Month: November 2012

How to Use LinkedIn Answers for Business


LinkedIn is often the ugly step child to Facebook when it comes to where many businesses focus their limited social media efforts, but it has many features that businesses can use including answering questions to build brand authority.

For those not familiar with LinkedIn answers it’s an online forum where people can post, respond and read answers to questions that pertain to them. Most questions and therefore answers are generally business focused and are segmented by industry making it easy for businesses to find questions and answers that relate to them.

Answering questions is a great way to share your expertise with those who are looking for it. It’s also a great way to develop not only you, but your company as thought leaders in your industry. By creating a level of expertise and knowledge, other companies and people will begin looking to you because they know you have the answer. Of course the end goal can also be a soft sale with a focus on lead generation.


Top 5 Ways to use LinkedIn Answers for Businesses

  1. Learn what questions your prospective clients have and use this to generate content for a blog post, videos, or email content
  2. Identify and connect with key influencers who are asking questions to help build your network
  3. Develop yourself as a thought leader in the industry by providing helpful answers without the hard sell
  4. Set your company up as a resource for your clients and prospects without the hard sell so they come to you organically
  5. Build brand awareness and generate leads

LinkedIn answers provide a great opportunity to engage with your market during their initial research phase and begin lead nurturing and build brand awareness.

Get practical, hands-on advice to generate more business from LinkedIn this December at the Social Media Strategy Summit (December 5-7). During his hands-on workshop, "Leveraging LinkedIn to Grow Your Business", Kent Lewis will share how to take advantage of LinkedIn groups, company pages, and ads to generate leads and build your brand. See Full Agenda.


13 Ways to Improve Social Media Marketing in 2013


In advance of OMI's Social Media Strategy Summit (all sessions are now available through an OMI subscription), I asked our speakers for the best advice they had for amplifying your social media marketing performance in 2013. Here's what they said:

1. Develop Visual Content

"2013 is the year when we will truly feel the rise of visual marketing. Visuals and video done right are highly effective in cutting through the noise. It is snackable kind of content that resonates with people across the globe and increases engagement across social nets. Brands will need to understand what it takes to do visual marketing well, whether within their current communities or new networks like Pinterest, Instagram, and others."

- Ekaterina Walter, Social Media Strategist, Intel, and author of Think Like Zuck

2. Create Success Metrics That Clearly Support a Business Goal

Adam Proehl

"I'm a measurement and analysis guy at heart so one of the best pieces of advice I can give to brands would be to have success metrics that very clearly support a business goal. For example, if building your company's reputation as a thought leader is a business objective, then one of your success metrics should focus on how much of your content is shared and in what social media circles."

- Adam Proehl, Managing Partner, NordicClick Interactive

3. Develop an Integrated Communications Strategy

"In one word – integration. Social media has exploded and there are multiple ways to connect and engage with customers. The key is to identify your key channels, focus your efforts on those and have an integrated communication strategy for both your social media and traditional vehicles. For example if you are trying to start a conversation on a particular topic have that topic exist in all your key channels but don't just copy and paste, you will need to mold the conversation for the medium but like advertising if you want the song to stick, every channel has to play the same tune."

- LaSandra Brill, Senior Manager of Global Social Media, Cisco

4. Become a Smart Editorial Publisher

"2013 is the year smart brands will become smart editorial publishers. Three reminders: 1. Merge your public relations news into your social media content strategy that includes visual story telling. 2. Write like a reporter. 3. Throw out the cream puff press release writing and generic social media messages."

- Lisa Buyer, CEO, The Buyer Group

5. Don't Be Afraid to Become a Geek

"Things are changing fast in our industry. As an online marketer, you've been used to overcoming new challenges every year. The kind of challenges that did not exist the year before.

But putting together a successful social media plan is a really different type of challenge. It is different because in order to be successful at banner advertising, email or content marketing, you don't have to understand the technicalities of the media. Who cares how the banners are distributed or how the emails are sent and tracked, a long as it works!

With social media in general (and Facebook in particular), if you don't understand how the platform, its features, its API and its insights work, you will  probably miss most of the potential this new media can offer you.

