Pinterest – Socialmedia.biz http://socialmedia.biz Social media business strategies blog Sun, 25 Mar 2018 22:10:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://socialmedia.biz/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/cropped-favicon-socialmedia-512-32x32.png Pinterest – Socialmedia.biz http://socialmedia.biz 32 32 10 tips on using Pinterest for your small business http://socialmedia.biz/2014/03/17/using-pinterest-for-your-small-business/ http://socialmedia.biz/2014/03/17/using-pinterest-for-your-small-business/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2014 12:01:51 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=27160 Continue reading ]]> Pinterest-images
Image by Nito courtesy of BigStockPhoto

Target audience: Small businesses, marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, analytics managers, brand managers, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers.

Guest post by Megan Totka
ChamberofCommerce.com

MeganTotkaPinterest is for more than recipes, home decorating, and DIY crafts. This unique social media network now has more than 70 million registered users, with 70 percent of them in the United States. Bottom line: Pinterest is a great platform for promoting your small business.

If you’re not familiar with it, Pinterest is an image-based site where posts are called “pins” and consist of images with short captions. At its heart, the site is a huge, interconnected online corkboard where users can share the things they enjoy.

Here are 10 tips for marketing your small business on Pinterest.

Plan out your brand

1Before you create your Pinterest business page, you should have a strategy in place for how you’ll use it to build your brand. Will you post photos of your products or your people? Create images or infographics based on quotes and statistics?

Take a look around Pinterest and see what similar companies are doing. You may find a set of themes or formats that will work for your business. With a pre-planned strategy, you’ll be less likely to run out of enthusiasm and drop your Pinterest marketing efforts.

Maximize your findability

2There are a few simple things you can do while setting up your Pinterest account to make your page more visible. First, use your “About” description to entice search engines with relevant keywords, including your business location.

Second, be sure to connect your Pinterest account to your other social media accounts, so your customers can choose the most convenient ways to follow you.

Jump in and pin

3As with any social network, the more active you are, the greater your success. Go ahead and start pinning images and quotes that represent your brand — make your content appealing, inspiring, useful, or entertaining to encourage sharing.

Add pin-friendly tools to your website

4Just as Facebook has buttons for following and liking content, Pinterest provides follow buttons and “Pin it” buttons. You can use these tools on your small business website to encourage visitors to post your content to their own Pinterest boards, and start increasing your presence on the network.

Create an all-business board

5Pinterest allows you to create an unlimited number of sections called boards that feature different categories of pins. Your interesting, entertaining, less-businesslike pins should stay on your main board, but you should also create a board that features your products or services. This way, visitors who are interested can learn more about your company without leaving Pinterest.

You can also link your pins to your website or blog, so interested customers will be taken directly there from your business board.

Boost your brand authority

6Can you offer helpful hints, tips and tricks, or useful links related to your industry? Creating a themed Pinterest board with valuable information is a great way to elevate your authority and keep your followers returning for the latest tips. Be sure to vet your sources carefully, and re-pin useful content from other Pinterest users as well as pinning your own.

Brand your pins

7If you’re getting a lot of re-pins, it makes sense to insert a small amount of branding into your content. Inserting your logo or business website URL into a corner of your pins (in a small, unobtrusive way) can help you raise visibility without discouraging repinning.

Make your customers stars

8Creating a customer board for your Pinterest page is a highly effective way to encourage sharing and commenting. Ask your customers to send you images of themselves with your products (or a representation of your service), and don’t forget to receive permission to share the photos. Add a brief caption to each image and pin them to your customer board.

Hold a contest

9Social media contests can help you increase your visibility follower numbers. On Pinterest, contests are called “Pin It to Win It,” and the idea is just what it sounds like: users repin your content on their boards for a chance to win a prize. Companies like Campbell’s Soup, Volkswagen, and Macy’s have run highly successful contests on Pinterest.

Don’t forget the ‘social’ part

10Keep in mind that Pinterest is a social network — so if you’re not socializing, you won’t see much success. Spend some time each day browsing boards, finding regular pinners to follow, and commenting on other people’s boards. Interacting with the community will help you steadily grow your Pinterest network and successfully market your small business.

Have you ever used Pinterest for your small business, or for personal use? Do you plan on incorporating Pinterest into your social marketing strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Megan Totka is the chief editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the Web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.
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Curalate: A business solution for our visual age http://socialmedia.biz/2014/02/10/curalate-business-solution-for-visual-age/ http://socialmedia.biz/2014/02/10/curalate-business-solution-for-visual-age/#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 13:01:47 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=27002 Continue reading ]]> Apu-Gupta
Apu Gupta, CEO/co-founder of Curalate: “The whole Web is becoming hi-def.”

Company helps companies & brands track conversations about products

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

JD LasicaSomewhere along the line, you’ve heard someone refer to the visual age that we’re entering. Fewer of us are reading and writing more than 140 characters, while more of us are watching, browsing, swiping and sharing discoveries on Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr.

Now the increasing dominance of the visual Web has become not just an interesting observation — it’s a business imperative. How to take advantage of the increasingly visual nature of the Web?

Enter Curalate (tagline: “smarter marketing through imagery”). The Philadelphia-based company launched in May 2012 with “the realization that increasingly consumers were communicating with pictures rather than words,” CEO and co-founder Apu Gupta said in a phone interview. “What we’re betting on is that there’s a fundamental shift in consumer behavior happening. The whole Web is becoming hi-def.”

More than 500 million people are regularly using Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, and most of the communication between users takes place with pictures — to the tune of 200 million photos a day — rather than words.

Curalate: A technology platform to make sense of the visual Web

The Gap, Kraft Foods, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Sephora, Campbell’s & others have hired Curalate to dig into the visual Web and let them know how customers are interacting with their brands.

For instance, a college student might take a photo of a cute pair of jeans at the Gap, but never mention the Gap in a caption, much less enter a #gap hashtag. But that brand moment should still matter to the Gap. Which is why companies like the Gap, Kraft Foods, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Better Homes and Gardens, Sephora, Campbell’s, Swarovski and others have hired Curalate to dig into the visual Web and let them know how customers are interacting with their brands.

“Most retailers have a discoverability problem” that Curalate helps solve, Gupta said. “We’re able to bring social data down to the product level.”

Curalate’s underlying technology and team of 30 — including several data scientists — trawls the visual Web and turns hundreds of millions of pieces of digital flotsam and jetsam into actionable data. It works both with companies directly and with marketing agencies representing more than 400 top brands.

“We teach them how to fish,” Gupta said. “They have to unlearn what they’ve been taught through the lens of Facebook. What we find with Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr is that the real engagement is initiated by the consumer instead of the brand.”

