Think Pinterest might be a good fit for your business?
What’s one way to get 1.5 million impressions? How about 3,000 outbound clicks? Don’t sleep on Pinterest for your B2B brand. We leveraged Pinterest to grow Chute Gerdeman’s audience on the platform by using the following approach:
Set Clear Objectives
Our primary objectives for Chute Gerdeman’s Pinterest are to enhance brand awareness, maximize impressions, and also drive clicks to their work pages. Our goal was to create a holistic and impactful Pinterest presence that not only boosted immediate engagement, but also contributed to the long-term growth and recognition of the brand.
Know Your Audience
Before developing any boards, we had to deeply understand Chute Gerdeman’s audience and what they searched for. We conducted keyword research related to their work to gain insights into their audience’s interests and understand whether our content would stand out among pins in similar categories.
Follow Through With Your Approach
Through visually engaging content, our aim was to establish a strong and recognizable presence within the Pinterest community. By leveraging the platform’s visual appeal, we sought not only to attract attention, but also to foster a connection with our target audience. We determined what content we would share, how often we would share, and which categories would resonate most with their audience. For Chute Gerdeman, the primary focus is showcasing their design projects. We crafted Pinterest boards with the themes of grocery store design, restaurant design, retail design, with a look inside the process with sketches and renderings.
Use Vertical Imagery
The majority of users browse Pinterest on mobile, so it is important to create pins that are formatted vertically. Utilizing vertical imagery aligns with the visual nature of Pinterest, enhancing the user experience and increasing the likelihood of content being noticed, engaged with, and shared. We see most of our success with the use of vertical idea pins. If the photo was not originally taken vertically, we resize and re-crop as needed.
Go High Quality or Go Home
Aim for the highest quality image possible. Image quality is extremely important on a visual platform like Pinterest. High quality images are important for increased visibility and engagement as well as the optimization of your pin. Pinterest favors the highest quality images.
Use the Right Language
Put in the effort to ensure there are complete descriptions in your idea pins. Most of the time, we use language from Chute Gerdeman’s website that describes exactly what the images are and how each design was carried out. This can help improve SEO and encourage users to click on links leading back to the website.
Double Check Links
Make sure the links all work. Every pin should lead to the original source. In our case, this is Chute Gerdeman’s work pages.
Pinterest makes it super easy to see which pins are resonating with your audience. Use this information to inform your Pinterest strategy going forward. We saw that restaurant design pins performed particularly well, so we started to pin more in that category.
Consistently pinning is what ultimately led to our client’s success on Pinterest. Daily consistency in pinning will lead to your pins getting more views, and in turn, more clicks to the website, and conversions.
Since we began managing Chute Gerdeman’s Pinterest account, their engaged audience on the platform has increased 39% year-over-year. Total impressions increased 27% year-over-year and total outbound clicks have increased 32% year-over-year.
A combination of consistent pinning, high-quality vertical images, and compelling copy is critical to increasing overall brand awareness each year.
Stats as of May 2022 to now:
Creating social media posts is really easy, creating effective social media posts that actually accomplish something isn’t.
What are you doing?
This is the question I have started asking myself with every post created for our company or our clients. This gives fundamental guidance, and it’s helping.
I also think of a post as a type of Mad Lib.
These are my questions:
I want to __________________ with this post?
- share something interesting
- share knowledge
- share a fact
- share point of view
- teach something
- promote our company or services
I’m writing it for people _____________.
- who already follow our company on social media
- who already know of our company
- people who are looking for information related to the services we provide
- people who may be looking for knowledge we are sharing
- people who are trying to learn about a topic
When a person reads it I hope they will ________________.
- be glad they took the time to read it
- learn something
- find it interesting enough to share
- remember it
If the goal is to get someone to complete an action make it easy for them, tell them what you’d like them to do:
- encourage them to respond with a comment
- give them a link to the intended destination
- give them relevant details for planning
- It’s important to remember the context of the platform…
- embedded links are always helpful
- if you want to provide links on Instagram, use LinkTree or Later as a means of providing multiple links not just a single profile link
- each social platform should have its own voice, tone, and purpose in your efforts
- know your followers, can you post the same content on each platform or is there so much overlap in followers that each platform has a unique place in your plans
Also, consider that, while most organizations undoubtedly publish more than one piece of content on a topic, a single post may be all one person sees. In creating a post, does it stand alone and provide enough information to be of value; it should. Organizations cannot, and should not, assume that people will see the entire body of work on a topic, nor that people should need to, to gain an understanding of your message.
Finally, we use Agora Pulse for all social media, it has definite advantages, but one of the biggest is that it works with Grammarly and lets us get two sets of eyes on every post. Agora or not, always have someone else look at your post if you can.These are my rules, and while they don’t have to be yours, it’s always good to have some in place to help everyone understand what your organization is trying to achieve with social media messaging.
Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN
What Should Happen?
Instagram should take the side of their users and intervene. There should be an opportunity for Advertisers to become verified and display that they have been vetted. As part of this, Instagram should create a standard that requires all verified advertising to adhere to all government regulations regarding claims of product performance or benefit.
