Tag Archives: social media marketing

Social Media Marketing: Pinterest Sharing Is Growing, So Use It

social media marketing

You can’t be on every social media marketing channel, but if you’re not using it, consider adding Pinterest to your marketing. It’s popular among women, and is beating email as a sharing tool.

Marketing Land offers an infographic, and reports:

While sharing via email declined 11 percent year-over-year, Pinterest shares increased 58 percent, making it the fastest growing sharing channel in 2013.

Here’s why Pinterest is so popular: it’s addictive. You get onto the site, and before you know it, half an hour has passed.

How to use Pinterest for your business: three tips

Start by creating a Pinterest For Business account.

1. Make your images pin-able

If you’ve got a blog, add a social media plugin which includes Pinterest. This means that your visitors can pin your images at a click. Consider creating larger images than you usually do: 600 x 900 pixel images work well. Use Canva; it’s a free tool, and will help you to enhance your images even if you’re not a designer.

What if you’re in an industry which is short on images? Perhaps you offer a service, which doesn’t lend itself to glitzy images. That’s fine. Create some images using text. Pinterest has created rich pins, which make it easier to use Pinterest as a bookmarketing option.

2. Have fun with your boards

Create Pinterest boards with specific questions your website’s visitors have, or around a specific theme. For example, if you have an online business selling accessories, create boards for each kind of accessory, and for your designers too. Check out what major brands are doing. Keep your boards light-hearted.

Tip: pins are made for sharing, so subtly watermark your images with your logo.

3. Remember your pin descriptions: add information

Although the focus is on images, your text content is important too. Your Pinterest audience is shopping-minded, so add information to help them, such as prices. Remember – fun. If you can make your text interesting as well as useful, you’ll get more attention.

, and on Twitter: @angee

Social Media Marketing With Images: Easy, Fun and FREE

Social Media Marketing With Images

Canva

Here we are: it’s a brand new year. You’ve decided to get up to speed on social media marketing, and you’ve wondered: WHERE do marketers get their images? Gorgeous photos, clever infographics, smart quote images… How do they do it?

Easy. They make images part of their social media strategies, because as the truism says, an image is worth a thousand words – and sometimes more. Images are evocative. They hint, and suggest.

You don’t need to be an ace photographer, or a designer, to use images in your social media marketing. You can create many images yourself. Train yourself to use your cell phone camera – every image you take yourself is free.

Then make the most of your images with some savvy image editing. No, you don’t need Photoshop. I listed some wonderful free image editing tools in this article.

Canva’s one of my favorite free image tools:

Canva is a new app, and it goes beyond simple image editing. Its claim is that it can “make design simple for anyone.” To that end, the app is stuffed with thousands of wonderful design elements, including stock photographs, layouts, and fonts.

Many of these elements are free. You’ll pay a minimal fee for others, but far less than you’d pay for an image from a stock photo website. Of course, you can use your own images, also. With the ease of Canva, you can create a birthday card, business card, or blog image in seconds.

It took me around two minutes to create the image at the top of this post. I created it at 600 x 900 pixels, which is an excellent size for Pinterest and Google+. Canva’s got a lot of presets for images, including images for Facebook and other social media sites. It’s just as easy to create your own custom sizes, just type them in.

I’ve been using Canva for several months, but haven’t even scratched the surface of this amazing program. Shush… don’t tell anyone, but I’ve even used Canva to create Kindle ebook covers in minutes. Over the holiday period, I used Canva to create fast and easy cards.

Grab attention with your images: some tips

In your marketing, you use images to grab attention.

Here are some tips…

  • Create your images in batches. If you’re in image editing and creation mode, don’t stop at one image. Create several. I like to create at least five.
  • Use call out images for your Calls to Action (CTAs). They’re an easy way to grab attention, directing your website’s visitors to the action you want them to take.
  • Use Skitch, or a similar app to build a swipe file of image ideas for your social media marketing. Watch how brands do it.
  • Use several image editors to get the effects you want – I often use two or three of the free Photoshop alternatives to create a set of images.

