Tag Archives: Pinterest

The Credibility Killer

By: Dallas J. Short

Everyone knows that buying followers on social media is not a good idea, right? You would think by now, with all the facts, all the stories and the programs out there, this would be common knowledge. It still appears though, people will falsely increase their followers without concern of the consequences. So, let’s take a quick refresher course on why it’s a no no, not a win win.

Keep it Real. The followers you are buying are not real people, they do not have real interests, they do not even have real profiles and they will never be real customers.

Mid (social) Life Crisis. Ok, you have been on social media for a while and you are not getting as many numbers as others. You begin doubting yourself. You think having as many followers as your business peers will make you seem young and hip, but just like buying a Corvette or Mustang at age 50, you might go from zero to a hundred real quick but you will be in the same situation. Have confidence in your product and concentrate your efforts on being authentic. Yes, business is competition, but this is not the way to win. These inflated numbers are not liking or sharing your information. From a marketing perspective, you are purchasing a bunch of unqualified leads. If you were cold calling, you just bought a phone book of disconnected numbers. In business terms, the ROI on buying fake followers is $0.

The Man Behind the Curtain. This is not the Wizard of Oz and people will pay attention to the man behind the curtain, which is you and your brand. Your actual fans and followers will see this number boost and no increased interaction, this is not impressive to them and will be a huge turnoff. People do not like to find out someone or something they believe in is cheating, this goes for both online and offline activities. Facebook now only shows your post to a small percentage of your followers, a false increase in your audience dramatically lowers the chances that the people who actually care about what you have to say will be able to see it. So if you are paying for those fake numbers, you are risking having to pay even more money per update to make sure your legit fans see your posts and announcements.

High Diving Off the Wrong Platform. There are many different social media platforms out there on the internet but that does not mean you have to be on everyone. Research which platforms work best for your industry or which ones you can actually devote your efforts and energy too. If your company is not as suited for Twitter (or Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, etc.), spending money on followers is not only a waste of money, but even being on there as much as you are could be a waste of time.

Numbers That Matter. When you purchase fake followers, you are losing the relevancy of your demographic information. One of the most important things of being on social media is being able to know your audience, so you can figure out more ways to appeal to and engage with them. This will also hurt your sponsorship proposals as well as most of your marketing efforts.

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye. You have all these faux followers now and you want to get rid of them? This is going to cost you even more time and money. You will have to go through and block or delete all of those you paid for. You might have to even end up hiring someone to do it for you. There goes more money out the window.

If the urge to buy followers arises or you have someone in the office telling you that you should, you shouldn’t. It is unethical and it is bad business. Social media, still new and growing, does not come with a cheat sheet for success or skip to the front of the line card. It takes work, it takes trial and error and it takes honesty and authenticity. Be creative and courageous, come up with new ways to engage your audience, build your digital community and allow them to grow with you. Those are the type of people that are truly worth having associated with your brand.

Have you seen a company buy fake followers? Has it changed your opinion on them? Did you buy fake followers and regret it? As always, if you like what you read, please be social and share.

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Building a Social Media Presence

By: MJ Pedone

As a professional trying to build your online brand or an entrepreneur starting or running your own business, this is what I would like to share with you about social media…you don’t need to do it all to do it well!

When marketing experts suggest brands create a presence on all the major platforms, which is somewhere around nine, and post content on them all several times a day, they’re not talking to you. There’s no way you’re going to be able to do that well.

Social media falls strongly into the “quality over quantity” category, especially if you’re a one-person shop and don’t have the resources to hire a social media manager. So if you’re trying to figure out how to stay on top of your social media game without making yourself crazy and keeping yourself relevant, here are four suggestions:

Plan First, Build Second

Many people rush to get their brands up on a bunch of social media platforms, only to find themselves completely overwhelmed with what to publish and when to publish it. To begin, pick one or two platforms and that’s it. Focus on figuring out how to grow a platform and once you’ve gotten that down, you can add more. To pick the right starter platforms, think about three things: where your audience is hanging out, which platforms you actually like using and which platforms support the kind of content you want to post. For example, if you were marketing your photography business, Pinterest would be the perfect platform to showcase your work, whereas Twitter may not be as effective.

Unless you’re already a pro on the platform, take a tutorial before you begin so you can get comfortable with creating a page, posting content, engaging followers and tracking your analytics. Having this knowledge will make the daily publishing and engaging feel less daunting.

Get Organized

I know many people out there cringe at the idea of an editorial calendar because of its rigidity, but this will help keep you on top of everything.

A well planned-out calendar will help you map out when you’ll be posting content, as well as where you’re getting that content. Are you writing it yourself? Curating it from other sites? Will you be-posting previous content? Once you have content regularly scheduled on your calendar, set reminders for yourself to post and engage throughout the day so you don’t get caught up with the rest of your day and forget to do this.

Leverage Your Content

While you don’t want to post the exact same content on every single platform, leveraging your best content across different platforms can seriously boost your social media efficiency. For example, if you write a blog every week, you can tweet the link to the blog on Twitter and post a related picture on Instagram and include a link to it in your caption. Now, instead of having to create three separate pieces of social media content, you’ve killed three birds with one stone.

Find Some Great Tools

When you’re working solo, you’re always fighting against time. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to successfully do your job and maintain an engaging presence on social media. The good news is, there are plenty of tools and apps that can help keep you on track. Inc. compiled a list of 60 of the best social media tools, like Hootsuite and Pocket. Most of the times, we look to experts and best practices to tell us how to engage with our community on social media. And while there’s a lot of great advice out there, if what they’re saying doesn’t resonate or doesn’t feel realistic to you, you’re never going to do it. People ask me all the time: How many times should I really be posting on my platforms? And my answer is: How many times can you realistically be posting on your platforms? Start there.

