Posts tagged "Social Media"

Facebook Promotion Rules Get A Facelift

All change, all change!

Huge news out of Facebook’s policy department last week — You no longer need a 3rd Party Application to run a promotion.

There will be some of you thinking “Huh? We used to need to do what?” Some of you jumping for joy, shouting “Finally!!” at the top of your lungs and also some who have their heads in their hands at the news that news feeds are potentially going to be clogged up with Like contest after Like contest…

So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. What are the new rules?

First, lets clarify. You can still run a competition in an app so there is no need to delete your existing apps or throw away any plans to ever run an app promotion ever again – there are still very good reasons to run your promotion via an app.

The new rules are…

  • You can now use Likes or comments as an entry mechanism and/or a voting mechanism.
  • Private messages are also a valid method of entry.

BUT….

  • You cannot ask a Fan to Share to enter a competition
  • You cannot ask Fans to tag themselves in your content as a method of entry.

The no Shares rules still stands as it would be tough to run a fair contest using this entry method since some profiles are private and you cannot track Shares accurately.

So, what are the pros and the cons to the new rules?

Pros…

  • Easier engagement
  • More frequent promotions
  • Timely and relevant content promotions – ability to capitalize on current events

Cons…

  • Harder to track and may be a manual process to gather the entrants
  • Competition overload… Fans may reach social fatigue quicker with all the new contests in the stream
  • Unable to brand promotions like you would within an app
  • Rules still exist for Page promotions and you must still make those clear (manage submissions, choose winner fairly, agreement of terms, acknowledgement that Facebook in no way endorses your competition etc…  More here — https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php
  • Cannot capture email addresses

In short, if you’re looking to run a big campaign promotion then an app might still be best, it looks credible and it allows you to be more creative with your contest. If you’re looking to do short daily giveaways then these new rules have just made that a whole lot easier.

For the words straight from Facebook’s mouth, check out their blog post — https://www.facebook.com/facebookforbusiness/news/page-promotions-terms

 

The Social Employee

At Adobe, we always talk about empowering employee participation in social given the power of the collective voice for a brand. Until this point, there hasn’t been a collection of “how to’s” pulled together about tapping into this important resource. Cheryl Burgess and Mark Burgess of Blue Focus Marketing attempt to do just that in a new book, The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work, where they’ve interviewed brands – Adobe included – on their social enablement programs and best practices.

In our contribution to the book, we shared how we got organized and set up our Center of Excellence. Adobe’s approach to overseeing the entire company’s social media program is about providing guardrails vs. hard-fast rules when it comes to engagement –nuanced, yes, but in line with our company’s values. We also discuss how our social strategists strive to innovate constantly and how measuring social ROI though rigorous metrics – a hot topic these days – is imperative.

Re-reading the chapter and looking back at what we’ve done as a brand, it’s great to see the progress we’ve made as a socially innovative company.  We now have more than 2000 employees actively engaging on behalf of the brand; we’re delivering great campaigns and delivering bottom line results.  Our path to organizing and resourcing sure wasn’t easy, but Adobe’s culture and executive support of our social programs made the road a whole lot easier – something that isn’t status quo across many organizations. I think our story, along with ones from AT&T, Dell, Cisco, Southwest Airlines and others, will be helpful to both new and seasoned social practitioners.

For an animated look at what’s in the book, check out this trailer:

The Social Employee is available now on iBooks and will be on bookshelves on August 23.

LinkedIn’s “Sponsored Updates” – a new way to reach your target audience

A few months ago, LinkedIn approached us to be a beta partner for their new marketing offering, Sponsored Updates.

Our answer was immediately “Yes.” As all of us social marketers now know, a paid content strategy is ever more critical to complement great organic content and engagement. Furthermore, LinkedIn’s large audience of engaged, professional digital marketers made it the right channel for us to reach a key target audience for Adobe, marketing decision makers. Many people know Adobe for our Adobe Creative Cloud, which provides tools and services for creative professionals to create amazing content, but most people don’t know that we also offer an array of digital marketing solutions through the Adobe Marketing Cloud, which allows our customers to then deploy, measure, and optimize their creative work.

When LinkedIn told us that we could target our content to audiences ranging from marketing practitioners to C-level marketing executives, we knew we had to try it. Over the course of 8 weeks, we continued to manage our Adobe LinkedIn company page as we always do – with a content calendar that provides a good balance of content from across our business; the only difference was that we would make conscious decisions on which posts to promote to our target audiences. Once a post was live, it was a simple process to promote it: select the ‘Sponsor Update’ button, target audience, and voila, our post was promoted. We could see real-time basic engagement statistics on how the post was performing, which helped us decide how to optimize our campaign.

LinkedIn

To help understand impact, LinkedIn surveyed a group of marketing decision makers during and after the pilot, which proved positive results. After being exposed to our sponsored updates, marketing decision makers were:

  • 50% more likely to agree or strongly agree that “Adobe is shaping the future of digital marketing”
  • 79% more likely to agree or strongly agree that “Adobe can help me optimize my media spend”
  • 2.5x more likely to agree or strongly agree that Adobe’s Sponsored Updates “captured their attention”

Mission accomplished.

Selecting and Sizing Photos: Essential Graphic Design for Social Media Managers

Images are vital to a strong social presence for any brand, making understanding basic graphic design essential for all social media managers. But, how do you get started? How do you source and select images for use on your social channels? How do you make sure the photos are perfectly tailored to fit each network’s specific audience?

