Social media has tremendous potential to brands, we know this. But gaining increased exposure for a brand through purposeful engagement with their audience is a skill requiring a number of elements, among them a viable strategy, and is worth a closer look through the actions of a large social player, the NBA. The league has a powerful social media presence as it is with 260 million Facebook likes and Twitter followers spread around all the player, team, and league accounts – and they have significantly ramped it up for this year’s playoffs and their efforts provide a great global example.

Tumblr & Pinterest
As reported in a piece on Mashable, the NBA has launched Tumblr and Pinterest accounts and are running a campaignthrough their Twitter presence. Marketers for the league are looking at these two additional platforms to take advantage of their visual focus and ease-of-use for photo-sharing. Specifically for the tumblr account, NBA marketers will be displaying pictures depicting classic moments in NBA playoff history profiling famous match-ups and moments.

For Pinterest, they have two goals. First, they will promote retro and throwback team clothing linking it to their e-commerce store to drive more business in that regard. Pinterest is ideal for showing off product visual being able to create boards and pin interesting looks and combinations of the clothing. Secondly, they want to profile interesting “characters” that are in the NBA, looking at quirky styling, haircuts, and other elements.

Twitter Campaign
With the global reach of the NBA brand, marketers for the league are looking to engage fans from around the globe in their “Hoops Around the World” campaign. This effort spurs fans to document the places that they both play and watch basketball. They are pushing fans to tweet photos of where they shoot hoops locally capturing the actual baskets and where they watch their NBA games – mentioning @NBA and #hoops. According to Mashable, the NBA will retweet the ones they like the best and compile a world map of all photos before the culmination of the season with The Finals. If the NBA really wanted to push it they could engage fans on the social platforms of local markets, but I’m sure their reasoning in part is that they wanted to keep it unified.

Takeaway
Businesses can use this as an example per individual company characteristics and goals. WebiMax and other strong internet marketing and SEO companies help businesses to outline their marketing goals and strategy for social media campaigns and one of the primary factors with the new platforms in Tumblr and Pinterest is whether or not your company has visual relevance. Most all companies do, but it is a matter of how businesses can post images that relate to them and their operations in an interesting way to engage with them. The subject matter of the photos all must be interesting whether images taken by the company or shots of charts and infographics, facility or office pictures, and even pictures of relevant happenings in the industry.

For information on leveraging social media especially with an international audience, reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen@webimax.com or @ryanwbudd.

Many of us in the internet advertising industry have been praising up and down the supposedly limitless potential of Pinterest for months now. As an up-and-coming social network with millions of followers on Facebook alone, the social media site has come up in many discussions since it went into its beta phase. Yet, while it has quickly become a popular talking point for social marketing conjecture, Pinterest is still a relatively unknown website for many business owners.

What’s Pinterest?
At its core, Pinterest is all about a single idea: the posting (or “pinning,”) and sharing of images. The website allows users to take photos they find on nearly any site (with a few exceptions) and then upload them to the network. Images can then be shared between albums, categorized and commented on by other users. All this is made quite simple through an intuitive interface and a readily available “pin it” toolbar button supplied by the site itself.

Why is it such a Big Deal?
Quicker than any other social network around today, Pinterest has already earned a strong user base and sees regular activity from a large majority of its members. Due to the website’s ease of use and casual approach to content generation, Pinterest experiences constant traffic and has been growing rapidly month by month. Recent surveys have also shown that the social media site has a very strong female user base that is extremely active.

What can Pinterest Do for Me?
The big thing about Pinterest that many search engine marketers focus on is that large female audience. Since most social networks have a very diverse demographic of users, it can be quite difficult to lock down users when marketing through these sites. Although social media campaigns on Facebook and Twitter get tons of exposure, advertisers often have a difficult time getting the attention of the users they want.

Between both its constant user activity and core demographic, Pinterest has the potential to deliver marketing directly to active female users. This means that advertisers who specialize in the products or services women want will see better results out of their work.

How Do I Use Pinterest?
Despite the fact that Pinterest is still in a closed-beta phase, getting on the site is as easy as registering on the homepage and waiting a day or two. Although the team at Pinterest disallows active advertising efforts (at least until they get their own ad program up, no doubt), that doesn’t mean that a company can’t use the site for improving its brand recognition. The following are just a few ways businesses should use Pinterest:

  • Upload your original media assets. A while back, I went over some excellent techniques for obtaining original visual content. I recommend that businesses take a look at that blog post and use the tips found there-in to get some great shots of their company and staff.
  • Become involved with other users. One shouldn’t openly market or advertise his or her company, but interacting with potential followers will help build connections between various members of the site. This helps ensure that image uploads relating to a company will get the exposure they need.
  • Place “pin it” buttons among your company’s social media share options. In the past few months, major online retailers Amazon and Ebay actually added Pinterest share buttons to their product pages. This allows users to immediately post photos to their Pinterest account along with links going back to the product page. Other companies can do the same for their sites or purchasable items as well.

These tips aside, it’s important to remember that Pinterest is still very much a new site. Since it has yet to go fully live to the public, there is always the possibility that the phenomenon that is the site’s popularity may dissipate well before it breaks into the mainstream. Should readers have any additional questions regarding the matter, I can be contacted at jwersits@webimax.com.

In social media, reach is of the utmost importance. With the various social media sites available, each site is competing with the next, aiming to gain the top spot on the popularity chart. Each site provides different features to captivate users and influence them to join that site. The latest social media site, Pinterest, has made great strides of its own.

The virtual pin board, which allows users to pin pictures of their hobbies and interests for users to view, is making an impression on other social media sites. Studies have found that users spend more time on Pinterest than on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ combined. Pinterest has also gained such strong interest by users that the click-through revenue for the site outperforms Facebook and Twitter.

Also, an infographic from Tamba found that those who come across an item on Pinterest are 10% more likely to buy it as compared to finding it on another social media site. In addition, over 20% of Facebook users are on Pinterest daily and last month the site received 2.3 billion page views. And, while women still dominate Pinterest, there has been an 8% increase in men joining the site between January and March.

Social media has demonstrated itself a successful medium for businesses to showcase their products or services.  And Pinterest has joined the list of sites businesses are utilizing to reach their market.

If you’re interested in understanding how the virtual pin board functions and how it can help you reach your market, here’s how:

How it works
Users create virtual boards pertaining to topics they are interested in, pin pictures on the board and provide a description of the picture. Users can create as many boards as they’d like to and aren’t limited to the number of pictures they can pin to a board.

Use of keywords
Users are given a search option on the screen to search for pictures. Users simply type in a keyword to find what they’re looking for and can search according to pins, boards and people. For example, if you want to search music, you can search music-related pictures that were pinned, music boards with various music-related pictures and people associated with the word “music.”

It’s important that the boards are properly labeled and each pin contains a brief description for users to find you. Also, follow the common SEO practice of selecting words that people will search for so that they find your board. You can keep your terms short and simple or create long tail versions.

Share what’s pinned
When users create a profile, they can add their Twitter account, Facebook account and add their website. When users pin a new photo, like or share a photo, the post will automatically post on these social media platforms for fans and followers to see. Also, users have the option of sharing their Pinterest profile with search engines, making it easy for users to find your Pinterest.

Engage with other users
The purpose of Pinterest isn’t to just pin pictures, but to engage with others. Liking and repining pictures helps you engage with other users and gain followers. The more followers you have, the more your pictures of your products or services are shared. Also, don’t wait for someone to share your pin. The more open you are to sharing others, then the more shares you will receive.

Get started on pinning on your business board and share your business with others.

Yesterday I kicked off a series of blog posts dedicated to choosing the best social network based on the needs of a business. For small and medium-sized company owners, there is no certainly no lack of choices to be made when selecting which social sites to operate on. Many SMBs tend to lack the sort of SEO experience and social media awareness to really take advantage of each network’s full capabilities. Fortunately, each site can be boiled down to a few key attributes that can make picking the right one an intuitive, and even enjoyable, process.

In my previous blog post, I discussed social networks that emphasize the importance of location-based sharing above all else. Although those sites provide excellent marketing opportunities for small companies with only a handful of physical locations, sometimes it’s a massive audience that holds more appeal for business owners. While I’ll be announcing the most popular and farthest reaching social networks tomorrow, for now let’s focus on another category: the up-and-comers. The following websites are growing fast and may soon capture a considerable amount of social media market share.

Pinterest: Image Sharing made Quick and Easy
If you’re a frequent visitor of any SEO-focused news or community website, you’ve no doubt heard of Pinterest. Although it is currently in an invite-only beta testing phase, Pinterest has quickly grown to become one of the most talked about social media sites today. Based on the simple premise of sharing popular images with friends and strangers, this site encourages a more passive approach to social networking. Many Pinterest users effortlessly collect dozens of images and share them with other users every day, ultimately passing along content hundreds of times. It’s this sort of media sharing habit that SMB owners should focus on.

While getting involved with Pinterest does take a bit of time (due to its beta state, some companies have to wait weeks for an invite), businesses can generate a lot of site traffic for themselves by becoming involved with the site both actively and passively. Although the team at Pinterest doesn’t want people advertising directly on the network, that doesn’t mean a SMB owner can’t publish images of their business or staff and drum up a friendly following. At the same time, one can also look into putting Pinterest sharing buttons on the pages of any products one may sell. Amazon and eBay have already done so and see a lot of conversion rates from Pinterest on a daily basis because of it.

Google+: Gaining Steam at a Decent Clip
I know what some readers may be thinking. It’s true, a lot of people in the SEO community are outspoken about Google’s social network and many consider it a failure. Although it doesn’t stack up to Facebook (but really what network can?), Google+ is something that more business owners need to consider for their social media marketing purposes. It’s a topic that I’ve visited before in the past, but it belongs here as well: SMB owners need to look at Google+’s relatively small user base as a chance to get the edge on the competition.

Over the past few months, there has been a significant amount of growth on Google’ social network. As many businesses have yet to establish a presence on the site, there’s also plenty of room for small businesses to get involved here and now. A few moments taken to set up a profile and a bit of initiative in maintaining a social media feed on Google+ could be massively rewarding in the future. Social media sharing buttons for the G+ service are also recommended for those SMB owners who consistently see regular visitors on their site that may share their content through Google+.

Tomorrow I’ll be going over my top two picks for the strongest social networks of 2012. For now, I recommend that readers look into social media optimization and organic SEO services that can make a major difference in the web traffic they see. I can be contacted at jwersits@webimax.com if there are any questions that need to be answered.

Has your company recently opened a Pinterest account as a new initiative within its SEO marketing strategy? Despite the newness of the social media site, there are already several tools that are available on the market for conducting analytics on the widespread usage of Pinterest.

Leading the pack of useful tools is the service provided by a startup called Pinerly. This new company is in the process of developing a comprehensive offering of tools for analytics, specifically designed for use on Pinterest accounts. Although it is currently in the beta phase, Pinerly has already amassed a user base of 35,000. Its users include many different individuals and companies, and even some major brands.

If you were thinking of getting your hand on this new tool, feel free to sign up for the waiting list on the website. Have you already received access to Pinerly? Then take a look at a recent article on Mashable that offers thirteen incredibly useful tips, complete with images, on how to navigate and best utilize the various features on Pinerly.

So what are some highlights of Pinerly’s features? They are:

• You can create pin campaigns in a variety of ways on Pinerly, and track them easily. Generate pins from within Pinerly itself. Or, create pins from the external link of a website. You can even upload a file from your computer to create the right pin for your campaign.
• After creating a pin, you can add a link and a description, then choose the Pinterest board you would like to attach the pin to, while on your Pinerly dashboard. And then, simply pin it.
• Once you acknowledge to Pinerly that you are done pinning, the service starts tracking your campaign immediately. It will present the data to you in a nice chart that is easy to read. It will also provide a list of statistics, broken down for easy analysis.

Pinerly takes the process of conducting marketing campaigns on Pinterest to a whole new level. There is no better way to enhance your existing set of SEO strategies. Check out Pinerly today, to learn more about how it can benefit your business’s marketing initiatives

There is some important and exciting news about Pinterest that a lot of businesses really need to pay attention to. As reported by a recent article on Mashable, it has been found that Pinterest is not just a heavy driver of traffic to companies’ websites. Pinterest has now been shown to also be a driver of sales. This piece of information adds greatly to the mounting evidence that supports Pinterest’s value to the world of marketing. This evidence purports that Pinterest possesses a great deal of potential for becoming an integral component of many companies’ SEO and social media marketing campaigns.

Evidence comes from data that was compiled by the company Wayfair, which is the second largest retailer of home goods by revenue. It supports three websites for sellings its wares: wayfair.com, allmodern.com, and jossandmain.com. What Wayfair has found is that shoppers which arrive on their sites from Pinterest are 10 percent more likely to purchase an item than shoppers who are referred from other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as from search.

Not only that, people referred from Pinterest spend 10 percent more than average customers. The article goes on to state that, when the statistics of all social media sites are put together, visitors to websites who have been referred from Pinterest spend 70 percent more than visitors who have been referred from other sites, and including search. These are some pretty significant numbers for all businesses that are considering adding Pinterest to their social media marketing repertoire to seriously consider.

An important point that Wayfair makes in its announcements is that the company had only started actively using Pinterest at the beginning of 2012. In this short span of time, the company’s Pinterest boards have experienced a great deal of popularity – and its site a significant amount of traffic and sales. This is a sign to other companies that it does not take long for a marketing campaign on Pinterest to start paying itself off.

If your business is thinking about opening, or has already opened, a Pinterest account, don’t hesitate to start putting together several beautiful boards. It won’t be long before the benefits start kicking in.