valuable you get much better results than when sorting by Most Followed Follower.

Activity Filter

The Activity filter lets you parse through Active, Inactive, and Fake followers. It’s another way to slice and dice your followers.

Interests Filter

This filter allows you to query your followers by various interests. For example, if you are a sports apparel brand looking for 1,000 people who follow and engage with you that live in New York City and like soccer, you can use Interests to find those people. Although Interests is still in very early stages as a filter, we are very excited about where it can go.

Organization Filter

This filter is less for brands and more for people. It is something Michael and I have always wanted–  the ability to filter our followers by the organizations at which they work. For example, if I wanted to see all the people that follow me that work or have worked at Disney, I can do that in a few seconds. This filter is in early-stages and will continue to evolve post-launch.

Ways To Use Filters

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There are endless ways that brands and individuals can use filters. For example, if you are a brand like Nike, Adidas, or Puma and are looking for 1,000 people that live in NYC, like soccer, and engage with/follow your brand (so you can invite them to a special event with Clint Dempsey after the World Cup), you can use filters to find those people. The tool is completely self-serve and takes 10 seconds to run.

Another example, on the individual level, is if you are hiring people for your company and are looking to recruit engineers. You can use the keyword search and enter “Engineer” then filter by your location and voila, you have some prospective candidates. These are just two ways to use the tool. Feel free to share with us how you used filters at hello@socialrank.com.

Save Searches

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The newest feature provides  three ways to save your sorting and filtering queries.

Save to SocialRank

Once you have queried your followers, you can now save the search to SocialRank. You can name it whatever you’d like and then it will show up in your Saved Searches tab. Any time a new follower comes in that fits the saved search criteria, it will automatically be added to that saved search. You can also delete a saved search at any time.

Export To Twitter List

Another way to save your search is to export it to a Twitter list. You can now make up to 1,000 lists, and each list can include up to 5,000 accounts. When exporting, we ask you to make a name for the Twitter list and it defaults to private, although you can also make it public. This is a good way to use the data found on SocialRank to take actions off of SocialRank.

Export To CSV File

The final way you can save your search is by exporting it to a CSV file. This way you can do whatever you want with it once it’s out of the system.

Brand Involved

Like the launch of SocialRank in February, we have lined up some terrific brands to demonstrate exciting ways to use SocialRank information to engage and reward followers.

Muhammad Ali

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Muhammad Ali remains one of the most recognizable men on Earth more than fifty years after he emerged as a gold medalist at the 1960 Rome Olympics.

Among his countless awards and accolades, he was named Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsman of the Century”, GQ’s Athlete of the Century”, is a United Nations Messenger of Peace, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Amnesty International Lifetime Achievement Award.

We’re excited to include @MuhammadAli in the SocialRank 2.0 launch. One of @MuhammadAli’s most engaged followers will receive product from the @RootsOfFight collection. Make sure to follow @MuhammadAli on Twitter!

Century 21 Stores

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One of my favorite stores in NYC is Century 21. I buy everything there. Literally everything. I mean they have amazing designer merchandise for up to 65% off retail prices. What’s not to love?

So I am thrilled to have Century 21 involved in the SocialRank 2.0 launch. The Century 21 Store’s Twitter account will be giving away a curated designer fragrance boxes valued at $350+. They’ll be surprising and delighting one of their most engaged followers. Make sure to follow @Century21Stores on Twitter!

Bonobos

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Bonobos is on a tear this year, changing the online and retail game for men’s apparel. Bonobos makes everything from shirts, pants, and jeans (denim) to suits and shorts. You can shop their collection online, at Nordstrom, or in one of their guideshops. We are pumped to have Bonobos involved in the Socialrank 2.0 launch. The @Bonobos Twitter account will be giving away a Bonobos shirt to one of their most engaged followers. Make sure to follow @Bonobos on Twitter!

Juicy Couture

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Juicy Couture is a glamorous, irreverent, and fun lifestyle brand for the decidedly fashionable, bringing LA style and attitude to girls all over the world. The global phenomenon is identified as a casual luxury brand, offering apparel in the categories of women, girls and baby, handbags, shoes, intimates, swimwear, fragrance, accessories and jewelry.

