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. 

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

6 Brand Takeaways From April Fools’ Day Pranks This Year 

There are very few days of the year that are seen as showcases for brand messaging, and while Super Bowl Sunday is the most prominent example, April Fools’ Day is another rare instance when the internet is actually looking forward to hearing what brands have to say. So which brand pranks this year earned a laugh and which earned a groan from the social media audience? Based on what ListenFirst’s data analytics unearthed during the 2021 go around, here are the Top 6 insights for brands around April Fools’ Day.     

Insight #1. If Nothing Else, A Name Change Prank Will Be Talked About 

The most high profile brand prank of 2021, was Volkswagen claiming on March 29 it was changing its name to Voltswagen, a full three days before the April 1 holiday. The gun jumping decision was widely panned, after VW stock initially rose around the name change which could lead to a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into manipulating stock with false statements. However, in terms of generating social media interes the bait and switch did have some level of success. Volkswagen earned 3,483 New Followers on Twitter between March 29 – April 1, up from 104 new Twitter followers between March 25 – 28, 2021. Meanwhile in the same time period, there were 37.1K page views of the Volkswagen Wikipedia page, an increase of 480%. While Volkswagen would take back the prank if they could, there appears to be value in a name changing joke, provided it’s actually made on April 1 and not earlier. 

Insight #2. Make Jokes That Only Make Sense For Your Brand 

Tiffany & Co. gained 17,983 New Fans on social media on April 1 around changing their signature Tiffany Blue color to yellow, while Paddington Bear generated 15.2K Likes on Twitter saying he doesn’t like marmalade anymore. These jokes are extremely simple but effective because they play off the audience’s existing knowledge of a strong brand identity.  

Insight #3. Offer Products That Actually Would Be A Good Idea 

Lego gained a whopping 105,776 New Fans as they talked up SmartBricks, which are Legos that move out of the way when you’re about to step on them. Duolingo gained 1,850 New Fans on April 1, which was an increase of 1,401 New Fans from the previous day around Duolingo Roll, which is toilet paper that teaches you another language, an idea that definitely would move product, should it ever exist.


Tag a friend who needs this…April Fools!🤪 #dunkin #aprilfools

♬ Trailer (Trailer): Action Movie – Ken Nakagawa

Meanwhile, Dunkin’ Donuts got 24,810 responses for a TikTok video showing an arm attachment bag/cup holder that Ben Affleck totally needs. Even Teletubbies pitching TubbyCoin in a Tweet that got 44,367 responses may seem like an absurd idea, but it’s no stranger than real cryptocurrencies like Cthulhu Offerings and Burger King’s Russia’s Whoppercoin.  Of course people would buy TubbyCoin.  

Insight #4. Make A Clear Connection In Product Mashups 

Outback Steakhouse lost -155 social media fans on a day they shared their LipSteak lipstick pitch while Green Giant gained only 15 New Fans on April 1, around their Cauliflower flavored Peeps bunnies joke. It wasn’t overly clear what the connection between lipstick and steak was and when Green Giant has green in the title and Peeps is normally yellow, it seemed strange that they’re talking about white colored cauliflower. 

On the flip side of that, Durex gained 2,141 New Fans on the day they posted about a Smart Condom, that counts every thrust. As sex is a form of exercise, a Fitbit joke made sense to their audience. April Fools’ Pranks by brands where two things unexpectedly make sense together are a lot more effective than pranks where two different products make absolutely no sense together.  

Insight #5. Don’t Be Randomly Gross 

It wasn’t a great year for brands that decided to share disgusting versions of their products. For example while Bud Light gained 967 New Fans on the day they shared pizza flavored Bud Light Seltzer that was actually -681  from how many new fans they generated during the previous day. Meanwhile Gatorade had a net loss of  -433 Fans on the day they shared the new Swamp Punch flavor, Velveeta only gained 74 new Fans on the day they shared a post talking about a new Velveeta skincare product, and Heinz Ketchup had a grand total of 4 New social media fans on the day they shared Cravy, which is a ketchup/Ocean Spray cranberry mashup flavor, 

Insight #6. QA Test Your Prank With People Outside Your Social Media Team 

On April 1, Subway lost -335 net Fans on social media around an April Fools’ Day Tweet that said “we finally did it”. While they quickly clarified that they were just joking, it was less clear what Subway was joking about. It was possibly a reference to a March 31 Tweet saying “we do this together. #RestoreTheSnyderverse” but it’s still not clear what the joke is and the audience can’t be expected to put in that much research trying to figure it out. Just like a standup comedian would never go on television and tell jokes that haven’t already been tested in front of a nightclub audience, social media teams need third party feedback to make sure their prank will actually land as intended.    

Looking for more best practices insights to help inform your brand’s social media strategy? Request a ListenFirst demo today! 

The Super Bowl and Social: A Guide To Campaign Success

How can my brand see the most social media success around our Big Game related campaign?

For marketers the many ways to share content on social media is exciting, but for many brands the Super Bowl is the centerpiece of their marketing efforts for the year, and it’s not the time you want to experiment with endless possibilities. Companies want to know exactly what social media strategies work on which social networks, to make sure they get the big increase in awareness around their messaging.

The Economics of Influencers: A Guide To Measuring Partnerships

How can you measure influencer success?

Studies have repeatedly shown that advertisers can expect a much higher return on investment from their influencer marketing efforts than from any other form of advertising. However, measuring success is a problem.

This guide will help you understand the economics behind influencer partnerships.