Things are Starting to Get Pinteresting

Pinterest Boards

What is Pinterest and How to Use it

Pinterest LogoPinterest has become the third largest , as well as one of the fastest growing, social media websites. After launching in March 2010, Pinterest was slow to gain traction. But, after summer 2011, traffic grew rapidly from approximately 5 million visitors a week at the beginning of October 2011 to over 21 .5 million weekly visitors by the end of January 2012. Not only has total traffic on Pinterest increased, but it has also become a excellent referral source, as Inc.com saw last year when Pinterest drove as much or more traffic to their site than Facebook.

What and How to Pin

At its core, Pinterest is a visual social network that brands can use to promote their visual content. Most brands already have great visual content they can use to build their Pinterest boards, such as the images on their website, or from advertisements and brochures.Pinterest Boards

When pinning images to your Pinterest boards, there are several tricks you can use to increase both the possibility of your image appearing in search results, and the number of re-pins and link clicks back to your website: Continue reading

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The Anatomy of the Social Media Command Center

Social Media Command Center Infographic Section

I have had the great opportunity to work with Matt Wesson, a very talented marketing content specialist and graphic designer, on the development of the infographic below about the rise of “Social Media Command Centers”.

In the recent months, many major brands have developed what they are calling “Social Media Command Centers.” These centers are state-of-the-art listening hubs that allow brands to monitor their presence on major social platforms and be ultra-responsive to conversations happening about their company. However, with all their glamor, are these command centers really capable of delivering results, or are they just for show?

The following infographic, looks at three of the most noteworthy examples of social media command centers: Continue reading

Social Media Case Studies: Twitter Successes to Learn From

Twitter can be a powerful tool for sharing information, following topics of interest, and connecting with industry leaders. However, for many businesses (both large and small), Twitter is still that “strange” social media platform that they would like to use but they are unsure how.

There are many different approaches that businesses can take when using Twitter, such as:

  • Customer service
  • Lead Generation
  • Sales and discounts for customers
  • Giveaways
  • Communicate with customers

The following are three case studies that showcase different ways that businesses have successfully used Twitter,  as well as lessons learned while implementing these different tactics. Continue reading

Social Media Case Studies: Facebook Successes to Learn From

Businesses large and small have discovered how to leverage their Facebook communities to strengthen brand loyalty and communicate directly with customers. The challenges that they have faced and the solutions they have discovered along the way are just a few of the things we can learn from the companies who are successfully using Facebook as a marketing platform.

The following are three case studies that I think offer a lot of great insights on how to use Facebook for your business, as well as a few innovative ideas about how to use different Facebook features. Continue reading

How to Create a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

With a massive amount of emails delivered to our inboxes everyday, it can seem like a daunting task to get your email blast to stand out from all the rest. In addition, there are many factors to consider when developing an email marketing campaign, including:

  • email marketingWhat platform will your end users view the email in? (Apple Mail, Gmail, Outlook, or on their Mobile Device)
  • What day of the week should you send your emails to get the highest click through rate?
  • What is the desired action you want recipients to take upon reading the email? (Also known as your conversion)
  • Are you sending the “right” message to the “right” people? (Not all customers are alike, so not every email campaign should target every customer.)

However, when done correctly, email marketing is a powerful tool for reaching your audience. Email campaigns are targeted, allowing you to reach a section of your customer base with a focused message. Based on research from HubSpot, targeted and segmented emails have a higher CTR than mass email communications. For example, these emails can focus on an action that the recipient has already taken, creating a more personal connection.

Continue reading

Building Brand Loyalty with an Integrated Social Media Strategy

Lowes Pinterest Profile

I recently wrote an article for the Mudbug Media blog titled “Build a Following with an Integrated Social Media Strategy.” In the article I used Lowe’s Home Improvement store as an example of a company who got it right.

The following are snippets from the article about each component of Lowe’s strategy:

Lowe’s Facebook Strategy

The core of Lowe’s social media strategy is their Facebook page. With over 1.1 million likes (almost twice as many as the main competitor, Home Depot), Lowe’s has created a successful strategy to communicate with their customers using this social media platform.

Lowe’s leverages the best features of the Facebook timeline format, the cover photo and the history timeline.Lowes Facebook Page

For their cover photo, Lowe’s uses an attention grabbing photo composed of the top pins that followers have re-pinned on Pinterest. They also tie their profile picture directly into the timeline cover photo and use it to drive traffic to their Pinterest account.

The success of Lowe’s Facebook strategy is due greatly to their positive and real-time interaction with fans. Lowe’s responds to the majority of questions and comments within minutes. When a fan has a question about a product, Lowe’s not only answer the specific question, but frequently directs them back to Lowes.com and includes tips on how to use the product.

Check out the full article to find out how Lowe’s mastered the art of responding to negative comments and leveraged the other features of the new timeline format.

