Click on This: Changes to Facebook & Twitter

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Big changes have come to Twitter and Facebook. Both platforms have (or soon will) launch redesigns for profiles and pages that will force users to revisit how they represent themselves to fans and followers.

Don’t panic.

First, a bit of background. To read all about the specific changes to Twitter, click here. Facebook’s changes are outlined here. Next, make sure your profile photos follow the new size requirements. According to Twitter, that means profile pics should measure 400 x 400 pixels; Cover photos are 1500 x 500 pixels. On Facebook, profile pictures should measure 180 x 180 pixels, cover photos 851 x 315 pixels.

Both platforms seem to be morphing to a similar profile appearance and placing even greater value on compelling content: photos, videos and engaging posts. Simply stated, those who produce interesting, share-able content will get preference. Some ways to do this? Mashable’s Lauren Drell explains:

“Facebook research has shown that posts between 100 and 250 characters — one or two lines of text — get 60% more Likes, comments and shares than ones that are more than 250 characters. Buddy Media research found a similar trend, determining that posts with 80 characters or less in length have 27% higher engagement rates. The moral? Like content on Twitter, keep it short and sweet. Of course, your post should be different than your content on Twitter, or else your fans don’t have a reason to follow you on both platforms.”

Be mindful of two additional changes: users now have the ability to “mute” noisy feed cloggers on Twitter and Facebook has slashed organic post reach over the past few months. (For more on that, here’s a response from Facebook’s Brian Boland.)

Panicked yet?

The challenge is to continue to think visually and be social. You simply can not succeed on these platforms with occasional status update and link pushing. These changes give us all an opportunity to freshen up, rethink how to promote important content and evaluate if all the channels are needed in our strategic communication plans.

Throughout the summer we’ll be sharing some tips and resources here. Also, remember that one of our greatest assets is the established network of social media administrators at BC. Tagging, liking and sharing one another’s content has become more than simply boosting engagement or encouraging colleagues, it is now a vital strategic action.

What have you done in response to the changes on Twitter and Facebook?

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100 Days of #BCHappy

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It’s hard to ignore the success of “Boston College Happy.” BC’s viral video has been viewed more than 300,000 times to date, making it the most popular “Happy” video among any US university, college or school. BC Happy was also the first to represent Boston in the international “We Are Happy From…” website. (See responses to the video from around the world in this Storify and read more background in this Boston College Chronicle story.) Designed by News & Public Affairs Office Manager Michael Maloney, this infographic breaks down “Happy” data gathered from YouTube, Facebook and Twitter analytics. (And note the changes from the “40 Days of Happy.”) Enjoy!

40 Days of #BCHappy

How many times did you view “Boston College Happy?” It has been viewed close to 250,000 times so far, with a majority of those clicks coming in the first 40 days.

Designed by News & Public Affairs Office Manager Michael Maloney, this infographic breaks down the viral video by tackling some of the data gathered from YouTube, Facebook and Twitter analytics. Enjoy!

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#ToBostonWithLove

#BCSocial alert! Great effort underway to help connect students around the world and rally behind Boston. Guest post by Assistant Director for International Development Christina Hatzipetros explains more:

Microsoft Word - Document1The Office of International Programs is sponsoring a student initiative to show solidarity and support for the city of Boston and the runners in the 2014 Boston Marathon. Starting this Monday and in the two weeks leading to Marathon Monday, OIP will replace its profile photo on social media sites with this image. All students studying abroad this semester have been invited to participate.

 “As Marathon Monday 2014 rapidly approaches and we all find ourselves in various countries around the world, our hearts return to Boston. We have an opportunity to show our love and support for Boston and the marathon runners from wherever we are in the world,”  said Rebecca Howell CSON’15, who is studying at Venice International University this semester.

To participate: Take a picture or make a short video (up to 10 seconds) of yourself expressing your support from your location abroad this semester while wearing either Boston Strong, Boston College, or any type of Boston apparel and post it, tweet it, or Instagram it. Tag pictures and videos with #BCHeartsForBoston and/or #ToBostonWithLove. You can also send in photos and videos via email to dimitroc@bc.edu to be posted on the OIP sites.

Posts will be curated and published on the IOP channels Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram.

Share this with other students from Boston-area schools who are studying abroad. With your help we look forward to making this a true international effort!

