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Download our Social Analytics POV

free social analytics

“Today, knowledge has power. It controls access to opportunity and advancement.” – Peter Drucker

More than ever, public relations professionals are working to quantify PR’s value for their clients. This can be difficult for a number of public relations tactics, but social media is notoriously hard to pin down in terms of ROI. Executives and business owners have been told their business needs to be on social media, but without the hard numbers to back the “why,” many still aren’t on board with investing time and manpower into social. Social analytics tools exist that provide in-depth data for social channels, but these are often pricey, prohibiting smaller PR agencies and small businesses from using them.

Thankfully, there’s still hope for those who have tight budgets or are overwhelmed by the idea of tackling Google Analytics. Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest all provide free, built-in analytics that offer a wealth of information. For businesses on these platforms, these free tools can tell you what’s working, who your audience is, and help you build stronger content for social. The key is knowing which numbers are important.

We’ve created a new, downloadable white paper covering our perspective on free social analytics to help you better understand how to use these tools strategically. Meaningful Measurement: The Social Media Data You’re Underutilizing— and How to Put it to Work for Free includes guides through Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest’s free analytics. Key stats on each channel are highlighted, are well as which numbers aren’t important.

 A few highlights:

  • Discover why page “likes” on Facebook don’t really matter
  • Learn how to understand the impressions stats on Twitter
  • Explore your Pinterest audience demographics in-depth

 

Download the full POV here, and start turning your social media stats into knowledge: http://awordsmithcomm.com/about-us/thought-leadership/

Facebook Newsfeed Algorithm Updates – 3 Things to Know

facebook algorithm

For a company not even two decades old, Facebook has done a fantastic job integrating itself into the daily lives of people around the globe. It quickly became a hot spot for brands looking to connect to a wide variety of audiences, and public relations professionals have been including the platform in their communications plans ever since. However, Facebook hasn’t made their job easy. After successfully positioning themselves as a requirement of nearly any brand’s PR, the social media giant has continuously made it harder for companies to reach their Facebook followers.

Despite keeping up the appearance of a brand friendly platform in recent years, Facebook’s frequent newsfeed algorithm changes have cut back on the reach that companies are able to achieve. Their most recent changes, announced June 29, 2016, will redirect social media users back to what Facebook says was its original intention – connecting with family and friends. Content on users’ newsfeeds will highlight posts from their friends and family, rather than posts from brands and pages. This is a stricter version of a change that has been happening since Facebook did away with its completely chronological newsfeed a few years ago.

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Here’s 3 things for communications pros to keep in mind with the new changes:

Shareable content is more important than total follower count

When users were guaranteed to see most of your page’s posts in their newsfeed, a simple “like” was enough to boost your reach. Now, more than ever, engaging content is the key to reaching your desired audience. Though your page’s posts will take more of a backseat on the newsfeed, there’s still ways to reach your targets through their friends and family. The content now given priority isn’t just posts from friends, it includes highlights of what they’ve commented on and shared. Engaging content is content that gets shared and discussed, and shared content reaches beyond your page followers. Focus on creating content that adds value for your followers and isn’t just marketing. No matter how many followers and likes a brand currently has, there’s potential to reach hundreds if not thousands more through commenting and sharing.

Advertising reach is not affected

The reach of paid ads on Facebook will not be affected by the algorithm changes. Keep in mind, though, that social media users don’t have a high opinion of advertising on these platforms. Have specific goals in mind for your ads, and line up the content with what’s being posted on your page. Think like your consumer – what value can you add for them through a social media advertisement? How can you create the ad to be less intrusive and more engaging?

Don’t put all your eggs in the Facebook basket

While Facebook is still an important tool despite these changes, there are numerous other platforms to take advantage of. Twitter is a fantastic option for direct conversations with your audience, and makes sharing content easy for followers. Snapchat can be a great way for brands to show some behind the scenes footage and try new ideas that might not work well on other platforms. If your company is primarily interested in driving sales through social media, Pinterest is a land of golden opportunity. Facebook will likely continue to be a part of most organizations’ communications plans, but the rapidly changing social media landscape offers new alternatives that can boost a brand’s reach.

Pinterest Increases Engagement for Brands

Pinterest

In news this week is Pinterest. Both the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and Social Media Examiner are saying that Pinterest is the fastest growing social media platform. A CMI post says that when compared to Facebook’s 6% member growth, Pinterest experienced a huge 57% jump in members in 2014 and many sources project that the site will hit 50 million active users by the end of this year.

