Union Metrics

Powerful social analytics for marketers. We make TweetReach, Union Metrics for Tumblr and Union Metrics for Instagram.

Union Metrics

Wednesday • Jul 9, 2014 linkicon
Above: One of the shots from Warby Parker’s Instagram account, a brand with a fantastic presence on the platform. 
Our series for Brands on Instagram. 
Instagram is new territory to many marketers, which is why we’ve written a series for those new to the platform. You can check out:  
Resources specifically for brands
The questions to ask about your audience 
How to know what success looks like on Instagram 
How to measure success on Instagram 
How to effectively use hashtags 
The nuances of sharing to other platforms via Instagram 
And 
The different moves personal brands should make  
Want more? Download our Instagram Whitepaper to learn more about some of the numbers behind Instagram, including data about engagement rates, the best time to post and more. Featuring data about 55 brands on Instagram, from yours truly. 
Shoot us a message if you still have questions or there’s something else you’d like to see covered! 

Above: One of the shots from Warby Parker’s Instagram account, a brand with a fantastic presence on the platform. 

Our series for Brands on Instagram. 

Instagram is new territory to many marketers, which is why we’ve written a series for those new to the platform. You can check out:  

And 

Want more? Download our Instagram Whitepaper to learn more about some of the numbers behind Instagram, including data about engagement rates, the best time to post and more. Featuring data about 55 brands on Instagram, from yours truly. 

Shoot us a message if you still have questions or there’s something else you’d like to see covered! 

Tuesday • Jul 8, 2014 linkicon

"…the best advice we can give to any brand on Instagram is to be authentic while embracing the medium’s particular characteristics, measure your efforts, listen to the community, and continue to improve your content strategy."

From our Instagram Whitepaper

Want the details behind the what, when, and why of posting to Instagram, particularly for brands? Download our Instagram Whitepaper and get insights based on data from 55 brands.

Monday • Jun 30, 2014 linkicon
Above: Photo from Sarah Evans, PR professional and a great example of execution on a personal brand. 
Personal Brands on Instagram 
Personal brands can take a lot of their cues from what we’ve written on brands on Instagram, but you’ve also got a little more leeway since you’re a person and not just a business represented by a logo. 
People understandably relate better to other people than they do to businesses, no matter how much businesses strive to be human; that’s just the way it is (one approach for businesses here is to allow their employees to be visible brand advocates for them in conjunction with maintaining their own personal brands, like Finnair is doing[LINK WHEN POST GOES UP]).
The conversation around brands and being human is an ongoing one. Here are the tips we can offer based on brand performance, but amended to fit personal brands: 

First things first: The basic resources are the same. Be sure to bookmark Instagram’s blog for businesses, and their Help Center. We also have some helpful resources. 


If it’s data around brands on Instagram you want, our Instagram whitepaper has data around 55 different brands. 


Ask yourself these same questions brands should ask themselves about their audience on Instagram to inform your content strategy.  


What does success on Instagram look like? Take a look at these different approaches from different brands, but you’ll also want to look at how those with a personal brand approach the space. Some examples to check out:


Former Miss USA Alyssa Campanella works as a model and has her own lifestyle blog which she cross-posts images from to her Instagram account.


Many athletes maintain a presence on Instagram that is part of their personal brand and intersects with their endorsements.  


Facebook marketing expert Mari Smith and PR professional Sarah Evans both use their accounts for a mix of promotion and a look at their personal lives and interests; it’s a good balance to seek.  


How you measure success, on the other hand, will remain the same: It all depends on your goals.


There’s a little more leniency in joining hashtag conversations as a personal brand, but still obey the cardinal rule: Don’t force a fit. You can be ironic or sarcastic far easier as a personal brand if that fits with your persona and your target audience.

The bottom line with personal brands is that you can get away with more- humor, sarcasm, etc- but you can also receive a more intensely personal backlash from those who disagree with you or feel alienated by your approach. Decide what you’re comfortable with in connecting with your intended audience, and proceed accordingly.

Above: Photo from Sarah Evans, PR professional and a great example of execution on a personal brand. 

Personal Brands on Instagram 

Personal brands can take a lot of their cues from what we’ve written on brands on Instagram, but you’ve also got a little more leeway since you’re a person and not just a business represented by a logo.

People understandably relate better to other people than they do to businesses, no matter how much businesses strive to be human; that’s just the way it is (one approach for businesses here is to allow their employees to be visible brand advocates for them in conjunction with maintaining their own personal brands, like Finnair is doing[LINK WHEN POST GOES UP]).

The conversation around brands and being human is an ongoing one. Here are the tips we can offer based on brand performance, but amended to fit personal brands:

  1. Former Miss USA Alyssa Campanella works as a model and has her own lifestyle blog which she cross-posts images from to her Instagram account.
  2. Many athletes maintain a presence on Instagram that is part of their personal brand and intersects with their endorsements.  
  3. Facebook marketing expert Mari Smith and PR professional Sarah Evans both use their accounts for a mix of promotion and a look at their personal lives and interests; it’s a good balance to seek.  
  • How you measure success, on the other hand, will remain the same: It all depends on your goals.

  • There’s a little more leniency in joining hashtag conversations as a personal brand, but still obey the cardinal rule: Don’t force a fit. You can be ironic or sarcastic far easier as a personal brand if that fits with your persona and your target audience.


The bottom line with personal brands is that you can get away with more- humor, sarcasm, etc- but you can also receive a more intensely personal backlash from those who disagree with you or feel alienated by your approach. Decide what you’re comfortable with in connecting with your intended audience, and proceed accordingly.

Thursday • Jun 26, 2014 linkicon
Teen Wolf on Instagram
Shows don’t just get love on Twitter and Tumblr; Instagram users love to post about their favorite shows too. 
The fourth season of MTV’s Teen Wolf premiered on Monday, June 23rd, and there was a big spike in posts tagged #TeenWolf on Instagram that day to celebrate. Almost 17k of the 38k posts made about the show in the last week were made on Monday, for a reach of 10.4 million Instagram users that day alone. 
The most popular post was a video from MTV’s own Instagram account, with two of the show’s stars wishing their audience a happy premiere day: 

Remember brands: Your audience is already out there, talking about you. Become a part of the conversation in the right way, and you can be a big part of it.  

Teen Wolf on Instagram

Shows don’t just get love on Twitter and Tumblr; Instagram users love to post about their favorite shows too. 

The fourth season of MTV’s Teen Wolf premiered on Monday, June 23rd, and there was a big spike in posts tagged #TeenWolf on Instagram that day to celebrate. Almost 17k of the 38k posts made about the show in the last week were made on Monday, for a reach of 10.4 million Instagram users that day alone. 

The most popular post was a video from MTV’s own Instagram account, with two of the show’s stars wishing their audience a happy premiere day: 

Remember brands: Your audience is already out there, talking about you. Become a part of the conversation in the right way, and you can be a big part of it.  

Wednesday • Jun 18, 2014 linkicon

"…the average post in this sample saw 4.3 activities (a like or a comment) per 100 followers. Phrased another way, to get 100 likes and comments on a post, a brand would need approximately 2,325 followers.
Those are very broad generalizations, so you should pay close attention to what your accounts, your competitors’ accounts, and others in your industry see. And when your posts see higher engagement rates than comparable accounts, you’re doing great. Decide what about those posts is resonating more with your audience, and do more of it.” 

From the What kind of engagement rates can I expect? section of our Instagram Whitepaper.  Download the whitepaper for insights based on data from 55 brands on Instagram to answer more questions about the what, when, and why of posting on the photo-sharing platform. 

"…the average post in this sample saw 4.3 activities (a like or a comment) per 100 followers. Phrased another way, to get 100 likes and comments on a post, a brand would need approximately 2,325 followers.

Those are very broad generalizations, so you should pay close attention to what your accounts, your competitors’ accounts, and others in your industry see. And when your posts see higher engagement rates than comparable accounts, you’re doing great. Decide what about those posts is resonating more with your audience, and do more of it.” 