The centerpiece of Curalate’s offering is a drool-worthy analytics and marketing dashboard that provides rich details about the kinds of conversations and engagement people are having around brands and products.

“We scan every pixel from every image and we fingerprint it,” Gupta said. “We know how popular the image is, where it came from and who it belongs to. So I can say to the Gap, ‘Your most popular picture is x,’ and the Gap can decide to promote it or run an email campaign or decide to shift its advertising to reflect what people are talking about.”

CAPTION GOES HERE

Curalate identifies keywords associated with products, helping brands discover the language that customers are using.

How brands are using visual intelligence

I first heard of Curalate a few months ago on the SoLoMo Show podcast in a segment highlighting a new study that the company conducted showing which kinds of images get the most traction on Pinterest (multiple colors and reds, not blues; closeups, not faraway shots).

Those general learnings can help inform any company’s marketing efforts. But what’s even more useful is sifting through visual analytics relevant to your brand.

Gupta cited one client, Kahlua, that conducted a social media campaign using Curalate. Prior to the campaign, he said, the data from Curalate showed them that “people were thinking of Kahlua in more ways than just as a beverage.” So they ran a campaign showing how to use Kahlua as a pantry item that can be incorporated into baked goods. The result? Some 16,000 more subscribers to its email list, lots of sharing of content across Pinterest and a larger number of people “who began to think about Kahlua in a completely new way, taking it from the bar to the pantry,” he said.

Other clients have begun using Curalate analytics to update the window displays in their retail stores as the brands’ buying teams log into their dashboards to identify clothing trends.

I think it’s fair to say that Curalate is worth a look. Even if your brand isn’t particularly fetching, your customers are becoming more visual oriented. Sooner or later, you’ll want to learn how they’re engaging with your brand in these nonverbal corners of the Web.

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Our guide to social media curation http://socialmedia.biz/2013/11/14/social-media-curation-guide/ Thu, 14 Nov 2013 13:01:47 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=25154 Continue reading ]]> Flipboard2Photo by Johan Larsson via Creative Commons

The best tools for curating inbound content that comes across your desk, plus measuring your curation success

Target audience: Curators, content marketers, marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists. This article originally appeared at Moz and is republished with permission.

By Gianluca Fiorelli
ILoveSEO.net

GianlucaLast year I published The Content Curation Guide for SEO, but with the passage of time I thought it needed a fresh edition. This post digs deeper into an aspect of content curation that is actually the most widely used and useful to content marketers who must deal with social media curation as part of their duties.

It’s important to include social content curation in your inbound marketing strategy. So below you’ll learn how to prepare, organize, execute, and analyze your social curation activities — and what tools to use. (And see Socialmedia.biz’s earlier articles on the curation wave and top curation tools.)

PinterestCuration

Questions from content marketers

Let’s start with five questions I often get from content marketers:

1If you have many clients for which you need to curate content, you need to have multiple profiles for all your clients’ social media accounts. What are the best tools for managing these and for managing mentions across all the accounts?

I’m a fan of Buffer for its awesome tools. However, its premium version only allows adding up to 12 social accounts and have up to two team members access the accounts. If you are doing social content curation for many clients, you may need a more powerful tool.

One option is HootSuite, whose premium plan allows you an unlimited number of admins for social profiles and a much larger number of social networks (Google+ included). You may also want to look at strongly social web platform such as Scoop.it, Tumblr, YouTube, and others.

2One important trick is to send out different versions of the same content throughout the day, week, or month. How’s that done?

Ideally, to obtain the best effect from your social content curation, it is always better to craft the message accordingly to the specific nature of the social media you are going to share it. For instance, not only Twitter, Facebook, and/or Google+ have their own specific characteristics that you could miss using to your advantage with a single “standard” message, but they also present very different user behaviors, even in the case the users are the same in those three social networks.

With platforms like Buffer and HootSuite, you can easily switch from one social channel to another from within the same platform, which will surely save you time and lead to better results.

3How to stay on top of all this content? You might have RSS feeds, Pocket, Paper.li newspapers, Flipboard, and more continuously feeding in stories on SEO, PPC, social media, etc. – and it can get overwhelming. So how do you stay sane and up to date?

How do I stay up to date throughout the day? With just these tools: Zite, Twitter, G+, Feedly and a social media dashboard

Actually, even though I like to experiment and play with as many tools I can, I don’t use many. To be honest, I use only these:

  1. Zite, Twitter (the selected people/sites I follow and the lists I created), Google+, and the posts/comments in the blog I trust the most (i.e. Moz and YouMoz) for discovering new sources
  2. Feedly, an RSS reader, as the hub of all the sources I select over time
  3. Buffer, for the sharing process, and Bit.ly, Followerwonk, Google+ Ripples, and Facebook Insights for the analysis of my social curation activity

How do I stay sane and decide what and what not to read/create content about? Experience sure helps me, because with the passing of time, you learn how to easily recognize if one piece of content is so outstanding you should share it with your audience. But here few tips, which may help you:

  • Don’t read first, but “skim” the posts in your RSS feed. If the first paragraph (more than the title) makes you want to read more, then there’s a chance that the posts is good and interesting.
  • Put a lot of weight in your sharing decision of the conclusions of the post. The best posts usually have amazing last paragraphs, which not only summarize the thesis of the post and its takeaways, but also make you literally say “WTF!”

4A question that comes up frequently is: What should the frequency of sharing blog posts be?

Facebook and Google+ (thanks to their Lists and Circles) let you make invisible any “reshares” to your followers who saw it previously

If by blogs we mean social shares, the frequency depends on the social network you’re using to share your updates. The most common rule is to not overwhelm your audience with an excessive amount of shared content. For this reason, I am not particularly a fan of automation in social media, even if acclaimed people like Dan Zarrella are praising it. Automation, which is not the same as scheduling, takes away the human touch of a real and thoughtful human social curation, which – with the quality of the content shared – is what makes the difference.

That said, especially if your audience is spread all over the world, it is more than probable that you will need to share the same content at least twice in order to be reach the most of them when they are socially active. Luckily, social networks like Facebook and Google+ (thanks to their Lists and Circles) let you make invisible any “reshares” to your followers who saw it previously.

5How do you measure the success of content curation?

I measure it considering the two objectives I always want to reach with my content curation activities:

  1. The increase in the number of followers/fans on my social profiles
  2. The number of the authors of the content I curated who thank me and possibly follow me

Why social content curation

We see it every day in the Search Engine Results Page, we see it as being in the background of every Google update of late (Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird), and we see it in people’s buying behavior: Trusted brands are the entities of excellence for Google.