Did you know that you can obtain highly qualified data about your Facebook fans using applications? That you can publish a Flash app directly in the newsfeed and collect leads or display interactive demos of your products for free? And finally, are you familiar with all the possibilities that OpenGraph applications can offer to your website?

If you accept to become a little bit more geek with Social Media and dive into some techy stuff, you will learn a lot and be a lot more creative and successful. Go ahead, it's also fun."

- Emeric Ernoult, CEO & Founder, AgoraPulse

6. Extend Social Beyond Facebook

"Facebook is no longer just a destination. Thanks to Open Graph which enables developers to embed social into any desktop or mobile experience, Facebook is now a feature. It’s a minimum requirement for engaging consumers online. As a result, social engagement is shifting dramatically. The user experiences of 2013 will be social (on or off, deeply interactive with game mechanics, and accessible from every connected device imaginable. We call it the all-screens era and it’s coming fast in 2013."

- Matt Simpson, Marketing Director, Bulbstorm

7. Keep it “Light, Bright and Polite”

"When writing, responding or sharing something on social media, always keep it “Light, Bright and Polite.” Let’s break this down:

Light: Keep it short. On social media, that means work hard to keep your messaging under 100 characters. Most adults are consumed in their lives, thus you have a very narrow window to grab their attention.

Bright: Make sure what you’re posting is something helpful to your readers, and perhaps, so valuable that they will forward it on to their friends (without you having to say, “Share this with your friends” or “Spread the word”). This means it will shine on its own and be shared without asking.

Polite: This means you and/or your brand would be proud of the message if it were to be posted on a billboard the next day for thousands of people to see. Your tweets should outlast the week, month and year. Keep them polite so you’re proud of them if they end up on a billboard for your parents to see or your boss finds your posts in the future."

- Josh Ochs, Founder, MediaLeaders

8. Develop or Hire a Social Media Marketing Evangelist

"In 2013, smart companies will upgrade their social media teams with an Evangelist role. Unlike a Social Media Marketing Manager role steeped in tactical execution, the role of the Social Media Evangelist is that of that of a strategic planner, manager, trainer and facilitator. Essentially, the Evangelist is Chief Brand Officer/CMO/Editor-in-Chief/HR Director all wrapped into one. Instead of being the single voice for the company, the Evangelist manages the overall voice of the company, as created by employees at all levels. Notice the term “Marketing” is dropped from the job title, since the responsibilities of the Evangelist expand well beyond marketing into R&D, customer service and sales. The Evangelist is responsible for the company’s overall presence in social media, and that the brand is accurately represented across all departments/divisions. Read the background article or full job description for details."

- Kent Lewis, President, Anvil Media

9. Test Every New Facebook Ad Format

"Ever since its IPO, Facebook has been releasing new ad types and targeting at a torrid pace. And there are no signs of things slowing in 2013. The mounting pressure on Facebook to monetize its vast audience is a win for marketers. Whether you're looking to build your brand or drive direct response results, there's a Facebook ad strategy that can deliver results. It may take some time to find the right combination so keep testing and tweaking."

- Aaron Goldman, CMO, Kenshoo

10. Imagine That You Are Communicating Face-to-Face

"Trigger finger syndrome -- the compulsiveness we develop from playing videogames or using other applications that call for clicking on the mouse or fire button -- makes people type things online that they'd never say to you in person. So the shortcut guidepoint on how to moderate communities online is to at least mentally transform that conversation from static text on a screen to a discussion. As you read what others have written and write your responses, imagine what they sound like. If you're able to speak them aloud while typing, so much the better, although if you're doing this work in a cubicle farm, your neighbors might not appreciate listening to you talk to your screen. Think of what you would say to each posting party if you had the chance to talk face to face."

-  Jackie Cohen, Director of Social Media and Communications Consulting at ticular

11. Get Authentic Recommendations

"In the social media age, the holy grail for marketing leaders is getting customers to authentically recommend you. Advocacy- not ads- is what drives purchase decisions and perceptions in nearly every product category. Smart businesses and marketers aren't fighting this customer uprising. They're harnessing it. They're systematically finding their Advocates and turning them into powerful marketing forces. The question of brand advocacy should go beyond the CMO; it should be at the top of the CEO's agenda as well. Advocacy is strategic. Advocates drive profits. Companies with happy customers grow faster than those without. It just makes sense. You have to evangelize evangelism."

- Rob Fuggetta, CEO & Founder, Zuberance

12. Correlate Social Media Marketing to Revenue and Sales

"If you've been using fuzzy metrics to justify social media initiatives, 2013 is the year to add sales and revenue impact to your list of social media KPIs. With a slew of new tools, you can now determine which social media marketing channels drive real, meaningful revenue, and which ones fall flat."

- George Revutsky, Founder, MyNextCustomer

13. Engage and Interact with Your Audience

"There is tremendous untapped potential for you to develop meaningful relationships with your audience. Don't just post tweets and status updates. Monitor conversations. Connect with people. Reply to their Tweets. You will be amazed how simply interacting with your audience can help build lasting customer relationships."

- Megan Leap, Director of Marketing, Online Marketing Institute



How to Use Instagram for Business


Instagram is a photo sharing service available as an easy to download application for any Android or iOS powered device. The photos captured can be shared on Facebook, Twitter and even Tumblr too. Facebook announced its plans to acquire Instagram in April (2012) just after Instagram released the application to Android users and their user base exploded.

It is time for businesses to understand that this social sharing platform is here to stay. So how can a business use Instagram to share their story?

1. Build an Identity

Start snapping photos of your business. Once you’re ready to post your first image, you’ll be able to add a location if it is not already listed.

Try uploading photos of interesting aspects of the store or products, or share images of things the people who shop your business care about. You’ll be amazed at the response when you start sharing your perspective. Visuals speak louder than words.

2. Use Hashtags to Build a Following

What’s the point of taking a great photograph if no one will notice it? Celebrate your active brand advocates by deciding on a short, easy to type phrase that people can include in their tweets.

For example Adidas used the hashtag “#thereturn” to celebrate the return of Derrick Rose. They even made it a predominate design element on their website for D Rose.

With the use of these hashtags you can monitor conversations focused around your brand by using the Twitter search feed or directly displaying these photos using the Instagram API on your website.

Make sure to include any legal terms and conditions related to the use of the publically shared content. In the footer of their website, Adidas informed people: * If you send us a Tweet, or use our hashtag "#TheReturn" on Twitter and Instagram, you consent to letting adidas and Derrick Rose use your content and handle, in any media. If you opt in to our Facebook application All In For D Rose by adidas you also consent to letting adidas use your customized Facebook image in any media.

Fan based media can be shared cross-platform allowing you to successfully use Instagram for marketing and to increase brand loyalty through the instant gratification of social likes.

3. Find Your Advocates

Snap a photo using Instagram and then select that you’d like to add a Photo Map. You’ll be prompted to “name a place”. This is where you’ll see a list of available locations based on your GPS location. Once you find your business, select it as the location and then upload your photo. Once uploaded you’ll be able to click on the location as a hyperlink and browse the gallery of photos other people have tagged for that same location.

Find anything interesting? Follow that individual and you’re on your way to building your community.

4. Instagram Photo Contest

If you want to take it to the next level try hosting a photo contest. People who have a smartphone and are active on Facebook or Twitter are most likely to be active on Instagram as well. Just remember to make sure to keep the contest simple. Take Red Bull for example:

Their official rules outline the Instagram contest details. It is important to have a page dedicated to any questions your fans may have.

Instagram contests are incredibly simple to setup and can increase your following immensely, plus you never know what new perspectives your fans may share.

Ready to learn more? Get a 7 day free trial to OMI, and check out the class, Marketing on Instagram: How to Use Visual Storytelling to Build Your Brand.

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5 Essential Tips for Your Facebook Brand Page


Establishing a business page on Facebook creates a space to nurture relationships with your customer base, but how do you get people to like your page? The following is a list of internal features to help you market your business on Facebook and build your social media presence.

Facebook Page Internal Features
Before you begin any paid campaigns or Facebook contests, get started by making sure the page you want people to like is welcoming and depicting your brand properly. Starting from the top of your Facebook business page going down:

1. Engage with a Cover Photo

The cover photo is the first impression a visitor will experience. Make sure yours depicts your business. The Facebook cover photo dimensions are 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. With a little design skills, you can also incorporate your profile photo into the cover photo.

2. Include a Call to Action in Your About Us Section

The About Us section on business pages is often used to self-promote, but try writing a call to action in the 160 character space instead.

3. Add a Custom Tab

The Facebook Tabs should be designed with a strong call to action and clear title to motivate people to engage with your content. Image dimensions are 111px by 74px.

4. Highlight Your Best Content

Use the Highlight Star and Pin to Top edit options to bring more attention to image posts or content that you’d like to remain as the first post people see when they visit your business page.

Notice the full screen length display of this post? This is a great way to spotlight a photo gallery or branded series.

5. Claim Your Vanity URL

And if you haven’t already, claim your vanity URL to customized the Facebook URL for your business page. Click on the fan page settings “basic information” tab. This will allow you to add a visually appealing and memorable Facebook URL to your business cards or other communication material.

But even after accomplishing all of the above, page owners must create magnetic content. Give your fans visual content like a photograph or video, which is more likely to be shared than a text status update, and remember the 80/20 rule. Talk about your community, or ask questions for your fans to engage with 80 percent of the time - instead of shouting about your next sale in 100 percent of your status updates. People only care about your business on Facebook, if you care about them.

Ready to continue learning about how to market on Facebook using promotions? Subscribe to OMI and access the class,  A Social Promotions Primer.


7 Principles of Great Customer Experiences


Call it delight, caring, innovation or service, some companies set themselves apart by earning the durable preference of their customers.

If your view is that "life is too short for standard results" then here is what I've learned from business leaders who know how to earn the involvement and loyalty of great customers.

These loved firms grow faster, maintain stronger margins, and navigate downturns better than those firms with customer relationships based on toleration and transaction. And, it turns out, there are patterns to how companies become loved.

After a year of meeting with breakthrough businesses that have made their names on fantastic customer relationships, my team brought together the very best of these in Portland, Oregon and Boston to talk about how they do business. Here are the themes that will stay with me after these great conversations.

Who owns the customer experience?

Brands like Nordstroms, Gemvara, Life is Good, Zipcar, Warby Parker, Boloco and Mt. Hood Meadows answer this question differently.

The titles of our customer experience leaders ranged from CEO and CMO, to VP of Customer Experience, and the Chief Customer Officer. One of our speakers ended their marketing department entirely, giving responsibility to every department to create the plan of how they will market their organization through radical service.

1. Delight isn’t a tagline – it’s the bottom line

Why is gaining and maintaining customer loyalty and preference a big deal? It’s the last persistent advantage in an otherwise quick-to-commoditize world.

That’s how Ron Rogowski of Forrester Research described the shift of companies from differentiating on their products (when products and features were scarce), to distribution (when transportation and media access were constrained).

Once product development became rapid and distribution was global, power shifted to customers. Being armed with the ability to gather information independently (and use digital media to spread their views) allows them to dictate the terms of engagement with brands. In a fluid marketplace, the favor is what separates winners and losers.

2. Delight isn’t an ideal – it’s a pragmatic everyday activity, and its built on failure

For companies that delight, error isn’t the enemy, irrelevance is.  John Pepper, CEO of Boloco, summed it up:

When you provide the variety of products we do to 80,000 guests a day, mistakes will happen. So, we’ve decided to become great at recovering from mistakes, and turning them in to wins.

Brian Kalma of Gemvara wrapped a success metric around the same idea:

If we help someone fix a problem, they’re four times more likely to repurchase from us than if we had just delivered what they wanted with no further follow-up.

Perfection is built on fixing things in a way that shows care. It’s a moment of truth that can elevate brands.

At the end of the day, a customer complaint shows that someone cares about what a business has promised. They’re engaged, and there’s an opportunity to win.  Jill Nelson from Ruby Receptionists addressed the threat in the alternative: those unimpressed and unengaged. “Fine is a four letter word” – it’s just too low a standard.

