Posts Tagged ‘pinterest’
Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
Image courtesy of Philip Chapman-Bell/Flickr.
With the holidays just around the corner, you may be preparing to set up your social media accounts so they will run on auto pilot while you are out of the office. Many, many businesses use social media scheduling tools to help keep their accounts active and to keep promoting content during holidays and just to help them keep up with their social media marketing.
The problem is, if you rely too heavily on social media scheduling, you risk looking like a spammer. Your followers know when you are simply pushing content on them and aren’t being genuine. Sometimes businesses fall into the trap of sounding robotic, losing touch with their market and becoming less genuine when they use social media scheduling.
Fortunately, there are a few ways you can use scheduling tools to help you keep up with your accounts without compromising your brand and becoming a spammer.
Start Finding and Creating Valuable Content to Share
First, don’t just write scheduled posts at the last minute for the sake of having posts. Start planning in advance by deciding what kind of content you want to share through scheduled posts and start finding it or creating it.
The idea is to be purposeful with your scheduled posts so that the content you share when you aren’t posting live is just as valuable as the content you would normally share. Don’t leave your audience hanging by posting less helpful content just because you are scheduling it ahead of time.
Write Scheduled Posts as if they were Live
Even though you are writing social media posts days or even weeks in advance, write them as if you were writing them to be posted immediately. Use the same style, tone and voice that you would normally use so that your audience can’t tell that you aren’t posting live.
Also be sure to use the correct tenses when scheduling posts. For example, don’t use the future tense unless it will be necessary at the time of the posting. Instead of writing “Don’t miss our holiday sale next week,” write “Don’t miss our holiday sale going on right now!”
Don’t Change Your Posting Frequency
When you sit down to schedule social media posts, it can be tempting to get carried away and schedule more content than you would normally post. If you do this, you will come across as spammy and you could even lose followers.
Instead, maintain your regular posting frequency even when you use scheduling tools. If you normally post three to four times a day, schedule posts to go live three to four times a day.
Check in Whenever Possible
One of the best ways you can avoid making your accounts look spammy when you schedule posts is to check in whenever possible. If you can, don’t rely completely on the scheduler to maintain your accounts for you, but find a middle ground. For example, maybe you can schedule posts that share content, but you can still log in periodically to engage with your followers.
Keeping an eye on your account even while content is scheduled to go live can also help you make sure things are running smoothly. When you log in you can make sure your posts are being shared and monitor activity more closely.
Using social media scheduling tools can help you manage your social media accounts, especially during busy weeks or when you won’t be in the office. These guidelines can help you make sure your accounts maintain their followers, stay active and continue to provide value to your market.
Wednesday, November 13th, 2013
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
There are many, many online marketing tactics your business can use, but all of those tactics fit into four basic online marketing categories. Online marketing is a broad field that encompasses lots of tools and strategies that can help your business do anything from increase sales and website traffic to promote awareness and build stronger relationships with your customers.
Search Engine Optimisation
You are probably familiar with the term “search engine optimisation,” but do you know how SEO can benefit your business? In essence, SEO strategies can be used to make your company’s website appear higher up in search results. For example, with the right SEO campaign your furniture company’s website could appear in the top results when someone searches for “furniture shop in London.”
Studies show that people pay more attention to the first few pages of search results, so getting your website to rank at the top will be extremely beneficial to your business as more people find your website. A good SEO strategy will employ things like optimised content, link building, social media and mobile tactics.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing may be one of the most popular forms of online marketing. Almost all businesses use some kind of social media network, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn, to promote their products or services.
But, with a strategic plan, social media marketing can help you do so much more than promote your business. You can use it to learn more about your market, drive traffic to your website, create strong relationships, improve your reputation, join industry conversations and so much more.
Online advertising can be a powerful way to market your business. You can buy advertising space on all kinds of websites, including social media networks, news sites, blogs and other sites. Different websites have different requirements when it comes to advertising, and more popular sites will generally charge more for advertising space.
The key to making online advertising work is to buy advertising space on websites that attract your market. Make sure the advertisements appeal to your target market and are placed on sites your potential customers already visit.
Affiliate marketing is another popular type of online marketing that can bring a lot of success. Businesses that do affiliate marketing work with another company and agree to promote its website. The business makes money depending on how many sales it produces, how much traffic it directs to the website or how many clicks it generates through links it has created.
There are lots of affiliate marketing opportunities out there and the businesses that are most successful with this know their market and blog readers and choose to work with affiliates that will appeal to their customer base. To do well with affiliate marketing, you must also have a large readership and have a good relationship with the people who visit your site.