This positive attitude of Google toward brands is logical. In fact, people tend to trust more a recognized brand rather than some unknown one. This is even truer online because brands tend to be considered as a reassuring “lighthouse” within the Internet, which is mostly a confused ocean of information.

Brands like Amazon, REI, CocaCola, Airbnb, and Zappos have a trust advantage that sites as onlinewarehouse.com, outdoors.com, sodabeverages.com, cheaphotels.com, and allkindofshoes.com (any reference to existing sites is purely casual) may have. The same can be said regarding to people. We naturally tend to consider someone as the trusted reference in a specific niche as we get to know them.

Thought leadership makes a brand a leader in its niche

Thoughful Leaders

As defined by Forbes: “A thought leader is an individual or firm that prospects, clients, referral sources, intermediaries and even competitors recognize as one of the foremost authorities in selected areas of specialization, resulting in its being the go-to individual or organization for said expertise.”

Moreover, a thought leader is an individual or firm that significantly benefits from being recognized as such.

Thoughtful leadership is the intangible gold that makes a brand or a person a leader in its niche. But none is born a leader.

Inbound marketing — the synergy of SEO, content, and social media marketing — is now recognized as the optimal strategy to use in order to obtain this level of thought leadership. Content curation, as a facet of content marketing, can be of help in making that objective happen.

How to to properly conduct a strategy of social content curation

First of all, you must make sure you’re targeting the correct audience. This section of Followerwonk is a huge help in making that goal possible, and the methodology is explained by Peter Bray in this post.

However, while that methodology is useful to understand your potential audience, you also need to understand a second kind of audience: the people who are able to influence the thought leaders in your niche, because nothing is truer – especially for brands in its beginnings – than that it is easier to influence an influencer via the ones who are already influencing them (sorry for the tongue twister).

Infuencers Influencers

Once you have determined your audience, you should map it and segment it. After these steps are complete, you can start doing social content curation for real.

How can I find trusted sources of information to curate?

Resource directories and news aggregators

You can use directories like Alltop, where you can find extremely well curated list of blogs for almost any kind of topic.

You can also use curated aggregation sites like Inbound.org or Hacker News in the Internet marketing and technology fields. Sites like those exist in mostly every niche; for instance, www.mortgagenewsdaily.com is news aggregator about mortgage.

Don’t forget about how often news aggregation is conducted via newsletters, especially when it comes to very small and specific niches. Fortunately, you can rely with newsletters aggregators as Smartbrief to dig into these hidden treasures.

Finally, if you are working for an enterprise level company, you can find market content curation enterprise solutions such as Factiva by Dow Jones.

Social network personalized suggestions, lists, and groups

Quality resource directories, curated news aggregation sites, newsletters aggregators, and enterprise solutions are perfect for collecting sources, but as time passes and you become more socially active, you should start paying more attention to other sources for discovering new content to curate. A few examples include:

  • Twitter Stories
  • Linkedin Today
  • Slideshare’s recommendations
  • Suggested Communities and Google+ suggestions in its Explore section
  • YouTube suggestions
  • And so on

As you can see, all kinds of information is based on personalization factors. For this same reason, it is safer not to mix the use of what you are doing on your personal social profiles, or you can literally screw up the quality of the suggestions.

YouTube - Bad Personalization

A site like Topsy, thanks to its very good internal search feature, is another great source for discovering new content to share with your audience, especially when you must consider the “freshness” factor in your curation.

Lists, like the ones created by the users on Twitter and Facebook, Groups (FB), and Communities (G+), are often overlooked. However, they are amazing sources of new and surprisingly good content. They are also an easy way to extend your own audience thanks to the conversations you can create there and a really easy way of discovering the ones I previously defined as the influencers’ influencers.

The old school (still good) methodology: commenters’ analysis on blogs

Personally, this is still the methodology I prefer the most.

It is not scalable and presents many defects in terms of time spent conducting a curation research, but possibly it is the best way not only to discover new amazing sources, but also for creating strong relationships with those same sources.

When I was more of a new kid on the block in this industry than I am now, I followed this tactic. I was able to discover sites like SEOgadget, Distilled, and SEERInteractive, and I also created great relationships with people like Richard Baxter, Dr Pete, John Doherty, Mike King, and many others, all thanks being very active on the SEOmoz community.

How can I organize the sources I have collected?

“It’s not information overload. It’s filter failure,” Clay Shirky once said. And filter failure happens if you’re not able to organize the sources you have collected for performing your social content curation activity.

What I am going to present is my methodology, which I do not pretend is the best one. What I know is that it gives me positive results and therefore it may be of help to you, too.

The curator’s best friends

Now that Google Reader is no more, Feedly and Buffer are my best allies when it comes to content curation. I use the Feedly as the hub of all the sources I have discovered, and Buffer is the tool I prefer for socially sharing my curated content.

When curating content, it’s essential to perfectly categorize the main subject of your curation interest in subtopic. For instance, I subcategorize SEO into its different facets:

  • Technical SEO
  • Local search
  • Link building
  • International SEO
  • Schema, Authorship, and G+, etc.

More importantly, you must maintain the consistency of this categorization in every platform you are saving sources — for your Pocket account, Diigo, or your own browser favorites, and not just in your RSS reader.

My Favorites Categorization
Here’s how I categorize SEO and social media topics into subtopics.

Some curators to take a page from

How do I curate things? Let’s talk examples.

The style and tone to use when doing social content curation varies depending on the social networks you are using for these simple reasons:

  • Every social platform offers you different “formal” opportunities for sharing content. The character limitation of Twitter is the easiest difference you can list, but others do as well.
  • The users’ behavior varies a lot from a social platform to another. On Twitter, they tend to prize timely news shares; on Facebook, photos and videos; and on Google+, long form works usually better than short posts.

What voice to use is something that you learn with the experience and the analysis of the success (or failure) of the curated content you have shared. For that reason, it’s important to use shorteners like bit.ly, or to use tools like Google+ Ripples and Facebook Insights, which allow you to track the life of your shares.

You can find inspiration from people who master the art of curation. Here is a short list of “non-official curators” people and brands, who are indeed doing great social content curation:

The best side effect of content curation

Relationship Marketing

Social content curation should be meant as a content marketing tactic to help you and your brand become a trusted source of information, and eventually a thoughtful leader, in your niche.

Social content curation can also be a great way to break the ice and start creating bonds, relations, and serendipity with other people, that can then result in future occasions for link building, social shares of your own original content, or even collaborations.

In this sense, social content curation is a great “tool” for what it is normally defined as relationship or influencers marketing, as it shares the same purpose: creating trust.

Agree? Disagree? Please share your thoughts below!

