A Handy Shortcut: The Best Image Sizes for Four Social Media Profiles

I get very frustrated every time I need to update a social media profile image — either for myself or for a client. It seems like a big Holmesean project to find how big or small every image should be.

I always think, “Why aren’t these easily accessible? Why isn’t there a quick link on each social media site?” Why indeed.

So, thanks to a few helpful sites (merci Constant Contact and Fb pages: Sizes & Dimensions — very helpful, both of you) I have compiled a list of the specifications you will need to get the best looking profile images for each of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn Pages. Continue reading “A Handy Shortcut: The Best Image Sizes for Four Social Media Profiles”

Genius Tweet: Twitter for Connecting in Person

I love this tweet.

It’s so simple but she has a day free and wants to network. I’m willing to bet she got a lunch date out of it too.

This is social media converting to real life ROI — take notes.

Avoiding Vanity Statistics: How to Really Know if Social Media is Working

I have several clients who spent their spare time (haha — like any of us have that!) combing over their social media stats. Their business confidence lives and dies on how many people they’ve attracted to their Facebook page, how many “likes” they have, and how many new Twitter followers they’ve accumulated that week.

The problem? These numbers don’t really matter. They’re just “vanity statistics.”

Vanity statistics are the numbers that make us feel the love. If 300 Twitter followers are good, 3000 must be better, right? Not necessarily. Yes, the more followers you have, the more people you can theoretically dash messages off to — sales offers, information, branding messages, etc. However, like all marketing, if you’re sending messages out to people who don’t really care, that message isn’t going to be very effective.

There are some statistics that are crucial to measuring your social media effectiveness. If you must hang your hat on stats — and who doesn’t love stats? — these are the ones (and, yes, they can be just as loving as the vanity stats.)

Google Analytics — Referrals

Okay, take a look in your Google Analytics for me. I know they just changed the interface and that it can be a bit scary in there, but never fear. This will be quick and painless. On the left, click into “Traffic Sources” and then into “Sources.” From that list, choose “Referrals.”

This is where the big money is.

Okay, let’s look at the centre table for the Facebook referrals — these are all the people that came to your website from Facebook. Look for both facebook.com and m.facebook.com (their mobile site.) Remember, that the default in Google Analytics is to show stats for the previous month (look at the top, right-hand corner of the page to see what date range your stats are for — change this range if you’s like.)

Are you happy with these Facebook numbers? They probably feel less loving than the vanity stats, don’t they? But these are the people who are actually interested in you and your product or service. This is the statistic worth striving to increase.

Just as an aside, Twitter shows its referrals as both twitter.com and t.co in Analytics. As far as I’ve seen, LinkedIn shows as linkedin.com.

Why Are Referrals Important?

Well, unless you are selling product directly off your Facebook page or Twitter account, your website is where the sales take place. Whether your potential client is gathering information about you and your business or entering in a credit card and choosing their shipping option, your website is where the money changes hands. You should almost always be driving traffic to your website.

How Do I Drive Traffic to My Website?

Make your website exciting to visit through blog posts, contests, value added products, and other dynamic content. Then? Talk about these exciting things on social media. Encourage people to visit your content. Use snappy wordsmithing and tease about what they’ll find if they click through. Make sure that once they’re at your site, you have something for them to do — sign up for a newsletter or give up their email to download a white paper or coupon. Make it fun! Even industries that are traditionally thought of as less fun can kick it up a little. Be creative.

What is a “Tweet Up”?

As more of my colleagues and clients dip their toes in the world of social media, I get quite a few random questions posed to me throughout my day. One that has come up a lot lately is “What is a Tweet Up?”

I’ve seen them take several forms, but an authentic Tweet Up is where someone posts on Twitter that they’re going to be at a particular location at a particular time. They are, in essence, inviting all their followers and anyone else who receives the message (remember, Twitter is very public) to meet them for a drink. In the purest sense of the term, Tweet Ups are not planned in advance — they’re pretty spontaneous. That’s the fun of them.

In the last few months, however, I’ve noticed that the term Tweet Up is evolving to mean any meeting or get together — even ones planned several days or weeks in advance. Every system needs to mold to the users needs to stay relevant, as does it seems the Tweet Up. Business people are using it to plan networking events. Mommy groups are giving a few days notice to allow for family scheduling.

