For prices as low as $25, you can buy Pinterest followers by the hundreds. Clearly, the decision about whether or not you should buy your way around the social network does not depend on your buying threshold. Other factors come into play and today, we’ll talk about these factors and hopefully help you make an informed decision post a discussion of the pros and cons of buying your fame on Pinterest.
Pinterest is a rapidly expanding social network. As of now, it connects over 70 million users across the worldand according to a Pinterest ROI study by Piqora, one Pinterest pin on ecommerce sites generates an average of $0.78, a number that went up 25% since Q4 2012.
So it does not take a genius to figure out that being on Pinterest and engaging with your customers on the social network can grow your social media following and benefit your business in many ways. Comments, likes, repins and clicks on Pinterest can:
- Drive traffic to your website
- Increase sales
- Generate leads
- And help you increase the reach and impact of your brand
So that covers the question of why you need Pinterest for your business. Now let’s talk about whether or not you should buy your way around the social site in an attempt to build your following.
Building a following on Pinterest, nay any social network is not easy, especially if you are not a business with a strong online following, like say, Coca-Cola, Apple or Nike. Ergo, the most obvious reason why businesses buy Pinterest followers is to make it seem like they are popular.
Now this might work for your business in the sense that, eventually, your account might actually become popular, increasing your online visibility and brand exposure. People on Pinterest come across your account and they see the number of followers and repins; the instinctive response is to join the crowd, right? So buying Pinterest followers might actually, in the long run, make you popular in reality and drive traffic to your website.
Buying Pinterest followers and repins by the hundreds or thousands will probably fool the average Pinterest user and your online connections into thinking that you are this popular authority figure in your industry but it won’t fool Pinterest’s algorithm.
You see, like Facebook, Pinterest’s algorithm works on certain signals that indicate whether or not your content is attracting a lot of attention and engagement. If you post content that Pinterest users love and engage with, your pins will show at the top of the Pinterest search results to popular pinners.
Conversely, if your number of followers increases by the hundreds everyday but no one ever interacts with the content you share, the chances that you will show in the Pinterest search results get progressively slimmer. It indicates that your pins are unimportant.
With that said, buying Pinterest followers and repins is also a violation of Pinterest’s Acceptable Use Policy, which has been recently updated to include subtle changes condemning users who pay others to follow them or re-pin their images.
In simple words, if you buy Pinterest followers, repins, likes or comments, you run the risk of getting your account banned.
Last but not least, by now, we are all aware of the fact that social signals are important ranking factors. But when you buy followers, for example, Pinterest followers, you will see an increase in traffic for 2-3 days but then, the traffic goes away, ALL of it. This may hurt your business’s search results and make you come across as spammy to the search engines.
Just so we are on the same page, this article is not about building social links to your website (or sending social signals); it’s about linking to your social profiles (like your Twitter or Facebook profile).
Now, Why Would You Do That?
Reason #1: Exposure
Remember that the “number of backlinks” was originally meant to measure a website’s or webpage’s popularity or level of exposure.
So the first reason would be to increase the exposure your profiles get, and eventually hope for (well, work towards) more likes, comments, shares, +1s, retweets, mentions, leads, etc.
Reason #2: Dominate the SERPs
Sure, having your website on Page 1 of the search results is nice. But how about having multiple spots on that page (less spots for your competitors?). You have probably already noticed how Facebook and Google Plus profiles appear on Page 1 anyway. They have the potential to rank high; building links to them will only help them get there.
Reason #3: Dominate the Social Network Itself
While we don’t exactly know how social networks rank their own pages and profiles in their own search engines, the number of links pointing to them might very well be one of those factors (And if they are not yet, they are very likely to be in the future, so why not invest in it now, before most other people).
Now That We’ve Got the Why Covered, Let’s Get Into the How and Where, Okay?
From your Website
Ignore the “2-way linking doesn’t work” advice some marketers like to give without any further explanation. Sure, if your link profile consists of 100% link exchanges, you might be flagged. But it’s (very) normal for a business to link to its social profiles. These are actually useful links, as the user can learn more about the company (by looking at reviews for example).
