The Value of Measuring an Active Engager vs. Passive Observer

All brands are looking to spark social engagement. But inspiring consumers to comment or share your brand with their network takes thoughtful planning. Meaningful audience engagement goes beyond a simple “like,” so you need to know what content gets people talking. 

Social Media Analytics Across Channels

Measuring impressions, video views, and likes are too passive when you want to understand how well your content has connected with an audience. Afterall, you could trigger an impression or a video view simply because it’s served to your newsfeed. Many people “like” so thoughtlessly when they’re scrolling that one million “likes” doesn’t mean one million people are truly interested in your brand.

If getting consumers to comment, share and reply to your content is what you are aiming at, you need a way to measure those types of social engagements across all major social channels. When a person shares your post on Facebook or comments on Twitter, you know that person saw something about your brand and was motivated to take action. It means that person stopped scrolling to talk about your content or share it with their friends or followers. That’s something!

Introducing Social Talkability

At ListenFirst, we unite billions of social signals across every social platform. Using our unique access to this data we’ve introduced a new way to measure meaningful engagements — in one comprehensive score. Social Talkability, is our new proprietary metric that provides brands with the number of social actions that are deemed intentful. 

Your “Talkability” score counts comments, shares and replies across all major social channels, along with user-generated content. It compiles data from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit and TikTok.

The Social Talkability score helps brands see the full picture. 
See how cross-channel social engagements took off for Netflix and Apple during pivotal campaigns.


Bridgerton premiered on Netflix on Dec. 25, 2020. That day Bridgerton got 13,385 “likes” per Instagram post. That’s almost 1,000 less “likes” than they got per post the day before. But when looking across social channels and counting the more active engagements, Netflix can see the show did get audiences buzzing on premiere day. Social Talkability was lifted 787% from Dec. 24 to Dec. 25.
April 20, 2021 was a big day for Apple as they introduced new products and updates to the market. However, they only averaged 64,032 reactions per social media post on that day. (Between January 1- April 19, 2021, Apple averaged 134,790 reactions per post.) When looking at the Social Talkability metric, Apple can see that there was, in fact, a lift in comments, shares and replies across channels, despite the drop in reactions in general. Talkability was up 213% on April 20, compared to April 19.

Get Your Social Talkability Score Today

ListenFirst customers can access this metric today in the Brand Rankings tab and in the Time Window Comparison report. 

If you are not yet a ListenFirst user, contact the ListenFirst team to request a demo.

7 Ways Brands Most Successfully Celebrated Star Wars Day 

When marketers think about planning seasonal campaigns, usually holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas come to mind. While those should be a focus, on social media there’s also a great amount of opportunity around less formal holidays that are more playful in tone, and often build around intellectual property. May The Fourth, or the Star Wars pun that launched a thousand brand posts, is an excellent example of this type of event. 

44 years after the first movie came out, fan interest in talking about the franchise has only grown and participating in Star Wars Day is an effective way to make your own brand more top-of-mind.  Here are brand strategies that were most successful on social media around Star Wars Day this year.

#1. Leverage Library Content 

The Big Bang Theory received 30,104 responses on Facebook for a clip of the group trying unsuccessfully to explain the May The Fourth holiday to Penny while The Simpsons got 25,552 responses to an Instagram post showing Ralph Wiggum dressing up as Princess Leia for Inspirational Women Day. If you’re a media brand and have Star Wars related content in the vault, May Fourth is definitely the day to dust it off. 

#2. Lead With A Creative Visual 

Compelling visuals are never a bad idea, but considering how much of Star Wars is communicated visually, many brands were able to stand out with their May The Fourth content without having to say too much. For example, WWE had 163,869 responses to an Instagram gallery where they edited lightsabers into photos of their wrestlers fighting, Jimmy Kimmel Live received 34,550 responses to an Instagram picture of Yoda and Leia cosplay, and John Deer got 16,737 responses to Instagram concept art showing what the John Deere version of a Tauntaun would look like.  