Depending on your business, market and goals, your company may use just one or two of these types of online marketing or all four. If you are looking for ways to promote your business online, consider these four basic options and decide which ones will be most effective for you. Then, create a solid plan, execute your strategy and measure your efforts so you can constantly improve your online marketing strategies.
Thursday, October 31st, 2013
Image courtesy of Alan Reeves/Flickr.
How do you get more social media followers? You probably use a variety of strategies to get more followers and more “likes” and you work to drive traffic to your accounts. In addition to those strategies, you need to be showing off your social media accounts wherever possible.
There are five main places you need to add social media buttons in order to gain more followers and get more out of social media marketing.
It may seem like an obvious place, but far too many businesses don’t put social media buttons in a prominent place on their website. Keep in mind that your visitors may leave your site when they click on your buttons, but if your goal is to drive people to your social media accounts, this strategy is a good one.
Try putting the buttons near the top of your page, on a side bar or in another area where they can’t be missed. Also be sure your buttons are easy to read so your visitors know what they are.
Each of your blog posts should have links to your social media accounts. Some businesses use buttons that allow readers to share the content on social media, which is beneficial, but it can also be helpful to use buttons that allow readers to connect with you on social media.
Using buttons here will help you target two audiences: the people that visit your blog and the people that see your content through social media, RSS feeds or other means. Both of these audiences can help your business grow if they know you have social media accounts and know how to connect with you.
Your email signature is another important place to include links to your social media pages. When you add links to your Facebook, Twitter, Intagram or other social media accounts, every single person you send an email to will know you use social media and how to connect with you.
But, don’t stop with your personal email account. You should also include social media buttons in marketing emails, promotional emails, email receipts and any other form of email communication your business uses.
Product or Checkout Pages
People who buy things from your business, or your current customers, are likely to want to connect with you on social media. These people probably already like your brand and support your business, so they may want to connect with you to show their support, stay up to date with your business and access and share your content.
Encourage these people to become social media followers by including social media buttons on your product and checkout pages. Then, as customers are browsing your products and making purchases, when they are most likely having positive thoughts about your brand, they can easily find you on social media.
Biography or “About Me” Sections
If you use biographies or “about me” sections, you should include links to your social media pages in the copy or as buttons. These sections are often used for:
- Guest Blog Posts
- Blogs with Several Contributors
- Employee Directories on Company Websites
- “About Pages” on Websites
- Social Media Profiles
- Press Releases
When people read these paragraphs, they want to know more about you or your business, so they will probably be interested in social media accounts that let them interact with you.
The more ways you can spread the word about your social media accounts and show people how to connect with you, the faster your accounts will grow. Start boosting your social media accounts now by adding buttons or links to them in these five places.
Thursday, October 17th, 2013
Image courtesy of Victor1558/Flickr.
Measuring your social media marketing results is absolutely vital. If you don’t measure your efforts and the impact they have, how will you know if your social media strategies are benefiting your business? Good measurements can also help you enhance your plan and see even more results from your social media tactics.
There are all kinds of programs and tools you can use to measure your social media efforts, and you can be as detailed as you want when you decide which numbers to track. Here are a few guidelines that can help you take measurements that will benefit your business.
Set Goals and Take Measurements to Track Progress
First, set some social media marketing goals. Your goals will depend on your business, market and your current focus. Some common social media marketing goals include raising awareness, making more sales, driving traffic and getting more email subscribers.
Make sure your goals are measurable. An example of a measurable goal would be: “Increase the number of email subscribers by 20 percent in the next 6 months.” Measurable goals include a benchmark and a timeframe.
Now you can determine what you need to do with your social media accounts to reach those goals, which will tell you how to measure your efforts. For example, you may need to get more followers or post more links to your email subscription page. These goals translate into social media measurements and will help you meet broader marketing goals.
Compare Account Success
Not all social media sites are equal. Different sites attract different kinds of audiences, have different features and can help you accomplish different things. Therefore, it is important that you measure accounts individually as well as collectively.
You can use different kinds of measurements for different social media accounts and you may even have different goals for each of your accounts, based on their strengths and your followers on that site.
More comprehensive measurements, that track the progress of multiple sites, shouldn’t be discounted though. These numbers can help you get an understanding of how successful your social media strategies are overall.
Track Social Media Account Growth
Generally, social media accounts are more effective marketing tools when they have a lot of followers and engagement. You are probably already working to get more “likes,” followers, comments and shares, but do you know how much progress you have made?
Measuring your social media account growth can help you find correlations between account growth and other successes. For example, you may start to notice that as you gain more Twitter followers, your sales increase. Or, maybe the more engagement you see on Facebook, the more visitors you get on your website.