Gianluca Fiorelli is a Strategic SEO & Web Marketing Consultant operating in the Italian SEO market and internationally. He offers International SEO Consulting with IloveSEO.net. Moz is not affiliated with Socialmedia.biz. Moz pro­vides the Web’s best SEO tools and resources.
Related

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Top tools to help you curate business content (Socialmedia.biz)

More curation articles on Socialmedia.biz

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11 ideas for taking your digital marketing in new directions http://socialmedia.biz/2013/01/09/digital-marketing-new-directions/ http://socialmedia.biz/2013/01/09/digital-marketing-new-directions/#comments Wed, 09 Jan 2013 13:31:10 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=23775 Continue reading ]]>
Photo courtesy of marketspan via Creative Commons

Flipboard, Foursquare, Instagram, memes & more ideas!

Chris AbrahamOK, we’re in the second week of January, but most of us are just settling back into work. So now’s a good time to think about where you want to take your digital marketing efforts for the rest of 2013.

Take what you want, leave the rest and let me know in the comments where you agree or (especially) disagree.

Start a blog

1I know what you may be thinking: Blogging is dead. However, if you’ll notice, most of what folks are sharing online via TwitterFacebookPinterest, Tumblr, and Google+ are articles via links. The only real way of creating and providing content that can easily be shared everywhere is via a blog or some other kind of bloggish platform.

With a blog-based platform, whether it’s your personal or professional site, sharing your content from a Web application you own and control is a no-brainer. A blog offers built-in RSS and the ability to easily hook right in to Google Webmaster Tools via a dynamically created sitemap. You can add plug-ins that automagically optimize your site for search as well reduce the friction associated with sharing by dropping share buttons into your content from Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and even Google’s +1. And as each of your favorite “forever for now” social networking service fades and dies, you won’t lose any of your best content but will be able to maintain your own database of everything you have ever written.

Listen more online

2In our mad rush to create content every day, and with all of our impending blog post due dates rushing in, it’s hard to spend some time reading the tweets of your followers, the posts of your Facebook friends, the blogs of people in your space, and their latest videos and memes on YouTube, Slideshare, Pinterest, and Flickr. But you need to spend some of that time. I was overwhelmed until I adopted Flipboard (see below). It’s worth it, and I will tell you why shortly.

Become way more visual

3The biggest changes over the last year, 2012, were in how people consume new content and new posts online. More and more platforms search for an illustrative photo or graphic. Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon have always done this; however, now it’s even in the way we view our content on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and especially Flipboard (see below). So, you need to make sure every post, every article, and every column you publish always has a “cover shot” because in the content war, the spoils too often go to the book with the prettiest cover.

Start a meme

4While you shouldn’t set out to make a viral video, you can start thinking in memes. Not every meme will become a meme to say nothing of reaching MEME status. However, there are several things you can do to pre-package a bit of visual, informational, or video in such a way that you’ll maximize its chance of going viral and becoming a proper meme: 1) keep it short; 2) choose one thing, one message; 3) use both image and text; 4) make sure each meme is 100% self-referential and self-contained: to misquote Jacques Derrida, there’s nothing beyond the meme. By their very nature, memes want to mutate and as in poetry, you cannot control how your reader interprets your poem so you had better make it as explicit and clear as possible.

Make sure it includes source(s), creator(s), and its home URL. Make sure you don’t put all that stuff in a description because memes always leave the original platform behind. If you don’t make completely certain you have done everything you possibly can to not leave anything to chance then your meme will surely mutate most grotesquely a la The Island of Doctor Moreau. Even if your meme is completely self-referential, the more successful your meme is, the more it will want to mutate. However, if the Internet has decided your meme is popular enough to copy, corrupt, or mock, then you’ve batted a thousand.

Explore Flipboard

Photo by Johan Larsson via  Creative Commons

5If you think the idea of reading all the banal and self-indulgent chaff your sundry followers, friends, and fans churn into the world is overwhelming, then you need to try out Flipboard. Flipboard is the best-in-breed social newsreader. It allows you to plug in your credentials for all of your social platforms, including Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Google Reader, and then it allows you to browse through other content based on category and subject — and, when you’re sorted out, it lets you browse, read, and share all of that content seamlessly using a very beautiful, visual, and easy-to-navigate interface from your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet. I have basically replaced all the content sources on my phone with Flipboard as all the best of them are being fed through the News portion of Flipboard already.

Engage a blog

6I was going to write ‘Read a Blog’ but reading is only one part. Commmenting, counter-blogging, reblogging, and befriending the bloggers is maybe even more important than keeping tabs and reading. Bloggers and most journalists are no longer untouchable; rather, we’re very accessible and quite amazingly stoked by any and all attention that we receive based on our writing and insights. The best way to become a colleague, acquaintance, and then friend of the people who are writing, blogging, and influencing in your space is to engage with them — with us — online in the comments, via email, or on the social networks we haunt. Internalize it — every single one of the folks listed in the AdAge Power 150 are completely accessible to you right now — go get ‘em!

Listen to a podcast

7The best thing about Flipboard is that you can listen to podcasts and watch videos through it too, though I don’t. I am not that good at listening to “real” podcasts but I surely do get all my content from the CBC and NPR via podcast. However, though I am being quite a hypocrite here, I do know that there are loads of podcasters out there who act as industry aggregators, reporters, and curators. The best example is For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Listening to relevant podcasts is a good way of passively keeping in the loop, especially if you’re not ravenously curious as to what’s going on every day online in your space. Listening to podcasts is similar to reading blogs: consider them your very own industry journals. The most modern of interpretations of the professional journal.

Finally figure out Pinterest

8It’s not rocket science and I am certain that I don’t use it well enough. I often forget even to share stuff to Pinterest. All I know is that whenever I share something from any one of my blogs via a nice image to my Pinterest, along with a cross-post to Twitter, a compelling image, and a link back to the blogs (happens by default) I get the most traffic back to my post from Pinterest. I don’t know why that is but there’s something amazing going on there. Again, I am a hypocrite here as well. I don’t spend much time at all on there except to always share everything I can there. Please make sure that your sites and blogs always include a Pinterest share button in addition to your typical +1s, Like, and Retweets. And I think I will take my own advice and spend more time both listening to industry-focused podcasts, blogs, and surely get to know Pinterest a lot better.

