Archives For Social Media
In addition to creating highly engaging images for your Facebook Timeline, it’s important to consider how those images will be displayed in a mobile setting. CNN recently reported that 157 million people access Facebook from their mobile phones every day. That’s a lot of people. As marketers, we need to pay attention to this growing audience. One way to cater to them is to optimize our Timeline images for mobile consumption.
The Nuances of Timeline Images on Facebook Mobile
As I blogged about previously, the ideal size for a Facebook image is 403 pixels tall x 403 pixels wide. This is the size that your image will appear on your Timeline regardless of how you create it. Using this size for images, you will avoid any cropping or blurring that may occur when Facebook displays your image.
Facebook Mobile, however, displays images slightly different on your Timeline than the desktop browser version does.
Let’s take a look at an example of an image on the full Timeline versus the Facebook Mobile Timeline:
The image on the left is from the desktop browser version of Facebook Timeline. The image on the right, which has the top and bottom cut off, is from a Facebook Mobile Timeline.
In this specific image, part of the text and the watermarked URL are invisible to the mobile viewer unless the user touches the screen to enlarge it. This isn’t ideal. So how can I fix it?
How to Optimize Facebook Mobile Images
The big question is exactly how much of my photo is actually chopped off? It appears that Facebook crops out the top and bottom 67 pixels while scaling the width to fit in the mobile browser. Remember, this is based on an image that is 403 pixels tall x 403 pixels wide.
Another way to look at it is that Facebook’s mobile site and apps show only 269 pixels of the horizontal center of the image from top to bottom.
It may seem smart at this point to say, “Great! I’ll tell my designer to leave 67 empty pixels on the top and bottom of my image and place the text in the horizontal center!”
Not so fast. Do you really want your text bumping up against the very edge of the viewable part of the image? Probably not. I recommend leaving no less than a 10 pixel buffer around all of your text. This means that you should have your designer leave 77 empty pixels at the top and bottom of any image placed on Facebook.
For visual learners, I created this image to help you understand. Please feel free to download this image as a template for your personal or business use.
Let’s Keep This in Perspective
Facebook does not crop images in the news feed, which is where the majority of people will see them. This means that it does not matter if your images are 403 pixels tall by 403 pixels wide. However, when a user visits your Timeline, whether it be from their desktop browser or mobile phone, they will potentially see a cropped version of what you originally shared if it is not these exact dimensions.
If you want to have a professional, clean Timeline both in the desktop browser and on mobile devices, then implement this method of creating images on Facebook.
Inspiration comes and goes. But one thing stays the same: you have a job to do.
The last thing a social media manager needs to get hung up on is ideas for status updates. Here are ten ideas you can use when you need inspiration.
Status Update Ideas for Your Business
2. Publicly thank a fan / follower or share their content
3. Fill in the _______.
4. Ask a question
5. Behind the scenes information / picture / video
6. Coupons and promo codes
7. Share content from a partner or vendor
8. Job openings at your organization
9. Promote your other social media accounts
10. Recycle content that users engaged with in the past
A Question You Can Ask Yourself To Find Inspiration
Notice that most of the list above benefits your fans and followers rather than asks something of them. Another way to find inspiration is to ask yourself this simple question:
How can I help my community today?
Your answer will provide the inspiration you need.
Creating your first social media strategy can be intimidating. There are many things to consider and it’s easier to describe the tactical day-to-day tasks than to paint a comprehensive picture of how social media will affect your business over a long period of time.
It’s sometimes easier to identify what a social media strategy isn’t than what it is.
However, several thought leaders in social media have provided free resources to help practitioners. Let’s take a look at three of them.
1. Jay Baer’s Social Media Strategy in 8 Steps
Jay Baer, a well-known social media author and keynote speaker, developed an 8-step approach to creating a social media strategy for large organizations. He does a great job of covering all of the bases necessary for a good strategy and presents it in a way that is very easy to understand.
View the image below and read the blog post about it to learn more.
2. Advanced Human Technologies’ Social Media Strategy Framework
If you want a more advanced but still easy-to-understand approach for creating a social media strategy, Advanced Human Techonolgies has a beautiful diagram to help you get started. Unlike many frameworks, it addresses the human resource aspect of social media in an organization including training and governance. You can download a PDF version here.
3. The P.O.S.T. Method by Forrester Research
The P.O.S.T. Method by Forrester Research was developed in 2007 and published in their book Groundswell in 2008. It is the framework I repeatedly turn to when creating new strategies. I wholeheartedly agree with the sequence of steps that Forrester recommends. The graphic below explains the acronym. You can’t find a more detailed explanation on their blog.
Write down your ideas on paper. If you work in a large organization, do this in a brainstorming meeting with people from every business function. Keep your customer at the forefront of your mind and do not overlook the value of the human relationship. This mindset will help you create and execute a successful strategy for your organization.
If your business is interested in using social media, it’s important to have a strategy in place before you begin. As with any business activity, creating a specific, measurable plan will result in the most efficient and effective use of your resources.
However, strategy is a word that means many different things in social media depending on who you ask. Let’s explore what a social media strategy is not.