Social media marketing is essential for your business. If you’re just getting started, you’ll love the results you get from using lots of images in your campaigns.

write a book book coaching

, and on Twitter: @angee

It’s All About You: 5 Tips to Help You To Make Social Media Work For You

It’s All About You: 5 Tips to Help You To Make Social Media Work For You

Is social media working for you? Often, it just isn’t. You blog and tweet away, and no one cares. Consider this: your social media contacts can’t care, if they don’t know who you are.

Complete your profile on the networks you choose. Add an image, and a capsule bio. No matter how intriguing your updates, it’s impossible to engage with a blank slate.

Tip 1. “Who Are You?”: introduce yourself.

In “This Is Me”: Quick Ways to Get Found With a Profile Page, I said:

“Who are you?” That’s the most common question when someone sees your name online. You need to be able to share who you are… A profile page is your online calling card…. It can tie all your social networking sites together, to build a picture of who you are, without a website.

If you don’t have a website or blog, create a profile page. You can do that in minutes. Then link to your profile page from your social media profiles on the networks.

On the other hand, if you do have a website, update your About page, but first, create a positioning statement.

Take a sheet of paper, and briefly, write who your audience is, and how you help them. You should also include the ways in which you can’t help them. Once you’re clear in your own mind about this, draft your positioning statement in a few simple sentences.

Begin your statement with this phrase: “My perfect customer is…”

Introduce yourself on your About page, targeting the audience you described in your positioning statement.

Tip 2. Know what you want.

What results do you want from your social media interactions?

Maybe you want “traffic” to your website. However, with 27 million pieces of content shared daily, consider focusing on conversions:

Measuring the effectiveness of your content via traffic is easy, so that’s what everyone does. Instead, consider measuring via conversion rates, rather than traffic. If you do that, you’ll start thinking differently about your content.

Write down what you want from social media, and create a plan to help you to get it.

Tip 3. You’re an expert. Show it. Help.

You’re the expert on your business. I’m sure that when someone calls you, and asks you a question about your business, you talk. And talk. Responding is easy, when someone’s asking you questions.

On social media, it’s just as easy. Questions are asked on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and the rest, all day long. Answer questions. Help.

You can answer questions on your blog too: reveal who you are, and what you do.

Tip 4. Be there. Be consistent.

Consistency counts on social media:

When I mentioned Twitter, the client snapped: “We tried it. Social media doesn’t work!”

I’ve heard that before. After the meeting, I checked the contentious Twitter account – what there was of it. Twenty random tweets over three months.

You don’t need to let social media take over your life. Decide how many minutes a day or a week you’ll devote to social media, and be there, at the times you’ve scheduled. Apps like Buffer can schedule your updates, so that you can post when your audience is online.

Tip 5. Pick a network or two. You can’t be everywhere.

Explore the various networks, to discover where your audience congregates. Be sure to check your competitors’ social media accounts. Where are they spending their time?

Then, pick one or two networks. You can’t be everywhere, and you don’t need to be.

You can make social media work for you: it all starts with showing who you are: create a branding statement and bio, then engage on your chosen social networks. And most importantly – don’t forget the “social” aspect of social media marketing… have fun, and promote your business at the same time. :-)

Need help? Contact me.

 

, and on Twitter: @angee

Social Media Kickstart: Top Five Tips for Pinterest Marketing

One of my boards on Pinterest
One of my boards on Pinterest

Looking for new marketing opportunities? Consider Pinterest. This social media website is fast-growing, and addictive. It’s image-focused, so it’s perfect for advertising.

The site’s easy to use, so it won’t take long to get up to speed on how it works, and on how you can best use it for your business.

If you haven’t done so already, add Pinterest buttons and widgets to your own website, so that your customers can “pin” your images. Then, get acquainted with the site, and use it as part of your marketing strategy.

These five tips will help you to get the most from Pinterest.

1. Be Prolific: Create Boards for Your Products, and for Your Customers’ Interests

The Bark Around the Park
The Bark Around the Park

Check out what other companies are doing. Petplan Pet Insurance for example has 42 boards with cute images, and creative names, such as “The Bark Around the Park”, as you can see in the image above.