Finding Photos for Social Media

In a perfect world, you’d use original photos from your brand’s internal design team. Not only will you have the rights to use the photos, but you can be assured these images are high-quality, unique, and on-message. However, with the fast-paced nature of social media, you can’t always get your hands on an image internally. What’s a social media manager to do?

Definitely avoid the temptation to grab any image you can find on the web—or you could be in hot water. Whoever took that photo and will most definitely take issue with a brand using said image without permission. Not to mention it’s poor etiquette.

The savvy social media manager knows better, and uses these resources to source images for use on social networks:

  1. Stock Photos: The most straightforward way to get images is to pay for them. iStockphoto is widely reliable, but you can find an excellent breakdown of different stock photo offerings online. The key here is making sure you choose photos that don’t look like stock photos—meaning highly-posed, cliché, or just bad.
  2. Creative Commons: Many photographers will let you use images if you attribute them as the source. Creative Commons is an excellent way to find photos you can use, even commercially, as long as you credit the photographer. Keep in mind, attributions can be lengthy, especially if a copyright notice is included. This makes it less than ideal for use on some social channels (namely Twitter, due to character count limits).
  3. Google Image Advanced Search: Searching for photos on the Internet? Use Google! (Ever heard of it?) Kidding aside, Google’s advanced image search is a great way to find photos that you are “free to use, share, or modify, even commercially.”

Google Advanced Image Search

Make sure you click through to see if the images that turn up require attribution. Occasionally, your search will turn up images that are public domain, which means you are free to use them without attribution!

Posting Photos to Social Media

Now that you’ve got your hands on a photo, you can just upload it and post it, right? Well…not quite.

Each social network has distinct optimal image size specifications, and of course, what is perfect for Facebook’s feed isn’t the right size for Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+. If your photo doesn’t fit those specifications, it might be cropped or automatically scaled to fit.

Hangry Kitty Screenshot

Take the screenshot above, two photos in the Facebook Newsfeed. The photo on the left is too large for Facebook’s feed. The text is cut off and fans would have to click on the photo to view the whole image, which is not an ideal experience. The image on the right is perfectly sized for Facebook, and the whole photo is visible. This makes for a clean newsfeed and provides a more pleasing experience for fans.

Social Media Image Sizes

It’s a basic technique that makes such a big difference. Crop and resize images yourself with any photo-editing tool, or this free online resizing tool.

We’ve provided a handy cheat-sheet detailing the optimal image sizes for each social network’s feed so you can custom-create images for each network:

Facebook
403×403 pixels
843×403 pixels (Highlighted Image)

Twitter
375×375 pixels

Pinterest
600 x 800* pixels
*The height of images on Pinterest is flexible, but if an image is too tall it can become almost impossible to see. This height/width ratio seems to be the most flattering when scaled down to thumbnail size, too!

Google+
497 x 373 pixels

Do you think your social media feeds could benefit from perfectly sized photos?

Essential Graphic Design for Social Media Managers: An Introduction

Images can be a great way to emotionally connect to your audience. As you tell your brand’s story, the right image can evoke nostalgia, excitement, desire, and reflection. Coca Cola, for example, knows this, and has mastered the craft of storytelling with powerful imagery, whether it’s in the milestones of their rich history or a personal one between two people sharing a Coke.

Coca Cola Milestone Coca Cola Milestone 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compelling images, now more than ever, are an integral part of successful social media engagement, and the presence of images in social media has become more and more prevalent in recent years.

Photos and images are the foundation of popular social platforms like Instagram, Tumblr, and especially Pinterest, which, at over 10 million unique visitors, is the fastest growing social network in history.Tweets Get 88% More RTs

And, on Facebook and Twitter, images have become a reliable way to garner engagement. Tweets featuring images see 88% more retweets than tweets with links and 19% more retweets than those that are text only. Furthermore, Facebook posts with a photo typically see nearly 3 times more engagement than status updates. Facebook’s Timeline redesign and acquisition of Instagram also reflect Mark Zuckerberg’s affinity for the power of photos on the social network:

“You see the organic News Feed posts moving toward bigger pictures and rich media. The success of products like Instagram is because they’re so immersive on a small screen.” (Source)

 

Catering to the short attention spans of the social audience, images are quickly and effortlessly consumed on smartphone screens, making content easier to digest and share. With 57% of Facebook users now accessing the site via mobile device social media will likely become more and more mobile, making captivating images more crucial than ever.

With this emphasis on well-designed images, social media managers would be well-served to have a basic understanding of graphic design, especially design that works where your social audience spends most of their time: online and on mobile devices.

Facebook Photos 3x More Engagement

Designing for Social Media

Ideally, you will have access to an in-house design team that can create images for use on social media. In that instance, as social media manager, use the information presented in this series to provide your designers guidance, especially if they typically work in print or web media and aren’t as familiar with the needs of social media sites.

And, as social media often works quickly and reactively, you might not always be able to turn to your graphic design team to create the images you want. In these cases it can help to know the basics so you can make the images yourself.

In this series, we’ll cover the fundamentals, listed below, as well as provide instructional tutorials (with, and in some cases without, Photoshop).

  1. Photo Selection & Sizing: What to look for in a good photo & how to size and save your images so they display well on various social sites.
  2. Playing with Color: How to determine what colors to use to stand out, while staying on brand.
  3. Font Type & Lettering: The magic of combining text and photos, and how to select the right font.
  4. Composition: Putting it all together: how to compose an image that stands out, and how to create a collage.
  5. Examples & Inspiration: What are other brands are doing with images, and ideas you can implement immediately.

We hope you join us next week when we discuss how to choose a good photo and make sure it looks good on whichever social site you decide to share it to!