Rekindling the Pinterest romance

I once saw a tweet about how someone was rekindling their romance with Pinterest and couldn’t help but laugh to know exactly how she felt.  You are like a lovesick puppy when you first discover the pinning pleasure, but eventually it starts to dwindle, maybe it even dies off completely for a while.

Facebook has been sapping all my energy lately, to the point of feeling stuck in a rut.  Although most of my work is actually done on Facebook, I think I definitely believe that variety is the spice of life when it comes to social networking.  Only recently I re-discovered my interest in Pinterest again, joined Google + and updated my LinkedIn and Twitter profiles.  Instagram is also featuring significantly too these days because I like the video function and for some reason, it works better than Vine did for me.

After getting a Samsung Galaxy Tab I downloaded all the social media apps and was interested in the different features or displays, in comparison to my laptop and iPhone.  Hence why the emphasis on mobile and device friendly sites is so big these days.  Still trying to decide if there are any annoying features about this device, but all I do know is that I still feel like I need all three to be connected in the way I like.  Easier to Instagram with the iPhone, upload photos on the laptop and pin on the tablet.

pinterest 1In just the year or so I have been on Pinterest I have seen a huge increase in users within my social circles.  There are frequent notifications that new friends have joined or are following my boards.  Although most of my boards are created with re-pins, there are actually several of my own original pins in there – meals I have tried out and posted.  Obviously the aim is to post as much original content as possible, as its the aim across the board.  If you only repin on Pinterest, it’s like only resharing pictures on Facebook and never uploading or posting anything from yourself.  If everybody did that we would see the same stuff over and over in no time.

So at first get familiar with it by re-pinning pins onto your boards but then start to think about pinning your own content soon too.  It’s also good to invite your friends to contribute to your boards, I have a Mommys Meals board that a couple of friends are allowed to pin to and I have been requested to pin to a Who Said What board, so this is taking the pinning experience to the next social level.  Of course liking and commenting on pins is always welcomed to.

A lot of the pins I re-pin onto my boards have served as awesome inspiration, from exercise to art and all the yummy meals in between.  With Zimbabwe Fashion Week just over a week away, I have been inspired with super healthy menu’s to make sure there is no weight gain before then, so keep a look at for my next blog about this.

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10 ways to make your picture posts more appealing

We all know that pictures speak a thousand words so using them in social media is essential, but you can get bogged down with the usual posts and style of pictures so here are a couple of suggestions to spice things up a bit.  Photos get as many as 7 times more likes than just written updates and they get shared about 10 times more than links.

css unhealthy food1. don’t just say it, show it.  By adding text to your photo, you can get your point across quickly, or you can make your message a little more appealing.

2. Show readers step by step guides with pictures that link together to form a useful map of how to’s.  For something that is quite complex this is the simple solution.css logo 1

3. Use quotes.  Find the best ones online and put them onto your pictures.  Or use clever apps that do it for you.

4. Create infographics.  These are becoming huge, especially on sites like Scoop-it and Pinterest, so start with simple ideas and try it out.  By utilizing graphics to relay a large amount of information, you can enhance the ability to see patterns and trends on the things you really want to show.

anne frank quote5. Encourage people to share photos with your business.  Find creative ways to get users to submit photos to you, and do the hard work for you by generating content.

6. Make sure all your blogs have at least one pinnable image for Pinterest.  The Pin It button is clicked a lot so if you want your content to be seen, make sure enough of it exists.

7. Create an interesting cover picture on your Facebook profile.  The rules have changed now so you can have more writing and promo stuff on your cover picture, still not more than 20% I think, so this means you can get a bit more creative.

8. Get up close to the subject.  Extreme close up shots add a lot of depth and feeling. Give a new perspective to your shots, not all of them, but some really well thought out ones will work wonders.

9. Spend some time brainstorming on photo content ideas and create and build a library of photos that you can use over the next few weeks or months.

10.  Just do silly sometimes.  We just made a silly sign for our kids to hold and it got more likes and was seen by more people than any of the other more standard posts we had put up.  IMG_4449

 

 

 

 

 

Enter the second phase of social media…

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It seems that the first phase of social media for businesses on Facebook is over, everyone has a presence, some work really well, some shouldn’t even bother. But with virtually everything you can think of having some sort of page on Facebook, surely it is now time to separate the wheat from the weeds so to speak, and really deliver real value to people.
If you can figure out what your customers want and give it to them you are onto a winning formula every time. Solve their problems and they will love you more. Do it regularly and consistently and you are A for away.

Post regularly

This is where most fail. They start off with a great page, interesting content and most importantly the enthusiasm and consistency social media demands. Then you get bored of spending all of your time on Facebook and surprise surprise your work is beginning to suffer as a result.

Get expert help

Maybe you think hiring a junior admin sort of person will fit the bill. They may not be the next rising star in the company but they can sit there and play with pictures and post funny status updates. The thing is, why get somebody to play, when you get someone who knows what they are doing and when to do it? If you are wanting to take it all to the next level, the second phase of providing real, valuable content then you should be hiring your social media team, made up of editorial staff, copywriters, photgraphers, a film crew and developers. Or have a team manage it for you.   If you honestly can’t set aside an hour a day, you probably not going to get anywhere fast in the world of digital marketing. Merely keeping abreast of the constant changes and trends in social media is time consuming.

Content is king so be ORIGINAL

Continue to promote your social efforts through your other advertsing campaigns – print, radio, word of mouth.  It is as always, about content. Share great content that promotes further sharing and you are doing something right. Please remember though that original content is what it is all about. I notice a lot of content that is not used correctly and it’s a shame for those that take the time and effort, or pay for the service to get genuine quality content.

I would love to answer any more questions you have or listen to your comments and suggestions for the best results in social media so feel free to have your say. Get talking, get social….

Social Media Target Audience Profiles

targetSocial media has opened hundreds more doors when it comes to sharing user friendly content and connecting with potential customers. As Internet growth continues to explode, relying soley on traditional marketing tools and websites will no longer be enough.

Social media has a strong impact in the growth of online business. It is not purely for recreational use and the sooner you can see the potential of these social media platforms, the quicker you can reach your target audience. Why is it such a big deal?

Everyone is already using social media on a personal level, so they are already engaging and connecting with brands out there, whilst doing what they want, when they want, getting info about whatever they want. They are also impatient so if they can’t find what they are looking for quickly their mentality is to find it somewhere else, because they can. Once you get to know “them” better, you will probably hear more about what “they say” too. I’ve always wondered who “they” are, but know I know – they are your target audience!

Develop profiles for your target audience on social media

Know who your target audience really are so that you can create content that is optimized for them. Develop some profiles of what your customers look like and post content based on the profiles of your target audience. Social media allows you to distribute unique content throughout the day, targeted at different profiles within your target audience, and you know that content will be seen by your target audience then and there.

What’s in your Target Audience Profile?

Demographics – Age, Gender, Income level, Race
Interests – What other pages do they like
Irritations / Issues they have
Social behaviour – What do they like on Facebook, what makes them comment or share

You can add in lots more information to your profile and get creative with who they really are. Once you have a basic idea of what your target audience looks like, its amazing how much better you get with brainstorming sessions about what to post and when. You may want to try postings to different groups within your target audience profiles to see what works and what doesn’t.

If this all sounds too much like hard work, and you just interested in having a pretty page with lots of likes then let us do the hard work for you.

We specialise is social media management and we offer unique social media management services, that are designed to fit around your business and budget. A surprisingly small investment for a rewarding outcome. If you would like to know more about how we can help you grow your online community and customer base then please contact us by filling out the form below.

Social Media Solutions 2013

With January drawing to a close, we are shifting focus onto the rest of 2013 and are wondering what to expect from Zimbabwean businesses in social media.  This really is the information age and with all there is to offer in the world of digital and content marketing, it can make for some challenging decisions.  Do you build profiles and accounts on every single social media platform out there and make sure you have great presence, or do you carefully select the best platforms for your business and dominate those?

Social media trends:

In Zimbabwe the majority of social media users access these sites through their mobiles.  Many don’t have fixed internet lines and internet cafes are scarce, compared to other capital cities, so mobile penetration is high.  It therefore makes sense to take this into consideration when choosing your platforms.  Sites like Facebook and Twitter will continue to dominate, mainly because everybody uses them on a personal level and are common apps.  Developing your own apps on Facebook or making use of QR codes for shopping, for example should excite your audience so don’t be afraid of exploring these options.  If you don’t run advertising campaigns on social media you should retain your fans and followers, so 2013 will mainly be about content marketing.  Share valuable content that engages people and solves their problems and you have a winning formula.

Keep creating content

Visual content is also key and it doesn’t get better than Instagram if you want to keep creating and sharing attractive content.  No longer are hashtags restricted to Twitter, this is a great way if keeping a collection of photos under all in one place and its common for users to spend a vast amount of time, choosing and applying 20+ hashtags to their photos.  The most time spent on Instagram however is spent choosing a filter, to give your photo some kind of edgy, vintage or contemporary feel to name a few.  Although the app is only available on i-phones, i-pads, etc, there is another fantastic photo-sharing social networking site that can easily rival Instagram.  Flickr has been named “best mobile photo app” by Forbes so many would even say its better than Instagram.  However Instagram has been around two or three years and has 100 million users and Flickr has been around since 2004 and has 75 million users.

Content generation continues to be the number one challenge so if you don’t fancy yourself as much of a photographer then start to implement other ways of generating content.  Re-using content in a new context, so to speak can alleviate a little pressure in generating fresh, original content.  If you have written a successful blog previously, use the information and feature it on a video tutorial or podcast.  Share your amazing PowerPoint presentations.

Something old, something new

Blogging has been around for ages but is this an avenue you are fully taking advantage of?  Blogging for your business can place as you as more of an expert in your field, you can show how and why you are a market leader.  If you can solve typical problems faced by people and give them tips in your industry then you will definately gain recognition and reward.

SlideShare is a hot new topic right now and whether it takes off to the extent of some of these other sites, time will tell.  It’s a new way of sharing content, that has been previously limited before, and even opening an account makes you want to create a news worthy, informative presentations.  Find out what topics are trending on Twitter or Google and make up a presentation around that.  Or you can just start off by presenting everything you think we need to know about your business.

Social media = sales eventually

So you are starting to enjoy having a bigger presence than you could have ever imagined.  The feedback and engagement you are getting is more than you bargained for too.  Your company suddenly has better credibility with your customers and more loyalty to your brand.  But what about the sales?  Now it’s time to take it to the next level and get your product sold through more social media channels.  Although Facebook has a higher percentage of purchasers – 2.9% versus 0.9% on Pinterest, let me not underestimate the importance of sales through this site.  Also bear in mind that Facebook has been in the game for seven years, Pinterest has only been around for two.

Pinterest virtally became an overnight sensation because of the inspirational boards you can create.  In these boards, you ‘pin’, or essentially store amazing, beautiful, capitivating pictures of anything and everything from your dinner party menu to sports equipment and gadgets.  People add home decor ideas, photography inspiration, fashion and motivational quotes, whatever you like.   There were standing jokes of how addictive the site is, aren’t they all, and how women would spend their lives planning out their weddings on Pinterest, despite the fact they didn’t even have a boyfriend.  How all this is relevant, I am not sure, but it worked because somehow this is becoming a hugely popular site to buy from.  1 in 5 people that have pinned something, have made a purchase and that is a conversion figure that no other social media site can boast.

So whether you want more brand awareness, more customer feedback or more sales, try out some of the new social media sites in 2013, share more visually attractive and valuable content and keep engaging with your audience so that you become a known industry player.   If you have anything more to share on this, please feel free to do so because as always…knowledge is power!