How Engagement with Influencer Marketing Can Support Business Goals

measuring influencer marketing engagement

The key to understanding the value of an engagement is to think about each engagement as a person joining a conversation, rather than a click or a view.

While digital ads and influencer marketing campaigns are each part of many brands’ marketing mix, they accomplish different objectives and should be measured accordingly. While engagement matters deeply in influencer marketing, it’s recently been categorized as a metric that doesn’t offer value, an assessment stemming from failure to differentiate influencer marketing from digital ad performance indicators. These tactics can and should be treated as separate: influencer marketing is not digital advertising, and therefore should not be measured using the same methods.



Influencer Marketing does not equal Digital Advertising



digital ad does not equal influencer

While digital ads and influencer marketing often fall within the same discipline, there are more differences than similarities between the two:

  • Whereas digital ads are a one-way touchpoint, influencer marketing creates a conversation between the brand and consumers.
  • A digital ad is gone forever the minute it ends, but influencer content lives on long after the end of a campaign.
  • Consumers are ignoring and blocking ads, but embracing friends’ and influencers’ opinions.
  • The key point of any ad is “sell sell sell,” and consumers know this. However, influencer content brings more meaningful experience to the consumer, garnering more attention, trust and authority.

Significantly, consumers spend almost 345 times longer engaging with branded content as compared to display ads that last on average 1.6 seconds. In addition, data from a Nielsen study shows 82 percent purchase intent among consumers after interactions with friends and family (influencers), as opposed to less than 50 percent purchase intent after viewing an ad.

Engagement matters

Engagement metrics often include comments and shares. When an influencer’s followers choose to read a post, and when they spend their time engaging with it in those ways, that is a strong indicator that they found it valuable. Comments require relatively more involvement from readers, indicating that they think the content is valuable enough to put forth that effort. When readers share content, they make it part of their own social stream, indicating they find the content really valuable and want their friends and followers to see it.

In any other type of communication, you’d be unlikely to dismiss a friend’s interest as something that’s of little value. Rather, adding to or bringing others into the discussion is an excellent indicator that the content is interesting, provocative and worthwhile.

With influencer marketing, engagement matters. The output of this kind of interaction cannot be measured the same as a click of a digital ad. 

How does engagement correspond with sales?

There are many reasons to measure engagement resulting from influencer marketing campaigns. While social media engagement is difficult to directly correlate to sales, it is a strong and direct indicator of campaign performance, giving marketers insight into what consumers respond favorably to and what really resonates with them, and it helps identify potential brand advocates and quality sales leads.

The priority of social media and blogs is not to sell directly, but to build brand advocates, open conversation channels and get people to places where conversions might happen, moving them along to the next step in the sales funnel. Only 10 percent of consumers buy an item within 24 hours of discovering it, and we can’t collapse that sales journey – but social media and influencers can make that initial introduction to get consumers to take the crucial first step toward converting awareness and interest to purchase.

It’s also important to note that the value of an influencer is in the dedicated community of followers that they’ve earned. Influence happens without regard to reach; a micro-influencer may influence a larger percentage of her followers than a celebrity-caliber influencer. If they’ve spent the time building a community and earning their trust by publishing authentic content, they’re going to wield a level of influence and often see greater levels of meaningful engagement.

Tell us why engagement matters to your brand!

How Influencer Campaigns Can Help Keep Brand Content Fresh

brand content

Did you know that creating brand content is the most time-intensive task for social media teams, taking up 18.5 percent of their work days, according to Social Fresh 2016?

If you are a brand content creator, you’re likely familiar with the challenge of constantly producing new posts and finding fresh angles for online content. Even the best writers can benefit from others’ creative inspiration.

