Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

This article originally appeared on Social Media Today.

It seems in the space of just a few weeks Pinterest has risen from a little-known site to a front-of-mind social media platform. It’s certainly now considered one that should be in the tool box of any savvy social media pro.

So what really is the significance of this picture-sharing site, and how are people deploying the use of it as part of the social stack?

For those new to the platform, it can be described as a stylish way to share, like and group, images and infographics. You can ‘pin’ content on boards, categorizing and naming in any way you like. You are able to upload images direct from your phone and computer, or simply use images from other Pinterest users. With an estimated 7.2 million unique visitors already pinning content it’s undeniably growing in popularity, despite still having an ‘invite only’ admission policy. (Not a user yet? Drop me an email and I’ll happily send you an invite.)

Pinterest is being used well by brands like Whole Foods

There are limitations for brands using Pinterest, and it seems that users are prevented from simply sharing images of products that are deemed directly promotional. However, creating communities around the ideas or lifestyle of your brand is acceptable. For example, if you’re a property company specializing in seaside properties in England, then you could create a series of boards showcasing some spectacular coastal scenic views to whet people’s appetites.

A good example of creative use is by Whole Foods who have created a series of boards around recycling matters, art initiatives and more as a way to promote its brand values and demonstrate is commitment to relevant associated issues.

I could imagine a brand like TOMS shoes – who, upon purchase, give customers a branded flag, encouraging them to take a picture of it at a unique location – using the best submitted pictures here, offering incentives to users whose pictures are selected. Or perhaps you might consider a series of ‘how to’ infographics that relate to your product and that cover set-up, Q&As and trouble-shooting.  What will you do with Pinterest?


Often the first result that people want from their social media strategy is a mass of followers. Let’s be realistic here – it often takes time to see large levels of growth, and careful planning and development of a social strategy needs to take place before it will happen.

One important thing to mention here is that any social media strategy needs to be developed with full consideration of your business, organisation or mission aims. Without this planning you are simply wasting your time.

Once you – or your consultant – have spent the time building your strategy, and you’re still seeing a slower level of growth than you’d like, there are various ways you can help accelerate your number of followers.

Innovate and be creative
Remember to be creative about how you use social media, and be sure to use it as an opportunity to extend your brand’s personality and message. Spend some time understanding what your competitors are doing, and identify how you can be better and quicker than them. For instance, you may want to explore giveaways, or rewards to those that engage with you on social media – this is generally a fairly good way to build a loyal and engaged following. Perhaps you could host a live Q&A session for your followers to discuss some of the issues affecting your area of focus, or maybe develop associations and partnerships with other prominent players in your space.

Listen and respond
Aside from just listening to conversations and reacting to those discussing your brand or project, explore how social media could assist you in your product development process and offer your followers a chance to be part of defining some part of what you do by crowd-sourcing their input. This was a successful strategy used by Kodak recently as they developed a closer relationship with customers by appealing for, and integrating, suggestions for future product modification.

Still need more followers?
There are a myriad products and platforms out there that will enable you to simply buy followers (just search ‘how do I get 10,000 followers’ in your search bar and see just some of them), but you need to be serious about the quality of followers you are building this way. Having 100 advocates who are regularly discussing you is going to do a lot more for your brand awareness, volume and reach than 1,000 who have no idea who you are or what you do. Another route to generating a community of suitable followers is to take advantage of Twitter’s Promoted Account advertising. Still in beta testing and available to just a select few, this is a way of gaining followers based on pre-determined criteria such as geographic region or keyword relevance. The pay-per-engagement model means that you only spend money as you get results.

A key thing I always advocate is that it’s better to focus on community-building, rather than metric building. If you are using social media as a tool to stimulate discussion, interact and offer valuable content deemed to have high authority in your subject, you will see a healthy level of growth of followers that will be an asset to your community.

Need help building a social media strategy and growing followers? Get in touch.

Savvy social networkers from all over the globe will be participating in Social Media Week starting tomorrow with events covering pretty much every aspect of social media.

The mission of SMW is to connect and explore the ways that societies, cultures and economies are becoming better connected and empowered through the opportunities for global communication.

Here in LA alone there will be 75 events over the five days (spanning 470 square miles!) that have been cultivated into the following three themes: entertainment, marketing and social media for social good. Particularly, I’m looking forward to participating in the following:

For a full list of activities and events, see HERE and be sure to follow the SMW hashtags throughout. You can follow the @SMWLA handle for latest news and updates live from the sessions too.

Regardless of how much it grosses at the box office or recognition it receives at the Academy awards, the promotional campaign for Warner Bros. Pictures’ latest offering Contagion is sure to get some advertising industry attention.

Glen D’Souza and Mike Takasaki for agency Lowe Roche (@loweroche) created a pretty unique campaign utilizing window boards with growing bacteria in the form of the film title treatment. The board itself was put together by CURB (@curbcrawling), with the help of a few micro-biologists along the way who used all sorts of growing bacteria to create the effect. Check out the short film for the behind-the-scenes work, and the public reaction on the streets of Toronto. An awesome idea that was a perfect match to the film’s content.