Tag Archives: Social Media

Crappy Image Cropping on Facebook posts with links? The 20% rule makes your posts POP!

Putting links on your posts is a critical part of your marketing strategy. Without that link so Fans can click to go to  your website, event registration, blog, etc it is just a picture. Links with your images turn entertainment into marketing and Marketing is what your Fans expect and a business needs.

Facebook has recently changed their image formatting so that when you add a link to your image it autoloads information and crops your image to make room. Most images don’t survive the cropping and important elements get cut off. Many are resorting to removing links to keep images looking good which defeats the point of Social Marketing, but keeping the link damages the brand. What to do???

dougs blog problem and result feb 15, 2016
What to do – the 20% rule

Thank goodness Facebook is ran by a computer and contrary to the idea that computers are all thinking and all knowing they are, in fact, quite dumb and predictable. Facebook has a 20% rule for cropping images which works slightly differently for Portrait and Landscape orientation. Note you should always use Landscape as it is preferred for all social sites. But here is the guideline for both Portrait and Landscape. Here is a simple tool for the 20% check http://www.social-contests.com/check-image/

Portrait:

Portrait oriented images are cropped on the top and bottom. This requires creating an additional 20+% of space on the top and bottom of your image to avoid cropping. The red inset on the left image is how it appears on Facebook when posted with a link. To ensure that it is not cropped I put the image into the 20% checker to see how much I needed to add to the top and bottom to avoid cropping. Note: for Portrait orientation images adding space on the sides does not change the cropping.

dougs blog portrait before and after feb 15, 2016
Landscape:

Landscape images are also cropped on the top and  bottom. The red inset on the right is how it appears on Facebook with a link. Notice the image is only cropped on the bottom 20%. However when a 20% buffer is applied to the bottom it forces the top to get cropped and so 20% buffer on top and bottom is still required.

dougs blog landscape side by side feb 15, 2016

And the winner is?!

dougs blog final post for landscape on Facebook with link feb 15, 2016

Hint, you don’t need Photoshop to fix your pics. If you have an image cropping tool like MS snipping tool or Pic Monkey just put your image in any document or email and then clip it and add 20% on the appropriate edges. It doesn’t matter the background colour as it will be cropped out in the final post.

Much success,

Doug

Douglas@PRDA.Asia

PRDA Asia

One Day Work Week, Full Benefits, Full Pay and other Fairy Tales

dream-job-next-exit-pic

While conducting social media training sessions I hear the strangest of stories from participants. Some are amusing, some down right scary. But I don’t think I have heard any so unbelievable as the agency that tried to sell its client on the one day work week.

This tale is true, but the names have been withheld to protect the ignorant (there is nothing derogatory about that word, look it up). While discussing the mechanisms of Social Media Optimization (SMO) in a recent workshop one of the attendees made the statement:

“Our agency advised that we should only post twice per week, but we were not happy with the level of Engagement on the posts. They then told us the only solution was to reduce posting to once per week, so that is what we did. Do you think this was a good strategy?”

hello my name is consultant

During workshops I try and maintain a sense of composure and not react noticeably to any questions lobbed at me until I had time to roll it around in my brain. I do this so that everyone feels comfortable to ask any question or share any experience. Goodness knows I have been told some doozies and making a face or blurting out an expletive is the surest way of blowing that trust, but this one tested me to my limits. However, it does not matter what actions they have taken in the past, their presence in my workshop shows they have chosen to follow the light and that is worth respecting.

After a few moments of trying to hide my disbelief and contain my belly laughs, I decided I would use a metaphor to explain why my opinion might differ from their agency’s.  I said:

“Imagine if you are an employee paid to produce a certain level of work and you convince your boss that to achieve optimal performance you should only come into the office twice a week. I would say you have a sweet job. Now your boss starts to wise up and comes to you and tells you that by coming in only 2 times per week your output is not as high as anticipated and considerably lower than your 5 day a week colleagues. But since you are a very smart employee you convince your boss that to increase output you needed to reduce your time to 1 day per week and he agrees. Congratulations you have just won the best job in the world lottery!”

Social Media is a resource like any other. With the proper skills and management it can deliver good rewards. There is usually only 2 situations when advised to cut back to achieve more. 1. Too much: if whatever is working for you is stressed beyond capacity and about to drop dead, 2. Too little: if the skills of the resource are lacking, the resource is not being used correctly, or the management is not qualified. Social Media Optimization (SMO) is about finding that sweet spot in between.

