Social Media

Pinterest for Your Business

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There’s no denying there’s a visual aspect to digital marketing especially when it comes to social media—heck look at Instagram, which is virtually an image-based medium with little content. In the last couple years, Pinterest has definitely matured with an audience of 70 million users. From a medium that was once ruled by consumer pinning preferences to a place where brands have pinpointed the opportunity that lies within.

Pinterest has managed to influence many aspects of the online world. You may have even noticed big brands like a natural food market, Whole Foods, and luxury shoe brand, Jimmy Choo has adopted a Pinterest-like visual style to their website design. Most recently during the holiday season Target even created a Pinterest-powered online storefront with the beta launch of the Target Awesome Shop.

So it’s clear that brands understand that consumers like to visualize product, but let’s get back to the real question, how can you make the best use of Pinterest for your business?  Here are some suggested approaches to make Pinterest interesting to your followers:

Not Just Pinning Product

Some brands find Pinterest an anomaly and believe it’s no place for their brand. But if you think out-of-the-box and consider your strategy you might realize it’s a better fit than you think. Don’t be focused on just pinning your product. Pin things that represent your brand, inspire you or even give your followers a behind the scenes perspective into how you make the magic work. One brand who uses their pins to showcase their brand personality is Ben & Jerry’s. You’ll find boards like The People Behind the Pints, The Factory, The Flavor Graveyard, and Fan Photos, which gives recognition to the fantastic brand lovers of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. They even have a history board to serve as a visual timeline for the brand. The key is developing boards that represent your brand accurately and utilize an authentic brand voice.

Create a Guest Pinboard

Create endorsement for your brand and gain traction with your followers with an expert contributor. Piperlime’s Guest Editor, New York-based fashionista, Olivia Palermo, also serves as a guest contributor to the brand’s Pinterest profile with her own board of picks. It’s a great way to engage your audience through a like-minded point of view, but also potentially leverage interest from the guest’s followers too. At the same time explore what opportunities are out there for your brand to pose as a guest pinner for other brands. Whole Foods serves as a guest pinboard contributor for eCommerce site Etsy’s Pinterest board.

Engage with a Creative Campaign

If you’re looking to create awareness about a new product launch or seasonal product, creating a Pinterest campaign might be a great strategy for you. GUESS saw great success with their “Color Me Inspired Contest.” The brand invited pinners to create boards around spring colors that inspired them. The boards were judged by popular style bloggers and winning pinners received color-coated denim from the GUESS spring collection. Another brand who has found value in the campaign model is Michaels. In an effort to build awareness around their new upscale line of frames, “the Platinum Collection from Studio Décor,” the brand launched a “pin it to win it” contest. Little activity was required of the pinners. They simply had to re-pin a frame from Michaels “Frame” board to one of their own boards with a pre-crafted description about the frame, and they were entered to win. The end result was an increase of 86% of followers of the Frame board during the length of the contest.

Pinterest On & Offline

We know that consumers use multiple channels in the shopping process and while they may start by exploring pins online, the actual purchase may end up taking place in-store. Consider how you can bring the Pinterest activity into your in-store experience. Nordstrom was one of the first brands to really make a move with this. The high-end retail brand started to identify the most pinned products online with hangtags featured on racks in-store. We know consumers love recommended products, in fact, we know they’re more likely to select a product that has been recommended than not.

Watch for New Features

In the last six months, Pinterest has launched several new initiatives like Place Pins, which allows pinners to explore pins in a map-like visual. This creates a huge opportunity for small businesses to utilize and put themselves on the map, literally. Not to mention the integration of advertising, and also the recent purchase of VisualGraph, which will allow Pinterest to suggest more relevant content or ads. For example, if you’re always pinning pointed flats (the hot spring trend), it’ll show more of those items instead of high-heel stilettos.

The key is to keep your eye on this social media platform and determine what new elements add opportunities for your brand to engage with the consumer. Monitor others who are doing it well, learn from them and see how you can make it work for yourself. At the same time, you can also use analytics to measure your pinning presence. Check out these recommended tools from Social Media Examiner.

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Some Companies Should Not be on Twitter

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No matter how much we want to think otherwise, some companies should not be on Twitter and we’ve seen more than our share of people that burn out because they are just working against a system that doesn’t support social media for marketing. A lot of times these issues have nothing to do with social media per se but has to do with the overall company culture

Well, taking a cue from Letterman here is our take at considering whether you should be paddling at all…

Reason 5: Your CEO asks once a month what Twitter is.

If your executive team doesn’t understand Twitter then they will never understand expending resources to use it.

If you think it’s valuable and it is helping build your brand, business or customer base, then prove it. Do the math and build a compelling argument for Twitter. If you can’t demonstrate its effectiveness, then maybe you should be asking yourself why you’re on it. read more

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Using Instagram’s New Tagging Feature For Marketing

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Could the new tagging feature improve Instagram for marketing?

You know how Insty is already thebomb.com for creative and visual interaction with fans of your company? Well party people, it just got turned up a notch.

Put down those not-so entertaining pics of cats, food and #selfiesunday’s. Instagram has a new secret treasure they have unlocked:

The new tagging feature.

Put simply, this new feature is a quick and easy way to store fan photos of your company. Before this feature, you received a notification when someone mentioned you in a photo and you had to repost/regram every photo onto your own Instagram for your followers to see it. Who has time for that?