Simple ways of doing it are:
- Icons (or text links) in the sidebar, footer, or even header of your website linking to your social profiles
- Using scripts that the networks and third parties provide that allow people to connect to your network directly (It’s not technically a link, but serves almost the same purpose)
On Other Websites
I’m not talking about spamming. I’m talking about when you are a contributor (or guest poster). Insert your links in your author bio. Most blog owners won’t mind (as in, they won’t count it as part of your “maximum links allowed” if you ask nicely).
Nike on Instagram
On Instagram, in addition to its primary @nike account, Nike runs other accounts including @nikebasketball, @nikefootballand @nikewomen.
The question is: Why? Why the extra accounts and the extra work?
You see, the reason why @nike is so successful on Instagram lies in its understanding that being passionate about a sport means being part of a community. And Nike built communities on Instagram defined by, not country borders, but by passion; the passion of fans and athletes from around the world.
@nikerunning is, for example, perhaps one of the most successful Instagram accounts. The way it brings together everything running related and the global running community is extraordinary and gives them a reason to feel that they are part of something bigger with hashtags like #werundirty. And all of this is brought to life on Instagram, with photos and videos.
General Electric on Instagram
General Electric is an American multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Fairfield, Connecticut. Now if you were ask to picture what the Instagram account of General Electric looks like, first off, you would probably wonder: Does it have an Instagram account? And secondarily, you will probably visualize photos of light bulbs or videos of how a refrigerator works.
Now let’s see how wrong you are.
The team behind @generalelectric is not here to promote appliances. Instead they are selling a bigger story; A story of powering, moving and curing the world.
Before Instagram, people didn’t know what General Electric stood for but in Instagram, the company saw the opportunity to develop an understanding for what GE does. In addition to successfully building awareness for its innovative technology, General Electric has managed to become one the most esteemed contributors to the Instagram community.
How they did it? It’s all about getting your messaging priorities to align with your business objectives and thereafter committing to a high bar for content for images posted typically once a day.
Ben & Jerry’s on Instagram
@benandjerrys is another Instagram account that deserves a special mention for the sheer way that it brings its ice cream brand to life on the social service. Focusing on things like key flavors, fun and the brand values, Ben & Jerry’s was one of the first brands to join Instagram in February 2011 and is now, one of the most successful accounts.
@benandjerrys is, in effect, a visual storytelling platform that connects people from all over the world. In fact, at least half the photos that Ben & Jerry’s shares on Instagram today are from community members.
A hashtag is a keyword phrase used in Twitter conversations that is preceded by a pound (#) symbol and written without any spaces in between, for example, #ilovefood. The hashtag is used to highlight keywords or topics within a Tweet and can be placed anywhere within a post. In social media, posts that have the same keywords prefixed with the # symbol are grouped together in user searches, bringing a level of order to the often frenzied and messy world of Twitter and now Facebook.
The use of hashtags is not just for Twitter, although this is the most popular. Hashtags are also used for other micro-blogging sites including Google+, identi.ca and Instagram. Through the use of hashtags, different social media users from different countries can tie their conversations together; click any particular hashtag in a message and you will see the list of posts using the same hashtag.
In social media today, hashtags also allow an audience to interact live during events such as conferences, TV shows and political events. At any point in time, a comprehensive list of popular hashtags can be found at Hashtags.org. HootSuite is a third-party downloadable app, which also monitors hashtag activity.
Next, let’s talk about how to create a hashtag. First off, what you need to know is that it doesn’t take a genius to apply a hashtag to a message. All you need to do is type your text and then insert the pound (#) symbol at any part of the message and then send. Of course, the hashtag is not just any word. It has to be a carefully thought target keyword that is relatable so that other Twitter users will be inspired to use it as well.
Popular Hashtags of 2013
TV/Entertainment: #dwts, #glee, #idol, #xfactor
General: #news, #love, #photography, #fashion
Business: #jobs, #business, #marketing, #socialmedia, #startup
Tech: #android,#iphone, #iphonegames, #ipadgames, #app
Education: #edtech, #lrnchat, #teachers
Environment: #climate, #solar, #globalwarming, #drought
Social Change: #socialgood, #cause, #4change
Astrology: #gemini, #capricorn, #scorpio, #cancer, #pisces, #leo, #sagittarius,
Hashtag Fails of 2013
While hashtags are indeed a trend that is here to stay, some people and companies have totally failed when trying to make something big. Instead, it backfired…
R. Kelly created the hashtag in an attempt to promote his album titled “Black Panties”. However, users soon attacked the hashtag and talked about his dressing habits and sexual activities with minors.
