Businesses everywhere are signing up and creating accounts in what seems like every social media outlet under the sun. However, many do this wrong and see little to no results due to lack of knowledge. I’m about to drop some of that knowledge on your business so you can be informed and begin implementing fresh and exciting social media campaigns. If you haven’t created a campaign like this before, this will be helpful!

1. Why are you doing this?

Why?

What is the end game for you? You must set goals for your social media endeavor. Before you even type into the first input box to create an account, you should have a well-defined and established goal or set of goals. Common goals for companies are:

  • To increased brand awareness
  • To promote products and increase sales
  • Or to promote an event

You must define a purpose for this; it isn’t enough to simply sign up because it’s what all the cool kids are doing these days. Be honest and hold yourself accountable to meet your goal. Otherwise, expect the campaign to fall flat on its face.

2. When and how often should I post?

When?

First, you need to have a schedule or timeline of important dates and reminders. If you are reading this, that means you live in the age of the smartphone, so you have a calendar literally at your fingertips. You should set the specific dates you will be running this campaign. Of course you need a start and end date, but more importantly you need to plan what dates each new post will need to be posted. In addition to being easy to manage, doing this will time box the results and help you see the benefits of your efforts.

3. What should I post?

What?

This is the most important question and the answer can make or break your campaign. The simple way of explaining it is “if what you post isn’t good, then campaign won’t be either”. Not that the previous tips aren’t important, but they don’t matter if the content of your posts aren’t good. Here are some good tips to keep in mind when developing content for a post:

  • Stunning Imagery: create and choose visuals that will catch the eye of users, things that people would find interesting to look at in a glance
  • Sharable: make sure you users can easily share your videos and graphics
  • Over Promotion: don’t keep posting the same content over and over, and don’t confuse “social media” with “advertising”
  • Cross Channeling: create specific hashtags that can be used across all of your social media accounts

4. Where should I promote my social media activity?

Where?

Being active on your social media accounts isn’t the only thing you should do. You should also create graphics and links to your accounts on your website, newsletters, and advertisements. This will generate more traffic to your pages and give your campaign a boost. One thing to note: be tasteful with the size and location of your graphics. Don’t treat social media as the most important thing in your business if it’s not.

5. How will I know my campaign is working?

How?

Before I answer that, try to keep in mind that you need to be flexible and willing to change if need be. Nothing is set in stone. The best piece of advice I can give for after you’ve started your campaign is to monitor your campaign with various social analytic tools, which you should be sure to have in place. Be ready to make a change if the data says so. Negative or lack of responses would suggest so. Here is a list of some free and paid tools you can consider when choosing what is right for you:

Final Thought

These tips and tricks will help your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media campaigns be successful, but it is largely up to you to come up with good content and hold yourselves accountable for your schedule. Be disciplined enough to create goals and schedules, but flexible enough to shift when the social media atmosphere does.

Designers and developers have known Microsoft is developing a new browser for some time now – it was previously known as “Project Spartan”. At their recent Build conference, Microsoft has unleashed a re-branded Internet Explorer (IE)/Project Spartan: Microsoft Edge.

Don’t let the similar looking logo fool you: this browser has been stripped down, rethought, and built back up from the ground floor. Why, might you ask? IE is now 20 years old, and has languished behind competitors like Mozilla Firefox, and especially Google Chrome. In order to prepare for the next 20 years, Microsoft needed to start over from scratch.

Refocused on Web Standards

Under the hood, Edge is progression of the IE Trident rendering engine. While the word “Trident” should evoke groans and eye rolls from any developer, Microsoft is calling this new fork of Trident “Microsoft Edge HTML”.

What’s important to note here is not what has been gained, but more about what’s been left behind: Microsoft Edge HTML has been stripped down to the core. IE-specific Trident rendering that has plagued the development community for years has been kicked to the curb. In fact, to re-enforce this fact, the user agent string Edge uses to identify itself now includes “Chrome” (and no longer includes “Trident”). Yes, you read that correctly. No more quirks mode!

