pinterest

Pinterest In A Nutshell

Pinterest-Comic

Pinterest In A Nutshell

Just like Facebook and Twitter before it, Pinterest is garnering a ton of attention from individuals and businesses alike.

So what is Pinterest? It is essentially a site that allows you to pin images of your likes, dislikes, interests etc. to an online “board”. The images can be linked directly to various websites as well.

Users can “re-pin” other users pins from one online board to another, thus sharing the content and website links quickly and efficiently.

This clever little comic we found online illustrates it quite nicely.

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How To Pin Your Own Photos On Pinterest (Manual Pinning)

So you want to pin a website to Pinterest, but when you try to do so, no photo is available? or perhaps the photo available is  a low quality thumbnail, or irrelevant to the content on the site (yes, believe it or not, that STILL happens).

Did you know you can upload your own photo when pinning? Well you can! It is actually surprisingly simple.

1. First, Log On To Pinterest:

Your first step is to log on to Pinterest! If that was not obvious you may want to rethink what you are doing.

2. Second, Click The “ADD+” Option At The Top Right Hand Of The Screen:

Second step is to click the Add+ option at the top right hand portion of the header menu.

3. Third, Choose To “Upload a Pin” From The Three Options:

Third, from the menu that pops up, choose to “Upload a Pin”.

4. Fourth, Click “Choose File”:

Fourth step, you will be offered the option to “Choose File” – do so.

5. Fifth, Choose The Image File (JPG, PNG Etc.) You Wish To Us As Your Pin:

Fifth step, choose the image you want to use as your pin.

6. Sixth, Enter Your Pin’s Information:

Sixth step, enter all of the information for your pin. (Hint: include keywords and your web URL)

7. Seventh, From The Pin Display Screen Choose To “Edit” Your Pin:

Step seven, you will be brought to the Pin display screen. From here choose to “Edit” the pin.

8. Eighth, In The Second Text Box Labelled “Link”, Type or Paste The Desired URL For Your Pin:

Step eight, in the second text block, enter the link or URL of the webpage you want represented by the photo.

9. Ninth, Click “Save Pin”

Congratulations, you have just manually pinned your first Pin on Pinterest. Quite simple really, this is a great way to share content, and maximize the visual impact of your boards. Now get out there and Pin the love!

 

Transition Marketing Services. Our passion is educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how were doing or if you have any questions. TRANSITION MARKETING SERVICES – Small Business Marketing Specialists.

 

 

 

From Brand To “Being” – Humanizing A Brand

Humanizing A Brand.

It is a common problem. All brands face it, although many of the larger brands, and those that have been in existence, longer seem to struggle with it the most.

Establishing humanity within a brand image – also known as “humanizing” a brand.

Humanizing is literally defined as:

hu·man·ize  [hyoo-muh-nahyz or, often, yoo-]

tr.v. hu·man·izedhu·man·iz·inghu·man·iz·es 

1. To portray or endow with human characteristics or attributes; make human.

Humanizing your brand

Image Source: Socialfish.org

The concept here is to create within the customer, an acknowledgment or association of a Brand with relate-able, human, ground level understanding. Essentially it is a matter of making certain the customer can relate to and trust a brand.

Humanizing is considered an essential part of modern day branding success. Examples of it abound in businesses like Coca-Cola, Apple, Transition Marketing 🙂 , Nike and Google.

There are many different avenues a business can take, whether in initial branding or re-branding campaigns. The key is to position (or re-position) your brand as one that is for the people, one that is engaging and REAL, one that wants to know its customers. One that is more than just a cold-corporate automaton.

Having Fun Is Human.

One sure fire method of creating human emotion, reaction and association with a brand, is to have fun.

Seriously.

Have fun and make sure your customers have fun (Gamify anyone?)

The more a brand can portray itself as fun, carefree, and humorous even, the more relate-able it becomes. This does not mean supplying the plant floor with Super-soakers (although an argument could be made for it’s YouTube worthiness), but it may mean rethinking everything that has been done to date.

Humanizing a brand, like any branding campaign, is about more than image. It needs to be rooted deep within the core of the company.

Where Is More Profit To Be Had?

It may mean letting go of certain preconceptions. For instance, is their greater overall brand and business profit in running your Customer Service Team lean and reducing head count, or could an argument be made for hiring that extra person to create a more relaxed environment where your CSR reps can dialogue with customers and promote brand integrity?

