In addition to promoting corporate and field events, content marketing assets, company updates, etc., we also undertake some activities just for our social communities. These help us communicate with and nurture our social communities, so we're not always treating social as a way to extract value or information from our followers. You wouldn't stay in a relationship that one-sided in real life, so why would you with a brand?
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.
Create tracked links for every link back to about.gitlab.com (e.g., all blog posts, landing pages, etc.)
Publish and schedule in Sprout, using the “shorten links” button
Choose a tag for every post that goes out (there is a dropdown)
Preview posts in Sprout to make sure spacing, image, etc. looks fine on desktop and mobile
Check the schedule in Sprout.
Do not publish more than 1-2 times per day on Facebook & LinkedIn (studies show > 2 posts per day on brand pages on these platforms starts to feel spammy).
Do not publish tweets within 30 minutes of each other. Retweets of other stuff within that time is fine.
Especially if someone reacts to an article that you tweeted with a substantive comment, question, or conversation starter, that is a good one to retweet promptly, because it could spur additional engagement.
If you’re debating between posting early and posting late, post early (i.e., 4 am Pacific). We have a sizable audience in Europe, so it’s best to resist posting after 4 pm PT (unless it’s a retweet, or a post that is newsworthy and published late)
Newly published posts
Retweet of substantive, high quality tweets, especially from team members
Can also fill some space in the afternoon with a job posting (“jobs of the week” are in the company call agenda doc)
Have fun with it! Be liberal with emojis.
Tip: Whereas on many other channels we always want a clear CTA, don't feel bound to this when writing for Twitter. Instead of always writing in the formation Interested in x? Click on y!, try to think about Twitter as a publishing channel rather than just a distribution channel. Try thinking about your tweet as a micro blog post: include the main thrust of the thing you're promoting, or write any funny or intriguing details that accent the information displayed on the twitter card.
* For example, this tweet about burnout is one of our most popular of 2018.
* We could have written something like "Here's what GitLab team-members have to say about burnout:" We do that plenty, but it's tedious if overused.
* See what we did instead, and note how you can include incomplete sentences and details that will supplement, rather than duplicate, the information in the blog post title and description.
In addition to retweeting described above, please perform a search on #gitlab and gitlab a few times per day (can be within Sprout or twitter) and favorite positive mentions
Any particularly funny or complimentary posts, you can comment on with a gif, :blush:, “Thanks! We’re so glad you like it, let us know how we can help!” etc.
Be creative but refer back to these guidelines for the GitLab voice
If you know there is going to be a long (1+ days) delay between when you need to sign off and when the next person takes over (i.e., for Summit travel), I recommend scheduling a tweet saying something like “The team is heading to beautiful Cape Town for our xth Summit! See you on the other side :airplane:” This helps prime people for the disruption of regular content.
Requesting Social Promotion
Open a separate issue for social
Some of the following is written specifically for field and corporate events; please follow the process and use the same issue template even if you are not requesting social for an event.
For an event to get promoted on social, there must be a dedicated social issue. Mentioning social in the meta issue is insufficient.
If the need is urgent (i.e., the event is happening now), Slack the Social Marketing Manager. They reserve the right not to publish on social.
If you have already requested or received images for social ads, please link to that issue in the social issue.
If you have not already requested or received images: Shortly after you open your social issue, the Social Marketing Manager will assess whether there are existing assets we can use on social, or if new ones are needed. They will then request new images from the Designer, or remove them from the issue. It is at the Designer's discretion whether he has time to create the images, particularly if you open your issue within ~ 1 week of the event.
Social event strategy
The corporate marketing team will discuss at the beginning of the quarter which events deserve banner treatment - Tier 1
Agree upon other events that still have strong brand value and should be called out individually on our brand channels, but do not warrant a full takeover - Tier 2
Agree upon other events (sponsored ones, regional/local ones, smaller events that we are attending or speaking at) and gather landing page links to publish a blog post by the 5th of the month. We can share this with a message like "We're going on the road! Check out all of our events this month, coming soon to a city near you," etc. - Tier 3
If they submit their landing page links and event issues by the 5th, the social marketing manager will compile, write, and publish the blog post - either in collaboration with Rebecca or immediately via our Medium
This post will be shared multiple times throughout the month, on all channels, with no location targeting, ensuring the broadest possible audience. It will usually also be included in our newsletter (TBD).
The social marketing manager will still retweet good social content (images, video, etc.) on an on-going basis, no matter whether it comes from a major event or a local meetup - Tier 4
What to expect
Major corporate events will be promoted via organic social on GitLab's social channels. The Social Marketing Manager will manage this.
