Saturday, September 29, 2012

Social Media logo guidelines

Hey there,

So I'm putting this out there because I've seen companies and organizations guilty of this: customized Social Media logos. Or even worse, just google'ing a platforms logo and using whatever they found instead of going straight to the source and understanding not just what to use, but how to use it. And there are plenty of sites, like 50 Free Social Media Icon Sets, which say little to nothing about how what they offer violates rules from the sites themselves.

Maybe some think that because of the public nature of social media, their logos are in the public domain and are up for use and reinterpretation as needed. But for the most part, every platform has very specific ways in which they do and don't want to be represented by their users.

That being said, I thought I'd just share some of 'em here. Text directly after links (in lists or a quote block) are straight from each platform's site.

Facebook Brand Permissions Center
  • Guidelines - We permit the use of the “f” logo to refer, off of Facebook, to the following:
    • Your Facebook Page
    • Your Facebook Group
    • An application you offer via Facebook Platform
    • Your implementation of Facebook Connect
  • Usage - Use of the “f” logo is subject to the general guidelines listed above in addition to the following terms:
    • The context surrounding the use of the “f” logo should clearly indicate the action the audience is being prompted to initiate (e.g.“Like us on Facebook” or “Use this app on Facebook”).
    • Don’t hyperlink the “f” logo to our Facebook log-in page.
    • While you may scale the size to suit your needs, you may not modify the “f” logo in any other way (such as by changing the design or color). If you are unable to use the correct color due to technical limitations, you may revert to black and white.
Note that Facebook as a rule does not allow use of their actual, full logo, "Facebook" on their blue background. To use that, you need to work with your Facebook business contact.

Twitter Trademark and Content Display Policy - Usage Guidelines
  • Do:
    • Use our official, unmodified Twitter bird to represent our brand.
    • Make sure the bird faces right.
    • Allow for at least 150% buffer space around the bird.
  • Don't:
    • Use speech bubbles or words around the bird.
    • Rotate or change the direction of the bird.
    • Animate the bird.
    • Duplicate the bird.
    • Change the color of the bird.
    • Use any other marks or logos to represent our brand.
For anyone still using the "T" logo? Yeah, you're not in compliance anymore. And the image above is just one of the four that are available on their site. Twitter also has further rules for use in advertising and marketing materials. And if you want promote your twitter account online? Then Twitter asks you to use one of their buttons, unless you're using it in a signature bar, and then they have this little gem specifically for that, a resized version of the Twitter bird.

The below vector versions of our logo and badge are available for you to link to Pinterest. Please don't manipulate these graphics, use them to brand your own website, or imply false association with Pinterest.
Pinterest definitely has a less is more thing going on. That's really ALL they have to say (as of the time of this post) for using their two brand artwork, of which just one of the two images shown here.

YouTube - Branding Guidelines

You know, I'm going to let you figure this one out for yourself. I will say that that link is more for developers, so what you might want, if you're just looking for a button to promote your channel is Creator's Corner:
Here are some creative assets that will help you promote your content on and off YouTube. Go ahead and place your preferred button(s) on your website, users who click on them will be directed to your YouTube channel
So there you go. For the most part just Google the social media platform you want and "logo" or "branding" guidelines.

This is to warn you of any website creator or developer who tries to distract you with unique or custom social media buttons. They're offering something that is in direct violation of most social media platforms terms of service or policies, and should be a red flag, that you need to find someone else to work who will create a product that is not only functional and aesthetically pleasing, but in compliance and respectful of existing social media guidelines and policies.

Facebook even provides a nice sample of what is NOT acceptable.

I can't help but think that, especially as artists and arts organizations, abiding by the logo guidelines of social media platform should be something we all should know, understand, and respect. And, please, I encourage you, even if you're not in charge of such things, to check out and read the guidelines of any platform you or your organization uses, including the ones in this post as I've only posted part of each site's guidelines.

Finally, don't be scared. Social media policies in general are meant to be understand by the many, not the few. I am curious though, for anyone that realized or knew that they weren't using the logo according to the guidelines, will you do so now, or is it not really a big deal? And whether you're using a custom logo or not, do you feel customized logos are worth it, or do you think using the standard is more valuable, and why?

Let me know what you think,


Friday, September 28, 2012

Top 10 takeaways from a brandraising workshop

Hey there,

So today I took a brandraising workshop a the Foundation Center in Washington, DC. It was led by Sarah, of Big Duck, who's tagline is "Smart communications for nonprofits".

I created a Storify compiled of selecte tweets from the workshop, Brandraising at the Foundation Center in DC. The Foundation Center did one as well, #Brandraising: Smart Communications for Nonprofits (in DC!). I HIGHLY recommend checking out their Storify, as they share Sarah's slides.

Anyway, I tried to highlight what I thought were the ten key takeaways from the workshop. I haven't seen her slides since the workshop, but obviously these are more or less paraphrased from the tweets between the Storify's. Here they are:

  1. Key to effective brandraising is consistency
  2. The lock to open is putting yourself in your audience's shoes
  3. Design needs to have organization in mind
  4. Shiny objects are not worth sacrificing your organization's brand recognition
  5. Branding can't solve everything
  6. Positioning can help with many things
  7. Ask not what you like but what communicates your position effectively
  8. Your organization's mission statement should be an essential part of your brandraising
  9. Acronyms should never be a part of your brandraising
  10. There is plenty of room, and NEED, for personality in your organization's brandraising
So there you have it.

Many thanks to Sarah and the folks at the Foundation Center in DC!!

Any thoughts on this list, or the tweets? Anything you'd add or even disagree with?

Please share in the comments,


P.S. If you're on Twitter:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pinterest as an arts & cultural programming tool?

Hey there,

Pinterest...oh Pinterest.

If you are aware of and have kept up with the buzz about Pinterest, at some point you no doubt have heard of its power in the field of wedding planning. Indeed there have been many pieces written about it, like Pinterest Ruined My Wedding PlanningWedding planning: Pinterest or professionals?Pinterest changes the way brides plan their weddings, & 7 Tips for Planning a Wedding on Pinterest, to name a few.

There have even been some pieces on Pinterest as an event planning tool in general. In "4 Ways Event Professionals Are Using Pinterest", Mitra Sorrelis lists "Inspiration", "Organization", "Interaction with vendors and clients", and "Marketing". You can read more here.

Monica Carr posted "Event Planning's Latest Trend: Pinterest" in Ideas on Bryan Allen Events:
I quickly realized that not only does Pinterest provide a clean, uncomplicated layout for my crafting inspirations, but also a fantastic way to visually display ideas for event planning.
Read more here
So how might Pinterest be used in the arts?

I hadn't realized it when I started doing it, but...well, at my day job we have a roster of artists. They each have a profile on our site, and I started pinning their profiles on Pinterest. When I was done:

And I realized that this could be a great way for people who contact our organization to get a quick look at our artists. I mean, I suppose it isn't the great revelation it was in my head, but if people used Pinterest to plan weddings, and events in general, then why not arts & cultural events.

P.S. if you would like to go to the board I created at my job of Class Acts Arts' 2012-13 Roster Artists, click here.

I say this keeping in mind that anywhere from 72% to 97% of Pinterest users have been reported to be female (Women are from Pinterest, Men are from Google+?), and most of the arts & cultural programmers we work with tend to be women, for whatever reason.

Granted, a number of times we work with communities who only have the resources to bring in a select few, but for those that plan entire cultural weeks or festivals, this might be useful.

I can't imagine that this was the first time someone at an arts & arts education organization thought to do this, but I'd be curious who else has. So if you know of any, please let me know!!

I am aware of theatres and dance organizations who are using Pinterest to share their content, and it's great. But this post is specifically looking at it as a planning tool. Might it also be a useful tool for development directors or special event coordinators at arts organizations, when they're organizing larger events, galas, or any other similar function?

I realize there's a possibility I'm biased, as at its fundamental level, Pinterest is really just a visually pleasing and stimulating way of bookmarking links (with the opportunity for comments and sharing), so I return the title of this post.

Is there potential for Pinterest to be a useful tool in art & cultural programming? Or is it just another, briefly shiny social media toy that will come and go? depends?

What do you think?

- JR Follow Me on Pinterest

Monday, September 24, 2012

Three Twitter tools to utilize

Hey there,

So here are three Twitter tools I recommend using for artists and arts organizations who strive to be mindful and intentional with engaging their community. Which is a perfect segue to the first tool I wanted to feature:

Their selling points:
  • Focus on Your Top Influencers
  • Actionable Insights
  • Stress-Free Social Productivity
One example of how they assist with your Twitter interactions is they'll highlight Tweeps who've engaged you and whether you've replied to them or not. This was of great use Sunday morning as it made sure I replied to someone who was my first RT, from the day before. Here's the tweet in question:
The two main categories in's dashboard to be particularly mindful of are Relationships & Followers. Relationships help you monitor what deems high value members, which are further segmented into Influencers, Supporters, and Engaged Members:
  • Influencers - "The top influencers of your community, as judged by followers/following ratio and your engagement history."
  • Supporters - "Supporters help you ’spread the word’ by retweeting your statuses and sharing links to your content."
  • Engaged Members - "These members engage with you more often than others. Engagement is measured across all activities, including mentions, retweets, dms and favorites."
In terms of followers, makes recommendations on who to follow as well as who to unfollow, and also notifies you about new followers and unfollowers.

And for the most part, these other two tools will provide similar insight. So I'll bring to light some of the features I like. Which leads me to:


Their selling points:
  • Targeted Recommendations
  • At-a-glance insights about each message
  • Follower and Fan Growth
  • Deep audience insights
  • Manage multiple accounts
My FAVORITE features with Crowdbooster are the first two mentioned. One of the targeted recommendations suggest times for you to tweet. And in case you see the times and wonder why:
"Scores are based on when your followers are most active and how your previous tweets have performed"
So, this isn't a blanket, generalized suggestion, like you might see in some pieces or articles about Tweeting best practices, this is customized based on you and your community.

My other favorite feature is the graph you see to the right, which answers the question "How are my tweets doing?" The x-axis is the number of retweets, and the y-axis is the number of impressions. If you're wondering how Crowdbooster defines impressions:
"Total possible number of times someone could have seen this tweet. In other words, the sum of your followers + the followers of your retweeters."
Pretty simple right? And remember that tweet I mentioned which gave me a heads-up someone retweeted and I hadn't replied to yet? It's the one data point you can see in the middle. All the others are almost at the origin. But with the RT, 9017 people were reached, as opposed to the 24.5 that has been the average, so far.

And this leads me to the final tool I recommend using:


Their selling points:

  • Manage your social contacts
  • Analyze your audience
  • Search and filter your community
  • See when your followers are online
That last point. That is social media gold, in my opinion. Knowing when your followers are online as active users, particularly if there are certain super fans of your organization and/or influencers in the Twittersphere, can only be a good thing, right? SocialBro also has similar insights as the other two tools mentioned, tracking followers, best time(s) to tweet, but one thing I'd like to highlight about being able to see when active users you're connected to are online? SocialBro lets you know how many total followers you could potentially reach, via those active users.

All that being said, this is ultimately not about quantity, but quality. Even in Social Media, and I am not the first one to say it, content is king.

Social media puts the public back in public relations, as well as conceivably every other aspects of the artistic process, on the creative side, but also on the management and government side. I'm interning at a Dance organization, and had a wonderful meeting with the Development team about how social media can be a part of their process and strategy.

Because when you handle social media, you are a steward of relationships. And the more you invest in caring for those interactions with your community, the more your community will be invested in supporting you,

- JR

Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Look who's talking" on social media and the arts

Hey there,

Being the first post, I thought it appropriate to jump right in to a recent event I attended which is the epitome of why I wanted to start this blog.

A little over a week ago, TheatreWashington, through their greenRoom program, teamed up with Social Media Club DC (SMCDC) to co-host an event at Busboys & Poets, "Look Who’s Talking - Social Media, Theatre, and the Arts in Washington".
As Washington celebrates its extraordinary arts and cultural offerings during the month-long Art4All DC celebration, theatreWashington and the Social Media Club of DC will combine forces for an evening about loving and living with social media - and the leading role it now plays in theatre and arts communities. 
This event was the brain child of one of DC's arts ambassadors on Social Media, Jason McCool, and was the result of a long-term goal of working with SMCDC to move the conversation forward on SM and the arts.

The tag line of SMCDC and Social Media Club, in general? "If you get it, share it".

And so I put this event forward to see if anyone else has participated in similar events regarding the arts in general, their specific discipline/craft, or any other relevant intersection.

If you've attended any, please share. And definitely leave a comment if your local Social Media Club chapter has partnered with arts orgs in your area to help facilitate these kinds of conversations and share resources.

In the meantime, I look forward to helping you (and myself) keep track of the intersection between Social Media and the Arts,