This guest post from Nate Holmes at Widen has practical tips for keeping your images and videos organized when you are managing a social media program. We love to share advice that helps teams work better together.
Do you ever find yourself rummaging through folders on your desktop to find the perfect image to share on social media? Or maybe you’ve given up on finding the perfect image and any remotely relevant image will do. Clicking in and out of folders and emailing your co-workers for that one image isn’t the best use of your time. So get ahead of the clutter and save yourself some time but getting your visuals organized.
Here’s how to keep your visuals organized so your posts are on-brand, on-message, and on time.
Put Your Images in a Centralized Place
Centralize Your Images: When you need an image or video for social media where do you go? If you’re listing off a half-dozen places or you don’t know, it’s time to centralize your visuals. It’s the first step in getting organized. You might have multiple sources for images, but they should all end up organized in the same place.
Things to consider:
Use Descriptive Filenames
Use Descriptive Filenames: When you’re looking for an image, staring at a list of IMG_3091, IMG_3092, IMG_3093, etc. is not helpful. Take advantage of filenames by including descriptive information about the file’s content. A good filename helps distinguish itself from other files. Consider including the event, project, theme, or creator in the filename.
Things to consider:
Categorize Your Images and Videos
Categorize Your Images and Videos: Filenames can help you search for a specific file, but categories are especially helpful when you have an idea of what you want but not a specific file in mind. The goal of organizing your files into categories is to make it easy to drill down to what you want in an organic, logical, and easy-to-understand manner.
Things to consider:
Remove Off-Brand Visuals
Remove off-brand visuals: One of the key benefits of social media is its ability to connect your brand to customers. Any post may be your opportunity to attract a potential customer to your brand. So your visuals better be on-brand.
When organizing your visuals, remove any off-brand visuals, including those that are off-brand due to poor quality. Your visuals should reinforce your brand, not distract from it.
Things to consider:
Keywords and Descriptions Metadata
Keyword and description metadata: Metadata is data about data. It’s descriptive information that defines and describes your visual. If you apply this information to your files, you can use it to organize and find files faster. A digital asset management (DAM) system gives you more robust search and filtering capabilities than a basic folder structure.
Things to consider:
It’s tempting to put off organizing any newly created or purchased images and videos. Don’t wait! There’s never a great time for more mundane tasks like organizing your visuals, but a little time invested now will save you more time later. Like when you need that visual again.
Websites are living breathing things. They should evolve and change over time. Sometimes that means that you have to go through your content and tighten it up, check for freshness, or fix mistakes.
There’s something that you can take in the next five minutes to make sure that your blog is the best that it can be.
Review your Blog Categories
This post is inspired by a mistake that I noticed the other day on my own website. When I was publishing a new blog post, I noticed that I had two nearly identical categories.
This is a problem that happens all of the time on blogs, particularly if your blog has a number of contributors, and if you lack a plan for how you will use categories.
Why Do We Need Categories Anyway?
Here are a few reasons that blog categories are helpful: firstly, it makes it easy for a reader to find more information on the same topic.
Secondly, when you add a category you are creating a landing page for content related to that category. That can be helpful when you want to send someone to a series of blog posts, like we do on our homepage.
This could potentially also be a tactic used to create keyword-optimized landing pages for search engine optimization.
What to Look For When Reviewing Blog Categories
There are a few things that you should look for when reviewing blog categories:
How Do I Remove Duplicate Categories?
This varies based on your content management system, but it’s typically doesn’t take much effort to fix. Here are Wordpress instructions on managing categories.
In my case, I simply went into the erroneously labeled blog post and removed the incorrect category from that post. Categories that aren’t being used won’t be displayed on your website.
It’s easier to manage categories if you are checking them on a semi-regular basis, such as quarterly.
Larger organizations with many contributors may wish to document categories that should be used in their editorial guidelines, as part of their content governance practice.
What questions do you have about categories, or blogging? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Roadblocks in Setting Social Media Marketing Goals
For large organizations with complex teams who might be dispersed around the country or the globe, there are often significant roadblocks to estimating and capturing social media data in traditional ways. This can make it difficult to set social media marketing goals. This is also a common workflow problem for groups of nonprofits who are partnering together on an awareness or fundraising campaign.
Some of the common obstacles I've observed in my social media audit practice include:
1. Using Different Tools
This can be a problem for both groups of organizations working toward a common goal, and for geographically dispersed teams, or teams across several departments.
Some orgs and departments will not prioritize professional social media management tools in their budgets, or won't allow social media managers to select the tools they'd like to be using.
2. Different Philosophies
When you are working with diverse teams or organizations you may not have a shared understanding of the metrics that matter.
3. Differences in Knowledege
On very large teams, it's common for some people to have advanced skills, and others to have a more rudimentary understanding of social media management and metrics.
4. Access to Ad Spend
Teams who have adequate spend to support their efforts will have an easier time reaching goals than teams who don't.
Let's Consider a Radically Different Approach
There are a range of tactics for addressing differences in philosophies and knowledge, such as peer-to-peer mentoring or educational brown bag lunches. When teams are using different tools or have different levels of knowledge, templated reports can help you collect information in a standardized way.
But let’s consider for a moment, what would happen if we threw our social media goals out the window and took a radically different approach to setting goals for shared campaigns.
Working Together Toward a Common Goal
We All Share the Same Finish Line
A joint campaign, executed by several teams, departments, or partner organizations, might have common key messages or even a library or shared social media content.
What would happen if, instead of trying to collect metrics and reports from a number of different people, groups, or organizations, who all have different reporting workflows, that we gave each person a simple target based on the size of their audience and empowered them to meet that target on their own timeline, using the content and schedule that they felt would best fit their program?
If we think about a campaign as a road race that happens over a month, a quarter or a year, it might be helpful to establish a starting line that is tied to the size of the partner's account.
(For a longer campaign, you might want to multiply that number by the number of months in the campaign.)
Example of Simplified Social Media Goals
For the individual social media manager, the task is then to get to the finish line by doing whatever they need to do to reach that goal.
For some groups, it might only take one or two posts, within a library of shared content, to hit their individual target. For others, they may need to post a number of times over a longer period of time in order to hit their goals. And that’s okay. Reaching the finish line is what matters.
As long as you enforce where the finish line is (our expectation is that we all need to reach this point) your role becomes less taskmaster and more coach and cheerleader. Individual managers or groups will be empowered to complete the race in a way that makes sense to them.
Gathering Success Metrics
Here's the best part of this approach: it vastly simplifies the problem of collecting metrics to create a campaign report.
Instead of tracking people down at the end of the campaign, and gathering disparate spreadsheets and reports, doing a lot of manual tabulation and analysis across accounts, you can instead ask this team two simple questions:
The answer to the first question gives you the metric to report your success as a group.
The second question will tell you if you need to adjust your goals in the future.
The third question gives you open-ended qualitative data on how things went.
What approach to you take to setting social media goals? Learn about other solutions to common social media workflow issues in our earlier blog post.