Pinterest and YOU

With 25 million unique visitors a month, Pinterest is quite the specimen. It’s a more niched social platform, yet it has massive traffic. Users can post links, recipes, and pictures on Pinterest, and it’s represented with a photo. Pretty unique social platform, huh?

Pinterest isn’t for every business. Motorcycle dealer?…maybe not the best place. But if you are a freelance photographer, this is probably a good site to use. Take a look at Pinterest’s infographic that better explains the user demographics of the site.

Tips for Pinterest

  1. Use AWESOME Photos
    How does Pinterest display its posts? With PICTURES! Users can decide in a split second to pass over your pin or click on it, and there is high competition for their clicks. No matter what content the link posts to, lead them to it with a high quality and captivating photo (Social Media Today). Get creative – use memes, infographics, panoramas, close ups, high-quality cameras, and color effects.
  2. Interact with People
    One of the best ways to get traffic to you is to follow, re-pin, and like. Just like other social media sites, people return the favor. It’s quite the symbiotic relationship (yes, we’re bringing science into this post). Be efficient with your time and focus on people in your target audience.
  3. Make a Good Title
    Pinterest doesn’t have a complex algorithm like Google – it’s very straightforward. So, if you’re photo has a picture of a black lab in it, it’s probably a good idea to have “black lab” somewhere in the title. Anything is better than IMG_325.
  4. Credit to Tech Crunch
    http://goo.gl/gw2lY

  5. Use Analytics
    Feedback on your marketing campaigns are important. No one wants to advertise to thin air – it wastes time and money. According to Tech Crunch, Pinterest offers a free feature for businesses that allow them to track the statistics of follows from Pinterest to their website.
  6. Be Positive
    Have you taken a look at the differences in attitude when comparing Pinterest to Twitter and Facebook? The latter two tend to have some snarky posts and tweets. Pinterest tends to stay away from that, so you should too. Be positive and profound; avoid the dark and gloomy. If you have to go down that avenue, use another platform.
  7. Go More In Depth…

    We don’t want you to feel limited by what we presented, so here’s a couple more links you can follow:

    Next Week

    Ever wish you could buy that adorable dress from that pin last week? Well, Wanelo makes it so you can. It’s Pinterest for shoppers! Check back next week to read about it.

    In the meantime – do you think Pinterest will ever bring in more men? They make up for only 1/3 of the visitors. Think that will change?

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Instagram and YOU

Credit to Idea Verse: http://goo.gl/AJi1M

Credit to Idea Verse: http://goo.gl/AJi1M

Instagram, acquired recently by Facebook, is one the most popular photo apps to download for Apple and Android users – boasting more than 100 million users. It’s as easy as open, snap (or choose from photo library), and filter. The app currently offers 17 different filters to help transform your photo, everything from black and white to “kelvin”. This app is like heaven for hipsters and trendy social media lovers alike. After choosing your filter, you can post your photo to Instagram where it can be seen on the feed of other users who follow you, or by users who find you in searches using tags.

What’s also cool about Instagram is the outreach to other platforms. Once you upload the photo to Instagram, you can also upload or embedded a link to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, or email . You can tag a location to your “photo map” and add names of venues or locations. Instagram has a social nature set up much like Facebook, where users can “like” and comment on your photos (About.com).

Instagram Filters: http://goo.gl/e87Sb

Instagram Filters: http://goo.gl/e87Sb

How to Rock Instagram

Instagram is a more niche platform than we’ve talked about before, but that doesn’t mean you should shy away. It is owned by Facebook, after all. People love seeing what’s going on with your business, and Instagram is a great way to stand out from the sea of photos out there.

You have to be smart and sneaky in order to catch the eyeballs and interests of social media users. They are no longer just a bunch of curios people trying to find their way… The best promotion is the promotion that doesn’t look like promotion. ~Bit Rebels

Using Instagram allows you to showcase your brand, target specific customers with tags, and interact visually and text based with customers. You will be able to show users the qualities your company possesses. Many users probably haven’t even heard of your brand. So try these tips (and add a little creativity) to boost your business’ exposure and create a following.

Instagram Tips:

  1. Engage your customers
    Feature customers using your products- appeal to their vanity. Ask them questions, respond to their comments, let them know they are valued.
  2. Snap behind the scenes
    People like to feel intimate with your business or your brand. Show how a product is made, what the raw materials look like, and what can be done with the finished product.
  3. Hold contests to generate engagement
    Photos attract users, but conversations engage them. Provide a close up and ask them what they think the product is. Another way to engage them is a photo submission contest – have the users submit a picture on Instram of them using the product. You’ll be surprised how creative some people can be…
  4. Showcase Employees
    Social Media Today suggests you should give your customers an idea of who they’re working with. By putting a face to your brand, you’re giving them someone to trust.
  5. USE TAGS!!
    As with many other social outlets, tags are the number one way to attract users to your product/brand, to help them find it, and to help promote you. Instagram tags are similar to Twitter – the hashtag (#). Use creative and descriptive tags so people can search for you, just like you would with a website and Google.