Dave Tragethon from Mt. Hood Meadows and Leslie Mottla from Zipcar both stressed the marketing need to set customer expectations to frame success. If there’s little snow, if the parking lots will be packed, if using a shared car means taking care of it for others, etc. – setting  expectations up front lets people know what they’ve signed-up for. We often lack certainty in business, but that shouldn’t impede forthrightness.

3. Get clear about the value of your brand to customers

In one of the Boston sessions before our meeting in Boston, Stacy Howe from New Balance suggested that before you can do great marketing, you need to decide who you’ll be to customers.

The simple formula, “Differentiation + Design = Delight” sets out a journey of aligning identity, creating experiences that express a brands minimum viable personality, and it creates the opportunity to operationally deliver delight.

In Portland, we dug in to about a dozen brief framing statements, that well-known firms use to explain what benefit or value they share with their clients. These become a point of connection that explains why firms belong in their customers’ lives.

We started to break these down in to five general styles:  Happiness, Connection, Discovery, Pride, and Social Good. Each of which starts to rough out the terrain of delight.

4. Rethink the role of customers for your company

Pepper described their VIBE (very important burrito eater) program, which recognized that they have around 2,500 high frequency customers who, if treated well, can spread the word about Boloco better than any advertising.

Tragethon described the same dynamic with one of Mt. Hood Meadows' season pass offerings. By creating an affordable and highly social season pass, they’re sold in bundles of four. Selling these at a great discount created thousands of new skiers with a season-long commitment to their destination, which they could connect with through specialized offers and services.

David Oksman, the Head of Marketing for Life is good, talked about how they find disruptively good ideas by seeking customer input. Listening to customer feedback about music in the stores opened up a new opportunity for engagement. They now spend 300,000 minutes a month listening online.

5. Rethink content: Less story telling – More story living

When Pepper and Tragethon gave status to thousands of their best customers, those customers reciprocated by elevating their businesses. They received more active feedback, increased word of mouth, more frequent visits – and facilitated a peer relationship between its best clients and their brand.

In Portland I shared the story of Dove’s “Ad Makeover” on Facebook. They allowed women to spend Dove’s advertising budget to block out other firm’s ads that denigrate women’s self-image. Their clients wrote the ads, targets offensive ads to replace, and Dove did this on Facebook for other women, reporting back to each fan what the result of her suggestion was.

Increasingly content is eclipsed by experiences. A great tool, perhaps a mobile application, often can make more impact in someone’s life than written “content”. And when writing must be done, having it done by customers can often result in points of view that are more credible and useful that what brands would write themselves.

6. Technology is nothing without humanity

Perhaps the biggest object lesson of these discussions is that sincerity breeds delight. Sure, technology, content, and design may be how that sincerity gets manifested. But the experiences that companies create for clients convey more that any words we can craft.

Tragethon drove this home with his mantra “technology is nothing without humanity”, but so did our Portland host Steve Gadlin. His appearance on Shark Tank pitching “I Want to Draw a Cat for You” is another case where, like in the Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain is more real and powerful than the construction in front of it.

It’s comparatively easy to buy technology, but improvement from it is rare unless culture changes along with it. And when culture and technology are both in motion, it opens the door to new business models and the disproportionate gains they bring.

7. The age of miracles is not past

Earning the loyalty of customers is as old as service. But as Alisha Runckel tweeted on the idea of using an axe as a tool of unabashed change, “What day isn’t take your axe to work day?” she asked. But when your standard is delight, there’s an imperative to innovate and “wield the axe”, so to speak, for unabashed change.

As Brian Kalma noted in both our Boston and Portland events, “if you use a standard approach, you’ll get standard results.” Life’s too short for standard results.

Is there a firm or organization you love doing business with? Is there a product that you find has unreasonable personality, which you enjoy far beyond its actual utility? Please let me know in a comment below.


Want to learn how to deliver great mobile experiences to your customers? Check out Dave's OMI Crash Course on Mobile Marketing


How to Save Time with Social Media Automation Tools


If you’ve jumped into social media for the purposes of internet marketing – kudos to you. This is a forward thinking action, which can drive tremendous results for your business (and help you leapfrog ahead of your competition.)

