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The Prohibition Seven Days of Social

3256859352_cf35412c5f_zFast moving, always adapting and often controversial, social media is an area where many of us have divided opinions. We like to keep our ear to the ground in the social media world, and as the week comes to an end, we’ve put together a few of our favourite pieces of social media content from around the web that you might not have spotted.

 

  1. “Can we auto correct humanity?”
    by Prince Ea (@PrinceEa)
    By far the biggest hitting and most shared piece of social media content of this week (over three million YouTube views) saw musician and rapper Prince Ea take to the camera in a thought provoking video, assessing how social media and modern technologies are leaving us less connected with our ‘friends’ than ever before.
  1. “ I didn’t actually wake up like this (and other Instagram confessions)
    by Amelia Olson
    We’re dubbed the ‘selfie generation’, but are the self facing snaps just an expression of vanity? In this article, Amelia Olson argues that selfies are not a self-obsessed or narcissistic expression, but that Instagram and other social media platforms that allow us to adjust our appearance through brightening effects and filters only contribute to our appearance insecurities. As does the marketing of makeup brands to encourage the public to look ‘photo/TV ready’.
  1. Fortune’s 55 most influential women on Twitter”
    by Caroline Fairchild (@CFair1)
    Social media is a powerful tool, especially for influencers, and with Twitter being the network of choice for some of the most powerful leaders in government, business and industry throughout the world, maintaining a strong Twitter presence has never been more important. If you’re looking for key female influencers to follow on the network, this is Fortune’s definitive guide to the 55 most influential women on Twitter
  1. “23 Tools and Resources to Create Images for Social Media”
    by Kevan Lee (@kevanlee)
    Social Media is all about engagement, especially when it comes to managing a community for a brand or business. Sharing interesting and engaging graphics is proven, especially on Facebook, to drive reach and increase your audience. However, the success of a post often depends on the make-up and design of an image. This week, our fourth piece of social media content provides one of the most the definitive guides available when it comes to social media image resources.
  1. Teens are officially over Facebook
    by Caitlin Dewey (@caitlindewey)
    We all know the Facebook story, created in a university dorm room, coming from nowhere to take the social media mantel from MySpace and within ten years, it’s arguably the most renowned business in the world. We all love to forecast the future of the most prevalent social network, and in this article, the Washington Post’s Caitlin Dewey looks into the trend for teenagers to stray from the site, in search of more engaging content, from the likes of (Facebook owned) Instagram.
  1. 5 Ways to Use Metrics to Improve Your Social Media Marketing
    by Debra Eckerling (@WriteOnOnline)
    Gone are the days when a brand’s social media absence could be glossed over. In the modern, online age, it’s expected that a reputable brand will possess an engaging online presence. With social media marketing being as important as ever, and most if not all brands now taking on newer and more innovative social accounts, it’s important to keep track of those important metrics that showcase just how effective your presence online is.
  1. YouAreWhatYouLike: Find out what algorithms can tell about you based on your Facebook account.
    by Jennifer Golbeck (@jengolbeck)
    Social media users now number more than 1.4 billion—more than half of the Earth’s Internet-using population. We share a lot of information on social media, but it turns out we are sharing far more than we think. Seemingly innocuous information, when analyzed against tens of thousands of other profiles, can reveal secrets you never intended to share.

 

Photocredit: CC image from Rosaura Ochoa via flickr.

How mobile is paving the way for social media developments

Worldwide mobile phone sales are on fire. Currently, over one billion mobile web users are scrolling through the 1-4G universes, and their massive influence over social networks is becoming increasingly more apparent. If you’re after a good example, look no further than the new Facebook new Messenger app and how hard they’re pushing it on consumers, or how popular the Vine app is among brands for creating simple, snappy video content.

4183229960_edcbb4dd6bSo what does this mean for the PR industry? It means get mobile, quick. Communities online are only going to get more connected via mobile apps such as Snapchat and Jelly, so focusing purely on digital PR that fits computer monitors is no longer the’ be all and end all’, as it’s just no longer enough.

Assessing mobile habits is a good start. Knowing which apps are popular and what makes them so in demand can be done through a quick browse of the Apple App Store or Google Play Store; once you’re aware you can begin applying this to your own strategies on social media, such as what type of content to use for your brand in terms of video, visual, interactive and when to upload it.

It’s also wise to be aware of which apps are useful to use to your advantage for your respective communities, whether they will have a maximum outreach and generate leads and whether it’s worth having a presence on them at all.

Thanks to its global appeal, it’s likely that smartphone use will keep growing in the near future, so keeping an eye out for the latest developments is a must for any PR professional.

Now, go back to checking Facebook on your smartphone.

Photo Credit: 27147 via Compfight cc

App or crap? Our Pinterest Competition.

We have been busy in the office this week – check out our new shiny social wall courtesy of the inimitable Sally Cossins.App or Crap? #apporcrap

So to celebrate our work and following the kindness of one of our lovely clients Audio Technica, we’re able to offer one of you lucky people the chance to win a fabulous pair of ATH-CKS55 In-Ear Headphones, worth £45! They offer outstanding noise quality and cutting edge bass and even come with a pouch so they don’t get tangled up in your pocket when you are out and about.

