Pins? Boards? What is Pinterest?

Pins? Boards? What is Pinterest?

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest was established in March 2010 and co-founded by Ben Sibermann, Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra. (About Pinterest) These three gentlemen created an online social network that allows people to create visual social bookmarks through photos and videos that can belong to the user or others. They also have a free downloadable app that is available iOS and Android users. Now that we know who and when Pinterest was created, my next question is how do we use Pinterest?

#Pinning

To better understand Pinterest, perhaps we need to learn how to speak the Pinterest language. Pin, Re-Pin, and Pinboards, What does it all mean? Let us break it down.

Pin (or as I like to call #Pinning) – A pin is when you share a bookmark from the internet to your Pinterest account.

Re-Pin – Think of it like a ReTweet on Twitter. You’re basically re-sharing someone else’s Pin.

Pinboards – Think of a physical cork board where you can put up photos and ideas with thumbtacks to “Pin” them onto your board. These are the categories you create online help you organize your ideas or interests.

Sources: What is Pinterest

How Users are #Pinning

My cousin used to sit me down in front of the computer and click aimlessly on the internet to show me ideas for her wedding. I understood her concept and colour theme, but she was overloading my brain and I couldn’t keep up with all the websites. I told her to copy and paste the links to an email and send them to me so I could have a better look to give her feedback on what I thought. Then, my cousin discovered Pinterest and made me join it so she could share her visual wedding board with me. This helped me give my cousin feedback faster to help her organize her wedding. What’s cool about Pinterest is that they give you the option to make collaborative boards. This allows users to add their input and ideas to a board. My cousin chose not to have anyone collaborate to her wedding board because she’s a control freak and only wanted opinions.

How I use Pinterest

I’m a heavy Instagram user and post photos of my finished knitting projects. I was having a conversation with someone about knitting, and they asked if I had photos of my projects. I was trying to scroll through 3 years of photos on my phone and was having a difficult time trying to find my best work. I turned to Instagram but was having the same problem of scrolling through photos. I needed a better option to showcase my work, then I remembered I had a Pinterest account. I created a board called Munchkinz Knitting Adventures This board helped me organize all the knitting projects I’ve posted on my Instagram to be filed into one place to use as a point of reference. I also use Pinterest to help me organize recipe ideas I find online or through recipe apps, I use on my iPhone like Yummly. When I look at my Pinterest profile and reflect on my learnings about personal branding, I think I’m going to take the time to organize my boards and tailor it more with my brand on Instagram.

Are you a pinterested user? Help contribute to the conversation by sharing how you use pinterest.

 

twitter #Areyoupinterested http://bit.ly/2wWvaO5

facebook Is Pinterest For you?  Find out on my latest blog post. http://bit.ly/2wWvaO5

References

About Pinterest (2017), Pinterest, Retrieved by https://about.pinterest.com/en/press/press

Carr, K (n,d), Dummies, What is Pinterest, Retrieved by http://www.dummies.com/social-media/pinterest/what-is-pinterest-2/

Meng, A (2014, January 20) What is Pinterest, and How Does It Work? Infront, Retrieved by https://www.infront.com/blog/the-infront-blog/2014/1/20/what-is-pinterest-and-how-does-it-work

 

COM0015 – Assignment 1 -Blog 4 – Out of the Box

Combining everything that we already knew about SOCIAL MEDIA with all the cases we’ve studied and all the best tools that are to be had: it feels like I’m only ever getting half-way to a solution.  Before starting this program, I thought I had a hunch about a few tools and programs out there in the real world of business meets social media… but.. wait a minute: ‘Things are changing… how will I ever keep up?’

LISTENING + LEARNING + STAYING IN ACTION  = keep to keeping up with trends and generating new ways of looking at the world through the lens of #SocialMediaMeetsBusiness.

OutsideofBox.png

So what do I hope to accomplish with social media?  Is it working? Well, I’m constantly learning new tricks.

From what I gather, I’m using platforms that are suited to my particular field and/or project(s.)  I’m learning from others about the varied style of communication using social media = the ins and outs of sharing your message.  What works for some people is worth a try but it might not quite work for me.  I guess it’s all a question of finding a style and sticking to it..

GOING MOBILE?  Here are a few tools that might come in handy…

I’m always looking for social media inspiration: taking free webinars and online courses.  I have found a whole bunch of useful information about how mobile apps come into play

Instagram can house short videos… Hilary Rushford, of Dean Street Society, hosted a webinar called: ‘Doubling Your Instagram Following.’

Distributing a free workbook, her program talked about free tools for editing and posting images on Instagram.

VSCO CAM = where you add a photo to your library and she talked us through using the editing tools.

@HilaryRushford also talked about the PERISCOPE App = live mobile video streaming; which works really well when you’re sharing content on a road trip, from various locations.

Another useful tool that I’ve grown to love is HOOTSUITE Suggestions...

Right from my iPhone, I am able to call up HOT TOPICS that I can easily share on my Twitter and Facebook accounts.

FYI>> It gives you THREE topics to search for and you can assign unlimited accounts… so make sure that you tweak the settings before posting on multiple accounts.  Be #strategic in what you post and where.  Double check your postings on each platform to catch anything that goes wrong.  If in doubt, delete and give it another try.  Skill takes practice.

Puzzled by PINNING?

PINTEREST is a social media platform that would appear to have limited application to business… but Melanie Duncan’s webinar gave me a whole bunch of information about optimizing this platform to steer traffic from PINS back to your company site.

> The type of material you PIN is part of the formula.  Inforgraphics are the most popular format (they spread like wild fire.)

Melanie also suggest the following tools:

PICMonkey =  Protecting your content with a watermark

Easily creating infographics = www.infogr.am

Getting a Pinterest tab for your Facebook Page = www.woobox.com/pinterest

Pinterest stuff = Courtesy of Melanie Duncan (www.powerofpinning.com/course

> The BLOGEME poster thingy I built (featured image)  still lives on scribd.com which I’ve embedded on my personal blog (backdoor access = click expand button on bottom corner) http://ow.ly/MFQx302Y1sy

COM0011 Blog 3 —Social Media and Poor Sleep: Cause or Effect?

Two recently completed research projects looked at the relation between social media use and sleep. While they came to two different conclusions, they seem to point to a potential spiral effect.

High social media use causes sleep problems

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh studied 1,788 Americans ages 19 to 32 from across the country in 2014. Participants filled out questionnaires about the time they spent each day on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, SnapChat, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn and the frequency each week. Researchers also assess sleep disturbances with an established scientific system.

On average, participants used social media about an hour per day and 30 times per week. Nearly 30 per cent had high levels of sleep disturbance.

Adjusting for socio-demographic differences, researchers found that participants in the highest 25 per cent of use per day were nearly twice as likely to have sleep disturbances as those in the lowest quartile. Participants in the highest 25 per cent of frequency per week were nearly three times as likely to have sleep problems as those in the lowest quartile. According to lead researcher Jessica C. Levenson:

“This may indicate that frequency of social media visits is a better predictor of sleep difficulty than overall time spent on social media…. If this is the case, then interventions that counter obsessive checking behavior may be most effective.”

The researcher team suggests physicians consider asking patients about social media habits when assessing sleep issues. Interestingly, though, they acknowledge the possibility that participants used social media to pass the time when they could not fall asleep or return to sleep.

Sleep problems cause high Facebook use

While a significant amount of research has looked at how technology affects sleep, researchers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) turned the idea around and looked at how sleep affected technology usage.

The researchers collected data from 24 male and 42 female UCI undergraduate students for seven days during the spring of 2014. Taking into consideration the students’ gender, age, course load and deadlines, the team of researchers measured students’ behaviour, activities and stress levels. The team did this by using sensors and installing software on the participants’ computers and smart phones that logged and time stamped when they switched from one application window to another or used their phones. Students also completed a sleep survey each morning and an end-of-day survey each night.

The UCI team found that a lack of sleep — which causes tiredness, irritability (bad mood) and distractibility — leads to more frequent online activities, such as browsing Facebook. According to lead researcher Gloria Mark:

“When you get less sleep, you’re more prone to distraction…. If you’re being distracted, what do you do? You go to Facebook. It’s lightweight, it’s easy, and you’re tired.”

Mark and her team found that the less sleep students had, the more frequently their attention shifted among different computer screens, suggesting heightened distractibility.

The UCI researchers say their results reveal a direct link among chronic lack of sleep, worsening mood and greater reliance on Facebook browsing. The Pittsburgh researchers say high social media use is linked to sleep disturbances. So lack of sleep can cause higher social media use, which, in turn, can cause sleep problems, which, in turn, can cause… a spiralling problem. The question now becomes how best to break the spiral.

COM0011 – Blog 2 – Optimizing your food blog for Pinteresters

Let me begin by saying that I am not a food blogger, so this is not a post about how to make a lovely culinary blog like my own. I am just a person who cooks and bakes often, and primarily uses links from social streams like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter to find recipes. Thanks to these, I can find a massive selection of food blogs with recipe posts, far outdoing the selection that I can find by using Google alone (the same few sites like AllRecipes.com and Cooks.com are better indexed and always at the top of the results, unfortunately.)

Of these, I feel that Pinterest is the best choice for social recipe perusal, because the social aggregator is,

1. picture-based , so you can scroll through your results by photo, which yield higher conversion than text when it comes to food;

2. Pinterest posts link directly to the post or page of origin; and

3. Is so easy to share to by photo linking that it is a top choice of food bloggers to share their content, and therefore Pinterest’s selection of any given search result is abundant.

This being said, I feel that there could be several key improvements to the blog posts themselves in light of the fact that much of their traffic will be coming from Pinterest and other social media.

Since I am usually standing in my kitchen or at the grocery store when I’m using Pinterest to comb for recipes, I will be accessing it from a mobile device. Thankfully, Pinterest is aware of this and its mobile app has an awesome user interface, so no complaints there. However, once I click on a suitable-looking photo to link to the blog it was posted from, this is where all hell breaks loose. Most food bloggers use lots of high-quality photography to display their culinary prowess, but many take it to the next level and unfortunately it slows the load time on a mobile device to the point of abandonment. I have often been on a post, trying to scroll through forty slow-loading images so that I can simply see the recipe list to make sure I have all the ingredients before I start. Sometimes I stand there swearing and scrolling, but often I just close Pinterest’s browser and go back to its search results so that I can find a link to a different site altogether. If the recipe was posted at the top of the post under the title, I would have only had to scroll that far to find it and it would have increased my likelihood of using it.

Speaking of photography, the photos themselves should be optimized for web, and quite often, they are too big and too numerous. I personally don’t need to view ten similar photos of the same pie taken in impressively high quality, nor a separate photo of EVERY STEP of the cooking process, either. I feel that if the blogger can’t illustrate the whole recipe in 5 photos or less including the feature image, then they need to review their posting strategy.

The body copy itself is often too long. While I understand that the blogger is trying to create a community in which their voice and their style can blend with their skills to appeal to their niche audience, I am arriving to their blog from outside their niche and I simply do not care about their voice. I just want to see their spinach dip recipe because the photo on Pinterest looked tasty. I will not read the 500 words of copy introducing the week they’ve been having at the time of posting, nor how much their “hubby” loves this recipe. A short paragraph regarding the blogger’s success with the recipe and detailing any alterations made to it wouldn’t be amiss, but anything more will be scrolled past.

The comments need to be moderated to be useful. Many recipes on larger sites are only as good as their comment thread. On a site like AllRecipes, some recipes are utterly useless if you don’t read the user feedback, as often times the recipe itself is bunk, or an important substitution had to be made by a commenter to render it edible. On smaller blog sites, I have come to notice that half the comments are from the blogger’s community who are trying to show support by commenting things like “This sure looks good, can’t wait to try it”. This is no use to a casual user whatsoever. The commenter’s intention to possibly use the recipe someday is of no value to me. The blogger should reduce or remove comments of this nature, or use a vote-up type system where they can upvote more relevant comments to the top of the thread, such as “I tried this yesterday, and I had to increase the salt, but it worked perfectly”.

In conclusion, I love Pinterest and I love being able to easily connect with food bloggers and their recipes. But with such vast amounts of content available online, any food blogger trying to reach an audience through social media should optimize their posts to make them a bit more user-friendly if they want theirs to stand out from the rest.

Photography of food

COM0014 – B2C Case Study

etsy-logo

In 2014, one of the biggest online craft and gift sales platforms in the world – Etsy – implemented a successful campaign that truly celebrates the essence of what makes social media so powerful:

S H A R I N G

Etsy put the power of sharing into action using Pinterest, the visual pinning and sharing site. They began with the obvious tactic of sharing Etsy shop items on their Pinterest boards, but did not stop there. They also included merchandise from other sites if the item types were trending with their Pinterest followers.

Pin It button

They also added the Pin It button to all the etsy.com pages. This broadened their reach to other online communities using Pinterest. While pinners improved trending items, they helped increase Etsy brand awareness.

Extending the campaign even further, Etsy invited guests to pin on their Pinterest account. Guest pinners such as Etsy shop owners, popular bloggers and brands like Martha Stewart were given their own boards to showcase their products on the Etsy account.