#3. Force A Force Joke 

Dating back at least to Mel Brooks proclaiming “May the Schwartz be with you!” in Spaceballs, jokes about “The Force” have been ubiquitous, and Star Wars Day isn’t the context you’d expect restraint. The Muppets had the best performing Force related social media post, getting 33,396 responses on Facebook, with Kermit and Miss Piggy in Star Wars outfits, wishing “May the Farce be with you.” Additionally, Callaway Golf’s Force video post scored 12,212 responses on Instagram, sharing a trick shot and showing that anything that defies explanation can be re-contextualized as a Jedi trick. 

The rest of Force related posts that got engagement followed a fairly rigid formula. Accenture got 4,010 responses to an Instagram post showing an Accenture hat with Yoda ears with the explanation “the force is strong with this one” while Avid got 3,366 responses to an Instagram video showing Baby Yoda using The Force to edit on a soundboard. Meanwhile, Shake Shack got 3,179 responses to an Instagram photo of their fries levitating with the caption “The force is strong with this one.” with Buffalo Wild Wings receiving 3,052 responses to a Tweet about their wings explaining that “the sauce is strong with this one”.

#4. Promote The Merchandise 

When the first Star Wars movie came out, the only merchandise you could buy around the film were action figures, with Kenner only having to pay $100,000 for the toy making rights. The marketing empire around the franchise has scaled considerably since then. 

In a crowded field, Lego had the most successful merchandise related post on Star Wars Day, getting 151,928 responses on Instagram for photos of a set featuring The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda. Other merchandise focused posts that performed well included Build-A-Bear getting 4,536 responses to a post showing a Baby Yoda plushy in cap and gown as a suggested graduation gift, and Williams-Sonoma receiving 4,465 responses to an Instagram Gallery showing off their Star Wars collection, such as a Millennium Falcon waffle. Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble got 3,640 responses to an Instagram post sharing a pile of Star Wars related books. 

#5. Run A Contest 

Bribing the audience is a marketing strategy as old as Yoda. GameStop had 43,708 responses on an Instagram post offering a chance to win a Star War prize pack in exchange for leaving Likes and Comments.  

#6. Say You’re Making a Star Wars Meme Without Saying It 

Slim Jim got 51,037 responses to an Instagram post explaining that they’re not going to “force” a lame ass May Fourth meme because they’re “rebels”. For brands with a more irrelevant tone, there’s enough saturation around brand posts around Star Wars Day and other social media holidays that playfully announcing you won’t be participating is an effective way to stand out. 

#7. Curate Content From Others 

E! News got 32,631 responses to a Regram of Billie Lourd showing her infant son in a Princess Leia onesie watching his late grandmother in Star Wars. While you’re going to have to compensate the content creator if the repost isn’t being used in a news context, around holidays there are going to be unique takes that are poignant and emotional that can’t come from the voice of a brand. Sometimes amplifying the voices of others on your social channels makes more sense.   

Want more advice around planning holiday related campaigns? Either stream our webinar about Competitive Information to Plan Seasonal Campaigns or request a ListenFirst demo today

What Short Form Video Platform Should Your Brand Be Using?

Without delving too deeply into the still unclear fate of TikTok, whether the platform is going to be banned in the United States or spun off into a seperate company; the short form video platform faces competition. In August 2020, Instagram launched its own mobile phone short video solution Reels, while YouTube is currently beta testing its own TikTok competitor Shorts in India. Other short form video competitors include Triller, Byte, and Dubsmash.

For marketers, trying to navigate the rapidly changing short form video ecosystem can feel daunting, so with that in mind we put together this quick overview of everything you need to know about short form mobile videos on social media. Download the full cheat sheet here.

What Marketers Need To Know About Instagram Reels

Launched in August 2020, Instagram Reels was released in the same week President Trump was threatening to ban TikTok in the United States, and while the timing to release a TikTok clone was perfect, the reviews generally weren’t positive. For instance, one New York Times writer labeled Reels “the worst feature I’ve ever used”, citing how complicated it is to find within the Instagram app, how there were too many restrictions around music, inferior editing functions, and the lack of duets. Instagram has since improved the editing functionality as well as extended video length from 15 seconds to 30 seconds, but at this point Reels is most valuable to brands as a channel to repost their TikTok videos. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CDuMMQfDOB7/

For example, a video promoting DC FanDome featuring Margot Robbie got 57.6K Likes on TikTok while when the same video was shared on Instagram Reels, complete with a TikTok watermark in places, it generated 251K Likes. 