Give Foursquare another try

9It seems like folks are trying to call time of death on Foursquare but I believe they’re premature. Unlike Blackberry’s RIM, the reports of Foursquare’s death is greatly exaggerated. Although it has taken a while, I am seeing more incentives for checking in to Foursquare outside of just bragvertising your amazing life. My local Mexican restaurant offers 50% off my food bill every time I check in — every time (excepting happy hour and adult beverages). Over the last three years, since its inception, restaurants and stores have not rewarded everyone who checks in well enough to be enough of an incentive to encourage doing it every time; and, the badges have gotten stale and are harder to get. Restaurants and stores haven’t really even offered their Mayors very nice rewards — it was pretty pathetic. The only reason I still check in to Foursquare is because FS does a darn good job of linking up with other applications such as GetGlue and Instagram — so I tend to only use Foursquare via GetGlue and Instagram these days — until I realized that I am missing out, especially when it comes to checking in to restaurants and other venues where there may very well be worthwhile perks — such as the 50% discount I get at Taqueria el Poblano on Columbia Pike.

Check-in to movies and TV

IntoNow allows you to let your device listen to and identify a show and the episode — sort of like Shazam does with music

10I must admit that I watch too much TV and love movies. And I must further admit that there’s a lot going on in the world of the second screen where the first screen is the TV and the second screen is the PC, tablet, or smart phone. I have been using GetGlue for movies and Yahoo’s IntoNow for TV whenever I am watching. IntoNow’s pretty interesting because it allows you to do two interesting things: 1) it allows you to let your device listen to and identify a show and the episode — sort of like Shazam does with music and 2) it allows you to create visual memes through application-aided and time-stamped screen captures directly from television that you’re encouraged to share on your social media stream. It’s all very interesting and very compelling and also a very good way to create content to your social media stream even when you’re kicking back and relaxing. Give it a whirl, it’s surely worth a couple evenings of prime time.

Figure out why Instagram is so hot

11There are three reasons I use Instagram, in order of importance: 1) Instagram is a gorgeous photographic community all on its own, even better than Flickr ever was; 2) Instagram shares directly and seamlessly with other platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, and 3) Instagram has the second best filters nex to Hipstamatic’s — and while Hipstamatic may well have better filters, the resulting images are small and it doesn’t have Instagram’s gorgeous community — and there’s the rub: Technology is one thing, but community is another and in 2013, technology is not nearly enough.

I surely hope that’s a good list for you to start with — like I said, take what you like and leave the rest. Please let me know what you think and what I missed as we forge ahead through the social media landscape in 2013!

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3 steps to verify your website on Pinterest http://socialmedia.biz/2012/10/29/steps-to-verify-your-website-on-pinterest/ http://socialmedia.biz/2012/10/29/steps-to-verify-your-website-on-pinterest/#comments Mon, 29 Oct 2012 12:31:52 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=23108 Continue reading ]]>

Show off your website url on Pinterest

Target audience: Businesses, brands, marketers, Web publishers — anyone with a Pinterest account and a website.

JD LasicaYou may have missed the announcement Thursday that Pinterest is now giving website owners a way to verify your website on your Pinterest profile page, whether it’s your own page or your brand’s page.

The idea is that by attaching your online identity to your Pinterest account, it brings a little more authority and credibility to your pages there — or, as Pinterest puts it, they’re letting you “express who you are.” It’s a good idea to go ahead and do that, since the pinboard-style image sharing website is now the third most popular social networking site, behind only Facebook and Twitter. (I’m at http://pinterest.com/jdlasica, come say hi and show off your own boards.)

3 steps to verify, but you need access to your site

1To begin, log in to your Pinterest account and select Settings in the dropdown under your icon at the top right. Scroll down and click the Verify Website button next to your site’s url. Note that Pinterest only supports verification for top-level domains, like www.yourcompany.com (or .org, .biz, .co, etc.).

2Pinterest will then take you to https://pinterest.com/domain/verify/. The page should look something like this:

You’ll notice the top line of the instructions includes a link for you to download a small html file. Download it. Then upload it to the root level of your website. It’s simplest to use a ftp client to upload it; make sure it’s at the root level (that is, /) so that Pinterest can find it. (If ftp scares you, find the office techie and she can do this in seconds.) Once uploaded, you should be able to call it up in a browser, just like Pinterest can see it. Here’s mine: http://socialmedia.biz/pinterest-9f4ac.html

3Return to the same page as in step 2 to complete the verification process. Click the link that says, “Click here to complete the process.” That’s it!

When you do, and if you uploaded the file to its proper place, Pinterest will be happy and will confirm that you’ve been verified. Readers will then see a checkmark next to your domain in search results. They will also see the full website URL and checkmark on your profile page. See the image at the top of this article. Pinterest only allows one verified domain per account.

As TheNextWeb reports: “The new features comes just a week after Pinterest launched user blocking and reporting. It’s clear the service is looking to step up its image in the area of security and privacy, which is particularly important given all the hacking and spamming that’s happening on the site.”

Any questions?

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How Pinterest can help your marketing to go viral http://socialmedia.biz/2012/10/15/how-pinterest-can-help-your-marketing-to-go-viral/ Mon, 15 Oct 2012 12:32:26 +0000 http://socialmedia.biz/?p=22605 Continue reading ]]>

Driving big traffic and making Pinterest a real marketing solution

Guest post by Colby Almond
97th Floor

When I was first introduced to Digg in 2007, I didn’t leave the computer until I absorbed every piece of information that Kevin Rose made available to me. When I switched over to Reddit in 2008, I found the content even more enthralling and gave out upvotes until my fingers bled on nearly ever subreddit. A few months ago my girlfriend, Alaina, was on her laptop on the couch totally enchanted by some type of site I had never seen before. However, I knew the passion and attention she was giving the site was all too familiar. There she was pinning and repinning content onto her boards like it was her job.

As a marketer of nearly seven years, I absolutely knew this “Pinterest” thing was going to be huge. I never would have expected, however, that it would change the world of viral marketing so quickly.

By early this year, Pinterest exploded from a casual social network to an absolute powerhouse of more than 10 million users. It’s now driving more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn. For a social network that long remainded under the radar for the marketing industry, these are numbers that can’t be ignored.

The power behind Pinterest

The best way to understand the power behind Pinterest is to compare it to the last ruler of viral traffic: the front page of Digg. Many of us remember the stunning days of 2007-2008 when reaching the front page of Digg was considered a milestone in your career. When developing content specifically for Digg was fun and actually reaching the front page was cause for celebration … and panic as your servers soon overloaded with traffic and eventually crashed. Those were fun times, and I’ve missed them ever since Digg’s mishap that resulted in a mass migration to other social networks.

In 2008, the front page of Digg could drive around 30,000 to 50,000 visitors in a 24-hour time span. After the content was off the front page, it often disappeared into oblivion never to be seen again. That was the life of viral marketing back then and a lot of people have said since Digg’s demise that it would never be possible to reach those levels again.

