How ‘Pinning’ Can Grow Your Business

Well, unless you live under a rock and never check your Facebook or Twitter, you’ve probably noticed a new thing called “Pinterest.”

So what is it?

Well, to put it quite simply, it’s a collection of anything and everything you want.

  • Favorite recipes, or recipes you want to try
  • Clothes you love
  • Vacations you want to take
  • Things for the home
  • Activities for the family
  • Books you’ve read or want to read
  • The list goes on, and on, and on…

So for a business or a blogger, how does this affect you?  Well, if you’ve got great content with great images, you can get your products out to the masses.

For example, my daughters have SUPER LONG HAIR.  And I’m tired of putting it up in the same braids and ponytails every day.  So I did a search for fun braids and up-do’s – and I found a couple of neat websites.  Instead of adding them to my bookmarks and forgetting that I’ve save them (we’ve all done that, right?)  I pinned them to my Hair Style board.  So taking what I found, this is what I did with Samantha’s hair:

So if you’re a hair stylist, grab a friend and take step-by-step pictures of how to maintain my hair at home.  Put it out on your website/blog.  And then pin it.  Your friends will pin it.  And soon, your names is out there, getting people to your website to learn more.

OK, so if you’re a business with a physical location, how does that help grow the business?  Well, if you sell products, sell them online.  In your step by step description, talk about the products that you are using, and put a link to where people can buy them.

So if you are a garden expert, teach me how to prep my garden for this year – step by step with images.  Show me how to start my seeds.  Be detailed.  Pin it.  Then sell some seeds or tools.

If you’re a photographer, show me how to take a good picture with my cell phone; how to get my kids to sit still. Pin it.  Then sell some frames or prints.

Pinterest is becoming an activity for many people, just like playing games on Facebook.  To the business – they’re looking for your stuff.  Be there for them.
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The Power In An Email

We all get emails.  A lot of emails.

Sometimes we don’t remember signing up for the newsletter.  Sometimes we get email forwards from friends (or people we’ve only met once).  Sometimes we get 5 emails a day from 1 person/business.  Sometimes it’s only a few times a year.

An email can be a beneficial tool to your marketing plan – if done properly.  I find myself some how subscribing myself to email newsletters and then getting bombarded with emails.  Now, I signed up for it because I did want to hear something from you, but not all day every day.

So here are a few tips that I’ve learned about email marketing:

  • Consider how many you get from any 1 company.  If you think that’s too much, do less.  Unless you have a lot to say, don’t send more than 1 or 2 a month – if that.  If you have a lot to say – write a blog.
  • Know your audience, and what will get their attention: What key words or phrases will encourage them to open the email, but not be deceitful and cause your contact to unsubscribe
  • Include links – lots of them!  Usually, your e-newsletter provider will track the clicks; you’ll know what got the reader’s attention for next time.
  • Don’t make it all about you, make it about them.  Offer up a great piece of information (suggesting they follow you on Facebook or Twitter to learn more), promote a giveaways, etc.
  • Be a person, not a machine.  Add some personality to it, this is Social Networking, so stay social!
  • Don’t get upset if people unsubscribe – you’ve done it too!

There are several great services available.  I’ve been using MailChimp to send my messages, and WuFoo for my opt-in forms.  I’m very pleased with it so far – if you’re looking to start with an email campaign, start small, and try it out for free!  If you need help, Sociably Cindy is here for you!

I hit “search” and couldn’t find you…

While reading the June issue of ‘Inc.’ Magazine, I came across the “Crunching The Numbers” feature.  A few of the statistics really stood out to me.

In 2009, only 27% of small businesses had a Facebook Fanpage.  In 2010, this number grew to 41%.  It seems more and more pages are being created every day.  But the problem is: how are people finding these pages?

It’s hard enough for businesses to get their websites found, and it’s fairly well accepted that to increase traffic to your website you need to have a presence elsewhere.  In today’s internet savvy society, while we want to believe that just having a website is enough, that someone enters what they want into their favorite search engine and we’ll be found.

GET THAT IMAGE OUT OF YOUR HEAD!

 You are competing, not only with your competitor down the street, but across town, in the next county, the next state and across the world.  Seriously.  If there is a business that could possibly be doing business remotely where you are physically located, they are seeking out your current and potential customers.

Google Ads and Search Engine Optimization are paid services being employed by your competition.  Have you checked out their social media profile… Do they have a Facebook or Twitter?  Are they up-to-date with it? Are they interacting with their fans/followers?  Do they have images of their product/services? Do they link back to their website?

 Whether the answer is ‘yes’ or ‘no’, YOU need to be doing the exact same thing (but better, and local)!

Your social media should be an extension of your website, and your website should be an extension of you.

Take a look at your website – do you know what it’s doing for you? does it represent who you are and what you do? do you know where you come up in a search?

Now look at your social networks – how many fans/followers do you have? are you giving them information? are they interacting? do you use location marketing?

I by no means can help you build your website, but I know several AMAZING website designers/developers that I can put you in contact with.  And I’m not saying that you need to hire me to do your social networking… not every business needs me, but everyone business needs someone to do it properly!  I encourage you, take some time and really look at your internet presence, is it who and what you want it to be.  Sociably Cindy is available for training, assessments, and maintenance.

First published 1/19/2012