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Market Your Small Business With Pinterest

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Market Your Small Business With Pinterest


Unless you have just emerged from the Dark Ages, by now you would have heard about Pinterest.  Call it the ‘hot’, young darling of Social Media.  

Pinterest is a virtual pin board. Think of it like a scrapbook with lots of your favourite photos and mementos, only, its digital. 

With Pinterest, you “pin” or “like” images of items that you’re interested in or really like.  This could be images and/or videos of ‘stuff’ you like, you, your work, your colleagues, your clients – just about anyone or anything in your world.

Considered another way, Pinterest is a great way to tell your company’s story and spotlight it’s personality with photos and videos.

Here’s why Pinterest should not be ignored:

  • Pinterest has more than 26 million unique visitors per month.  Once you have a Pinterest profile, it is easy for clients and vendors to find you by conducting searches within your industry.  You may also network with other businesses in an easier format than Linkedin.
  •  Pinterest  is fun.  The site allows you to organize images, maybe beautiful flowers, invitations , delightful dishes,  funnies, into boards for specific categories.  Some popular categories include food, clothes, jewellery,  crafts, interior decorating, etc.  When you “pin” something new, your followers automatically see it. They can like, comment or re-pin it to their boards, And like ‘Facebook’, your Pinterest pins can go viral. With Pinterest you can also add videos.
  • Pinterest allows you to tell your brand’s story visually.   You are able to create a virtual catalogue of distinct images that speak to your particular brand.  This will keep customers and prospects visiting your page, and naturally increase the amount of followers. Approximately 80% of Pinterest users are women within the 25 – 34 age bracket.  Is this your demographic?
  • Pinterest visitors are more likely to buy your product.    According to AllFacebook.com, 69% of online consumers who visit Pinterest have found an item they’ve bought or wanted to buy, compared with 40% of Facebook users.
  •  Small businesses such as graphic artists, photographers, designers (just to name a few) are now able to showcase their work for free, and you can too.  Displaying your creativity and personal style on Pinterest, will give prospective clients the opportunity to view your work before making that purchasing decision.

        Here are a few ways to use Pinterest effectively

  • Outline your company history with images. E.g show the iterations of your logo, share past and present ad campaigns (the good and bad), retired products and/or retired employees.  Showcase awards and recognition.
  •  Pin ‘behind-the-scenes’ images of employees and other internal stakeholders.  How about clients experiencing your products and services.  Consider ‘a day-in-the-life of’ series of photos.  Powerful images like these would really help to tell your story.
  • Showcase the charity involvement or causes that matter to you.  Your customers and prospects would be thrilled to see how you are giving back to your community.

Pinterest  can become a great marketing tool for your small business. Lean in. 

Having great success with your Pinterest marketing? Please share with us in the comments below.

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Your Social Media tool box: What, Why and How to jump start you NOW. PT 2


In my last post, I showed you Why and How you can get started with blogs and Facebook.

In this post I’ll share with you Why and How to get started with LinkedIn and Google Analytics.

I hope these small steps will help you begin to navigate the Social Media jungle with a little less trepidation and fear.

3. LinkedIn

 Why:

  •  To network with other professionals and find others with similar interests.
  • Find out about people and their background prior to meetings.
  • Monitor your competitors.
  • Find specific people in other companies that may be prospects (generate leads).

How:

  •  Create a LinkedIn public profile – www.linkedin.com  (plan to spend several hours establishing your profile and network).
  • Your profile page should reflect your professional interests, passions, and ambitions.
  •  Be sure to include a solid headline that includes keywords relevant to your industry, a business photo, how you would to be contacted and what you want to be contacted about.
  • To start building your network you can reach out to everyone you’ve emailed before and make a request to connect. LinkedIn also allows you to search for people you know to see if they are already members.

Cost: Free. Upgrades for a monthly subscription

 4. Google Analytics

Why:

  •  Monitors your website traffic.
  • Provides stats that help you monitor who is visiting your site, where they are from, what they are looking for and how long they are staying.
  •  Helps you engage and convert more customers.

 How:

  • Set up a free account www.google.com/analytics
  • Insert code that Google Analytics provides you with into every page you want tracked on your website.  Your webmaster should be able to add the code for you.
  • Set aside some time to get familiar with Google Analytics and what it can do. 
  •  Monitor your site’s performance (hourly, daily, weekly – as you like it.)   

 Cost: Free. New features added often.                

 Stay tuned for the next post on Twitter and YouTube.

By: Dorothy Vernon-Brown

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Your Social Media tool box: What, Why and How to jump start you NOW.

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Your Social Media tool box: What, Why and How to jump start you NOW.


It’s all the buzz now – Social Media. Social Media.  Social Media. Do or die, get in the game, yada, yada, yada. If your head is still spinning from the ‘chatter’  or you are still utterly confused, let me break it down into bite size pieces to help you navigate the new marketing frontier that can seem so daunting.  

 Today let’s talk about blogs and Facebook.

1. Blogs

Why:

  • An opportunity to provide free value to your customers and prospects.
  • Elevate your status as an expert in your industry.
  • Raise your website in search engine results.

 How:

  • Write original and interesting content that’s relevant to your industry or business. Write to engage your audience.
  • Do not turn your blog into a sales pitch. Remember it’s not about YOU! WIIFM applies.
  • Add value to your readers; provide interesting content. Solve a problem, ease the pain.
  • Platforms: www.wordpress.com /www.blogger.com

Cost:

Free (for basic service). Upgrades and add-ons available at a cost.

2. Facebook

Why:

  • Highly indexed by search engines. One of the most highly trafficked sites on the internet.
  • Facilitates social connections between people (i.e customers and prospects). Fans can quickly and easily share your message.
  • Can use the Events section to plan and promote a business event or meeting, invite people on your ‘Friend’ list and see who will or will not attend.
  • The Wall allows you and your fans to engage in a two way dialogue. You can post a topic for discussion and your fans can participate and express their opinions. 

 How:

  • Create a business Fan Page.www.facebook.com/page/create.
  • Customize your Fan Page.  Fill out the relevant details about your business. Upload a profile picture (could be your logo, company/team picture or a business picture.)
  • Engage your fans and invite them to share stories, ask questions, upload pictures (relevant to your business).  Offer discounts, contests, giveaways to your Facebook fans only.
  •  Focus on updating your status with company news etc, use the Events page to promote your events and post company photos to the gallery.

 Cost: Free. Facebook Ads available at a cost (similar to Google AdSense ads).

Next post LinkedIn and Google Analytics. Stay tuned.

By: Dorothy Vernon-Brown

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Excuses Be Gone! Why Small Businesses Should Embrace Social Media

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Excuses Be Gone! Why Small Businesses Should Embrace Social Media


If social media has reached its tipping point why does the adoption rate seem low?  Once considered the domain of the ‘younger’ crowd and used only for sharing personal info; social media is growing up and trumping traditional marketing as a low cost, highly effective marketing tool. 

The social media stats are staggering; 400 million users on Facebook; 60 million on LinkedIn and more than 50 million tweets per day on Twitter.  If Facebook was a country it would be the fourth largest in the world.

With these staggering stats and growing evidence of the effectiveness of social media, I go back to my original question – why does the adoption rate seem so low among small businesses?  If I were to guess, I would sum it up with one word – FEAR.  Yes, FEAR of what is unknown and unfamiliar.  

 The adoption rate among small business in the US is approximately 24% which means 76% are yet to venture therein.  In Canada the adoption rate is around 19% which means that 81% of Canadian small businesses are yet to adopt. Fear of the unknown is the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind says renown horror writer H. P. Lovecraft. 

If all the experts, pundits, gurus or whatever you want to call them are right, social media is not the Next Big Thing. It is The BIG Thing.  It follows then, that if your small business is not involved in social media in some way, shape or form; your business will become stale and outdated, and maybe, just maybe your competitors will leave you eating dust.

Do you realize that Google is now a verb?  These days if you are looking for information what’s the first thing you think or do?  That’s right – you ‘Google’ the search term. Most consumers now ‘Google’ a company or a product before a purchase decision is made.

Customers and prospects are turning to their peers for recommendations often looking to online communities and sites like Yelp.ca to read user reviews and then make a decision.

Want proof?  Consider the role social media played in getting President Obama elected. One of the most unlikely candidates in the early days, his use of social media is now a case study for the marketing books.

 Then consider the role Twitter played in June 2009 when those protesting the official outcome of the Iranian election used it to co-ordinate their actions and spread the word to colleagues and supporters within and outside Iran.

 Still unconvinced? How about Lucky Bucky Clothing in Tennessee who after using Facebook ads for only 4 months received over 40% of their click through on their website from Facebook pages. Naturally this converted to increased sales.

While it might be too late to be an early adopter, now is good a time as ever to get your small business found online and engaged in social media.  Why not start a blog and provide relevant content about your industry? No sales pitch please. How about tweeting on Twitter?  No problem if you are not chatty, the micro-blogging site only allows you 140 characters to say your thing.  Tweet about a coupon, discount or sale you might be running.  Not your style? At least join the 60 million professionals around the world who are connecting with each other every day on LinkedIn.  Why not tryout being a ‘fan’ on Facebook?  Once you see how engaging it can be  set up your own Facebook fan page for your business.  Bottom line ‘Just Do It’ as Nike says.

Every medium might not be the right fit for you but at least give one or two a try and see what works best for your business.  If you are still uncomfortable, research, ask or hire a social media consultant to guide you through the process; like traditional marketing it’s all about testing and refining.

If you still decide to sit on the sideline and play ‘hands-off’ here’s are just a few ways you could be potentially hurting your small business:

  1. 1.    Your competitors have the edge. YOU DON’T

Other savvy small business will jump in and leave you eating dust.  They will engage your customers and prospects and eventually win them over. How costly is it to regain a customer?

  1. 2.    Your customers and prospects are online.  YOU ARE ABSENT

Remember that saying “out of sight, out of mind”?  It’s true. If you are absent from the social media scene you leave that void to be filled by your competitors.  Fill they will. Your competitors will now have their finger on the pulse of your customers and prospects.

If they fill that void they take your share of voice, if they take your share of voice, eventually they’ll take your share of wallet.

  1. 3.    Everyone else has a voice. YOU DON’T

Social media seems to be the great equalizer now.  Consumers have more power than ever before as they tweet, blog or Facebook about their preferences and positions; their rants and their faves.  Customers and prosects are taking back; they now have control of the conversation. If your voice is absent how then can you engage and listen? A shift has taken place; consumers have more power and voice. Jump in or become a dinosaur.

 4.    Your market is changing.  YOU ARE NOT. You seem irrelevant

 It’s true that the future belongs to those who will embrace change.  Make no mistake; the landscape is changing at lightning speed.  Your audience is changing and the market is shifting.  Do you realize that some Gen Ys might not recognize a typewriter or a cassette player?  If you market to the Gen Xs and Ys social media is not optional. How dated and irrelevant do you want to be?

 Jump in!  Social media is not that scary.

 This is just the tip of the iceberg. You might have some to share. Please do here.

 By: Dorothy Vernon-Brown

Posted in Small Business MarketingComments (0)

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