IN THE INTEREST OF PINTEREST: USING PINTEREST

IN THE INTEREST OF PINTEREST: USING PINTEREST

I, for one, believe that social media is here to stay, the platforms may change, but the concept shall remain. That means that we need stay up-to-date within the social media world, if we use it. The challenge of staying informed also brings the how-to and what to use it for dilemma. One of the latest platforms to the social media world is Pinterest. You may be thinking that you could use Pinterest to connect with your market, but also realize that you don’t know how.   What is Pinterest? Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows you to create and manage theme-based image boards such as events, interests, and hobbies. You are able to view other boards, and re-pin images. Pinterest can be used for social, fun, or even business purposes. For instance, you can showcase your products, post videos and use it for content marketing. To help you to start “pinning”, here are some basic user tips: Introduce yourself – Introduce yourselves! Pin a photo and profile. This is your “About” page. Post one per week- Never post more that five pins to a board at one time. Think visually – Social media posts that have strong images get three times the views of those without. Why not move your data into charts and infographics. Keep your boards neat – Right pins on the right board Follow boards and not people – When you follow people you are automatically enrolled on their future boards. Comment when you pin from a website – State why you like the image or link. It can increase the repins and...

Five time saving tips for Social Media strategies

Saving time on social media is a must if you want to escape time wasters and time suckers. Setting up a system can help avoid many of the distracting games, gossip, and out and out worthless parts of social media. There is a time to play games, but it's not while you're at work. Even though you don't have a boss looking over your head, the time wasting will catch up with you. You need to control it, not let it control you. Plan for Success — If you have no road map to your destination you're not likely to make it. Yes, people accidentally hit the lottery, but most of the time success comes from careful and thoughtful planning. Don't set out blindly for a hit or miss effort. Instead, make a plan and stick to it, you can always adjust it, if necessary. Implement Automation — This is a great way to save time. You can schedule automatically new posts, new articles and new information across all your social media. There are many tools available that do a great job. This will enable you to use your social media time more wisely in conversation with your potential clients rather than just pushing information to them. Schedule your time  — If you set up automation you can then carefully schedule your time for using social media for being, social. Imagine that! The automation of updating friends and followers of blog posts will create time for you to actually read other people's tweets, re-tweet good information, and to actually participate. The trick is to schedule the time, and stick to the schedule. Outsource —...

Connect With Customers

Today, business is all about relationships. We buy a car from the guy our neighbor's brother recommended. We hire the contractor our mother's accountant used. We go see the movies that everyone on Twitter talks about. So finding ways to take business relationships beyond transactional is a sure-fire way to cement yourself in the minds of your customers. Social media – blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, – are all ways to connect with your customers, family and friends. And if you can use these tools to establish and enhance your relationships with your audience, you've got a leg up on your customers. Some examples are: The yarn store owner who tweets her new customer to ask how the new sweater is coming along… The car salesman who leaves a link for $10 off an oil change on a customer's Facebook wall… The homeschool curriculum vendor who records a short video showing how to set up a classroom in the home in a back bedroom… The golf instructor who holds a Skype party during the Masters… Possibilities are as endless as the world of Internet business. You will notice some commonalities between the ideas above: They're relevant. They are directly applicable to the niche or industry you're in (the golf instructor, for instance, isn't sending out oil change coupons; the yarn store owner isn't hosting a Masters chat). They're personal. Each interaction connects with the audience in a manner beyond a simple “buy my stuff” way. They're useful. Each interaction provides value to the recipient. In some cases, it's a dollar savings (the coupon); in others, it's informational (the video and the...

Team Facebook or Team Google?

Do you know how to see the future? If you do, then the whole world is all yours for the taking. At least, that's what online marketing expert Jonathan Budd says in his video Get Traffic 3.O. Jonathan tells us the importance of predicting the future – learn the trends and how to be in front of them!  Now here's a trend that all of us internet marketers and homebased business owners should be paying attention to: the rise of a new online superpower – Facebook! In his video, Jonthan talks Facebook vs. Google. He says that the days of Google PPC is over and that it is dead for MLM and home based marketers! He says Google was the source of traffic and leads for almost all marketers on the internet and while it's still pretty much in its number one spot, the next big thing (which could potentially turn out to be bigger than Google!) is happening right now. With all his amazing, surprising statistics shown in graphs and tables, Jonathan shows us that the social networking giant CAN be bigger than Google. The truth is, it's growing to be the most essential advertising medium to the home business industry today! If you want hot leads and active, engaged buyers, you should be paying attention to the Facebook vs. Google issue. And I agree with Jonathan. I mean, the very same people you're eyeing on Google are hanging out on Facebook! I think the reason why a social site such as Facebook can offer better targeting with keywords and demographic-specific ads is this: social media knows you...

Advertising in a Social Media World

The last few posts talked about advertising in a world where social media is growing  leaps and bounds. The traditional marketing way is still here, but it may not be the best form of marketing for you or you may need to combine the traditional with the social. We need to remember that we are working with two different mediums. What works on one – even if it's your strongest ad – may not work on the other. It's important also to match the ad with the right social network. My husband whose career is in sales says that the best salesperson has mastered the real secret of selling: Don’t appear to sell. Instead, “help” the customer figure out what she needs – and provide it. Social networking is ideal for this friendly, conversational approach. However you choose to advertise – traditional media, social media or a healthy mixture of both – do make sure that you fit it in as part of your long term marketing...

What Social Advertising and Affiliate Marketing Have in Common

Image by rogercarr via Flickr If you've done any affiliate marketing at all, you'll be quite familiar with the phenomenon of the Super Affiliate.  When you have a force of 100 affiliates, a Super Affiliate is the who's responsible for 79% of your sales.  10 Super Affiliates are capable of achieving more results than 1,000 lukewarm affiliates who don't want to put any work into raking in your commission checks. Well, I'd like to suggest that there's a rare creature called the Super Fan. She lurks on social networks, enthusiastically creating a buzz about your brand, product or event… and a hefty percentage of your actual conversions are thanks to her. Super Fans generously perform a variety of functions: – They rope and bring juicy prospects right to your corral (when you're not even there). – They keep discussions lively and ongoing. – They fend off the sort of bottom feeders that love to stir up contention on social networks, and are quite capable of eloquently coming to your defense. – They provide you with a living, breathing, ongoing testimonial . – They promote you better than that guy you hired, last year. The one with the dazzling website and clever graphics. – They keep you in front of your market. – They do all this because they believe in you. If you've got even one Super Fan like this, you need to be thinking about what to do to reward her.  Often all it takes is noting more than your attention and interaction.  In short, your respect. Value your Super Fans. Openly appreciate them. And if you haven't yet...

Sales Pitches Out: Social Advertising In

Are you considering just putting one of your existing banner ads on a social site such as Facebook? Don't. At least… not yet… It's important to remember you are dealing with two different mediums. What works on one – even if it's your strongest ad – may not work on the other. There are a number of mistakes I've seen marketers make, when creating their own social ads, and impersonal headlines beginning with anything even remotely close to: “The Untold Truth About…” – ones that sound like a sales pitch – will turn people off faster than a slap of ice water. It's important also to match the ad with the right social network.  There are now so many in play that it seems as if there's a social network for every market – and they're not all created equal.  Besides a difference in sales tracking metrics and flexibility, you also have to consider the demographic that uses each particular one the most. For example, Scribd‘s population leans more heavily towards young male professionals, with college education, whereas MySpace‘s demographic is the 17-21 year old age group (usually non-spenders, except on electronic items such as iPhones, music and gaming systems). But no matter what platform you finally pick, you won't get anywhere with the sort of sales pitches that sound like the beginning of a TV commercial: The sort that wake you up at night, while their presenters enthusiastically shout about the latest gadget. Remember that social advertising is just that… social. Nobody's really got the ultimate handle on it yet… but when it comes to social advertising for...

Social Media Advertising goes Mainstream

One way you can tell if social media advertising is really something you should be considering for your business:  The amount of top-drawer ad agencies that have sprung up or changed focus, shifting their attention from traditional advertising to zero in on social media. Even social media platforms themselves hire these agencies, to create ads for their clients. For example, New York-based Lotame, whose clients include Flixster and Bebo. Then there are Sometrics, Siteheart and SocialMedia.com… SocialMedia is geared specifically to social ad platforms, offering to render ads containing Twitter messages, comments from web communities and data from your site. Lotame boasts it “goes beyond industry norms by applying a social data layer to audience segmentation”. They call this a “zero waste” advertising solution – and their clients include Flixster and Bebo. In fact, visiting their website can give the do-it-yourself social ad creator some good clues as to what to focus on, when creating your message.  Just take note of phrases such as “interactivity over clicks”, “meaningful audience engagement”…  “The medium is the message and social ads are the solution”…  Their recent new hires include John Thomas, PhD, formerly with Crimson Hexagon, specializing in social media analytics. In short, there's some major money and brain power going into monetizing social media. Further proof is provided in a Knowledge Networks May 2009 press release, which gives statistics for: “Proportion of Social Media Users Who Turn to Social Media When Making Purchase Decisions“, giving the lie to nay-sayers who insist people aren't haunting social networks to buy.  (They aren't – but they do!)  This particular PDF press release lists the...

Why Go Social when you’re Not?

Do you feel stressed or discouraged at the thought of having to add social media to your business advertising mix?  If you do, then chances are you are one of the secret minority who have vowed never to join Twitter, and you're sick of hearing about Facebook (that thing your teenager haunts). Relax.  Social media doesn't have to mean huge learning curves and wasted hours, all in the name of networking. Once you realize that business networking isn't wasting time at all, it might make a whole lot more sense. Mind you, you might have to work a little at that shift in mindset… but you can do a few things to cut down on your social media climbing without losing valuable opportunities for free advertising. Start Small… You can't get much faster than Twitter for social media networking. Compare the three hours you spent writing that article; then the frustratingly glitchy load time, uploading it to your marketing directory… and waiting 4 or 5 days for it to be approved… Now write out a sentence like this (in less than 140 characters): “10 ways to French-braid your hair”. Add to it a shortened link to your blog post. Voila. You're done. The best way to shorten that link?  There's 2 schools of thought… Some say it's better if you used an optimized post title leading directly to your blog, like so: “http://www.just-an-example.com/brainstorming.html“.  Keyword-wise… yes, it is. But most people shorten their posts with bit.ly, because it allows you to add a button to your browser bar, and check your click-throughs instantly. (And remember, social networking is driven by...

Free Advertising Using 5 Social Media Sites

You've been realizing lately that you really need to spread the word about your business, website, event or product. But you don't have the largest budget on the planet. If you're looking for ways to advertise for free, you might want to consider making full use of social media. Most social media platforms offer paid advertising – and if you have the budget, it's always better to cover all the bases. But there are some free methods and techniques utilizing social media that can really increase your exposure (and even your personal brand). Here are suggestions that have worked well for many internet marketers and entrepreneurs on these 5 social media sites… It's not enough just spread the word by blogging: You have to also promote your blog. Do it by using Delicious or Digg. Link to your blog from your Facebook news feed. Send people to your blog by tweeting on Twitter about your latest post; shorten the URL with bit.ly – and then check your stats on the number of clicks. Upload a video to YouTube, and make sure links to your business are placed in the first and last frame of your video (appearing long enough for people to quickly make a note of the link). Have the same URL in as many places on your YouTube channel page as you can manage.   Make sure it either (a) is extremely helpful about one tricky subject for the niche you're targeting or (b) contains all the elements of a viral video:  Memorable, entertaining, personal, unique – if appropriate, perhaps even funny.  (A Singing Parrot is far...