Social media, albeit time consuming, is a great way to garner brand awareness and potential business. Keep at it and don’t give up! As always, I welcome any and all comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Crowd Social Marketing

By: MJ Pedone

We’ve always trusted family and friends to give us recommendations. Now, marketers are finding ways to combine this age-old referral process with social media. It’s also called crowd-sourced marketing. This is where the social media “crowd” shares your content and conversations for free on a global web. According to a report by Nielsen, 77 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family as those are their trusted resources.

Use these social media tactics to reach prospects through digital “world of mouth”. This will amplify your leads, prospects and sales by tapping into the power of the online crowd.

  1. Go above and beyond realistic expectations

Exceeding expectations will always be the best way to earn referrals. Focus on establishing clear expectations and blowing them away before you dive into social media. Don’t promise anything that’s out of your scope or processes. A dedicated customer support staff is one way to communicate expectations. A personal connection is the best way to earn trust that will last after the buying process. Getting to the point where you discuss interests or even spend time together is the goal. This type of connection will make them feel comfortable with referring your service to others.

  1. Add Rich Pins on Pinterest

Tap into Pinterest’s 70 million users to increase referrals. Target added Rich Pins to their strategy and within the first six weeks, they had a 70 percent Pinterest referral increase, according to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association. Rich Pins allow additional information to be included with a pin. The most effective Rich Pin for businesses is the product pin, which includes real time pricing and availability information, interested pinners get notified if a price drops. Follow the 80/20 rule, 20 percent of pins should be products. The other material should be inspiring and useful information for your audience. These pins will be shared at a higher rate and increase word of mouth marketing.

  1. Implement a Facebook referral promotion

Facebook has implemented changes to increase referrals with the popularity of mobile usage. The changes have been effective, a report from Shareaholic revealed referrals from Facebook have grown 48.85 percent since September and represented 17.41 percent of all website referrals in November.

A Facebook referral promotion is a strategy leveraged by companies to earn referrals. A referral promotion is created by offering a base reward, like a coupon, for any user who completes a sign-up process. The user then earns credits toward a greater reward, like a gift card, as he refers more people to enter the promotion. This earns word-of-mouth referrals as people discuss the prize at hand.

  1. Share industry insights on LinkedIn

Social Sharing Platform Buffer experienced a 4000 percent increase in blog referral traffic from Linkedin over the past year. This is credited to Linkedin being the third-fastest growing social network and Buffer’s update and sharing strategy. Linkedin reported 6 out of 10 users are interested in industry insights. Offering original research and industry wisdom will get people talking about your content. This conversation drives people to your website and locks in loyal readers. A customer is much more likely to use a service if they get value from the company’s blog and social pages.

  1. Create and promote giveaways and contests

Ask customers to provide leads in exchange for raffle tickets for a gadget, tablet or industry tool. This leads to referrals from customers familiar with your service and product. A Facebook contest is another great way to create buzz and bring in leads. Dove created the Real Beauty Should Be Shared contest where entrants shared stories of people who represent real beauty. User-generated contests take away the cost of a prize item and get people talking about your brand in a positive light.

  1. Create an internal sharing network

According to Jack Morton Worldwide, 49 percent of U.S. consumers say friends and family are their top sources of brand awareness. Employees often have more robust and active social accounts than employers. Encourage employees to share company content with their personal network. This comes back to that 80/20 rule, don’t expect employees to share content if it’s constant promotion. An organized system for internal sharing is the social tool Addvocate. This makes content sharing user friendly and more effective with analytics.

  1. Update in time of crisis

The social media platform Buffer, faced a social-media crisis when their system was hacked in October. The company had to put their own social media advice to use. Users began tweeting and posting about spam and other issues. Buffer responded with a support tweet 16 minutes after the initial complaint. The reaction from customers was overwhelmingly positive and earned Buffer some positive press. When mistakes happen, be prepared to update customers of exactly what happened and what you’re doing to correct the situation. This creates a positive memory despite a negative circumstance.

  1. Ask for referrals on social media and return the favor

It’s essential to consistently ask for referrals. This seems obvious but 72 percent of marketers still don’t recognize and leverage the value of customer referrals, according to research by Loyalty 360.

Asking over social media takes little time and clients will feel more obligated to respond to keep their account looking fresh. A referral request can be attached to any email or built into a PPC ad. However, offering an incentive will increase the conversion rate. Similar to a Facebook referral promotion, offer discounts or rewards for referral traffic. Think about colleagues and friends that could benefit from your client’s services. This quid pro quo effect increases the chance of a referral. 85 percent of fans of brands on Facebook recommend brands to others. Use Facebook as a medium to promote your clients to others and the same will happen in return.

  1. Follow and engage in social conversations

You should already be engaging with the social media audience. Positive feedback is easy to handle, but responding to negative comments is warranted if validity is there. Companies like Zappos and LifeLock make a point to promptly respond to users on their Facebook pages. This strategy provides consistent customer service while increasing the brand’s buzz.

Fans recommending brands on Facebook do so because of either the quality of the product or based on the customer experience. 

   10. Identify influencers

Reaching out to the influential figures in your customer circles is the best free promotion available. Tools like Topsy and Followerwonk show the most-shared tweets and bloggers or executives with the largest social following. Make a connection with these influencers and show how your product provides value for their followers. This will provide target audience exposure that can’t be duplicated by another method. Pinbooster allows marketers to analyze their Pinterest campaign, identifying the most shared pins and highly influential pinners.

What have you found works for you to date? Have you been researching other social strategies? As always, I welcome all feedback and if you like what you read, be social and share.