[By Emily Carter]
Happy Spring! I’m not sure how the first day of spring is treating the rest of the world weather-wise, but here in New Jersey we are being welcomed into the loving arms of warmth and sunshine. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing right now than running outside like a little kid, playing kickball or Red Light, Green Light (an old favorite). Instead, I am looking into the newest craze in Social Media Marketing: Pinterest.
Here’s a Pinterest-ing factoid for you: in January 2012, Pinterest drove more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and Youtube combined. Pinterest is the new kid on the Social Media scene – an online pin board where users can create and manage theme-based collections of images. In the spirit of springtime and playground aspirations, I’ve put together the Do’s and Don’ts of Pinterest for brands. Or, if you will, I have a little game of Pinterest Red Light, Green Light for you.
Green Light: Create Pin Boards that Categorize the Offerings of your Brand
You can make as many boards as you want, so get creative! Create boards that make sense for your company. For example, if you are an inbound marketing firm (like we are) you might want to create boards for Email Marketing, Social Media, Websites, SEO and PR.
Red Light: Don't Pin Personal Hobbies onto your Corporate Brand Page
Believe me, as someone who has spent a few hours on Pinterest myself, I know how easy it is so get sucked into the artful strokes of genius that the site has to offer. But stick to your brand; your love of houses made entirely out of Legos will not enhance your brand image.
Green Light: Drive Traffic
Include links back to your website and landing pages in your pins. This will drive traffic back to your site and create valuable inbound links.
Red Light: Don't Focus on Self-Promotion
Keep your profile community-based by sharing images and videos from other user’s boards. Repinning other content that suits your community will help strengthen your reach. No one wants to share an annoying ad that you’ve shoved in others’ faces.
Green Light: Be Useful
Offer useful information that is more likely to be shared, like leadership ideas, instructional videos, business book recommendations, blog post links or infographics.
Red Light: Don't Join Because you Feel you Have to
If your brand offers unique products and utilizes imagery, Pinterest could be a good fit for you. If you don’t easily fit into one of the several categories that they have on their site, you might want to investigate whether or not this social network is right for you.
Green Light: Share the Love
Post your pins and repins with your other social media channels, like Facebook and Twitter. This brings your Social Media full circle.
For all the Pinterest-ers out there, take a gander at our pin boards to put this all into context. For everyone else, go sit outside and enjoy the nice weather!
[By Emily Carter]
By now you know how enthusiastic we are about Inbound Marketing and how much we emphasize the importance of your company’s website. Driving sales in the digital age has come down to one simple fact: your website is your company’s Digital Salesperson. The internet is now everyone’s “Step One” when information gathering. If your Italian restaurant doesn’t show up on Google when someone searches “What’s the best place to get a good meatball?” then you’re automatically losing the game.
It comes as no surprise to us that recent statistics reflect our “Digital Salesperson” mantra. According to this year’s Local Consumer Review Survey, approximately 72% of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. 52% of consumers said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business.
Not only that, but there has been a significant jump in the number of consumers using the Internet to find local businesses. Only 15% of all consumers surveyed said they had not used the Internet to find a local business, a significant drop from 2010’s 21%.
The conclusion that we all can draw from these statistics is that not only are people looking online for their information more than ever, but they also trust what they are finding as much as if they were hearing it from a person.
As consumers are increasingly relying on smartphones, this trend is bound to bounce upward in the years to come. In order to fully capitalize on the power of the Internet, make sure that your company’s website is accomplishing its job as a Digital Salesperson. It should attract qualified leads that are in the market for your product or service. Your website needs to be easy to find and provide visitors with the answers they’re looking for.
To find out how your Digital Salesperson stacks up to the rest of cyberspace, Grade Your Website and Marketing Efforts with HubSpot’s Marketing Grader Tool.