We’re happy to include @JuicyCouture in the SocialRank 2.0 launch as they reward three of their most engaged followers with Viva La Juicy Gold Couture – the new fragrance from Juicy. Make sure to follow @JuicyCouture on Twitter!

Uber

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Uber, a San Francisco-based technology startup, is innovating at the intersection of lifestyle and logistics. Uber connects riders with safe, reliable, convenient transportation providers at a variety of price-points in cities around the world. Uber is currently available in 42 countries and countless cities.

We are very happy that @Uber_NYC is getting involved in the SocialRank 2.0 launch. Uber NYC is selecting a follower and rewarding them with $50 credit. Make sure to follow them on Twitter!

Instacart

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Instacart is the only same-day grocery delivery startup offering delivery in as little as one hour. Focused on delivering groceries and home essentials, Instacart already has over 300,000 items from local stores in its catalogue. Instacart is currently available in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose, Austin, New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Seattle, Atlanta, Denver and Los Angeles. Instacart is growing extremely quickly and adding new cities and retailers every month.

We are delighted that Instacart is getting involved in the SocialRank 2.0 launch. Instacart is selecting a follower and rewarding him/her with a free month of Instacart Express (free delivery). Make sure to follow @Instacart on Twitter to get the latest news on sales, food facts, expansion and store launches!

Next Steps for SocialRank

We have a lot to do. The next steps are to continue to improve the SocialRank product, add more networks (Instagram is coming soon) and build out our SocialRank Market Intelligence product, which lets you run any handle you want; you can request early access here). The future is bright for SocialRank. Drop us a line (hello@socialrank.com) if you have any questions, comments, feedback, or jokes.

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Social Media Explained Through the Eyes of a Donut

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We were inspired by the famous “Social Media Explained” donut post and decided to act each piece out as well as add new networks.

Here is a list of the most commonly used social media networks for brands and what using each network portrays… with a donut.

1) Twitter – I’m eating a #Donut

2) Facebook – I like Donuts

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3)  Foursquare/Swarm – This is where I eat Donuts

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4) Instagram - Here’s my vintage photo of a Donut

 

5) LinkedIn - My skills include Donut eating

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6) YouTube - Here I am eating a Donut

7) Pinterest- Here’s a Donut recipe

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8) Google+ – I’m a Google employee who eats Donuts

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9) Snapchat - Here is my cool drawing on top of a Donut…that will disappear in 4 seconds

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10) Vine- The life and death of a Donut

And that is social media explained through the eyes of a Donut.

 

 

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World Cup 2014 – Followers Before and After

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“There have been more tweets about the 2014 World Cup, before a ball has been kicked, than for the entire tournament in 2010.”

- Twitter blog

The World Cup was the most social sporting event since the dawn of social media. It trumped the Super Bowl and the Olympics in terms of engagement, tweets, Facebook likes–the whole nine yards. 16 million tweets were exchanged during the Brazil-Chile game alone (389,000 per minute). Tim Howard became an overnight superstar/sensation via social media: #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave. Even the soccer stars themselves turned to social media to explain, confess, and counter negative press (ex: Luis Suárez).

Now that the World Cup has ended, we collected the number of followers from each of the 32 participating teams from before the event and compared it to the number of followers from each of the teams after the event. The follower count for each of the teams increased significantly throughout the tournament.

Take a look at this graph and infographic:

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Trend Alert: Promoted Retweets

There is a saying that if you go around tooting your own horn all the time, eventually people won’t even hear it anymore. However, when someone says something good about you, that often carries more weight than anything you say about yourself. This concept applies to brands when promoting their message to followers and fans on social networks. We’ve seen a recent trend of brands, using Twitter’s Promoted Tweets product, doing something called a “Promoted Retweet.” We’d like to discuss what this is, show some examples, and explore whether or not it is right for your brand.

What is a Promoted Retweet?

We assume you know what a Promoted Tweet is, but just in case you don’t, a Promoted Tweet is one of Twitter’s advertising products that allows you to expand your Tweets’ reach with advanced targeting and tools. It is a very effective tool to help you get your message out to a wider audience.

So what is a Promoted Retweet then? A Promoted Retweet is when, instead of promoting its own tweet, a brand promotes another handle’s tweet (usually about them). This can be a happy customer, a celebrity, a brand partnership, an ambassador or someone else. And it can be a great way to let other people see what customers or users are saying and thinking about your service or product. We’ve seen a few of these in recent weeks and thought it was interesting to dig in and understand it better.

How do Promoted Retweets works?

The public details are scarce about Promoted Retweets. In the Twitter Ads Policy page it explicitly says – “Do not include another person’s content in Twitter Ads without the person’s permission. Create your own Tweets, or get permission from the authors of the Tweets and Retweets you use.” We’ve also heard that unless you are a managed account, it is very hard to execute a Promoted Retweet. If you go to your Promoted Tweets in Twitter’s Ads product and hover over a RT, you’ll get a non-selectable grey overlay. That being said, there are a few steps if you want to do a Promoted Retweet campaign (and have Twitter’s permission).

Step 1: In order to begin a Promoted Retweet campaign, the brand must get permission (via email) from the handle that tweeted the content that it wants to promote and retweet. This involves the brand saying that they (enter their @handle) approves Brand X (brand X’s @handle) of using this tweet from date x to date y.

Step 2: Once you get this in writing, you should forward this email to your account manager at Twitter so they can whitelist this tweet/account.

Step 3: Once it is confirmed and the account/tweet is whitelisted, when you log back into the ads product this time the RT will be available to promote as well.

What are some Promoted Retweet Examples?

@RelateIQ + @DanielleMorrill

Danielle + Relate IQ

Promoted Retweet examples were few and far between, but when Alex, our co-founder, saw a Promoted Retweet from @RelateIQ, we decided to write this post. RelateIQ took a tweet from @DanielleMorrill that said “I spend more time in RelateIQ than Facebook” and promoted it. The responses were great, establishing authentic brand engagement and arguably performed better than any tweet RelateIQ could promote that they wrote themselves.

@Katyperry + @ParamountPics

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Example number two comes from a collaboration between @KatyPerry and @ParamountPics. This is a different example of a Promoted Retweet, using a celebrity/influencer to amplify the message. Katy had a movie coming out with Paramount Pictures and Paramount was leveraging her celebrity status so that people would notice and click when it was promoted into their stream.

@NBA + @CiscoSystems

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The third example of a Promoted Retweet is when the @NBA and @CiscoSystems teamed up around the NBA Finals. While Cisco is a very large company, it doesn’t have the instant brand recognition that the NBA does. Cisco used Promoted Retweets to amplify their partnership with the NBA.

@MLB + @Pepsi

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The fourth example, we actually just saw today. This is a promoted tweet by @Pepsi with content from @MLB around the All-Star Game. Pepsi is one of the sponsors for the All-Star Game, and the Promoted Retweet allows Pepsi to stay in the picture, but have the focus remain on baseball/the event at hand. It is a more discreet method of brand marketing.

Are Promoted Retweets right for your brand?

That’s a great question. The answer is, it depends on your brand and your goals for promoting a tweet. If you are a brand that has customers, clients or users and you are looking to do general advertising then Promoted Retweets can let your happy customers, clients and users do the talking for you. If you are doing very specific advertising, trying to convert people to click on something specific, a Promoted Retweet might not be the best way to accomplish this. We think Promoted Retweets are an interesting and exciting new type of way to promote your brand and look forward to seeing more of these in our feed.

We don’t have access to Promoted Retweets on Twitter, but if we did here is what we would do:

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What do you think of Promoted Retweets?

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Surprise and Delight: What it is and Why marketers love it

Brands have been surprising and delighting their customers for centuries. Some better than others. But there’s no better way to turn customers into lifelong superfans than by catching them off-guard (surprise) in a positive manner (delight).

What is it?

Surprise and Delight is a marketing strategy in which companies randomly select an individual or group to receive a gift or experience. It can be a very effective marketing tactic for companies, especially in an age where customers are just one tweet away from brands and vice-versa.

Surprise and Delight campaigns help forge a strong emotional connection between brands and consumers (check out this article by Harvard Business Review that details why surprise is still the #1 marketing tool).

There are several critical elements of a successful Surprise and Delight campaign. It must be authentic and not an attention-seeking mechanism for a brand. That will immediately rub consumers the wrong way.

Most importantly, there must be an unexpected “wow” factor coupled with a personal touch that makes the campaign memorable and relatable. Also, the campaign should naturally spark discussion on social media and through word of mouth.

