The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Pinterest

Pinterest: the ultimate source of entertainment and time wasting for Internet users. It’s also a great reminder of how un-Martha-Stewart-like we all are, yet we keep on Pinning. Recipes, crafts, inspirational quotes, home ideas, business tips, educational materials, websites to read, pictures of cats… it’s all there, just waiting for you to log in. Pinterest is a potential gold-mine for most businesses, but the majority fail on this social media platform- miserably. Why?

Pinterest Tips

5 Ways to Rock Your Pinterest Account Like a Pro

1. Check Your Links

One of the worst Pinterest mistakes businesses can make is pinning a broken link. Users see a nice picture, like the headline or idea, and click through, only to be greeted by a 404 page. It’s even worse when people pin in a hurry to save information for action later, and when they sit down to actually DO SOMETHING with all those pins, half of them are useless.

Broken Pinterest links produce a bad user experience, which is a big no-no in the world of online business. It leaves users with a bad impression of your brand, even if they’ve never visited your Website. Taking the extra two seconds to actually click your pins can help you save face.

2. Don’t Forget SEO

Pinterest’s search engine is a lot like Google back in the 90s. It’s a little slow, and a lot basic. That’s why using strategic keywords in your titles, image ALTs and descriptions can help get your pins in front of the people who are looking for what you have to offer. Your Pinterest SEO campaign doesn’t have to be crazy-complicated. Use Google’s instant search (autocomplete) feature to come up with a dozen common keywords related to your product or service. This gives you an idea of what people are actually searching for online. You may sell a blue widget that helps kids sleep better, but people are Googling, “Why won’t my toddler stay in bed?” or,  “How much sleep does a two year old need?” Those questions are both great topics (and long-tail keywords) for Pins.

3. Be Very Choosey About Your Images

Choosey moms choose a certain peanut butter, and smart social media managers choose original images. Bright, colorful, eye catching images will get your pins noticed. Choosing the same stock photo 25 other business have used before won’t get your pins repinned. If you can’t afford to purchase original photos, consider snapping a few yourself, or at least altering a few stock photos in an image editor to make them stand out.

Choose photos that evoke emotion and keep in mind that the majority of your Pinterest viewers are likely to be women. Pay attention to details and choose esthetically pleasing images that appeal to your target demographic.

Pinterest Tips

4. Back Up Your Pins with Content

The most intriguing images online won’t help your business if your don’t have the content to back it up. It’s a but like opening a huge, beautifully wrapped present on Christmas morning only to find the box is full of tissue paper- and nothing else. Each of your pins should contain a valid link back to a page on your Website filled with content that WOWS. Link your absolute best content to your pins, and use tracking codes to make sure you know when your pins are driving traffic to your landing pages and blog posts.

Use dynamic content with videos, images, and actionable points Pintrest users will love. Make all your images easily pinnable and shareable on other social media platforms. Always include a call to action and easy-to-find contact info for your business.

5. Increase Your Budget

While “Go Big or Go Home” may not be an accurate Pinterest campaign motto, you should plan to throw some money at you campaigns. Pinterest has a unique snowball effect that can be initiated by a few sponsored, strategically placed pins. One user sees your HIGH QUALITY AN RELEVANT PIN, and she pins it to her board. Twenty of her friends are following her boards and they see your pin the next time they login. 10 of those friends add your pin to one of their boards, and the process continues.

If you already have high quality, relevant pins and boards, spending some money to get this pins in front of users can be the catalyst you need to a Pinterest rockstar.

Attention to details like clickable, valid links will go a long way toward launching you Pinterest campaign successfully. If you have questions or need help, consider contacting the Pinterest rockstars at REV Media Marketing. They can take your Pinterest account from the break room cork board to Trending Pins recommendations.

 

unusual business social media

Social networks is a great tool for promoting your brand.

But you can do way more than that with social media.

Here are five ways to use social media you might be overlooking

1. Make a Splash in the Newspapers (Public Relations)

Want to make a splash in the media? Getting your business featured in a news story no longer means writing press releases and pushing them out to journalists.

Instead, you can just share your news on social media.

As PR expert Maggie Patterson explains:

Journalists rely on Facebook to source stories and Facebook itself actively promotes the platform as a “Rolodex” with 1 billion contacts for reporters.

