Tag Archives: Twitter

5 social media features – and how to use ‘em!

If you work on the digital marketing side of things, you’re probably on edge with the endless stream of new updates, social media tools and advertising features, and wondering how you can find time to make use of them in all your campaigns.

I can’t help with the nervous disposition, (that said, my recent blog post on mindfulness is a good place to start) but I can offer a handy list of the features that I think are most valuable to you, and how you might use them.

Let’s get cracking.

1. Instagram story ads

You can now run a photo or 15 second video advert that will appear seamlessly between stories from two accounts that the user follows. Astonishing really. And it’s as simple as editing your placement options (Note: these can only be run using the reach, video views or conversions objectives within Facebook advertising).

How do I use them? Use story ads to drive awareness of your organisation or brand. The idea is to pique their interest enough to want to find and follow you afterwards. We suggest a very short trailer or photo of an exhibition/performance. Questions help drive actions: where will you be this Friday? Remember to keep the message simple, so it could be: tickets now on sale! Or One week until the show begins. Or One show we highly recommend

Tips: Use clear, large branding that stands out aesthetically; keep the message and ad concept simple; and make use of the full length of the screen by uploading a 9:16 vertical image. Remember that viewers will only see your ad the once, so let them know where to find you afterwards.

2. Live audio on Facebook

This one’s been around for a while, but I don’t see many people taking advantage of it. Just as with a live video on Facebook, listeners can discover live audio content in News Feed, ask questions in real time, and easily share with their friends. An advantage of audio is that listeners can continue to listen to your broadcast while they browse other areas of Facebook, and Android users can even continue listening if they leave the Facebook app or lock their phones.

How do I use it? Use live audio to stream live interviews, readings, debates, podcasts, music, discussions, poetry, audio performance extracts, artist talks, post-performance Q and A’s and more.

Tips: Consider live audio when you’re in areas that lack strong network connectivity or when the backdrop isn’t pretty! If visuals are not adding any extra value to your content, streaming audio will allow your listeners to focus on the content more easily.

3. Instagram shopping!

It’s been around since November 2016, but have you tried it yet? 56% of consumers said they followed brands on social media to browse products for sale, and 31% of online shoppers say they’re using social media specifically to look for new items to purchase.

How do I use them? Just select the “Conversions” objective when setting up your advert, and select “Purchase” as the type of conversion you want to optimise for (on the ad set page). All the budget and targeting settings are the same for running a Facebook advert, but make sure to select Instagram only when it comes to selecting your ad placements. For further help with this, drop me an email.

Tips: Your priority might not be to sell products on Instagram, (or sell products at all!) but perhaps it’s something to think about. Do you have exhibition catalogues/postcards/programmes to sell? This might be an effective way to reach out to potential new audiences, and raise awareness of your brand and the work you do at the same time.

4. Facebook split testing

Facebook have been phasing in the option to split test on  Facebook ads. Split testing is a method of determining how different elements of your advert affect its performance.

How do I use it? The three elements available now are: delivery optimisation, audience and placement. You can use Split Testing to interpret how changes in these variables impact the success of your ads. For example we can test the same advert on two different audiences to see which audience engaged most. This helps refine audiences to those most engaged with ads, and from here we can create lookalike audiences.

Tips: Split testing is only available for the following advert objectives: traffic, app installs, lead generation and conversions. We’d recommend a minimum of 3 days for your ads (to yield sufficient data to draw conclusions) and a maximum of 14 days for your tests – around 5 days would be spot on. With split testing it’s best to start broad and work from there. An effective split testing campaign will have a thorough plan and schedule that details WHICH element to test, WHY test and WHAT you hope to discover. Also, WHERE to go from there!

5. Accessible images and videos

This one’s more of a tip as it’s something I feel is really important, especially with Global Accessibility Awareness Day in May. Have you noticed the rise in subtitles on your Facebook news feed? This is due to the rise in mobile viewers and subsequently, the rise in viewers either with sound but without headphones, or in noisy environments. Viewers without sound – this also includes the audio impaired – are 52% more likely to stop and watch a video with subtitles.

How do I use it? By simply adding subtitles to your videos before uploading. It requires a little extra work, but the result will be a video more accessible, more attractive and more informative. This is extremely important for the audio impaired, and also for non-native English speakers, as it helps to increase the amount of information they gain from the video.