People who are delighted by the surprise will be excited to spread the word.

Why marketers love it?

There is a ripple effect from this marketing strategy– each recipient of the gift or reward will likely tell his/her network about the experience (sometimes accompanied by a photo). The idea is that the news will spread, especially through the use of social media channels like Twitter or Instagram.

When brands publicly (and randomly) reward their customers, they demonstrate that they genuinely care about their customers, and are offering a new and exciting product/experience. This in turn creates buzz and excitement around the topic.

 

So, how exactly do you run a Surprise and Delight campaign?

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Surprise and Delight Examples

WestJet

One of the best examples of Surprise and Delight (in a non-social media setting) is the WestJet Christmas Miracle: real-time giving. It’s a very heartwarming video and demonstrates this type of marketing well. In this campaign, WestJet selected a flight on Christmas Eve and rewarded random customers of all age groups with gifts, ranging from a big screen TV to Android tablets.

The video shows Santa Claus on a screen asking the pre-selected group of passengers what their dreams for Christmas are, and as he was doing this, WestJet volunteers noted the responses. 150 WestJet volunteers then went to go purchase some of these items, wrap them, and ship them to the plane’s destination. The reaction of the passengers at the baggage carousel demonstrates the effectiveness of a well-designed Surprise and Delight campaign. This video got 36 million views and arguably, social media saved WestJet.

This also demonstrates that it is important to not only determine who you are going to Surprise and Delight, but also to choose carefully what you will give them and the ideal time frame in which to do so.

MasterCard

MasterCard has also added an element of Surprise and Delight to its 17-year-old Priceless campaign. Justin Timberlake surprised a fan with a jam session at her house–it was unscripted and definitely added that personal touch, which in turn led MasterCard holders to believe they too could have a similar experience.

There’s an emotional element to watching a fan connect with a star and Mastercard #PricelessSuprises campaign captured that. The #PricelessSurprises campaign has also brought pro-golfer Tom Watson riding up to his fans on a golf cart.  So far, MasterCard has surprised 48,133 cardholders.

MasterCard’s chief marketing officer, Raja Rajamannar has been quoted saying that “the success of Priceless is driven by the campaign’s ability to create emotion, influence behavior, unite people and touch upon consumer passions.”

House Of Cards

The second season of House of Cards was released on Netflix on February 14th, 2014. In an effort to engage with fans of the show, The House Of Cards team hosted a Twitter Q&A with some of the actors of the show dubbed #AskHOC. We know this because our very own, Alex Taub, participated in it.

Alex got retweeted by @Houseofcards and even some of the castmates. Then a day later he received a direct message from the @Houseofcards handle asking what his address was. Alex gave it to them and a week or so later Alex received a House Of Cards poster and a pack of House of Cards Against Humanity in the mail. We’re not sure if more people received House of Cards gifts, but this is another example of Surprise and Delight.  

GoPro

Since we started SocialRank, we noticed that a lot of brands started using our tool to find out who their most engaged, most valuable or best followers are for Surprise and Delight campaigns. Using the data that the SocialRank tool provides, these brands are able to more accurately find these loyal customers to reward. For example, when we launched on February 25th, GoPro used us to figure out who, out of all their followers, would be the best candidate to surprise and delight.

GoPro found @DavidDiFrance, an avid @GoPro fan and rewarded him with a new GoPro camera. Without any requests, when David received the camera in the mail he posted a photo on Instagram, inciting tremendous authentic brand engagement: 800+ likes and 30+ comments on Instagram in less than 48 hours.

GoPro is no slouch on their own. They also have an amazing campaign called “Everything We Make Giveaway.” One person wins everything they make, every day. All you need to do is enter your first name, last name, email address, twitter handle and location and you have a shot at winning everything GoPro makes. Pretty rad. The company announces the winner on Twitter every day.

Go Out And Do Good

As you can see, these brands are doing something right by their customers. Whether you are an airline and decide (just because) to upgrade one person a day. Or you are a sports team and surprise a fan by inviting him to the locker room to meet the players. Surprise and Delight works. It helps turn fans of your brand into superfans and evangelists of your brand. There are very affordable ways for brands to start today and make customer service/support a top priority. So what are you waiting for? Surprise and Delight your customers, followers, and fans today!

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