Knowing this kind of information can help you understand how you can use your social media accounts to their fullest potential and discover what is working and what isn’t when it comes to growing your accounts and reaching your goals.
Don’t Get Stuck on the Numbers
While it is important to take accurate measurements, and businesses do need to be aware of their social media numbers, it can be dangerous to focus too heavily on statistics and not enough on people and more general goals. Remember, numbers are just numbers.
The danger of getting stuck on the numbers when you use social media marketing is that your other, more important goals can fade into the background. As you work to increase your email subscribers, remember that you also want to be producing quality content for your emails, using appropriate marketing messaging and fostering relationships with your social media followers and email subscribers. Without action, your social media followers and statistics are just numbers.
Measuring social media marketing tactics and successes is an important step in using your accounts to help you promote your business. Use these guidelines to make sure your social media measurements will help you improve your digital marketing strategies and help your business be mores successful.
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
Pinterest is a fast-growing and popular network. People use the site to save and organise images, articles and websites. Businesses are using Pinterest more and more to promote products, create an online brand and increase traffic. That’s right, you can use Pinterest to drive more visitors to your website or blog.
They key to generating traffic through Pinterest is to build your profile and then use the site creatively. Here are a few ideas you can use to turn your Pinterest account into a traffic-driving tool.
Use Pins as Teasers to Draw People In
Think of Pinterest as a place where you can tease your content and show off what you have to offer. Write pin descriptions that tell your audience what kind of content they can find on your site. Also remember that as you work to get traffic through Pinterest, the first impression people will have of your site and business is an image. So use captivating and interesting pictures to make a good first impression.
Add Words to Your Images
Images become much more powerful and eye catching when they are combined with words. Use photo editing software to add calls to action and strong descriptions on top of your images. This will make your pins stand out and will also give users a reason to click on your pin and then visit your website.
Combine this strategy with using pins as teasers by writing text that promises benefits. For example, a picture of a camera could include the text “10 Ways to Take Better Pictures.” This makes it clear to users that the content attached to the pin is much more than a picture of a camera, and encourages them to click through to your site.
Write Smart Descriptions and Use Hashtags
Make your content findable by writing smart descriptions that include keywords and hashtags. Think like your market and try to use terms they would be likely to type into the search box. This strategy will help you target the people who use Pinterest to look for information, ideas, tips and images.
Include a URL in Pin Descriptions
Did you know you can include a link in your pin description? Your pins automatically link to your website, but users will need to click on your pin in their feed, and then click it again when it is enlarged to get to your site. You can make it easier for people to visit your site by including a link they can click on directly from their feed. If you use your homepage URL, this strategy can also help with your branding efforts.
Post Interesting and Creative Images
Pinterest is extremely visual, and if you want to get your market’s attention, you need to post interesting and creative images. These kinds of images will help you stand out from the crowd and get more traffic to your site. People will be more interested in your content if the pictures that you pin are professional and interesting.
Leverage your Pinterest account and get more out of your pins by using these five tips to drive more traffic to your website.
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
Image courtesy of photoraidz/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
If you use social media marketing in one form or another, one of your goals is probably to get more engagement. Comments, shares, “likes” and other activity on your social media pages help you interact with your market and more effectively share your message.
But, getting engagement can be challenging. Social media is full of people and businesses interacting with each other and competing for users’ attention. Getting more engagement does take time and dedication, but here are some tips that can help you inspire your followers to interact with your social media pages.
On social media it’s not enough to wait for the conversations to come to you. To get more engagement you need to start conversations with the content you post and by posting questions or comments that encourage people to comment or share.
Don’t be afraid to ask your followers for their opinions and share content that you think will get people talking. You can use this tactic strategically by encouraging conversations about specific topics that will help you meet your business and marketing goals.
Give People a Reason to Interact
Give your followers a reason to interact with your social media page by posting interesting, new, or even controversial information. Things like contests and giveaways are also a great way to get people talking and engaging with your page. If you do a contest or giveaway, make sure part of the requirements to enter include actions that will help you in the long run. For example, asking followers to “like” something, share a status, or retweet a post will help you get more exposure and more followers.
People aren’t likely to interact with your page if they feel like the conversation is one sided. Encourage people to interact with your page by responding to their questions and having conversations with them. When someone comments on something you share, respond to them or thank them for taking the time to leave a comment.
You can get more engagement by crowdsourcing things through your social media pages. Some examples of this tactic include asking people to write photo captions, fill in the blanks, vote for the next giveaway item or even choose what kind of discounts you offer. This is a great strategy because it proves to your followers that you are listening and that their voice matters.