Influencer campaigns are not only an excellent way to boost your brand’s awareness and increase conversation online; they can also serve as a mechanism for helping content creators avoid getting stuck on the same few topics. Here are five ways that an influencer campaign can help keep your online brand content fresh:

1. Partner with influencers to create new tips and share authentic stories to feature on your brand’s website or blog. 

The wonderful thing about influencers is how relatable their content can be; their communities follow them for that reason. When brands identify influencers who share their values and passion for products or experiences, and engage those influencers to advocate and create stories about their brand, the result is more authentic and human user-generated content (versus that created solely by a brand). Consider these stats on user-generated content (UGC):

  • Visitors to websites that include UGC galleries spend 90 percent more time on the site.
  • Social campaigns that incorporate UGC see a 50 percent lift in engagement.
  • Ads with UGC generate 5x greater click-through rates.

2. After running an influencer campaign, keep the momentum going by cross-promoting content on your brand’s social networks. 

Running out of things to tweet on an average Monday morning? After implementing an influencer campaign, your brand can potentially have a large number of blog posts or other content that remain relevant beyond the campaign period, providing prime content to share on your social channels on an ongoing basis – with attribution.

screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-1-14-20-pm

Remember always to credit the influencer by tagging and linking to their original content. This not only gives proper credit to their work, but also helps increase your post engagement, as it will more than likely be retweeted or shared by the influencer and potentially their followers.

Acknowledging bloggers’ posts on brand channels is not limited to Twitter and Facebook! Consider creating a Pinterest board to host all of your influencers’ content about your brand. After a campaign is complete, simply re-pin your influencers’ graphics to one board on your brand account, capturing the big idea of the campaign (e.g., holiday tips, kid-friendly recipes, gift ideas). We recently partnered with Energizer for an influencer campaign that asked our bloggers to share fun, family activities for summertime using Energizer products. On an ongoing basis throughout the campaign, we pinned content to a #PoweringSummer board we had created to host all of our influencers’ ideas and graphics in one place.

screen-shot-2016-09-15-at-1-17-28-pm

3. Team up with influencers to incorporate their photography (always with attribution) into your website, blog and social.

Posts with photos get 39 percent more interaction than posts without photos. If your brand is lacking visuals on your blog or social stream, consider partnering with bloggers who have a talent for photography to create some stunning images you can use. Photos and graphics help break up text and draw people in to read what you have to say.

Instagram can be another great place to feature influencer content — with permission from the blogger. Fashion brands do this often, but it can be applied to other industries as well. Maybe you’d like to feature a foodie blogger sharing her tips in an Instagram video, or share a tech-focused influencer’s photo featuring your product. Perhaps you need a photo of your product in action, being used by a real family. As an alternative to hiring professional photographers, why not engage influencers to tell an authentic, visual story on behalf of your brand?

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-11-09-06-am

4. Use influencer campaigns to inspire future content angles. 

Don’t underestimate the valuable insights that can come out of an influencer campaign. Social media campaign posts encourage online conversation from which brands can continually learn. An average campaign by The Motherhood this year has received more than 200 comments across blogs and social media platforms. By diving into those comments, you’ll find consumers’ thoughts, opinions and feedback on how they are using youproduct. Perhaps your brand can learn a new way that consumers use your product or an undiscovered “hack” or feature. Previous campaigns’ conversation can help shape and position your brand’s future content.

5. Incorporate influencer content in your email marketing strategy. 

A recent study by Ascend2 showed that engagement is the top goal for 54 percent of email marketers. Again, readers want to consume and engage online with authentic, personal content. In fact, when user-generated content is used in email marketing, it drives a 73 percent increase in click-through rates! Consider using influencer campaign blog posts and photography in your next email newsletter (always with proper attribution). It’s easy to plug in a round-up of blog posts or perhaps even feature one blog post around a particular timely topic for your followers.

There are countless ways to use influencers’ content to keep your brand content fresh! How do you use influencer content for your brand?

Blogger Spotlight: Jessica McFadden, A Parent in America

Jessica McFadden

What has made click-throughs on one social media channel nearly obsolete?

What will steal the scene in lieu of toys this holiday season?