After mistakenly naming a female celebrity after a male one (They called Alfre Woodard…Idris Elba… LOL!), a lot of fun was poked at the company. People started using the hashtag and uploaded pictures of black celebrities while captioning them with the names of other celebrities. Okay, I’m guilty of laughing at that one – you’ve got to admit; that’s pretty smart on the trolls’ part!
On November 20, 2013, Pinterest introduced Place Pins. Now, we are going to go deep into this latest addition to the Pinterest arsenal, but before that, let’s look at some updated Pinterest stats that will no doubt reflect the reason why Pinterest is not just another social network. It is, in effect, the fastest-growing social media site of all time and in its 3 years of existence, Pinterest has become a huge traffic referral for businesses.
1. The conversion rate of traffic referred from Pinterest is 50% higher than the conversion rate of traffic from other sources.
2. Pinterest users are spenders. They spend more money on more goods more frequently than Facebook, Twitter and Google+ users.
3. Pinterest generates four times more revenue per click than Twitter.
4. Pinterest generates 27% more revenue per click than Facebook.
5. 47% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on a recommendation from Pinterest.
6. 80% of Pinterest pins are repins, which means that, although Facebook is the all-time social sharing champion, Pinterest is not far behind.
With stats like those, it comes as no surprise that an increasing number of businesses are leveraging the Pinterest platform to 1) help people discover them, 2) increase visits to their websites and subsequently 3) generate leads and sales.
And it’s working!
About Place Pins
Last year, right before the holiday season, Pinterest launched a new feature that will potentially benefit local businesses massively in increasing in-store traffic. This new feature is called Place Pins. Basically, Place Pins is a new type of pin. It allows Pinterest users to map their pins to certain locations. Originally, the point of this new feature was to benefit travel planners (Every day people pin about 1.5 million places of which more than 750 million pins are of travel destinations). But now that the feature is rolled out, it’s fairly obvious that it has great application for local businesses as well.
The Significance of Place Pins
In effect, Place Pins combine the beautiful imagery that you would expect of a travel magazine with the practicality of an attached online map that you can share with your friends. These maps can be accessed from anywhere on your Android device or iPhone. This means that, with Place Pins, you can find places and get directions on the go. Imagine how convenient such a tool would be if you were in the middle of nowhere in Spain and you needed somewhere to crash or somewhere to go for a warm meal. Place Pins also include details like an address and phone number right on the Pin.
To create a board of Place Pins, simply select “Add a map” when you create a new board. You can also convert an existing board to a board of Place Pins. You can then map your new and existing Pins on the board.
In 2013, we saw content marketing progress from a buzzword to a legitimate and highly valued mainstream marketing strategy. In 2014, this validation is expected to persist and for businesses, this makes content a key component of marketing. With the increased rave about content marketing that’s got marketers all over the web on their toes, everyone has something to say about it; every one has opinions to share. Dozens if not hundreds of articles are written about content marketing everyday, about tips and tricks and, often, conflicting advice. It’s got to the point where you can hardly trust things people write about content marketing anymore. There are so many myths and as a business, you obviously don’t want to get tangled in misconceptions.
So let’s talk about some of the most common myths that cloud the concept of content marketing. We should probably start with really understanding what content marketing is all about.
By definition, content marketing is, obviously, a marketing strategy that revolves around producing and publishing information with the aim to build trust and authority among your customers. It is, perhaps, the most remarkable and effective way to build relationships with your target audience and a community, so people feel loyal towards you and your brand. To that end though, you need to structure and manage your content marketing efforts. The key to a successful content marketing strategy is to decide what you want to accomplish before you jump into content production and writing.
3 Things you Need to Know about Content Marketing
1. Long-form Content v/s Short Posts
Up until the Google Hummingbird update happened, there was a general misconception among website owners and marketers that web visitors, because they are time strapped, tend to scan first a page before deciding whether or not they want to actually go through the content. This led to marketers deducing that shorter pages and posts are better than long-form content.
Then Hummingbird came along and made us all re-think about the way we write content. Google figured that short pages and posts lack substance and genuine value. A good content marketing strategy should be designed to be comprehensive and answer the needs of people.
So at the end of the day, you want to create content that resonates with your audience. Forget about length. Every website is different and use a content marketing strategy that you have found to appeal to your audience.