Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tips for Using Pinterest for Business

If your business hasn't jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon, now is the time. Pinterest is growing faster than another social media network according to a recent report from ShareThis.  Pinterest grew at 58% in 2013 outpacing Twitter and LinkedIn.

The ShareThis report states that Pinterest has surpassed email for online sharing. This means that consumers are now "pinning" things like articles, photos, recipes, etc. to share more than they're emailing links.

In addition to a growing user base and an increase in sharing, Pinterest can also give a boost to your SEO.

Check out these tips to help you get started on Pinterest or maximize your business' current efforts:

1. Create a Business Pinterest Page 
Unlike a personal Pinterest Page, a business Page offers valuable analytics to help you understand what's working and what's not.  Pinterest also offers educational information to help businesses build a community and drive traffic to their Page.

2. Complete your Business Profile

Use all of the 160 characters to describe your business and what you'll be posting on your Page. Include keywords to boost your Pinterest SEO. Under Account Settings you can set up connections with your other social media accounts to easily make your Pinterest posts visible on your other networks. And don't forget to verify your web site so that your Pinterest visitors can see your web address and click through to it.

3. Describe Your Pins
Use keywords and hashtags in each pin's description area to optimize them.  Use up the 500 characters allowed and make your text relatable, fun and relevant.

4. Link Every Pin
Add a link to your web site to every Pin you post. These "back links" can increase your Google rankings and they're a smart and easy way to drive traffic to your web site.

5. Fill your Boards
There's nothing worse than clicking on a Pinterest board with only one Pin! Before you make a board public, be sure to add lots of interesting images and links.

If you sell products, Pinterest is a great tool.  But consider Pinterest, even if you have a service based business.  Think of Pinterest as a way to post relevant web site links with interesting photos that entice people to click!

Pinterest shouldn't be used for the sole purpose of promotion. Use it to offer your audience useful information and to build your business' brand and the lifestyle associated with it.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Gain Maximum Marketing Results: Develop a Communications Plan

A business communications plan is a smart idea for any company, big or small. The plan will establish how your marketing communication activities will support your business' goals. Take these simple steps to begin devising your plan:

1. Specify Your Goals
Depending on your type of business, your communications goals might be stated as targeted revenue, number of leads, product or service sales targets or awareness about your business and its products or services.

2. Identify Your Audiences
List all of the various groups that you need communication with: customers, prospects, employees, the media, etc.

3. Determine Key Messages
What are the most important messages that you want and need to convey to each audience?  Product quality, service benefits, employee value, customer service, etc.

4. Assess Your Communications Tools
Take a look at your Web site, signage, employee newsletter, marketing brochures, etc.  Are they effective at articulating your key messages?  Brainstorm ways to improve each of them to ensure that they consistently include the right communications.

5. Evaluate and Measure
Evaluate the success of the plan based on how your actual results measure up to the goals you set.  Test and change your messages and tools to optimize your results.