In October 2012, Pinterest introduced business accounts. This was in response to the growing number of businesses and brands on the social network. The launch was structured in such a way that businesses could either transform their existing personal accounts into business accounts or equally possible, start from scratch.
According to GianFulgoni, chairman and co-founder of comScore Inc.,
1. Pinterest is the fastest growing stand-alone site to reach 10 million visitors.
2. The average Pinterest user spends more than an hour on the site each month
3. With Pinterest, it’s easy to generate virality.
4. 2/3 of Pinterest visitors are women.
5. Pinterest offers many monetization opportunities.
6. The social site influences shopping decision-making.
If you haven’t incorporated Pinterest into your social marketing strategy, it’s time!
8 Recommendations to Expand your Pinterest Presence
1. It’s Not About Marketing, it’s About Building a Community
Pinterest is a social site like any other including Facebook, Twitter and Google+. The key to success is to build a community around your brand and your biggest pinners. Recognize and reward your loyal pinners whether it’s in the form of a discount or some behind-the-scene action like running a pre-sale for your loyal pinners. Adding a human touch to your Pinterest marketing strategy will help your presence on the social site.
2. Don’t be Selfish
If you are creating a community around your brand, in addition to working within that community, also participate in the Pinterest community sharing content by other people, following them and repinning their images. When you engage with other Pinterest users, you will get a better understanding of what makes them tick and subsequently this psychological insight can help you attract the same people to your boards.
3. Don’t Limit Yourself to Pre-Existing Boards
Pinterest allows users to create specialized boards so think of themes, events or trends and design boards that tell a story. For example, a wedding board or a holiday to the Bahamas board that groups related items into a picture timeline.
4. Drive Traffic to Your Pinterest Boards From Other Websites
Pinterest enjoys a good amount of traffic but traffic to your boards won’t happen on its own. You will need to insert Pin It buttons on your website, on your business blog, on your Facebook page, Twitter account and Gooogle+ profile. Just make it as easy as possible for your customers to repin your images.
5. Keep Your Images Fabulous
Pinterest is visual. On Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, written content is big but on Pinterest, it’s all about images. They tell your story. They represent your brand. So keep them fabulous. Therefore,
– Avoid pixelated images
– Make sure your images are the right size
– Don’t upload images from Google
– Include descriptions
– Combine text and images for do-it-yourself guides
– Use abbreviated infographics on Pinterest and lead Pinterest users to the full image on your site
In any B2B marketing strategy, the end goal is lead generation. The key to success lies in building credibility and asserting your leadership in a desired industry. Therefore, any B2B marketing strategy begins with a workable and solid social media plan. The brand will need a strong social media presence aligned with its B2B marketing strategy in terms of promise, value proposition and end goal.
The best social network for B2B marketing depends on the following factors:
1. The audience of the social site
2. Your target audience
3. Type of content on the social site
4. The purpose of the social site
5. The tone of the social site
Now, let us look at each of the leading social media networks to evaluate their features and suitability.
Google+ is rapidly escalating as a social site for businesses with over 350 million active users as of March earlier this year. This places Google+ ahead of several social networks including YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn in terms of the population of active users.
For businesses, Google+ has special advantages. Any content posted on Google+ can potentially rank higher in the SERPs. Feature-rich content like online videos and images embedded within written content also gains more exposure.
If you are using Google+ for B2B marketing, feeding content to your Google+ account from your YouTube channel or Pinterest board is a good idea. With Google’s social site, you can also create a business page.
Google’s Hangout application is yet another useful bonus for B2B marketing. Equipped with nothing more than a webcam and an audience, you can hold video conferences with business owners talking on Google+. Note that these video conferences can subsequently be published on YouTube.
The drawback when it comes to Google+ is that the social site is more of a content delivery system than a way for businesses to promote engagement.
LinkedIn is a social site that has plenty of what Google+ lacks. It is the perfect platform for businesses to build relationships with other businesses as well as customers. LinkedIn was, as a matter of fact, created to be a platform for business professionals to interact and in recent years, LinkedIn has reached 225 million active users in approximately 200 different countries.