The outlines for this process are already set forth by the FTC and the FDA. This brings Instagram into the general realm of compliance, where other publishers and media outlets live. It may not be a perfect step, but is it a step forward.
The real problem for Instagram: we are the product; they are selling access to our eyeballs and bank accounts. I’m by no means the first to float this assertion, but viewing the relationship this way makes it is easy to understand why the platform has little incentive to address this issue.
100 million. That’s just shy of the number of people that watch the Super Bowl every year. That’s also about one third of the total United States population. 100 million is approximately how many people use Snapchat every single day. Think that sounds like a lot? Now think about seven billion. That’s how many views videos get on Snapchat on a daily basis, with 76 percent of Snapchat’s users are in the Millennial age group.
Visualizing these numbers isn’t what’s important; tapping into them is what matters. With this kind of potential, Snapchat has transformed from simply being valuable for personal use to being a huge opportunity for small and large businesses targeting Millennials.
The Snapchat conversation shouldn’t make you feel out of date. Take a walk through the basics and learn a few strategies your company can utilize through the app.
So you want to try it out. But how does it really work?
To strip it down to the fundamentals, Snapchat allows users to share pictures and videos instantly. The videos and pictures can only be taken through the app and not imported. Once you’ve taken the picture or video you have a couple choices: Post it to your “snap story” where it will remain for 24 hours as a part of a temporary album, or send it to one of your friends. Snap stories can be viewed multiple times by any of your contacts over the course of those 24 hours. The snap story is the more useful feature for brands. If you do choose to send a photo to someone in your contacts, they can view it once before it is gone.
Before posting or sending a picture, feel free to enhance it. It’s encouraged. Swipe right to select a color filter or geofilter. Your geofilter options appear based on where you are and what’s going on around you, but I’ll elaborate on those later on. There’s also the option to include the time, date and details like the current temp. Tap the screen and a text bar will pop up, and if you press the “T” in the top right corner, you can change the style of the text. There’s also a crayon button in the top corner that allows you to get artistic with your picture or video. Just slide your finger along the color spectrum that pops up to choose your paint.
Now that you know the basics, let’s get down to business. Here are five strategies for marketing through the app.
1. Show Transparency
The rise of social media has fueled the demand for instant information and transparency, and Snapchat is the perfect synergy of those two desires. On Snapchat, you can post more frequently without overwhelming your audience in comparison to an app like Instagram. The pictures aren’t supposed to be premium quality because the concept relies on unscripted and authentic content since the only way to take photos or videos is through the app. People’s desire for raw information paired with the nature of the app makes Snapchat a great way to publish behind the scenes content.
Sports teams are some of the best examples of this concept in action. They use Snapchat to show footage on the bench in practice, on the bus before a game or in the locker room after a game. It relays the personality of the team and its athletes on a more personal level than a formal, produced interview. It makes sense why fans are interested; they feel involved, and the lower-quality handheld video feels intimate. This concept can work the same way for your business. Use Snapchat to tease products or services that are coming soon, and show followers the quirks of your company. Is a product finished but there are a few days before the launch? Fun, team-building day planned? Why not show it off on Snapchat? People are curious about the brands they support, and Snapchat feels like honest communication.
This personal relationship can be developed with more than just behind the scenes content. Snapchat is prime for live event streaming as well. For example, Victoria’s Secret used it before, during and after their fashion show to not only further inform people watching the show, but also to remind their followers to tune in.
Do you have a yearly corporate dinner or host an annual event? Show people where you are and what you’re doing. It gives a firsthand perspective and, if the event is open to the public, people are encouraged to join (virtually) because you will be posting live. Think of your Snapchat story as a digital way to replace live tweeting and target Millennials.
2. Provide Easy Engagement
Just like the social media apps you might be more familiar with like Twitter and Facebook, Snapchat is great because it’s easy for users to engage with your company. If you post a video or picture, followers can view, screenshot or reply directly to you. This is advantageous when it comes to things like contests. For one of our clients, we utilized Snapchat to encourage their audience to add and reply in order to win prizes. These efforts received more engagement than both of our Instagram and Twitter contests. If email campaigns aren’t stimulating the type of engagement you’re looking for, then offering a promo code on your snap story might be an ideal alternative to test.
3. Reveal Tutorials
Showing people how to use your product not only reveals its potential benefits, but also helps prevent any confusion. Snapchat offers businesses the ability to showcase their products and services with a much more casual explanation method. Facebook has been bombarded with how-to cooking videos as of late, and people are big on the simple, quick explanations.
Millennials aren’t as in love with Facebook as they used to be, so if you want an avenue to give them a tutorial, try using Snapchat instead. This can be valuable for all types of products – show people how to put together an outfit with your spring styles, how to make the perfect presentation using your software, style their hair using your extra-hold gel, etc.