Lowe’s Twitter Strategy

Lowes Twitter ProfileWith over 47,000 followers, Lowe’s uses Twitter to answer customer questions and concerns, as well as spread community awareness. As with their Facebook page, Lowe’s does a great job of taking the conversation offline for any negative mentions by asking followers to email them at a Twitter-specific Lowe’s email address. They also respond to all questions, comments, and mentions, often within minutes of the original Tweet.

Check out the full article to find out how Lowe’s uses hashtags to give back to their followers.

Lowe’s Pinterest Strategy

The rapid growth of Pinterest has many companies overwhelmed, but Lowe’s has leveraged the user base and Lowes Pinterest Profilegrowing popularity create to a strong presence on the new social media platform. With almost 7,000 followers (and growing), Lowe’s is building a strong community around their brand on Pinterest. The boards on their Pinterest profile include topics that interest all their different types of customers.

Lowe’s uses Pinterest as a resource tool for customers to find fun and new projects. For example, they have a board for grilling recipes, which includes links to both the full recipe and grills available at lowes.com. Other popular boards on their Pinterest profile are craft, landscaping, and interior design projects using Lowe’s products.

Check out the full article to find out why Pinterest was the perfect addition to Lowe’s social media strategy.

Lowe’s social media strategy has been a success because they appear to understand that social media is a powerful tool for creating and maintaining relationships with customers. Visit the Mudbug Media blog to find out the five key factors that make Lowe’s strategy a success and to read the full article:

Build a Following with an Integrated Social Media Strategy

WebTrends Webinar Recap: Adapting to your dynamic customer base

I recently watched the WebTrends webinar “Adapting to Your Dynamic Customer Base” presented by Jeremiah Oqyang and Susan Etlinger of the Altimeter Group, and Justin Kistner from Webtrends. It was a very insightful presentation about what the dynamic customer is, what they expect from you, and how to meet their needs. The following is a recap of the exciting presentation:

In the last few years, there has been a drastic change in consumer behavior. Consumer purchase behavior no longer follows the purchase funnel ofmobile marketing

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Intent
  4. Purchase.

Consumer behavior has become more dynamic, and in turn so must business’ marketing strategies. There are three emerging practices in the new dynamic customer journey:

  • Media Shift
  • Multiple Screens
  • New sources of data

These emerging dynamic consumers want to engage with a business through social media, mobile, and websites. The opportunity to reach the new dynamic consumer is found in building brand presence through an integrated campaign. Brands should focus on creating a community using multiple platforms, such as:

  • Main website
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Mobile websites
  • Mobile app
  • Facebook

In order to reach the emerging dynamic customer, use diff media types, new screens, and new sources of info. Using social media as part of your integrated marketing campaign has become vital because consumer’s now view their peers as experts and trust them most. Mobile apps and websites enable brands to reach consumers at the point of purchase. Mobile and social media campaigns are truly intertwined and show not be considered separate campaigns.

“More than 50% of adults are buying on smartphones today, more than 2/3 have the device in-store, still many aren’t being served.”

In order to track and determine success of a marketing strategy that spans multiple devices and channels, businesses need to determine measurements that will expand into all areas of the digital landscape. The following new measurements have evolved:

  • Innovation: Collaborating with customers to drive future products and services
  • Brand health: A measure of attitudes, conversion and behavior toward your brand
  • Marketing optimization: Improving the effectiveness of marketing programs
  • Revenue generation: Where and how your company generates revenue
  • Operational efficiency: Where and how your company reduces expenses
  • Customers experience: Improving your relationship with customers, and their experience with your brand

One of the biggest challenges for measuring how dynamic customers using an integrated campaign is the inability to track users using multiple devices. While cross domain tracking in social media is available, cross device tracking for mobile is not. (Deciding to view site on a smartphone then on a tablet) There is no single ROI for social media or integrated campaigns, ROI will differ by corporation, divisions, and business objectives.

 Have you seen a change in customer purchase behavior? Do you think of yourself as a dynamic customer?

Image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 Companies Rocking Social Media

Social media has become one of the greatest tools for companies to build relationships with their customers. While some companies are hesitant to use social media because of the inability to control negative comments, others realize that the benefits extremely outweigh the risks.

The infographic below breaks down how 5 companies were able to leverage the best features in social media and are rocking it!

Check out the social media strategies for:

  • Dell – focused on using social media to listen to what their customer’s wanted
  • Morton’s Steakhouse – used social media to surprise their customers
  • Unisys – focused on the resource sharing benefits of social media
  • KLM – used social media to provide 24/7 customer care
  • ABC – used social media to promote new shows & enhance the entertainment experience

Check out more about social media strategy creation and the future of social media.

5 Companies Rocking Social Media

The Future of Blogging

What should your focus be for your online marketing strategy? The infographic below breaks down what online medias companies will be using in 2012.

Takeaways 2012

  • Start or increase blogging – 43% of companies will have active blogs in 2012, up from 39% in 2011
  • Create an email newsletter – 77% of companies will use email marketing in 2012
  • Find your next superstar- 57% of companies will use social media to find new employees

The Future of Blogging Infographic