Where is engagement happening in 2016?

Jessica McFadden of A Parent in America and A Parent in Silver Spring has the answers, and we’re sharing them (and more!) with you in this month’s blogger spotlight.

Read on to learn more about why her blog is not her personal journal and what always results in a win when it comes to brands, bloggers and their readers. Give Jessica a shout-out at @JessicaMcFadd!

Jessica McFadden

Want to see more? Check out our most recent blogger spotlights, as well as our 2015 Blogger Spotlight Series.

How does the Blogger Spotlight Series work? Each month, our internal team convenes and discusses our latest programs, stellar partnerships and top-performing influencers. It’s not about numbers, but rather, the quality, authentic content they’re delivering consistently. It’s about reliability, professionalism and partnership. We discuss our nominations for the month and ultimately decide on just one blogger to invite as our featured blogger. Stop back October 1 for the next blogger spotlight!

Celebrating the Incredible Results of The Motherhood’s Five-Year Partnership with the United Nations Foundation, Shot@Life and Blogust

unnamed

All of us at The Motherhood are so proud of our work with the UN Foundation and its key initiative Shot@Life over the last five years to help get vaccines to kids in need around the world. 

We care so much about Shot@Life’s mission because of this terrible statistic: In developing countries, one child — often before age five — dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease. 

To help save these kids, every August for the last five years, we’ve teamed up with Shot@Life to run Blogust, a month-long “blog relay” during which stellar social media voices post to their social channels about Shot@Life and the importance of vaccines — and for every comment, like, share, tweet or re-tweet of their social posts, a life-saving vaccine is donated to a child in need. MAM sponsored Blogust 2016, with an initial goal of generating 30,000 vaccine donations.

Working closely with Shot@Life, The Motherhood invited 10 influential bloggers to become UN Foundation Social Fellows and join the Blogust 2016 Team.  To kick off the month and spread awareness of the initiative in real time, Shot@Life and The Motherhood hosted a #Blogust Twitter chat, resulting in more than 1,700 tweets and re-tweets — a great start to the month-long campaign. 

Each of the 10 bloggers, plus five participating United Nations Foundation blogger council members, published a blog or social media post on an assigned day during the month.

In their posts, bloggers shared milestones that they or their children experienced between birth and age five through #ThrowbackThursday or #TBT photos, raising awareness of the fact that millions of children in developing countries contract vaccine-preventable diseases and die before their fifth birthdays.

Nearly 40 alumni from prior Blogust campaigns joined in, posting to their blogs and Instagram and rallying their loyal followers throughout the month.

Incredibly, by mid-month, the full team of Blogust influencers generated 30,000 social media comments, likes and shares.  Thanks to the generosity of MAM, Shot@Life was able to set a new goal of 60,000 social actions.

By month’s end, the final Blogust tally was 65,223 social actions, triggering a total donation of 60,000 vaccines, doubling the original goal and spreading awareness of the global need for life-saving vaccines.

Congratulations to the UN Foundation, to Shot@Life and to the incredible #Blogust team! We are honored to get to work with you on this important and groundbreaking campaign for the last five years, and are thrilled with the tremendous results.

Featured image courtesy of Silvia, Mama Latina Tips.

10 Unexpected Ways to Use the VTech Digital Audio Monitor

Image courtesy of Stephanie, Olive and Tate.

For new moms, there is no shortage of places to turn for advice on must-have baby gear. Recommendations on the best-of-the-best products for eating, sleeping and diaper changes are plentiful!

However, there is one product traditionally thought of as a baby must-have we’re deeming essential for parents of toddlers through pre-teens (and pet parents as well): the VTech Digital Audio Monitor. We armed a group of social media moms with this awesome new product and told them to put it to use in their homes. The results? Some very unexpected, very helpful ways to use the VTech Digital Audio Monitor!

VTech Digital Audio Monitor: What is it?