The advantages of using LinkedIn for B2B marketing are several:
– Personal branding for business executives
– Sales development
– Business development and
– Marketing opportunities
The key to marketing success on LinkedIn is to use the social site daily to provide support for your connections. Also worth considering is the B2B advertising option on LinkedIn. A business can run an ad by a number of criteria including location, industry, company and other such demographics.
Conferences and other live industry events such as conventions and tradeshows have always been incredible marketing opportunities for businesses. They are perfect venues for networking and lead generation. In recent years, the rise of the social networks, in particular Twitter, has added a new dimension to networking. With Twitter, marketers can now connect with countless other attendees. This is made possible by live tweeting.
Live tweeting is an art in itself. It should not be taken lightly for it is not a networking opportunity without pitfalls. There are hazards and to ensure that knowingly or unknowingly you don’t commit Twitter blunders, below are some things worth considering for tweeting at live conferences and conventions.
Best Practices for Tweeting at Tradeshows and Live Conferences
1. Assign the Right People to the Right Jobs
Prior to the actual event, plan who will be in charge of updating your different social accounts including Twitter and who will be tweeting from their own personal accounts. It helps to have at least two people managing the brand’s official Twitter account: one to cover your own booth and the other to cover the informational sessions. This will enable you to build connections and create engagement from multiple vantage points. It will also enable you and your team members to capture unexpected moments as and when they occur; the essence of being omnipresent.
2. Tone it Down a Little about Your Own Booth
Yes, people want to know what’s happening with your booth, where it is and what your giveaways are but too much information too frequent can cause disinterest. Keep tweets about your booth to one or two a day. The last thing you want to do is to monopolize the event’s hashtag stream.
If you don’t have anything interesting going on, don’t attract traffic to your booth. Instead share photos and video of some behind-the-scene action or of people who visit your booth. If you have an interesting giveaway then it’s justified to tweet about it and draw attention to your booth.
3. Engage with the Other Event Attendees
Like you would notice if you follow any event hashtag stream, in any live conference or convention, the bulk of networking and lead generation happens, not at your booth but at the informational sessions. Keynote discussions and presentations are then often tweeted by the event attendees. If you were at the informational sessions, jump into discussions as they take place and feel free to share your expert opinions and thoughts.
4. Retweeting is Allowed
At a live event, you can tweet about what’s happening carefully using your 140-character tweet to give out maximum value and information or you can retweet others. They are basically doing the same thing too. This will save you the hassle of hanging on to every word spoken at the informational sessions, carefully working your tweet and then posting it.
To tap into other people’s tweets, in addition to the official event hashtag stream, prearrange saved searches for speaker names.
According to a post by Yahoo News, as of May 2013, Facebook boasts a traffic rate of 1.11 billion active users a month, a figure that’s slightly higher than the one reported earlier this year in January 2013 (1.06 billion active users a month). If you are among the 1.11 billion active users of Facebook, you probably know what Facebook contests are all about. You probably know about these contests from business pages you liked or a page shared by one of your Facebook friends.
By all standards, Facebook contests are nothing new unlike Facebook hashtags, a latest Facebook feature. What is of interest where Facebook contests are concerned are the different types of Facebook contests. Most social media marketers only seem to know about one or two.
In reality, as a Facebook marketer, by using their third party apps, you can organize a number of different contests to build trust and loyalty and increase social engagement. Different third party apps can be used for different types of Facebook contests.
5 Types of Facebook Contests That You Can Run
This is by far the most popular type of Facebook contest. In nature, sweepstakes are very similar to lucky draw contests and is therefore one of easiest contests to organize and join.
In the majority of cases, sweepstakes work as follows: As an active Facebook user, you run the contest. People on the social site participate in the contest by filling in their name and email address. A winner is picked at random.
