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Pinterest: The Most Underrated Advertising Platform

By Megan Ritter
As Pinterest gets ever closer to launching its much anticipated “Promoted Pins” campaign, the spotlight has finally turned to one of the most underrated advertising platforms on the web. If you aren’t yet using Pinterest to boost your brand, then it’s time to find out more about how both free and paid Pinterest marketing can function to optimize your ROI.
Pinterest and Your Brand
For SME’s, Pinterest is a veritable gold mine of marketing opportunities. Unlike other major social media platforms, Pinterest offers users the ability to market posts (for free) not just to followers, but to all of Pinterest. For example, when you create a status update on your business Facebook page, users who do not already have a vested interest in your product are unlikely to stumble upon it. In contrast, when you upload a pin to Pinterest, Pinterest users from all over the world have access to your content.
Who Uses Pinterest?
Pinterest is popular amongst mobile users, with the platform attributing 75% of its traffic to mobile web visitors. With such a large mobile visitor base, Pinterest is particularly advantageous to brands seeking to increase their mobile presence; and with the mobile web accounting for an ever increasing percentage of business sales, who isn’t? By attracting mobile web users, your business can begin to cater the on-the-go demographic, catching the attention of mobile visitors who are perusing Pinterest while on the bus to the shopping mall, or getting a haircut nearby. As well as attracting a high percentage of mobile visitors, Pinterest is popular amongst the female demographic. Statistics show that women between the ages of 25-54 spent a total of over 3,500 minutes accessing Pinterest through the mobile web in January, 2014; almost double the amount of time that the same demographic spent on Twitter
Marketing Successfully Through Pinterest
A great as Pinterest is, just uploading the occasional pin isn’t going to cut it. If you don’t plan on investing in Pinterest’s upcoming Promoted Pins advertising deal, then you have to do the legwork yourself. To grow your consumer base through Pinterest, keep the following five steps in mind:

 Take Professional Quality Pictures: Pinterest users re-pin pictures that have good visual appeal, so photograph your product with excellence in mind. If your budget can accommodate hiring a professional photographer, all the better, but if not then it’s up to you to ensure that your pictures attract optimal attention to your product. If you don’t have a background in photography, then take a crash course to learn the basics of lighting, composition and editing.
Follow Other Pinterest Users: Be proactive in building your Pinterest follower base by following Pinterest users who have demonstrated an interest in products similar to your own. When you follow another Pinterest user, they will take a moment to view your Pinterest profile, giving your product the chance to attract a new fan.
Reward Your Followers: If you have a Facebook, Instagram and Twitter following built up already, ensure that your followers follow you over to Pinterest by announcing follower contests. For example, offer a free goodie bag to your 500th follower, or reward Pinterest users who re-pin your pins with free coupons.
Post Frequently: Posting once a week isn’t enough, posting once a day isn’t even enough. The more pins you post, the higher the chance that one of them will go viral and attract attention.
Link Back to Your Website/Landing Pages: When you post your pins, ensure that every one of them carries a link that leads directly back to your landing pages or your website. If you don’t connect your pins to your sales platform, you could be missing out on potential product sales.

Pinterest Promoted Pins
A little behind its competitors in launching paid advertising, Pinterest has announced that it will soon be offering advertising opportunities to companies in the USA. Although the service is not yet available, Pinterest has begun adding interested businesses to a Promoted Pins waitlist. Interested brands must make a six month commitment and pay a CPM of approximately $30. Brands will have the option to target specific search terms, or place ads in “Everything” and “Popular” feeds. Although Promoted Pins will be initially out of the budget range of most SMEs, the development is still cause for excitement. As with Facebook, Google +, and Twitter advertising, Pinterest advertising will likely become more widely available should its launch prove as successful as projected. So sit tight, and start building your Pinterest follower base!
Post by Megan Ritter: Megan Ritter is a graduate student at USC and an online web journalist. Follow her @megmarieritter
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock

Best Social Media Tools for Business

Some tools meant for play have actually become good for work.  Take social media as an example.
It was originally designed to keep in touch with friends new and old, but businesses quickly found out that it is also good for them.  With it they could keep in touch with customers, content market, keep an eye on the competition and get a gauge of how good (or bad) they are doing.  There are many useful social media tools out there for different types of businesses; here are some of the most useful for both big and small enterprises.
This wonderful tool acts like a virtual Dropbox you can carry with you in any mobile device. You can also open it in any other mobile device or PC that has the program installed. Save something anywhere and get access to it anywhere. The freemium version offers limited file size, but is good enough for those who use it casually. Those who want to use it for huge files might want to upgrade to the premium version though.

This program helps you manage your Facebook and Twitter account in one place. It lets you see the latest Facebook shares and Twitter re-tweets and find out if your business was mentioned in any of the conversations.
This app lets business owners or their employees accept credit card payments even with just their smartphone or tablet. But be warned, it is not free as the service takes 2.75 percent of each transaction, but at this rate many small business owners do not mind the cost for the convenience.
Yes, I know you are going to say that this online communication tool is a productivity killer since it distracts your employees from their work.  Well, yes it does sometimes. But that depends on what your business is.  If you happen to have a business that requires your people to be able to get in touch with online customers quickly, or call from one department to another, then this is still the way to go.
Like TweetDeck this dashboard program also lets you manage multiple online platforms at once. But while TweetDeck only supports Facebook and Twitter, HootSuite can also accommodate LinkedIn, Google+, Foursquare, WordPress, Mixi and MySpace.  It has a scheduling system that lets you pre-program posts for future sharing, which not just saves you time but can be used strategically to the advantage of your business.  It also keeps tracks of the shares, tweets and other conversations on the mentioned social media.  It is available in freemium and premium versions.
Let’s start with Pinterest first.  Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo sharing network that lets users “pin” a photo of themselves, their interests and hobbies online.  Those who like those images can re-pin them.  Now PinReach helps you gauge your success on the Pinterest pages by providing you data on viewer activity and any impact. It can be used to set a digital marketing strategy since it is able to assess marketing interest and determine possible sales leads.
It’s essentially a management tool that helps you create great content for a storyboard. If you have a topic trending across different social media accounts storify lets you come up with new content by clicking and dragging the content of those posts, hyperlinks and other items. You can rearrange the added posts, add text and anything else then embed it into any website.
YouTube’s Audience Retention Report
This targeting tool can help save video producers the cost of a wide video campaign.  As many videos are modified to maximize Search Engine Optimization (SEO), this tool helps you determine which audience is viewing your clips, monitors their viewing habits and adapts accordingly to those trends.  This tool has been listed by SocialMediaExaminer.com as one of the most important social media tools to come around in a long time.
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.
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Pulling the pin

Could copyright issues be about to burst the Pinterest bubble?
Can you hear that? It’s the sound of the calm before the storm of copyright claims from the hundreds of thousands of websites whose images have been shared on Pinterest, the much-touted new social image-sharing network that has taken Mashable the industry by storm.
Pinterest can obviously hear it as well, because in a pro-active move the organisation has decided to offer websites the option of ‘opting out’ of pins.
This video by Mashable explains how the social network is sharpening up on its copyright obligations…
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.

What is it about Pinterest?

The Message predicted Pinterest would be the next big thing for online and social media content. Now everyone else is catching on…
Back in May, when Pinterest was just a speck of dust in the online pond, we wrote a piece touting it as the next big thing in online inspiration.
Fast-forward eight months and you can’t read a social media blog without tripping over at least three articles about its meteoric rise. So either Pinterest has hired the PR equivalent of the bed bug infestation currently sweeping the US, or it really is ‘the Next Big Thing’.
Let’s look at some of the stats…

According to lemon.ly, a visual data company, Pinterest hit 10 million US unique monthly users faster than any independent site. Ever.
Also according to lemon.ly, over 97% of Pinterest’s Facebook fans are women. This makes it marketing gold, with women aged 24-35 sitting in the ultimate target market for… well, most things.
According to Mashable, Pinterest has already had a huge impact on the world of web design, with more and more designers optimising their sites to support ‘pinning’.
According to Shareaholic, Pinterest refers more retail traffic than Google +, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.
According to Mashable, Pinterest is the online equivalent of the second coming of Christ, sent to redeem all of our social sins and change the face of the world forever*.

Are you on Pinterest? Do you want an invite? Are you buying into the hype?
*Note: Mashable may not have actually referred to Pinterest as the second coming of Christ, but judging by the number of articles it publishes about the site, we’re guessing the editor’s opinion isn’t far off that…
The Message is brought to you by Tick Yes – providing solutions for all your digital and content marketing needs.