Additional Tips

This video does a pretty good job covering all the bases of how to use Instragram best for your business. Check it out.

Go More In-Depth…

We never want you to feel limited to only what we’ve posted. Here are a list of other articles you can check out:

Next Week

We’ll look into Twitter’s new app Vine. For this week, what are your thoughts on Instagram? Do you like it or not? Will Facebook’s ownership of Instagram affect its future positively or negatively?

Facebook and YOU

Facebook started as a social network for facebook_logocollege students in 2004 , but it has evolved into so much more. Games, fan pages, public and private groups, and now…businesses. Since the startup cost of launching a page for your business with Facebook is $0, the network has become a huge tool in PR and Advertising for small businesses. There is a lot you can do with your business on Facebook, but there are a few things you don’t want to ignore.

Facebook Tips

  1. Make Graph Search Your Friend
    A relatively new addition to Facebook, the Graph Search acts a lot like SEO (Search Engine Optimization), except it’s a little cooler. According to Ad Age, the results show up in a user’s search are based on their friends’ likes. CaptureCertainly changes your thought about “likes” and “check-ins,” doesn’t it? Graph Search is taking “word of mouth” to the nth power, and Nielsen’s Q3 survey in 2011 showed that a whopping 92% of people trust their friends for recommendations. Generate genuine “likes” (don’t just buy them), and you’ll see the self-perpetuating benefits of using Graph Search.

  2. “Content is King, but Engagement is Queen”
    Ramon Ray is the man of technology and business. We recommend reading his book “The Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing,” which actually came out only a couple days ago. We’ll let Forbes’ excerpt about his book do the talking:

    “Content is King, he says, but Engagement is Queen – simply having a Facebook business page is of little more use than a static internet calling card. Businesses should use contests, polls and questions to keep their customers and prospects engaged. Killer photo images of products are highly essential. Video can be vital as well. Visual social media and compelling content – not just information about the product and service – is key.”

  3. Consider Offers
    Offers can help fuel sales and traffic to your website or store. The best way to describe an Offer is…a coupon. Whether it’s a discount, a freebie, or to enter in a drawing, fans can use the Offer to redeem in your store and/or on your website. Aria is one success story that used Offer to make 671 reservations for 1,585 nights. Be careful with Offers though, the larger audience you want to reach, the more you have to pay. Define your audience specifically and powerfully.

  4. Be Aware of your Public Personal Life
    This one is pretty straightforward, but it’s easy to grow complacent about. In fact, we might have even overlooked this point if a CBS News article hadn’t brought it up. Consumers want businesses to be transparent, but that doesn’t mean we should embarrass ourselves. Be conscientious of pictures you’re in and what you say on your personal Facebook.
  5. Manage your Time
    This is another tip that’s so simple but so overlooked. How you allocate your time is crucial. We’ve all had those times where we go to Facebook just to check notifications, and two hours later we’re elbows deep in someone else’s profile. The same can go for running a business. Try not to let running a Facebook page prevent you from actually running your business. Have a schedule; set a time limit; do what you need so that your work is efficient.

Getting Started

If you haven’t created a page for your business and you want to, go to Facebook’s Business page, and they’ll take you through it step-by-step.

Go More In-Depth…

We never want you to feel limited to only what we’ve posted. Here are a list of other articles you can check out:

Next Week

We’ll look into Google+ next week. If you have any opinions or questions about Facebook and advertising, feel free to comment.

Twitter and YOU

For the next couple weeks, we’re going to talk about how businesses can effectively use various new/social media for public relations and advertising. Mastering new media perfectly is like being able to answer the secrets of the universe – it’s just not possible. When the consumer is involved in the message, the company doesn’t have total control over every little thing. However, there are trends and habits that are good to follow and can help guide successful advertising in the new media world.
image

So let’s start with Twitter.

One of the best methods of promotion is word-of-mouth. People trust what other people say about your organization. Funny that they are hesitant to trust you…

As Lessons from TV says, “when you talk to one person, you’re talking to a thousand.” The networking power of Twitter is great, so harness its strength. There are a lot of tips available for good tweeting, but we want to highlight the big ones.

Tweeting Tips

  1. Hashtag the right way
    The hashtag (#) is a fundamental feature of Twitter, so use it! They’re used for tagging, joining a conversation, and oftentimes humor. But don’t be reckless. Hashtags can go oh-so wrong if you don’t think about what you’re doing. McDonalds started the hashtag #McDStories, but that just led to the sharing of horrible nasty customer experiences.

    image

    Oops.

    Don’t overdo hashtags too. Overkill will lose attention. Yeah, your post will be more searchable, but if there’s no real content in the tweet, no one will want to read it. Also, make them easy to remember – whether it’s catchy, short, or simple.

    A good tactic to utilize is hopping on board with already known hashtags. #firstworldproblems, #NDSUproblems, and #ftw are popular ones around here. They may be different where you are, but use those! During the blackout at the Super Bowl, the smart advertisers used #blackout to join consumers’ conversations. Management Today has a more in-depth article on hashtagging as well.

  2. Target your market
    Just like any other marketing campaign, a business has to focus their efforts toward their target audience. Talk in a way that resonates with them. Tweet about stuff they care about – no point in tweeting pointless information to the universe. Audi talks about how they target consumers on Twitter.
  3. Build a relationship
    Twitter encourages dialogue, so a good relationship is a two-way street. @reply to followers and pay attention to what people are saying about you on Twitter. It shows that you’re listening, and if you listen…they’ll be more likely to listen. A relationship with your audience is a lot like a relationship with a friend – be honest and transparent, and remember that trust takes a long time to build but can be destroyed in an instant.
  4. Do more than inform
    We don’t talk to our friends, co-workers, and family like information-spewing robots. We joke, we motivate, we share stories. Twitter is useful for informing followers, but strive to educate, entertain, and inspire too. Make the audience feel like they’re in a conversation and not broadcasted to.
  5. Use links and multi-media
    We love clicking on anything linkable, there’s just something about those blue little words. Give followers something enticing in the tweet so they want to follow the link. Twitter also has great picture and video sharing features that makes for better tweets.

    Jeff Bullas gives a couple more tips that are good to read.

The main key to follow in Twitter is a lot like all other new media – be genuine. Consumers can tell when you’re just trying to burn a hole in their wallet. Build a relationship, be conversational, be relational, and be transparent.

Go More In-Depth…

We never want you to feel limited to only what we’ve posted. Here are a list of other articles you can check out:

Next Week

We’ll look into the social networking giant, Facebook, next week. If you have any opinions or questions about Twitter and advertising, feel free to comment.

Basics of PR and New Media

Pr 2.0

Intro to PR/Advertising 2.0

The learning curve for new technology is huge. Developers push out new products and new media every day. Talk about information overload. For anyone who wants to publicize or advertise themselves, where do you start? What avenues do you use, and to what extent? Organizations, businesses, and individuals all have to consider how new media will play a role in their promotions.

At least in this day and age.

Before we start blogging in-depth about the latest in PR/Advertising and new media, it’s a good idea to start with the basics. If you’re considering new media in your promotions, think about the following:

  • Target audience
  • The industry are you involved in
  • Budget $$
  • Manpower and technology savvy

1. Target Audience

This should drive everything and anything you do. Your audience is responsible for your success, so why focus on them?

Look at the demographics and psychographics of your audience – compare it to what’s out there for new media. For examples, if your main customers are middle-aged mothers, then LinkedIn or Facebook is probably a better option than Twitter for social networking.

To save you some time, we found the social media demographics of 2012.

If you’re looking into advertising, consider algorithm-based advertising. Some smart techy guys found a way to gather info from Internet users so advertisers can reach only those they want to reach, no matter what website the user is on. Its methods aren’t perfect, but it’s a start of precise targeting.

2. Industry

Look at what other people are doing in your industry. Are they on the new media bandwagon yet? Are they the pioneers of what’s up and coming, or is everyone resisting change? We’re not saying you have to do they’re doing, but it’s smart to see what’s up.

Five industries are experiencing a huge shift in their business model because of new media. For them, it’s either change or get left in the dust:

  • Travel
  • Video rental
  • Music
  • Newspapers
  • Bookstores

3. Budget

The main reason new media has blown up…it’s darn cheap. Many businesses and individuals have gained popularity through the Internet. Where would J-Biebs be without YouTube? And think of how apps have changed the mobile world for…well just about any business who took the time to develop one.

New media can be a great startup option for promotions on a low budget, but add a couple dollars and you can quickly have a very powerful advertising tool on your hand. Think of how many people see those ads in the free version of Words With Friends…

4. Manpower/Knowledge

Here’s the hard part. If you don’t know much about the “Interweb,” managing your new media can be difficult – timing tweets properly is important, conversational blogging can be hard to do, websites take a lot of maintenance, and building apps requires nerdy knowledge.

So just be careful to not get in over your head. Connecting to your audience through social media can be hard if you have too many irons in the fire, and using more technological methods like online ads, websites, and apps can take a lot of work. Match your manpower and new media savvy to your goals.

Next Week

Now that we’ve laid down the basic relationship between PR/Advertising and new media, we can really start getting our hands dirty. Check back next week to see what we talk about more specifically next. Comment below if you have anything to say, and follow us if you think we’re not boring (we like to think we’re pretty alright).