4. Connect Through Influencer Outreach
Referral from a friend is a good way to start a new relationship. Utilizing popular and trusted people in your field to gain the interest and eventually trust of potential customers can be a great way to generate business. On Twitter, a retweet from an influencer is nice, but Snapchat takes this relationship to a whole new level. Try a “Snapchat takeover.” This means someone significant to your brand or target demographic runs your account for a period of time. Sour Patch Kids saw a huge growth through utilizing social media influencer Logan Paul for a five-day takeover.
They were able to generate an identity for themselves and wedge into a new niche in a short amount of time because of the instantaneous nature of the app. When you dive into your influencer outreach, it’s worth it to think about someone you can utilize for a Snapchat takeover to create a connection and help grow your audience. The organic nature of the app allows users to really get to know the personality of your company in a short period of time.
5. Advertise Through Geofilters
After taking a photo or video through the app, you can swipe right to add a color filter or a geofilter. Right now at the Shout Out office near downtown in Columbus, Ohio, my options are three different Columbus filters that show a small graphic that adds ‘Columbus’ written in different styles and colors at the top or bottom of the picture. These filters aren’t limited to stating the name of the area though. Companies like JPMorgan are putting their brand name on these geofilters and making them available to people in a specific area.
This allows you to associate your company with an area or an event, and everyone who posts a picture with your filter is organically promoting your brand. Snapchat also provides analytics for your filter, so you can see how many times it was viewed and used.
All of these campaign methods on Snapchat have similar goals: increasing engagement, recognition and interest. With so many Millennials using Snapchat and a very real need for brands to be transparent, this is a natural way to connect with your audience. Not only will the app give your followers the ability see what your up to, but Snapchat’s newest update pushes users to watch all of their friend’s snap stories. In fact, it’s harder to not watch a friend’s snap story than it is to watch it.
It’s not about being hip anymore – Snapchat is the best way to move from brand awareness to building a connection with Millennials.
Finding the right audience in social media advertising can be a challenge – especially when you’re trying to get to find the ideal mix that gets you the most clicks, impressions, ROI and any other goals you and your digital marketing team are working toward. However, one of the easiest places to find your audience is already provided for you.
Your social media channels.
When was the last time you checked out your Pinterest or Twitter audience insights? In the depths of those often-overlooked tabs you just might find your answer. Anything from what their interests are, to who else they are following. Then what should you do? Create audiences within Facebook advertising for each platform and test it. They all might be a little similar, but each provides different insights into your audience’s interest.
Twitter has a “followers” tab you can check out that contains information from most unique interests, top interests to even who your followers are following. Use this information to fill out a custom audience. Are they interested in fashion, technology, music? Use their interest!
Pinterest audience interests are a little harder to find. You have to go to the analytics tab, then hit ‘interest’ (close to the top). Here you will see what boards/interests your Pinterest audience is interested in. Design, healthy eating? You can create a new audience in Facebook to send ads out to. Compare and contrast Twitter and Pinterest by running the same campaign back-to-back and seeing which works best.
Don’t forget Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a fantastic tool to use to see where your audience is coming from to your site. The best part is you can use that information to your advantage when targeting audiences to advertising using Facebook (or other platforms).
When all of the Facebook audiences have been tested you can take that same strategy to other platforms. Try doing the same test on Pinterest or Twitter! It’s all about working with what you already have in front of you, and then testing other audiences as you go!
Social media is a powerful business tool, but it can also be an amazing vehicle for doing good. JetBlue recently caught my eye when I heard about what they were doing to embrace social media and create a social movement by giving back to their travelers in the form of social sharing. With their Fly It Forward Campaign, they’ve asked individuals to tell them “If you were given one flight to spread good where would you go?” The goal is to provide fliers with a ticket to make the world a little better with the one request that they pay it forward.
It takes the simple action of traveling and makes it something much, much more. It’s about what you will do when you get there. The brand is investing and empowering travelers to give them access to making their dreams real and doing something that truly matters. JetBlue Senior Vice President of Commercial, Marty St George said it best, “It’s easy to get caught up in the mechanics of travel and overlook the reasons why people travel. Everyone travels for their own reasons. It’s those stories, those connections with individuals that inspire us all.”
Fly It Forward started first with crewmembers nominating members of their communities they thought were worthy of a flight. Tameka was selected a first. As a director of I Grow Chicago, she provides a safe-haven for at-risk community members by connecting them through yoga, urban farming, art, and culture. Her purpose is to teach community ownership and help individuals realize that they matter. With JetBlue, she had the chance to visit the United Nations as a delegate and learn from other communities who fight against similar obstacles in order to bring it back and share what she knows.
The next evolution of the experience is the process of passing it on. The beauty of it is that these individuals have never met. It’s not a good friend or a co-worker that they know who wants to go somewhere amazing. It’s about giving these travelers a chance to hear the stories of other like-minded individuals who want to make a difference or want to experience something that would be life-changing and passing on that same opportunity. You can follow the stories as they take flight and unfold on jetblueflyitforward.com and help continue the mission by nominating yourself or submitting a worthy traveler’s story through Twitter using #FlyItForward.
