Sports And Sponsored Content Infographic

How impactful are sports leagues for paid partnership posts? ListenFirst created a comprehensive infographic to answer that very question for brands and marketers. Sports and Sponsored Content: The Winning Playbook looks at the performance of 5,378 sponsored posts shared on the social media channels of the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, and MLS between July 2020 – June 2021. 

Below are all the key finding, though for even deeper dive, be sure to read our full Optimizing Sports-Related Sponsored Content On Social report.

4 Insights You Need To Know About Video Length On Social Media

In theory, the answer to how long your brand’s video content should be on social media should always be the shorter, the better. For example, a 2015 Microsoft study found the average adult attention span is only 8 seconds, while TikTok has exploded in popularity, with 1 billion active global users, in large part because they placed tight limitations on how long videos can be. 

However, digging into the data, it’s clear that optimal video length is far more situational than just making the blanket statement that less is more. Not every piece of video is just an “average” level of interest to the audience, and not all ideas can be best communicated in just 8 seconds. Here are the top 4 insights marketers need to know about video length on social media. 

Insight #1: Optimal Video Length Varies By Social Platform 

Each social media platform has its own culture, and it would be a mistake to assume that the right video length for brand content would be the same across multiple audiences. For instance, looking at the 10 best performing video posts for episodic TV shows between January – August 2021; their average video length was 47 seconds long on TikTok,  1:20 minutes on Twitter, 4:17 minutes on Facebook,  and 4:11 minutes on YouTube. 

Nickelodeon’s top performing video so far in 2021 has been a 16 second clip, where Charli D’Amelio got slimed. That video got nearly 9.4 million responses on TikTok.  When that footage was shared on YouTube, it  included more build up to the slimming and was expanded to 1:05 minutes, receiving an additional 22,545 responses. Since the audience goes on YouTube expecting longer videos compared to TikTok, the additional time made sense.  

Insight  #2: Video Length Is Vertical Specific 


Get in there any way you can.

♬ original sound – benandjerrys

While the average length of top performing TikTok videos was 47 seconds for TV shows, between January – August 2021 the average length for the 10 best performing video posts for CPG Food on TikTok was 13 seconds long. The best performing CPG Food TikTok video was a Ben and Jerry’s clip about trying to scoop into frozen solid ice cream. The video clocked in at 9 seconds. 

In the same time period, the top 10 CPG Food posts averaged 1:42 minutes on YouTube,  0:34 seconds on Facebook, and 0:29 seconds on Twitter. 

That data just highlights how critical it is to benchmark your performance against brands in your own vertical to determine the most effective video length for your brand content. The audience’s attention span for a trailer of the latest Marvel movie and a video about heartburn medication is not going to be the same, and an apples to apples comparison is needed for length optimization. 

Insight #3. Let Influencers Dictate Video Length In Partnership Posts 

When working on paid partnerships, it’s important video length be at least in the ballpark of what the content creator normally posts on social, both because that’s what the influencer is most experienced at producing and because that’s what their audience expects of them.    


From #SephoraSquad member @christineleeee: Easy claw-clip hairstyles! Which one is your fave? #SephoraSquad

♬ original sound – sephora

For instance, almost all the TikToks videos by beauty influencer Christine Le are between 6-32 seconds. The most popular Sephora TikTok between January – August 2021 was 22 seconds long and had 4.5 million views, featuring Christine Le showing off claw-clip hairstyles. Additionally, a Christine Le TikTok sponsored by Sephora showing off all night setting spray which was 14 seconds long, received 14.8 million views. These partnerships posts worked in large part because they were in the exact same format of Christine Le non-sponsored posts.   

Meanwhile, the comedy troop Dude Perfect tends to make videos that are slightly longer. For example, their best performing Instagram post so far this year generating 402,512 responses was about a baseball-basketball hybrid stunt and was 2:11 minutes long. Therefore, it makes sense that Dude Perfect’s sponsored content would be longer as well. Their top performing sponsored content video on Instagram with 103,685 responses was a 48 seconds long promotion for Nerf Curve Blasters, with their sponsored content posts being as long as 1:14 minutes.     

Insight #4. Certain Types Of Content Require Longer Video Length 

While generally the trend is shorter videos equal higher engagement, situationally there’s still types of content that are more effective at a longer length, such as makeup tutorials, unboxing videos, or other “how to” content. For example, the top performing YouTube video by Fenty Beauty between August  22, 2020 – August 21, 2021 with 748,030 views was a Tutorial Tuesday featuring Rihanna putting on powder foundation that clocked in at a little over two minutes. 


FallonFlashback: @vindiesel shows off the various languages he had to learn when voicing Groot #FallonTonight #VinDiesel

♬ original sound – FallonTonight

Also videos from the entertainment industry such as film trailers or talk show clips often perform better when they’re longer. For example, so far in 2021, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon post that generated the most responses on TikTok was Vin Diesel talking as Groot in different languages which was 1:23 minutes long. Meanwhile, the top performing film content on Facebook between January – September 2021 was the second F9 trailer which got 1,910,366 responses and was 3:20 minutes long.  

That’s not to suggest that in all instances, film videos should be over a minute long. Just look at the top 5 TikToks from films so far in 2021. They were all from F9 and between 6-22 seconds long. It’s important to analyze owned and competitor social media posts at scale to understand the exact circumstances where shorter is better.

For example, consider a call to action like “Tell us you’re a Fast & Furious fan without telling us you’re a Fast & Furious fan”. That can be communicated in 6 seconds, while an actual trailer requires more time to communicate the movie’s actual story. 

Looking for more insights on how to properly analyze video length on social media? Request a ListenFirst demo today!     

6 Insights You Need To Know About Streaming Brands On Social Media

TikTok has become the social network generating the most engagement for streaming brands in 2021.

Streaming services may hold viewership numbers as a closely guarded secret, but when it comes to understanding performance on social media, ListenFirst has an objective view of which streaming brands are succeeding and why. From our internal study of Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Peacock, Amazon Prime Video, Showtime and Starz, here are the 6 insights you need to know about streaming brands and social media.   

#1. Fan Growth in 2021 has slowed for streaming brands 

Streaming BrandNew Fans
Jan – Aug 2018
New Fans 
Jan – Aug 2019
New Fans
Jan – Aug 2020
New Fans
Jan – Aug 2021
Apple TV+2,4538,80634,235
HBO Max931,3402,063,760
Amazon Prime Video621,1236,349,3172,703,6911,855,889

Looking at the streaming brands between January – August 2021, the number of new fans they generated on social media decreased by -17% compared to January – August 2020, and decreased by -24% compared to January – August 2019. 

What’s happening is while streaming brands are still growing their audience on social media, the rate of growth, which peaked in 2019, has slowed as the streaming video space becomes more crowded. For example, while Netflix got nearly 13 million new fans on social media between January – August 2021, with newer services like Peacock and HBO Max now in the space, that’s still 4.7 million less new fans than Netflix got in the same time period in 2019. 

Additionally, emerging social platforms such as TikTok and Depop are likely eating away at the traditional social channels, especially among younger users, likely contributing to the significant decrease in growth this year. Streaming brands have to experiment with establishing a presence on these newer platforms, to keep pace with shifting audience preferences. 

#2. TikTok Has Become The Most Important Platform For Content Responses 

Streaming brands got 59% of their content responses on TikTok between January – August 2021, with 33% of their responses coming from content they posted on Instagram. Meanwhile during those 8 months, 3% of responses for streaming brands came from Facebook, 3% from YouTube, and 2% from Twitter. For streaming services looking to lift their social engagement, treating TikTok as a focal point is an absolute must. 

Is the popularity of TikTok leading to streamers getting less engagement on other social media platforms? Possibly, but not in the way you’d necessarily expect.  Comparing January – August in 2021 to 2020, the number of responses for streaming brands increased by 27% on YouTube. However, during the same time streaming brands got -7% responses on Twitter, -5% responses on Facebook, and -2% responses on Instagram.      

Even as audience preferences around social networks evolve over time, video-first platforms like YouTube will continue to be strategically important for streaming brands.  

#3. The Audience Was Most Interested In Binging During The Beginning Of The Pandemic 

When people were stuck at home quarantining with nothing else to do, it appeared that binging TV shows was never more popular. But was that level of interest sustainable? 

Based on Twitter audience data, the answer is no. During Q1 2020 there were 1,190,036 Binge related Tweets which was a 24% increase compared to the previous quarter. In Q2 2020 that number even rose to 1,356,841 Binge related Tweets. However in the 4 subsequent quarters, there were on average -20% less Binge related Tweets compared to that Q2 2020 peak. 

The long term trend remains that the social audience is talking more and more about streaming TV shows in binge mode. However, now that the majority of adults are vaccinated and have more options with what to do with their time, in the short term, the audience interest in binging has actually decreased.   

#4. Shifting to releasing episodic programs weekly can help on social 

Netflix has long been synonymous with the binge release model, which they first popularized in 2013 when they released the entire first season of House of Cards at once. However, even Netflix is now experimenting with different release models, for instance releasing reality shows like The Circle and Too Hot to Handle in batches

The reason for the return to weekly episodes for streamers is largely to extend the social media conversation around their shows.  For example, ​​The Boys switched from a binge release in Season 1 to episodic weekly releases in Season 2, which helped the longevity of its social engagement and interest.  Season 2 didn’t see peaks in engagement until the finale, while interest popped at both premiere and finale. 

Meanwhile, The Mandalorian changed it’s release schedule to alternating between Wednesdays and Fridays to every Friday, leading to a higher conversation volume in Season 2 per episode despite overall interest remaining lower than Season 1. 

How do you know when a streaming show is better off coming out at once or weekly? Content that lends itself to being dissected, such as reality competitions, or regularly recapped on entertainment websites, should be released on a weekly cadence. After all, audiences would have more to reflect on in social media. 

#5.  Frequently posting about large IP’s consistently drives engagement

For streaming brands, leaning into intellectual property that’s already familiar and has a pre-existing fanbase is a proven strategy for lifting social media engagement. For example, 4 out of the 5 most shared HBO Max posts so far in 2021 were about either the Friends reunion or Zack Snyder’s Justice League. Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Video’s two most shared posts between January – August 2021 were Facebook and TikTok videos promoting Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, based on the novel set in Clancy’s Ryanverse. 

#6. Foreign Language Content Now Among Most Popular Content For Streamers 

Streaming brands now produce original programming for local regions across the world and a lot of those shows are clearly connecting with the English language audience on social media as well. For instance, Netflix’s top post in April 2020 with 1,917,159 responses was an Instagram post featuring Úrsula Corberó using a filter that matches her with a character on Money Heist. Additional foreign content shows such as Dark and Elite are also among the most buzzed programs for Netflix on social media. 

For streaming brands with popular foreign language originals, give the English speaking audience the benefit of the doubt that they’ll also embrace those shows on social media. 

Looking for more insights about streaming brands on social media? Request a ListenFirst Demo today! 

What ListenFirst Becoming Part Of Twitter Official Partner Program Means For You

Around data analytics, this is the equivalent of getting the most prestigious blue check mark Twitter provides.

All of the spectacular analysis ListenFirst provides to our clients wouldn’t be possible without deep, behind the scenes relationships we have with the leading social media platforms, and Twitter is one of the most important of those relationships. That’s why I couldn’t be more excited that today we’re announcing that ListenFirst has been invited into the Twitter Official Partner Program (TOPP).

TOPP is an extremely exclusive program. Of the thousands of companies in the Twitter ecosystem, only a select few with a proven track record of customer success in using Twitter’s Developer Platform to provide brands with outstanding products are invited to join. When a company earns the corresponding Twitter Official Partner badge that is Twitter’s stamp of approval to show clients that you’re a trusted company and that your products are best-in-breed. 

For brands already part of the ListenFirst community, the TOPP announcement reaffirms our long term commitment to Twitter, and means ListenFirst will have an even bigger seat at the table with Twitter.  As part of the partnership, ListenFirst gets unparalleled access to information from across; gains early access to information and betas; and receives introductions to leaders and other opportunities across Twitter. 

ListenFirst and Twitter will also partner to continuously identify opportunities for improved product health and growth, driven by the adoption of new Twitter APIs. 

When it comes to analytics based ROI analysis, ListenFirst already has unparalleled social business intelligence for Twitter, including owned, paid, and earned analysis, cross-platform tracking, real-time conversation analysis, audience insights, affinity analysis, and sentiment analysis. This partnership will lead to further innovation, with conversations about how to create solutions that help brands get more value out Twitter happening more frequently and at a more senior level. 

We’ve already been working with Twitter for nearly 10 years, and to understand the world’s largest focus group, you want the absolute best in social analytics. Joining the TOPP program confirms ListenFirst rises to that standard of excellence.  

3 Steps to Effectively Measure Your Social Media Efforts

According to the 2020 CMO Survey, only 30% of CMOs believed they could prove the impact of social media efforts quantitatively.

So if you find it challenging to prove the value of your social media campaigns, you’re not alone. The key to successfully measuring the impact of your social media efforts hinges on leveraging social media analytics.