What a Social Media Strategy is Not
A social media strategy is not about you. It is focused on people.
A social media strategy is not static. It is a living, breathing plan that is flexible and changes with the very nature of the medium.
A social media strategy is not a list of tactics. It is actionable regardless of what social networks or tools are at your disposal to execute it.
A social media strategy is not able to be copied. It is developed with your business intelligence and your experience, which no one else has.
A social media strategy is not effective when created in a silo. It is built with expertise from all business functions.
A social media strategy is not only about social media. It considers how social media will affect every other touchpoint you have with your customers.
A social media strategy is not only a document or framework. It is a mindset that should be embraced by everyone in your organization.
A social media strategy is not a quick fix. It will expose your business for what it really is, not fix anything that is wrong.
How to Use This List
Next time you write or review your social media strategy, compare it to the list above. If it is any of these things, consider making some changes.
I recently saw a well-known author and speaker tweet about an event he was hosting. Included in the tweet was a screenshot from Twitter with a message reading, “The event is trending!”
The event was trending, but only for him. How is that possible? I’ll explain.
Twitter’s Default Trends
A few months ago Twitter rolled out a new feature called Tailored Trends. As the name suggests, these trends are tailored just for you based on your location and who you follow. Tailored Trends became the default when rolled out to all Twitter users.
To identify Tailored Trends (as opposed to Worldwide, for instance), look for the box on the lower left-hand column of your Twitter feed. It should look something like this:
Notice that the title of the box is simply Trends. This means you are viewing Tailored Trends.
How to View Worldwide Trends
When most people exclaim that their topic is trending, they presumably mean it’s trending worldwide. To avoid making the mistake of confusing a Tailored Trend with a Worldwide Trend, click the ‘Change’ link next to the Trends title. A pop-up will appear that tries to convince you to keep Tailored Trends.
Click ‘Change’ on this popup. You will receive a list of options on the next window. Select ‘Worldwide’ – the first option in the left column.
After selecting ‘Worldwide’, the top of the box should refresh to show your selection. Now click ‘Done’ in the lower right-hand corner. After the box closes, the Trends box in the lower left-hand corner of your Twitter feed will now look like this, with the updated ‘Worldwide Trends’ headline:
So, Is Your Topic Really Trending on Twitter?
I hate to sound negative or to deflate you. But someone needs to say it. There’s a slim chance that you’ve ever had a Worldwide Trending Topic. However, that doesn’t minimize the importance of integrating social media with your traditional marketing, events and other opportunities to spread the word online. Who knows – one day you might find yourself among the few fortunate marketers that do, in fact, reach around the world with your topic on Twitter.
One of the most common arguments I hear to support the “every business should be on social media” discussion is that people are talking about your brand whether you know it or not.
But is it true? Well, there’s really only one way to find out. And that is to listen.
Introduction to Social Media Listening
Social media listening tools are online services that search social media sites for keywords that you input into their system. If your keywords are mentioned on Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook (in some cases) or other social media sites, the listening tool with capture the message and display it in a stream for you to view.
Listening tools come in many forms, ranging from free lightweight versions to very expensive enterprise editions.
Why Should I Use a Social Media Listening Tool?
Here are three reasons every business should use a social media listening tool:
1. To Interact with Customers
You can’t be a part of a conversation if you don’t know it’s happening. With listening tools, you don’t need to be informed about when or where a discussion will take place. The tool will let you know, in real-time, who is talking about your brand and exactly what they are saying. Don’t you want to know what is being said about your brand? Wouldn’t you like to interject when there is misinformation or a negative conversation happening? By participating in these conversations, you may be able to take a negative situation and turn it into positive word of mouth.
2. To Find New Customers
I recently tweeted, “If any local restaurants are listening, I will eat lunch at your place in Nashville today.” It was an open invitation for a business to invite me in as a new or repeat customer. I didn’t place any budget or genre restrictions in my tweet. I included keywords such as restaurant, lunch and Nashville in my message, hoping that a savvy local business would be listening and respond. Unfortunately, they did not.
Ask yourself, “What would my potential customers say online about the product or service I offer?” Add all of your answers to a listening tool. Keep the phrases short and to the point. “Need a mechanic” or “car broke down” would be great options for a local auto shop to use with a tool that offers filtering by location.
Think like your potential customers. If you can find them, you may be able to convert them.
3. To Diffuse Crisis Situations
If someone walks into your office and says, “Did you see the negative blog post about our company this morning?” then it’s too late. Your colleagues heard about it before you, which means it is likely spreading across the internet rapidly. And you had no idea.
If you had a listening tool and were paying close attention to it, you could have seen the blog post immediately after it was posted, asked the author to speak with you, and corrected or resolved the situation before it spread too far.
You don’t want to be the last to know that a crisis is coming. A listening tool can prevent this from happening.
If you’re brand new to social media listening, I reccommend using Social Mention. It works like Google. You can do a search for what is currently being said about the keyword you enter or you can set up alerts to be notified periodically. You can also limit the search to specific social networks if you want to tackle one source at a time to prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed.