Please Share customers can now add images, videos, or GIFs to share requests when preparing content for employee advocates to share on LinkedIn and Twitter.
The feature was requested by many of our customers who frequently use attachments in their social media posts.
The Old vs The New
When Please Share first launched, the steps required to create share requests – or content teed up for individual employee advocates to distribute on their social media channels – were pretty basic, or brilliantly simple as we like to say.
Users just needed to add the URL of the article they wanted to promote and the copy they wanted to include with their LinkedIn and Twitter posts. This straightforward approach served us well a year ago, but with marketer’s desire to go beyond basic and add image, video, and GIF attachments, the number of variations grew exponentially. Rather than a link and some copy, the new approach had to allow for…
- Share requests with or without a content URL
- The following combination of attachments…
- Up to 9 images on LinkedIn and 4 on Twitter
- One GIF per LinkedIn or Twitter post
- And 1 video per LinkedIn or Twitter post
With so many potential combinations, we also had to consider what should be displayed to employee advocates in Slack.
To URL or Not to URL
When we first started building Please Share, we assumed that companies would use our solution to share content, job postings, and events that they wanted to broadcast to the largest audience possible. Because of this, we required that customers include a link/URL with every share request they submitted to Slack using Please Share.
For the most part, this solves situations when companies want to tap their employees to share content. After all, the goal is most often about driving traffic to company assets and resources.
However, as we quickly learned, there are many scenarios where companies want to share information when there is no associated URL to include. For example, a holiday card, pictures from a recent event, a cool GIF, or a short video about a new store opening.
When developing the ability for companies to add attachments to share requests, we decided to also remove the requirement for companies to include a content URL. Though we still encourage customers to include a URL with their share requests, it is no longer required that they do so. In fact, customers can now submit text-only share requests to Slack.
What to Display in Slack?
We love Slack, but always seem to run into a few challenges when making enhancements to the Please Share service.
For example, when a customer submits a share request to Slack with multiple attachments – or different attachments for LinkedIn and Twitter posts – what should we display in the Slack channel? Yeah, it would be great to show every attachment, but Slack only allows one image, GIF, or video within each post.
Rather than trying to figure this out ourselves and make an assumption on behalf of each of our customers, we devised a simple solution that puts the choice in the hands of our customers. When multiple channels include different attachments, a “Customize the Share Request” box will appear within the Please Share application.
Within this area, customers have an option to 1) select the preview content to display * and 2) the image, GIF, or video to render with the update when it is sent to Slack.
* The content preview simply displays the metadata associated with a content URL (if included in the share request) or the company-prepared LinkedIn or Twitter share request content.
Note: While Please Share end users can adjust how the post appears in Slack when the updates are shared to LinkedIn or Twitter by employee advocates, the content will appear as entered in the respective templates in Please Share.
Yes, But How Many Attachments?
Another consideration we had to address is what to display to employees in Slack when share requests have more than one attachment. Most often updates will include a single attachment, but when that’s not the case, you want employee advocates to know how many attachments will be included when they share their posts on LinkedIn or Twitter.
To solve this, we automatically adjust the textbox header that appears (when the Post to LinkedIn or Post to Twitter button is selected in Slack) to include the number of attachments. See the screenshot below.
Given the requirement to include attachments in share requests and the unique parameters of Slack we feel we’ve done a pretty good job, but admit there’s probably more that we can optimize going forward. As such, we welcome feedback from our customers and will do our best to continue to build the best product for you.