Much success,

Doug

Messaging Apps and the Butt Bomb? Mild NSFW

hacking_wordcloud

Has messaging app photo capability entered in to a new age of cyber sabotage? As technology continues to evolve and more apps clutter our phones it becomes a challenge to manage them all. I personally have 5 messaging apps and following all the streams of conversations usually receives nothing more than a quick glance and a hastily typed response. I shall now be more aware (imagine suspenseful music playing now). Though most of us use our apps the same way as when we downloaded them, the truth is that they continue to evolve with expanded functionality and those that use them discover new and clever ways to use them. When images are posted to a messaging app they are, by default, saved on your phone. So what happens when someone hijacks a Whatsapp group for less than honorable means?

messaging app photo butt bomb

I often have several Whatsapp groups going and I only pay as much attention as needed to follow the conversation. In a group conversation only the most recent comments show, unless you scroll up (which I never do). It is quite easy to “Photo Bomb” someone without them ever knowing by adding an image to the conversation and then quickly “hiding” it with a few additional comments thereby pushing it up off the screen and out of veiw. Then later, as I did, open the image folder on your phone to post a picture only to be faced with “OMG!”. In my case it was a bunch of men’s asses. So after I got over the surprise of having pictures of some unknown man’s ass on my phone (no giggles) I smiled. . . and then became concerned. These images were planted on my phone without my knowledge or consent, albeit because of my lack of attention. If my phone was backed up to the cloud they would be across all my devices.  Most alarming is that if I had not opened my phone’s photo library, which many of us do not, these would remain on my phone without my knowledge. Hopefully, this little trick will be used for good fun, but there are too many ways to use if to bad. And even the harmless images of a man’s posterior on my phone under certain circumstances would have been just wrong.

Much success,

Doug

 

Mrs. Smith’s 3rd grade class designs Facebook’s Video algorithm, or so it seems

It is no secret that Facebook is competing with other social apps in a determined effort to be all things to everyone and the last app standing. A short time back they took on YouTube in an attempt for most video views. To accomplish this they rewarded Fans who uploaded video directly rather than using a YouTube link with better looks, autoplay, metrics and, most importantly, increased Views and Reach. If you upload a video directly to Facebook you get an algorithm bonus and Facebook pushes you higher and wider so more people will see your post. This was like magic to many small businesses that saw the views on their posts 10’s, 100’s and even 1000’s times higher than ever before.

This client had a modest 2,000 Fans on their page. These results are Organic

facebook organic video results

Facebook video statistics for Organic video results

This all seems like an incredible gift, and it is, but there are complications created by Facebook that are outside the control of Page Owners. First it is about reasonable expectation setting. Videos receiving many times their normal expected Reach and Engagement can put a shop owner’s head in the clouds. And all too quickly the realization that this was an anomaly not likely repeated can be a real let down. But lack of control is probably the most disconcerting. The two charts below paint a queer picture of how Facebook chose to twist this client’s marketing efforts.

Facebook Demographic of Fans on page and those reached by video post

Facebook Demographic of Fans on page and those reached by video post

The chart on the left shows the Fans of the Page. The breakdown is as the client requested with a greater focus on U.S. and a smaller number for their Hong Kong headquarters. Additionally, India is a focus for select inventory. The demographic targeting is accurate. However, the Fans Reached in the month of the “great” video shows a markedly different Reach with Malaysia, a non-target country, receiving 50% of all views. Small businesses benefit from precise marketing to make sure money and effort is not wasted. So it is curious why Facebook’s video algorithm decided that a country excluded from the client’s target market now be included? As this action was created from the Facebook algorithm there was no way for the Page owner to influence, redirect or even object.

As we see Facebook and other social sites try and increase Engagement rates to demonstrate relevance we will likely continue to see marketing actions that are outside the Page owner’s control or wishes. Taking this to a logical conclusion of how does Facebook make money off of this I can only conclude that as Facebook takes more control away from non-sponsored ads they will be encouraging Facebook page owners to regain control through paid targeted promotions. And of course there is social media optimization which continues to be a powerful marketing tool.

Much success,

Doug

http://www.PRDA.Asia

PRDA Asia

http://www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency

Slaying the Giant: How to Beat Facebook’s Algorithm

D and G

Facebook has done it again. Two months ago they stated that they would cut off Organic Reach for business pages. Then last month they announced that Facebook would change on March 12, 2015 the way Likes, Comments and Shares were tracked and that there would be less of them. It is unclear how you can count a physical action and come up with two different answers, but apparently Facebook can and they decided the number is going to be less. But never fear there are always opportunities for smart people that are willing to do the work. Facebook wants us all to take the easy route, the paid advert route, but that is a slippery slope with no possible chance of return.