My years working with the Customer Service team for a leading Western Canadian Brand taught me that, by creating relationships with your regular customers through more relaxed communications, a brand can soar above it’s competition. When your CSR team has the time and motivation to get to know your customers by name, and when they can take a few minutes during a phone call to talk about non-business topics, they are developing your brands humanity – they are humanizing your brand.

Focused hiring, training and leadership are required for this. It is shameful when a brand contracts out their service department to the lowest bidder, or hires employees with the wrong caliper and skill set. Doing this ensures their brand will suffer.

Have Fun Or Else!

It is important to note that “fun” cannot be enforced. Too often we see Human Resources, Managers and Leadership attempting to force smiles and relaxation through faulty training exercises, well intended (poorly executed) mixers and events, or mis-directed communications (office space hawaiian shirt day anyone?)

There are a number of reasons that these “enforcement’s” fail:

  1. The training may be (or may be seen as) another “flash in the pan” from corporate. Often these training modules are mandatory programs, which get zero buy-in from employees. They often lack realistic application to brand specific scenarios and seldom last more than a few months. The more modules you go through, the more jaded your employees will be.
  2. Mixers and Events are typically well intended. However employees do not want to attend after-work functions if there is not already a relationship with their colleagues. Similarly after work functions, where spouses etc. are not invited, or the employee is even remotely financially responsible,  is seen as an intrusion.

Humanizing is a delicate procedure. Creating a fun “human” spirit within a brand begins within the bedrock of the business. As with all aspects of a brand campaign, it must be rooted in every aspect of the business. Consistency is crucial.

Humanized Brand Success Stories.

We will wrap up with a handful of “humanized” brand examples.

1. Google:

Google continues to dominate many key markets. Their brand has become so well known that they can get away with “altering” their logo at will.

Google employs top notch minds to develop and innovate, they have the leading search engine algorithm and have generated a great deal of talk with their “super-empire” and more recently their consolidated privacy policy.

Yet at the base of this behemoth business, there is a spirit of fun. While not all of tech savvy, in-the-know types would agree with Google and all of their practices, the basic consumer is easily sold when greeted with a sense of camaraderie and of fun by many of Googles tools.

A Handful Of Google Easter Eggs:

Get your Google page to speak “Pirate”, “Swedish Chef”, “Hacker” and many more.

Try searching Google Maps for directions to “Mordor” under the “Walking Category”.

Try plugging in “Find Chuck Norris” using the “I’m Feeling Lucky” option.

More Easter Eggs Available Here:

Many of these Easter eggs are mainstream now, widely shared on social media platforms and amongst friends. It is this type of “inside joke” and the subsequent dialogue it creates, that has positioned Google, one of the largest brands in existence, as buddy-buddy with so many people.

2. Apple:

Apple has succeeded beyond all other brands before them, due to their acknowledgement of what truly matters to consumers. They have built a brand that is associated with care, quality and fun and they have gained their customers trust by standing by their products and being about more than just the bottom dollar.

A large part of this success can be summed up by one of there credo’s “We are at our best when we deliver enriching experiences”. 

Apple is (or projects a brand image of) being about people, about service and about products that go beyond the standard.

“Their Customer Service department excels thanks to careful interviewing, training, and a willingness to hire relate-able people. Mohawks, tattoos, piercings are all acceptable among Apple Store employees. Apple hires people who reflect the diversity of their customers”. – Taken From 14 Things Brands Can Learn From Apple

Apple’s success in humanizing their brand through light-hearted marketing is exemplified nicely in the Apple VS. PC Guy, ad campaign:

The campaign challenges you to decide for yourself, who you would rather hang out – who belongs by your side and in your social group? who is most relate-able?

3. Nike:

Nike has recently been seeing a lot of spotlight with their social engagement campaigns. They have been very successful in their efforts to reach out to consumers. Here are just a few examples:

The “Extra Day to #makeitcount” Campaign.

Nike launched the campaign in conjunction with the leap year. Based around a live 24 hour countdown broadcast on in-store screens and XTP screens through-out the London tubes. For 24 hours on February 29th they encouraged consumers to tweet about the extra day and how they were going to #makeitcount.

She Runs The Night -> She Runs…

Nike engaged its female audience with the she runs the night campaign, a 13km event that took place in Sydney’s Centennial Park on May 3rd. The race took place at the Royal Hall of Industries in the Entertainment Quarter. The course was fully lit underneath a halo of light.

Nike took that one step further hosting a Facebook page specifically for its female running market. The page, “Nike She Runs” is dedicated to creating a dialogue and engaging this very specific market.

