Twitter No Longer Crops Images

From websites to social sites, trends show that images are king. Image-based web headers, backgrounds, and navigation are skyrocketing in popularity; Facebook posts with images perform significantly better than non-image posts; and photo-based sites like Instagram and Pinterest continue to grow at astronomical rates. Images have also been linked to high conversion rates.

Because of this, businesses work hard to curate impressive imagery that will attract and convert users. The downfall is that some of these sites have different image guidelines, causing your original image or artwork to be cropped, unless you spend the additional time and money necessary to customize that image to fit each platform’s suggested size guidelines.

Luckily for businesses using the popular micro-blogging platform Twitter, that is no longer the case. Earlier this week, Twitter announced they are no longer cropping images down to what was the size of roughly 1000 pixels by 500 pixels. Additionally, the multi-photo displays will appear larger and more beautiful. This means your images will appear just as beautiful on Twitter as they do on Facebook, increasing the opportunity for clicks and/or conversions.

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Instagram also no longer crops its images providing users with more creative freedom. Before this change, Instagram photos would be cropped into a square, often cutting off important parts of images. However, the popular photo site now allows landscape and portrait photos in addition to its square format option.

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New Facebook Insights Good for Local Marketers

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Based on the amount of consumer data Facebook gathers, it has always been an incredible tool for local marketers. The advertising platform uses consumer data to make reaching a very specific target audience possible. But once again, Facebook has outdone itself. To become an even more invaluable resource to local marketers and advertisers, Facebook has launched local insights that can tell businesses who is near their stores.

Business page managers now have a new section within the Facebook page insights tool that measures foot traffic around individual store locations. This is now available to any page that is using the page’s location features. In addition to foot traffic trends, brands that advertise on Facebook will be able to see what share of the people passing by have seen their ad within the past 28 days.

All of the information gathered is aggregated and anonymized, so instead of reporting actual people who have been by the store, it will show weekly, monthly, and quarterly trends of when particular groups of people are more or less likely to be near the store. The tool also provides information on what days of the week or times of the day are the busiest in the neighborhood. Information local marketers will be able to see about users includes gender, age groups—18-24, 25-34, etc.—and whether they are from out of town or live within 120 miles of the store’s location.

This information is being gathered through what users provide on their profiles, as well as the location settings within the Facebook mobile application. If people do not want Facebook to gather general location information, they do have the ability to opt out by changing the location settings within Facebook’s mobile app.

Not only will you be able to see who is near the store, but Facebook has also made it possible to customize ads to each store location. These ads will automatically pull information about the nearest store, such as the address with the option to get directions and a phone number that links to call. Local advertisers will be able to layer this in with the other targeting options the ads manager platform provides.

As a local business, do you utilize all of Facebook ‘s capabilities? Robmark Web is a local Savannah web design company that assists businesses of all sizes with social media, social media advertising, and so much more. Please call 912-921-1040 for any inquiries.

Crowdsourcing With Twitter Polls

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Crowdsourcing is a term coined in 2005 that means the act of obtaining needs, services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community. Over the years, social media platforms have turned out to be an excellent avenue to gather such information.

People follow a business on social media for a reason; they are interested in the product or service, and want to be a part of a community. Several businesses have tapped into their community and engaged in the two-way communication we’ve all come to appreciate. What color shirt should we get, blue or green? What type of food should we add to the menu, steak or spaghetti? The communities of interested followers speak their mind and these businesses are reaping the benefits by providing the customers with exactly what they want. No more guessing.

Twitter has recently introduced a new opportunity to gather information from its ever-expanding audience—Twitter Polls. With Twitter Polls, users can create a question with two options to answer. The poll is open for only 24 hours and once it is over, a push notification is sent out to all of the participants to see the final result. Unlike almost every action on Facebook, participation is not tracked. Your interaction with a poll is not made public and the information is not being sold to marketing firms—at least not yet.

Before official Twitter Polls were in place, you could still participate in polls by tallying hashtag responses, tweeting a question, and tracking the replies, or by asking followers to favorite or Retweet a vote. It now has simply become a more streamlined action. We are interested to see how the feature grows and changes as Twitter does. What do you think of Twitter Polls? Will you or your company use them? We’d love to hear from you!

