Tag Archives: twitter

Twitter Opens 280 Character Limit For All

140 characters is an arbitrary limit, given its archaic SMS heritage and the fact that you can’t write any sentence longer than this one is. Which is why, after a brief period of testing to a limited subset of its users, Twitter is finally increasing its character count for most users to 280.

The only ones left out of the fun are Japanese, Korean and Chinese language users. Because those languages are non-alphabetic and contain many logographic symbols, they don’t experience what Twitter calls “cramming”, and so don’t require the expanded count.

Of course, with any big change to a fundamental system comes the inevitable backlash from some part of the user-base, even if that community isn’t quite as vociferous as Twitter’s tends to be. Continue reading

New Twitter and Pinterest Features Push All the Right Buttons

twitrestOver the last month or so, both Twitter and Pinterest have added buttons that make tapping into these social media sites faster and easier for businesses. On August 24, 2016, Twitter rolled out a new DM (direct message) button that allows visitors to send and receive private messages directly to and from a company, instead of having to post tweets for public view. Then on September 15th, Pinterest launched its “Promote” button that lets advertisers promote their pins in just seconds.

Wow! Think about all the speed and ease you get for your business tweets and pins at the touch of a button. Just click to promote Pinterest ad campaigns or to send and receive direct customer messages on Twitter. Continue reading

7 Tips for Advertising on Twitter

Depositphotos_24842955_s-2015Have you ever considered advertising your small business on Twitter? Twitter advertising doesn’t get as much buzz as Facebook advertising, but it’s an option you may want to add to your marketing mix.

Twitter has more than 310 million active monthly users, and its advertising platform provides powerful targeting capabilities that can get your business in front of the right people. You’ll find that the Twitter ad space is not quite as saturated as Google or Facebook ads, so it tends to be less competitive and it gives you a greater opportunity to stand out from the crowd.

Here are 7 tips for advertising successfully on Twitter: Continue reading

What the Changes to Twitter’s Timeline Means For Your Business

Twitter logotype birdConstant changes in social media can be frustrating; but if you’ve been following along over the years, you know by now that change tends to work out for the best. While we never want to overwhelm you with the constant tweaks and shifts in the way our favorite social media platforms operate, we like to give you the scoop whenever clients show concern for significant developments that may affect the way they use social media marketing.

Lately, everyone is all abuzz about Twitter’s recent timeline changes. In the new Twitter timeline, rather than feeding us tweets of the accounts we follow chronologically—the experience we’ve all grown accustomed to over the years—Twitter has begun to serve content to us with algorithmic filtering. Continue reading

Social Media Image Sizes — A 2016 Guide

LikeWe’ve updated this guide for 2017, click here to see the new guide.

If you are in any way engaged with social media, then you’ve probably had to create images to use when promoting or sharing things with your community. The problem is, social networks are constantly changing the recommended specs for images, and different uses for images often require different dimensions (the height and width of the image).

That’s why we’ve created this handy guide to creating social media images for a number of the most popular networks out there, and we will endeavor to make sure that it stays up-to-date as things inevitably change. Let’s begin!

A Few Universal Tips

There are a few things that you’ll want to try to do no matter where you are posting. Firstly, don’t stray from the recommended dimensions if at all possible. If you do, you are likely to cause stretching and/or blurring when the image displays. There are plenty of user-friendly image editors available for free online, if you are uncomfortable with or do not have access to Photoshop, including Pixlr, PicMonkey or if you use WordPress, WordPress’s built in image editor. The one caveat to this rule is if you’d like to use a larger image than recommended. Social networks apply pretty heavy compression to over-large images, which can actually result in a slightly worse quality than if you had uploaded the recommended size. However, Twitter actually applies this compression to all uploaded images, so in that one instance, uploading a larger image may increase quality, though results vary. If you do opt for a larger image, just make sure that it is larger in scale to the recommended dimensions. If your image contains a logo or text, you may want to use a png file instead of jpg, because they will be less likely to distort in a png.