4. Coca-Cola:

Coke is one of the all time best branding success stories. They hit some waves in the early 80’s but regained their stride and have since been batting them out of the park with their Social Media and engagement efforts.

Take for instance the Coca-Cola hug machine. Simply put, you hug it and it reciprocates with a free Coke.  Check out the video:

In a similar move there was also the Coca-Cola Happiness Machine, which dispensed multiple bottles to several surprised college students who then shared the Coke products with their friends.

Coke has also been involved in all manner of guerrilla street advertising, with non-traditional bill boards and signage geared at grabbing the eye.

Of course there is the whole Coca-Cola “My Coke Rewards” campaign as well. Purchasing their products gives you points that can be used to redeem online coupons and perks. Imagine the number of customers at any given moment clicking through to a brand controlled webpage. The customer gets their perks, and Coke gets their attention.

Humanization and Social Engagement are the key to brand success in the new millennium. These are achieved through creative,  fun content and reaching out to the consumer base. It is not enough to advertise it though, Branding, and the Humanizing of a brand must take root in every aspect of your business model. Your employees must take an active role in it, if it is to succeed.

Ben Erickson is the Specialized Services Manager with Transition Marketing Services Contact us anytime for questions, conversation or for a free consultation.

20 MORE Tips For Pinterest

Our last post provided 20 easy tips for getting the most out of Pinterest. We enjoyed the tips so much, we added MORE!

Pin Your Way To Success (Part 2)

  1. Commandeer the Pinterest Search function in the top left hand corner to find new images to pin/repin/like.
  2. When describing your pins, operate on the same primary basis as SEO and enter key words that will matter to those searching on Pinterest.
  3. Include a “Pin-It” Option in your blog posts, emails and web content to ensure easy sharing by your viewers. “Adding To Email” Walk Through Here:
  4. Got a WordPress site? Feature your recent pins in a widget in your WordPress sidebar by using a Pinterest widget.
  5. Encourage contribution to your boards via staff and customers. This will build engagement and grow your profile.
  6. Check out your followers and keep tabs on which of your pins are being shared. Stay on top of trends, then supply more of the same and adjust other content to make it more “re-pinnable”.
  7. Price your Pin’s to create your own little Pinterest shop. Simply add the $ or £ symbol and then the price. This price will then be neatly displayed across the top corner of your pin.  Adding prices to your pins, may mean they will be featured in Pinterest’s “Gifts” section and offers a heads up for viewers who may want to purchase products from the links you are displaying.
  8. Share a board that tells your businesses story – a synopsis of your company if you will. A timeline and a snapshot. Share who you are, what you are, what you do and your market philosophy.
  9. Your boards are only limited by your creativity. Create a board of thank-you’s or to share in client successes. Create one to display new projects you have completed with your customers and another to showcase your staff. The sky, as they say, is the limit.
  10. Pin tips, tricks, FAQ’s and tutorials for your products, services etc.
  11. Clicking the “Popular” link on your Pinterest home page allows you to view what is trending. You can then use that to re-direct your efforts and hop on board the “trend-train”
  12. You want to remain consistent to your brand image and message, however remember to keep it fresh and fun. Pinterest is all about creativity, use that to your benefit.
  13. Be the source for up to date information relevant to you industry. In other words, create boards and populate them with the newest and most relevant content available.
  14. Link up your Pinterest and Facebook Timeline accounts to ensure your updates on Pinterest blast over to Facebook as well.
  15. Take a look at any archived and existing content you have. Add photos and images into the content where necessary to encourage and facilitate pretty pinning.
  16. Go beyond just checking stats and trends for content. Monitor the best times for pinning, check the site traffic stats and adjust to accommodate.
  17. With the explosion of users on Pinterest, companies are searching for the best means of utilizing it.

    Social Media is all about engagement. Connect not just yourself, but your clients, customers and followers with each other.

  18. Confident in the feedback you are getting from customers? Create a board geared at client testimonials.
  19. Create boards to showcase events, conferences and trades shows that you have attended. It will breed goodwill, community and associate your brand with expertise.
  20. Use boards to host and share coupons and deals. We suggest creating the pins specifically for these boards to capitalize on Pinterests beautiful display. You can also utilize the “price” addition (tip 7) within these coupons.

Three Bonus Tips!

  1. As is often the case with Facebook, create Pinterest only promotions to increase awareness and engagement.
  2. Host contests. Invite viewers to post the best pins relevant to your product, content or services and award prizes.
  3. Create boards to showcase your clients. Spread the love and pass the goodwill, they may just share the favor!

Ben Erickson is a Design & Social Media Specialist with Transition Marketing Services Contact us for a free consultation.

20 Tips For Pinterest

Pin Your Way To Success.

Pinterest. More than a flash in the pan.

Pinterest is a glorious platform. Beautiful, user friendly, and loaded with potential.

It is also a very big deal right now.

Despite the sudden explosion of excitement however, Pinterest contains enough “Oomph” to be more than just a flash in the pan. I have taken a close hard look at it from several angles and no matter what industry you represent, Pinterest holds marketing value.

It is full of clean and beautiful, new and relevant content. It is essentially what I imagine people envisioned for the internet 3 decades ago. Content that is easy to find and not lost in the junkie “bathroom-wall-clutter” of the world wide web.

The image-sharing-foundation behind Pinterest only compounds on it’s beauty and usefulness. In an image driven society, centering your sharing around key images is brilliant.

Recently I put through a conceptual proposal for Pinterest as a tool for a local Chamber of Commerce, to great response. If a small town Chamber can use it, can you? Let’s have a look shall we?

Pinter-what?

Pinterest provides an easy to navigate platform for content sharing.

Pinterest, a wonderful combination of the words “pin” and “interest” (if that was not clear). It is exactly what the name suggests. A place to pin your interests. Remember pasting your bedroom walls with posters, album covers and magazine cut-outs? That is Pinterest, only easier and online.

Think “social bookmarking” but at the next level and gorgeous (IE Stumbleupon, Delicious on steroids).

How Does It Work?

Once you have a profile setup it enables you to create “Boards” based on the topics you intend to share. Fashion, Animals, LOL, Marketing Blogs, whatever topics you can imagine.

Once you have a few boards setup you can begin adding your “Pins”. Pins are images that Pinterest searches directly off of the site you are sharing. In other words, when you share a link, Pinterest automatically searches that link for images that match it’s requirements. You are then presented with the available images, and may choose which one to pin, as relevant to the link you are sharing.

Lowes is one of the forerunners on Pinterest – for more on their great example visit here.

If you still don’t get it, visit our last blog on “how to” or just head on over to the Pinterest site and play with it yourself!

20 Tips For Maximized Pinterest Pleasure!

  1. Exposure, exposure, exposure! Make sure you brand your profile! Have your name and logo displayed prominently for all to see.
  2. Tell us about yourself. Fill in the “about” section. This is displayed beneath your profile photo and name. It reinforces your branding and offers insight.
  3. Bridge you accounts. Connect Pinterest with other available profiles, such as Twitter or Facebook. Doing so means followers on one can now find you and your brand elsewhere as well.
  4. INCLUDE YOUR WEBSITE URL! Social Media is all about engaging people and bringing them closer to you. Giving easy access to your website does just that.
  5. Add the Pinterest Icon to your website and other content. Let people know you are there!
  6. Share your pins across other profiles. Pinterest has built in Twitter use, so tweet your content!
  7. One of the top tips for blogging, is to view and comment other user’s profiles and posts. Pinterest is the same – get out there and engage, communicate and comment.
  8. Share the love! Don’t be afraid to compliment good content with a “Like” it works the same as comments and spreads engagement.
  9. Get out there and Pin, Pin, PIN! The more content you share, the newer, the fresher it is, the more traffic you will see.
  10. Re-Pin. Like Re-Tweeting – spread community, builds engagement and creates great traffic.
  11. You can tag other Pinterest users the same way you do with Twitter. Place @JonDough in the description to direct your pins at users.
  12. Have fun with your board names. Be creative, make them catchy and keep them relevant. The names are what users will be checking out, so make them count.
  13. VARIETY is the spice of life. Post and share content from all over, do not just share the same site over and over.
  14. Pin your own content, but don’t be self-centered. Just as talking about oneself incessantly is both rude and annoying, pinning only yourself is a party faux pas.
  15. You can Pin videos! Pinterest has a special section just for videos, and it accommodates YouTube content easily.
  16. Adapt and Improvise. Holiday coming up? Create a festive board to capitalize on traffic.
  17. When pinning, put thought into your description.The description will stay with the pin as it circulates around the world. Make sure, when possible, to include your brand or company info in the pin.
  18. Embed your pins into your blog and other related content, keep in mind you may want to include a description of what it is, until Pinterest becomes a little more mainstream.
  19. Get the app and pin directly from you iPhone.
  20. Keep Pinterest in mind as your create content. Make sure images are in your content to allow for easy sharing.

Ben Erickson is a Design & Social Media Specialist with Transition Marketing Services Contact us for a free consultation.

Your Chamber of Commerce on PINTEREST !?

Your local Chamber of Commerce, harnessing the power of Pinterest?

An interesting concept with several possibilities.

Imagine creating a Pinterest profile for your Chamber of Commerce membership.

Step One: Create a profile that distinctly represents your specific community Chamber of Commerce. (IE: Armstrong / Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce).

Step Two: Add in boards for the appropriate and relevant industries of your membership (IE: Electricians, Wineries, Fashion… etc.)

Step Three: Pin the websites for each business to the appropriate board, effectively organizing your memberships web info in neat little boards relevant to their industries.

Step Four: Publicize it like CRAZY! Place a link on your Chamber website, include the info in all of your printed materials, urge members to take an active role in promoting it, include it on tourism related materials.

Pinterest allows for an organized and pretty display.

The benefits here include:

  • 1. A bigger & better online presence for your Chamber as well as your membership.
  • 2. It acts as an additional perk to sell potential membership on.
  • 3. It’s natural built in organization creates a user friendly interface.
  • 4. It is easy to publicize and include on existing materials.
  • 5. It works well with Facebook, Twitter etc. and can be incorporated into existing Social Media strategies.

There are a number of things to take into consideration of course. For example: where boards would include multiple businesses in the same industry there would need to be a consistency to the sharing.

Nonetheless, there is potential behind this idea and we recommend exploring the concept.

Ben Erickson is a Design & Social Media Specialist with Transition Marketing ServicesContact us for a free consultation.

How Lowe’s is Building Brand Loyalty with an Integrated Social Media Strategy

Brianna Smith @ BeingYourBrand knows here stuff! Check out this great article on Lowe’s Pinterest use and why it is so effective! (We recommend visiting her Blog first chance you get!)

How Lowe’s is Building Brand Loyalty with an Integrated Social Media Strategy.

Lowe’s Facebook Strategy

The core of Lowe’s social media strategy is their Facebook page. With over 1.1 million likes (almost twice as many as the main competitor, Home Depot), Lowe’s has created a successful strategy to communicate with their customers using this social media platform.Lowes Facebook Page

Lowe’s leverages the best features of the Facebook timeline format, the cover photo and the history timeline.

For their cover photo, Lowe’s uses an attention grabbing photo composed of the top pins that followers have re-pinned on Pinterest. They also tie their profile picture directly into the timeline cover photo and use it to drive traffic to their Pinterest account.

The success of Lowe’s Facebook strategy is due greatly to their positive and real-time interaction with fans. Lowe’s responds to the majority of questions and comments within minutes. When a fan has a question about a product, Lowe’s not only answer the specific question, but frequently directs them back to Lowes.com and includes tips on how to use the product.

Check out the full article to find out how Lowe’s mastered the art of responding to negative comments and leveraged the other features of the new timeline format.

Lowe’s Twitter Strategy

Lowes Twitter ProfileWith over 47,000 followers, Lowe’s usesTwitter to answer customer questions and concerns, as well as spread community awareness. As with their Facebook page, Lowe’s does a great job of taking the conversation offline for any negative mentions by asking followers to email them at a Twitter-specific Lowe’s email address. They also respond to all questions, comments, and mentions, often within minutes of the original Tweet.

Check out the full article to find out how Lowe’s uses hashtags to give back to their followers.

Lowe’s Pinterest Strategy

The rapid growth of Pinterest has many companies overwhelmed, but Lowe’s has leveraged the user base and Lowes Pinterest Profilegrowing popularity create to a strong presence on the new social media platform. With almost 7,000 followers (and growing), Lowe’s is building a strong community around their brand on Pinterest. The boards on their Pinterest profile include topics that interest all their different types of customers.

Lowe’s uses Pinterest as a resource tool for customers to find fun and new projects. For example, they have a board for grilling recipes, which includes links to both the full recipe and grills available at lowes.com. Other popular boards on their Pinterest profile are craft, landscaping, and interior design projects using Lowe’s products.

Check out the full article to find out why Pinterest was the perfect addition to Lowe’s social media strategy.

Lowe’s social media strategy has been a success because they appear to understand that social media is a powerful tool for creating and maintaining relationships with customers. Visit the Mudbug Media blog to find out the five key factors that make Lowe’s strategy a success and to read the full article: