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.

There definitely have been more than a few businesses and organizations that were initially dismayed at the changing of their Facebook brand pages to the Timeline format. What they may not have realized yet, however, is that the Facebook Timeline format will turn out to be highly beneficial for meeting their SEO and social media marketing needs. In fact, what everyone really seemed to need was an article from Mashable, that was recently posted, which outlined and detailed the ways in which Facebook Timeline has been designed to enhance marketing on the social media network.

The Mashable article actually provides three main reasons for which the new Timeline brand pages are beneficial for businesses on Facebook. What are they? You can find out what they are by reading below.

1. The new Timeline format encourages continuous rejuvenation of content and material. This in turn has been shown to increase new traffic to a business’s Facebook page. The previous “default tab” format had not been as conducive to allowing new visitors to learn more about a company and its products or services. The Timeline format, on the other hand, provides ample opportunity for companies to gain exposure for their brands. They can best utilize this feature by posting new content on a regular basis, and sparking conversation with fans by running polls, discussion forums, and more.

2. Many have already noticed that Facebook Timeline is a format that provides an appealing and attractive display of visual content. In other words, it is optimal for posting images in a variety of size formats. Companies should take advantage of this to post images that show off their wares in the best lights possible.

3. The new Timeline format offers marketers a wide range of great analytics tools and insights built into it. Particularly useful is the real time data that it generates, which allows marketers to track the progress of posts immediately, and tweak as necessary.

Facebook definitely kept advertisers and marketers at the top of its mind when designing the Timeline format. Taking some time to understand the changes and how to best utilize them will help marketers in taking advantage of the enhanced marketing potential of their Facebook business pages.

The introduction of Facebook Timeline for brands officially brought to light a very important aspect of marketing through social media: brands must be humanized. In other words, a brand must communicate with its social media audience on a direct personal level. This can provide dividends of benefit for companies, because it increases the trust that customers place in them, which in turn produces positive results in profits.

For the SEO marketer seeking to learn more about, a recent article on Mashable provides some very helpful tips and insights. Read below for some great tips on how a company can effectively humanize its brand on social media channels.

1. Realize that social networks are wholly egalitarian, meaning that there is no individual, company or organization receiving more importance than others. Imbue this thinking into your interactions with customers.

2. Humanize your brand. Create a great working environment that will prompt employees to naturally share stories of their company and brand with the world through their social networks. This organically creates buzz on social media.

3. Keep executives or tops of companies away from managing the company’s main social media accounts. The best people for the job are those who interact the most directly with customers.

4. Provide customers with access to parts of your business. For example, if your company holds an event, have someone live-tweet what takes place as it happens.

5. Treat your customers as your own business partners. Or, have them serve as the face of your company. Think of companies like Dove and Levi’s who have used customers in advertisement for their products.

6. Reach out to key individuals with special products and promos. Satisfying them will help spread the positive word about your company.

7. If your company makes a mistake, own up to it. This will definitely cultivate more trust in your brand.

8. Give fans some work to do. For example, arrange for them to run an online forum or event.

9. Show that your brand is open to debate. Post blogs about relevant topics that can spark conversation.

10. Be present, involved, and engaged with not only customers, but the rest of the social media world. People will only pay attention if you are doing and saying something.

Humanizing your brand has become the norm for marketing on social media. Start considering how your company can start doing so on its own social networks.

For SEO professionals who have been grappling with the process of adjusting their companies’ Facebook Fan Pages to the new Timeline format, here is some news that will inspire them to keep at it. A recent study was conducted by Simply Measured, a company that creates social media analytics software, on 15 companies that updated their Facebook Fan Pages to Timeline on or very close to February 29th, 2012, which was the date that Facebook made Timeline available to businesses on the social networking site.

As reported in an article by Mashable, the study found that engagement on brand pages rose by approximately 46 percent from the time prior to businesses’ adoption of Timeline to after. This is a pretty monumental piece of news to all those other companies out there. Facebook had made promises to businesses that Timeline would provide a greater wealth of advertising potential and opportunities. Now, there is data to back up Facebook’s assertion.

When Facebook first rolled out Timeline for Pages over a month ago, it gave businesses a deadline of March 30th to update and tweak their pages to look great in the new format, before forcing them all to change. Now that the big day is fast approaching, this study can only serve as a greater impetus for businesses to switch as soon as they can, when their marketing potential can increase by large percentages.

What may be the reason for this greater engagement on Facebook Timeline? Many are saying that it is due to the enhanced visual elements of the new format. Timeline allows businesses to post images that can take up huge amounts of space on the walls of their Pages. Not only that, they can display a lot of creativity with the cover picture they decide to put up, as well as the small windows of images that appear right below it. There are a variety of other great features as well enhance the visual quality.

All businesses should hurry to update their Facebook Pages quickly before the deadline runs out, and their Pages are forced to change.

It’s that time of the week again…More news about the exploding social media site Pinterest from yours truly. Just when you thought you had heard enough, I reveal how much more there is to add to your store of Pinterest knowledge. After all, every week brings fresh news of how various companies and organizations are making good use of the site for their marketing needs. In addition to that are the changes that the fledgling company is starting to implement, in its efforts to keep apace with the rapid growth of its product on an increasingly massive scale.

I have already blogged about several companies as well as non-profits that utilize Pinterest to spread the messages, products, or services of their organizations. The number of businesses that are jumping on the Pinterest train is growing quite steadily. And, according to a recent Mashable article, some businesses are going the extra mile when using Pinterest for SEO marketing. They are conducting entire campaigns to promote contests with tempting prizes on the image-sharing platform.

Just take a look at a few companies that have carried out successful and creative campaigns for promoting contests using Pinterest.

Kotex
In Israel the company ran a Women’s Inspiration Day campaign that identified and encouraged 50 “inspiring” women to re-pin a virtual gift that the company sent them. If they did so, they would receive a real gift from Kotex, which would be something that they had already pinned on their Pinterest boards. This campaign garnered 100 percent participation. Not only that, since the women shared their pins on other sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, a total of 2,200 social media interactions were generated, effectively enhancing the brand’s presence online.

British Midland International
The company ran a contest titled “Pinterest Lottery” over several weeks, in which it posted pictures bearing its logos from five destinations – Dublin, Beirut, Moscow, Marrakech, and Nice – and asked users to re-pin them on their own boards. Each week the company randomly chose a number, and the pinners who re-pinned that number picture were entered in a lottery to win free flights to that destination.

As you can see, the opportunities to be creative with marketing through Pinterest are simply endless. Take a look at the Mashable article for more ideas of companies that have carried out similar campaigns, and start considering how your business could do the same to promote its own products and services.

Paul Adams, who is the Global Brand Experience Manager at Facebook, gave a talk yesterday to marketer professionals at the Federated Media’s Signal conference in San Francisco. An article from TechCrunch reported on the interesting responses, comments, insights, and advice Adams gave to the marketers who were in attendance.

Many professionals in SEO and social media marketing feel frustrated by the fact that there is not enough “online real estate” set aside on the social networking site for them to display their advertisements to the millions of Facebook users around the world. Adams, however, made the claim that marketers simply don’t fully understand the platform and how it exactly works when it comes to promoting a brand or company and its products and services on it.

Adams asserted that Facebook is primarily all about relationships, and it is this power to socially connect with people that marketers must harness to create and manage successful Facebook advertising campaigns. They must build relationships with users on a grassroots level through their companies’ Facebook Pages, placing particular emphasis on establishing personal connections.

These types of interactions produce a variety of social media benefits: users who like the company trust it even more, while new users are attracted to liking the company too when they witness the high level of interactivity. Ultimately, the formation of a strong Facebook community around a brand or company’s Facebook Page ends up being a wonderful avenue and strategy for advertising and marketing.

The article on TechCrunch goes on to make a particularly interesting point: the problem arising with social media marketing is that social media presents a completely new avenue of communication between people and companies. Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and other social networking sites possess new rules of engagement between people that marketers must seek to understand and master if they want to manage successful advertising campaigns through these channels.

Just throwing ads into the view of people is how advertising on television has always worked best. The same cannot be said for social media, although that tactic does work to a certain extent. Companies must start adapting their marketing techniques to the new technologies.