So, next time you have a hankering for a coffee break or even want to try a new restaurant for lunch, try tweeting out that you’re looking for some company. You just may get more than you ever bargained for!

Changing Your Twitter Background

Did you know that your Twitter page can take on your branding design quite easily? Even if you’re at a loss at how to make a background image, your page can include your brand colours. Here’s how to spruce it up:

  • Go into your “Settings” at the top right-hand corner of your Twitter page
  • Choose “Design” from the blue navigation bar just under “Your Name’s settings”
  • Choose a theme from the different options. Don’t like any of these but have an image you’d like to use?
    • Scroll down and choose “Change background image”, upload your image, and click the “save changes” button at the bottom of the page
  • Want to change the colour of the background, column, links, or the text? Simply, scroll down and choose “Change design colors”, click on the appropriate box and choose a colour
    • If you know the hex colour code, type it in without the # at the front
    • If you know the RBC colour, you can find the hex code with this handy site

Be sure to click “done” once the colour is picked and “save changes” once the correct colour or image appears in the box. Otherwise, the changes will not update on your page.

Inspiration

Would you like to see some updated Twitter pages? Check these ones out:

Bluelime Media
Ballistic Arts
David Suzuki Foundation
Edible Vancouver
Pebble Road Marketing

All Tweets Are Final

Despite my initial objections (what will I say??), I find myself really enjoying Twitter. I’m not on there very often but — when I do visit (it’s like a little land of its own) — I often learn a new tidbit or meet a new personality. Those who visit more often or have an on-going feed on their desktop often develop a community. They have a group of people they chat with, exchange ideas with, and promote (usually through “re-tweets”).

I am, however, very cautious with my own “tweets” or comments. After all, all my followers will have access to whatever I spontaneously type and — worst of all — All Tweets Are Final. That is, you can never take anything back that you say on Twitter. It’s all recorded for forever more.

My recommendations? There are a few ways to prevent making comments you’ll dread later:

  • Think it through: I know the format of Twitter is to encourage spontaneity, but take a few moments to re-read what you’ve dashed off. Make sure this is a comment you would feel comfortable saying in a business meeting.
  • Consider scheduling your messages: Hoot Suite is a Twitter management program (free) that allows you to schedule your tweets ahead of time. I know! It takes the spontaneity and fun of being wild and free. But, if you tend to message impulsively, this will become your friend. Schedule your messages and then, if regret visits before it goes live, simply delete it.
  • Give yourself guidelines: What are you comfortable talking about on Twitter? This will depend on your focus — business, personal, a combination of both? If your primary focus is business, maybe it’s wise to not talk about your morning bathroom routine. If you’d like to present yourself as a serious professional, perhaps your guideline will include “no rants or swearing”. Decide what you want to project and stick to it.

Twitter can be a great addition to your business — if you just remember that All Tweets Are Final.

Post-Script — Okay, apparently Tweets are no longer final! You CAN delete your own tweets now by hovering over your post and pressing the “Delete” when it shows itself. However, Twitter remains an instant medium and even if you do delete something, there is always the possibility that someone has seen it!

Twitter for the Entrepreneur

I must admit, I was a little wary of Twitter when it first broke onto the scene. Micro-blog about my day? How exciting could my lunch break be?

That is until a colleague asked me, “Is it because it seems too personal?” Eureka! That was it! I was very uncomfortable talking about the banalities of my life. Heck, even I find those things boring and I’m living them. That’s when I decided to use Twitter for business purposes only.

I have to say that I have a new respect for Twitter. I have a few colleagues that I follow — we all work alone — and it actually feels a little like being in an office again. When I log in, I hear all about the stubborn code that just won’t work or the insane deadline another has set for herself. Suddenly, it’s not banal at all but an easy way to briefly connect and lose that feeling of isolation solo entrepreneurs often feel.

Okay, I’m still not a super-Tweeter. I tend to listen way more than I Tweet (which follows with my personality anyway) but I do now consider Twitter an important part of my day.

I’m at @PebbleRoad, if you’d like to join the Twitter conversation.