The VTech Safe&Sound® DM271-110 DECT 6.0 Digital Audio Baby Monitor with Open/Closed & Motion Sensors, the latest addition to VTech’s award-winning baby monitor line, has brought families of brand-new way to stay connected. The VTech Digital Audio Monitor comes equipped with some very cool features (hello, smart home sensors!) that give parents the peace of mind they deserve anytime, anywhere. Both the open/closed sensors and motion sensors offer parents added safety and security through all phases of childhood.

VTech Digital Audio Monitor: A Must-Have for Toddler Parents

Image courtesy of Stephanie, Olive and Tate

Don’t take our word for it! Read on for some of our favorite ways to put the VTech Digital Audio Monitor to use.

Mom-Sourced Tips to Use the VTech Digital Audio Monitor Beyond Babies

1. Toddler-proof a vacation rental: 

“First things first we busted out the VTech Digital Monitor and set about toddler proofing that exterior door. What makes the VTech Digital Monitor my travel go to are two things: one is the ultra low energy Open/Closed Door Sensor and the other is the Smart Home Motion Sensor. We set the Open/Closed smart sensor up on the exterior door (using the mounting tape provided so we didn’t damage the rental house) and programed the hand held parent unit to alert us if the baby somehow managed the get the door open and make a break for it.”

The VTech Digital Audio Monitor is a must-have for toddler-proofing a vacation house.

Stephanie, Olive and Tate

2. Feel secure with a sleepwalker:

“I don’t think I’ve ever talked about my 13 year old’s sleepwalking adventures. I never thought about it being an issue while traveling, but it has come up a few times, so I have some steps that I take to feel that he’s safer and so that I get better sleep when we’re away. I bring removable mounting tape for the sensors (or find a spot it can go if I don’t want it on the wall) and turn it on at night. I put the “baby” unit on a console or table near the sensor so that if he does make the sensor go off I can just talk to him from the parent unit and tell him to go back to bed! I can’t tell you how much this helps me to know that he’s safe and get a good night’s sleep while we’re away.”

The VTech Digital Audio Monitor is a must-have for parents of sleepwalkers.

Allison, All for the Boys

3. Help kids learn to sleep in their own room…:

“Be prepared for multiple interruptions during the night. Your kiddo is going to want to use the bathroom, get a drink of water, check their closet for monsters, and call out for you until the neighbors can hear. Before you dart out of the room with one eye open, answer every whim from a distance. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your bed. The VTech Safe&Sound DM271-110 Digital Audio Baby Monitor with Open/Closed & Motion Sensors features a two-way talk back intercom that allows you to communicate with your child from up to 1,000 feet in range.”

Jessica, Young at Heart Mommy

4. ….and make sure they stay in bed until morning:

“We have a summer rule that no one is allowed up before 7 a.m. Otherwise he’d be awake playing video games at the crack of dawn. I honestly have no way to know when he’s getting up. Now I do! If he sets off the motion sensor in the living room before 7 a.m., I can head down and send him back to his bed.”

The VTech Digital Audio Monitor is a must-have for helping kids learn to sleep in their own beds.

Camille, Growing Up Gabel

5. Host safe, secure playdates:

“I don’t like to hover over my kids – I like to give them a sense of independence. But I also like to know what is going on, especially when friends are over, and I like to do that as unobtrusively as possible to ensure they have fun and safe play dates. A cool feature of the VTech Digital Audio Monitor is its two ULE (Ultra Low Energy) smart home sensors. You can use them to put open/closed and motion sensor alerts on doors, cabinets and open spaces. So you’ll know if your child is getting into something they shouldn’t be. It’s a great way to enforce off-limit zones for play dates.”

Chrystal, Happy Mothering

6. Instill independence in babysitters-in-training: 

“I set everything up in my daughter’s room or, as she calls it when she is working, ‘Babysitting Headquarters.’ I was able to show my daughter how everything works and also how I will be just a monitor away to keep an eye on things and also help her if ever needed. We can talk to one another through the monitor, adjust the volume when we put it to the sleep mode to help get little ones to sleep, and when needed, my daughter can page me to get my attention if she needs me.”