From the What kind of engagement rates can I expect? section of our Instagram Whitepaper.  Download the whitepaper for insights based on data from 55 brands on Instagram to answer more questions about the what, when, and why of posting on the photo-sharing platform. 

Tuesday • Jun 17, 2014 linkicon
The World Cup on Instagram: Picture it, brands. 
While many people think of Instagram as a place to post photos they’ve taken themselves as a way to keep friends and family updated on their life, that isn’t necessarily how every user approaches the platform. Instagram is also a place for users to follow their favorite celebrities and athletes (the photo above is from German player Lukas Podolski’s account), as well as fan-run sports accounts and even the brands who sponsor it all. 
Adidas is one of the top publishers around the World Cup on Instagram right now, with 22.7k actions (likes and comments) made on its 5 posts, earning 6.3 million impressions. That’s a big return on a relatively small effort. 

(In contrast: Fan-run sports related accounts and even official athlete accounts are making anywhere from 14-128 posts related to the World Cup.) 
This is a great reminder that brands shouldn’t rule out a platform based on perceptions of its use; take the time to really look into the kind of conversation that’s happening there and respectfully take part in it.
Previously: The World Cup on Instagram, and Tumblr. 

The World Cup on Instagram: Picture it, brands. 

While many people think of Instagram as a place to post photos they’ve taken themselves as a way to keep friends and family updated on their life, that isn’t necessarily how every user approaches the platform. Instagram is also a place for users to follow their favorite celebrities and athletes (the photo above is from German player Lukas Podolski’s account), as well as fan-run sports accounts and even the brands who sponsor it all. 

Adidas is one of the top publishers around the World Cup on Instagram right now, with 22.7k actions (likes and comments) made on its 5 posts, earning 6.3 million impressions. That’s a big return on a relatively small effort. 

(In contrast: Fan-run sports related accounts and even official athlete accounts are making anywhere from 14-128 posts related to the World Cup.) 

This is a great reminder that brands shouldn’t rule out a platform based on perceptions of its use; take the time to really look into the kind of conversation that’s happening there and respectfully take part in it.

Previously: The World Cup on Instagram, and Tumblr

Monday • Jun 2, 2014 linkicon

"Instagram is a lot more evergreen than many people give it credit for."

From the How long does content live on Instagram? section of our Instagram Whitepaper

"… in many cases, 90% of a post’s likes and comments happen in the first 10 hours after posting. But many posts continue to receive continued low levels of engagement for days and weeks after posting." 

Download the whitepaper for insights based on data from 55 brands on Instagram to answer more questions about the what, when, and why of posting on the photo-sharing platform. 

Wednesday • May 28, 2014 linkicon

"Our initial assumption about those high-frequency posters was that the more often a brand posts, the lower their engagement rates would be on the subsequent posts. But that does not seem to be true."

From the How often should I post on Instagram? section of our Instagram Whitepaper

Posting frequently doesn’t have a negative effect on your follower count, but once you start posting frequently you’ve got to keep it up. If you stop posting entirely for weeks or months at a time, you’ll lose followers. 

Download the whitepaper to get the answers to more questions about the what, when, and why of posting to Instagram, based on data from 55 brands. 

Thursday • May 22, 2014 linkicon
"…we advise brands to post outside typical US business hours when possible." 
The above image shows a brand’s posting behaviors on Instagram vs. the times their fans are the most actively engaged with their content. 

"The first heatmap (“Posting Behavior”) shows the actual times this brand posts its content to Instagram; the darker color represents more activity during that hour. You can see this brand is very consistent, posting once every day, almost always at 6 p.m. EDT. The second heatmap (“Engagement Behavior”) shows fan engagement with this brand’s content. Likes and comments begin immediately after the post goes up in the 6 p.m. hour, and activity continues for hours after, slowly decreasing over time. This activity smear is a very typical engagement pattern on Instagram."

