Pin It to Win It: The Business Case for Pinterest

I know, I know. You don’t have time for an alternate social network. But I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t chat up Pinterest, as this image-centric social network is now an amazing spot for businesses to:

  • Meet new customers
  • Boost website traffic
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Drive sales activity
  • So let’s go over the reason why this visual social network so cool—and so effective as an effective marketing tool.

    Visually pleasing! Less whining!

    Instead of being a platform for tedious updates of what people ate for breakfast or ALL CAPS rants from your bizarre uncle, Pinterest is about bringing people together who have common preferences, whether it’s fashion, art, food, crafts, architecture, photography, cocktail recipes, interior name it. Copyblogger contributor Beth Hayden sums up Pinterest very well with this quote: “Pinterest is visually appealing, positive, and unlike Facebook, there isn’t any whining.” Can I get an amen?!

    Why marketers are so jazzed about Pinterest

    For starters, the website is wildly popular. Last year, in a five month span, Pinterest rocketed to a jaw-dropping 10 million users. No one was expecting it. Even social media watchers were caught off guard. Practically overnight Pinterest became a MAJOR driver of website traffic. Get this: Pinterest drives more traffic than YouTube, Google and LinkedIn—combined. Here’s one more thing: users love Pinterest. They can’t get enough of it. It’s addictive. As per comScore data Pinterest users average 89 minutes per month on the site and Google users average just 3 minutes per month.

    So what?

    Now let’s tackle one of the most important questions: Why would businesses care about Pinterest? It’s really quite simple. For one thing, it’s a great, noninvasive strategy to meet potential customers who share an interest in what you have to offer. This built-in permission can help you easily build rapport and make new relationships with buyers within your target market. Secondly, companies are already having great results using the site to showcase their goods and services, stay top of mind and drive traffic. Just create an account. You’ll see all kinds of businesses engaging with their customers:

  • Florists
  • Farmers markets
  • Furniture makers
  • Fly fishing guides
  • Fitness clubs
  • Fashion consultants
  • The list is just about endless.

    Ready, set, pin!

    I can hear the gears turning in your head … you’re thinking of reasons why you ought to ignore Pinterest, aren’t you? Businesses tend to think of reasons why they shouldn’t use social media. They don’t get involved because they don’t think they have a natural place in a particular network. Look, folks, if a plumbing franchise in Waco, Texas makes Pinterest help their business, you can too! Don’t sell yourself short.

    Charlotte Howard is a Radio Host and Beauty Salon Success Coach. She specializes in beauty salon business start-up and client attraction.

    Why Use Social Media to Promote and Grow your Business?

    Because quite frankly, if you don’t, you’ll be missing out on potential customers!!! AND… if you are not using social media to promote your brand, you can bet your competition is!

    A few of the big myths circulating around the business world such as: “social media is just a fad and won’t be around long,” “it’s just something that kids use to talk to each other online,” and “social media doesn’t work for brick and mortar businesses,” continue to be debunked as the use of social media for business grows.

    We know that some larger companies realized the potential for the use of social media to enhance their advertising some time ago. For instance, if you watch television advertising, more and more often you will now see somewhere in their ad the phrases: “follow us on Twitter” or “look for us on Facebook.” This is proof that while still using some traditional methods to promote themselves, these companies have realized how powerful these social media sites are for building followers of their product or service and for enhancing their advertising campaign.

    The facts are that social media has revolutionized traditional marketing, and if you are not using some form of social media as part of you marketing plan, you are missing out on potential business.

    While using social media platforms has indeed allowed people to connect personally on many different sites, many of these also have the ability to be used very effectively to promote a business. The critical issue here is using the correct social media platforms for your business, and using them correctly! By hiring a Social Media Management company, you will have a professional guiding you through this amazing landscape, so that you can avoid being overwhelmed and can achieve your goals.

    How to Create Facebook Events Without Annoying Your Friends

    It’s always nice to be included. That is, unless it’s a Facebook Event for a 20-piece recorder recital playing Nickleback’s greatest hits.

    Since Facebook added the ability to plan events and invite your friends a few years ago, it’s become one of the post popular online ways to organize get-togethers. It’s also a feature that pisses people off.

    Are you part of the problem? Click here to look at our tips to learn how to be a more conscientious Facebook host.

    Fighting Recession With Social Media – Part 2

    Ramp up your marketing

    Companies ranging small and large are increasingly turning to outside blogs, viral videos and websites such as Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed and Digg — and their tens of millions of users — to reach consumers. Instead of cringing at the idea of relinquishing control to social media outlets, smart executives realize that there is more benefit in joining the conversation than fighting it. Instead of controlling information about your brand, your social media strategy should be about engagement.

    Advertising as we know it is expensive; social media is cheap. For this reason, the recession is bad news for traditional marketers, while the same environment is full of opportunities for social media marketers. Setting up a company blog or a Facebook page is significantly less expensive than traditional marketing. Even creating your own community web site can be significantly cheaper than traditional advertising campaigns.

    Social media marketing is not without risk. While every company wants to generate buzz, online backlash can be vicious. Recently a Motrin commercial aimed at moms created quite a stir. You can view the ad on YouTube as did another 210,000 people. The ad makes the apparently condescending claim that carrying babies in a sling is a painful experience for moms. According to moms, the ad was wrong and they made it loud and clear through social media applications such as Twitter. Some moms found the Motrin ad outright offensive, and they were quite vocal about it. You can catch them on YouTube. Of course, the disaster doesn’t end there. It continues on a myriad of blogs, and carries on in a Facebook page dedicated to boycotting Motrin. The backlash ad on YouTube can be viewed.

    What to do when your target rejects your ad? Turn to social media. Instead of rejecting the market reaction Johnson & Johnson could have used social media applications to learn about their market prior to creating and publishing the controversial ad. There could have been a Facebook page created to learn about young moms and pain. There could have been a blog inviting moms to provide video testimonials on YouTube. The lesson learned in this case is to use social media to learn about your market, or be prepared to be taught very quickly and painfully.

    Reduce your expenses

    Save time and money on travel and use LinkedIn to network. Instead of driving to the other end of town fighting your way through traffic use the largest business social network to build new connections and to nurture existing ones. Only attend your most valuable networking events, and transfer as much of your networking as you can to the web. LinkedIn, Plaxo, and Facebook are some of the best social networking applications.

    Reduce your legal fees through a fairly new social media site called Docstoc. It is a place to find and share professional documents such as contracts, confidentiality agreements, intellectual property documents and more. Docstoc is a social community resource that enables anyone to find and share professional documents. The site provides an opportunity for individuals and organizations to share their professional documents. Documents available on Docstoc can be easily searched, previewed and downloaded for free.

    Decrease your recruiting costs as you hire your employees though Craigslist, which has quietly become one of the most visited websites in cyberspace. It offers a much cheaper way to recruit online, and your company can expect excellent response rates for your job posts.

    Putting it all together

    Are more companies turning to social media in this economy? They should if they want to improve their marketing efficiencies, enhance their customer service experience, or develop their research techniques. Social media allows companies to engage with the customers instead of shouting about their own wonderfulness. It offers ways to business to partner with the community in an effort to develop a better product. In the end everybody wins because both the company and the consumer end up with a better product.

    Virtually all companies can benefit from using social media not just to create awareness, but also to become part of the conversation. Managing your corporate reputation is impossible without social media, and ignoring it can be outright devastating. Instead if fighting against it, embrace it as it rockets your business forward as it deepens your relationship with the only reason you are in business for, your customer.

    George Meszaros

    Role of SEO in Online Marketing

    Online marketing, also known as Internet marketing, is simply the marketing of products and service offerings via the Internet. With the explosion of Internet onto the scene, almost every home is connected to your product or service through online marketing. You may have a great service or the perfect product and a fantastic website but that will not ensure visitors to your site. So it’s important to get the Internet marketing right.

    Online marketing comes in various forms – banner ads, email marketing, paid inclusions, pay per click, affiliate advertising and search engine optimization (SEO). The growth of online marketing has been fueled largely by the expansion of the Internet audience and the convenience a customer can be offered in terms of purchasing online. With the large audience out there, you will want to get as many visitors as possible to your site. This brings us into the realm of SEO, since this is becoming one of the main avenues for an online business to try to increase virtual footfalls to the site.

    Let’s first talk about SEO – what is it? Put simply, it is the use of an algorithm to improve a sites search engine rankings or hits. This is done by an Internet marketer to try to improve the quantity as well as the quality of visitors to their website. The concept of improved quality is also important here – it is essential to direct the right traffic, people searching for the product or service that you offer or something similar, rather than simply a random selection of people looking for something else. Ideally, your SEO strategy should work with your target market in mind and work towards attracting this target market to the site. Relevance is key, since people looking for a web-hosted tax planning software will not buy wedding invitations, even if driven to the website and will be disappointed.

    SEO is important because it covers most of the key areas that marketers need to address while selling and advertising online – it generates awareness, it leads to acquisition of customers and conversion of visitors to customers, and optimizes the marketing efforts to target buyers.

    The value of increased, relevant traffic to the site will most likely guarantee increased sales. SEO marketing offers information about your product offering when the interest from visitors is high and, once directed to your site, the visitor can be converted to a buyer immediately. Most companies build out their online marketing strategies keeping SEO in mind. This is essential to the success of a marketing plan, since a good SEO plan can be supported by a pertinent emailing marketing campaign and other PR programs.

    Thus, the role of SEO is so vital to a successful online marketing campaign that it can be considered a separate tactic in itself but it is best to make it a well-planned segment of an organized strategy. Consider this: an inappropriately planned SEO may result in wasted resources, optimizing factors that do not link back to the correct target audience in the midst of a highly competitive and growing online marketplace. While many SEO experts and marketers may dispute the process to successful SEO (some say page linking, some keyword basics, others copywriting and so on), one thing most people agree on is constructing an SEO that is closely connected with your marketing strategy so that each supports the other.

    William King