Don’t be Shy
Let your brand’s personality shine on social media! If your account is stiff, too formal, and too serious, people won’t want to interact with your pages. In general, social media is more casual, so find a tone and voice that is friendly but still matches your brand. Remember that social media is meant to be conversational and the best conversations have personality.
To make the most of your accounts and see the best benefits, you need to build a strong following and an active social media community. These tips will help you reach out to that community and increase the engagement on your social media pages.
Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Bing has announced that it is now including Pinterest boards in its image search results. Where appropriate, Pinterest boards will appear on the right-hand side of the engine’s image search results, allowing users to visit the Pinterest board directly from the results page.
On its blog, Bing reports that it is taking this step as a way to include human-curated and categorised images in addition to the images that are sorted, categorised and displayed by algorithms. This approach could mean users will see results with a more human element, which could mean the results will be more helpful.
The search engine already allows users to pin images from search results directly to their Pinterest boards, so this is a natural step in combining search and Pinterest. Just one benefit of including Pinterest boards in search results is that it will make it possible for users to quickly find related images and follow Pinterest users and boards related to their interests.
How You Can Use Pinterest Board Search Results
With this latest update, writing keyword-rich pin and board descriptions is even more important. While Bing hasn’t stated how the search results work, it is probably safe to assume that they are at least somewhat dependent on image and board descriptions.
You can make it more likely that your boards will appear in search results by using keywords that people will search for. As you write descriptions, think about terms people in your market would use if they were searching for the information you have.
But, using this new feature to get results will require more than writing good descriptions. To get the most out of Pinterest and Bing search results, you need to be strategic about what you pin.
As you plan search engine optimisation campaigns you target specific keywords and carefully decide which keywords you will use for each page on your website. You consider your audience and you decide which pages you want to direct people to that will be most likely to convert them to customers. This same approach should be used for Pinterest.
Create Pinterest boards that direct people to pages on your site that will help you reach your goals. One great example of this strategy is to pin images of you products. Pin images from sales pages so that when a viewer clicks on the search result in Bing and then on the image on your Pinterest board, she will be directed to a page where she can purchase the product.
It’s Not too Late to Get Started
Even if your business hasn’t added Pinterest to its social media marketing strategy, it’s not too late to start using it and leverage this new Bing feature. Start by setting up a Pinterest account and linking it to your website.
Then, decide what kinds of boards you should create by thinking about what search terms and results will help you target your market and attract new customers. Thoughtfully pin images from your blog and website that will not only help you earn Bing Pinterest board rankings, but that will help your business grow when searchers click on your boards and images.
This new feature from Bing and Pinterest could change the way some businesses use Pinterest and value image search results on Bing. Get started now by updating your Pinterest account and pinning more images!
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Image courtesy of emptyglass/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
There’s no question that businesses today need to take their marketing to a mobile level. With mobile Internet use expected to be higher than desktop Internet use by 2014 (according to Microsoft Tag), your business has a lot to lose if it doesn’t take full advantage of mobile marketing.
Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?
Consumers expect business websites to work smoothly and quickly on their smartphones, so if your business doesn’t have a mobile-friendly website it’s time to act. In fact, according to Gomez, 46 percent of consumers probably won’t come back to a mobile website if it didn’t work correctly the last time they accessed it. That is a large percentage of traffic you can’t afford to give up.
Make your site mobile friendly so your market can find the information they need and have a positive experience while using your site from their mobile devices.
Do You Leverage the Mobile Aspect of Social Media?
Social media is a very mobile tool. People access Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, and all kinds of other social media networks from their smartphones. This gives your brand an opportunity to create mobile-centric marketing tactics. Just a few examples of mobile and social media tactics include:
- Twitter Chats
- Social Media Event Coverage
- QR Codes
- Photo Contests
With the right strategies, you can use social media to help you get in touch with and interact with your mobile market.
Do You Use SMS Marketing?
Smartphones are capable of so much more than just sending text messages, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon this feature. You can take full advantage of mobile marketing by allowing your customers to sign up for text message alerts so you can send them deals, announcements and perks. One approach is to make this an “exclusive club,” branding it as a way to get insider information that no one else gets. This strategy will entice people to join your SMS list and can help you grow your audience.
Do You have an App?
Having a mobile app can be very beneficial to your business. A personalised app that allows your market to access branded content or interact with your business can open new doors to mobile marketing opportunities. Businesses create apps for all kinds of purposes ranging from providing entertainment to offering information and from delivering special rewards to selling products.