Where your company may have relied on a press release in the past, you can now share your story on Facebook. It provides a low-friction way to report the facts in the case of breaking news or to provide comment on emerging issues that will help get your story to the media and your public faster.

To give the news you share extra oomph!, it’s worth building up relationships with journalists on social media. That way, you can point them to your story when you’ve got something you want them to see. Here’s our primer on finding journalists.

2. Find Out What Your Customers Think (Market Research)

To be effective in business, you need to know your customers. You need to know their likes and dislikes, their wants and needs, their pressing problems.

You also need to know how people view your brand, and get opinions on what you could do to improve your products and develop new products.

Getting this information requires market research. Just a decade ago market research was an expensive endeavor. You had to set up online surveys, or send out researchers to interview your target customers.

Social media completely changes that. As long as you know who your customers are, you can tap into their thoughts and feelings using social media.

You can use social media to:

  • Monitor what your customers are talking about, so you know their everyday concerns and passions.
  • Ask questions directly to your customers.
  • Listen to what people are saying about your brand.
  • Learn the language of your customers, so you can write better copy.

3. Keep Your Customers Happy (Customer Service)

Did you know that nearly three quarters (72%) of customers who make a complaint to a business on Twitter expect to receive a response in under 60 minutes? That’s according to research by Lithium Technologies.

If you’re not monitoring what people are saying about your brand on social media – and responding to complaints – then you’re contributing to the negative image of your brand.

As Anthony Leaper explains over on Forbes:

Irritated Customers have supportive Friends. They may have a few; they may have thousands. The dangerous fact, though, is this: it almost does not matter how many friends they really have. A single Facebook post that describes a jaw-dropping failure on the part of your company may, if stupefying enough or if told in a funny or snarky manner, be repeated, retweeted, “liked,” and “shared” innumerable times.

For an example of this, check out Ryanair’s middle gimp debacle. That’s exactly what Leaper is talking about.

By contrast, if you’re willing to help your customers online, they’ll respond in kind by recommending your brand to their friends and family.

Leaper again:

If you can discover and address an Irritated Customer’s concerns quickly and effectively, then you have a singular opportunity to convert an Irritated Customer into a Delighted Customer. Their delight, particularly if seen by many in the social media world, may move thousands of people into the column of potential customers who are now predisposed to consider your services—when they may have been on the fence before.

4. Uncover Your Business Persona (Brand Development)

Social media is all about building relationships with your customers.

That means you’ve got to be relatable.

Social media isn’t the place for corporate stuffiness. Act standoffish to your followers, and they’ll give you the cold shoulder in return.

Jeff Mancini, director of digital strategy at Interbrand, says people see brands they love in the same way they see friends.

In a Forbes interview, Mancini said:

We feel for brands similarly to the way we feel for friends. The reason we advocate brands in our lives are the reasons we advocate friends in our lives. That is, we genuinely like them.

Making friends with your customers means you must develop a brand persona. Social media is the perfect opportunity to do this. Don’t worry if you’ve not got it all sorted when you start out on social networks. You’ll discover your voice through talking with your customers.

If you need a bit of extra help developing your brand’s person, check out our 72 questions to help you uncover your brand’s persona.

5. Create a Vision Board (Strategic Planning)

Do you yawn when you hear the words “strategic planning” or “business plan”?

Developing a business strategy can be an incredibly dry process. But it doesn’t have to be.

Why not start out by creating a vision board of where you’d like to take your business?

Pinterest is the perfect tool for this. It gives you access to millions of stunning images, and allows you to group them into pinboards.

You can even create several vision pinboards, covering whatever aspects of your business you want them to. Here are some examples to get you started:

  • What you want to do for your customers
  • The types of products you want to sell
  • The mission and vision of your business
  • Your business’s ethos and values
  • The lifestyle you want to have while running your business

Over to You

What are some of the more unusual ways you use social media in your business?

social media metrics

Both Twitter and Pinterest have recently launched analytics platforms to help businesses get the most out of their social marketing efforts.

Meanwhile, Facebook Insights have been available for three years (they’ve come on a long way in that time). And social media apps such as Hootsuite, Buffer and Klout all allow users to measure different aspects of their social media engagement.

As copywriters and marketers have known for over a century, stats are the best way of finding out what works, and what doesn’t.

But how can you make sure you’re making the most of your social metrics?

1. Know Where You’re Headed

For any journey, you need a map, a destination and a route.

Metrics are not the map. They don’t show you where to go. And they’re not the destination or the end goal. Rather, they help you see whether you’re taking the right path.

Before you set any goals for your social media engagement, you need to know where your business is headed. The goals you set for social media should then serve your business goals.

For example, let’s say you have a business goal of increasing revenue by 10%. To do this, you need to make more sales. And to make more sales, you need to increase traffic to your website. Boosting traffic is a goal social media can help with.

2. Get Familiar With What You Can Track on Social Media

What you can measure is usually dictated by the analytics tools you use. Some of the things you can track include:

  • Engagement. This is measured by tracking how many people reply to a post. On Facebook, these are comments and on Twitter they’re replies.
  • Volume. How much are your posts being spread? The more your updates are shared, the louder your volume. On Twitter, volume is created by retweets. On Facebook, the volume is amped up by “shares”.
  • Reach. This is the number of people who are seeing a particular post. Reach helps you put other stats into context. Getting 10 comments isn’t too impressive if you’ve got a reach of 1 million. However, 10 comments on a reach of 100 people is something to smile about.
  • Sales. How many sales are you making as a result of your social media posts? If you run an online store, Google Analytics can keep track of this for you.
  • Lead gen. If you run a service business, how many new leads are you generating each month as a result of social media? This is easy to track if you generate leads directly on social media though you’ll have to keep track of the stats for yourself.

This is just some of what it’s possible to track on social media. It’s worth getting familiar with several social analytics tools so you can see for yourself what it’s possible to measure.

3. Set Goals Based on What You Can Track and Where You’re Headed

Once you know what it’s possible to track, then you can set appropriate goals for your social media accounts.

Compare what you can track to your business goals. Which metrics are the best indicators of whether you’re achieving your business goals?

For example, if one of your business goals is to provide excellent customer service, then you might want to keep track of how long it takes you to reply to customer queries on social media.

If your aim is to boost the visibility of your brand, then you’ll need to track volume.

4. Make Your Goals SMART

SMART goals, as invented by Peter Drucker, one of the greatest business thinkers of the 20th century, are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Actionable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

When it comes to tracking your social metrics, it’s particularly important to make your goals measurable. You’ve already done this by setting goals based on what you can track.

It’s also important that your goals are actionable. This means you know the specific actions you need to take to achieve those goals.

This is easier for some goals than for others. Taking the customer service example we outlined in the previous step, you might have set a goal of responding to customer queries on social media within two hours. Acting on that goal is simple. You’ve got to find a way of keeping track of customer queries, and you’ve got to make sure you reply to them.

However, if your goal is to increase the number of times your posts are shared, then the actions you should take are less obvious, so it’s not a SMART goal. You could adjust this goal to be “create three pieces of content with viral potential every week.”

5. Have a “Dashboard” Where You Can View Your Stats

Measuring your stats is only useful if you remember to check-in and see how things are going. You’re much more likely to do this if you keep all your stats in one location.

All good analytics software provides a “dashboard” with a stats overview. However, this is only useful if the dashboard tracks the stats that are relevant to your goals. You may find it more helpful to create your own “dashboard” by noting down metrics in a spreadsheet.

6. Tweak as Necessary

Social media is a rapidly changing landscape. A decade ago, Twitter and Pinterest didn’t even exist. Facebook was in its early infancy.

No matter what goals you set for your social marketing, you will have to adjust them. This could be because technology changes. Or it could be because you discover that your goals are close to impossible, or that your goals aren’t as aligned with your business objectives as they could be.

Adjusting your goals – and the actions you take to achieve those goals – isn’t a sign of weakness. It doesn’t mean you’re turning back. It means you’re responsive to feedback, and you’re moving forwards.

7. Keep Experimenting!

Social media is an experiment. No one has the monopoly on the right way to do it.

It’s a good idea to see your efforts in tracking metrics as experiments. That way, you can’t go wrong, because whatever you learn is feedback for your experiment.

And the great thing about experiments is that you never know when you’ll discover something no one has ever found before.