To make the contest more popular, a platform like Binkd can be used to allow the participants to share the contest on their own social profile. For example, say one of your contestants share a link to the contest sign up form on Twitter. If some of the contestant’s Twitter followers sign up to participate, his or her entry in the contest increases by many fold.
Almost every other day, it seems like one social network or another is redesigning itself. This is not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just a lot for marketers to assimilate. The latest one from Facebook is clickable hashtags.
Facebook announced earlier in June that the social site will be rolling out Facebook hashtags after all. To many social media marketers, this comes as no surprise. There has been a lot of speculation about this happening for quite some time now but finally it’s official.
For social media marketers, the launch of Facebook hashtags means that from here on, you will be able to integrate your marketing efforts across all the social sites including Twitter, Instagram and more, strengthening your social media branding. Furthermore, Facebook announced that down the road, there is a possibility that Facebook hashtags will be linked to paid ads, a significant step towards real time marketing.
About Hashtags and their Functionality
Hashtags, like you would know if you are on any of the following social sites: Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram, are used to turn phrases into clickable links. This helps people find posts that they are interested in. To create a hashtag, all you have to do is add“#“ alongside a phrase written as a single word (no spaces). For example #EqualityForAll or #PeopleLikeUs
When a hashtag is clicked, the user is redirected to a feed of posts that share the same hashtag. From there on, you can potentially join any public conversation, enabling Facebook users to link their posts to a larger topic already popular on Facebook.
With Facebook hashtags, you can now:
– Search the social site for a specific conversation
– Follow an event or a personality just like it is possible on Twitter
– See posts that originate from other applications, for example Instagram
– Click on hashtags in the status updates of your friends and other Facebook pages
At the end of the day, Facebook hashtags is yet another way for Facebook to encourage engagement on the social site and create more monetization opportunities. Thanks to this new Facebook feature, your status updates about a particular topic can now go viral without the help of your friends.
Indeed, up until now, how successful you were at Facebook marketing heavily depended on the number of Facebook friends and fans you had but now there is no limit to how many people you can reach. We are talking about tens of thousands of people here.
Hashtag Tips for Facebook Marketers
If you’ve been using Twitter as part and parcel of your social media marketing strategy, you are probably very familiar with how hashtags work. Now Facebook hashtags is adding another dimension to the concept allowing marketers to effectively unify their message across the different social sites. This is an incredible opportunity that businesses now have to increase engagement and the discoverability of their promotions, events and content.
Social media is a powerful marketing tool in the hands of online business owners. When used right, the social sites can serve as two-way communication channels increasing engagement between businesses and prospective clients and building trust. Social media can influence business reach, impact and awareness, increasing website traffic and subsequently increasing sales.
The challenge however is building trust and loyalty. When people are liking your updates and retweeting your pictures, it’s all well but what happens when negative comments start making their way on your Facebook page or Twitter feed? How do you handle a social media crisis?
Some Ways Brands Deal with Bad PR on Social Media
1. Ignoring the Problem
On the social sites, especially Facebook and Twitter, it can happen that you are faced with a sudden crisis that you did not see coming. Maybe a customer decided to complain about a particular product and others decide to join the party. The worst thing you can choose to do in such an instance is to bury your face in the sand. Remember that not replying to a bad post or comment on your Facebook page or Twitter won’t make it go away.
2. Deleting the Offensive Post
When someone leaves a bad review on your Facebook page or tweet something damaging about your brand, the instinctive thing to do is to delete the review but really speaking, this is an even worse approach to handling bad PR than ignoring the problem. If you delete a negative review that a customer made on Facebook or Twitter, you will only make the person madder. Remember that the average Facebook or Twitter user has 100+ friends and followers. A negative review from any one customer can go viral exponentially.
3. “I’ll Show You”
If a customer leaves an angry complaint on your Facebook or Twitter account, it does not help any viable purpose to respond in kind. An angry or defensive reply won’t get you anywhere except maybe make the problem worse with the malcontent. As the cliché goes, the customer is always right.