Bergdorf Goodman

Retailer Bergdorf Goodman has 39 boards which reflect the company’s image, and showcase must-haves for stylish women. One board, “History of the Chanel Little Black Jacket”, focuses on the making of Chanel’s iconic jacket. You can imagine customers whipping out their credit cards when they see the care and craftsmanship that goes into making such a jacket.

As you click through other companies’ boards, make notes of clever ideas you can use.

2. Get Social on the Site

Follow others, and pin others’ pins. Others will see your activity in their streams and notifications, and they’ll discover your boards and will follow you.

3. Get Chatty: Comment on Popular Pins (Because These Pins Are Seen More Often)

Pinterest’s “Popular” category consists of pins which are pinned most often, and commented on most often. When you comment on pins in this category, more users will see your comments. As with blog commenting, be sincere and specific in your comments. Say what you like about the pin and why, rather than simply “I like it.” Be careful not to over-do the commenting; don’t comment-spam.

4. Promote Your Pinterest Boards to Your Customers, and on Your Other Social Media Accounts

Let your customers know that you’re active on Pinterest, and encourage them to check out your boards, and interact with you. Contests are popular, so consider running one.

You can also find your friends on other social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook. To do this, click on your business name on the home page. Choose Find Friends from the drop-down list.

5. Create a Pinterest Marketing Plan

As you create more boards and add pins to those boards, starting promoting individual boards, rather than your entire account.

Create a plan, focusing on one or two boards a week.

There you have it: five top tips to help you to market your small business on Pinterest.

, and on Twitter: @angee

Check out my Pinterest boards.

 

Google+ Is Now On Buffer! Joy, Oh Joy

Connect Google+ to Buffer
Connect Google+ to Buffer

You’re on social media. You’re pushed for time. You need to schedule posts. So, what do you do? You use Buffer, of course. It’s fast and easy.

Buffer works with Twitter and Facebook… But not with Google+. If you’re a Google+ fan, as increasing numbers of folks are, you’re slightly peeved that you can’t Buffer Google+.

Hello, joy and delight. Now you can connect Google+ to Buffer.

Buffer has an excellent how-to:

 Improve the Formatting of your posts through Buffer

Google+ has a very powerful posting editor that let’s you format your text in a variety of ways. Of course, all of these also work through Buffer, here are the most important ones you need to know:

The most important ones are below. Left is the formatting to get the right handside once you hit publish:

  • *Word* = Word

  • _Word_ =  Word

  • -Word- =  Word

When Buffer users were asked for feedback, Google+ sharing has been the most-requested feature for the past two years.

If you’re like me, and you’ve been waiting for this feature — go and connect. See you on Google+. :-)
, and on Twitter: @angee

Pinterest For Business: 5 Ways to Lure Customers Today

Pinterest
Pinterest

No small business owner has enough time for marketing — and we surely don’t have time for bleeding edge marketing, which may or may not work. Therefore few small biz owners are paying as much attention to Pinterest as they could.

Pinterest’s a recent entry into the social media landscape. Essentially, it’s an image sharing site. If you’re thinking, “yeah, as if I have time to play around posting pretty pictures”, consider that:

• Launched March, 2010, Pinterest has grown 4000% in the last six months.
• It has 17 million users a month and is the 60th most visited site in the U.S.
• Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn — combined.

To get up to speed fast, Wikipedia gives you the gist.

Interested yet?

A recent article in Forbes stated:

Realizing that you could be using Pinterest to engage with your online audience is a far different thing from knowing how. And even knowing how is sometimes a far cry from knowing how to best engage with them.

OK, you’re interested. But how do you get customers from the site?

5 Ways to Lure Customers on Pinterest

Here are five ways to consider.

1. Pin images from your website and blog

We’ve discussed image marketing. Have at it. You’ve got images, so post them onto boards on Pinterest. You can join Pinterest as a business. The site offers many different tools for business, so that you can monitor and measure engagement.

Pinterest Success Stories

 

Pinterest Business Success Stories

No images? Grab your cell phone camera, and start snapping. You don’t need to hire a photographer.  Home-made images are not only fine, but also seem more credible to viewers.