Perhaps you’ve already noticed that great social media marketing seems to take much more time than you anticipated? Or that switching from one site to the next to check your engagement gets old quickly? Or that you cannot think of what to tweet or post on any given day?

Social media automation tools to the rescue.

What is a “Social Media Automation tool”?

These are online sites that you create an account with, and they allow you to monitor exactly what’s happening online without endlessly jumping back and forth between Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Using one of these “tools” can help you build your online communities faster, and more quickly and easily feed that community with highly relevant content.

For example:

  • Wouldn’t you like to jump onto one site and see your tweet stream, your twitter interactions, your Facebook page, any Facebook comments or messages, or even comments on your blog from one single interface? How simple!
  • Wouldn’t you like to load a couple of weeks’ or even a month’s worth of tweets into the program, and have them sent out automatically for you on a preset schedule? Ahh, sweet relief!
  • Wouldn’t it be great to get a report on traffic for all your social media sites, written in a way so that you can actually grasp what’s going on?

This might solve one problem for you, but how does it help you if you can’t think of what to tweet or post to your Facebook business page?

We recommend sitting down with your marketing team and:

  • brainstorming a month’s worth of tweets
  • mapping out an informational campaign showing your expertise
  • building up interest for a new product launch...

And then, when you have your ideas ready and written into 140 character blurbs, or FB posts (please remember to always add a photo or graphic to your FB posts) and automate it.

There are various tools offering different features, depending on your needs and the size of your business. Some are free, and most offer a “professional” version which is not free, but might offer you features you really want.

Social Media Automation Tools for Every Size and Budget

1. If you’ve got a small to midsized company and are just starting with social media marketing, Thumbonomics profiles these three tools:

2. For bigger companies, with bigger marketing departments and higher budgets.

Automation really makes all the difference in staying on top of social media, without it taking up all your time.

About the Author

Heather is the acclaimed speaker, trainer, and consultant who literally wrote the book on search engine marketing. Two books, in fact—The Findability Formula: The Easy, Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing and Thumbonomics: The Essential Business Roadmap for Social Media & Mobile Marketing. Her writing and in-demand keynotes are delivered with the same witty, “no-geek-speak” style that has managed to demystify internet marketing for countless business owners.


3 Things to Consider Before Using Facebook’s Promoted Posts


Facebook Promoted PostsFacebook has made it really easy to promote a post. As soon as you post something you will see a little button that says “promote” and it couldn’t be easier. This has raised a lot of questions for both personal and company pages about whether or not you should promote. Many marketers who jumped on board from the beginning are finding there is a hidden side to all of this that you might want to consider before hitting that button.

  1. Promoted posts automatically default to an optimized CPM. This means Facebook targets your ads to those most likely to perform an action such as like or comment on your page. This has lead to a lot of complaints about spam comments because nobody can appeal these complex mathematical algorithms more than a bot.
  2. It targets fans and friends of fans. It’s with this “friends of fans” feature that many people are finding that they are getting “spammy” comments leading many to believe that there is a flaw in Facebook algorithm because really who amongst us has a bot as friend.
  3. Sponsored stories are created, Facebook automatically includes sponsored stories as part of a promoted post campaign that targets friends and subscribers of fans who engage with your post. The majority of your budget gets eaten up by non-fans writing spam comments and spam likes and not actually by fans.

While it’s easy to just hit “promote” from your Facebook feed, your best bet for running a successful Facebook ad continues to be using the ad manager where you have complete control of the targeting including fans only, location and CPC. While it might take a couple more minutes to set up, it will lead to a more successful campaign spending your money on who you really want to target.

Ready to accelerate your Facebook marketing results? Join us this December at the Social Media Strategy Summit—the most comprehensive online event on social media marketing. Josh Ochs will share proven advice for Facebook success during his session, the "7 Elements of Highly Effective Facebook Marketing".



How to Use Pinterest for Business


Pinterest has been the topic of social media conversations since it burst onto the social scene, but now the conversation has now evolved into how to use Pinterest for business.