Tips: While we’re on the subject of accessibility, Twitter have been focusing on making Twitter more accessible for Tweeters who are visually impaired. This means you can now add alt text descriptions to images within tweets. Go to your Twitter settings (the gear icon); tap Display and Sound and then Accessibility and turn the Compose image descriptions on. From here you can add descriptive text to your Twitter images by tapping add description. Adding accessibility may seem like a win for only a small audience, but it’s a best practice across the board for organisations looking to grow their audiences and be open and accessible to all.

Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May 18th!)

If I’ve lost you on any of the points above, or if you’d like more help getting to grips with any of the features, just drop me an email. And if you’d rather read about how to be more relaxed in the workplace (why wouldn’t you?) click here.

Sarah

Dance Consortium’s Q & A with Nederlands Dans Theater

Working with Dance Consortium, a group of 17 large theatres located across the UK, HdK has the lovely job of sharing behind-the-scenes content from the international dance tours that Dance Consortium bring to the UK each year.

Since 12 April 2016, the world-class Nederlands Dans Theater 2 has been touring venues across the UK; we have been catching the dancers where we can, and sharing live content from the tour on the Dance Consortium blog and social media feeds.

Now with just one venue left of the 2016 UK Tour, we thought we’d share the post-performance Q and A from the Theatre Royal in Plymouth to give you a taste of the company before it heads back to The Hague, Netherlands. The two NDT2 dancers in the Q and A were Rachel McNamee [21] and Benjamin Behrends [23]. For the dancers’ biogs head to the tour microsite. The dances in the night’s repertoire were: I New Then (choreography: Johan Inger), mutual comfort (choreography: Edward Clug), Solo (choreography: Hans van Manen) and Cacti (choreography: Alexander Ekman).

Audience member: How much input do the dances have in the choreographic process?

Rachel: It really depends on each piece and each choreographer and what they want. Every choreographer is very different in every process. Sometimes the choreographer comes in with a very set idea of what they want and they have movement and they just give it to is, or sometimes they come in and ask us to give to them, or they see what’s in front of them and create with us… so it really depends on the situation.

Benjamin: Adding on to that, we also do a bit of improvisation in some of the pieces. In the last piece, Cacti, some of the spoken word is ad-libbed and also some of the dancing as well. All the nude work before the couples’ dance is all improvised, so it all depends on what the choreographer wants.

Audience member: Which piece did you enjoy dancing most?

Rachel: It’s hard to have a favourite because I enjoy all of them. I think it also depends on the night. A piece is always a magical experience but I think for me, all the pieces I danced tonight, for example I New Then – the music is amazing and it always puts you in such a special place and it has such a heart-warming feeling for me at least as a dancer. I feel like I give a lot to it.

NDT2, , WOKING, UK, 2016, CREDIT: JOHAN PERSSON

I New Then, NDT2 2016. Photo: JOHAN PERSSON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But also in Cacti, it’s nice to have a big group and it’s very fun and exciting. It’s nice to have such a range of repertoire because you get to experience different parts of yourself within each piece.

Benjamin: Also for me, each ballet has its own jams that you get to discover while you’re dancing. For me, I really enjoy the technical aspects of Solo, when you finish it you just feel really good if you’ve had a technically clean one. And then I New Then is very special, it’s very easy to get into the role and have this sunshine-y feeling, and then Cacti is the big horah!

NDT2, , WOKING, UK, 2016, CREDIT: JOHAN PERSSON

Cacti, NDT2 2016, Photo: JOHAN PERSSON

 

 

Audience member: Do any injuries occur whilst handling other people’s bodies?

Benjamin: Yes (laughs) I think actually for me personally, all my injuries have happened completely on my own – no one was handling me! But yes as a profession of course we’re very careful and we train very hard every day. Fatigue also comes along with that. We always try and keep our bodies ready and fit to prevent injuries but of course things happen.

Audience member: How much do you train each day?

Rachel: We have ballet class every morning at 9.30am and then we rehearse for the rest of the day until 5.30pm and that’s usually 5 or 6 days a week, but we also do a lot of shows and touring, so sometimes we might have performances and things, but 9.30am – 5.30pm is the regular.

Audience member: How long does a show like that take to put together?

