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By: Samantha Scott, APR
Grand Poobah of Pushing the Envelope, Inc.
It’s all the rage in social media now – Pinterest. If you’re like me, you aren’t super familiar with this social platform or how a business could use it to communicate online. Luckily for us, it’s very ease to pick up on this über-sharing site.
I once heard someone compare Pinterest to the old school push pin bulletin boards teenagers have where they pin things from magazines that they’re into – celebrities, sayings, clothing styles, etc. It’s a great comparison, in my mind. Pinterest is a digital way to collect and share all the things, places, people, etc. that you’re into.
So, how does this translate for businesses and how can businesses use it to communicate with potential and existing customers? It starts with setting up your account correctly, then building boards and connecting with others who have similar interests. Sound like any other social networks or set ups? It should.
Be forewarned though, it will take time. And by time, I mean a few hours to get things going. You’re starting from scratch and starting to compile things to pin can take a while. Like any social network though, it gets easier with time and you can add to it over time.
Share the love too, just like you should on Twitter and Facebook by “repinning”. Consider it the retweet of Pinterest. Not only does it show you’re engaging with or care about another user’s content, it’s helping build your repertoire. Don’t forget, you can pin things with links so if you’re pinning a product you sell, be sure to link it!
February 23, 2012 in facebook, networking, pr, public relations southwest florida, pushing the envelope, southwest florida, tips | Tags: facebook, fort myers, networking, pr, public relations, social media, Southwest Florida, swfl, tips | 1 comment
I must confess that I am a product of the 90s, a time in my early career when networking and communication of the services my employer offered took the traditional path of print advertising and brochures, direct mail, local/national trade shows, etc. These forms of communicating your brand/business still exist and, but more often they are used in balance with modern forms of networking and sharing information about you and your business.
Today, we have a more interesting challenge as the World Wide Web has offered us massively popular channels to connect with friends, other businesses as well as current and potential clients. I will, however, tell you that some of the same rules apply – especially when we speak of the human or personal connection. Here are some guidelines I have learned to follow in today’s world, which have helped me build relationships and make the long-term connections I was looking to gain.
Make the Connection
Seek out local networking groups and organizations where a diverse collection of businesses attend on a regular basis. Make the time to attend these events on a regular basis as this is your opportunity to listen to others about their business and their personal experiences. These events will give you the chance to share your own story and the passion that drives you towards your own business goals. Also keep in mind who else will be attendance so you can be sure to reach your target audience (i.e. If you want medium to large business decision makers, going to a business card exchange may not be right.)
TIP: Set the standard in your networking process and offer newly made connections information and, if you can, do something for them like introducing them to someone who may be interested in their product or services. This trust- building activity will afford you positive results as I have not met anyone yet who did not appreciate some friendly guidance and professional help and had them NOT remember me for it.
Be “Professionally” Social
Use social connections intelligently and professionally. Facebook and LinkedIn are great ways to connect with other related businesses from which you can benchmark or that you can connect with, as well as to multiple individuals from all over the world who have the same interests and “likes” (Hint: These are your potential clients!). Facebook allows you to set-up a business page vs. a personal page making your company brand more trust worthy and believable. Share information on these social channels that is both informative and educational on a consistent basis and you will see your connections come to life.
Get Involved and Give Back
Are you actively taking advantage of the philanthropic side of your business? Give back any way you or your company can afford, get connected with local non-profits that make sense to you and to your business message while helping those who need it most. Community involvement is a perfect way to create goodwill opportunities and to show your community what you, personally and professionally, stand for. This will serve your public relations efforts well too.
The Bottom Line
Do your homework, get out there and make an effort to create new connections. It’s not often that new relationships are made by someone coming to your front door. You have to make the effort – on your behalf and your company’s. Good luck!
January 9, 2012 in event, public relations southwest florida, pushing the envelope, southwest florida | Tags: event, fort myers, networking, pr, public relations, pushing the envelope, Southwest Florida | Leave a comment
With four people, our old space was just too small. Now we’re in nearly 1,400 square feet with lots of room for our existing staff and those we plan to bring into the fold in the future.
Please join us on Thursday, February 2nd from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for our open house! You can check out the new digs, write on the white erase wall and enjoy some vino / beer on us! More info on our Facebook page…
Can’t make it? Give us a call at (239) 221-2858 and set up a time to stop by! We love guests.
So many times, we see businesses misuse Facebook by creating friend or Group pages for their marketing efforts instead of creating business pages. Facebook Pages are the correct way to establish an effective business presence on Facebook. Creating an actual business page has several benefits:
- More real estate for your company’s branding, via custom page tabs. Using consistent branding throughout your page and on custom Facebook tabs increases your brand’s visual impact on Facebook users. You can also use custom tabs to accommodate your marketing efforts, such as driving email collections or driving traffic to specific landing pages.
- The ability to assign multiple admins to manage the page. With Facebook Pages, you can have several admins to help you respond to users, manage/remove content, and adjust page settings as needed. Admins can also consist of vendors outside of your company that help you create content (much like what we do for some of our clients).
- Transferability of page ownership, from one person to another. Every now and again, people change companies or leave the company they work for. After managing Facebook Pages for the past few years, I can tell you that Facebook Pages are a great way to keep ownership of this social media asset within the company. Imagine if you had a friend profile, and an employee changed the password before leaving your company. They could essentially take your asset with them!
- Leveraging targeted updates for news and events. Facebook Pages allow you either send updates to all of your fans at once (think of itas an Email blast on Facebook) or you can target the update to fans of a certain demographic (age, gender, location, etc.). This is an extremely effective, cost efficient way to get a message out to your audience. However! Do not abuse this feature, or you will see your unsubscribe numbers on the rise. Make sure the updates you send are of interest to your fans/likers, and generally no more than once a week
- Facebook Insights. The biggest advantage of a Facebook Page over a friend profile or Group page is Insights. Facebook Pages come loaded automatically with some pretty robust analytics to measure how effective your communications are over time. If you haven’t already please make sure to take some time to view your page’s insights. You’ll be surprised how much you can find out about your audience!
- Tag Cautiously. Another violation of the Facebook User License Agreement is unauthorized tagging of multiple users. I’ve seen many businesses and people alike post a picture or video, and then tag everyone they know in order to drive them to it. While this certainly creates buzz for your content, it is not ethical to tag someone as “in” a certain photo, and according to the User Agreement, this is a violation of privacy. A best practice we follow is to send a friendly private message asking permission from the user, or asking guests at events to sign photography waivers.
- Keep your Contests and Giveaways OFF of Facebook, well, kind of. This one can be a bit ambiguous for marketers. A popular marketing tactic for increasing the number of users to visit/like their business’ pages is to offer an incentive, run a contest, announce a giveaway, etc. Contests/Giveaways/Lotteries are NOT to be administered on Facebook, because it is not legal to force someone to perform an action, such as commenting, liking, or posting, in order to be entered. HOWEVER, if you administer the offer completely separate from the users action on your page, you are okay. For example, using a custom Facebook tab to administer a contest is okay, because custom tabs are considered third party applications. Make sense?
Next week we’ll be looking at the DOs and DON’Ts of Facebook and the reasons behind many of Facebook’s best practices. If your business is in need of some social media reform (or since we’re the social media police: “rehabilitation”) please call us today at 239.221.2858, or email Alex Fernandez, Social Media Strategist, at Alex@Getpushing.com.