Image Recognition Tool Changes The Way Brands Use The Visual Web

When managing a brand’s social media, it is imperative to track the user-generated content (UGC) that is being curated about the brand. Whether it’s positive or negative, you need to know what is being said. That task has become increasingly difficult as the way people use the Internet changes.

Text, hashtags, comments, and other types of tagging have made it relatively easy for marketers to track what people are saying, however, users are now using less text and more photos, making the tracking process more difficult. According to Brian Kim, Director of Product Management at GumGum, 80% of images that feature a brand are never seen by that brand, but thanks to Mantii, that’s about to change.

Mantii is a new image recognition tool by display advertising platform GumGum that finds photos across the Web that are relevant to a brand, even if they aren’t labeled with hashtags or captions. It can even track imagery associated with a competitor’s brand. Intrigued yet?

This image recognition tool can help PR firms, agencies, and brands control their visual identity as it relates to UGC, from tracking campaigns and social reputations to connecting with top influencers and gaining user insights. This new ability will change the way marketers use social media and the visual web.

Further reading:

http://www.adweek.com/brandshare/new-image-recognition-tool-will-change-how-brands-use-social-media-166522

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150826005655/en/GumGum-Launches-Mantii-Real-Time-Image-Recognition-Social#.Vfru0dNVhBc

http://adage.com/article/digital/social-media-visual-invisible/298720/

Top Facebook Trends of 2015

Ever since its inception in 2004, Facebook has been continually changing and evolving, and so far 2015 has been a busy year for the popular social network. We are beginning to see the company transition from a social platform showcasing an endless stream of photos from your former high school classmates to a modern media company.

Though the year is only halfway over, there are definitely some trends from 2015 that are worth noting. One of the biggest shifts recently is the rise of video. Auto-play videos were introduced last year, and now more native videos are watched on the platform than YouTube videos.

The introduction of the Social Wallet in March has allowed users to securely transfer money to friends via Facebook Messenger, as well as purchase items directly from the platform.

Due to algorithm changes and decreased organic reach, there has been, and will continue to be, an increase of paid ad budgets. Right now, social media makes up approximately 9% of marketing budgets, but is forecast to rise to 25% by 2020.

For the last few years, marketers have speculated that younger target markets were going to leave Facebook. While this may be true for some, 43% of 12 to 24 year-olds state that Facebook is their most-used network, followed by Instagram with only 18%.

The ability to log into websites using social media credentials has simplified the online world, and prevents the need for hundreds of different usernames and passwords. Facebook is the number one social login used across key verticals.

Facebook’s application diversification has increased drastically over the last few years with the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp. According to BrandWatch, 42% of marketers plan to increase their use of Instagram in 2015. WhatsApp has a user base of 700 million, making it the most popular social messaging app.

And, as always, Facebook continues to make it easier for users to control their privacy preferences, forcing marketers to continually get more creative on how to tap into their target audiences.

Facebook has done a good job at not only changing with the times, but also being the innovator and leader in its industry. If the social network continues to stay one step ahead, there is no limit to what the company can become. Remember when Amazon only sold books? Could Facebook be the next big tech company? Time will only tell.

Happy Social Media Day!

Today, June 30, 2015, marks the 6th official Social Media Day. “Isn’t that every day?” you might think to yourself? With the ever-increasing social landscape one would think so; however, Mashable decided to create an official holiday of it.

Mashable knows social media is about more than posting cute baby pictures and clumsy cat videos, and they are celebrating the impact that social media has each day on global communications with Social Media Day 2015.

Across the world today, social media users can join Mashable Meetups to connect with other users in their area as they learn about the massive growth and increasing importance of social media in business and every day life. Simply follow @MashableEvents on Twitter or join the Mashable Meetup Organizers group on Facebook to get all the details.

Participating is easy; we do it every day! Simply post on your various social media accounts, but be sure to use the hashtag “#SMDay” on those posts today to spread the word.

Social Media isn’t just important for global communication. It’s also important for your business, as it provides an opportunity to foster a more personal relationship with your customers. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, plus countless others, all offer different mediums with which you can interact with current and potential customers. Need a little help setting up or running your social media accounts? Robmark Web has a team of social media experts who can help you grow your customer relationships to new heights!