When most people upload an image for a social media network like Google+ or Facebook they usually go by how it looks on their own monitor, but there’s a problem with that approach when it comes to our Google+ cover photos because there are variables that can affect the actual dimensions of the image on the screen. Unlike Facebook, where the image is a fixed size no matter the size of the viewers monitor, Google went with a responsive design and the image shrinks and expands as the monitor size increases. In addition, depending on whether the viewer sees 2 or 3 columns or the bio in the profile box to the left of the cover image is 2 lines or 3, the sides of the image can be cropped. So, even though your fancy new cover looks great to you on your monitor, it may look different to someone on a smaller or larger monitor, or on a mobile app.
Here are some screenshots showing how my Google+ page looks at several popular resolutions as well as on Android and iPhones. You’ll notice that more or less of the overall width is visible, depending on the monitor resolution. Click on any of the images to view at actual size.
1024 x 768
1366 x 768
1600 x 900
1920 x 1080
Android App. Entire image is visible, unlike on an iPhone. Don’t ask me why.
iPhone. Sadly, as you can see, unlike the Android app, the iPhone shows a very small portion of the entire overall image so trying to design something that works on an iPhone is just a compromise I’m not willing to make.
Here’s a template I created that indicates a safe area that will be visible to anyone. I recommend keeping anything important, like text, inside the safe area. To download the template, click the image below and download the full size image that opens. The maximum size for a cover image is 2120 x 1192 but the size recommended by Google is 1080 x 608 and that’s the size I design for.
For those of you with Photoshop, click here to download a layered psd file.
Did you know that every time you update your Page cover it shows up in your fans’ News Feeds? Seems like a great opportunity for marketing, except for one problem. If you’ve added a description for the image it doesn’t show up along with the image in the update like it would when you post a photo normally. Solution? Make sure people know to click the image.
If you add an obvious call to action, like “Click Here” to the cover image, that image suddenly looks just like a banner ad and people are going to click it. When they do, as long as you’ve added some marketing text as the description for that image, it’s going to appear next to it when it opens in the photo viewer, links and all.
It’s not a bad idea to have that call to action visible to everyone who views your Page Timeline, but just in case you’d rather be more subtle, here’s a little trick; just put the CTA in the spot that will be covered by your profile photo. No one will see it when they view your Timeline but it will be there when your fans see the “updated their cover photo” post.
Is your brand rock solid or more like Jello; sort of transparent and a bit wobbly? Is your branding consistent in everything you do? Remember, your brand isn’t just the face on the company but the voice behind it too. If it quivers, people will stop listening. If the face is always changing, people won’t remember who you are.
First, you need to know who you are and why you do what you do, then you need to be able to show people who you are and convince them you’re the best at what you do, and ultimately, you need them to remember who you are and have an almost compulsive need to tell their friends who you are.
Think about your favorite brands and ask yourself if they’re your favorite because their product or service is better than other choices, or because they’re exceptional at branding themselves and building your trust and loyalty? Is Quaker State really better than Pennzoil or Mobile or have they just established a solid and lasting brand that led grandfathers to recommend Quaker State to their sons and daughters who grew up and now recommend Quaker State to their children?
In: Social Media25 Sep 2013
I’m sure we can all agree that the comment system on YouTube is out of control, and has been for a long time, and the primary reason is that anyone can comment (troll and spam) anonymously. So, yesterday, Google announced that they are rolling out a major update and the comments will be tied into Google+ pages. This should cut down on the hate comments and the spam will stop, right? Um… wrong. All they need is an anonymous Google+ page, D’oh!
Yesterday Facebook announced an increase in the size of images for ads which also affect images in status updates when we include a link — either directly or shared. As long as the image that is pulled from the web page or blog post we link to is of sufficient size, it will show full width with the preview title and blurb below rather than next to the image.
This is great news for bloggers and my suggestion is that from now on, when you include an image in your blog post, use one that is horizontal and size it to at least 600 pixels wide. And since most of us don’t typically use an image that large in our blog posts, the trick is to just scale it to the size you want it to appear in the post but upload the image full size. In your post, even though it may only be 200 pixels wide, as long as when someone clicks to view the image itself it’s at least 600 pixels wide it will not appear as a small square but a full size, full width and impressively large image in the viewer’s News Feed.