I recently sat in on a panel focused on social media in 2013 and one of the comments made was that the only people who use Pinterest are planning a wedding. I beg to differ on that one. Pinterest is the third largest social network in the world. I think it’s time that businesses figure out a way to use it to connect with customers and help build their brand. However, the question still remains, how do you use Pinterest?

Here are 5 ways on how to use Pinterest for business

1)   Start simple. If you don’t have the “Follow” or “Pin It” button on your site, get it up there. Check out Pinterest’s Goodies page to find what you need and select the option that works best for you.

2)   Create “Pinnable” content. Finding the right imagery or content sounds like a daunting task, but it can be very simple. Depending on your business you have a couple of options.

  • If you’re an e-commerce retailer, focus on the imagery and photos of your product. Get creative and have fun.
  • Lead generation focused business can also have fun. If you have a lot of content or write a blog post, incorporate a photo and encourage readers to pin it. You can also share industry stats via imagery as well.

3)   Promote your Pinterest boards. This isn’t the typical “if you build it, they will come” scenario. You need to encourage your customers to actually use the Pinterest buttons you’ve setup on your website.  Intertwine your Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest presence by talking about your newest board or favorite pin through tweets, status updates or even subscribing to a third-party app to display your Pinterest account on your Facebook page.

Here’s a great infograph on who is using Pinterest. Find out where there is overlap with your target and get the conversation going.

How to Use Pinterest for Business - Infograph

4)    Optimize for SEO. Pinterest is ideal for any linking or keyword strategy. When you create a description for a new pin, make sure to add the keywords on which you want to focus. You can add in broad hashtags like #bouquet or #wedding to tag your pin to be relevant for those internal Pinterest search queries

If you’re pinning a product someone could purchase, you can add the money symbol in the pin’s description along with the price and Pinterest displays a banner over the left corner with the price. This can be useful to attract a tad more attention to pin appearing in search results or on your board.

5)   Connect with your brand advocates. If at any time you’re curious to see who on Pinterest is sharing your content, visit the “sources” subdomain followed by your URL.

For example, type in:

If people are sharing your content, you will be brought to a page that displays a series of original pins and the names of the people who posted them. I suggest following their boards and repining a few of your favorites

Each social network can work for your business in different ways. Pinterest is one that can be more difficult for you if you’re not purely retail, but there are always new opportunities to explore.

Learn how to use Pinterest to drive referral traffic and boost brand awareness.

Watch How Pinterest Can Help Your Brand, and walk through the necessary steps for getting up and running on Pinterest. You'll discover how to leverage the network to drive significant referral traffic, and learn exactly how to create pins that people will love, share, and visit. Get instant access to now.



5 Ways to Improve Your New LinkedIn Company Page


LinkedIn is the latest social media site to adopt a highly visual layout which started with Facebook’s timeline. While many companies don’t spend a lot of time on optimizing and maintaining their LinkedIn profiles it still is a public facing image of your company. Prospective clients and employees can and will see it before deciding if they want to work with or for you. Small changes can make your profile pop.

  1. Add a banner image to your LinkedIn profile. I recommend you use the same image for Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn.LinkedIn Company Banner Image
  2. Use images with updates. Updates that you post to your LinkedIn profile home page are more prominent with even larger images drawing more attention to them and creating a more engaging profile.LinkedIn Status Updates
  3. Add products and offers. Career & products are more prominent and are featured in the top navigation of the page and in the right rail driving more traffic to these sections of the profile. Think outside the box when it comes to describing products/services you provide. They don’t have to be products & services you offer in the traditional sense. Consider adding downloads/white papers to these tabs to encourage people to engage in your lead gen efforts.LinkedIn Products & Services Tabs
  4. Encourage recommendations. Recommendations are more prominently featured on the products page. Encourage customers to recommend your products & services to help fill out your LinkedIn profile.LinkedIn Product Recommendations
  5. Review the new layout. LinkedIn has moved around where content falls on the page so it’s wise to review how your current content is appearing on the page and update as needed.

While LinkedIn might not be a 1st tier social profile for your company it is worth the time to maintain and optimize your profile when the platform changes. It is still important that you are presenting your company in the best light possible for possible prospects and employees.