Nailing the Facebook Image: Handy Cheat Sheet

To properly target and engage your audience on Facebook, you need impressive visual assets. Luckily, Facebook offers the freedom to be creative and use eye-catching images in your profile, company page, ads and event invites.

However, there are image dimensions and sizing guidelines that you must follow, or they will not appear as you like and may not be approved at all.

Luckily, TechWyse created this Facebook image sizes and dimensions cheat sheet to lend you a helping hand when crafting your next social media campaign.

Even the savviest social media professionals may not be aware of the Facebook’s image specs. For instance, shared images and shared links require different sizing when it comes to uploading.

Facebook recommends 1200 x 630 px for a shared image. On the other hand, Facebook recommends that shared links should be 1200 x 627 px.

Besides image sizing and dimensions, Facebook also imposes text character limits. They will disapprove/give lesser reach to promoted posts with more than 20% text. This means that you need to make sure the text you are using in your post images must meet this character limit if you want to see your post approved.

Bookmark, download or print the cheat sheet and share it with your team of social media content creators, digital marketers and graphic designers. Hang it on your desk, on your office wall or anywhere you can easily reference it when working out the specifics of the visual assets to accompany your Facebook posts.

Hope it helps!  Good luck.



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How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Algorithm

The latest Facebook algorithm changes are in, and the tally is Facebook 1, headline writers 0.  As was dont-panic-1067044_1920widely reported over the past few days (e.g., see this TechCrunch piece), the social network has taken measures to reduce the number of click bait stories in our news feeds.

They’re trying to improve the user experience, by studying which types of stories people bounce from and coming up with a formula that flags the content (and marks the source as a click baiter).

Apparently this has a lot to do with the headline – does it withhold crucial information to tempt  curiosities, or over hype the article contents? Facebook offered these tips to help publishers comply. The changes are designed to reward quality and punish excesses of content creators.

Here, Facebook places us in an awkward position. I mean, who would argue for more click bait? The problem is that the types of things they’re now watching for are exactly the time-proven tactics that work, i.e. draw the user in. If the headline doesn’t pull, the shitting thing doesn’t get read.

The devil is in the details – I am not a believer in hypey headlines, and promising more than articles deliver. But hype is in the eye of the beholder, or now the algorithm. I used their sniff test while reading the esteemed NY Times, some of their stories could take a hit according to the screening logic.

Tell me please, exactly how a computer is supposed to make these judgments at scale?

It all gets back to what I was saying earlier, about fighting excesses.  When more brands are plying more content, you get lots of listicles, crappy info graphics and irritating come-ons that are too tempting to resist.  Inevitably, quality declines. (See my post about Open Spaces Marketing to learn how to avoid this trap).

Algorithm writers have been trying to stay ahead of the content deluge for years, guiding users to the higher quality stuff. Recall Google’s Panda update in 2011 (see this Search Engine Land piece) to smack down content mills. Few mourn the decline of those sites.

Looking at it this way, these companies are our friends, and doing us all a service.

As I like to say, if you live by the algorithm, you can die by it too.

As Google says, and as I imagine Facebook would agree, write great content for people not algorithms, and you’ll do just fine (OK, well we may need to rethink our headlines too).



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What Does it mean to Hack a Feed, and why Should PR Care?

So what does it really mean, to “hack the feed”? Here are some of the key ideas, from articles that I wrote wireless-155910_1280for Flack’s Revenge, MarketingProfs and Entrepreneur.

This is an excerpt from the first:

“If you are interviewing PR agencies, a good question to ask is: ‘what business are you in?’ If they say: ‘Getting you media coverage, building visibility,’ politely show them the door.

The reason is that any agency worth its salt knows that press coverage will happen.  But in a sea of noise and info choices, it is the ability to break through and connect with audiences that makes the critical difference. In short, the correct answer is the ‘attention business’.  And getting attention – quality attention – is getting more challenging every day.”

The second story said:

“Sure, many still turn on the TV to stay on top of current events, pick up a newspaper or magazine, or type in the URL of their favorite news site. But, more often than not, they are getting news from aggregators, sharers, and curators—whether via algorithms (in the case of LinkedIn and Facebook), from their friends on Twitter, or via professional curators such as Huffington Post and BuzzFeed.

Where does that leave you if you are readying a launch or you have news to promote? To get the attention of your intended audience, you need to understand how and where they get information—and work hard to ensure that your news is right there.”

The third piece further explains:

“Much of the problem has to do with information overload. How do people cope? We scan. We prioritize. We note what’s trending. Google and the social networks track our content engagement, and adjust news feeds accordingly. People stir the content soup in myriad ways and, in doing so, affect their popularity.

The result is that the architecture of content and news distribution has changed. It’s no longer primarily top down. Sure, big media still has reach and influence, but the revolution is by and large user-driven, with a healthy dose of platform and algorithmic selection thrown in.”

The challenges are clear – info overload, media fragmentation, changing information flows and consumption trends – what is the solution? The above stories provide some answers.  I urge you to click the links and read them.

But if it were so easy, we wouldn’t need a whole blog like this to break it down – right?!!

The Hack the Feed ethos is not about hacking in the black hat sense. It embraces technology solutions – but is driven by an understanding that you must start with information consumer – and communicate on their terms.  It is about earning a place in increasingly inundated attention spans, breaking through with content that is read, makes an impression and inspires action.



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Welcome to Hack The Feed

With this post I launch Hack the Feed, a blog dedicated to leading edge PR strategies.code-707069_1920 (2)

What does it mean to be on the leading edge? Who in PR would claim the trailing edge?

Many think of press coverage when it comes to PR.  We’ve never been just about media relations – yet this is still the bread and butter for many PR agencies. And most who employ PR hope that it will do its fair share to meet short (read: sales) and long term business goals.

But It is harder than ever to get media to care about pitches and press releases. And when you are successful, and they do write – well, the earned media hit does not drive the same results any more. The servers don’t often come crashing down from a major hit.

Here are other relevant trends:

  • People are overloaded with content choices. So, they become content grazers and scanners and tune much out.
  • Buyers have many ways to get smart about products and services – they don’t need the media to stay informed.
  • There’s a growing tech influence, with the major social platforms, Apple and Google determining what shows on our screens and in news feeds.
  • Users increasingly determine the flow and popularity of info.

They give rise to the following questions:

  • What works better than mass blasts and relying on the media to build buzz and draw attention?
  • How can you craft content, news and campaigns that get noticed and produce results?

HTF is a blog dedicated to updating practices and communicating effectively in today’s info-saturated world.

The HTF ethos embraces technology solutions – but is driven by an understanding that you must start with information consumer – and approach them on their terms.

You can come here to read about topics as diverse as word choice and storytelling to social network analysis, memetics and news feed optimization.   The topics are united under the singular focus of communications that connect. It is about hacking attention spans, breaking through with content that is read, makes an impression and inspires action.

Does this sound interesting? Please subscribe to this blog and become part of the community.

 

 



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