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Leverage the Visual with Pinterest

Pinterest, Visual, Social Media

Pinterest Facts

  • Traffic on the Pinterest site increased over 5% from 2011 to 2012.
  • It produced 4X the revenue per click as Twitter.
  • Pinterest buyers spend more and make more purchases than any of the other top 5 social sites.
  • You can use hashtags on Pinterest.
  • You can set your logo as your Pinterest profile picture to increase brand recognition.
  • 79% of Pinterest users are female.
  • Almost 80% have at least had some college.
  • 69% have an annual income of at least $50,000.

I would like to thank the Marketing Land blog for the above statistics. The infographic can be fount at http://marketingland.com/infographic-marketer-guide-to-pinterest-36487 and has other great information as well.

Pinterest is the #4 social network in the top 5. It is popular and growing. From the above statistics you can see that it is a great social platform for business.

Getting Started

Getting started with Pinterest is easy. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to Pinterest.
  2. Click “Join Pinterest”.
  3. Click to join wit Facebook, Twitter, or your email.
  4. Follow the on screen instructions and you are ready to enjoy all that is Pinterest.

Set Up Your Boards

So far so good huh? Now things get more interesting. Why more interesting? Because now you are going to make Pinterest your own. How you ask? By creating your own pin boards of course. 🙂 And by the way, this part will be even more painless than setting up your account was. Lets go for it:

  1. Log into your Pinterest account if you aren’t already there.
  2. Point at your name in the upper right corner and click “Your Boards”.
  3. Click “Create a Board”.
  4. Give your board a name.
  5. Write a description (not necessary but a good idea).
  6. Assign your board a category if you want.
  7. Make it a public or private board.

Now onto the best part of all…

Start Pinning

Now for the fun. Welcome to the wonderful world of pinning. Here are a few pointers:

  • From within Pinterest if you want to repin something just click on it then click the “Repin” button.
  • From outside Pinterest use the “Pin It” button. The way it works is simple:

In Pinterest point to “About” next to your name in the upper right corner and click “Pin It Button”.

Drag the “Pin It” button to your bookmarks bar of your browser.

Then when you want to pin something that you find on the Web just click “Pin It” and fill in the information asked for.

Pinterest Hints

  • Organize your boards with meaningful names. Your visitors will thank you.
  • Write a description identifying your pins.
  • Remember, good SEO applies on Pinterest too.
  • Be yourself and show the world your flavor.
  • Completely fill out your profile and upload a picture (just like you should do on any other social network.
  • So things don’t get too noisy try following individual boards rather than every board of everyone you follow.
  • Always remember branding.
  • Good content applies here just as much as it does on your blog or Facebook Page.
  • Include links to your other social profiles in your About section.
  • If you are selling on Pinterest post your prices and how your readers can make the purchase.
  • Have fun pinning!

Tell me about your Pinterest experience. How do you use Pinterest? What tips can you share?

Social Fitness

Fitness

You hear it from the doctor, news media, and even the White House. America needs to get in shape. I have a good question for you though. What kind of social shape are you in? Are you too socially thin or socially obese? Are you socially weak or strong? In this article I will give you some tips on how to:

  • Have social room to breathe.
  • Get social stamina.
  • Become socially flexible.
  • Gain social strength.
  • Build social power.
  • Have social balance.

Breathing

Breathe

Breathing may just be the most important thing any of us ever do. Without breath there can be no life. It is said that a human being can only live 4 – 8 minutes without oxygen. Lets all take a deep breath as we think about that. Now, answer me this: How long do you think your social media program will survive if you don’t give it room to breathe? Trust me when I say that if you just push and go go go you will burn out and find no joy in it. This is the Internet! It is supposed to be fun, not something to burn out over.

Here are some tips to give yourself some room to socially breath:

  • Take a break once in a while. Physically, if you just continue to push with no rest, you will tear your body down rather than build it up. The same holds true with a social media program. Just understand that you are not required to sit in front of your computer for hours at a time without pause. Yes, there is more to life than just social. Go out and experience it.
  • Don’t overextend yourself. There are over 200 known social networking websites on the Internet. If you are hooked into too many you will effectively have time for nothing else and you will burn out. Not to mention, you wont be very effective on any of them because you are spread too thin. My advice would be to pick no more than 4. Ask yourself these 4 questions:
    Which one do most of my target audience hang out on? Which one will I find most of my influencers on? Which one will make it easiest to display my wares? Which one will help my SEO the most? There you have your 4.
  • Have a routine. Rather than an unorganized hit and miss shotgun approach have a plan. How often will you post at each site? What kind of posts will you make? How often will you engage with your stream? How will you keep up with it? Have a planned routine and work it.
  • Know when to walk away for a while. Yes there should always be room for life in the real world. Once in a while go out and experience it. Then you will never burn out on social.