Benjamin: It’s about the programme and depends on how many dancers know it from previous seasons. I would say it takes us roughly two months to prepare for a dance like Cacti because it’s a huge piece. But when you’re creating with one of the choreographers it can take anywhere between two weeks to one month and sometimes they come back. But usually two weeks for set pieces. We have a great artistic team coaching us so sometimes it can go a bit faster.

Rachel: We also don’t work on one thing at a time. We have our programmes in Holland that are often new pieces and new creations and then half way through that run we go on tour with a completely different programme, so you’re working on about 8 pieces at any one time for various different shows, so it’ s hard to tell how long each piece takes but it’s quite busy!

Audience member: There’s a lot of rhythm and combination. You’re all doing the same thing at different moments! And you did it [Cacti] to perfection I must say!

Benjamin: (laughs) We practise a lot! And something with Cacti – it’s also a piece that gets brought back a lot so that’s one that the dancers might know from previous seasons but also we listen to the music in great detail. We have different groups: first row boys, back row boys, first row girls, back row girls, so it’s like now you do this, now you do this… (laughs) At the beginning it can be quite a challenge.

Audience member: How do you memorise the moves? How do they stay with you and do you listen to the music and immediately know what the movements are? How do you remember?

Rachel: It’s a skill that you develop because we’ve both been dancing for many years so for me now it seems normal to pick up movement and to learn it within my body. You feel yourself getting stronger at it. You don’t magically pick it up, you learn it and you think about it but there becomes a point where it gets into your body. That’s when you can play with it or feel it rather than just think it.

Benjamin: Also what we call muscle memory, it can be almost like a twitch, you know you have to do this on the music. Of course you can still put the same thoughts or emotions behind it but it might not be so in-your-brain about it. Like Rachel said, since a young age we have to memorise so much just in class, we’re constantly memorising what the teacher’s saying. It’s a tool you develop throughout your career. But also I find you can go into a room and completely forget why you’re there, so it doesn’t leave a lot of room for other stuff! (laughs)

Audience member: Do you use yoga in your training?

Benjamin: Lots of dancers do yoga on their own, it’s not required for us to do it, but some do it for cross-training. A lot of the positions we make on the boxes in Cacti are also improvised. They have a set structure, a geometric pose, and then you hold it, but actually the postures are based on the dancer’s interpretation of the pose and the music.

NDT2, , WOKING, UK, 2016, CREDIT: JOHAN PERSSON

Cacti, NDT2 2016, Photo: JOHAN PERSSON

Audience member: When did you start training?

Rachel: I started when I was three – a long time ago!

Benjamin: I started a bit later when I was thirteen.

Audience member: Do you require classical ballet training?

Rachel: I think it depends on the company and the work you’re doing and the dancer. We’re both trained in ballet and we start each day with a ballet class, but all of us come from many different countries and backgrounds and training and so we bring those differences into the repertoire we’re doing. It’s important to have some classical training but to be able to use that and go beyond it.

Audience member: Is it all about interpretation or is there a narrative or storyline?

Rachel: It depends on the piece. There’s definitely an intention behind every piece. mutual comfort is about the relationships between the dancers on stage. There’s a sensuality. There might not be a full story or narrative but it’s opened up for the audience to feel something and interpret it in their own way, or maybe they see their own story in it.

Audience member: Assuming you don’t have an injury, how long can you keep going? What happens when your body says ‘that’s enough’ – what do you do then?

Rachel: I think that depends on the dancer and what they want. And also the type of dance and the way you dance changes as you get older. There are dancers in NDT1 who have had families who still dance beautifully. Sometimes dancers choose to stop early, not because of their body, but because they want to do something else, or many go into choreography or teaching, or some go into something completely different. Right now I hope to be dancing for much longer so I can’t really say personally what I’ll be doing.

Audience member: How important is the applause? Is the dancing the rewarding part or do you like to get that response from the audience?

Benjamin: We always love a response from the audience and you guys were amazing thank you (laughs) but of course we do it for the dance, it’s a way of expressing ourselves on stage. It’s good to feel a vibe coming back and it’s a great feeling on stage to have an audience with a great energy.

Audience: You don’t ever feel, ‘I’m tired and I want to go home now’?

Rachel: (laughs) No. It’s funny because when you’re on stage you can actually feel an audience’s energy and even if they’re not saying anything or laughing or making any noise, you can feel it. Audiences can be really different and it actually really helps me understand the piece when I can feel the audience reacting. It gives me energy or it helps us to share something. We dance to share, and it’s an honour to share it.

Benjamin: It’s also nice to have a piece like Cacti where it’s almost interactive with the audience, we hear you laugh and it’s really nice to feel like we’re playing with you and you’re playing back. It’s a nice feeling!

To see the microsite for NDT2’s 2016 UK Tour or book tickets for the show at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, click here.

For contemporary dance fans, follow Dance Consortium on Twitter for news of their future tours.

sarah@dekretser.com

Young people and social media

social media treeOn November the 13th, Sophie gave a talk on ‘young people and social media’ at Sadler’s Wells, as part of the Dance Education day. It was bitter sweet – sweet because it went down very well, and sparked some interesting discussions, but sad because it was Sophie’s last day at HdK. We’ll miss you Sophie!

Here’s what she had to say:

Researching where your audiences are, allows us to explore and discover the best ways of reaching them, talking to them and encouraging them to engage with us. And not just in a promotional sense, it can also be a brilliant and crucial tool for evaluation of your show or project.

Whilst it may not be practical to use all these social networking apps within your work, it’s good to know what’s popular with young people and why, especially if you’re working with them closely – even if it’s only for something to talk about… or to understand what they’re saying! So!

Where do young people hang out online? Firstly, here are some stats for you:
The media briefing website tell us that “among the 2-17 age bracket that use the web, the top three most-visited sites are YouTube, Google and Facebook.

(Whereas for people aged 25 and over bbc.co.uk and Amazon feature in the top three.)

Boys are more likely than girls to report that they visit Facebook most often (45% of boys vs. 36% of girls). Girls are more likely than boys to say they use Instagram (23% of girls vs. 17% of boys).

Older teens ages 15 to 17 are more likely than younger teens to cite Facebook (44% vs. 35% of younger teens), Snapchat (13% vs. 8%) and Twitter (8% vs. 3%) as a most often used platform, while younger teens ages 13 to 14 are more likely than their older compatriots to list Instagram (25% vs. 17% of older teens) as a platform they visit most often.

Let’s break those platforms down a bit more:

Generation YouTube:
BBC Radio 1, who asked more than 6,000 young people aged between 18 and 24 how they get their music fix. More than eight in 10 young people are using YouTube as their primary source of music, ahead of physical CDs or even streaming from places like Spotify. So we know young people are using the platform, but how
else are they using it?

Vloggers – AKA video bloggers. Let’s look at Vlogging sensation ‘Zoella’

Zoella has 9,465,435 subscribers and 586,711,156 MILLION views since she started her channel! Those are some pretty impressive stats.

She has real influence over young people and they want what she has. They want to wear her clothes, copy her makeup techniques and use the same bath and beauty products as Zoella. The ‘short attention span generation’ will sit and watch hers (and others) videos for 20, 30, 40 minutes, transfixed, paying attention the whole way.

The fact YouTube appears on the top 3 sites visited by young people tells us that’s where they are.

Facebook
Facebook remains a dominant force in teen social media. Asking young people which platforms they used most often, many reported that Facebook was the site they used most frequently. But:

“Facebook has become a social network that’s often too complicated, too risky, and, above all, too overrun by parents to give teens the type of digital freedom or release they crave.”

Young people also report it being akin to an “awkward dinner party that you can’t really leave.” They are there still, but they are a somewhat reluctant audience as other platforms creep in, offering more freedom and less advertising.

Instagram
Instagram is by far the most used social media outlet for young people. Please note the verbiage there—it is the most used social media outlet. Meaning, although the most people are on Facebook, they actually post stuff on Instagram. Let’s look at it this way:

It’s not a surprise to see someone with 1500 friends on Facebook only get 25 likes on a photo yet on Instagram (where they have 800 followers) they get 253. How can it be so? Here are some reasons:

  1. You are not as pressurised to follow someone back on Instagram, meaning feeds are normally comprised of content you actually want to see
  2. The content on Instagram is usually of higher quality. People take time to edit their photos with filters, use different brightness/contrast settings (it’s even one of the steps to posting a photo), etc., to make the pictures look the best they possibly can
  3. Instagram hasn’t been flooded yet, not everyone has an Instagram) meaning it’s still “hip” and “cool” to the younger crowd
  4. People do not post 10000 times a day on Instagram. Many are much more polite about posting, either doing once a day, or a few times a week.