Social Spotlight: BC Rec’s Spring Break Contest

The time immediately before and during spring break can be a tough time to populate social media channels with original content. Megan Burkes is behind Boston College Campus Recreation‘s campaign to engage students while they are away from campus and agreed to share a guest post on #BCSpringBreak:

Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 12.25.59 PMWe have a lot of fun with our Spring Break Photo Contest each year: It gives us a peek at some of our students’ fun adventures while providing fresh content, new followers and increased interactions during a time when our social media pages tend to be pretty quiet thanks to midterms.

Each year, we order a few hundred bright, fun t-shirts with our logo on the front and links to our social media channels on the back and pick a day to hand them out to students at the Plex. Along with the free shirts, students are given a handout with the simple contest rules and are encouraged to bring their shirt along on Spring Break and submit a picture wearing it for a chance to win an Under Armour backpack full of BC Rec and Under Armour gear. We decided to choose two winners: One would be chosen via a random drawing and the other would be the picture with the most interactions (likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.) on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

We see it as a win-win, because even if the majority of the students do not post photos, they are still wearing our shirts and advertising both BC Rec and our social media channels. We love spotting them in the gym, on campus and around the community. The photos that we do get are usually a lot of fun: we’ve had pics posted from service trips, scuba diving, roller coasters, ski trips, reenacting famous photos, posing with celebrities, dressing up dogs, posing with monkeys and more.

This year, our photo contest generated 2,313 interactions over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The winning photo had 476 interactions alone! We saw a steady stream of new followers on all of our channels and both our total reach and number of interactions jumped exponentially. To be honest, we underestimated the calculation we would have to do to find our winner, but we had a lot of fun and enjoyed the creativity many of the photos displayed.

We have also enjoyed seeing the shift in preferred social media channels; when we started this two years ago, it was entirely on Facebook. Last year, many submissions came through Twitter and this year, the original submissions were almost all posted via Instagram.

– Megan Burkes, Manager of Marketing and Communications at BC Rec

SMC 4/2 Preview

Greetings, SMC-ers! The next Social Media Council on 4/2 is not to be missed. We will be drawing from the expertise of a special guest who has invaluable insight into how to be successful on social media.

Dan Milano (Source: http://newyork.citybizlist.com/)

Dan Milano (Photo Source: http://newyork.citybizlist.com/)

Boston College 2006 alumnus Dan Milano, Partnership Manager of Dailymotion.com and former ABC News Social Media Editor, has agreed to share his extensive knowledge with our group. A little background: Dan helps manage the 31st most visited website in the world, with a monthly average of 115 million unique visitors and 2.5 billion video views. Prior to Dailymotion, Dan worked as Social Media Editor for ABC News, curating content and providing support for ABC’s network of shows including World News, Nightline, Good Morning America, 20/20 and more. Dan will be available for questions, so come prepared to take advantage of his industry experience and knowledge.

Stepping into the Social Spotlight this month is Megan Burkes from BC Campus Recreation to share her success in running the BC Rec Spring Break Photo Contest. Christina Hatzipetros will also share International Programs‘ campaign related to the Boston Marathon, #BCHeartsForBoston.

Please RSVP to social@bc.edu – this meeting is sure to be a full house and we’d like to plan accordingly! See you in McGuinn 334 at 2 p.m.

#WeAreBC Week

Happy Spring, #BCSocial!

We Are 2018Today we’re kicking off #WeAreBC Week, a way to welcome the Class of 2018 and celebrate the BC community worldwide. We’re asking Social Media Council members’ assistance to promote this effort on social channels.

It all starts with your profile photo. On Saturday, 3/22 the Boston College accounts will be asking members of the community to change their profile pictures for a week along with the Class of 2018, who will receive acceptance letters beginning on that day. (Alumni, departments, faculty and others can use this version. If you have trouble downloading the file, email social@bc.edu and we can email a jpeg.)

For those on Twitter and Instagram, please use the hashtag #BC2018 to send messages of welcome and congratulations to the incoming class and ask your fans and followers to do the same. Get creative and showcase your office/department or group in a unique way. The best will be curated in a Tagboard and Storify (the top student posters will receive Boston College merchandise.)

Throughout the week, we will be publicizing content – a welcome video, Pinterest board and series of questions – to keep our online community engaged as the acceptance letters make their way to their anxious recipients around the world. Be part of it all by using the #BC2018 hashtag and making a great first impression to our newest Eagles.

The announcement for #WeAreBC week will be made today on the Boston College social channels ***please wait until that post has been made before sharing the information on social media.*** For a custom URL share: http://on.bc.edu/WeAreBCWeek14)