Mixing up the hot stuff.
All things Digital Marketing, Social Media, Web Development, SEO and Domaining
I then started thinking more about how this can translate into business success.
There is a common misconception that Pinterest is just for cupcakes and high-heels. However, It is possible to successfully market your brand or business on one of the fastest-growing social sites around (Please see the NZ Social Media Stats here).
Pinterest even has their own advice on how to represent your business. Here is my take on their advice.
Pinterest is an entirely visual platform. Well-written content is important, however it is the image that you pin will be what catches the eye first. Think about what makes your business visual—products are a great place to start, but a great photo of product in action can take that one step further. Linking to your great content starting with a fantastic photo will help ensure that your Pinterest account is followed by those who are actually interested in your business and brand.
Google’s constant algorithmic search updates is complex and ever-changing thing that can frustrate or confuse a business. Pinterest uses a fairly simple search function and recognises keywords and phrases above all else.
Your Pinterest boards are a great way of letting other users know what your business is all about. Don’t limit your boards to the Pinterest default, or to your products and services. Post new boards about your interests or things that you like that others might like.
Get Social, have a look around at things that interest you. Follow any national or local businesses (Keep an eye on your competitor if they are present.) Make a comment or simply like the post. This is a surefire way to get yourself noticed in the Pinterest community. Pinners do read the comments and are interested in who is re-pinning their posts. Do this and you will get followers.
Follow this advice and you’ll quickly see how Pinterest will benefit your business.
As a web developer on the machine from wayback I’ve collected hard drive after external hard drive of images I’ve found ready for photoshop and use in a website.
Cloud image storage came on my radar early in 2005 when Flickr gained a huge audience boost when Yahoo! acquired the company. This allowed me to do away with those pesky memory cluttering drives.
Then I began to see the social element to storing the photographs I took and Images I created. People started asking me if they can add the image to their group.
And so began the rise and rise of the Public Image.
I moved away from Flickr looking for more exclusive and clever ways of saving images. In 2007 I began using We Heart it
This was a good platform, it had ample storage, good user interface and fast uploading, it allowed social sharing however, for me it was too pink and filled with cupcakes and high heels.
I returned to Flickr…
Early 2010 a new platform came on my radar called Kontrib.it Eagerly I enrolled on the beta platform and began setting up my albums of interest and uploading my own images. However very quickly I started sharing and re-using images of those I was following and vice versa.
Kontrib.it was great, a real social platform for image sharing, again like We Heart it, was easy to use, fast, reliable and had a good community of users. However, this is exactly where it became unstuck - it failed to open up the platform to the general public and to this day is still a closed beta network.
During my use of Kontrib.it in 2010 & 2011 I became aware of a new image sharing network called Pinterest of course I registered with the beta programe but I didn’t actually start using it until 2012 (a late bloomer?)
Pinterest was heralded as the new darling of Social Media, indeed many brands set up their presence on the network. Again I was put off by the “Cupcake and high heel” element and like many others I thought “Isn’t Pinterest only for Chicks?” I decided to look past this prejudice.
I began to see Pinterest growing amongst my local New Zealand networks and I began to see it referenced more and more.
To date Pinterest has 182,000 Kiwi users, that’s 4% of our population.
Source: AdCorp Blog
So I began to think how does brand “Tim Newman” do Pinterest well.
Recently I clocked over the two million follower mark.
I decided to tackle Pinterest differently, rather than populate my boards with my own images, I would use the learnings I gained from Kontrib.it that was set boards about the things I was interested about on the web and collate the web, a virtual scrap-booking if you will. Pinterest certainly made this easy with a well thought out user experience.
Firstly I made sure my other social networks were connected. Then I made sure my Pinterest profile was correctly filled out with an interesting profile image. I haven’t had chance yet though to verify my site to take advantage of Pinterest analytics (this is very much on my to do list)
I then began to follow fellow car, motorbike and timepiece enthusiasts, I re-pinned their images and commented on images that I liked outside my own interests.
I then decided to concentrate on one particular brand and board, Toyota.
As you can see the Toyota board drives the majority of my Pinterest followers with 1.9million , on average my other boards have 30,000 followers.
I labelled the Toyota board in Japanese and began sourcing images from Japanese pinners and from Japanese Car forums and directly from Toyota.com and Toyota.co.nz
Very quickly the audience grew for this board and lots of interaction on the individual images began “gruff gruffer my first car bought it for 300 buck sold it for 1500… TA22” This is a significant thing in Pinterest as it shows the community really likes the images you’ve posted. I quickly discovered that old Toyota’s especially Landcruser 4wd’s get re-pinned the most.
I also began to take photo’s of the numerous old Toyota’s and special Japanese Domestic Imports we have here in New Zealand, I optimised the images to fit according to Pinterest specs and I labelled the image as per good SEO practice. With my own picture images I linked them back to this blog.
Before I re-pinned anything to the Toyota board I verified the image link, if the image sent me to a landing page that had nothing to do with the Toyota image I did not re-pin it. To me quality control my Toyota image community became important
So there you are, it’s not rocket science but by concentrating on things that interest you, sticking to it and working hard will pay off in the end.
Facebook has another new tool.
It’s called “Lookalike Audience.”
If you are a Facebook advertiser, then you can create a custom demographic. Facebook then gives you the option to add a “lookalike audience” to your Facebook advertising campaign. This lookalike audience will consist of Facebook users who match the demographic criteria of your custom audience who are also not fans of your Facebook brand page.
This is a real step forward for Facebook advertisers because it means that you can actually reach more targeted customers. More easily. More quickly. More cost effectively.
You can then turn those customers, with click through into Facebook fans for your page. A certain percentage of those will then see your Facebook content and be able to interact with it. It’s a great way to grow your fan base, market your products or services, and increase your conversions.
According to this InsideFacebook article, advertisers in the beta are seeing lower costs per action than with traditional targeting options.
Indeed, Lower costs per action translates into higher profits. With this tool you can increase your conversions, lower your costs per action, and increase your profit margin – all while expanding your reach in a sensible cost effective manner. Brilliant!
Are you getting frustrated over Google Analytics and would like a free alternative? Now there is a free open source alternative - It’s called Piwik.
What does Piwik have to offer that can compete with Google Analytics?
Most importantly, you own your own data. With Google Analytics, Google owns it. This is huge, because there are certain things you just cannot do with the data in Google Analytics unless you hack it. With Piwik, you can do what you want.
You can have scheduled e-mail reports in Piwik (in HTML or PDF format). You can also manage unlimited users and unlimited websites. You can have a custom login with Piwik. If you have old data you don’t use, you can delete it to make room for more data so that you don’t use up all of your storage space.
If you want to export your data, you have a myriad of format to choose from, including Json, PHP, Excel, XML, and more.
Piwik is also compatible with a huge selection of server types. It’s compatible with Windows, Linux, MacOS, Solaris, IIS, Apache, and more.
I’m enthusiastic about Piwik - if you are looking for a Google Analytics alternative, Piwik is out there. It’s open source and free. Get amongst it!
The big news this week has been Twitter’s release of a new video sharing application call Vine.
I haven’t been so excited over a video site since the arrival of Vimeo & YouTube in 2004-05
Why am I excited? Well, it allows you to share video directly from your mobile phone or ipad in short easy digestible 6 second ‘bites’.
What Vine delivers is a rich social sharing experience. Life as it happens in full colour, sound and motion as opposed to Life as it’s Written in 140 characters of text. It is the video version of Twitter!
Smart move Twitter.
The potential for direct, random communication with people around the world to share ideas and thoughts inspires me. We now live in a world of instant information and rapid communications, Vine adds to this really well.
Currently I’m experimenting with my own channel - a digital white noise if you will. Here is an example of my Vine work:
Six seconds at OMD NZ vine.co/v/bn6gDY76p91— Tim Newman (@TimothyNewman) February 8, 2013
So the question is how do you utilise Vine for business or a brand?
If you are or represent a youth product, I really do think that this channel ought to be considered as part of your Digital Strategy in an imaginative way, showcase a product or service, place a snippet of your TV ad. Or get creative and introduce your business and brand in six seconds.
Most importantly bookup your brands name now!
Social media and competitive intelligence go hand in hand, the first step to a good online intelligence is listening. In fact, listening is absolutely essential to your business and brand.
So what entails listening?
There are quite a few free and paid tools you can use to listen. You want to know where your competition is and what they’re doing. So listen.
Your first step should be to subscribe to a few Google Alerts. You choose your most important keywords and subscribe to the Alerts. Google will notify you when those keywords are mentioned anywhere online, or at least on pages indexed by Google.
You should also look for blogs in your niche to subscribe to. Google Reader is especially helpful for this.
Other tools like my favourite HootSuite allow you to subscribe to Twitter followers. More than just allow you to see who’s saying what on Twitter, these tools give you additional features that allow you to massage your Twitter stream so that you can manage it more easily.
When it comes to competitive research, which strategies or tactics should you use? What’s the best way to get the information you need about your competition to take them on head on?
I’ve identified four must-use competitive research tools:
Subscribe to the top blogs in your niche – Click the RSS button, or subscribe by e-mail, but you should be reading the top blogs in your niche every day. Pick the top five blogs and subscribe to them. If the top blogs are not also the top competitors, then subscribe to the blogs of your top three competitors as well.
As I mentioned earlier - Create Google Alerts – Google Alerts is an essential tool. Create Google Alerts for the top 20 or 30 keywords you want to target with your content.
Join the top online communities in your niche – Pick three to five of the most popular online communities that serve your niche and join them. You don’t have to interact. You can simply browse the threads to see what people are talking about, then you can address the most popular topics on your own blog.
Subscribe to competitors’ newsletters – Set up a ghost e-mail address and use it to subscribe to the newsletters of your competition. Read them as often as you can.
The only thing these four competitive research methods cost is the time it takes to read and set up subscriptions. Still, they are essential tactics you should implement before you do anything else.
All of these tools are free. There are a few paid tools out there that give you a little bit more functionality and organisation. Some of them can prove useful as well.
Whatever tools you use, take the time to put your ear to the ground and listen. That’s the only way you can know what your competition is up to.
Does it mean you should be using Pinterest? Not really!
One of the most important thing to consider when deciding whether to use a particular social media channel like Pinterest for marketing is the demographic of its user base. Is there a significant number of your target audience using that social media site? Are they likely to find your content on Pinterest interesting and useful? If the answer is “yes” to both of those questions, then go ahead and use Pinterest. Of course, you can ask those questions of any social media channel and substitute “Pinterest” with the name of that website.
Pinterest is a fantastic social tool that will continue to grow. It can be very effective for marketing purposes, but it isn’t for everyone. Before you jump in and start Pinteresting, take some time to determine whether or not you can get the proper levarage from pinning your images.
An interesting html5 tool (works in Chrome) from Google and the IAB on how consumers use offline/online info to purchase: http://www.consumerbarometer.com/#?app=home&viewMode=0
Facebook officially passes 1 billion monthly active users http://tnw.to/c5fC
The best way of finding Instagram photos from places around the world. http://worldc.am/
Love Doodling? Check out WeaveSilk http://new.weavesilk.com/