Yesterday, Google announced the new option to embed Google+ posts, making them the third of the major three social networks to add that capability; Facebook added it a couple weeks ago and Twitter has offered it for about a year. The best thing about embedded posts and tweets is that they retain all the characteristics they have on the network itself and readers can retweet, like, comment, share or +1 them which benefits the person who posted it originally.
As you’ll notice from my three examples below, Facebook’s posts are wider than 500 pixels and for now anyway, there’s no way to format the width so if the column you embed it in isn’t wide enough it may be an issue.
Edit: I just noticed that when I view this post on my mobile phone the Twitter and Facebook posts reformat to fit the width properly but the Google+ post does not.
I'm working on a new app for Google Glass. I don't want to give away too much but it involves x-rays.
— Hugh Briss (@HughBriss) September 2, 2013
In: Social Media17 Aug 2013
Are you making good use of the “When Your Fans Are Online” graph in your Insights? I sure hope so, but I also hope you’re reading it correctly.
Someone recently told me they didn’t think the “When Your Fans Are Online” Facebook Insight graph was of much use. I strongly disagreed and said that mine clearly shows the best times of day for me to post on my Page and that the graph now provides a valuable way for people to answer one of the most asked questions, “What’s the best time of day for me to post on my Facebook Page?” But the person said they’ve looked at lots of Page Insights and the graph looked pretty much the same for all of those Pages. Well, that’s quite possible since the data is based on the time zone of the person viewing the graph and their computer’s location.
If you’re a social media manager and you’re advising your clients based on the way you see the graph on their Insights page and aren’t clearly explaining that the results you’re seeing are based on your time zone and not theirs, you may be doing them a big disservice. For example, let’s say you live in Florida and have a client who lives in England. That means they are 5 hours ahead of you. If most of their fans live in the U.S. and the graph shows you that most of those fans are online between 10:00am and 6:00pm and the worst times to post are between midnight and 8am and you share that information with them and they think you’re telling them those are the best and worst times for them to post, they will actually be posting during the worst times and missing the best times. Why? Because they really should be posting between 3:00pm and 11:00pm and avoid posting between 5:00 am and 1:00pm.
If you don’t live in the same time zone as a client, or anyone you’re advising, you need to do the time zone calculations when you tell them the best times to post. It’s also very important to understand where most of a Page’s fans are from. If you look at a graph and see that most fans are online at the wee hours of the morning and can’t figure out why, maybe it’s because most of that Page’s fans live in Australia.
Do you know what a “click farm” is? If you haven’t heard of them the name should give you a quick idea. It’s a place that generates clicks, traffic, and fans for a fee, but unlike a bot, they employ actual people who sit in rooms clicking on pages and ads or liking Facebook posts or Pages, following Twitter accounts, and viewing YouTube videos. And the people doing the clicking aren’t doing it because it’s fun or profitable, they do it because they’re forced to or have no other option. It’s basically slave labor. From what I’ve read, people in Bangladesh work in rooms with bars on the windows and are paid as little as $1 for 1,000 clicks. I wonder how long it takes to log in and out of 1000 accounts and click on 1000 ads or Like buttons or view a video 1000 times.
If you’ve ever purchased fake followers or paid for cheap clicks on banners ads you may think it’s no big deal and find ways to rationalize why misleading people is okay, but are you really the kind of person who can sleep at night knowing that thousands of people, probably even children, are being forced to do this just so you can brag about your fan count or steal money from Google?
I’ve seen quite a few posts recently from people who are having trouble adding an admin to their Facebook Page or being added as an admin on someone else’s Page. Assuming you or they have Liked the Page and it still won’t work then this screencast I put together should help you solve the problem.
I really wonder about Facebook sometimes. A client was having trouble adding me as an admin of their Page, even though I’d Liked it, so I checked to make sure I didn’t have the privacy settings for Likes set to private and while I was doing that, Facebook made some suggestions. They’re actually suggesting that people like “Bathroom Sex”?
I guess the additional suggestion to like porn star Sunny Leone’s Page was for people who would be having bathroom sex alone. And is it just a coincidence that Andre Iniesta is pointing to the bathroom photo?
Copyright © 2013 HughBriss.com
Hugh Briss is the owner of Social Identities.