2. Pin your videos and presentations

Here’s your chance to make the most of the content you already have — post your presentations and videos onto your business boards.

Since you can share boards, ask your customers to pin too — create boards they can use.

3. What do you wish your customers knew? Pin it

I’m sure you’ve got Frequently Asked Questions on your website. You’ve got Support and Help pages too. Who reads them? That’s right — very few people.

Make all your helpful info more palatable when you pin it. Create graphics like infographics, and how-to images. (And videos.)

4. Pin fun items — make your brand stand out

Pinterest suggests:

Show what inspires you

Instead of just showing off your products, show what inspires them. Create boards for the ideas, places, people and moods behind your brand.

Getting any ideas yet? Of course you are. The point is, make your boards entertaining.

5. More fun: create contests on Pinterest

Pinterest users love contests. Who doesn’t?

Hubspot shared 8 Real-Life Examples of Engaging Pinterest Contests:

… when it comes to contests, Pinterest is a rule hater’s dream network. In fact, it wasn’t until Pinterest launched business accounts recently that the social network even had a set of official rules or guidelines for running contests, and it’s definitely one of the more flexible social networks in this respect.

Contests are easy to set up, and they drive engagement.

So there you have it. Five ways to lure customers using Pinterest. Although Pinterest won’t work for all businesses, chances are good that it will work for yours.

If you need help setting up Pinterest for your business, get in touch.

 

You’re a Star: Shine Brightly With a Customized Publicity Campaign This Week

PR Publicity

What could you do if you had an unlimited advertising budget? Maybe you’re salivating, thinking of all the advertising you could buy.

Sadly, even with an unlimited advertising budget, your results may not be as amazing as you hope.

Here’s why. When you buy advertising, you’re limited to the advertising venues you choose. In 2013, audiences are fragmented. If you choose to advertise on radio and TV, you won’t reach all the people in your target audience. Your audience may miss your ads completely. That’s money down the drain. The same applies to any advertising venue – you’ll reach just a small part of your potential audience.

Every business needs to advertise. However, for true effectiveness, you need something else: publicity. Publicity amplifies the effect of your advertising, and it’s long-lasting. I’ve often told the story of I first got into copywriting… how a press release I wrote changed the fortunes of my employer.

You need publicity as well as advertising

Few businesses strive for publicity. Public relations tends to be a mystery. Businesses may not even be aware that most news stories in print and digital media originate from a press release.

Here’s a secret: journalists mine their press releases looking for the faintest glimmer of gold amongst the trash. Finding a story is GOLD to them. Providing that gold isn’t easy. However, it’s possible. What could your company achieve if a journalist or three wrote about you? If you appeared in Google News?

You need just two things to create a powerful publicity campaign: time and imagination.

Firstly you create the content for your campaign, and then you launch it.

What do you need to include in a publicity campaign?

A few days ago one of my writing students contacted me about a new ebook she’s launching. She asked me what she would need to include in her first publicity campaign.

Good question. The short answer is, anything you like. It’s your campaign, so whatever you think goes. Ask yourself some questions. How much time do you have available? What results do you want?

Let’s say that you want to create a customized publicity campaign this week to promote something. That “something” could be your business, a new product you’re launching, or a service you provide. As in the case of my student, it could be an ebook. Maybe it’s something for your community – your child’s school needs new sporting equipment, and you’re running a donations drive.

Your first step in any publicity campaign is always to set clearly defined goal.

The next step is to decide what your message will be, and commit to staying on message. “Staying on message” throughout your campaign is perhaps the hardest thing to do, as any politician will tell you. It’s a challenge, but you won’t get the results you want unless you manage to do that.

Let’s get started…

Step 1: set a clearly defined goal

Write down your goal for this publicity campaign. Please don’t omit doing this. You must write down your goal, because you won’t remember what it is tomorrow. Trust me on this one.

Step 2: what’s your campaign’s message? Write it down

Write down the message in a sentence, preferably on a sticky note (stick it onto your phone), as well as in your diary. Make sure the message is in front of you DAILY.