But, what about Twitter?
Twitter is the least-used social platform amongst young people. There is always a core group at every school that uses it very religiously to tweet and another group that uses it to simply watch or retweet. There are different reasons for this.

Twitter is a place to follow/be followed by strangers, rather than socialise with your friends, however it is not very easy to find the people you do know on there. For young people who want to be more private it’s not so good, they use Twitter like Facebook—posting with the assumption that your employer will see it one day.

Some conclusions:
For young people, tweens and teens, Instagram — and, more recently, SnapChat (an app for sending photos and videos that appear and then disappear) are the places to be – both representing the opposite of Facebook in that they are:

Simple, seemingly secret, and fun.

We hope that was useful… do let us know what you thought over on Twitter.

Social Media predictions for 2015

visual-social-media-web-pageSocial Media continues to grow rapidly in importance with business marketing strategies. At HdK we’re having a lot of discussions with Arts organisations about how to develop their digital strategies and embrace social media that little bit more.

Visual content continues to be the most popular form of content throughout all social platforms. It was reported at the end of 2014  that Instagram has over-taken Twitter in its popularity as the image and now short video continue to shoot upwards in popularity. Posts on Twitter and Facebook have a higher chance of engagement if they include visual content to attract attention.

My advice for 2015 is to upgrade your images to short videos. You can include up to 15 second videos on Instagram and Facebook videos are set to play automatically as you scroll down your timeline. Vine allows six seconds, with touch screen stop/start editing and Flipagram allows you to turn your favourite pictures into a short video roll. Fun videos with an impacting beginning will therefore catch your online audience attention as they scroll through their social media timelines.

Do you work in the Arts like us? Don’t forget you’ve already got amazing content right in front of your eyes. Go to rehearsals, take pictures and short videos and get them online! I recently attended a talk with dance Choreographer and Director Matthew Bourne who recently put on two celebrity galas of his current production of Edward Scissorhands at Sadler’s Wells. They were encouraged to tweet afterwards if they enjoyed the show. In the follow up to this the box office bookings soared. A few days later when the critic reviews came out the box office moved nowhere near as much. People are listening to online conversations and influential voices online far more than they are the reviews. Can you utilise this in your social media marketing?

 

2014? Check. Hello 2015

The new year is time to take stock of what has passed and what will be it seems. There have been so many reviews of 2014 and predictions for 2015 that I considered the best service I could offer was to review the reviews for our first post of the year.

In 2014, HdK Assoc said a sad goodbye to one of our developers, Ashe, as he went to pastures new. Good news is that he still consults for us from time to time. We also said hello to Ken and Audrius. Both have different and complementary skills that enables us to expand what we offer our clients including our first mobile phone app for the Family Arts Festival.

Trends we spotted last year included the increased amount of content creation that we do. Sophie, Peter, Ewan and myself have been making videos-a-plenty interviewing artists across the globe… well, Europe at least. And we seem to be re-purposing video content into more and more formats for different social media platforms.  In 2014 we began to feel that Social Media was a best that would devours what we fed it.  Look out for a post about film and video from Peter very soon.

For years we’ve been told to encourage interactivity on websites so we’ve been building features that allow visitors to leave reviews. But we see less and less reviews being left on websites now and more on Social Media. For a few years we’ve been integrating social media feeds directly on to websites but in 2014 we started to integrate Storify direct into the Dance Umbrella website and I think this will be the way forward for 2015.  With this method you can curates your audience feedback across different social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook into one place.

Generally, we can see, our clients have been allocating more of their budget to Social Media management and content creation in 2014 along with more for online advertising. Our clients continue to commission websites and microsites to run alongside the social media campaigns. It is true that they are simplified in terms of content but they have to work on a wider range of mobile devices.

Looking forward to 2015, and having read other people’s predictions, I think we’ll be getting more analytical about the Social Media while looking to increase our activity on platforms such as Instagram who recently made a splash in the Press about now having more active users than Twitter. Once small thing we’re starting to do is helping clients roll out twitter cards to improve their links from Twitter to their website. Fundraising is increasingly on our clients lips and we find that it is crossing over with the work we do. I predict we’ll be exploring this area more this year as we discover how Social and Digital can play its role.

So let’s see what happens in 2015. We’ll be adding a few more predictions from HdK team members over the coming days including Sophie on Social Media, Peter’s thoughts about film and Raf’s thoughts on web design.