Stamina

Stamina

Without energy the human body just wants to sit and sleep. With plenty of stamina the body wants to keep going. Social media can be the same way. With social, if you don’t have stamina you will run out of wind and stop. How do you build up some social stamina?

  • Get a good social tool to work from. With the right tool your social media life will be easier and you will be able to pick up the momentum to keep going. My favorite tool is HootSuite. Check it out and I think you will love it as well.
  • Practice. Just like any other activity, social media gets easier and you get better at it with practice. Keep working at it. Leverage what works. Drop what doesn’t work for you.
  • Keep going. There is never a good time to give up. Keep going and it will eventually pay off. Social marketing is something that takes time and patience.

Flexibility

Flexibility

When it comes to your body, the surest way to injury is to never stretch your muscles. In the realm of social media, if you aren’t flexible in your approach you will come off as stiff, and you may even injure your marketing efforts.  Here are some tips to get a little social flexibility:

  • Pay attention. Pay attention to what is working and what isn’t. Is it rock star or is it epic fail? Are you seeing ROI? If it isn’t working, and you have leveraged it to its capacity maybe it’s time to change gears and try something else.
  • Keep an open mind. Read about what others are doing. Follow blogs. Pay attention to the news. Read books and articles. Really great ideas are everywhere. Keep an open mind to a different or new approach.
  • Embrace change when it makes sense. When a change makes sense embrace it. Change is nothing to be fearful of. What is frightening is the thought of trying the exact same thing over and over while expecting a different result.

Strength

Curls

You need a strong body to lift a heavy weight. In the same way you need a strong social presence to lift a heavy social media strategy to the heights of success. How do you build a stronger social presence?

  • Post regularly. At the very least you should be posting once a day to each account. At the most it should be 3 to 5 times. Post much more than that and you may be accused of being a spammer. The point is, be active so your name stays out there.
  • Continuously engage with others. Yes that means reading what others are posting. Comment, share, retweet, like, favorite, etc. If someone sends you a message or comments on your post respond as soon as you can. Keep the conversation going and keep building relationships. That is what both social media and marketing are all about anyway.
  • Put out good quality content. Content is not only king (yes it is important enough that I will keep repeating it) but is the key to effective SEO. Over time good content will build into a strong Web presence that will result in a true return on the time invested.
  • Keep it interesting. People like interesting, entertaining, funny, informational, and different. People love the visual. Post the kind of things that your audience wants to read. Mix things up once in a while. It is ok to post text. It is also a good idea to post images, video, Slideshares, infographics, and yes even the occasional meme. The key is, if you aren’t offering them something in a way that they will find interesting they wont read your posts.

Balance

Balance

Just as in everyday life if you have no balance you will fall over, in your social media life if there is no balance something will eventually fall down. Just like any other aspect of living you need balance to be healthy. Spend your time on social networks. Also, spend time with other necessary parts of your business. Take time for a hobby. Spend time with friends and family. Take alone time for quiet. Find the balance you need and your social will stand stronger than ever.

Now take the steps you need to take to get into social shape.

How socially fit are you? Comment and let me know your thoughts.

Equation of a Successful Social Media Post

Equation

There are two types of posts in the realm of social media: those that are engaged with and those that are ignored. How are your posts doing? Are you getting the clicks that you are looking for? Are your posts selling? Ignored posts can be a great source of frustration for content writers. Are your posts being ignored? Perhaps it’s time to learn the successful post equation:

Hook + Useful + Benefit = Success

Lets take a closer look at the parts of the equation of posting success.

The Hook

Hook them in.

The hook is exactly what it sounds like: something to get your readers’ attention. It can be something funny, shocking (yet tasteful), off the wall, or best of all it can be visual like a picture or video. Remember, the visual sells. Why is this an important point? It is important because if you don’t get your readers’ attention in the beginning you will likely lose them before the end.

