Archive for March, 2012

Pinterest: Why You Should Care About It

by Raecene Collins

There has been a new wave of social media websites over the past few months. Some sites take time to gain popularity and others take off right away. Pinterest has grabbed a hold of the public’s attention fairly quickly. Created in 2009 by Ben Silbermann, the website defines itself as a virtual pin board. Users can take ideas that they like from various websites and pin them for not only themselves to see but others as well. 

Other users who like that same idea can ‘repin’ the idea to their own board, much like a retweet on Twitter. You can also follow boards of friends and can view all pins those users post. You could say its Twitter with pretty pictures. You can browse boards by categories such as Men and Women apparel, Food & Drink, and DIY & Crafts. Many brides-to-be are now using Pinterest as a wedding planning tool.

So what does Pinterest have to do with social media and other industries like advertising and marketing? The answer is everything! Companies can use Pinterest as a tool to promote their brand. Whole Foods is one of many companies who have joined the movement. Their page includes 26 boards and over 600 pins. Under their ‘Sweet Tooth’ board, users can browse through dessert recipes that have been pinned.

When the pin’s photo is clicked on, it links back to the website the photo was taken from. That means traffic is being driven to that company’s website. With a few clicks, a company can post new products and consumers can purchase that product right after viewing it. Pinterest will also allow you to display the price of the item that has been pinned.

Social media news sites such as Mashable have exploded with article after article on information about the website. They recently posted an article about 8 strategies for launching a brand presence for Pinterest. According to the article, Pinterest has become a top five-traffic source for many apparel retailers.

Marketing professionals or users who are looking to drive traffic to their website should do the following: leverage your brand, think of themes and not product promotion, use hashtags, and engage with the community. But be aware of copyright issues. Adding your own content is fine, but if you are adding content from around the web, that is where the problem lies. No matter for what purpose the images are used, they should be reviewed with your in-house counsel.

Copyright is an issue that Pinterest has been dealing with. Thousands of photos being shared to thousands of people but the issue is who do these photos belong to? Pinterest asks their users to always credit their sources under the pin etiquette section. They have also offered websites who do not wish to have their photos from their site pinned an opt-out program.

Social media is ever-changing. Pinterest is a site that has truly changed how we do business. It is an easy way to boost traffic to your business by placing visual simulating photos to attract consumers and future clients. In a way, “If they like it, they will click.”


March 6, 2012 at 4:38 pm Leave a comment

MySpace Shows Brands Can Make a Comeback

by Michael P. Grace

Comebacks are synonymous with sports figures, fashion, and pop stars—and more recently, MySpace. The company’s announcement that it added 1M new users last month shows that digital brands can make comebacks too—massive comebacks.

MySpace was considered all but dead when Specific Media and singer and actor Justin Timberlake took it off News Corp.’s hands in June 2011. Now the company has revived itself and enjoying a daily sign-up rate of 40,000 new users. So, what prompted the resurgence in popularity? What “success secrets” can non-digital companies learn from such a comeback?

  1. Focus on Your Strengths. The new MySpace owners have stopped trying to compete with Facebook and other social networking sites. Instead, they have focused on MySpace’s superior platform for posting and listening to music and revamped the site as a music service—a strategy that appears to be paying off.
  2. Grow Your Digital Marketing Platform. Even if you’re not a digital brand, this is a critical component to success. Unfortunately, many companies are still timid about investing in their online and social media presence. With so many users on social media sites, there’s no question that sites, like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, are being used to learn about companies, products, and services and make buying decisions. Social media can be a powerful tool for any organization, both large and small, to interact and connect with customers and prospects in a more personal and powerful way.
  3. Understand Your Audience. This is marketing 101. The key is to expand your customer profiles to include their online behavior—what sites do they visit, what search terms do they use to find your products, what content are they looking for that you might be able to create. MySpace focused on what was important to its audience—offer an extensive library of music, keep the service free, and making it easily accessible.
  4. Integrate With Facebook and Twitter. We encourage all our clients to do this. Why? Referrals. According to By the Numbers: How Facebook Says Likes & Social Plugins Help Websites by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land, the average media site integrated with Facebook has seen a 300% increase in referral traffic. One of our clients (The Villages at Allen and Fairview) saw an increase in referral traffic by as much as 638% by integrating social media with their traditional marketing and website. What type of traditional advertising gets you that kind of result?
  5. Use Social Media Across Your Company. Social media can be effective as a marketing tool, but keep in mind that there are also very productive ways to utilize social media for customer service, product development, sales, purchasing, and recruiting. By thinking of social media holistically, you’ll see how it can permeate every aspect of your company’s work.

Only time will tell whether or not MySpace’s strategy will return the company to its prior rank in the online world. I’m not a gambler, but I think it’s a safe bet that if the company continues to enlist solid business and social media practices (including the five tips I mentioned) they will continue to successfully grow. Of course, if Justin Timberlake has any questions on what to do next he’s welcome to give me a call.

March 2, 2012 at 9:22 pm Leave a comment

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