Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Seam Carving: The Smart Way to Crop and Resize Images

January 21st, 2016 by Leslie Gloria


To fit template or social media image dimension requirements, cropping or scaling images to size is often a necessity. If you’re lucky, a few clicks on your favorite photo editing app will do the trick, but if it’s not as easy as that, read on to learn about seam carving, or liquid rescaling.

Cropping changes the dimensions of an image by cutting out its outer parts. This works well if the subject of the image can be contained within the desired parameters while retaining good composition and size. But what if your content, or subject matter, doesn’t fit within the specified boundaries?

Survey_Lady2Imagine we want to use a picture of a smiling woman on a sponsored LinkedIn ad. We want the picture on the left to replace LinkedIn’s standard 180 X 110px link thumbnail.

The best crop we can produce cuts off important parts of our picture—the  model’s hand and the clipboard.

Resizing is limited because you have to maintain aspect ratio to avoid distortion. In other words, you can’t resize the x-axis withour making a proportional change to the y. Because of this, cropping must often be done in tandem with resizing, but, as we have seen before, this is not always a perfect solution.


Seam Carving
Seam carving is a method of image resizing that finds seams of pixels that are not likely to be missed. It removes seams of pixels with little visual detail, narrowing or shortening your image with no visible distortion. You can even insert seams of pixels to increase the width or height of your image, or remove entire objects from your image!

Using seam carving, we inserted vertical seams along the left side of the image below and removed horizontal seams along the area with the microphone. This allowed us to get more of the young woman’s hand and her clipboard into the desired frame, giving our image more context than if it had simply been cropped.

If the slight difference between our best crop and our seam carved image does not convince you of the value of seam carving, check out this blog for some truly incredible examples.

Don’t write off seam carving as just a cool tool for graphic designers either—think about its use in website design, more specifically in responsive web. Seam carving can be used to scale down images in a responsive website. It can make the images themselves responsive.

Want to bet that seam carving won’t be the next big thing in web design? Stay ahead of the curve in all things marketing: subscribe to our blog, or follow us on Facebook.

Google, SEO and Social Media: Are you in it to win it?

October 15th, 2015 by Corinne Price


SEO and Social Media

It’s safe to say that Google has taken over the world (wide web). Google monitors and makes all the calls when it comes to several areas of an online presence: advertising, placement, search results, etc. – you name it, Google calls it. So if Google has their eye on all things internet, they must have an eye on your social media accounts too, right?

It raises the question, “Do my social media posts affect my SEO efforts?” We know Google pays attention to your social media engagement, but we don’t know how much of an impact this actually makes on your SEO. But, if you can kill two birds with one stone (as the saying goes), then why not? Here’s how to make your social posts stronger with the help of SEO.

Keywords, keywords, keywords

Typically, social marketers write posts that are vague with hopes of gaining more clicks. Example below:

Looking for more ways to A/B test? Have you tried these?

You can continue to practice this tactic, but also think about including words to encourage tagging and indexing from the thousands of Google crawlers, like the example below.

Looking for more ways to generate a higher CTR using A/B testing for your display ads? Get tips that drive B2B tech ads to the final destination.

It’s better to narrow a post and catch the attention of the right audience (gaining engagement and possibly a conversion, depending on the path, rather than gaining a slew of clicks that mean nothing and impact your bounce rate).

Utilize social referrals

Just by being consistent in your daily/weekly postings of company content, you should be generating traffic to your site. The more traffic you generate (despite where it comes from – social or not) increases your page authority, which in turn increases your ranking. So why not take the opportunity and run with it?

Your profile page

Frequently, the profile page is ignored after it’s been setup. You can miss out on several opportunities if you fail to update your profile page: CTA buttons, banner images, links in the Page Info section, etc. If your social media profile page is updated, you are an active user, and have plugged in SEO keywords, it is likely that your social networks will show up when people search your company. Own your profile page and keep it fresh to attract new followers.

Until we know more about how Google applies their knowledge of social media to SEO (if they ever choose to share that with us), it’s a best practice to go ahead and incorporate the efforts above.

If you’re looking for more ways to maximize your marketing efforts, contact Launch Marketing – we’re happy to help!

Graphic Source: Sean MacEntee

Q&A: How to Reduce Marketing Expenses with Social Media

September 3rd, 2015 by Somer Klepper


According to Social Examiner’s 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, more than half of its 3,720 respondents were able to reduce marketing expenses with social media marketing (SMM). That’s great news for all of us who already dedicate time to social marketing initiatives, but how exactly does it work? Read on as Launch’s social media specialist, Somer Klepper, expands on this finding.

Q: How is it that the marketers from this survey are cutting costs by spending 6 hours a week on social media?
Let me begin by saying that at least six hours a week is essential for success. People frequently put social media on the backburner, not realizing the impact that social media can have on a brand. This may be because social media is still a relatively new method of marketing, in comparison to methods like direct mail or email campaigns. Furthermore, there are no clear standards for social media metrics to measure against—there are no CTR (click thru rate) benchmarks for posts, for example. Each platform performs differently, so each platform should have its own set of standards, but we’re still in the middle of developing those standards—“we” being any marketer using social media outlets. Marketers need to take the time to learn what works and what doesn’t work for each of their social media platforms.

Now to answer the question: These marketers were able to reduce marketing expenses with social media by generating leads in a more cost-effective way. Popular social media platforms allow marketers to get in front of their desired users through targeting—demographic, behavioral, location-based, you name it. Depending on the platform, marketers can generate leads anywhere from $1-$20 at the cost-per-click. With leads in that range, you would most definitely see a decrease in marketing budgets, but you may have to work harder for them, depending on factors like content, landing page, and campaign goals.

Q: What types of businesses or organizations stand to benefit the most from social media marketing?
Really any type of business can reap the benefits of social media marketing. SMM can be used for branding, awareness, product launch, hiring, exposing company culture and building character, connecting with customers/clients/prospects—the list of possibilities is endless. The key is to do social media right. When I say that, I’m referring to sharing the right content, engaging your audience and not directly selling yourself on the platforms. The central focus here is to remember that you are trying to help your audience, not pitch them.

Let’s pretend that you are a SaaS company. Instead of constantly offering free trials on your social media accounts, offer a case study that gives hard stats of growth and improvement that your software brought to another company (of course, get approval from the other party) or a whitepaper that offers strong industry insights and demonstrates that you’re a thought leader within the SaaS industry. Leads generated from SMM efforts within the tech industry are especially favored because people like to research and shop around. Take those leads, build a list, nurture it then close it.

Q: Do you have any tips on how marketers can use social media to make the most out of a small marketing budget?
Test everything. If you have a small budget and you’re not sure how to spend it, pick the social media platform that best aligns with your audience and desired clientele, then test your efforts.

Continuing the SaaS example, create two ads with the same copy to promote your whitepaper or case study. Build different landing pages for each ad. For each send you should vary form placement, call to actions, or buttons, and compare performance, making sure you test one variable per send. Which landing page has the higher CTR? Which landing page generated the most form submissions?

Testing saves you time and money by telling you what works for your audience and your business. It’s important to test periodically to account for changes in audience preference and other variables.


Have any questions of your own? Comment below! Otherwise, look through our blog to learn more about social media and its impact on the bottom line, or contact Launch for personalized advice.

Graphic source: Jason Howie

Social Media for Tradeshows

Due to ever evolving advancements in technology and techniques, businesses, large and small alike, can now market to literally thousands of consumers without ever meeting face-to-face. However, marketing practices like trade shows, conferences and seminars have withstood the test of time.

In-person events highlight the physical aspects of marketing – like the much needed personal interaction with clients and potential customers. Aisle upon aisle of relevant vendors and eager attendees can provide you with an arsenal of new leads and connections. While trade shows are more physical in nature, implementing a social media strategy in coordination with your trade show activities will allow you to maximize your presence before, during and after the event.

Pre-show Activities

1. Utilize the official hashtag for the event. Start following the hashtag several weeks prior to the event to discover trends and connect with key players. When tweeting about the event, be sure to use the assigned hashtag.

2. Go ahead and create a hashtag specific to your company or trade show campaign. Attaching your hashtag to the official event hashtag will increase the exposure your company will receive when posting on Twitter.

3. Use social media to announce a promotion, contest, special hospitality event or giveaway for the event. You can create a teaser video or announce a secret code word that attendees will need for a prize or entry into a drawing. A simple tie in to your social media accounts can create significant buzz and increase traffic to your booth during the event.

4. Reach out to LinkedIn connections and personally invite them. Invite them to stop by your booth or to lunch, dinner, or an after-hours event while there.

5. Connect with trade specific media contacts and ask them to set up a meeting, stop by your booth to discuss a new product or attend a session you are hosting. Responding to tweets, retweeting posts and commenting on blogs are simple ways to engage media contacts.

During the Show Activities

6. Tradeshows and conferences are busy, so take advantage of scheduling some tweets and Facebook posts in advance. This could be particularly helpful if you are presenting on a topic at a specific time. You can schedule tweets about key talking points both before and during the presentation.

7. Use Facebook and Twitter as real-time news feeds for delivering up-to-the-minute content, photos and videos. Constant updates can provide valuable information to those people who cannot physically be there.

8. Include social media icons, web addresses, QR codes, and calls-to-action to your social networks in your booth display.

9. Offer attendees additional contest entries if they like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter and LinkedIn.

10. Announce contest winners through your social media platforms. Advertise that the winner will be published on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages and then have the winners come back to your booth to get their prize. Snap a photo of them with their prize and post it as well.

Post-show Activities

11. Create a quick event wrap-up and post it socially. Make sure to thank everyone for stopping by your booth or seminar session at the event.

12. Continue the conversation by writing a blog post about your participation in the show. You can focus on seminar discussions, common themes at the event or your overall experiences. Promote your post via social channels.

13. Connect with new prospects using LinkedIn’s premium feature called InMail. In the days following an event, valuable prospects often end up dealing with an email inbox that is flooded with messages from sales reps and marketers from the show. Stand out from the crowd by using LinkedIn InMail.

You can connect with any LinkedIn user with InMail, regardless of your previous history with them. Users will be notified of the new message with a LinkedIn alert email and more likely to read and respond to your InMail than they would a standard email.

14. Ensure that any email follow-up with your leads and connections includes links to all of your social media accounts.

These are just a handful of ideas to make your next event more social. Coordinate social media and trade shows or other events to stretch marketing efforts and drive increased exposure, more leads, and extensive networking opportunities.

Need help with your event or social media strategies? Contact Launch Marketing today! Be sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up with the latest B2B marketing tips and trends.

Graphic Source: http://www.skylinetradeshowtips.com/