Step 3: create a media kit

According to Wikipedia, common components of a media kit include:

Backgrounder with historical information on the company or individual.
Fact sheet listing specific features, statistics, or benefits.

Biographies of key executives, individuals, artists, etc.

Past press coverage

Photos or other images (high resolution) of key executives, logos, products, etc.

A press release detailing the current news the media kit is sent in reference to

Media contact information (usually of a public relations department or spokesperson)

Collateral advertising material, such as: postcard, flier, newspaper ad, etc.

You can put anything you like in your media kit.

At a minimum, include a company backgrounder, some photographs, and anything else you think would be helpful to a journalist or blogger who wants to write about whatever it is that you’re promoting.

Many companies add their company’s media kit to the “media” section of their website. You can do this too.

However, for the sake of this publicity campaign, create a customized media kit which focuses solely on your goals for this campaign, rather than on your company as a whole.

Let’s get started with your customized publicity campaign

Set a date on which you’ll begin your campaign. Please don’t put it too far in the future. Give yourself a week for preparation. If you give yourself too much time, it won’t get done.

Next, decide what you’ll include in your campaign.

You could include: a series of press releases, Facebook and Google+ pages, a webinar, guest posts on blogs, a blog tour, content marketing with articles… anything you like.

Ask yourself: What am I comfortable creating? Or hiring someone to create for me?

LIMIT yourself. Don’t aim to include too much. A press release, a blog post, a YouTube video, and a couple of articles, might be all that you can comfortably create in a week.

Every company has different resources. Use them. If you have a mailing list, make good use of that list. These are people who want to hear from you, who have done business with you, and who know you. They can help you to get the word out. So include mailings to your list in your list of activities for your publicity campaign.

Create your creative material

Create your material. If you’re a copywriter, you can do it yourself. Alternatively you can hire someone.

The time element: avoid becoming overwhelmed

We’ll have more to say on the various elements of a publicity campaign later – I’ll create some additional how-to material for you on this blog.

For now, consider the time you have available.

If you’re doing everything yourself, creating all the creative material might take you a week or more. Aim to have everything ready before you launch the publicity campaign. Once you launch, you’ll be so busy talking to people and running your business, that you won’t have time to create additional material.

However, don’t set the launch date so far in the future that you procrastinate. As stated, I recommend that you take a maximum of ONE week to create to your campaign material, and then a week to execute. Any longer than that, and your campaign will stall.

Just get it done. :-)

There you have it. You’re good to go. Set a goal for your campaign, decide on a message, and start creating your material today.

Your Micro-Business: Clever, Free Social Media Marketing Ideas

Baby

Looking for clever ideas to promote your micro-business? If you’re a sole trader, or own a small company, it’s hard to take your business to the next level. You don’t want to splash out on advertising without being sure of a return.

Read this article for some very clever ways to use social media sites like Pinterest to get followers and attention, Will Social Spur Sales for This Mom’s Small Business?:

“Hold a ‘Pin it to Win it’ contest on Pinterest. By the time Lynch had offered her suggestions, Ismail had created a Pinterest page for JumpSac. At the time of this writing, there was nothing on it. Lynch suggests JumpSac pin a photo of its best-selling product and then ask users to repin it for a chance to win the item.”

Build your own social media ecosystem

We’ve talked about image marketing before. Like Pinterest, Springpad’s a real boon to image marketers. Business owners have little time, so using Pinterest and Springpad makes sense. It takes seconds to pin something onto a Pinterest board, ditto to “spring” something onto Springpad.

Here’s a tip. Social media is inexpensive advertising. It’s not free, because it takes time. However, if you set up a workflow, in which you repurpose the same content onto several sites, you can set up your own little social media marketing ecosystem:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Springpad
  • Google+
  • Tumblr

(Make sure that your images link to appropriate pages on your website.)

Choose any three of the above; there’s no need to go crazy. :-) Vary the text content slightly. The images can stay the same.

The key to making this work for your business is consistency, over time. It’s much better to post one piece of content to your ecosystem once a week, than it is to post six pieces, and then let never use your social media accounts again.

