The Best Photo Sizes for Sharing on Twitter and Facebook

The social media sites are constantly changing the best photo dimensions but we seem to be approaching a general rule of thumb of about a 2:1 aspect ratio.

For Facebook it is a bit larger, Google+ a bit longer and Twitter is in between.

You can easily build your own header for Twitter or pick up some pre-made backgrounds so your backgrounds and headers always look great, but what about your day to day activities and news releases?

Get More Likes for News Releases

When sharing stories or news release from your website to Facebook make sure your first image or featured image is at least 600px by 315px, but for the best look on iPad’s and other retina display devices your picture or photo should be 1200px by 630px.

Facebook-Cover

Click on the picture to view the full size or right click to save the image for future reference


 

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_GB/all.js#xfbml=1”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

 

Get More Retweets for your Photos

For for twitter stream photos, the preview screen is about 2:1, and for the best result on on devices use a photo at least 1024px by 512px.

Twitter-Stream-Optimum-Photo-Size

Click on the picture to view the full size or right click to save a copy

For example:

Quick Cover Guide

Google+ recently updated their cover photos bringing them more into line with dimensions you’d find for Facebook and Twitter.

Google-Plus-Cover-Sample

Twitter-Cover-Page

Facebook-Cover-Photo

 

Have a question about how to look your best? Send a tweet, or contact me anytime.

 

 

Political Post Formats

[box size=”large” border=”full”]UPDATE: The WordPress development team has pulled the improved post format user interface from the next update, but the additional post formats will still be available in WordPress 3.6[/box]

With the 3.6 update for WordPress coming , it’s time I put to pixel an idea I have been developing, Political Post Formats.

If you’re not familiar with WordPress, or the CRG WebProgram, this post may be lost on you; but, in the simplest terms, you’re reading a post right now. Your MP/MLA/MPP website likely uses the classic format of having a news page with a list of entries of news releases.

Currently, 95% of CPC MP websites use this classic model of being a basic “blog” of news releases. The videos go in a video section and the photo albums go in the photo album section.

The classic model seems entirely sensible until you examine the traffic data and reflect on the purpose of your website.

There are three key challenges with the classic model in a digital age:

  1. Hiding the message
  2. Using a non web format
  3. Duplicating work by working backwards

Hiding Your Message

After the Contact page and About page, the content most regularly being viewed is the Photo Gallery and Video Gallery; but, the content you want them to read is in your news releases. By sectioning off your written content from your visual content visitors are missing out.

If you are using WordPress in the classic political model, all your posts are using the standard post format.

By utilizing all the post formats you can locate all your political digital communications in one place. If you still want a distinct Video and Photo Gallery you just need a post format page template to display only those posts.

[unordered_list style=”arrow”]

Post Formats in 3.6: Now, let’s politicize them:
standard
  •  
News Releases
status
  •  
Twitter sized update
aside
  •  
Long Facebook Post / Short Email Update
image
  •  
Images
gallery
  •  
Photo Albums
video
  •  
Your Own YouTube Channel
audio
  •  
Committee meetings
links
  •  
Links like actionplan.gc.ca
chat
  •  
Have you hear of Reddit?
quote
  •  
“Our Senate, as it stands today, must either change or be abolished.”

[/unordered_list]

[hr]

By using the different post formats you can bring all your content items into one stream on your website.

The Wrong Format

Putting all your content into one stream on the website should also encourage you to abandon the practice of putting “news releases” on the website.

The second challenge to the classic model of political websites is the use of a “News Release” to populate your content.

The News Release format is formatted that way for the benefit of radio era journalists; although it has experienced some updates since then.

A political website should tell users where you stand, why you stand there, and then ask them what they think.

When the voter has to read through a news release written in the third person, on your own website, it re-enforces the perception of the authenticity gap people feel from their politicians.

Workflow

By thinking about political post-formats you can improve your workflow.

All political communication should include the who, what, when, where, and most importantly why.

Instead of writing the draft news release try this first :

  1. Write the draft email to your supporters.
  2. Add some background detail with links and then draft post it to your website.
  3. Add some quote marks and change it into the third person news release format.

All political communication also includes variations of title, description, body, theme (tags), and category. Whether a single picture, a YouTube Video, e-newsletter, or News Release the content you have drafted will dictate where and how you use it, and re-use it for all your communication vehicles.

[ilink url=”http://mphost.yourwebsitehere.ca/files/2013/05/The-Content-Item.pdf” style=”download” title=”Download The Content Item”]This .pdf called “The Content Item” illustrates how you re-use all the pieces I have described above.[/ilink]

 

Enabling Post Formats

Since WordPress 3.6 isn’t out yet there is still time to start thinking about how to harness a Post Format Political WordPress Theme. If you have any ideas, please share them in the comments below.

[gravityform id=”17″ name=”Building a better WordPress Theme”]

Crowdsourcing for Conservatives

[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]If Veronica Mars can do it . . .[/quote]

Below is an email I sent to Conservative offices and friends across the country.

This was my first crowd-sourcing project, and I would appreciate any feedback.

[box border=”full”]

Dear Conservative,

Four months ago I launched the website FindAConservative.ca  to help Canadians find and connect with Conservatives online.

Since then, hundreds of people looking for hard to find Association contact information or MP social sites found a Conservative.

The idea is to develop it into a conservative crowdsourced wiki project, allowing visitors to submit links, and trusted users to update profiles. At the recent Manning Networking Conference, I had the opportunity to find the Canadian conservative crowdsource funding website, Bluecrowd.ca.

Finding a Conservative crowdsource fundind website was inspiring.

To support Bluecrowd.ca and help connect Conservatives, The FindAConservative Project will seek support for the continued development of the website exclusively through Bluecrowd.ca.

Having written about how to set up an EDA PayPal Account and how to style an EDA PayPal Account, I didn’t need help to raise money online. This is an opportunity to find and connect more Conservatives.

I will be posting a series of small projects designed to grow the site, and help find and connect Conservatives.

Yesterday, I launched the first project, Find A Design & Find Conservative Designers, and I invite you to be among the first to fund a Canadian conservative crowdsourcing project.

Backing a project with Bluecrowd.ca is easy.

If the Project does not reach its goal by the deadline, no contributions go through.

Even if you can’t make a financial contribution at this time, please, take a minute to visit the project and learn the other ways you can help.

You know left-wing organizations like leadnow and avvaz are aggressively mobilizing online. I firmly believe projects like FindAConservative and websites like Bluecrowd.ca will help build a strong, stable, national multi-site network of Conservative activists.

 

Thank you,

Brendan Mulvihill

 

[/box]

Reason #11

The-Tory-Digital-Political-Age

I wrote a post in the fall giving my top ten reasons your MP office should switch to CRG’s website program.

Here is reason number 11 

[quote style=”boxed”]4. The Operative The niche approach is collapsing in the consulting world, and it needs to collapse on campaigns and committees too. It’s time the Republican political establishment started placing a premium on digital acumen.  The GOP doesn’t need more operatives who are defined narrowly as the “political guy” or the “internet gal.” Today’s political environment requires a new breed of operatives who can do both, hand-in-hand.[/quote]

The above is from the article about Republicans needing to make a cultural change. The first three points are interesting and to varying degrees applicable to Canada, but the fourth point on the need to breed a species of digital campaigners is essential. In order to fight the campaigns of tomorrow, we need to have campaigners who understand how to run a poll canvas, but also campaigners who know how to organize and plan it using the digital tools at hand.

That’s why I am calling this Reason #11 for joining the CRG website program. The websites run on WordPress which provide you with a very easy introduction to digital, and at the very least, give you power over one of your most important communication channels.

Why a MP Host Network Part 1

We are big fans of the CRG Web Program. Right out of the box, the CRG Website Theme Blue Victory provides almost everything you need.

Almost.

In order to make your site a true digital constituency office, it would require some additional plugins. Reviewing the options, I obviously gravitated to the most popular free plugins because they worked on thousands of sites and the price was right for a limited MOB. The problem with even free plugins was the best ones required additional support in terms of set-up.

Many of the commercial plugins also provided a superior user experience, but wouldn’t make financial sense to be purchased by a single Member’s Office.

Finally, when I spoke to technical advisers about what I wanted to do, they stressed the importance of moving to a dedicated server, but explained the higher costs involved.

So, to build a truly digital constituency office for my MP, I needed:[unordered_list style=”arrow”]

  • Technical support beyond what CRG could provide
  • Commercial Plugins and Custom Plugins
  • Better security

[/unordered_list]The solution my advisers provided was a WordPress Network running on a dedicated server.

The MP Host Network provides the economy of scale to allow Conservative MP Offices running a Word Press site the ability to access commercial plugins, extended support, and run on a secure server, for the cost of a regular hosting package.

We built the MP Host Network to provide more resources to your Office at a lower cost to your MOB.

But we are only just getting started. In Part 2, we will detail the just some of the extra features available when your site is hosted on our Network.