US consumers are spending more time on social networks, according to the market research firm eMarketer. Due to a significant growth in usage of social networks and digital video, the overall average daily time spent online rose again in 2012, while old school media, like radio and newspapers, continued to lose share.
eMarketer reports that US consumers spent an average of 37 minutes daily on social networks in 2012, compared to 30 minutes daily in 2011.
The only other digital activity that gained as many minutes as social is online video, which rose from 17 minutes in 2011 to 24 minutes in 2012. This is largely due to a sharp increase in digital TV and movie content available online.
Social media and digital video seem to be closely correlated: the Interactive Advertising Bureau reported that, for one-quarter of online video viewers 18 and older, the third preferred way (after word or mouth and ads) to discover TV shows that they could watch on the web was through social sites.
In conclusion, the multi-media driven online social networks are here to stay and continue to evolve creating huge business opportunities for savvy marketers. Leveraging the power of social networks can represent a key opportunity to build a viable, valuable, and long lasting connection with your customers and prospects.
In a nod to the many businesses that have taken up residence on the social sharing site, on Wednesday, Pinterest announced new tools for businesses. These “tools” include a separate login page for businesses – business.pinterest.com, and separate terms of service.
As on Twitter, brands can now verify their profiles, adding legitimacy to their Pinterest brand pages. To get started, brands with existing pages can convert their existing account to a business account via the business login. Brands without Pinterest accounts can join as a business.
Along with the rollout of their business pages comes logo and marketing guidelines, a list of brand best practices, and case studies highlighting Pinterest success stories from bands like Etsy and Jetsetter.
The case studies offer terrific examples of how businesses have leveraged the platform for their individual needs. For Etsy, using Pinterest was all about increasing brand awareness and improving sales for individual sellers. Jetsetter, meanwhile, was more concerned with taking part in a conversation with their target audience.
Both brands, it seems, were able to increase awareness and engagement. More importantly, their presence on the platform helped them determine which products resonated with their audience and which didn’t. Call it the democratization of merchandising.
If you’ve yet to start pinning, of if you’re not sure if Pinterest is right for your brand, read our primer on using Pinterest for business. But don’t miss Pinterest’s stellar best practice guide, which will help you make the most of your time investment by offering ideas for reaching the social network’s 26.7 million unique monthly visitors.
There’s been a lot of talk in the last year or so about Pinterest, the hottest social media site going. And though marketers have been quick to catch on, many are still not using Pinterest effectively. This post will discuss how businesses can use Pinterest to drive traffic and inspire brand loyalty.
Just in case you’ve never dipped your toe in the pool that is Pinterest, here is a primer: Pinterest is a social media site wherein users create pinboards around certain topics or themes. Like Twitter and Facebook, users can follow brands or “pinners” that they like. They can also “like” individual pins and follow individual pinboards.
Probably the best thing about Pinterest, for businesses, is that pins can be “repinned,” or repurposed, for other pinboards – creating an opportunity for an image to be widely shared across the site.
While an audience might come to Twitter for information, they’re coming to Pinterest for inspiration. Your task as a marketer is to inspire the image-hungry Pinterest audience to “like” and share your images. You can do this by creating clean, aesthetically pleasing, pins and pinboards.
But be careful: Pinterest is about fun, not shopping. By joining in on the fun, you can encourage interest in your brand, drive traffic to your site, generate leads, and inspire brand loyalty.
The first instinct companies have regarding Pinterest is to create 100% product-centric pinboards. This will likely backfire. If your pinboards look too much like your website, users have little reason to follow; if they want to see your images, they can just go to your website.
Your task instead is to be creative and to diversify.
Look, for example, at the pinboards created by the clothing company Madewell.
While some of Madewell’s pinboards are product-heavy, others celebrate things they love, like fun prints (on the pinboard Print, Pattern, Repeat) cool designs (on the pinboard Visual Happiness) and even books (on the pinboard What We’re Reading). Here, Madewell isn’t just creating sales tools, they’re creating inspiring pinboards that identify their brand with specific ideas.
You can do the same for your brand by being creative, and considering the many visual spinoffs or offshoots from your central product. Consider, for example, the colors, seasons, locations, events, people, and ideas you want associated with your brand.
Like all social media platforms, Pinterest is not a one-way conversation. To use Pinterest effectively, businesses should allocate the resources to use Pinterest as an open channel of communication – repinning others’ images and following other brands and users when appropriate. The idea here is to align your brand with brands and users that are similar in mood and aesthetics – creating connections in users’ minds between your brand and brands they know and love.
Why else would Madewell tell the world they’re reading Jane Austen?