Boost your Website Traffic with Pinterest

Carmine Media on Pinterest

Carmine Media on Pinterest

If your business relies on driving traffic to your website to increase sales consider joining Pinterest. If you’re not familiar with Pinterest, it is a social network where users to share their interests by “pinning” images or videos to their own or friend’s boards. Remember how you decorated your locker in high school? Well now you can share those clippings on Pinterest and use them to drive traffic to your website. Of all the social networks this one is truly the easiest to get set up and running.

Getting started on Pinterest

  1. Go to Pinterest.com and request an invite. The response is usually fast, within one day or so.
  2. Add the “Pin it” button to your browser
  3. Start Pinning
Pin it button

Connect and Brand your Account

Currently Pinterest allows users to connect using either a Facebook or Twitter account. Note to businesses: the option to share your Pinterest activity is not available to Facebook pages, only personal profiles. When you set up your Pinterest account be sure to connect with your business Twitter account to allow easy sharing to your Twitter followers.

Brand your Pinterest account the same way you’ve branded your other social accounts. Under the settings tab add your website, a keyword rich description and your standard social profile picture.

Create and Build your Boards

Just as with any social network it is important to flesh out your content before actively seeking out followers. Explore the platform and pin images you like and those that represent the type of content your customers will find interesting. It probably goes without say, but make sure your images are visually appealing so users will want to share them. Go through your website using the “Pin it” button and organize your interesting images onto a board. This is where the platform becomes a powerful traffic driver to your site. Users will be able to click through that image from Pinterest right back to your website. Keep this in mind when adding future images to your site or blog. Make sure they are pinnable and interesting to Pinterest users!

Build your Pinterest Following

Start following users you hope will follow you back. Follow some of the Pinterest power users so you can see how they’re leveraging the network. Mashable, Etsy and Folk Magazine (debuted November 2011) are good resources for inspiration. You can see the beginnings of my boards at Carmine Media here.  Pin a few images every day for maximum exposure. The network is growing fast and you’ll be surprised by how quickly folks start repinning your images. Cross connect by adding a Pinterest follow button to your website so visits know you’re using the platform.

Become a Pinterest Thought Leader

By posting your own and curating other’s content you can become a subject matter expert on the topics most interesting to your customers. For example, if you’re a real estate broker, pin images of beautifully staged rooms so sellers can get ideas for home staging. If you’re a pet groomer, pin images of cute animals (there are plenty to be found) and show dogs being groomed. Make sure to add links to your image descriptions, use keyword rich text and know that Pinterest supports the use of hashtags. Remember too, as with any other social network there are rules of engagement known as Pin Etiquette . Make sure to check that out.

Happy Pinning!

The best way to get a handle on using Pinterest for business is to try it yourself. Sign up for a personal account, connect it to your Facebook page and start pinning images that inspire you. You’ll see quickly how all that activity can translate into buzz around your brand.

How are you using Pinterest for business? Share your thoughts, ideas, and any boards you love here with me.

How to Build a Content Calendar | Social Media Management

Many of my clients are concerned about the amount of time they will need to spend creating and searching for content to share with their communities. Writing original content through blog posts can be time consuming. Searching for and curating content to share is also a time investment, especially if done without a plan. My post on using listening tools for brand management and content curation will help organize your content curation. Now it’s time to add a content calendar to your strategy to plan what and when to post to your followers.

What is a Content Calendar?

A content calendar is an plan for publishing content to all your social media streams. The format is up to you. I prefer using a spreadsheet, but a Word document, Google calendar, or any other tool will work. If you’re sharing the calendar with other community managers a shared Google Document or calendar using any of these formats is a useful tool.

Your calendar should contain an overview of the topics, the dates, the content and links to relevant information. Include notes on social objects such as photos or videos as well.

Plan for Creating your Content Calendar

Calendars can be set up yearly (very ambitious) or weekly or monthly. If you decide to use a yearly calendar plan to update and change regularly as ideas and topics come up. Remember nothing is set in stone. At the very least, decide on what you plan to post this week to get started. Then as this planning becomes a habit, look farther into the future.

Deciding on Content

Start by looking at your business calendar. What events occur regularly that you want to incorporate into your strategy? Do you have monthly meetings, are there community events you want to promote, do you have a regular schedule of marketing activities? Add these to your calendar and plot out the dates. Remember to include holidays and special events.

Now search for relevant articles, social objects (videos, photos, infographics) and links to your own website to support the content. If you’re new to infographics, Visual.ly is a great place to start. If your strategy includes a blog post per week, this is where you decide on the general topic for those posts. A word or two, a link to an article and an idea for a supporting graphic should suffice at this point.

The Big Picture

Remember, a content calendar is a “big picture” document. Drill down for details as the dates approach. The most important thing to remember is, whatever you are sharing, keep it social and keep your audience in mind. What will add value to their day? What are they seeking?

Put in the effort up front on creating your calendar and you won’t be scrambling for content or neglecting your social spaces and your community down the line.

How do you decide what to share with your community?

Are You Using the 80/20 Rule to Your Advantage?

Are you part of the 80%? I’m not talking about an occupy movement here. Instead, I’m referring to the 80/20 rule or the Pareto Principle. Anyone that’s served on a committee or worked on a team class project has seen this rule in action. It goes like this:

80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Or in business the distribution looks like this:

  • 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers
  • 80% of your complaints come from 20% of your customers
  • 80% of your sales are made by 20% of your sales staff
  • 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people

Named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto in 1906 after observing that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population, he developed the principle by also observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas. Since that time the principal has been used in economic theory, optimization efforts and quality control measures. For example, Microsoft noted that by fixing the top 20% of the most highly reported bugs, 80% of the errors would be eliminated (Wikipedia).

How this works with Social Media

Simple. You’ll get the best results and engagement from your efforts if 80% of what do you adds value to someone else, either by providing free information, sharing articles written by others, offering discounts, crowdsourcing ideas or pointing out others’ successes. The other 20% can be about you, your products and your ideas. In other words, talk about yourself only 20% of the time. That’s 2 tweets out of 10.

Do you see this principle at work in your social media efforts? Share your ideas with me here.

Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareto_principle

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