Regardless if Reels specifically works as an application, reposting content to Instagram is always going to be an effective way to increase engagement. 

What Marketers Need To Know About TikTok 

For tactical advice on posting on TikTok, ListenFirst has previously shared a best practices guide for brands, but the big picture point for marketers to keep in mind is that TikTok has 100 million active users in the United States each month. For brands worried that TikTok might get banned in the U.S. or radically change under new ownership, TikTok has too big of an audience to ignore. 

If you’re interested in reaching the audience of short form video and worried about what comes next, your best bet is expanding the amount of social platforms you’re leveraging, as opposed to abandoning TikTok. 

@charlidamelio

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♬ More Happy – The Hollister Jean Lab

Hollister Co. is a great example of this strategy. They have been working with Charli D’Amelio, a 16-year-old dancer and social media influencer who has 88.8 million followers on TikTok, on a jeans campaign. A sponsored TikTok video showing D’Amelio sharing her #MoreHappyDenimDance generated 59.8 million views and generated numerous response videos. Meanwhile Hollister Co. experimented with posting an Instagram Reel featuring D’Amelio promoting their Tiny Jeans campaign that received 757K views. While the campaign didn’t extend to Triller, it certainly could have, as D’Amelio has 3.4 followers on Triller.

   

TikTok may be the biggest player around short form video, but there’s enough volume around other platforms that TikTok-based campaigns can be expanded to other short form video apps. 

What Marketers Need To Know About YouTube Shorts

YouTube Shorts is expected to arrive in America some time in the near future. Similar to Instagram Reels, it’s essentially a new feature to shoot and edit short videos directly from a preexisting mobile app, with YouTube capping the video run time at 15 seconds. It’s too soon to know to what extent Shorts will take off, but it does have a couple of key advantages over other TikTok clones. Being able to sample popular songs for audio clips is a huge part of how users create short form video and YouTube already has licensing agreements in place with major record companies, meaning there should be a large library of songs to use in Shorts videos. 

YouTube also has the advantage of being YouTube, meaning creators are already making original content there, and getting influencers to create 15-second content on YouTube should be an easier ask than asking them to create content for a brand new mobile app. 

What Marketers Need To Know About Triller

If TikTok was actually going to get banned in America, Triller is the short form video app that would be in the best position today to replace it. Created in 2015, it actually predates TikTok; Triller has 27 million active daily users and actually overtook TikTok in terms of App Store downloads in August around fears TikTok will disappear. Triller has two major categories of content, “Music” and “Social”, but Music is really its bread and butter. The app, which has signed deals with Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music, allows users to create music videos through their unique auto-editing algorithm, matching self-filmed cell phone video with snippets of popular songs, usually in the rap genre. 

That formula has become a significant marketing tool for the music industry, for instance a snippet of Money Mouf by Tyga, Saweetie, and YG has received 15.6 million views on Triller with Unbelievable by Tiger Schroff getting 7.2 millions views. Regardless of what happens with TikTok, Triller has emerged as a powerful marketing tool for the music industry. 

What Marketers Need To Know About Byte

Created by Vine co-founder Dom Hoffman, Byte is essentially Vine 2.0; bringing back the 6-second long looping video format (which they’re currently experimenting with extending to 8 seconds). Launched in January 2020, pretty much everything is in flux with the app; for instance some features are on iOS but not Android; you can’t create sounds from popular music yet, and there’s no full screen video yet. Byte needs to be a little bit more built out for marketers to be able to evaluate it. 

What Marketers Need To Know About Dubsmash

Created way back in 2014, initially peaking in popularity in 2015 and seeing a resurgence in 2020; Dubsmash allows users to lip sync over audio clips including sections of songs, movies, and famous quotes. Focusing more on building community, inclusion of people underrepresented on social media and improving retention rate; Dubsmash is having the most success around dance challenge videos and comedy videos. For example, the hashtag #DubSmashChallenge has received 4.7 million views on Dubsmash, while the hashtag #Comedy received 9 million views. 

However, the largest reason Dubsmash’s profile is being raised is fears of TikTok disappearing. Sensor Tower reported that during the last week of June, Dubsmash worldwide weekly downloads increased by 235% to 511,000 compared to the previous week.  

Want more social media insights around video platforms? Request a demo with ListenFirst today!