More customers that land on a brand’s pin are likely to purchase than if they see a sponsored post on Facebook. Even if your client is a non-profit, Pinterest is a great platform to promote their cause.

Top three tips according to CMI:

  • Add a Pin It button to all the content on your brand’s site
  • Encourage followers to take pictures of how they’re engaging with the brand – note that user-generated content is the key here (great example is The Gap’s collaborative boards)
  • Make sure your boards reflect your business: stay focused and don’t confuse followers

 

For additional  ideas, visit this article posted on Social Media Examiner.

Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms for Your Business

Social media platforms have solidified their place in any business’ public relations and marketing strategy. You know you have to include social media as part of your brand’s image no matter what business sector you fall in, but it can be overwhelming when you look at all the options available. How are you supposed to find the time to manage five orsocial media more different accounts on social media? Add in the fact that copying and pasting the same posts across all your platforms is not a best practice, and panic about how to not only do something with all these accounts but do it well sets in. Where do you begin?

Particularly with smaller business, the answer is to start by recognizing that you don’t have utilize everything that’s out there. Large corporations may have more time, man power, and funds to take advantage of everything on the social media buffet, but this isn’t always the best choice. Not every platform plays into a specific business’ needs and strengths. Choosing what will work for your business should be based on where your audience is and what benefits each platform is capable of. Here’s a brief guide to knowing if four of the most popular social networks are right for your business:

 

  • Facebook – If you use only one social media platform, this should be it. Facebook boasts over 1 billion users, meaning the majority of your audience probably has one. Many consumers see an active Facebook account as a sign that a company is legitimate and trustworthy. With over 900 million daily users, the majority of people on Facebook are checking in daily, which provides a ton of opportunities to get your brand in front of them.
  • Twitter – If you have the ability to dedicate a staff member to monitoring social media, Twitter may be a good choice for a customer service outlet. Users on Twitter tend to expect very quick responses, and conversations change fast. This is also a good medium to participate in professional discussions by following hashtags related to your business and engaging in scheduled Twitter chats on regular topics.
  • Pinterest – Does your brand fall in the lifestyle, food, fashion, or craft categories? You should be on Pinterest. The platform relies heavily on visuals, so anything you post featuring your business or products needs to be well-shot, edited, and eye catching. The key to gaining followers on Pinterest is to post and share photos and links from other related organizations in addition to your own, to build boards that users want to keep up with. Pinterest can also work well as a private “file cabinet” to store resources, photos and more in an easy to access location.
  • LinkedIn – The network for professionals, LinkedIn can work well to legitimize your business in the eyes of the public. A business page is relatively easy to set up, and users don’t expect frequent updates on LinkedIn. LinkedIn requires less maintenance, and comes in handy during hiring periods, and functions as a way to connect your employees and grow your own professional contact list.

 

The most important thing for any business on social media to remember is that these platforms require time and dedication. They need to be monitored and maintained. Don’t overload yourself by giving in to the urge to try everything; choose what makes sense, give it the TLC it needs, and you will see a great return on investment in time.

Marketing on Pinterest

Addicted to Pinterest

Hello, my name is Kelda, and I am addicted to Pinterest.

It is not a healthy addition. I am guilty of hoarding recipes for sinful desserts and images of $10,000 handbags.

It is not a victimless addiction.  My family regularly falls prey to my cooking experiments and crafting disasters, all of which were inspired by Pinterest.

It takes away from time with my family. “Just one more page,” I mutter at night on the couch, lacking the willpower to shut my laptop.  My only solace is that I’m not the only one.

Addicted to Pinterest

A new audience

Pinterest is now the third largest social media network after Facebook and Twitter, yet brands have struggled with how to tap into Pinterest as part of their marketing efforts. It is a daunting and seemingly shallow platform, and unlike Facebook, it is wholly driven by the community. Oh, and that community? It’s dominated by women. In fact, women are five times more likely than men to use Pinterest, according to the Pew Research Center.

Addicted to Pinterest

Addicted to Pinterest

As an addict, I hope Pinterest stays pure and is never tarnished by the marketing efforts that have transformed Facebook into the cold and unsecure environment it now is. But as a person working in marketing and PR I am interested to see the ways Pinterest may evolve.

Today, a successful brand is using Pinterest altruistically. They are not exclusively promoting one product or service. The most successful brand shares the best of what’s out there – pretty things and good ideas – all which subtly and carefully represent the brand aesthetic.  It may not always be so philanthropic, but for now all that pretty, community-driven content fuels my addition like no other.