However, I’m here to tell you that I have not only reached those levels again, I have completely obliterated the old “Digg Effect.”

Not only did a single piece of content nearly triple the traffic that was produced by the old Digg, but the average time spent on site is nearly 2 minutes and 43 seconds. This is exponentially better than the 12-13 seconds regular content is awarded from going viral on other social networks. The best part about going viral on Pinterest, however, is that once it hits its peak, the traffic simply doesn’t stop. With the site’s growth in unique users and ability to “repin” and share, viral content will continue to bring in thousands of daily visitors for up to three to four weeks.

So how did I go about getting 46,000 repins from one piece of content on my personal site? It’s all about the content, baby.

Understanding the Pinterest community

The real secret to understanding the Pinterest community is this: It’s just like every other social network. Just like Digg, Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter — pictures of cute animals and memes run rampant. While there are some exceptions to this rule, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see something from Reddit hit the popular page of Pinterest. Yes it’s true that throwing up a picture of Ryan Reynolds shirtless or of Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl-ing” a kitten will probably get you thousands of repins, but it will never result in any traffic through to your site. The most important thing to remember is that the users of Pinterest are looking to share and repin creative ideas and advice.

There are thousands of infographics being submitted to Pinterest on a daily basis. However, I can count on my hand how many infographics I’ve ever seen make it to the popular page of Pinterest. When it comes to going viral, making the popular page is an absolute necessity in the effectiveness of your content.

That’s why the team at 97th Floor and I are proud to share with you what we believe is the first of a new type of visual content: instructographics.

A new category for Pinterest: Instructographics

Instructographics are a vertical representation of creative ideas or steps that guides the user to a specific deliverable. It doesn’t matter if it’s a recipe, hairstyle, or do-it-yourself project; instructographics work on nearly any level. Why do these graphics work so well on Pinterest? It’s simply because the instructographic walks the user through a series of instructions that will result in something useful in real life.

Pinterest is all about the sharing of ideas and the instructographic is the perfect type of content for doing such.

So how does one go about constructing an instructographic? We use the following methods when setting up one of our Pinterest marketing campaigns:

Step 1: Find an idea

For this step it’s pretty simple, just find an idea of a cool concept or creation that you think would go over well in the Pinterest community. The possibilities are endless; however, make sure the idea is something that you’ve never seen before.

Do you have an idea that is just so brilliant that it’s never been seen before? Good, that’s what you’ll need. After you’ve determined exactly what you want to share with the community, get your team together and start brainstorming the processes you’ll need to take to get to a final product. While you could probably make a monster instructographic outlining every single detail, I believe in K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

Step 2: Begin the design

After you’ve determined exactly what content your instructographic will contain, begin designing a basic step by step vertical guide. It’s important to remember to keep the title of your instructographic as visible as possible as it will be the first thing viewed by the users of Pinterest.

Step 3: Upload to your client site

Unlike other social networks that give major notice to the URL that the image is uploaded on, Pinterest gives very little attention to this element. As long as the content is remotely similar to the site and looks like it fits, it will be just fine with Pinterest.

Step 4: Size it correctly

What’s the difference between 40 visitors to your site from an instructographic and 40,000? The size of your content. If your content is longer than 2,500 pixels, it will be unreadable by Pinterest users. Anything smaller and Pinterest will magnify the image so that it’s readable on the site (meaning there’s no reason to click through to your page). This forces them to click on your submission, through to your page to view the content. If it’s something that’s worth reading and creative, this is a necessity. If it’s deeper than 5,000 pixels, then create a simple 300×300 pixel button outlining your graphic. The reason for this is because the “like” and “repin” buttons are at the top of the submission. If they have to scroll too far town to view the entire piece, chances are they aren’t going to scroll up to click on those buttons. For me the ideal image is 600 x 3,000 pixels.

Step 5: Submit and pin!

When your instructographic is ready to be shared, there are several important elements that you should keep in mind before submitting to Pinterest.

If you’re still having trouble understanding the intricacies of the instructographic, here is one that we designed for a client that received 14,000+ repins:

The Pinterest popularity algorithm

Once every piece of content is submitted, it’s placed onto the top of the specific category pages. Getting to the top of these pages is essential to going viral on Pinterest. Consider these category pages your springboard to the popular page. You don’t need an established or aged account to get to the top, but there are some elements that will block your attempts. Every piece of content is placed onto the top of the category pages barring it doesn’t break any of the following guidelines:

  • You’ve submitted within the past hour
  • It seems that in an effort to combat spam, Pinterest has limited every user account to one piece of content on the category pages per hour. You might want to hold off on the pinning up to three hours before you’re ready for a content push.
  • You’ve hosted your content on Imgur. I have no idea why Pinterest has done so, but any piece of content hosted on Imgur will not make it to the top of the category pages. I’m guessing this is a maneuver to differentiate themselves from Reddit, however no one has explained the reasoning. Just beware if you plan on rehosting content on your site.

Timing the submission

As with every social network, there is a specific time that you can submit that will give you the best chance of reaching the front or popular pages. Pinterest is no different, as their users tend to be more active during different points of the day. The goal as a content creator is to get your content onto the site when it is least competitive yet most effective. With Pinterest this time tends to be between 5-7 am and 5-7 pm ET. The reason for this is because the majority of users are either waking up or getting off work to check their Pinterest boards. Since this is the case, you want to submit your content at least one hour beforehand to ensure that it will be visible to the most people at the right time.

Pinterest Marketing Colby Almond

Monitoring your content

After your content has been submitted to Pinterest and has gone viral, it’s important that you check the popular boards routinely to see if your content has been rehosted on any different sites or blogs. As the creators of the content you are entitled to every visitor that it receives. Unfortunately sites such as 9Gag have included the “Pin It” button in a way that allows the users to direct 100% of the traffic to their site. I have found that if you ask the user that pinned your content from a site like this to nicely to change the URL, they will abide. While it might seem tedious and time consuming, this is essentially thousands of visitors that your client will be missing out on if you do not follow through.

Conclusion

Pinterest is here to stay and if it’s not in your marketing plans yet, it very well should be. I expect Pinterest to double in size and traffic potential in the coming months. It’s important to remember that while the majority of Pinterest users are women, more men are starting to migrate over due to its easy usability and creative content. Don’t be one of those companies kicking themselves in a few months because you didn’t get in on the trend.

