ISL Named Social Media Agency of Record for Volkswagen USA


We’re incredibly excited to announce that we’ve just been named the Social Media Agency of Record for Volkswagen USA after a 6 month competitive review! Volkswagen has tapped us to manage their social media strategy, content creation, social engagement, social analytics and more. 

ISL has become the go-to social and digital agency of record for brands looking to disrupt the status quo of social media marketing. Our exemplar digital + physical work has enticed other clients of ours (like KrogerWilliam Grant & Sons, and Prestige Brands) to trust us with their day to day marketing as Volkswagen has — and led us to taking home AdAge’s Small Agency of the Year last year.

Four years ago, we launched an incredible project at VW’s global HQ in Germany called the Socialsphere, visualizing social data on massive projection displays. Becoming VW USA’s Social Agency feels like we’ve now come full circle. Simply put: we are ready to help make VW the coolest auto brand in social.

– DJ Saul, CMO & Managing Director, ISL

ISL brings a truly unique and inventive approach to their work. We are extremely excited to partner with them for our social media marketing.

– Mike Awdish, General Manager, Digital Marketing, Volkswagen USA

There’s so much more to come, but for now, we’ll just tease you with a prototype we built for VW which we call the “Social Dash” — a custom wood-enclosed dashboard visualizing real time “MPH” (Mentions Per Hour) and “TPM” (Tweets Per Minute). The icons flash blue with a new follower or RT along with custom audio effects. It works. It’s awesome. See it in action below!


Social Memo: Instagram Introduces Trending Tags


While using hashtags on Instagram is commonplace, the platform has done little to surface top trending hashtags for users. That is no longer the case; with their newly developed Explore Page, Instagram is providing real-time trending tags. This is a major step for Instagram, making the platform more of a real-time reactive network and a potential contender to Twitter.

Facebook, who owns Instagram, has been fighting to gain some of the market share that Twitter has a stronghold over with its own “Trending” product (in fact we c0-created a data-visualization of the Trends API, with Facebook, that launched at F8). That said, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Instagram is following in suit. Forbes has reported that active usage on Facebook declined in 2014, whereas Instagram increased by 46% in active users. It is likely that because of the active usage switch that Facebook feels trending topics will be more effective on Instagram, a platform where discovery and search are more organic.


Adopting the new trending tags feature should be simple for brands to incorporate into their strategy. Similarly to how brands currently create content on Twitter around trending hashtags, the same can now be done on Instagram. This will likely involve a little more work for brand managers, as Instagram limits its API access, meaning trending tags will need to be checked exclusively on the mobile app.


iStrategyLabs Named Washington Post Top Workplaces 2015


We’re honored to learn that ISL has been named a Washington Post Top Workplaces 2015 company! If you’re interested to see why, have a look at our 2015 culture reel here and some details about our benefits and culture below:


  • 100% of Health, Dental, Vision premium paid by ISL
  • 50% of premium for family paid by ISL
  • Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave
  • Catered lunch and stocked fridge
  • WMATA commuter benefits
  • 17 Paid Company Holidays
  • Unlimited Vacation & Sick Days
  • Professional development and training support
  • 401K


  • We’re big on diversity (more here)
  • We work hard, and smart and care about each other
  • We’re pro-dog and pro-nap (more here)
  • We have an insane amount of fun, documented (here)
  • We’re big in the community and support others everyday


This past year ISL took over 17,000 square feet of space at in the historic Wonderbread Factory (and setup a satellite office in NYC). We have the entire ground floor of the building and built it out to our own custom spec. It’s a wonderland for invention and creativity. There’s nothing else like it in the region!

USA Network’s Mr Robot Campaign: Reclaim Control. Delete Your Debt. Live on Twitch.

Mr Robot Hacks E3

[Updated: Read the Business Insider Coverage Here]

We’ve been working furiously over the past few months to execute a first of its kind campaign to promote USA Network’s new show Mr. Robot. We’ve hacked Twitch and E3 — the biggest video game streaming platform and conference respectively. We’re deleting over $100,000 in consumer debt in real time. What’s not to like? Visit and have a look at some of the campaign creative the ISL team has been jammin’ on. We will be live from our studio in Washington DC from 6/18 to 6/20 (6PM – 12AM EST), join us! Check out some of our design assets and shots of the set below:










Social Memo: 3 Ways Twitter Is Crafting A “Newsfeed” Timeline


Back in late 2014 Twitter’s CFO Anthony Noto stated that Twitter would eventually look into changing its content delivery system from a strict chronological timeline to something more akin to Facebook’s Newsfeed. Noto expressed how implementing such a feature would help alleviate the issue of top content being buried and make the Twitter experience more relevant for the end user. Fast-forward to mid 2015; Twitter has yet to make the full switch, but there have been gradual changes to the platform that will ultimately make the transition feel less jarring to users.


Check out the three ways Twitter has started to craft a “Newsfeed” Timeline:

1) Better Data!

Twitter has always lagged behind Facebook in regards to providing insightful post and page performance data. However, continued updates to the Twitter analytics platform have helped to close this gap. One of the most significant updates made is to the “Impressions” metric, which now counts the times the Tweet is served in the timeline natively or in search results. This makes the Impressions metric more comparable to Facebook’s Impression metric. This is significantly better than the accumulation of all followers of accounts who Retweeted the Tweet, a metric Twitter once depended on as its Impressions total. Having more accurate Impressions information will give Content managers a better idea of how many individuals are actually seeing each piece of content.

2) While you were away…

Launched earlier this year on the iOS Twitter app — and now fully rolled out to the Web interface — the “while you were away” feature resurfaces relevant, most engaged content to the top of your timeline that you may have missed since your last login session. These Tweets (typically three to five) appear to be pulled into this feed based on the Twitter’s Retweets and Favorites metrics. While only a feature now, one can easily see how this feature could expand to become a Newsfeed-like implementation to Twitter’s timeline.

3) Showing Top Tweets in Search

When performing a search on Twitter, by default, users are brought to the “Top” section, which sorts Tweets by top engaged content rather than chronological order. This is yet another example of Twitter transitioning timelines and seeding content in a way that isn’t chronological.


As of today it is estimated that 6,000 tweets are published every second which equates to 350,000 tweets per minute or 500 million tweets per day. With that amount of tweets being published and currently no method of filtering to the current timeline it makes sense that Twitter is slowly marching towards the same conclusion Facebook came to which is establishing a algorithm to determine what content to feature to a user. It not only makes Twitter’s platform more timely and relevant to the end user but also adds potential value to Twitter’s ad product.