Can’t Keep Up With Social Media?

Hootsuite for Social Media
Social media driving you silly? Try Hootsuite

This post, Scott Steinberg: Social Media Marketing: 7 Tools for Businesses and Brands, gives you a selection of tools to keep your social networks in control.

Hootsuite’s my all-round favorite:

“HootSuite is a social media management system that also allows the user to manage multiple networks at once. It currently supports Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, WordPress, Mixi and even MySpace. HootSuite has a great scheduling system that allows you to pre-program an infinite amount of posts for future sharing, a huge time saver.”

I’ve tried just about every social media dashboard available, but I always come back to Hootsuite for one reason — simplicity. It’s easy to add searches, and to keep track of your contacts. Best of all, you can post in batches, to Twitter, Facebook and Google+. These are the networks I use most.

Here’s a full list of Hootsuite’s social networks.

If your favorite network isn’t list there, there’s also the App Directory, which lets you add even more networks, including YouTube (paid) and Blogger (free). I keep meaning to add my WordPress accounts to Hootsuite, but I haven’t got around to it yet.

I use Hootsuite on my Mac, and also on my iPad, when I have a free moment. The iPad app’s gorgeous.

Here’s an excellent article from the Hootsuite blog, on how you can “magnify” yourself, that is, use scheduled social messaging:

If you’ve posted a video or blog post you want to promote on Twitter, it’s a good idea to tweet it 3 to 5 times over the course of a day or two, so that you hit people’s home feed at different moments and maximize the chance that they’ll see the link. Use the HootSuite scheduler to spread those tweets out, and write them a bit differently each time; you’ll want to make it clear that you’re still talking about the same post, so people don’t click on multiple tweets and get annoyed when they hit a story they’ve already seen.

If you’ve been avoiding engaging on social media because of time pressures, check out apps like Hootsuite — you can do credibly well on social media in just a few minutes a day, if you have the right tools.


Angela Booth is an Australian copywriter, Web writer and content strategist. Want your website to do more for your business? Contact Angela via email to set up a chat. She loves to talk about business and the Web.

Social Media Madness: Stop Giving Your Leads Away

Content marketing
I’ve been working with a couple of clients who are busily promoting Twitter and Facebook. That’s not a good strategy. That’s throwing your leads away.

Especially since, as this article, The 3 Worst Ways Companies Waste Money in Social Media | Social Media Today, points out:

“Facebook is starting to double-tax you to reach your own fans. According to the NY Observer,

‘Facebook acknowledged it as recently as last week: messages now reach, on average, just 15 percent of an account’s fans. In a wonderful coincidence, Facebook has rolled out a solution for this problem: Pay them for better access.'”

You promote your Facebook and Twitter accounts — why?

Please don’t answer: “so that we get Likes and Followers.”

Likes, and Followers, nice as they are, do very little for your bottom line. Yes, they do provide you with some social media proof, but basically you’re just giving your leads away.

You’re giving them to Facebook and Twitter.

I’m sure you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars promoting social media companies, especially since they’ll charge you for promotions you do on their sites.

Why not develop an email list, so that you can collect all those wonderful leads, and promote to them over and over again? For free.

Email marketing works

I convinced my clients to stop doing favors for Facebook and Twitter, and focus on their own email list. Of course, you can still promote your social media accounts, but when you do, understand that you’re giving your leads away.

You have no control over the policies of those sites. Giant social media companies have their own agenda. If you’re going to send traffic to social media sites, make sure that you get some benefits, beyond Likes and Followers.

There are always exceptions…

Every rule has exceptions. If you don’t have any other “home” online — you don’t have a website or blog — then by all means set up a Facebook page or Google+ page for your service, or self-published book, or whatever else it is that you’re promoting.

By all means send your traffic to your page… as well as creating your own email list.

One of my writing students is self-publishing under a couple of pseudonyms. He’s set up a Facebook page for each book, and a mailing list too. I’d tell you the names of his books, but he’d kill me if I shared his pen names.  When last we spoke, he’s seeing nice increases in sales, as his mailing list grows.

Need help turning Likes and Followers into leads?