Colby Almond is a marketer with 97th Floor and has been in the industry for seven years. Visit www.colbyalmond.com for more information. This article originally appeared at SEOmozSEO­moz is not affil­i­ated with Socialmedia.biz and has not reviewed this trans­la­tion. The author’s posts are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of SEOmoz. SEO­moz pro­vides the Web’s best SEO tools and resources.
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How Flipboard is changing everything http://socialmedia.biz/2012/07/17/how-flipboard-is-changing-everything/ Tue, 17 Jul 2012 15:00:21 +0000 http://www.socialmedia.biz/?p=22160 Continue reading ]]> Chris AbrahamI first told you that Pinterest redefined social media from being mostly text to being mostly photos, illustrations, graphics, and infographics.

Now, illustrating your content is not just preferable, it’s mandatory. Facebook, Google+, and Twitter have become much better at following links and automagically populating your shares with photos, videos, titles, and teasers (instead of just making your Bit.ly links hot); aggregator sites such as The Huffington Post and link-share and social bookmarking sites also spider the link, proffering a selection of images to choose from to be associated with each submission.

If your goal is to be shared or read and you’re participating in social media in order to further your personal or corporate brand, then blog, tweet, Facebook, Tumbl, and Posterous without illustrating that content with a photo, chart, illustration, pull-quote, logo, portrait, or infographic at your own peril.

I have sort of known this for years, especially since I share like crazy. I knew that digg and reddit always looked for an illustrative graphics file every time I would submit a link and I knew that Facebook and Twitter would even give me the option of choosing which photo would best define my thousand words — I knew that.

But it wasn’t until I heard that Flipboard had really grown up and matured to include Google+ and Instagram — as well as rich-content like in-line podcasts and videos — that I took another look and my hat blew off! And I bloody love it (and I get why you all have loved it forever, but I was very old school and did my reading via Google Reader on the web and Reeder on my iPhone).

Flipboard is an app for smart phones and tablets. Until recently, it only offered apps for iOS devices but it’s now Android-friendly. It takes all your own personal social media walls and streams and mashes them together with breaking news, sponsored content, topical content (you can choose from a dozen topics, including Fashion, Style, Design, Technology, Entertainment, etc), and my very mature and awesome collection of RSS news feeds via my Google Reader and reformats and displays them to look very much like an eBook or digital version of the New York Times, Wired, National Geographic, or whatnot — rife with illustrations, cover stories, pull quotes, and panoramic photos.

It is really mesmerizing. Now my Klout score is going through the roof because reading content from the 12k folks I follow on Twitter and the 4,800 I follow on Facebook and on Google+, and the thousands of feeds I have imported to Google Reeder is a morning breeze! I love it. I am engaging more, I am listening better, I am missing less, and I am generally entertained. I am finally doing what I said that you should do: listen 80% and talk 20% (who has the time, right?)

I have been paying attention to my reading habits, too. And I am drawn to pretty things: embedded video content, audio content, infographics, photos of pretty girls, photos in general, scenics — actually, I am almost only drawn to content that has an associated visual element.

It’s impossible not to be drawn to these rich-content posts because Flipboard always gives them at least a quarter of the page but often gives closer to 1/3 to half the page — even for content that is brief. A good, high-quality, high-resolution image always gets you better visibility as simple tweets or Facebook posts without a visual component always just gets pulled together into a list to the side, crushed together with all the other text-only tweets.

Links to other articles with visual content also works because Flipboard populates your Twitter RTs with the destination’s graphic elements as well as makes it simple to read that target content inline with the Flipbook app — very seamless and also very easy to share, retweet (so, in many way, the very best solution is to Facebook, tweet, and G+ longer-form content that, itself, is well-illustrated with photos, videos, infographics, or attractive people.

One piece of advice for all the jerks who only share content teasers on their magazines or blogs, requiring me to leave Google Reader or whatever reader I am using and head off to your site, you had better put that illustration at the top because if it is below the “more” link, it won’t be of much benefit to sites like Flipboard and the other aggregators — though I hate that tactic, I understand that you have an ad revenue model and that you really would love to control the conversation a little bit more and maybe get some new readers and maybe a few comments — I get it, I get it. That said, heed my words and make sure there’s at least one photo of Lindsay Lohan before the “click to read more” link — otherwise, you’ll not only lose me but quite a few others — who can resist good dirt on Miss Lindsay?

Since I am trying to relate to my friends on Flipboard, I try to slow down and read the naked tweets and Facebook posts that are just lonely, lonely, 140-character blobs — but if I were less in love with my friends, I would really just blow all of those off and, instead, just dance around the colorful expanse of the nicer, kinder, prettier world of the illustrated web.

Mind you, that’s just me — but I tend to do all of my best cultural extrapolation with just the one data point: me. Even so, if you really want to draw the attention (and clicks through, reads, Likes, stars, favorites, retweets and shares) from your readers, use a picture.

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Have you embraced Pinterest for your brand? http://socialmedia.biz/2012/06/25/have-you-embraced-pinterest-for-your-brand/ Mon, 25 Jun 2012 13:00:31 +0000 http://www.socialmedia.biz/?p=22127 Continue reading ]]>
Guess jeans turned users’ Pinterest boards into campaign ads.

 

The booming social network reminds us that text can no longer stand on its own

Chris AbrahamIf you use images or photos on any of your sites, you’re probably already on Pinterest, whether you’ve registered on Pinterest or not. So, what are you going to do about it?

If you’re not on Pinterest, you’re already losing control of your visual brand by virtue of not participating. Pinterest is going to push you to better brand your content and intellectual property in such a way that people know where that content is from without imposing grotesque watermarks, oversize copyright notices, or garish splashes of brand that takes away attention from the message in the image.

So, when someone steals your image, your graphic, or your photo, will they associate it with you even if it is disassociated with your sites, blogs, or social media? I know, when you post your own pins on Pinterest, you can add a source link-back URL. I know when people pin your content from your own blog’s “pin this” button that the link-back is attached to the image; however, most pins don’t happen in ways you even remotely control. That’s why National Geographic blocks Pinterest: losing control of IP scares the bejezus out of copyright-dependent organizations like Tony Stone, National Geographic, Getty, and Corbis!

National Geographic could do amazing things with Pinterest if they weren’t so threatened by it, but old media dies hard.

But you’re not going to be lame like that, right? You’re going to share anything and everything that’ll get you and your brand noticed and pinned, right? Good. Let’s move on.

Moving past logos & taglines to influential visualizations

Is there a way you can reconsider your messaging to move past logos, slogans, taglines, copy, tweets, and posts to influential visualizations? Visualizations such as infographics, comics, cartoons, storyboards, branded screenshots as well as your products, services, management combine in such a way that you don’t need to have any context or background information for these visualizations to make sense.

I’ll admit I didn’t get Pinterest at first, second, and third. But I think I get Pinterest now, and it is an essential social media branding tool whether you like it or not

For those of you who don’t know about Pinterest, here’s what Pinterest says it is: “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.”