If your brand can take consumers to a place they never thought they could go, give them the vessel to do that. Whether it’s through communicating encouragement, empowerment, or physically providing them with the tools they need…that’s a powerful position to be able to do something good.
Everyone knows that social media marketing can be an incredibly powerful, and these days necessary, marketing tool. Most marketers gravitate to Facebook because it is easy to understand. The slightly more tech savvy will be engaged in twitter or maybe Pintrest. But very few marketers will dive into marketing on Reddit, and they are missing a world of opportunity.
Reddit can be a scary place for a marketer:
- It doesn’t have a beautiful and slick UI like most of its social media brethren. In fact, it’s more like the craigslist of social media.
- It’s divided into thousands upon thousands of subreddits. More are added every day.
- Its users are made up of some of the most tech-savvy and skeptical people on the internet.
Although it’s ugly, incredibly divided, and its users are unforgiving, in my opinion, Reddit is one of the best places a marketer can be today. If you identify where your market is and speak to them in a genuine and honest voice, they can be some of the greatest influencers out there. If you’re interested in capitalizing on one of the best social media outlets in existence, here is my quick and dirty guide to help you do so:
- Identify your relevant subreddits
If you are thinking that you are just going to post a link to your blog or website and be on the front page of Reddit, you are sorely mistaken. Trying to land something on the front page is a waste of time. Instead, spend a good amount of time and find out where your incredibly active subreddits are. There is practically one for everything. The people that frequent these subreddits will be incredibly passionate about whatever it is that the subreddit is about.
- Become a part of the community
You’ve heard us say this a hundred times before but I am going to say it again. It is called SOCIAL media for a reason. You need to actively participate in the community to have success there. You may have thought you identified your perfect subreddit, but once you get active in it you may find out that is has an entirely different tone than what you thought it would have. Start out by commenting on threads and answering questions. Gradually work your way into posting links.
- Have something to say
Once you feel like you have become part of the community, don’t just start throwing up links to your website every day. People will sniff that self-serving type of stuff out super quick. You need to have something to say, and it needs to be good. After spending some time on the subreddit you should have a pretty good idea of what kinds of things people are really interested in. Take those interesting ideas and write something about it on your blog, or post something about it on the subreddit giving advice or asking questions. Don’t just start submitting links to your shop page or company website every other day to generate traffic.
Being successful on reddit, really just boils down to a few things; find the right people, be genuine, and don’t abuse it. As I said before, these are some of the most savvy people on the internet, if they sense one thing off about who you are and what you are doing you won’t get anywhere. However, if you’re smart about it and become a genuine person in their community, it will be one of your best audiences out there.
I don’t follow a ton of people on Twitter but I’ve carefully built a feed of:
1) people or brands who share and create useful content
2) people or brands I know or those I’ve connected with in some fashion and
3) folks who are simply kind, entertaining and engaging online.
I’ve built some rewarding relationships on Twitter, met great people and even collaborated on ideas and projects. It can be a valuable platform as long as you’re giving as much as you’re taking away.
Despite all of this deliberate cultivation of tweet sources, Twitter can feel like a social media Groundhog Day – a loop of the same “6 Ways to Whatever” and a broken record of links. To combat this problem Twitter has better integrated images and videos into tweets over the passed year. And it has helped. Stats show engagement rates increase as much as 151% on tweets with images. We’re visual people. Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text.
So imagine your brand’s visual story being told on a platform inherently geared toward images. Instagram isn’t all selfies and lattes. Companies large and small across a variety of industries are finding creative ways to utilize Instagram as a vehicle for social communication.
What Instagram Can Do For Your Business:
Help You Show More Culture: Consumers, in general, you, me and we, want to know more about the people behind the brands we engage with. It’s easier to connect and relate brand voice and brand tendencies with a person or group of people than it is to a logo or name or product packaging. That hasn’t necessarily changed from consumer interest 20-30 years ago but the way it happens and the scale at which it happens certainly has.
Instagram is the chance to provide a glass door look into your culture; from philanthropy to pumpkin carving, Instagram is a chance to show the human side of the business and even activate employees to do the same.
Help You Show More Quality and Value: If you create a product Instagram is the perfect place to provide proof of quality, from the materials you use in the process, to the packaging. If you provide a service give folks a peek at the brainstorming. Let them see the breadth of team, skills, and work that goes into delivering a great service experience.
Help You Show More Travel: Heading out for a conference, client meeting or event? Use Instagram to capture highlights and local interests. Relevant hashtags and location tagging helps you connect with audiences that could ultimately turn into buyers.
This stat is from a 2012 article but even if that number is skewed slightly the fact remains that social done right builds trust. Instagram provides a visually driven way to communicate and connect. More Instagram How-to’s here.
How is your company using Instagram? Share your challenges and successes in the comments below.
This month we’re participating in Social Media Examiner’s 6th Annual Social Media Success Summit. The online conference focuses on all things social media with more than 45 of the world’s leading social media pros. Last year’s conference drew in 3,000 like minded marketers. Since we’re halfway through the conference, we thought we’d share a few highlights from some of our favorite sessions.