Facebook

COVER IMAGE — 851 x 315 px

When choosing or designing an image, be sure to accommodate for info Facebook places in the lower part of the image space, including business name, type and the new optin button that appears on the lower right corner if you have it turned on.

PROFILE IMAGE — 180 x 180 px

SHARED IMAGES — 1200 x 630 px

SHARED LINKS — 1200 x 627 px

Twitter

COVER IMAGE — 1500 x 500 px

PROFILE IMAGE — 400 x 400 px

SHARED IMAGES — 440 x 220 px

If you don’t want people to have to expand an image to see the whole thing, than the above dimensions are what you want. If you don’t mind people needing to expand your image first, then any dimensions will do.

Instagram

PROFILE IMAGE — 110 x 110 px

SHARED IMAGES — 1080 x 1080 px

LinkedIn

BACKGROUND IMAGE — 1400 x 425 px

This one is relatively new, and can be tricky if you want to fill it with branding. Only the top strip of the image will show above the content. It is often better to try and use an abstract image without logo or text here.

BANNER IMAGE — 646×220

Also pretty new, the banner image shows up on your brand’s home page.

COVER IMAGE — 974 x 330 px

LOGO/PROFILE IMAGE — 400 x 400 px

Google +

COVER IMAGE — 1080 x 608 px

PROFILE IMAGE — 250 x 250 px

SHARED IMAGE — 497 x 373 px

SHARED LINKS — 150 x 150 px

Google + turns images associated with links into thumbnails at the above dimensions. We don’t recommend you use those dimensions for these, just be aware that they will be thumbnailized (I just invented a word!).

Pinterest

PROFILE IMAGE — 165 x 165 px

PINS — 236px in width, can be as tall as you like.

Youtube

COVER IMAGE — 2560 x 1440 px

This image only displays full size on televisions, otherwise you will only see a portion. For this reason, it’s important to keep stuff you always want visible in a 1546 x 423 px area directly in the center of your 2560 x 1440 px image.

And there you have it! Now you can make images for social media to your hearts content. When we’ve updated this post, we’ll announce we’ve done so at the top of it, so check back to see if things have changed. You can bet they will.

Want awesome social media images that fit perfectly wherever they need to? Give the designers at Solamar a shout.

5 Ways the End of the 140 Character Tweet Could Change Business

twitterTweets have been short and sweet for over a decade…a 140 character cyber-certainty. According to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, “It inspires creativity and brevity. And a sense of speed.”

However, in early January he hinted at possibly expanding the 140 character limit on tweets up to a whopping 10,000 characters (71 times the old limit!). While there’s been no official announcement confirming the increase, The Wall Street Journal reported that it’s a matter of when not if…most likely by the end of Q1 2016. Twitter’s devoted users have bemoaned the potential change and are worried that, “It could transform Twitter into more of a public blogging platform rather than one that is succinct and well-suited to quips and breaking news headlines.”

My first response to the reported character increase (one probably shared by many) was, “WTF!? Why would they want more characters? What makes Twitter stand apart from other social media is its mandate for brevity.”

But I kept my mind open to the idea, and came up with 5 reasons businesses should probably embrace the likely change. Despite the lamentations, this character increase could have positive impacts for content providers and brand advertisers…without noticeable negatives. Continue reading

5 Reasons You Should Use Hootsuite in 2015

hootsuiteHi folks! Last week I wrote about how to escape from social media overload, and one of things I mentioned was the social media management (SMM) platform Hootsuite. This week I’d like to dial in a little more on what Hootsuite is capable of and why you should be using it, even if you love swimming in the social media ocean.

Hootsuite has been around for a long time now (in internet time measurement), originally coming onto the scene in 2008 under the name BrightKit, and then changing its name the year after that via a competition. Since it’s been around that long, it’s likely you have heard of or even used Hootsuite in the past. Personally, I’ve been checking in on the growth of its feature-set every year or so since it launched, and though up until recently I’ve found it lacking in a few key areas that made it difficult to recommend broadly, in the past year a few things have updated or been included to eliminate most of my concerns.

