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Social Marketing Handbook

Welcome to the Social Marketing Handbook

The social marketing team is responsible for the stewardship of the GitLab brand social channels. We’re accountable for the organic editorial calendar and work with partners across the community advocacy, digital marketing, talent brand, and other teams to orchestrate the social media landscape for GitLab.

Requesting Social Posts

Open a new issue to request social coverage

Please remember…

Social Takeover Notes

So you've been nominated for a short-term takeover of GitLab's social channels — here's a quick guide with everything you need to know.




tweet example


Signing off

🎟 Social Event Strategies

Coverage for events across GitLab brand social channels varies and is dependent on investment level, on-the-ground activations, and core messaging. Social coverage for an event is not guaranteed.

Sponsoring or creating an event is a way to extend GitLab to new audiences, so promoting these events to our existing audiences on brand social channels does not work in the same direction. In order for an event to be social-able, there needs to be something that social audiences can gain. In most cases, promoting events on organic brand social channels is a way to tell our audiences that we are out in the world, doing big things, and are taken seriously. This means that simply because GitLab is a sponsor of an event does not mean that we will promote the event on organic brand social channels.

It's critical to fill out a social-event-request issue in the corporate marketing project as soon as there is enough information available to request organic social coverage.

Once the social event request issue template is filled out, a member of the social team will determine what level of social coverage, if any, is appropriate. Levels of coverage and what each includes are listed below. Please note, that the descriptors of each tier are suggestions, and a specific event may be identified for a different tier for a number of factors. While most events fall into similar categories, specific coverage may need to be unique to the event.

Social Event Tiers and What They May Include

Tier Example Event Equivalent What's Included Action Example
1 Any Integrated Corporate Marketing Event On-Site Support, Channel Takeovers Everything in Tiers 2 and 4. Includes Tier 3 if appropriate. On-Site/At Event Support from a member of the social team. Social Channel "takeovers", e.g. creative focused on the event. Social Team: Use existing issue to plan. Requester: Be sure to link event campaign epic and other comms/PR issues. It's critical for social + PR to be linked for Tier 1 events. If creative is necessary, open a design-request-general issue. Consider Commit, AWS re:Invent, and others
2 Any event with a GitLab speaker, presentation or interactive element - must be more than booth or attendance only Broadcasted via Posts on GitLab Brand Channels (Pre, During, Post) Everything in Tier 4; Includes Tier 3 if appropriate. Organic social posts including custom copy. May include: scheduled posts in advance of the event, live coverage during, and/or post-event wrap-ups. Social Team: Use existing issue to plan posts. Requester: You may need to include more info. If creative is necessary, open a design-request-general issue. Ex 1
3 Team Member Enablement for any event, when the event team makes this request Advocacy, Team Members Sharing on Their Channels Everything in Tier 4; Social team aiding to create copy for team members to share on their own social channels. This tier is optional, only if the requester wants assistance with advocacy. Social Team: Open a social-team-advocacy issue in the corporate marketing project. If creative is necessary, open a design-request-general issue. Ex 1
4 Booth or Attendance Only Engagement Only Ad-hoc retweets/engagement with social posts from other users and brands. No outbound broadcasts from brand social channels. The majority of events will fall under Tier 4. Social Team: Set calendar reminders for event day(s) and open specific columns in Tweetdeck to support. Alert the advocates of live coverage as this impacts Zendesk activity. Ex 1

Field Events + Social Media

Field events present a major challenge and a major opportunity across social channels. While we can geo-target our organic (existing followers) audience on some channels, the number of people represented in this audience may not warrant a social post on GitLab brand social channels.

The single best way to secure social support for field events is to request paid social advertising with the Digital Marketing Programs team. This allows for appropriate geo-targeting on any social channel. This does not need to be a major investment.

You can open a paid social advertising request by opening a new issue in the Digital Marketing Programs Project and choosing the mktg-promotion-template. The core social team is not the DRI for paid social, however, we can assist you with questions or details along the way.

Booth Location-Only Requests for Social Media Coverage

If your only request is

"We have a booth at this event and we want people to know where to find us."

Unless the event in question is in an integrated corporate marketing campaign, there are only two appropriate ways to tell social audiences that GitLab has a booth.

  1. GitLab Team Members use their personal/professional social channels to share with their audiences. This could be considered a Tier 3 or Tier 4 event, where the social team can aid the event team, however, an issue is required in advance of the event.
  2. Paid social advertising presents the necessary opportunity - geo-targeting users in a defined region to tell them where GitLab has a booth.

This means that booth location-only requests are not fulfillable with global organic social media posts.

FAQ on Social Event Coverage

I don't understand why we can't get the support we've asked for.

Organic social media has a number of priorities to mix for success. First, our global audiences need to gain value from our posts or we need to extend GitLab's brand somehow. Every event isn't relevant from a global scale, and in most cases, doesn't provide a brand value. Furthermore, agreeing to publish posts that would not perform well against our performance indicators is a self-sabotage for the social team. It's not in our best interest, as a team or as a company, to publish posts that won't perform well or that do not extend the GitLab brand.

I'm worried that my event won't get enough attention on social media.

Organic brand social channels have to maximize fit, content, and distribution in order to meet performance metrics. This yields more attention to the right content from the right kind of audience. An integrated plan for event coverage should never rely solely on social media. If you are deeply concerned about marketing your event, please consider an alternative to organic social, including paid social advertising.

When should I ask for paid social advertising for an event?

Generally speaking, there are two points to hit for paid social advertising to work. If the event has a GitLab-owned landing page and needs to be geo-targeted to the right regions then your event may be a good candidate for paid social advertising. E.g. Our roadshow is coming to Chicago and we have a landing page for registrations.

You can open a paid social advertising request by opening a new issue in the Digital Marketing Programs Project and choosing the mktg-promotion-template. The core social team is not the DRI for paid social, however, we can assist you with questions or details along the way.

Help! My event is in insert short period of time. Can the social team post?

If your event is in an appropriate tier for broadcasted posts on GitLab brand social channels, the social team will work with you to get these posts scheduled. Please keep in mind that the shorter the amount of time to prepare, the less likely there will be a comprehensive plan including the best copy, creative, and other elements. It's still best to get request issues open as soon as possible.

If last-minute requests become a frequent occurrence or there are other specifics preventing our cooperation, the social team reserves the right to decline the request.


We use giveaways to encourage and thank our community for participating in marketing events such as surveys, user-generate-content campaigns, social programs, and more.

Giveaways Process


  1. Create an issue and tag the Social Marketing Manager to determine the rules of engagement and the Corporate Events Manager for prizes.
  2. Create and publish an Official Sweepstakes Rules page


  1. Winners must sign an Affidavit of Eligibility & Liability, Indemnity, and Publicity Release. Use the "Affidavit of Eligibility - Sweepstakes" template found on the google drive.
  2. Announce the winners

Social Support & Logistics for Giveaways

Creating the Campaign


Day of giveaway

After the Giveaway

How to Create an Official Sweepstakes Rules Page

  1. Create a new folder in /source/sweepstakes/ in the www-gitlab-com project. Name the folder the same as the giveaway /source/sweepstakes/name-of-giveaway
  2. Add an file to the /name-of-giveaway/ folder
  3. Add the content of this template to the file.
  4. Replace all bold text with relevant information.
  5. Create merge request and publish.

Social Channels and Audience Segmentation

You can find a list of evergreen content assets their primary channel for promotion here.








Sometimes, posts that GitLab team-members propose for our blog may be a better fit for native publishing on LinkedIn. This is not a negative, it's usually due to the content team's strategic priorities at the time. The Managing Editor and the Social Marketing Manager will recommend that you publish on your own LinkedIn, and if you agree, the Social Marketing Manager will help you finalize the post and socialize it internally for best results.




GitLab has a Medium publication, and all GitLab team-members may be added as writers! To be added as a writer to the publication, import a blog post that you authored on to your personal Medium account, and submit it to the GitLab publication (by hitting edit -> submit to publication -> GitLab Magazine). the Social Marketing Manager will approve you as a writer and help finalize the post before publishing.

If you submit original content (i.e., not originally published somewhere else) to the publication for review, she may edit and publish your post. We want to highlight writers wherever possible, so we highly encourage you to import posts to your personal Medium.




Defining Social Media Sharing Information for web pages

Per Twitter's functionality, we're moving to using custom OG tags across all owned pages, as well as, eliminating the redundant tags for Twitter cards.\ In our iterim process, please add opengraph images to '/images/opengraph/page-name.png'

Social Media Sharing info is set by the post or page frontmatter, by adding two variables:

description: "short description of the post or page"
twitter_image: '/images/tweets/image.png'

## Ensuring your Post Will Have a Functional Card and Image

When you post a link on Facebook or Twitter, either you can see only a link, or a full interactive card, which displays information about that link: title, **description**, **image** and URL.

For Facebook these cards are configured via [OpenGraph Meta Tags][OG]. Twitter Cards were recently set up for our website as well.

Please compare the following images illustrating post's tweets.

A complete card will look like this:

![Twitter Card example - complete][twitter-card-comp]

An incomplete card will look like this:

![Twitter Card example - incomplete][twitter-card-incomp]

Note that the [first post] has a **specific description** and the image is a **screenshot** of the post's cover image, taken from the [Blog landing page][blog]. This screenshot can be taken locally when previewing the site at `localhost:4567/blog/`.

This information is valid for the entire website, including all the webpages for, handbook, and blog posts.


All the images or screenshots for twitter_image should be pushed to the www-gitlab-com project at /source/images/tweets/ and must be named after the page's file name.

For the second post above, note that the tweet image is the blog post cover image itself, not the screenshot. Also, there's no description provided in the frontmatter, so our Twitter Cards and Facebook's post will present the fall back description, which is the same for all

For the handbook, make sure to name it so that it's obvious to which handbook it refers. For example, for the Marketing Handbook, the image file name is handbook-marketing.png. For the Team Handbook, the image is called handbook-gitlab.png. For Support, it would be named handbook-support.png, and so on.

UTMs for tracking URLs

UTMs are used to track traffic sources & reach of posts/links. All external posts should contain a UTM parameter, please see details in the Digital Marketing handbook.

If you have questions or are unsure how to tag a URL please reach out to the Digital Marketing team &/or the Social Media Manager responsible for the campaign.


The description meta tag is important for SEO, also is part of Facebook Sharing and Twitter Cards. We set it up in the post or page frontmatter, as a small summary of what the post is about.

The description is not meant to repeat the post or page title, use your creativity to describe the content of the post or page. Try to use about 70 to 100 chars in one sentence.

As soon as you add both description and social sharing image to a page or post, you must check and preview them with the Twitter Card Validator. You can also verify how it looks on the FB feed with the Facebook Debugger.


To see it working, you can either share the page on Twitter or Facebook, or just test it with the Twitter Card Validator.