Archive for Pinterest

5 Simple Steps to Online Success: What Every Small to Mid-Size Business Must Know

If you are a small to mid-size business with more energy than cash to get started in the online arena, this is for you. These actionable tips can be done on a reasonable budget and are the bottom line necessities for any small to mid-size business today. This article is stripped of heavy techno-lingo and allows most anyone a jumping off point whether they go it alone or are about to meet with their agency and need a guideline of must-do’s.

  1. Have a Website. While you might have a Facebook page, and that is important, it is not a substitute for a Website. Your website must be well-constructed and up-to-date (see step 4). It is important that your website is visited (see the rest of the steps) and visitors stay once they find it.
  2. Be on Social Media. Though it takes time, getting known and building “social” relationships builds a solid market where once there was none – and you can drive those followers to your blog or website to build even more activity for your business. I suggest Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. And to manage your time, try Buffer, which allows you to delay your links and other information to be posted to each of your social spaces when your readers are most likely online for the best impact.
  3. Be Graceful. All of your actions should not be self-promoting. Take time to promote others’ work and business as well. Link to others. They will notice and be more likely to treat you well in return. Also be sure to provide superior customer service to keep everyone talking about you.
  4. Blog and Create Content. You’ll keep your website higher on results pages with updated blogs because search engines tend to pick up the quality content found in blogs. Moreover, because your blog regularly changes, you have an excellent way of keeping your website fresh and up-to-date. No time to blog? Ask your staff to submit short articles, or hire a writer specifically for this task.
  5. Connect Your Way to Success. Your website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or whatever social channels you choose, must connect to one another. Don’t forget to point your offline and online marketing efforts to each other as well. These connections make up the smartest, most effective way to impact your market.

As you apply this information, keep in mind that sometimes less is more. Be certain that your information is not only compelling, but that it is clear. Have someone outside of your business try out your website for ease of use and clarity. Be sure your customers are getting the best care you can offer. Here’s to your success and be sure to share this with someone you know.

(Parts of this article from 5 Tips for Boosting Your SEO on a Tight BudgetBusiness 2 Community by Ken Mueller)

Pinterest Wannabes, Heads Up – Pinterest is a Visual Board of Your Life

As many of you are discovering, Pinterest is a fabulous site that’s pretty new to the social media scene but has been around for a little bit. You can share photos and images from the web that attach to their own stories – whether it be a recipe, a design project or just a favorite hobby or collection. I joined the Pinterest Waiting List almost exactly one year ago because as a creative, it was an exciting new place for me to be! Once I was approved in April, I went in and immediately created boards with names that appealed to me and my personality instead of using their defaults. Over time, I continually add images and links as they reveal themselves to me as being part of my life.

What’s particularly endearing to me about Pinterest is that it is all visual and that you can really see some gorgeous photos, obtain some magnificent recipes, and reap so many other benefits of thoughtful sayings, collector hobbies and fascinating miracles. I joined this site because of its unique ability to allow you to have so much fun sharing and displaying so much of who you are. Not to mention the sort of visual mind mapping that it allows. We literally re-designed the entire main area of our house and kitchen by pinning elements we planned to incorporate into our design.

Sadly, I am prompted to write this blog because of the “Pinterest Wannabe” crowd. This is the crowd that is joining Pinterest merely for the exposure or because they think it’s where they need to be and not for the value that it offers. According to Pinterest’s “Pin Etiquette“, read Item #3 which explains that this site is not about promoting yourself. As is true with most social networks, it’s about sharing. I have been so disappointed lately watching this “Pinterest Wannabe” crowd appear.

Wannabe Scenario:

  • Someone follows me.
  • I go to their link to see what fascinating things they have for me to “Like” or “Re-Pin”.
  • I find they have no boards, no likes, no pins and yet they are following many and being followed by many.

What a shame. It reminds me of all of those who joined Twitter or Facebook for the same reasons – they join to be part of the “Wannabe” crowd and have no clue how to use it or make it valuable to themselves or others. It’s particularly upsetting with Pinterest because why would I want to follow someone who HAS NO PICTURES OR BOARDS? This is a visual board of your LIFE people. 20% of those following me have no boards whatsoever or one board with one pin relating to their business.

So there.. my rant.. and here’s my advice to Pinterest newbies – don’t be a Wannabe! And…

  1. Don’t sign up if you don’t want to share things you love
  2. If you do sign up, don’t follow anyone until you have something to show them
  3. Don’t put your logo in your photo spot – this is about you, not your company
  4. Have fun with this. Show pieces of who you are professionally because that’s part of who you are – but don’t bore us to death with sell, sell, sell.

Am I too sensitive?