Defying gravity:

March 12 the big Doomsday for Likes, Comments and Shares which are the primary factor that influences Reach came and went with little fanfare or scary happenings. In fact a local client of PRDA showed significant gains before and after, actually defying what was assumed to be the inevitable

Post Reach

EA FB  Post Reach March 2015

Total Reach

EA FB Total Reach March 2015

So how do you accomplish this?

Social media has become more science than social over the years and this has never been truer than now. To filter through the enormous amount of content the algorithms in social apps are becoming ever more complex to select what you might like to see best. There is also the issue of money and the increasing focus on paid advertising for revenue. Between these two forces it is almost impossible to achieve good views anymore.

But it can be done!!

SEO tricks of keyword optimisation, formatting and proper publishing at the right time of day can trigger the algorithms. PRDA works hard to determine what these triggers are and how to make them work for our clients. But if you are not an expert at SEO and social message optimisation then I recommend using advertising in a limited way. Putting small amounts of money behind a variety of your posts will help you achieve your reach goals and it will start to tell you what performs the best. Here is an example:

This client had a reach of 100 or less for each post. This was disappointing as it has 100,000 Fans. Something was not right. We started writing a range of different message and image combinations and put a small advertising budget behind them. Four different posts US$1.50 per day and this is what we achieved.

With an amount of about US$0.80 per day and optimised messages we increased the reach to 18,000 with the majority coming from Organic. The combination of good Organic methods and a small money boost made it shoot up. Facebook liked the fact we spend money, their algorithm like the content and between the two we got huge bonus value.

CND organic and paid reach FB post March 2015

Summary:

Over dependence on any one strategy is not always good. Trying to beat the system by tricking algorithms is time consuming and risky if you are not experienced. Sticking to paid advertising is a one way path to endless payments. Try balancing strategies to see if the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

Much success,

Doug

http://www.PRDA.Asia

PRDA Asia

http://www.PRDA.Asia is a leading social media management agency

Granny’s getting her’s on Facebook: Demographic Targeting

Doug's Blog Granny Feb 20, 2015

The stories about the “Greying of Facebook” have been with us for quite sometime. The fact is that these stories are largely true. However, it is less about the demise of Facebook and more about the change in online behaviour, but most pundits don’t look too closely. The reasons are many such as the younger generations are using a wider variety of online apps to expand their digital experience and those that were first onto Facebook are quickly approaching a decade older. So much of the “Greying” is just biology. But then there is that the truly “older” are more active on social media largely because of increasing ease of overall use, sharing experiences with friends and family is common and as any activity becomes integral to our daily activities it reaches more people over time. But this is not the interesting part about Facebook getting older. What floats my boat is that the older generation are proving to be the most excited and active on Facebook. Marketers continue to focus on youth or the golden range of 24 – 45 earners. And if you want to get some BUZZ going you target the younger market. But it is getting clearer that Granny’s got the action!

Below are two profiles of Facebook pages from different industries showing the targeted Fans and the Fans that are really engaged. Let’s look at the fun stuff.

Profile 1: The business is well established and has a nice age range of Fans more women than men, but a much more natural distribution than Facebook’s. What we then see is who is showing the love.

PG FB Demo Jan 2015When it comes to engaging with content and being active in sharing, liking and building a community those with the senior citizen discounts are the big winners, 65+ rocks the charts.

PG FB Engaged Jan 2015

Profile 2: This next business shows a more gender balanced profile still nicely reflected along a wide age range. And though the increase in engagement for mature women is not as marked as the previous example is still shows a 100% over representation. That is, women age 55 – 65+ are less than 2% of the Fan base but engage at a rate twice that, 4%+. Where as across the board men’s engagement is under represented.

TGT FB Demo Jan 2015TGT FB Engaged Jan 2015
Summary:

While this blog is about Grannies getting theirs on Facebook, it is really about the larger message. Demographic targeting is critical to marketing success. Tools are available to see deeper into the brand interaction. No longer is assumptions and guesses necessary or allowed. It is fine to want a certain demographic as your Fan, but it is not fine to ignore those that really are your Fans.

Much success,

Doug

Founder www.PRDA.Asia