At ListenFirst we’ve helped leading brands across the world determine their most relevant KPIs. We’ve learned a thing or two over the years and have a few tips to get you on the right track.

There are three critical steps to ensuring you have the right elements in place to measure your social media marketing program effectively. You’ll find the steps below, along with tips to get you started. 

Identify the metrics that align with your business goals.

When it comes to setting KPIs that will have an impact, less is more. 

Start with your business goals. How do those translate into social metrics or outcomes? For example:

  • Do you want to grow awareness? Consider metrics related to audience growth. 
  • Are you set on increasing brand affinity and loyalty? Review engagement rates. 
  • Is brand love your focus? Look at social sentiment.

Follow a thoughtful process when determining the metrics that are important to your business. 

Use social media analytics to set realistic benchmarks.

It’s critical to outline your goals and do industry research prior to determining the most logical KPIs for your brand. 

Of course, you want to look at historical trends for your brand as well as for your competitors. But there’s also a lot to gain from reviewing other aspirational brands who’ve accomplished what you are after. Even if the brand is not a player in your industry, validate that what they’re doing is something that may have translated to their success. 

Then ask yourself what’s a reasonable expectation for your brand based on the historical data and performance across other brands?

Download our report How to Maximize Social Media Analytics for more details on how to identify the metrics that matter. 

Track your KPIs frequently

Reporting is key. Once you have your KPIs set, you have to constantly track them. 

Reporting that allows you to see all of your cross-channel data in one view is essential. You’ll also want to set up reporting that will allow you to see the most important metrics, including your benchmarks and historical trends, at a glance.

Dashboards are a great way to communicate the story the data is telling to your key stakeholders. ListenFirst recently added configurable dashboards to the platform, giving users the opportunity to build a series of dashboards to best match their team’s goals.

Read more about configurable dashboards.  

If you’re like most brands and increasing your investments in social media, be sure you have a plan in place to know if you’re moving the dial. Follow these three important steps and let us know how we can help along the way.

Dashboards, Machine Learning and Modern Design

Over the last year the ListenFirst team has taken a deep look at user workflows and closely collaborated with customers to understand their biggest needs. As a result, we’ve invested in many enhancements that will help users save time and uncover more relevant insights in fewer steps.  

Starting in September 2021, ListenFirst users will have access to a new platform experience. Notable features now available in the new ListenFirst experience include the ability to:

  • quickly find the data you need
  • build configurable dashboards
  • uncover key takeaways automatically
  • create brand roll-ups on the fly
  • dive into the analytics and share meaningful visuals quickly

We breakdown our most exciting enhancements below.

Configurable Dashboards

Enjoy more flexibility by creating easy-to-update dashboards tailored to your KPIs.

When you first log in to your ListenFirst account, you’ll get a quick glimpse at the performance metrics most important to you. Configurable Dashboards make this all possible. Our new dashboard feature allows customers to create specific combinations of ListenFirst data to match their team’s unique use cases and workflows. 

It’s easy to add an analysis tile to your favorite dashboard, or to multiple dashboards. It’s your choice. From there you have easy-to-understand, beautiful reports to share with other ListenFirst users.

You’re in Control with Instant Insights

Quickly understand how your brand performs on social media using simple visuals and easy-to-understand language.

Tired of burning precious hours attempting the work of a trained data analyst? Instant Insights, is a new analytics feature that quickly shows how brands perform across social media. It’s all in a single view! 

Leveraging years of intelligence gathered from working with the largest brands in the world, Instant Insights utilizes machine learning to deliver analysis like no other. Users can benchmark performance and uncover valuable takeaways in natural language. Even configure multiple brands and content filters on the fly. 

A Modern and User-Friendly Design

Introducing a complete re-imagining and redesign of navigation, data visualization, and analysis in the platform.   

We worked hand-in-hand with ListenFirst customers to ensure the new interface would provide easy access to the data needed most. This resulted in a more streamlined workflow paired with modern design. Save time with more intuitive navigation, clean data visuals and more ways to share key metrics and insightful takeaways with others.

Experience the Enhancements for Yourself

Throughout the month of September, users will be given the opportunity to switch between the new and legacy UI. So, the next time you log into your ListenFirst account, look for the toggle button at the top right.

Don’t be shy. Dive into the upgraded experience for more flexibility, faster insights and access to powerful dashboards. New feature walk-thrus will be available as you explore the platform, but for a deeper understanding of the new workflows, check out the knowledge base dedicated to the Platform Redesign found in the Help Center.