Katie, Mommy Katie

7. Care for an ill parent:

“My mom’s health has been on the decline over the last six months. It’s not news to any of you that I am her caretaker and as such, I need to be ‘there’ for her as much as possible. Without physically sleeping in her room, it was hard to get to her in time. Acquiring the VTech Safe&Sound® DM271-110 DECT 6.0 Digital Audio Baby Monitor with Open/Closed & Motion Sensors came at the best timing ever. The VTech Digital Audio Monitor  has been a literal lifesaver for the past three weeks.”

Maria, Adventures of the Mommy Homemaker

8. Manage dogs’ outdoor time: 

“I’ve been using the motion sensor that comes with the VTech Digital Audio Monitor to keep track of where my dogs are in the house. Specifically when they walk to the front door so I know when they need to go outside. This helps me to prevent nasty accidents in our home and also keeps me aware of where my dogs are. I mounted the motion sensor on the side of the wall near the bottom of our front door and it has been working perfectly to alert me when the dogs need to go outside.”

Andrea, Honestly Andrea

9. Keep cat away from off-limits spots: 

“Cats are pretty famous for hanging out on routers. I think there’s probably a whole site dedicated to pictures of cats on routers out there somewhere! Obviously, putting a baby monitor back there isn’t the best idea. The fewer things that interfere with my already not-so-stellar internet connection, the better. Here’s where the VTech Digital Audio Monitor gets really cool. It comes with two ULE (Ultra Low Energy) smart home sensors. One is an open/closed sensor and one is a motion sensor. All I have to do is put the motion sensor in areas that are off limits to Fuzz. Then, when he tries to hunker down in one of those spots, I’ll know.”

The VTech Digital Audio Monitor is a must-have for keeping cats away from off-limits areas.

Nicole, Pretty Opinionated

10. Enforce rules from a distance: 

“Cooper is always trying to steal the cat food. No matter how many times we tell him ‘no’ he still does it. If he hears our voice, though, he stops in his tracks! So here’s what I do: I put the baby unit part of my VTech Digital Audio Monitor in the places that I want to keep Cooper away from. When I hear him digging around in the cat food boxes, I use the two-way intercom feature and firmly say ‘Coop, get away from that cat food!’ Cooper hears my voice and thinks I’m watching him, and he quickly backs away!”

Bonus tip from Nicole!

This post is created in proud partnership with VTech. All opinions are our own.

Featured image at the top of this post courtesy of Stephanie, Olive and Tate

Facebook Live Video Tips from Social Fresh Conference 2016

Facebook Live Video Tips from Social Fresh Conference 2016

Did you know that the amount of video uploaded in one month is currently more than the amount that all three TV networks combined have created in 30 years*?

The role of video in social marketing, especially live video, continues to become more and more important. Last week, The Motherhood attended Social Fresh 2016 and heard from Facebook Live experts, including digital content creator Sarah Evans and The Weather Channel’s Jennifer Watson, who shared their Facebook Live video tips, particularly how to run and promote such videos effectively.

A recent survey from the Firebrand Group found that 93.3 percent of marketers are currently using video for the purpose of building awareness, and Founder & CEO Jeremy Goldman predicts that we’ll soon see marketers turning to video to meet sales and customer service needs as well. He also mentioned that marketers are moving from YouTube and other video platforms to Facebook because that is where valuable engagement is found.

To further prove the point that Facebook Live video is valuable content, Evans shared that people spend three times longer watching a live video compared to video which is no longer live. With marketers placing more and more importance on engagement over sheer impressions, we can only expect to see more of an emphasis on live video in the near future.

With all of this attention turning to video, we wanted to share some of the tips we took away from the Facebook Live video experts at Social Fresh 2016!

When and why should your brand use Facebook Live?   

  • To communicate hot-button issues.
  • To provide a behind-the-scenes look.
  • For interviews.
  • To broadcast a regularly scheduled program.

Tips before recording: 

  • Always test connection prior to going live!
  • Facebook recommends broadcasting for at least ten minutes, and content creator Evans suggests broadcasting at least 20 minutes.
  • Experiment with time of day and see when your engagement and active viewers peak. For example, Watson says The Weather Channel has the highest number of live video viewers in the mornings and evenings (after 3 p.m.).
  • Good-quality lighting and audio equipment is worth the investment if you are regularly broadcasting live.
  • Stay away from exclusively recording from a phone or tablet.
  • Don’t kill time just to fill time. Record with a purpose and have your content ready.

Tips for after recording:

  • Always save video right away when you’ve finished.
  • Promote the video with a boosted post after the broadcast.
  • If an influencer creates a Facebook Live video for a brand, the brand can and should boost it on their own page.
  • You can create an edited version of the Facebook Live video to promote with an ad.
  • Facebook just rolled out new Video Metrics! Look for your audience’s demographics, engagement on shares and more.

For more Facebook Live video tips, take a look at Social Media Today’s Three Ways to Use Facebook Live Video after the broadcast is live.

*Source: J. Goldman

Do you broadcast live? We’d love to hear your best Facebook Live video tips!

Social Fresh 2016 Conference Trends Round-Up

Social Fresh 2016

The Motherhood is thrilled to have been able to attend the Social Fresh 2016 Conference in Orlando! We heard from an amazing lineup of speakers who shared valuable insights on everything from creating authentic brand content, to running social ads, to providing SEO predictions for the future — just to name a few topics. We especially loved learning that more than half of the conference speakers were female, the most they’ve had in any of the 18 Social Fresh conferences to date! All of the speakers were incredible. Thank you to the presenters and Social Fresh team who made this conference a must-attend event.

Here are some of the trends, ideas and insights that grabbed our attention at Social Fresh 2016:

1. Human-first, good-quality content is still key.

The Social Fresh 2016 team presented this stat: “creating content is the most time-intensive task for social media teams, taking up 18.5 percent of their days!” As any content creator knows, it can be difficult coming up with creative and relatable content; however, when done correctly, it pays off:

  • 67 percent of followers will share your content if it is good. – Heather Taylor
  • 78 percent of followers believe that companies that provide good content want to build a relationship with them. – Melanie Deziel
  • Videos that show people in the first several seconds receive twice the amount of engagement. – Stacy Minero

It’s no surprise to us that authentic content equals the best content. Conference speakers, like author Sally Hogshead and Cory Vasquez of RE/MAX, drove home the fact that people want to see relatable, empathetic content from brands and influencers. Real, honest posts will cut through the crowded social space. 

Hogshead encouraged the room to stop looking at what will make their brand better, but to look at what makes them different, and capitalize on that. Being different can be your brand’s advantage. In her words, “The goal isn’t to create the same message to blast to your following. The goal is to create the right messages that break through and stand out.”

Having “human-first” content was another prevalent theme. Vasquez shared a checklist of characteristics that make her brand’s content “human-first”: timely, engaging, honest, relatable, good quality and empathetic. Twitter’s Stacy Minero also encouraged the audience of marketers to highlight human stories, saying, “People are drawn to people.”

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 9.01.34 AM

Takeaways for creating human-first, branded content:

  • “People can tell when you’re trying to go viral, so be authentic.” – Jeremy Goldman
  • Expert content creator Sarah Evans encouraged the audience to ask themselves, “Will this make people care, share or swear? If none of those, it’s boring content.”
  • “Woo them, don’t sell them…. Lay off the sales pitch!” – Heather Taylor

2. Video (especially Live Video) continues to become more and more important!

Jeremy Goldman of the Firebrand Group shared an eye-opening session on the future of video in marketing. The Firebrand Group found in a recent survey that the majority of marketers (75 percent) are turning to Facebook for videos, rather than YouTube or other platforms, due to higher engagement. YouTube video comments don’t hold as much value as a like, comment or share on Facebook.