To be clear, there are still reasons to engage with social media networks directly, but when it comes to managing the multiple profiles a business needs to stay competitive, and to interface with the growing community of social media users who choose to seek support via your networks, Hootsuite is now one of the best tools available. So let’s dig in, and talk about why that is.

Hey, It’s Free!

At least, the base platform is free, but that base is incredibly feature rich, and a perfectly good way to get started. If you find yourself needing even further functionality, their paid plans increase the scope of what you can control and monitor, the size of the team you can manage via the platform, and the depth of the analytics they offer. However, the free plan, which is limited to 3 networks, 1 team member and basic analytics, is a good jumping off point, and if you are a solo entrepreneur or small business with a limited team, can be enough to handle everything you need.

Keeping It Together

One of the primary functions of Hootsuite is to gather all of the streams from across your various networks and display them in a single dashboard, allowing you to view and manage them without having to keep millions of browser tabs open. It also allows you to post to multiple networks at the same time, though you need to be careful when and how you choose to do that. The culture and limitations of individual networks can vary, and if a message is particularly important, you may still want to tailor individual messages to each network. But for quick one-off announcements, you can save a lot of time by broadcasting to all of your networks simultaneously.

I should also mention here that Hootsuite is one of the few ways it is possible to easily post to Google+ from outside of the search giant’s walled garden. The list of networks that Hootsuite is capable of interfacing with is an ever-growing pile, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, WordPress, Tumblr and many, many more, including…

Instagram!!! Finally!!!

Just this month, Hootsuite finally added full-on Instagram integration, including scheduling of Instagram posts. Up until now, us social media managers have had to use a dizzying array of third-party tools to allow us to schedule Instagram posts, which isn’t a feature Instagram offers itself, and those tools have been shoddily executed at best. Also, they often come in and out of existence quickly, meaning we’ve had to keep finding and switching tools in order to keep up with our needs. Now, we have that functionality built into one of the best management tools out there, and it works perfectly. The scheduling service still relies on automatically bringing up your Instagram app so you can hit send yourself, rather than sending it automatically the way other networks can, but the implementation is much smoother than services I’ve used previously, with a number of checks along the way to make sure that you aren’t accidentally posting to the wrong account.

With this addition, Hootsuite is now capable of managing what I think of as “the big three” social networks — Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — and that is honestly the main reason I am now comfortable suggesting it to anyone who needs SMM in their life.

Teamwork FTW

This is another biggy. If you manage your networks by yourself you won’t need this, but if you have ever tried to coordinate social media strategy and management across a number of team members, then you’ve probably run into some of the logistical issues that can create. Giving your network passwords to others is a security risk, and getting an overview of who has responded to what and when can be incredibly difficult. Hootsuite’s team-management system allows you to decide which team members should respond to what, eliminating the concern that multiple team members will respond to the same thing. It also allows you to easily share the load of managing your networks with others, further cutting down on potential overload. Though the free plan only allows one other team member, that can often be enough for a small team to divide and conquer.

Schedule and Move On

Another huge reason to use Hootsuite is that it allows you to schedule your posts for later. I cannot emphasize enough how important this is. If you’ve worked up an extensive social media marketing campaign, executing that campaign can be a real headache, especially if it involves multiple posts to multiple networks over an extended period of time. Making sure all of those posts get out exactly when they are supposed to can be nearly impossible, and will disrupt any other work you are trying to do, unless you schedule them ahead of time. When you frontload your entire campaign into Hootsuite using scheduled posts, you can fire and forget, allowing you to move on to other work secure in the knowledge that your plan is being executed automatically exactly as you intended. This. Is. Awesome.

There are plenty of other really cool things that Hootsuite does, including in-depth analytics, built in url shortening and more, but I think this is enough to make my point. If you spend any time interfacing with social media for business, than you owe it to yourself to give Hootsuite a spin. It won’t cost you anything, and you might find that it makes your life better in a number of measurable ways.

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