Have more questions about the what, when and why of posting to Instagram, particularly for brands? Download our Instagram Whitepaper and get insights based on data from 55 brands.

"…we advise brands to post outside typical US business hours when possible." 

The above image shows a brand’s posting behaviors on Instagram vs. the times their fans are the most actively engaged with their content. 

"The first heatmap (“Posting Behavior”) shows the actual times this brand posts its content to Instagram; the darker color represents more activity during that hour. You can see this brand is very consistent, posting once every day, almost always at 6 p.m. EDT. The second heatmap (“Engagement Behavior”) shows fan engagement with this brand’s content. Likes and comments begin immediately after the post goes up in the 6 p.m. hour, and activity continues for hours after, slowly decreasing over time. This activity smear is a very typical engagement pattern on Instagram."

Have more questions about the what, when and why of posting to Instagram, particularly for brands? Download our Instagram Whitepaper and get insights based on data from 55 brands.

Thursday • May 15, 2014 linkicon
One of the highlights of using Instagram for brands is that once you’ve uploaded a post, you can quickly share it across several other platforms: Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and Twitter.
Know the details of how your post will look in each place before you hit the share button for maximum impact. 
On Twitter
Instagram posts on Twitter are shown as a link in the tweet, and pull in all the text and hashtags used in a post caption before the allotted 140 characters are used up. Here’s an example of this post as it was shared to Twitter, below:

Captions longer than 140 characters are truncated with an ellipses, as above, and if all of your hashtags are at the end of a long caption, none of them will translate to Twitter. If you want the full caption and hashtags to show up, keep it short; a short caption and no more than two or three hashtags (three will probably only work if you’re using shorter hashtags like #TBT). Remember that some of the characters will be used up on the link to the Instagram post itself.
Instagram will also translate another Instagram user’s account name that you’ve tagged in a post to their Twitter account username, if they’ve connected their accounts. If they haven’t connected their accounts, the tweet will show the person’s Instagram account name and will remove the “@” symbol so it doesn’t tag anyone on Twitter.
However, if you use the incorrect Instagram username when you tag someone in a post and it doesn’t match any Instagram users, it will translate to Twitter using the “@” symbol. Another reason to be sure you’re using the right account name (you should see it pop up while you’re typing it in, as in the photo below) when you decide to mention someone in a post you plan to share.

Want more? 
For more tips about using Instagram as a brand, check out our series on it here. 
For more Twitter tips, or tips specific to TweetReach, check out our master post on the TweetReach blog.

One of the highlights of using Instagram for brands is that once you’ve uploaded a post, you can quickly share it across several other platforms: Facebook, Tumblr, Flickr, and Twitter.

Know the details of how your post will look in each place before you hit the share button for maximum impact. 

On Twitter

Instagram posts on Twitter are shown as a link in the tweet, and pull in all the text and hashtags used in a post caption before the allotted 140 characters are used up. Here’s an example of this post as it was shared to Twitter, below:

Captions longer than 140 characters are truncated with an ellipses, as above, and if all of your hashtags are at the end of a long caption, none of them will translate to Twitter. If you want the full caption and hashtags to show up, keep it short; a short caption and no more than two or three hashtags (three will probably only work if you’re using shorter hashtags like #TBT). Remember that some of the characters will be used up on the link to the Instagram post itself.

Instagram will also translate another Instagram user’s account name that you’ve tagged in a post to their Twitter account usernameif they’ve connected their accounts. If they haven’t connected their accounts, the tweet will show the person’s Instagram account name and will remove the “@” symbol so it doesn’t tag anyone on Twitter.

However, if you use the incorrect Instagram username when you tag someone in a post and it doesn’t match any Instagram users, it will translate to Twitter using the “@” symbol. Another reason to be sure you’re using the right account name (you should see it pop up while you’re typing it in, as in the photo below) when you decide to mention someone in a post you plan to share.

Want more? 

For more tips about using Instagram as a brand, check out our series on it here

For more Twitter tips, or tips specific to TweetReach, check out our master post on the TweetReach blog.