Field events with landing pages on about.gitlab.com may be promoted via paid social only, so that we do not saturate our audience, and so that we can use the more advanced targeting that paid social allows. The Digital Marketing team will manage this.
Different levels of organic promotion
dedicated blog post(s) as appropriate, relevant content (i.e., containers around KubeCon) promoted beforehand; original social images; twitter banner takeover; on-site live social support
Individual organic social posts calling out our presence and activities at the event; on-site social facilitation as needed/appropriate; original social images as needed/appropriate.
Included in monthly events blog post; on-site social facilitation as needed/appropriate; original social images as needed/appropriate
Ad hoc retweets/engagement with social posts from events that bubble up
Different levels of social support
Social support level
On-site event social support
I will provide, or a volunteer with training/onboarding via how to be a social marketer for a day will provide. This may include live tweeting talks using the event hashtag, sending tweets on the brand channel with pics of the booth/swag/sponsored dinners, receptions, etc.
Event social facilitation
Instead of tweeting from the brand channel, I will provide sample tweets in an issue as needed before the event. The goal here is for team members attending the event to be equipped to tweet using the event hashtag to drive people to the booth/to set meetings at the time when it really matters. This can be equally impactful as tweeting from the brand channel - people physically at the event are likely to be perusing the hashtag, and they will see it whether or not it comes from GitLab. This also allows employees to raise their own social profile and become comfortable using social for practical, useful reasons. Team members may tweet pics of swag, talks, or talk about the GitLabbers in attendance at the event and their areas of expertise, which the audience may find interesting.
FAQs about promotion
I'm worried with these changes that my event won't get enough attention.
All of these changes are proposed in order to maximize fit between content and distribution, which should generally yield more attention from the right kind of audience. It's a bit art and a bit science, and we'll constantly iterate as we see what works.
When should I ask for paid social support?
Your event needs to fit multiple criteria to warrant paid social. We almost never use paid social for events that we do not have a GitLab-owned landing page for. This is because we want to be able to track the effectiveness of our spend. Secondly, your event may be a fit for paid social if you are trying to break into a particular demographic or location that may not be well represented in our social audience. Finally, if you are doing a regional event, for example a dinner in Houston, location targeting is necessary to ensure that the audience for your post is relevant, and has some chance of attending. Location targeting can be accomplished via organic Facebook and LinkedIn, but paid is sometimes another good option. The digital marketing manager is responsible for fielding paid social requests and it is up to them whether your item is a fit.
My event is in [less than a week] and I haven't thought about social yet. Am I out of luck?
While we want to be able to schedule, scale, and maintain work life balance, we understand that events is an exciting business and we're still able to accommodate quick turnarounds 🙂 You may not get original creative or as much social attention as you would with greater lead time, but in most cases we can get some promotion for your event. If you become a frequent source of last-minute requests, we reserve the right to say no.
While at the Event:
Take pictures of booth and/or team members at booth and send them over Slack to the Social Marketing Manager. Be sure to include any updates to the booth location (for instance, if the venue is confusing, you can say "near the north entrance", etc.)
the Social Marketing Manager will aim to post them ASAP. If you are Slacking her outside of normal hours (for instance, for an event in EMEA), please have someone at the booth tweet from their own account using the event hashtag, and the Social Marketing Manager will retweet from the corporate account when she starts the next day as a follow-up tweet.
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.
Create an issue and tag the Social Marketing Manager to determine the
rules of engagement and the Corporate Events Manager for prizes.
Winners must sign an Affidavit of Eligibility & Liability, Indemnity, and Publicity Release. Use the "Affidavit of Eligibility - Sweepstakes" template found on the google drive.
Announce the winners
Social Support & Logistics for Giveaways
Creating the Campaign
Set a launch date
Ask for social image(s) with text (if organic posts only) explaining the offer/ask
Set an initial deadline for submissions, so you can have multiple pushes at interval & ramp up energy
Finalize the delivery method: form vs. tweets vs. retweets, depending on the goals of the campaign
Pros of a form: Neat, uniform, easy for us to keep track of, no downsides of low engagement (i.e., responses not visible)
Pros of asking for submissions via Twitter: we could more easily RT cool responses, get more out of a hashtag, etc.
Pros of asking for RTs in exchange for swag: very little backend to do on social afterwards, except to announce the winners of swag
Finalize the ask, making sure it's extremely clear what you want to happen (Share your GitLab story!Tell us your favorite thing you made with GitLabtell us a time GitLab helped you out of a tight spot)
Make sure the ask can be intuitively communicated via whichever delivery method you're using, i.e., the tweet doesn't need to explain everything if you're pointing to a form or blog post. If you're not pointing to anything, make sure the tweet plus possible image text must make sense by themselves. Use threads for more space!