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 9.03.16 AM
Their study also showed that 85 percent of marketers see positive ROI from video marketing. Goldman predicted this video trend to rise, saying, “As video grows in popularity, the demand for goodquality videos is skyrocketing.”

This is a trend our own network of influencers has also been predicting, calling video the #1 trend in blogging and social media in 2016.

Takeaways for creating compelling videos:

  • 80 percent of people mute ads, so make sure your ads make sense without audio, or use text and captioning within the video content.
  • Always think, “How can I make this video social and interactive?”
  • Pay to promote your Live videos after they are broadcast Live.

3. Twitter is becoming more interactive.

Minero shared ways of getting your followers’ attention in their feed. She reported that Twitter is moving away from broad impressions and toward participation — from viewing to doing. With attention spans as short as eight seconds, attention is the new currency in brand advertising, according to Minero.

In order to “stop people in their feed,” companies are working with Twitter to create customized branded emojis and stickers. Minero used the #TacoEmojiGenerator as a great example of this, which was a hit with the Social Fresh audience.

 Minero’s tips for creating hashtags on Twitter:

  • Keep in mind that the most utilized hashtags are usually the less branded ones.
  • Let your hashtag provide a way for people to express themselves and their motivations (see REI’s campaign for #OptOutside as a great example of this!).

Were you at the Social Fresh 2016 Conference? We’d love to hear your top takeaways from the event or your feedback on our takeaways!

 

Free Kids’ Handwriting Worksheets

Growing Up Gabel

We’re in the thick of back-to-school season, and for kids in early grade school and older, handwriting is an important aspect of learning that might require a refresher course. The Motherhood has worked with BIC and a group of bloggers to encourage kids to participate in a fun activity, responding to a variety of questions in writing, including the prompt, “What would you do as principal for a day?”

What would your kid(s) do if they were principal for a day? Have them write out their ideas and you could WIN a $10,000 scholarship! Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com now through August 15th to enter BIC’s If I Were Principal For A Day Contest and learn about more ways to celebrate handwriting. No Purchase Necessary. U.S. only, 21+. Ends 8/15/16. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com for Official Rules and details.

Handwriting has numerous emotional and cognitive benefits for kids – research shows that it promotes critical thinking, reading comprehension, fine motor skills development, creativity and even self-confidence. A number of the BIC campaign bloggers have developed handwriting resources over the past several weeks to help kids practice their letters, write in Spanish and more. Here are a few that you and your kids might find useful as the school year begins!

To help kids learn to write in both Spanish and English, check out this Back to School Bilingual Writing Activity by Monica at Mommy Maestra (click here to go to her post and download the activity):

handwriting

If your kids could use a little extra practice with their cursive, these free printable cursive worksheets by Jen at The Suburban Mom (click here to go to her post and download the worksheets) are for you:

handwriting

Ask your kids a few questions, encouraging them to write down their answers, using this Back to School Free Printable Interview by Sara at Mom Endeavors (click here to go to her post to download the interview sheet) – you can ask the same questions each year and save the worksheets to see how their responses change as they grow up:

handwriting

Image credit for top photo: Camille at Growing Up Gabel

Highlights from PR News’ Big 4 Conference #Social16

#Social16

This week, PR News held its Big 4 Social Media Summit & Visual Storytelling Boot Camp (#Social16), where agencies and brand representatives gathered to discuss ways to make their messages stand out on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.

The Motherhood’s social listening team followed along with the online conversation and rounded up some interesting takeaways from the event!

  • David Kellis from Clorox asserted that organic social media is dead (with the possible exception of Twitter influencers), and that brands must use strategies like earned media outreach, influencer marketing and social media listening to effectively reach their audiences. Social media listening, in particular, is what he called the “most important use of social media that we have.” It is a data mine for insights, ideas and input on areas of interest.