What makes this tactic so successful is that the social media gurus at Etsy were able to broaden the scope of their audience while providing valuable connections and opportunities to all their target audiences: Etsy sellers, shoppers and external brands.

In deciding on this approach, Etsy’s social media editors recognized several things:

Etsy & Pinterest Social Media Case Study

Their important target audience, Etsy shop owners, could benefit in a huge way from being showcased on Etsy’s Pinterest account.

Their shopper target audience had broad needs and interests.

Etsy knew they had to research trending items to understand what was important to their audience so that they would share pins.

Everyone needs to promote their own items or brand and this can be done in partnership instead of competition.

And, no business should operate in a sales silo as if theirs was the only one that needed to generate revenue. Inspiring your followers, truly understanding their interests and attracting similar businesses with common interests can benefit everyone.

Displaying the true spirit of providing value to the wider online e-commerce community, Etsy’s campaign proves to be one of the better uses of social media, sharing and community building.

Blog Assignment #1 (COM0011) Post #5: Unpinning Pinterest – An Introduction for Small Businesses Owners

ele1Does your business rely on driving a high volume of website traffic to increase sales? If your business isn’t already on Pinterest, sign up today!

What is it?

Pinterest is a user-curated social bookmarking site where people visually share their love of a brand by posting – or ‘pinning’ – interesting images and photos they’ve found with others.

Why Use Pinterest?

For a long time, questions about the direct revenue impact of social media campaigns went mostly unanswered. Like a giant elephant in the room, the topic was actively avoided. Instead, marketers focused on social media as an essential tool for meeting customer experience goals and building brand visibility. However today – more than ever – businesses are shifting focus towards activating social channels and converting followers to customers.

In comes Pinterest…

Converting social media followers to customers is easier with Pinterest. Everything you pin can click directly to your website so people can learn more about your products and actively engage with your brand. Pins can also be tracked through web analytics to measure their direct impact on sales for e-commerce sites.

Need more convincing?

Pinterest generates more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined!  

Pinterest users spend more money, more often, and on more items than any of the other top 5 social media sites.

69% of online consumers who visited Pinterest found an item they’ve purchased compared to only 40% of online consumers visiting Facebook.

In fact, a recent study analyzing data from 25,000 Shopify stores showed us that referral traffic from Pinterest was equal to traffic coming from Twitter. However, of the traffic generated from Pinterest, shoppers were 10% more likely to make a purchase compared to visitors from other social sites. But that’s not all! At $80, the average order was double that of customers coming from Facebook.

Did you know…

Women represent 80% of Pinterest users and 92% of Pins.

Pinterest is the 2nd fastest growing social platform & the leader in overall member growth.

Pinterest is expected to top 50 million active users in United States this year.

80% of pins are ‘re-pins’.

Pins are ‘evergreens’, that means a pin can drive traffic – and sales – back to your website long after they were originally posted.

It’s all about trust…

trustPinterest Promoted Pins

In 2014, Pinterest introduced ads to a number of businesses as they moved towards monetization. As Pinterest prepares for a worldwide roll-out, make sure your business is ready.

Want to learn more? Check out these great articles:

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments!

COM 0014 Blog Post 4 – B2C Case Study

Engaging customers via social media has opened the doors for many small, locally owned businesses, giving them the opportunity to reach their customers on a shoe string budget. Offering special sales, contests and product education can really get your customers talking and more importantly through the door. Skindeep Eco Spa is a locally owned business in the heart of Paris Ontario and they have done just that!

Actively involved with their customers, they have just over 900 followers combined on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. To put that number into perspective, Paris Ontario has a population of approximately 10,000 and for a specialized business, such as a spa, to have close to 1% of that population following, they have definitely captured the attention they are after.

Skindeep Eco Spa’s social media posts don’t include just promoting themselves and their spa services but they take the time to educate on the importance of skin care and the difference between organic products and the generic brands you find at the drug store. For many this education is one more step to a healthier lifestyle. Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? Not many people would think of their skin an organ. And how many of us pay as much attention to the health of our skin as we do our heart or our lungs? Skin 101 courtesy of Skindeep Eco Spa.

Of course a business cannot survive on just educating their customers but it certainly helps get them through the door. But that isn’t the only tactic that Skindeep Eco Spa has done to engage with their customers. They are continually offering special sales and contest and most recently with their location move, extended hours with the ability to book appointments via Twitter, Facebook and email. Convenience another bonus for the customer!

The quality of Skindeep Eco Spa’s social media presence has proven to be very successful and I truly believe that they are on the right track to continued business success through their social media channels.

skindeeplogo

twitter_icon facebook_icon pinterest_icon

*image source http://www.skindeepecospa.ca

COM0015 – Post #1 – Tools & Sources

social-icon-collage

My involvement in social media was not particularly extensive until I began taking the social media program. Facebook was about the extent of the platforms I used. Since taking this program, I have had exposure and explored numerous new social media platforms. I have a twitter account AND I’m following blogs.

Although I would say for personal use, the social media platform that I use the most is Facebook. I guess you could say it is the listening and monitoring tool for my life and my own personal trends.

There are so many sources of information, and I find it can be overwhelming checking each individual site, so I find Feedly very helpful because it allows me to condense all of the sites I am interested in following, from news media to business sites to recipe sites all in one place.

Twitter is also very useful for the same reason. I rarely post to Twitter, but I like being able to follow the news and activities of specific organizations and people, and having it all in one place to quickly peruse. I use Twitter primarily for work. I work in the pharmaceutical industry, so I follow accounts specific to my needs, and Twitter keeps me constantly in the loop with all the news and updates specific to my industry and what I’m looking for.

I’m also a bit of a Pinterest junky. I use it primarily for recipes, but I also use it for fashion ideas, home décor ideas and party planning ideas. I’m in the middle of planning a baby shower for a close friend, and yes, sometimes I feel like I’m poaching ideas using this site, but I love that you can have an idea in mind and Pinterest will provide you with a way to create and execute that idea. Besides, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? 

Efficiency is key for me in a social media platform because A) there is so much to sift through and B) I have a very short attention span online, so if I can get my information at-a-glance, and pick and choose what I want to read through a quick title scan, the happier I am.

The future is visual. COM0011 Blog Post 3

I once had professor that once said, perception is the only reality. He was referring to visual branding of companies, however it seems that this is becoming more and more the case with companies as they realize the importance of products or services in visual format. Social media mediums such a Pinterest and Instagram are informative but also are Selling the dream. Consumers are driven towards this visual format and it is proven as Pinterest currently has over 70 million users and Instagram reaching over 200 million users and numbers are growing by the day. 

3000 marketers were interviewed by online social magazine Social Media Examiner in their Social Media Marketing Report. From the results 42% of marketers indicated that they plan to increase their use of Instagram in the coming year. This is up by 32% from their 2013 report.

An increase of such a big growth has me questioning how the not for profit I work for can harness this tool. We are a service based not for profit industry, how does that translate into the Instagram world? Instagram has seen a change from members taking artistic pictures of clouds and their breakfast and it’s fast becoming a number one social media app for both consumers and businesses.

Just to give you a laugh, this was my original view of Instagram… Just a warning, the song will be stuck in your head for days! Funny eh!

I took to Google to find some inspiration for not for profits. This is what I found… wonderful, wonderful inspiration for not for profits. How did I miss this? 
Image

Giving the end user a visual version of what we do could move our business forward. It certainly gives the Instagram user reassurance of how their fundraising dollars are being used. Brilliant!

I wonder how other not for profits use Instagram? How has the success been? Do their find an increase in their donations? As an end user if you can see who you are donating to, do you feel more inclined to give? So many questions! 

 

 

Post #4 : Out of the Box

                    Taking this social media course has opened my eyes to a whole world! I thought the best applications for online marketing were Facebook, a website and getting on the first page of google. Even though those all work wonderful, there are many applications and ways to spread the word of your business that I never would have thought of on my own.

                                   There were some applications that I heard about before but didn’t think of them as ways to market your business. Such as, Pinterest and Twitter. I saw Twitter as just another kind of Facebook that I didn’t want to bother with. I found out the opposite and use the Twitter account of our business just as much as I use the Facebook page. Now onto Pinterest, an application I figured was just for arts and crafts and DYI by individuals. I was wrong again. So many companies use Pinterest as a visual look into their company. Its just one more way to use online marketing at its best!

                       I had an account with LinkIn before starting but I have updated it and use for the sole use of networking with other companies. Its the ultimate resume!!!

                      What I didn’t expect was the use of blogging to help promote the company. I had always thought that blogging was for over active individuals who liked to talked about themselves (which I  still think its the case for most bloggers hehe) . Blogging adds a more personal touch to the company, its a way to express what actually goes on and it can help people understand you and your company better! For this application, I use WordPress, which was introduced in the course as well.

               I feel so lucky to have been able to take this course and help me with these applications!