Finalize the timeline for when the reminders/follow-ups will go out, add to social schedule and leave some space around them to RT/engage with responses
Finalize copy for all pushes
If swag is involved, create a google sheet with swag codes from the Event Marketing Manager
Ask community advocates to review all copy (tweets, form, blog post) and adjust according to their suggestions
Make sure the community advocates are aware of the campaign timeline/day-of
Designate a social point person to be "on duty" for the day-of and one person who can serve as backup
Let the broader GitLab team know that the social campaign is upcoming and ask for their support
Day of giveaway
If you have entries for the giveaway in a spreadsheet, use random.org to generate a random number. Match the number to the corresponding row in your spreadsheet to identify the winner. Never enter email addresses or personal information of participants into a third-party site or system we do not control.
Try to schedule first push or ask a team member to tweet the first announcement early (ex: around 4 am PT) to try to have some overlap with all our timezones
If you're asking for RTs in exchange for swag, make sure there's a clearly communicated cut-off to indicate that the giveaway will not stretch into perpetuity. One day-long is probably the longest you want a giveaway to stretch, or you can limit to number of items.
Plan to engage live with people
If your promise was to give away one hoodie per 25 RTs, do it promptly after that milestone is crossed. It adds to the excitement and will get more people involved
Announce each giveaway and use handles whenever possible, tell them to check their DMs
DM the swag codes or whatever the item is
In your copy, directly address the person/people like you are chatting with them irl
RT and use gifs with abandon but also judgment
After the Giveaway
Thank everyone promptly, internal & external
Write in the logistics issue of any snags that came up or anything that could've gone better
Amend hb as necessary for next time
How to Create an Official Sweepstakes Rules Page
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
Add an index.html.md file to the /name-of-giveaway/ folder
You can find a list of evergreen content assets their primary channel for promotion here.
Broad audience - all our content gets shared here, but tone should still appeal to devs.
5 or more tweets per day, plus retweets
Schedule between 12 am - 5 pm PT (A large part of our audience is in EMEA, and we find an increase in organic impressions and engagement when we schedule tweets for their morning and workday)
At least 30 mins apart
Aim for variety & roughly even mix of main topics: Git, CI/CD, collaboration, DevOps, employer branding, product-specific, community articles & appreciation
Check mentions at least once per day, pull out articles to share with the team and favorite positive mentions.
Keep a list of our most engaged followers; keep these in mind for opportunities outside of social–blogging, live streamed interview etc.
15 tweets per day
2-4 videos published natively per month
5 lead-generating content items from the backlog published per month
Consider takeovers. Would need to develop an instructions kit & think about how/who to pilot.
Developer/community- and thought-leadership focused
1-2 facebook posts per day
At least 2 hours apart
Live events are more company/culture focused
talks by or AMAs with People Ops, etc.
Consider streaming a webcast on Facebook Live (a simple toggle switch in Zoom allows this) and compare the performance to YouTube live streaming
When the speaker cameras are enabled in Zoom webinars, natively publish clips of webcasts for post-promotion.
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.
IT buyer/manager focus
3-5 posts per week
Non-tutorial original blog posts
Press releases/product announcements
Posts around particular features, releases, company culture, people ops new practices, problem/solution or personal growth structured posts; include links back to homepage
Identify key LinkedIn groups to join/share content in
Native posts on LinkedIn
Encourage targeted employees to do so; think of incentive/framing as professional development that we will help edit.
Curate and share articles from other publishers on remote work/culture that we want to elevate
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 about.gitlab.com/blog 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.
Brand and thought leadership-focused
Favorite articles about GitLab
Aim to post one article to Medium every two weeks
Cross-post our original thought-leadership posts to Medium, linking back to blog
Group Conversations, pick your brain meetings, demos, brainstorms, kickoffs
Re-post older articles from the archive periodically that we want to continue giving a boost
Aim for at least one post per week
Defining Social Media Sharing Information for web pages
Social Media Sharing info is set by the post or page frontmatter, by adding two variables:
description:"shortdescriptionofthepostorpage"twitter_image:'/images/tweets/image.png'## Ensuring your Post Will Have a Functional Card and ImageWhen 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:![TwitterCard example - complete][twitter-card-comp]An incomplete card will look like this:![TwitterCard 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 about.GitLab.com, 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 about.GitLab.com.
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.
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.