Some tricks to make developing effective hooks easier:

    • Brainstorm. Make a list of everything that comes to mind. When brainstorming there are no bad ideas. Keep it going till you run out of ideas for a hook. If you have a hard time getting started walk away for 15 or 20 minutes and come back to it.
  • Save what you have brainstormed to use later. Over time you will have a list to fall back on if you need a hook but can’t come up with one.

The Useful

Offer something useful in your post.

So you have hooked them in with a rock star level hook. Yes you are that good. Now what? Now that you have their attention it’s time to give them something they can use. If you get someone’s attention but have nothing to offer them you will lose that attention and have a hard time getting it back again. What is useful? Something that your reader can relate to and apply in some way. It can be something they can use in their business, to enhance their life, to find pleasure in, or even to share with others that need the information. Have something useful to offer them and you will keep their attention.

The Benefit

Offer them a benefit.

At this point you have hooked your readers in and provided them something they can use. Is that enough? Nope. If they can’t actually reap a benefit from what you have to say then they have no reason to use the information you have provided or to even continue reading your posts. A perceived benefit is a key to successful sales. Some examples of a good benefit?

  • Something they can be entertainment by and laughter. People like to be entertained. They like things that amuse them.
  • Show how what you are posting can improve their lives.
  • Explain in a few words how the information can be beneficial to their business or career.
  • Let them know whats in it for them.

A Successful Post

Success

Look at what you have done. You got your readers’ attention, offered them something they can use, and showed them how the information you are selling will help them. What do you have? An epic post that just may lead to engagement and conversion.

Hook + Useful + Benefit = Success

Here are a couple examples:

“Want to save some money? Come to our big sale this Saturday and save save save! Save money and get quality merchandise.”
is better than
“Come to our big sale this Saturday and save save save.”

Or,

“Lose the old clunker and cruise in style! Visit us today for great deals on used cars. Upgrade your ride while giving your wallet a break.”
is better than,
“Great deals on used cars. Visit us today.”

Apply this simple formula to all of your posts and let me know if you have seen a difference in the responsiveness of your readers.

Share your comments. What tips can you offer on writing great social media posts?

Build a Solid Online Reputaion

Online Repuation

Whether you know it or not you all have one. It can be positive or negative but it is always there. What am I talking about? I will answer this question with one word: Reputation. Now some interesting facts:

  • Your boss probably has a Facebook account too.
  • That job you are applying to will probably at least Google you and search for your name of Facebook.
  • What you say online can be damaging in the “real” world.
  • More people than you might think do pay attention to what you say in social media.

Online reputation can be just as empowering or damaging as your reputation in the brick and mortar world. Perhaps your online reputation has an even greater impact because it is on display to the whole world.

What can you do to build a positive reputation on social media? What kind of reputation do you want to build?

As Being Genuine

It is as simple as that. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not. Don’t try to live off the B.S. card. Be real. If you aren’t genuine you will eventually be found out and trust will inevitably be damaged. If you lose the trust of your customers, followers, and collaborators your brand will suffer.

As a Content Provider

Why should I read your post? Why should I follow you? When a reader reads a post, whether it be on Facebook or at their favorite blog they are looking for content. They don’t care what you need on your farm, they could care less how drunk you got last weekend, and the fact that you need new members on your mafia crew is completely irrelevant to them. They friended you, followed you, or subscribed to you because they want to hear what you have to say. They want something that will benefit or entertain them. They want to know you.

As an Authority

Do build a reputation as an authority requires the regular posting of content. It requires research and staying on top of your game. While avoiding the B.S. share what you do know. Learn what you don’t know. Be the expert that you can be and that your followers expect.

As Being Fun

Let’s face it, no one signs into social media to be bored. People want interesting. They want fun. They want entertaining. They want the visual and attention getting. If you come off as irrelevant or boring you will lose rather than gain a following.

To be fun:

  • Don’t just post text 100% of the time. Be visual. Post images and video too.
  • Try to say things in a fun and interesting way.
  • While being an authority, don’t be serious all of the time. It is ok to be silly once in a while.
  • Post things that are relevant to them.
  • Post answers to questions they have.
  • Provide information about things that matter to them.
  • Here is a big one: Show them how your brand is a benefit to them.

Your reputation belongs to you. You have the power to build or destroy it. You also have the power to come off as an authority in your field or as irrelevant. The choice is yours and the choices you make will have a direct impact on your life, relationships, and career.

What kind of reputation do you want to build?

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