Amy Schmittauer, founder of Savvy Sexy Social, hit home three key points: Be Human, Be Relevant, Be Giving, during her session on “How to use Twitter to Build Relationships that Lead to Business.” On the surface that may just seem logical in the realm of social media, but it’s how you do it that makes a difference.
Conversations are crucial. Amy advised “Listen and talk to people. If you do nothing but this, you’ll find success.” It shows people that you DO talk to people, and you’re listening and interacting. People judge a follow on how much you engage with your community. The nice thing is that Twitter discussions don’t take up the news feed, like tweets on your timeline, because its just a dialogue between two people. So go ahead and carry on.
How do you get more engagement on Twitter? Go find conversations!! Everyone who wants to have conversation isn’t necessarily looking for it. Find conversations you can be a part of, and tweet with people you follow. Or tweet with people who are following you, but maybe you haven’t followed them back yet. Check out their timeline, find out what they’re talking about, and if there’s something that interests you.
We’ve mentioned before how much we like Twitter lists, but Amy recommended taking it a step further for engagement and consider utilizing for a specific event, such as a conference. You can list speakers or acquaintances that you want to connect with before or after the conference.
Another presentation that caught our attention was, “How to Use Visual Content to Drive Massive Social Media Engagement,” by Kim Garst. The statistics that Kim provided on visual content were staggering:
- Visuals are processed 60 times faster by the brain than text
- 90% of all info that is transmitted to the brain is visual
- 40% of visual content is more likely to be shared
- 46% of people think website design is #1 in deciding if a company is legitimate
- 65% of people are visual learners
With statistics like these backing up her presentation, it’s clear that companies who aren’t capitalizing on visual content are missing out. Kim also mentioned three key things to consider when creating visual content: 1) It’s not about you, it’s about them. 2) Consider what your audience cares about, outside of your product or service. 3) Your visual content has to appeal to your prospects’ lifestyle. Most importantly – Be Real! So many companies out there put out content that isn’t authentic. Kim advises that you post a photo of your co-workers ‘behind the scenes’ rather than stiff stock photos.
Lastly we couldn’t resist the chance to check out Viveka von Rosen‘s session on “LinkedIn Prospecting Gold! 5 Steps to Finding, Engaging and Closing Leads with LinkedIn.” LinkedIn has huge applications from a B2B perspective, but many users seem to still struggle with how to get the most benefit out of it. Here’s a look at some of the advice that Viveka shared:
Like Google your profile must be optimized if you want to be found by prospects. Check your connections’ skills sections, and those are great keywords. For premium users, utilize the new keyword tool to incorporate keywords into your summary section, interests, and experience description. When you add keywords, add them to CONTENT! Two to one people will find you through the keywords in your content.
Save your searches. Once a week LinkedIn will send you an email of three leads that fall into that category from your searches. Seems kinda like a no brainer, right? When you search company pages don’t forget to click on “People You Know,” to see who you’re connected to. Find out what groups they’re in and you can join and look for an opportunity to connect. For a little extra help on any additional information you need, use an eGrabber Account Researcher tool to get phone numbers, email addresses, and public company information about a prospect.
Utilize LinkedIn Connected. It allows you to tag people or create lists according to what they are to you. And, because tags are private, you can send messages to a group of people. Viveka said it’s a little time consuming to set up, but worth it. You can also add private notes right on their profile. For example, a note about where you met someone or specifics of your conversation. You can also set up reminders to follow up with them.
Lastly, use messages as opposed to email because email can sometimes get caught up in spam filters. You’re 20% more likely to have your message read than an email.
We’re looking forward to the upcoming sessions covering video, content and Instagram marketing. Stay tuned for Part 2 of our highlights of the Social Media Success Summit.
Launching a new brand on social media is difficult. It takes time to build your audience, find your voice, and win the attention of your target market. But what if you could speed that up a little bit? How you ask? Just ask your friends. Your friends, whether they are personal or professional, probably have a sizeable head start on your social media presence, and their reach is exponential. A current side project of mine with a non-existent budget has lead me to try this technique to boost our following on social media networks across the board as well as promote a single message in a well orchestrated social media blast. Here is what I did to plan this. read more
If you have a Google+ account that you use actively, you know about Google+ communities. Similar to LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Groups, it’s a categorized “community” based on a specific topic where anyone who has a Google+ page can join, chat and participate in the conversation. Below are five types of Google+ communities that are helpful and useful. These are prime examples of what a Google+ Community has to offer for your business, or personally:
Let’s face it, when you first start poking around Google+ it can be quite confusing to get the ball rolling. There’s a community for that. Google+ Help Community is a place for your Google+ related questions. There are 338,595 members of this community that are able and willing to help you with all of your Google+ needs. This community has a wide range of topics from general help, to Google+ tips and tricks.
For all those Apple, Inc. users and lovers there’s an Apple Google+ Community. This community has 132,976 members who post about news about Apple, their devices, apps and everything else related to the company. The topics for discussion range from questions and answers about Apple product to trending topics about iOS updates (the most recent topic is about the iOS8 update issues).