If you haven’t stumbled upon it already simply click on the profile button bottom right, then the icon on the far right in the bar under your bio. read more

Social Media Burn Out

The Trend in Social Media is on Reducing the Noise

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Why the Move in Social Media is Toward Reducing Noise

It seems like everyone has a blog these days and every company is cranking up the content marketing engine. Information is a dime a dozen and it’s accessible from every device and we consume more of it than ever before.

But there’s a shift taking place. Local, regional and craft movements aren’t just happening on the streets in your hometown. They’re also happening across social media.

We’re using Feedly and Pocket to collect and filter info we actually want to read and save it for later. Mailbox is helping us put off reading less important emails until tomorrow. Smart social media is allowing us to Consolidate, Segment and Simplify. Is it possible we’ve nearly come through the stage of Social Media Glutton and we will now trend toward reducing the noise? read more

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Basics for Getting the Most from LinkedIn

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Building a Solid LinkedIn Foundation

Just because you have a presence on LinkedIn doesn’t mean it’s doing things for you. LinkedIn is considered the world’s largest audience of influential, affluent professionals in one place, and they are gaining one new member every two seconds. Use this almighty information to your advantage. Here are straightforward, but often overlooked, basics for getting the most from LinkedIn.

4 kick-ass things you should be doing on LinkedIn?

Share Information.

You find a cool new tool that helps your business and you keep it all to yourself. Well, that’s selfish. Share it! And don’t do that ultra-mega social media blast unless it is earth-shattering information. Pick what info you are going to share on which social network.

Why? Because each platform could mean a different type of audience for you. An awesome Ryan Gosling meme will be loved and shared on Facebook but on Linkedin, that’s not what your audience is looking for. And don’t just share your own articles, curate great info your connections and groups can use. read more

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5 Quick and Savvy Ways to Build Your Business Using Your Pinterest App

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Pinterest should be kept up with as often as your Twitter or Facebook. The more relevant, interesting, and inspiring the pins, the more attention your boards will get. Here are 5 awesome and convenient ways you can help your Pinterest grow using your Pinterest Mobile App:

1. Keep Up with What’s Happening

The best part of having an App is that you are getting the bulk of what’s online on a Smartphone-friendly device at the touch of your fingers. When you are on the go you still have the ability to keep up with what is going on with your Pinterest home feed, as well as keeping up with the Pinterest community. This also allows you to Pinterest before you go to sleep and dream of fantasy closets… oh wait, that’s just me? read more

Twitter For Business Part 2 – Tools of the Trade

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Last week in Part 1 we provided some really fundamental notes on getting your business’ Twitter account rolling. The common thread of that post, which will carry over here, is that you should focus efforts that drive engagement on Twitter. Efforts of that kind can take time, dedication and patience. In this post, we’re going to talk about some tools available to help you more efficiently manage and tailor your activity.

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Twitter Tips for Business Part 1

Twitter Tips and Basics For Business Part 1

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Twitter provides a tremendous opportunity for businesses looking to talk with and learn more about their customers and potential customers. What happens all too often, however, is companies sign up, toss a Follow Me icon on the website and wait for followers to show up. Twitter is a community of give and take. You should get to know your neighbors. Here are some pointers are running a more engaging Twitter account for your business. read more

Reflections on KitchenAid’s Twitter Gaffe

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The social media ecosphere has been going crazy after the gaffe made by a KitchenAid employee who thought they were tweeting from their personal account but quickly found out they weren’t.

When I first read this story all I could think of was what a sickening feeling the individual responsible must have had when they realized what had happened. We’ve all had an email, tweet or message we couldn’t recall and had to live with the consequences; to some degree that has become the nature of the beast.

There have been some really good reports on what happened and how it ultimately impacted KitchenAid and their brand. One of the best is from Simply Measured which shows the statistical response to the entire event including the crisis management by KitchenAid’s team. read more

Which Social Network for What?

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LinkedIn has just released a new report on how people use various social networks to stay in touch: “The Mindset Divide Revealing how emotions differ between personal and professional networks.

Most of us have multiple networks we use on a regular basis. This report highlights the differences between how we use them as well as the strengths and weaknesses of each. read more

Great Social Media Research

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Looking for some good and current research information on social media and how it is being used by various small businesses and segments in the market? What sites are generating the most action and where is the time/money being spent?

Marketing Pros just published a new study covering current usage of social media. Here are some of the highlights. read more

General Colin Powell on Social Media

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Salesforce.com invited General Colin Powell to speak at its Dreamforce 12 conference and share his thoughts on the ups and downs of social media. He spoke on a number of points including its role in the Arab Spring and its threat to totalitarian regimes.

This is a good background article and is a fairly quick read.

 

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Social Media Sales Grenades

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Columbus, OH – September 23, 2012

A Cease and Desist Order has been issued by the Federal Circuit Court requiring an immediate stop to the use of Sales Grenades as part of all social media communications efforts. read more

Instagram Launches a New Business Resource

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A year ago only the early adopters knew about Instagram, now it has become the latest social media darling with over 100 million users.

If you don’t know about Instagram yet or just haven’t had time to check it out, give it a shot (pardon the pun); it’s worth experiencing.

Now the Instagram has launched a Tumblr “Instagram for Business.” Like most resources, you will not find everything they recommend useful, but it’s a great way to get some ideas for your company and see what others are doing.

Photo Credit: 55Laney69

 

Big Success by Small Organization Using Social Media

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The small Swiss village of Obermutten, population 79, became a Facebook sensation after its fan page launched with a video (in Swiss German) of the mayor promising that anyone who “liked” it would have their profile picture posted on the town’s (real, not virtual) message board. After the first 10 “Like” they posted a new video showing the town’s message board. read more

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