Social Media Cheat Sheet – What You Need to Know

There are a lot of different social media platforms out there. While some have been around for almost a decade, others are just now stepping into the spotlight. As new technologies emerge, social channels need to adapt to survive in the evolving digital landscape. This can happen quickly, making it difficult to keep up with the latest updates. Whether you use one or all of them, it’s important to know who else uses them, how often they use them, and some best practices. Applying this information can help you make better decisions on social for your personal brand and for your business.

One of the most important rules of using social media is knowing your audience. Whether you’re trying to increase your blog’s readership, sell more wine, or simply expand your digital network, you’ve got to know who you’re talking to and how to talk to them. This cheat sheet will give you the insight you need to effectively reach out to your online audience and facilitate a successful conversation.

Take it from our team of community managers, brand strategists, and all-around social media obsessors – here’s what you need to know.

Did you find this helpful? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

How to Become Vine Famous: General Electric’s #GravityDay

I love Vine. The very first day Vine was released, on January 24th of this year, I was immediately intrigued and created my first Vine. It was a short, six-second video of me tossing some balls of paper into a trashcan:

Now, more than seven months later, there are millions of users on Vine. Musicians, comedians, and even major companies and brands have all shared their creativity on the video-sharing app. Recently, General Electric hosted an online, social event called #GravityDay to honor Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery of gravity. For this event, GE encouraged Vine users to record a video of an apple falling into their hands (or sometimes onto their heads) and then dropping down off screen. Here’s an example:

As this event progressed, GE told Viners to use the hashtag #GravityDay. Within a few hours, hundreds of users were sharing their versions of the Apple Drop, and GE was revining (reposting to their Vine account) their favorite ones.

I, being an avid Vine user, noticed this hashtag trending within the Vine community and decided to record my own Apple Drop, with a little twist:

The result was astounding. General Electric revined my post and commented on my Vine: “That’s certainly a new way of looking at things. Happy #GravityDay!” I was thrilled that GE had decided my creation was worthy of being shared with their enormous following. Soon after, my Vine started getting revined and liked by other Vine users. Currently, my Apple Drop Vine has received 594 likes and been revined 55 times.

As if that weren’t enough, General Electric commented on my Vine again, asking for my permission to include my name and my Vine in their #GravityDay YouTube highlight video. I obviously told them I would love to be featured, and a few days later they released a compilation of all their favorite Apple Drop Vines, with my Vine included at around 0:52!

I had a lot of fun making my Vine and having it shared with so many people, but this experience also served as a prime example of the power of social. By engaging with an existing community and joining in on a conversation already taking place, I was able to have my voice heard. By producing fun, original content and sharing it appropriately, I was recognized by a major brand and noticed by hundreds. This is the power of social. And the best part: anyone can do it.


Are you on Vine? Who’s your favorite Vine artist? Tell us in the comments below!

Vine vs. Instagram Social Community Manager at Silverback Social Brian Funicelli Weighs In

Facebook made an announcement on Thursday, June 20th regarding an update for Instagram. The popular photo-sharing app has introduced Video, enabling users to capture 15 seconds of video, edit video segments, and apply up to 13 brand new filters. The app also allows users to stabilize shaky video footage before sharing it with followers, using a function called Cinema.

Instagram has made the process of capturing and sharing video easier than ever, along with providing the right tools to create more visually appealing short films. In comparison to Vine, the more basic 6-second video-sharing app, Video for Instagram gives users much more capability to make videos look great.

With this announcement, Instagram, which already has over 100 million artistic and creative users, has opened the floodgates for a huge amount of beautiful, original video content to be produced by people all over the world.

Instagram vs. Vine Josh Fenster Social Engagement Manager at Silverback Social Weighs In

As soon as Facebook announced “Instagram video”, brands immediately had advertisements ready to be viewed and shared within the social media ecosystem. Minutes after the Instagram application update Lululemon posted a unique digital ad using the new technology.  It will be interesting to see which video sharing platform will be used more by advertisers, Twitter’s Vine or Facebook’s Instgram? Brands must provide content for both platforms, not only because of the 150 million combined users that are active on the apps, but because they both provide different ways of story telling.  Vine forces companies to be creative with their content by limiting each video to six seconds. The “game” of creating great content on Vine highlights the companies or agencies creativeness, planning and execution.  For example check out this cool vine video by Ian Padgham.  However Vine is limited because there is only so much one can fit in six seconds and for the fact that you can’t seamlessly edit the video. Instagram video allows brands to use filters, edit the video, film  for 15 seconds and pick the video’s thumbnail. 15 seconds is the same length as many commercials on TV. Brands will use video on Instagram to create unique commercials using the new features that were introduced today.  If brands repurpose their TV commercials instead creating unique content exclusively for Instagram video they better be prepared for a negative response.  People are getting tired of the old way of advertising, tired of brands pushing and dumping products on them.  Brands must be providing value with each and every ad, whether that means the ad is funny, cool or informative.  Native advertising is the future and these platforms play right into the trend of brands becoming publishers.


Vine vs. Instagram Silverback Social’s Director of Digital Communications Cristin Grogan Weighs In

Instagram video will be a tough sell. Not just because Vine was here first, but because the fun of Vine was the “challenge”, right? “How can you fit amazing content that speaks to your brand in a six-second video?” This question encouraged companies to get innovative, creating amazing stop-motion video content and other cool experiments (a personal favorite of mine was the Vine’d Burberry Men’s Fashion Show). While Instagram’s 15 seconds of video certainly allows for more content, it takes away from the “challenge” of a Vine. And what about the human psychology element here? Vine has already conditioned our attention span to a 6-second video. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve watched so many Vines that it’s getting harder and harder to watch a 2 minute video on YouTube. According to a study done by the Associated Press this April, the average attention span in 2012 was 8-seconds – and trust me – our attention spans will never get longer. Now that we’ve been spoiled by the 6-second Vine, I can’t see us regressing to a 15-second Instagram video. Honestly, I don’t think Vine has much to worry about: they not only created a platform that allowed creativity and innovation, but they allowed efficiency and human psychology to be part of the larger picture. Whether that was part of Vine’s plan or not, it was something that Insta just couldn’t bring to the table.