This is a community where businesses can get the help they need to succeed on the web by connecting with experts and each other. In addition to regular Hangouts and Q+A’s with Google+ members, trusted advisers and industry leaders, you’ll also see an assortment of other topics such as #BizBits, stats, tips, quotes and trivia for everyday learning, and #AskanAdvisor, which is where you can ask a question online to a professional. This community is backed by Google+ Your Business and has 73, 156 small business members.
This community is killing it in the health and fitness section of Google+ communities. This is a community all about living a healthy lifestyle. The topics discussed are about health, diet, exercise, weight loss, fitness, and workouts. Anything in the health and fitness category that you have questions about, this community is meant for you. With 107,925 members the discussions are always interesting and about trending health topics.
For health and science experts, this community is something you should check out. The goal of this community is to share and discuss technological advances in medicine and biology, focused on human health and longevity. With 36,822 members all discussing topics from basic biology, to immune systems, to synthetic biology. This is an all-around impressive Google+ community.
Do you have a favorite community? Share with us below!
Photo credit: ruurmo
Feeling pressure from investors to change, Twitter is speculated to be introducing an algorithm-driven feed, much like you might be familiar with on Facebook. Currently what you see in your Twitter feed is a continuous flow of content from those that you follow and the occasional insert of a promoted tweet.
At the Citi Global Technology Conference earlier this month, Twitter CTO Anthony Noto said: “the reverse-chronological system that Twitter users for its timeline isn’t the most relevant experience for a user.” Ironically, it’s the very reason why many are such fans of the feed, myself included. I prefer to know that what I’m viewing is the content that’s being posted most recent, and there’s no circulation of tweets from the prior day mixed in with content that’s being published today.
Why the change then?
Even with its 271 million monthly active users, Twitter feels the pressure to continue to grow. And one of the things they believe holding them back from that is the complexity for first-time users (hello, have you been on Google+?). So the speculated reaction is an algorithm-driven timeline feed to organize content.
What does this mean?
Organic reach on Twitter will much likely meet the demise we saw for businesses on Facebook. It might be time to become an adopter (if you’re not already) of Twitter ads and at least start testing to see what works best for you or your brand. If you still want to get the exposure you currently get, you just might have to be willing to pay for it going forward.
What can you do?
If you want to have more control over your feed, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with Twitter lists. It’s not a new feature, but sometimes the benefits are overlooked. A list allows you to see the tweets from the list members you’ve created as a separate Twitter timeline…I like to call it my “clean feed.”
Twitter lists allow you to organize people based on relevant areas of interest. For example, I might create the Twitter list for myself that focuses on Content Marketing or Search Engine Optimization. That specific list then becomes a go-to-guide related to that subject matter; eliminating all the conversations in your feed, but content focused more on the specific topic of immediate interest.
You can set Twitter lists to be public or private. If you’re using your list as a business-prospecting tool or maybe to monitor your competitors, private may be the way to go. There are some perks to making your list public though. When you add someone to your list they’re notified and if they’re not already following you it sometimes encourages them to follow back. It can also establish your credibility as being an authority on a particular subject and you might find others will subscribe to your list. Subscribing to others’ lists is a nice way to monitor that feed, but without having to follow all of the members. And lastly, sometimes it’s just an easy way to introduce yourself to someone by letting an individual know you’ve added him or her to your list.
What else can we expect?
Other rumored changes are a more sophisticated search feature and group chat function. What one change I’d love to see is editable tweets! Facebook finally caught on that users wanted that capability to edit their posts. Even in 140 characters, it’s easy to make mistakes. And while that tweet may be short-lived with the average life cycle of a tweet only lasting 18 minutes, I prefer my spelling, mentions, and punctuation to be on-point for the followers who are viewing.
My hope is that Twitter doesn’t succumb to the presses to change from a follower-based feed. My biggest fear is with the continuous updates that all of these social media platforms are making, will we get to a point when no one is unique?
Photo Credit: BeauGiles
A few months ago my brother and I were out to dinner talking about work and the topic of social media came up. In the discussion, he said, “Our company would never use social media because we don’t need it.” I stared at him for a few seconds… wheels turning, gears grinding, ready to give him my full on social-media-rules-all speech when abruptly, I stopped. He said, “Tell me… why would we need it?” Truth is, I couldn’t answer him. It took me a few days to come to the realization that I couldn’t answer him because he was right, his company doesn’t need it. They won’t ever need it.
Before you judge me too harshly, answer me this: Name one company that absolutely needs social media, one that can’t live without it. Social media isn’t a need. It’s a want. It’s a benefit. It’s an asset to you, your company, and your brand. Social media is a modern luxury that is helping brands around the world to create brand equity in the minds of their consumers.
Just now, Coca-Cola is running their “Share a Coke” campaign that is absolutely killing it. It’s personal and it’s fun. All over social media “Laurens” and “Jessicas” are posting photos with their Cokes, Diet-Cokes, and Coke Zeros. The couple below has even leveraged the popularity of the Coke campaign to add a little something special to their big announcement. This shows that Coca-Cola doesn’t need social media to kill it. It helps them kill it. Simple as that.
