Tag Archive: Pinterest

  1. When You See It – Why High Quality Images Should Be a High Priority

    Imagine you’re the customer. You search Google or even Facebook for a local bike repair shop and come across some options. Which are you more likely to click on: a blurry photo of a broken bicycle with grainy text designed across the top promoting a 10% off deal, or a bright, high quality image of a man riding a bike with a text headline in the page content saying something like “For all your bike repair needs?”

    Industry research says, that even though one company offers a discount, most of us will engage with the better quality marketing than the poor resolution effort. For businesses who do the majority of their marketing online it is crucial to understand why this happens, plus how improving the quality of your online marketing efforts will help you Win more business right away.

    A common reason your business might want to use lower resolution photography or creative is website speed and performance, especially in regards to viewing on mobile. Makes sense, right? Since it doesn’t take as long to load the pixels, and the end user can get to the digital content faster, why not skimp on file size in favor of boosting performance? According to Google, load time is still the primary way to maximize page views, citing specifically that a loading time increase from 0.4 seconds to 0.9 seconds decreased traffic by 20%. However, you have to ask yourself if boosting performance is worth a negative user experience. Though it may technically be a solution for getting pages to load faster, you should never substitute quality for performance without knowing what you’re doing. Poor quality usually means poor engagement. 

    So, what’s the solution? There are ways to decrease image file size without negatively affecting the image quality. One way is designing your visual web assets (logos especially) as vectors. Vectors use math to replicate the image by whatever new size specs being applied, so they always stay sharp and in focus. This is different than something in a predetermined pixel ratio which will blur or pixelate when sized incorrectly. You can also make edits to brightness, focus, compression and more, as well as setting specific pixel size ratios when saving your image assets. 

    What if you don’t have a staff of savvy designers and photoshop experts? Don’t worry, there are also tools online for easily editing and creating visual marketing pieces and editing photos for use on your site or social media campaigns. Check out tools like Canva and Piktochart, which are great for simple graphic design that anyone can do, even those always-trending infographics. PicMonkey is a handy tool to resize images to the most popular social media site specifications. Looking for an on-the-go solution? Look in to mobile apps like PicLab HD.

    In addition to the importance of high quality we also have to mention the importance of simply being found. Some simple tips to leverage organic SEO on a highly visual, image-heavy site are easier than you may think. When naming the image files use the you want to attract. This is an often overlooked solution but is a definite factor in increasing SEO. Also if you have a headline or marketing offer, don’t include it only as a designed element in the file. Be sure to include it as page text so Google can find it. You’d be surprised how often this is missed, but take a look around online or the social media pages of your competitors and see if you find any guilty parties of this marketing faux pas. 

    Speaking of social media. One of the easiest ways to ensure your photos and designs are going to look their best on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, is to design them to the correct specs in the first place. Take a look at this handy cheat sheet from Constant Contact for all the current image specs.

    The 3M Corporation revealed in a recent study that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. Utilizing the best photos and designs available will only enhance your online brand experience and customer experience. Low quality images will alienate savvy internet users (probably your best likely potential customers) and can even damage your brand. Remember stay focused. Literally!

  2. It’s About Time: The Perfect Time to Post on Social Media

    If you’re a business owner, you probably recognize how important a social media presence is and may already be using social media to market your business. But why do some posts seem to work better than others? Why do some posts bring in lots of business, site traffic, sales, interaction, all of the above – while other posts just go flat? While content may still be king, it’s timing that is at war for the throne. Want to be social media royalty? Follow these tips for the perfect time to post on social media!

    Tip 1: Get the Day Right!

    When it comes to posting for your business on social media, not every day has the same rules. You could be posting the sale of the century, but if you’re not conscious about when you post, few people may even see it. For Facebook the highest day for likes, shares and comments is Wednesday. If you’re looking for retweets and follows, you have more options with Twitter. Scheduling tweets for Monday – Thursday will ensure your best results each week. LinkedIn also sees better activity in the middle of the week, while visual platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr do better at the end of the week and on weekends when most Americans aren’t at work.

    Tip 2: It’s About Time!

    Early riser? Well, not all of your fans are on board, but some of them are. Posting before noon will ensure the highest activity on your Pinterest page, LinkedIn and Google+ accounts. Post as late as Midnight through 1:00AM for Pinners, while the 7:00AM through 9:00AM range is crucial for activity on LinkedIn.  9:00AM to 11:00AM is prime time for your Google circles.

    The majority of activity and engagement is on social media in the afternoon. The sweet spot for Twitter is immediately after lunch until 3:00PM. Facebook follows a similar timeframe, but will continue activity online a little later in the day until 4:00PM. LinkedIn surfaces between 2:00PM and 6:00PM, while Tumblr and Pinterest rule the night hours.

    There are also dead times on social media to avoid for posting major announcements and campaigns. For best results on Facebook, try not to post before 8:00AM or after 8:00PM. On Twitter, avoid posting before 9:00AM and after 8:00PM, as well. See a trend? Think about the times you are online or checking your phone. These timeframes are directly connected to the standard American schedule and remain true for most students, as well as those on the clock. Unless it’s breaking news, always post when your fans are listening- not just when you’re ready to talk!

    Tip 3: Know Your Audience!

    Although the above statistics should apply to most brands, businesses, and social media behavior in general, never discount what your audience behavior is already telling you. Catering your posting strategy to your specific audience will have produce exponential engagement right away, especially when national trends will fluctuate more often than your audience behavior does.

    One easy way of testing this out is through Facebook’s Insights tool. From your admin dashboard, Page Insights will provide access to valuable data. Get to know your audience better by exploring the “Posts” tab  and view valuable insight on timing your posts and content to correlate with when your fans are on Facebook  through the “When Your Fans Are Online” tab. Measuring your results is as simple as looking a little further down on this same page. Look for your organic reach, which will confirm if you are in fact getting in front of your fans, and review the data reflecting likes, comments and shares. Once you’ve found the sweet spot for maximizing eyes and action, you have gained a genuine edge over your competition, plus a more effective connection to your audience!

    Note: While Facebook’s built-in tools are helpful, it’s also a good idea to subscribe to a third party service that provides the analytics you need for each social media accounts all in once place. We recommend checking out Hootsuite, LikeAlyzer, Fanpage Karma and Must Be Present.

    Tip 4: Don’t Overdo It (Or Underdo It)!

     To truly see results from sticking to a social media schedule, be careful how often you post as well. Even if you’re posting relevant content during your popular time frames, posting too often or not enough may turn away fans and followers.

    Research suggests that brands should limit their posts on Facebook to once a day. Check out at this chart from Socialbakers showing how often some of America’s mega brands are posting to Facebook.

    They also suggest that 3 tweets a day is the magic number for Twitter. Unless your site is a media outlet posting constantly in tandem with the published content on your site, stick close to 3 tweets a day during your heaviest times of engagement. {Pro tip: the lifecycle of a tweet tends to be less than 18 minutes before it peaks, while the average post on Facebook could reach their midlife crisis at the 90 minute mark. Keep these statistics in mind for maximizing results from your social strategy.}

    It’s wise to employ a multi-faceted strategy, factoring in each individual platform and the insights from that audience, as opposed to syncing multiple accounts together. Yes, it is convenient to see a post published on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ all at once, but this form of content scheduling behavior results in churn (your fans unfollow and unlike you).

    Tip 5: Do What They Like!

    Another use for social media insights is to view which posts your audience responds to best, such as links versus images, or posts with text only. Doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t work will save time and resources, as well as increase your social activity. From adding images to including custom infographics,  there is always a way to increase post engagement. Try these cloud-based services for more visual resources: Infogr.am, Piktochart, and Canva.

    Yes, time is money; however, free, organic social marketing should be at the top of your marketing strategy. There is no better way to interact with your fans and customers or to have fans and customers interact with your business. Pay attention to what your audience says and when they’re listening and you will maximize your social media presence towards increased business results.








  3. Pinterest – What is it and can it benefit my business?

    Pinterest. Odds are you’ve heard the name recently (most likely from your wife or technology addicted daughter), but you’re not quite sure what it is. “A digital pinboard? With pictures? Well that is just great, but why should I care?”. Well, I’ll tell you exactly why you should care about Pinterest and what it could mean for your business.

    What is it?
    Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share their interests by pinning images and links on a digital pinboard. Pins consists of images or videos that link to a source location. Users create a Pinboard which consist of multiple pins, usually of the same theme. Users can upload pins directly, or pin things the find on the internet using Pinterest bookmarklet, Pin-It button, or URL.