If you do decide to create an app, make sure you plan well. Don’t just create an app to have an app. Instead, think strategically and do research on how your market uses smartphones and mobile gadgets. Identify business goals that could be reached with the help of a mobile app, and then create an app that helps you reach those goals and market your business.
Mobile marketing is becoming bigger and more important. With an increasing number of people accessing the Internet, social media, and email from their smartphones and relying on mobile apps every day, your business has a lot of opportunity. Find ways you can incorporate mobile marketing into your campaigns and goals and then plan strategically so you will see the best results.
Saturday, September 21st, 2013
Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
If your employees use social media, they are already acting somewhat as brand ambassadors even if it is unofficially. When people at your business use social media they are helping to form the brand and reputation of your business.
Knowing this, you want to make sure your employees are being good brand ambassadors so they are benefiting your business as they use social media. Here are a few tips that can help you encourage your employees to be positive ambassadors on social media.
Let them Know Your Expectations
First, let your employees know you are okay with them posting things about your business and industry online, but that you expect them to act professionally. Remind them that online they are the face of your business so it is important that they act accordingly.
Also consider creating a policy about what kinds of information your employees can and can’t share on social media. This will let you give your employees some control while still maintaining a proper level of privacy.
Provide Social Media Training
It is easy to assume that everyone knows how to use Facebook and Twitter, but that isn’t the case. Chances are that some of your employees aren’t sure how to use some social media sites, so some training could encourage them to start using it. As part of your training, you can address your expectations and social media policy.
This training can also be helpful for employees that are good at using social media. You can give them ideas on how to use social media to spread the word about your business and show them what kind of content they have access to that they can share.
Give them Something to Talk About
When your employees have plenty of positive things to talk about they are more likely to be positive ambassadors. One way you can give employees something to talk about is to provide excellent content. Blog posts, photos, videos and press releases that your employees can be proud of are more likely to be shared.
Another way you can do this is by making your business a good place to work. Create a good environment and strong community and hold things like events and trainings. Then, when your employees post about work on social media, it will be more likely to be positive.
Reward top Ambassadors
Reward the employees that represent your brand well on social media. You can formally reward them by recognising them at your company, or you can make it a more informal process by thanking them and providing things like gift cards or other perks. The idea is to provide some incentive for employees to share information about your business.
People pay attention to what their friends say. In fact, a friend’s opinion or experience with your business could mean more to potential customers than some of your other marketing tactics. Use these guidelines to encourage your employees to become positive brand ambassadors on social media so your online presence and reputation will grow.
Image courtesy of The LAMP/Flickr.
This week, Pinterest announced that it is starting to experiment with promoted pins. While this may not be shocking news, since almost all social media networks begin monetizing their sites at some point, it is exciting news for businesses.
Ben Silbermann, the CEO and co-founder of Pinterest announced the move in a blog post. He writes that right now, only a few businesses will be promoting pins and that the ads will not be flashy or distracting. In fact, he says the pins will be relevant to searches and that Pinterest plans to improve the way it allows businesses to promote pins based on user feedback. The promoted pins will also be marked as such, so users will know they are looking at an ad.
For now, the promoted pins will appear when a user searches for a term related to the pin. For example, if someone searches for “Halloween,” a pin promoting a costume may appear in the results.
What Your Business Should do Now
If your market uses Pinterest, you should start preparing for this change now. While the site hasn’t announced a way for businesses to sign up for the program or begin promoting pins, it is probably safe to say that the time will come when all businesses will have the opportunity to advertise on Pinterest.
Now is the perfect time to update you Pinterest account, build up your pins and boards and increase your Pinterest following.
Perfect your Profile
Start by making sure the information on your profile is up to date. If you haven’t already, verify your business so that your profile links directly to your website. Don’t forget to use keywords wherever possible.
Refine Your Strategy
Decide now how you will use Pinterest and what you want to accomplish with your account. Set some goals, whether they be increasing sales, driving traffic or raising awareness about your brand, that Pinterest can help you with.
Build up your account and attract followers by pinning images and organising your pins on boards. Do this strategically and use keywords. You should also be pinning content from your own website, like blog posts and product images. When you pin something make sure it is from a page you want your customers to be redirected to. For example, if you want to increase sales, pin images from pages where people can purchase your products.
Add Pinterest Buttons to Your Site
Let your site visitors help you build your presence on Pinterest by adding buttons to your site. You can add these to blog posts, to a sidebar on your site or to individual images and products. Making it easy for people to share your content on Pinterest increases the likelihood that they will.
Pinterest is a very popular social media site and when used correctly, can be a powerful social media marketing tool for your business. Prepare now to use promoted pins by making sure your profile is complete and building up your presence on the site so your ads will be even more successful.