Photo Credit: bjornmeansbear via Compfight
Adapted by Shout Out Studio
It’s a question that has been on my mind for quite some time now. For those that aren’t familiar, Wanelo, is a social platform that brings together stores, product and people all in one place. The platform whose name stands for “Want, Need, Love” launched in 2010 by web designer Deena Varshavskaya.
We know that social commerce is definitely catching on, but Wanelo has always seemed like an anomaly to me. I was an early adopter and joined in 2010 then quickly returned to my more comfortable and preferred playground on Pinterest (which many compare it to). However, this could be one for the ages. I’ve heard from my younger counterparts and read the reports that it popular with the millennial consumer.
So with 11 million users, I thought it could be time to check back in. I haven’t been too far though, with my mobile app still installed and observantly paying attention to big brands like Nordstrom, West Elm, and Sephora who collab with the emerging social site.
How does it work?
Wanelo works like a direct to buy resource. Skip the hunt through blogs and unrelated resources to find the product you’re looking for, this resource allows you to directly buy from your favorite finds in your feed. You don’t complete the transaction on the site, but it connects consumers with the eCommerce site where they can buy the product. Wanelo then pockets a portion of each sale. Instead of grouping items on boards like “Collegiate Gear” like you’d find on Pinterest, the items are sorted by price point. The site also shows what’s trending and allows you to save your items on your wish list or as a gift, also while telling you the popularity of collective site “saves” for that item.
If you’re looking to capture the attention of younger consumers and provide the most direct access to your product (ease and convenience), it could be a platform to consider. Don’t forget many millennial consumers are frugal with their spending, so the shop by price point is an appealing feature.
Nordstrom recognized the potential: “We noticed mid-last-year that there was lots of inbound traffic coming from Wanelo, so we quickly jumped in to create an account,” said Bryan Galipeau, director of social media at Nordstrom. “Within five months, we had a million followers, the fastest growth of any of our social media accounts.”
Not yet convinced? Consider these facts as to why you might “Want, Need, Love” to have Wanelo in your online strategy plan:
- Over 7 million products are saved 8 million times a day
- Wanelo users spend an average of 50 minutes per day on the site
- Products from over 300,000 stores, including major retailers to small independent shops
Earlier this year, Wanelo’s Creator and CEO, Deena Varshavskaya was named to Fast Company’s 2014 Most Creative People list. Keep an eye out for the commerce platform, I think it’s got huge potential to evolve.
Photo credit: Wanelo
In retail, cadence calendars are the crux of keeping the in-store environment fresh with seasonal floor set changes to window and graphic signage programs. But do you consider seasonality for your online experience? Social media is a great way to connect your in-store environment with your online presence. After all, your customers don’t live in your store, but they’re (almost) always online. Here are a few examples of how brands are using social media to celebrate the seasons.
As summer is often the season of travel, Kate Spade launched an Instagram campaign to build off their “Live Colorfully” tagline. And you know “Kate” doesn’t just live colorfully, but she “Travels Colorfully” too. The brand launched a contest to encourage followers to show how they #TravelColorfully for a chance to win a $250 Kate Spade New York gift certificate. Now through the end of August fans can submit their photos of their colorful travel using the hashtag. Giving the fans some inspiration, the brand shared some other own associates’ colorful travels. And the benefits for Kate? A plethora of user generated content for them to use!
They also recently launched a giveaway in partnership Travel + Leisure (who I think knows a thing or two about travel) to visit their stores to enter a “Make Waves in Rio” sweepstakes to win a sunny escape to Rio de Janeiro, a $1,000 gift card, and a summer-ready tote filled with the season’s essentials. The promotion takes place online, but ultimately encourages fans to come in-store.
This two-part approach, campaign and giveaway, satisfies both the in-store and online shopper who may not have access to a Kate Spade New York store. A great way to reach multiple audiences.
If you’re not lavishly traveling around the globe like the Kate Spade fans, Anthropologie is capturing the customer who plans to entertain at home this summer. Looking for ideas and trends in outdoor entertainment venue, the brand lunched a Pinterest #PinToWin contest. Pinners were encouraged to create their own boards around summer gathering themes like cocktail parties and poolside lounging; each pin identified with the hasthags #Anthropologie and #PinToWin. Three winners will be selected to win the “Ultimate Outdoor Spread,” $500 worth of Anthropologie dining and entertaining items of their choosing.
What’s interesting about this contest is that it doesn’t require participants to pin only Anthropologie product, but it gives participants free range to incorporate whatever product brands they want in their boards. By doing this it doesn’t limit the consumer to existing products, and helps Anthropologie identify what future products might be of interest for the brand to create. It also gives them an opportunity to spot any new outdoor trends, for example popular colors, patterns or even new themed events.
Sometimes it’s just as simple as a statement. In this case, “I wanna go.” The Travelocity social media contest featured on both Twitter and Instagram encouraged followers to share their dream destination with a photo or just a tweet the hashtah #IWannaGo. Two winners were selected from thousands that submitted to win the trip of a lifetime. Check out this brief video featuring the brand’s ornamental globetrotting garden gnome, Roaming Gnome, promoting the contest.
While the contest was relatively simple for participation, there’s more to it said the brand’s CMO, Bradley Wilson. “It’s a way to celebrate the universal truth of wanderlust and to encourage travelers to share their travel dreams with others,” he said. “Whether it’s booking a quick trip to see family and friends or traveling to far-off lands and exotic destinations, we want to hear about it…we also want to help you get there. We want to know, where do you wanna go?” The brand also cleverly ran advertising spots during commercials for the Amazing Race; an audience which one might think would be inspired to travel the world.
Seasonal social media campaigns and contests have tons of benefits for brands when executed properly. The goal should be bigger than just gaining a following (which is okay too), but use it as an opportunity to learn something about your followers, fans, and customers.
Photo Credit: Boudewijn Berends
A few weeks ago we wrote about our favorite people to follow on Instagram, but we didn’t really talk a lot about how to use Instagram for business. Thankfully we’ve been provided a great example by Beauty’s Most Wanted.
Beauty’s Most Wanted teams up with Stylemakers to develop custom product lines for cosmetics and skincare which are all sold through Costco pop-up shops and online through their website.
Last week they had a video shoot with one of their Stylemakers, Jenna Hipp and they literally turned their Instagram account over to her during the shoot. The result, a great inside look at what goes on to make all those great images we see every day and usually don’t think much about.
Not only did Beauty’s Most Wanted give fans a look behind the curtain, they also got to promote their end product. Followers got a great sense of the fun and professionalism behind the brand and it’s clear everyone had a great time. Think about this as an approach for your company, products, and brand. Use Instagram to give followers an inside view of your organization, how your products are made, or who the people are behind the scenes that work so hard to make all of this happen.
In the end social media is about engagement and this is a great example of how to engage customers with your brand. A big Shout Out to the marketing and creative team at Beauty’s Most Wanted. Thanks for the lesson on how to Instagram right.
Photo Credit: Jason A. Howie
As of two days ago Facebook is on the move to make big new changes in ad features and privacy settings, in addition to Zuckerberg growing up and losing the hoodie.
Ads, privacy, no hoodie?! Oh my…
The fear of the big blue button:
The big new thing is Facebook has added privacy feature to log-ins. Zuckerburg stated during the conference that, “we know some people are scared of pressing the social log-in button if you’re not using an app that you don’t completely trust… then you don’t want to give it a lot of permissions.” Amen to that, Zuckerburg. This new version of Facebook with a fancy new way to log-in anonymously to apps without sharing personal information with developers, is a very welcomed change.
The Wall Street Journal sums it up by saying, “The changes, which Facebook says will be adopted by websites and mobile apps within the next year, will give users more choices about the personal information they share with third parties. By checking or unchecking a box, users will be able to specify if they want to share their friend list, their birthday or their “likes,” among others. Currently, people who log in with Facebook Login don’t control the information they share, including their email addresses, their friend lists and other personal data.”
New Ad Features: Facebook Audience Network
This is huge news to folks like the people on my team who run Facebook ads on a regular basis. Now we can apply Facebook ads that are better targeted towards mobile app users. According to Zuckerberg, this Audience Network will help developers show your audience ads that matter to them with Facebook’s powerful targeting.
So the real question is, what are these changes going to do to small businesses, especially when it comes to analytics and people (such as myself) who regularly rely on those numbers for Facebook ads and privacy settings? Well, I might have a few answers for you:
First, this new Audience Network will be a great open door to people we focus a lot of efforts on ads. We now have a new vehicle to use to target consumers who, like most of us, are on social media through our phones. The privacy feature, while putting a damper on developers, will help people feel more secure on websites and apps that require a log in with Facebook. Honestly, I have a habit of not falling through with those sites. I don’t want my Facebook feed knowing what dress I’m purchasing or if I took a quiz to see what kind of pizza I am. However, thankfully the Facebook team picked up on that and makes that little blue log in button seem a whole lot more inviting.
For more details, check out the full video for your viewing pleasure here: Mobile World Congress 2014
Image via fudyma
So a couple of weeks ago we blogged about social listening and it’s power to help connect with people. Well it works, or at least it worked for Liquid Web. Last week our major hosting provider Bluehost had a major outage and we Tweeted about it to our clients and followers.
Well, lo and behold, about 3 minutes later we got a follow from Liquid Web and a request for us to follow and get a direct message. They had “heard” our Tweet about the Bluehost problems and were asking us to give them a try. So we have. We set up our first Liquid Web account and are trying it out to see if it’s a possible alternative.
For the record, we think Bluehost has some of the best support in the industry, but this was their second major event in a year and even great support can’t overcome issues with reliability.
At any rate, Liquid Web was listening and this is just meant to be a very quick example of how this all comes together to create new customers.
Photo Credit: Philippe Put