    Let’s simplify it a bit. The main focus of Pinterest is the sharing of quality photos. Users can re-pin a photo they like on their own boards and broadcast that to their followers. Basically, it is a social network for visual collectors.

    How does it benefit my business?
    Pinerest can be beneficial to your business in many ways. It is all about how you use it. The possibilities Pinterest can provide are promising, especially for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and shops.

    Any business that relies on website traffic to increase sales should consider investing some time into Pinterest. Early research indicates that Pinterest may be more effective at driving traffic than other social media sites. According to Shareaholic, Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined and also managed to beat out Twitter. 90% of Pinterest’s user base are women between the ages of 25 to 34. While men may be jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon soon enough, right now the ladies are leading the way. This presents a very clear demographic of who is spending time on Pinterest, and who your content should be targeting. Just by scanning the numbers, if your customers are on Pinterest you should be too.

    You can think of Pinterest as a marketplace that lets your customers advertise for you. Posting a photo of a product allows users to like, comment, and re-pin that photo onto their own boards for their followers to see. This drives more visitors to your website where you can sell them the product directly.

    Pinterest, like all social media, may not be right for you. If you work with any form of e-commerce than Pinterest is right up your alley. It gives you a platform to display and advertise your products in a way that lets users interact and share them. It is also great for discounts and sales. If your business doesn’t translate well into images or videos, Pinterest could still work for you, but you’ll have to get more creative. As with all social media Pinterest should focus on engaging followers and building relationships with them.

    Walk Me Through It
    Lets break it down into a real world example. Let’s say you work at Toms and you’re in charge of marketing their new line of wedding shoes. You take an awesome, sharable, interesting picture and pin it to the Tom’s Wedding board. When a user clicks the photo it links them to the Tom’s Wedding catalog on the Toms website. Users who come across the photo can re-pin it on their own boards like “My Style” or “Wedding Ideas” for their followers to see.

    Because users follow boards that they’re interested in, a photo is automatically exposed to an audience that cares about that specific content. Photos of wedding dresses won’t end up on a tech-nerd’s Pinterest board. So, the photo of your product is reaching an users who would actually be interested in buying the promoted product. By simple posting an interesting photo of wedding shoes, Tom’s has advertised their new wedding line directly to their target audience.

    Why does it matter?
    Pinterest will give you unparalleled access into the mind of your consumer. By visiting fans pages you can easily identify buyer personas and create a more detailed map of your consumers. This insight is valuable in creating marketing campaigns, advertisements and future products.

    Pinterest is pioneering a new an innovative way for companies to sell and advertise their products by focusing on products visual appeal through well done photography.

    It is not just about promoting products that you think a user might want, but also why they would want the products and how they function in their daily lives.

    Who is doing it right?
    Etsy – Sitting comfortably with 102,000+ followers, Etsy has it figured out. Sticking to the theme of the website, Etsy’s pinboards consist mostly of homemade goods, vintage clothing and DIY projects. Other boards promote how their products can spice up your daily life. This is not only showing what users what they need, but also why they need it and what it can do for them.

    Example: Users look through Etsy’s ‘Cool Spaces’ board to find ideas for decorating a new apartment. An image of an innovative bookshelf shows the price and links directly to the store when clicked. Simple!

    Quick Tips

    • If your business doesn’t naturally photograph well (like us bloggers for example) there are still ways to take advantage of Pinterest. Every site has some form of visual assets that they can utilize into interesting pins – you just have to get creative! Try using Infographics, charts or other data visualizations to get a point across, or create a stimulating title card or poster for blog posts. Still stumped? Think outside the box. Snap some photos of the office environment, people you work with and customers.
    • Hire a photographer. The real success with Pinterest lies with having the most interesting and appealing photographs. Nothing can hold you back more than sloppy photography. Strive to create something eye-catching – it will help your content spread faster.
    • Create pin-boards that don’t focus on advertising your specific products, but related to what you do in your day-to-day business. Show what you represent, what you enjoy, and who you are. Add some life into your Pinterest – let it take on a personality. Remember, social media should be about engaging fans first and selling your products second.
    • Pinterest eloquently displays the price of a product if you note it in the description.