Articles in the Social Media Marketing & Strategy Category

July 30 2012

Pinterest’s Growth Reaches New Heights


Although the social media platform Pinterest appears to have been an overnight success in mid-2011, it’s really been four years in the making, according to an article on Yahoo Finance. Ben Silbermann, one of Pinterest’s founders and a former Google employee, was the visionary behind the virtual pinboard that flopped before it flourished. Silbermann’s original vision was an iPhone app called Tote that pulled data from multiple online product catalogs into one, meta catalogue for shoppers. Users could find products from multiple retailers in one place, and search by location. When the app didn’t achieve the success he had hoped, Silbermann observed that the people who were using the app were sending themselves images of the products they liked and collecting them. He eventually realized that people weren’t searching for a specific product by name. They were searching by category. And hence, it evolved into an idea that made $37 million in 2011 alone.

So what does this mean for platforms like Facebook and Twitter that have already carved out a hefty piece of the social media pie? Well, according to research from a Compete Online Shopper Intelligence Survey, one in four consumers report that they are spending less time on other social media sites in favor of Pinterest. It’s becoming more than just a place where people go to show off their MacGyver-like craft skills (although they can do that there, too). It’s a place that’s driving purchasing decisions. Twenty-five percent of those surveyed reported purchasing a product or service after searching for it on Pinterest.

In the last year, Pinterest has grown from 700,000 unique visitors to nearly 20 million, which is about half the number of Twitter’s unique visitors. They’ve even tapped into an audience that wasn’t previously engaged in social media. Fifteen percent of users on Pinterest reported that they do not use any social media sites. It’s become a place where people go to find excursions in Costa Rica, the perfect recipe for a seven-layer cheese dip, inspiration for wedding invitations, the right outfit for a big interview, or step-by-step instructions of how to expand your closet, without bringing your house down with it.

If you can dream it, you can find it. And if you can’t find it, you can pin it.

July 24 2012

Design Update for LinkedIn


LinkedIn, a professional social network, has recently started to release a new platform design to users.   LinkedIn’s blog states that it will be a simpler and easier user interface allowing for navigation from a user’s homepage to features, which can improve access to relevant information about your industry.   The more modern design focuses toward current updates occurring within the network.  Users will see trending topics, news, and status updates from their connections in a larger dashboard at the top of the news feed. Engagement with these posts is also highlighted more prominently.    Viewing comments, liking, sharing, and contributing to conversations is available within the stream.   Although this isn’t a huge change to the previous user experience, LinkedIn has hinted that more robust features will soon be added to this home page.   Some of the other features still available are:

  • Recommended people to add to your network.
  • Recommended jobs you may be interested in.
  • Viewers who have viewed your profile (depending on your account settings).
  • Stats for your LinkedIn network like the number of connections.
  • Recommended groups you may like.
  • Companies you may want to follow.
  • Applications you’ve added to your profile like Blog Link, Amazon Reading List, Behance Profolio, SlideShare, and more.

Image source: LinkedIn Blog

Once you have used the new homepage design, there is a convenient feedback button, located at the bottom of certain features, for you to express to LinkedIn what they can improve upon.   What other features do you predict LinkedIn will be incorporating into the new homepage in the future?

July 18 2012

Developing Your Brand’s Voice


Professional copywriters have to wear many hats. They have to shift on a daily – and sometimes hourly – basis to suit the purpose, brand and audience they’re writing for. As a result, “voice” is something copywriters think about all the time.

Voice is central to a brand’s identity. And, now that so much of business is conducted online, voice is more important than ever. So, if you haven’t taken the time to truly evaluate what your brand should sound like, there’s no time like the present.

Some things to consider when developing your brand’s voice:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What kind of language does your audience use?
  • Which brands do a good job marketing to your audience? (What do they sound like?)
  • What is the mood or idea you want your brand to emulate?
  • If your brand was a person, who would it be? (And what does that person sound like?)

As you begin to develop your brand’s voice, you will find that what you do is tied very closely to what you should sound like. If you’re in the business of selling meditation downloads, for example, your brand’s voice might sound very positive and easy going. If you’re in the business of selling stock advice, your brand’s voice might sound informed, mature and confident.

If you’re able to create a voice that resonates with your target audience, they’re more likely to want to hear what you have to say. And that – in the world of social media marketing – is golden.

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