I must admit that I didn’t get Pinterest at first, second, and third. But I think I get Pinterest now, and it is an essential social media branding tool whether you like it or not, whether you embrace it or not.

The most important thing that the popularity of Pinterest reminds us as marketers and social media strategists is that text can no longer stand on its own. We all know that illustrating each and every blog post with a topical and striking image can aid in curb appeal when it comes to sharing posts on Google PlusTwitter, and Facebook. Images add a splash of color, drawing the eye powerfully to text-only content, no matter how compelling the title.

Pinterest furthers the truth: Context needs to be packaged

Pinterest allows images, graphics, photos, infographics, slogans, and logos to be illustrated with text. And Pinterest holds our feet to the fire because the image leads the appeal of the content. I feel like it is safe to assume that most “repins” and shares to Twitter and Facebook are made without reading any associated textual blurbs or link-throughs.

As a communicator, I cannot assume that you have any shared experiences with me. If I want to communicate something new with you, it is essential that I don’t do it in shorthand.

In blogging and social media, this is even more essential because of sharing. Syndication and sharing chops off all context and there’s nothing beyond the share. Sorry, Jacques.

My years studying postmodernism now comes in handy. Jacques Derrida is quoted as saying “there’s nothing beyond the text” in that “text” includes every content medium. All posts should include everything that needs to be said and cannot assume any outside knowledge. In a nutshell.

I am now telling my clients that they need to extend their brand narrative to include visual and graphical storytelling

In much the same way that I have been harping on writing blog posts and online content that can be shared willy-nilly far and wide, decapitated from its home blog or home site, without losing its impact, branding, source, author, and meaning; I am now telling my clients that they need to extend their brand narrative to include visual and graphical storytelling.

Is it possible to go through your brand and commission as a series of inforgraphics? Is there a way to interpret your data, products, services, history, narrative and passion in cartoons, illustrations, charts, photographs, jokes, Internet memes, and amusing photos? Is there any way you can reenvision your brand in such a way that you can hire a professional photographer who can help turn the stuff you make and do into fetishable objets d’art — something that fiancees, interior decorators, and cooks can obsess about as they pin and repin their virtual mandala of collages and intention phrases to remind themselves of the life they want to live?

If you play your cards right, you might very well become part of the vision boards people are pinning together every day in order to harness the power of intention in their lives.

Related articles

Why Pinterest is changing how we communicate online (Socialmedia.biz)

What to pin, and what not to pin, on Pinterest (Socialbrite)

Take charge of the curation wave with these slick tools (Socialmedia.biz)

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Why Pinterest is changing how we communicate online http://socialmedia.biz/2012/04/10/why-pinterest-is-changing-how-we-communicate-online/ http://socialmedia.biz/2012/04/10/why-pinterest-is-changing-how-we-communicate-online/#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2012 12:00:41 +0000 http://www.socialmedia.biz/?p=21675 Continue reading ]]>

Chris AbrahamIf you use images or photos on any of your sites, you’re already on Pinterest, whether you’ve registered on Pinterest or not. So, what are you going to do about it?

If you’re not on Pinterest, you’re already losing control of your visual brand as we speak by virtue of not participating. Pinterest is going to push you to better brand your content and IP in such a way that people know where that content is from without imposing grotesque watermarks, oversize copyright notices, or garish splashes of brand that takes away attention from the message in the image.

So, when someone steals your image, your graphic, or your photo, will they associate it with you even if it is disassociated with your sites, blogs, or social media? I know, when you post your own pins, you can add a source link-back URL, right? I know, when people pin your content from your own blog’s “pin this” button that the link-back is attached to the image; however, most pins don’t happen in ways you even remotely control. That’s why National Geographic blocks Pinterest: losing control of IP scares the bejezus out of copyright-depended organizations like Tony Stone, National Geographic, Getty, and Corbis! The Geographic could do amazing things with Pinterest if they weren’t so threatened by it, but old media dies hard.

But you’re not going to be lame like that, right? You’re going to share anything and everything that’ll get you and your brand noticed and pinned, right? Good. Let’s move on.

Moving past logos & taglines to influential visualizations

Is there a way you can reconsider your messaging to move past logos, slogans, taglines, copy, tweets, and posts to influential visualizations? Visualizations such as infographics, comics, cartoons, storyboards, branded screenshots as well as your products, services, management team in such a way that you don’t need to have any context or background info for these visualizations to make sense.

For those of you who don’t know about Pinterest, here’s what Pinterest says it is: “Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.”

I must admit that I didn’t get Pinterest at first, second, and third. But I think I get Pinterest now, and it is an essential social media branding tool whether you like it or not, whether you embrace it or not.

The most important thing that the popularity of Pinterest reminds us as marketers and social media strategists is that text can no longer stand on its own. We all know that illustrating each and every blog post with a topical and striking image can aid in curb appeal when it comes to sharing posts on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook–images add a splash of color, drawing the eye powerfully to text-only content, no matter how compelling the title.

Pinterest allows images, graphics, photos, infographics, slogans, and logos to be illustrated with text. And Pinterest holds our feet to the fire because the image leads the appeal of the content. I feel like it is safe to assume that most “repins” and shares to Twitter and Facebook are made without reading any associated textual blurbs or link-throughs.

As a communicator, I cannot assume that you have any shared experiences with me. If I want to communicate something new with you, it is essential that I don’t do it in shorthand.

In blogging and social media, this is even more essential because of sharing. Syndication and sharing chops off all context and there’s nothing beyond the share. Sorry Jacques.

My years studying postmodernism has become handy. Jacques Derrida is quoted as saying “there’s nothing beyond the text” in that “text” includes every content medium. All posts should include everything that needs to be said and cannot assume any outside knowledge. In a nutshell.

In much the same way that I have been harping on writing blog posts and online content that can be shared willy-nilly far and wide, decapitated from its home blog or home site, without losing its impact, branding, source, author, and meaning; I am now telling my clients that they need to extend their brand narrative to include visual and graphical storytelling.

Is it possible to go through your brand and commission as a series of inforgraphics? Is there a way to interpret your data, products, services, history, narrative and passion in cartoons, illustrations, charts, photographs, jokes, Internet memes, and amusing photos? Is there any way you can reenvision your brand in such a way that you can hire a professional photographer who can help turn the stuff you make and do into fetishable objets d’art — something that fiancees, interior decorators, and cooks can obsess about as they pin and repin their virtual mandala of collages and intention phrases to remind themselves of the life they want to live

If you play your cards right, you might very well become part of the vision boards people are pinning together every day in order to harness the power of intention in their lives.

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