New features in Edge include full or improved support for the Web Audio API, Gamepad API, CSS supports, CSS feature queries, SVG effects, HTTP/2, FileReader API, Full Screen API, 3D transforms, and more. You can compare IE11 to Edge features by checking out this Can I Use page.

Another important resource Microsoft has made available is their Platform Status tool. On this page you can track which specific features Edge supports, whether a feature is in development, if Microsoft is considering adding a feature, or if they are not planning on any support.

If you want to see a new feature make its way into Edge, be sure vote or add a request to their developer feedback User Voice page. Designers should be up-voting for the Picture element right now!

A Priority on Speed

Microsoft is already touting some impressive performance gains over IE11 and other browser competitors, especially their JavaScript rendering engine (known as Chakra). They’ve already announced full support for EMCAScript 6 (JavaScript version 6).

Octane graph
Octane is a JS benchmark owned by Google.

Jet Stream Graph
Jet Stream is another JS benchmark owned by Apple.

Improved Developer Tools

Not wanting to leave developers out of the fold, Microsoft has announced a number of improvements to F12 Developer Tools. The UI has been modified and improved with better layout and text zooming. The Debugger tool has also seen new features, including the ability to add XHR breakpoints. Designers working with SASS and LESS will now have support for CSS source maps for faster coding. The Console will now provide 400 and 500 level errors, too. Most recently, Microsoft announced improvements to the Network tool.

Extensions

There’s no denying that Microsoft is playing catch up here. Chrome and Firefox have had extensions for years. What they’re promising sounds great: extensions that work on Google Chrome will work with Edge with little to no work. If true, this will help Microsoft gain a slew of extensions from developers in a short amount of time. In the end, this might be one of Edge’s most important features, as it will allow the Microsoft team to focus on other, more important feature additions as Edge continues to mature. Microsoft is gaining a lot by giving up control to outside developers to come up with and create awesome, useful extensions.

The only catch is that as of right now, Extensions is not slated to be included in the Windows 10 release at the end of July.

Windows 10

Microsoft Edge will only be available on Windows 10. In the past, with new combined releases of Windows OS’s and browsers, adoption has been slow, especially outside of the USA (Windows XP is still at 14.6%, and Windows 7 is at a staggering 57.7%!). Microsoft has an ace up its sleeve this time: Windows 10 will be afree upgrade for nearly all Windows 7, 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 users. We should see rapid adoption of Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge if all goes according to plan.

And while Edge will become the default browser for Windows 10, Internet Explorer 11 will still live on for now in Windows 10 as a separate app for businesses who rely on it for their websites and web apps for backward compatibility.

Universal App

Another fact of note is that Edge is a universal app. This means a more consistent user experience for people using Edge across desktops, tablets, phones, Xboxes, and even Microsoft’s new HoloLens technology. Microsoft has also taken a nod to mobile app and responsive web design UI and UX by adopting a more minimal interface — even an increased adoption of the hamburger icon.

Edge Updates

Microsoft is also jumping on the auto update bandwagon. Updates to Edge will happen automagically: When new features are released, and a new version of Edge is ready for a consumer, Windows Update will handle it all. The experience should be similar to how Chrome is always up-to-date, with new features being baked in without any prompt or hassle from the user.

Conclusion and Continued Reading

As a designer and developer, it’s exciting to see Microsoft rise Internet Explorer out of the ashes and into relevance once again with Microsoft Edge. To see how far they’ve come, just take a look at their site that features games, demos and other cutting-edge web development goodness: http://dev.modern.ie/testdrive/. At Mercury, we’re looking forward to the new opportunities Edge will provide us and our clients, as well as less hassle in future development of sophisticated web apps and websites.

Keep up-to-date with Microsoft Edge’s features as we approach the launch of Windows 10 by visiting the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog.