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 relations, digital marketing, talent brand, and other teams to orchestrate the social media landscape for GitLab.
Organic social media has a very particular way of succeeding. It's critical for the social team to lead the purpose and the OKRs that are focused on in order to align with best practices. While organic social media at GitLab may, at times, take requests from different teams with different objectives, it's important to remember that:
|Channels under the care of the social team|
|GitLab Brand Twitter|
|GitLab Brand LinkedIn|
|GitLab Brand Facebook|
|GitLab Brand Instagram|
|GitLab Brand GIPHY Channel|
GitLab Branded Social Channels include our company Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook which are managed in a more traditional manner. And an Instagram channel that takes more of an editorial look at remote life and work at GitLab. This channel is a little less “marketing-y” and more about sharing thoughtful stories by our team members. Our GIPHY account is mainly for new GIF content, which can be tied to larger initiatives. And lastly, our YouTube channel is a testament to the core of GitLab where everyone can contribute.
The social media team will often create our own content and campaigns for the sake of having fun and meeting our own objectives. This is also a critical part of a successful content strategy. If our social-first content is to align with a larger topic or talking point from GitLab, we will be sure to run our messaging by the DRI on the correct team.
While we're public by default, there will always be strategies and details that will need to be confidential to the teams working together. These grey area details are often moved to confidential status on a subjective basis and for the security and protection of the greater community, partners or other 3rd-parties, and for disclosure reasons. For these reasons, the links below are to confidential issues or epics, which we'll use to retain information and act as confidential handbook pages when needed.
We know that less is more, usually. However GitLab is a global all remote brand. We have users in every timezone and we are often organizing events and news to coordinate in ways that include people across the globe. Because of this, our calendaring and volume must remain adaptable.
Content calendars are often at "full capacity" or what we'd consider:
This is due to the sheer volume of content that we'd deem as valuable to our audiences, the need to continue driving traffic to our website, and to continuously include followers across timezones on our social channels. However, we will ultimately publish content at the best times of day, determined by Sprout machine learning, which may or may not include a wide variety of times.
Our "full capacity" concept is not a requirement. We can and will evolve our calendaring volume and focuses as brand, community, and business needs change. If this does change, we'll need to establish proper expectations.
Because the wider developer community utilizes Twitter as a platform to celebrate contributions, make feature suggestions, and share industry ideas, GitLab prioritizes this channel. We post to this platform first, and also more frequently.
On Twitter our GitLab community is our first priority. It includes those who contribute to our DevOps platform, our GitLab Heroes, and folks who evangelize the industry. We take time to listen to their feedback, even when it is critical. We make space for fun. Through inside jokes, polls, or simple questions, our Twitter channel provides developers an opportunity to take a break and relate to one another. GitLab’s Twitter community is unique because we focus on engaging with their opinions. And delivering them tailored content they will actually find useful, or inspiring.
The GitLab Brand Twitter channel is establishing a sense of community through these activities:
Our LinkedIn community consumes content over conversation, first. Though there are opportunities to drive conversation related to company culture, remote work, and exciting announcements. GitLab's LinkedIn page strategically keeps our followers reading, and spending time on our blogs, releases, topic pages, and use cases. Ultimately, we use Linkedin as an opportunity to expand in more detail on the content we care about. How do we do that? By using a variety of formatted posts with more thoughtful text, questions, polls, quotes, or even statistics. Due to the nature of the platform, there is less 1:1 conversation, and engagement with the community. We also have a decreased frequency of posts in comparison to our Twitter channel. How often GitLab should post on LinkedIn depends on the time of year, and the content we are sharing. Typically we post every single day, and up to2 times per day. However, we do make exceptions for special events, and major brand-level campaigns.
The GitLab Brand LinkedIn channel is establishing GitLab as the complete DevOps platform through these activities:
The reality is that GitLab has a smaller audience on Facebook so its priority does fall below our efforts on Twitter and LinkedIn. It is still important to maintain a presence on this channel because it provides folks basic information about our business, and proves to still see organic reach. That said, there is a decreased frequency for this channel. And social media team also chooses not to share certain types of campaigns to this channel as it is not the right audience.
The GitLab Brand Facebook channel is reinforces our presence as a lovable brand through these activities:
In no way shape or form should our InstagramInstagram account mirror our other GitLab Branded Social Channels. In fact, it takes more of an editorial approach to it, and is less “marketing-y” and more about building community.
Since launching the GitLab Brand Instagram channel the Social Media Team committed to posting weekly content driven by a dedicated theme which represents our values, remote work, or life at GitLab.
Future themes TBD
The GitLab Brand Instagram channel reinforces us as an all-remote organization that really awesome humans want to work for through these activities:
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
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.
Medium is not currently in the social or editorial workflow and is current depreciated. This entry is left in the handbook to maintain transparency.
While we look to the design team to provide integrated campaign assets and elements to use on social, many rapid design needs are fulfilled from the social team directly by Using Canva Pro. Canva Pro provides the social team with an easy-to-use tool on any device to quickly spin up designs. Social Media requires rapid responses and quick turnarounds, so to do we require the same of our designs.
While Canva does provide many pre templated layouts, we do not use those. The social team will build custom art using basic GitLab brand guidelines and best practices for social media. In the future, many templates and individual assets will be brand team approved, but we have not iterated far enough to work in a rapid process.
The elements the social team uses for our designs are mainly GitLab-owned. Icons, sketches, animations, etc. were usually created for non-social purposes and we've added them to our library to use for social media. We do use Pro-only elements on occasion, but strive to find elements we feel would not be used often by other brands.
While each channel has their own best sizes to use, and changes often, for the sake of scale and efficiency, we'll use the following dimensions unless otherwise noted.
Here's the strategy behind the decisions above:
The purpose of GitLab team members participating in 3rd-party events is to bring GitLab's message to the 3rd-party's audience and to gain more community. Therefore, it's contradictory for GitLab brand social channels to promote a team member speaker for a 3rd-party event. Periodically, if the speaking engagement is part of a critical campaign or would resonate with the zietgiest of the moment, we may tweet once for folks to register for the event. However, if you're the speaker, we encourage you to post to your own social channels so that your network can join the event. Share your post with the #social_media Slack channel and we'll like, comment, and maybe share your post!
New blogs are linked in the #content-updates channel, and then our team simply uses that as a notification that the blog is ready to schedule and share on social. Sometimes when it’s connected to a campaign or is particularly important, we’ll also get a ping about it in a thread from the original slack message.
If the blog is connected to an integrated campaign, it will be picked up in the social issues and epics for that campaign. If it is a part of a press release/announcement, we'll also be tagged in related issues through the PR workflow.
On a quarterly basis the social media team will identify the best performing blogs. The top 2-3 blogs will then be reintroduced and scheduled to publish on GitLab's Brand Social Channels.
We'll come across articles that are behind a pay wall from time to time, mainly when it's press coverage we're looking to share. We can still share these articles on our social channels, however, we'll need to disclose that there is a paywall in the copy of the social post, as to be transparent with our community. Clicks that come from folks who can't read the article aren't distinguishable from clicks where folks can read below the fold, so it's important to be clear about the differences.
Add the paywall disclosure copy to the very end of the copy. Consider using a line break to make this sentence explict to the community.
Because of limited API access, it's challenging to engage and respond with posts on LinkedIn that do not directly @mention the company page. However, you can use the following method.
Every specific LinkedIn post from a page or a person has its own URL, like this one. At the end of the URL, there is a string of characters at the end, like
6674298269985767424-4SEx/ from the example above. If you add the following to the end of the post URL when you are an admin of the GitLab LinkedIn page, you'll be able to engage and comment as GitLab.
The URL example from earlier is
actorCompanyId to the url would look like
This URL would allow for GitLab to comment and engage.
When an incident occurs, it may be appropriate for the social team to pause all brand channel social posts. This is called "going dark", and is a regular part of evaluating whether or not company messaging is appropriate to share at any given time. It is considered good practice to minimize the digital space brands occupy on social media during these times. This can help to not distract social conversation but can also reduce the probability of being accidentally caught up in conversation unintentionally, sounding tone-deaf, or otherwise coming across as insensitive.
When this occurs, time-sensitive posts will be the first to be rescheduled. In the event time-sensitive posts could not be rescheduled, the social team will do what we can to update our stakeholders on what posts won't be published. Non-time sensitive posts will be moved to Sprout drafts, which can then be rescheduled at a later time.
Going dark could have a negative impact on social metrics, depending on the severity and length of time we're dark. Going dark could also negatively impact specific CTAs if we're relying on organic social to perform. These considerations are a part of making the decision and will be communicated as often as appropriate.
It may be necessary to update copy or assets depending on cultural impact during an incident. The social team reserves the agency to do this as we see necessary, however, we will communicate the changes to our stakeholders if we'd consider the changes to be major.
For GitLab status updates, folks can find info at the @gitlabstatus Twitter handle. This account is not managed by the social team.
Beyond general inquries and regular social engagement with our followers, we do not provide core support in private messages on social channels. We will instead direct followers to the GitLab forums for support.
Please use a derivative of this message:
Thanks for reaching out! In our spirit of transparency, we don't provide support here. Please add your question to the Q&A section of the GitLab forum, so that everyone can learn the answer. https://forum.gitlab.com/c/questions-and-answers/7
The above template is also located in Sprout for quick access