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 12.59.18 PM

  • David Landis (Landis Communications) and James Mowdy (BSPOKE) explained how to maximize Periscope, including some best practices:

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 2.15.43 PM

  • When it comes to sharing information – whether it’s a social post, video or longer-form messaging – Paul Englert with @CKMondaviWines reminds us to be concise!

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 1.12.06 PM

  • PR News shared a summary of its four data visualization takeaways for creating infographics. The takeaways mirror the top-note themes from the event, such as keeping infographics concise and distilling the information in them into a simple story.
  • Stephanie Elsea with the American Heart Association shared the “rule of thirds” via this visual as a way to balance social media promotion:

Screen Shot 2016-08-10 at 1.31.15 PM

  • PwC’s Leslie Douglas shared an interesting tidbit for brands interested in exploring Snapchat as a viable marketing platform: Snapchat has more than 100 million daily active users, and collectively, they watch more than 10 billion videos daily.

Were you at the event? Tell us your favorite takeaways in the comments below, and follow along with the conversation using #Social16!

 

Social Showdown: Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat Stories

Instagram Stories

Last week, the launch of Instagram Stories shook up the social media world, drawing immediate comparisons to Snapchat. Soon enough, everyone—from consumers to brands to bloggers—will pick a favorite.

While both platforms appear similar at first glance, there are some nuanced variations that will appeal to different audiences. The Motherhood’s social listening team took a deeper dive into the competing offerings to identify some differences between the two.

Content: Are you a Creator or a Consumer?

There are those who prefer to take a more active role in publishing content and those who more passively enjoy taking it in from their feeds.

Snapchat prioritizes content creation over consumption, whereas Instagram has long been focused on content discovery. After all, Instagram opens to a user’s feed as opposed to the camera screen, like Snapchat.

Instagram makes user discovery easier, too, by showing profiles at the top of users’ feeds. With Snapchat, users must know and search for a company or influencer’s username before following them.

For these reasons, Instagram is more brand-friendly for content publishers, such as companies and influencers interested in broadcasting messages to their audiences.

The Measurement Factor

Though Instagram is currently a more measurable platform than Snapchat (making it more appealing to brands and many bloggers), at the moment, Instagram Stories do not allow public likes or comments. Rather, users must use Instagram Direct to weigh in on a story – meaning there are no likes or comments to measure. It is possible, however, to share a picture or video clip from your story directly as a post in your feed, which then allows for engagement on that particular post, as well as encourages people to watch your story.

Instagram, like Snapchat, does offer the ability to track how many users saw a certain story, and does so in a clearly visible way. As Fast Company says, “One of the open secrets to [Instagram’s] success is that it’s trained users—through design choices like this—like watching those numbers tick up and to make decisions accordingly. So while Instagram’s viewer counter is also an eyeball icon with a number next to it, and while Instagram also shows you both a total head count and who those viewers are, it puts that information all in one place instead of making you dig for it like Snapchat does.”

This feature, combined with Instagram’s larger built-in following, is an obvious plus for brands, especially. Case in point: On the first day Instagram Stories rolled out, Nike garnered 800,000 views in 24 hours for a story the brand posted. On Snapchat, Nike’s most popular video received 66,000 views.

Feature Advantages

One immediate difference Instagram offers over Snapchat is that it clearly defines its features for the user with prompts and tips–something that appeals to those who find Snapchat too difficult to navigate.

However, Snapchat does currently have some feature advantages over Instagram, including geofilters (denoting where an image was taken) and selfie lenses, both of which provide a distinguishable reason for users to keep going back to Snapchat.

Time will tell which platform will entice more users, but for now, it seems like for brands, marketers and influencers, Instagram may have the edge over Snapchat.

We want to hear from you! Are you planning on using Instagram Stories exclusively over Snapchat (or vice versa), or do you think there are applications for both?

 

 

 

Page 1 of 6612345...102030...Last »