We wanted to poke a little fun at the social media marketers world and so all we want you to do to win is come up with an amusing and unique name for your latest imaginary social media channel. We all know they have daft names that mean nothing (FaceTube) so we thought we might as well create a few funny ones ourselves and have some fun with it.

So, imagine you were thinking of inventing the next Facebook, Foursquare, YouTube or Skype, what would you call it and what would it mean?

We have had a think about this and we would call ours BuzzClunge Beta (we have copyrighted this – so be careful using it lol). We are looking for funny and creative ones but if you are stuck for a good idea you can always try a tool like this to generate your app name although I think you can do better than them.

To enter, just for fun, or to be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is re-pin our pin on the above image on your own Pinterest account, including the name of your new channel in the description box and use the #apporcrap hashtag.

The winner will be selected on Monday 25th March by us and announced here on the Prohibition PR blog. Our decision is final and all that jazz.

Enjoy!!!

The Daily Mail is officially the newspaper with the most shares on Pinterest

You may remember not so long ago I wrote a blog post on how to make the most of Pinterest, listing some top tips and highlighting how Pinterest can be a great tool – not only for social sharing, but for business too.

With this in mind, it’s no surprise that most major publications have jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon, with over half of the UK’s national newspapers found to have at least one official Pinterest page.

Interestingly , a new study which has been sent to us by Searchmetrics has revealed that the Daily Mail and The Telegraph get the most online shares on Pinterest – yet the Guardian has the most Pinterest followers.

The study showed that pages from the dailymail.co.uk are the most popular to be shared on Pinterest, with a massive 1,963,999 re-pins. This doesn’t really surprise me too much – the Mail online has a huge readership having recently taken over the New York Times to become the worlds most visited newspaper website. The Daily Mail Pinterest page also generates the most pins per week (163,574) amongst the national newspapers, so there is obviously going to be more content and opportunities there to get its pins shared. The Telegraph follows behind with (42,476) pins per week.

What did surprise me is that, despite the fact the Guardian has less shares and generates fewer pins each week, it still has more followers on Pinterest than both The Daily Mail and The Telegraph. In fact, the Guardian somehow seems to dominate the social world, having almost four times the amount of Twitter followers than the Daily Mail and The Telegraph, despite the fact that it distributes the least amount of content.

What also came as a surprise was the content of the re-pins. I would have expected the most pinned page to be perhaps something to do with Government or the Olympics. In fact, it was a feature by the Guardian on how to make a baby’s swaddle blanket! The feature got a massive 53,638 re-pins, which was closely followed by articles on The Daily Mail on the teal dress the Duchess of Cambridge wore at the London Olympic Gala concert and a feature on how to get thin thighs in 30 days!

The results from the study can be found in the table below:

 

Newspaper site Pinterest page      Followers Total pins Average Pins per week
1) Dailymail.co.uk https://pinterest.com/dailymail/ 322 1,963,999 163,574
2) Telegraph.co.uk https://pinterest.com/telegraphsport/ 1,502 429,137 42,476
3) Guardian.co.uk https://pinterest.com/theguardian/ 2258 329,720 32,174
4) TheSun.co.uk Not found n/a 62,908 5,659
5) Mirror.co.uk https://pinterest.com/mirror3am/ 114 28,027 2,198
6) Independent.co.uk https://pinterest.com/theindynews/ 829 16,588 1,668
7) TheTimes.co.uk https://pinterest.com/tolsport/ 18 2,204 286
8) FT.com https://pinterest.com/financialtimes/ 309 1,288 115
9) DailyRecord.co.uk Not found n/a 632 46
10) Scotsman.com Not found n/a 313 38
11) Express.co.uk https://pinterest.com/dailyexpress/ 36 214 25
12) HeraldScotland.com Not found n/a 55 4
13) DailyStar.co.uk Not found n/a 4 1

 

Which figure would you prefer to be higher? Followers or re-pins? Let me know…

Pinteresting! The top 35 list for getting the most out of Pinterest

Since its launch in 2010, the social networking site Pinterest has gone from strength to strength. Within just its first nine months, the site had gained over 10 million users, making it the fastest-growing site ever. Today, the site has generated over 2.7 million active (and somewhat addicted) users – It seems the world just cannot get enough of owning their very own interactive scrapbook!

Pinterest isn’t just fun for social sharing, but it’s also shown to be great for businesses too! Recent statistics from Sharaholic has shown that Pinterest now drives more web traffic then YouTube, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn and Myspace. 2012 is the year for Pinterest, having grown from accounting for just 0.17% of referral traffic last year to a whopping 3.6% this year. Infact, it’s only just behind social-networking king Twitter, who accounts for 3.61%. Considering Pinterests fast-growing nature, it’s safe to say that Twitter should be shaking in its boots!

Pinterest is great not only for increasing web traffic, but also for increasing brand awareness, brand credibility, increasing SEO and further developing those all-important two-way communications between themselves and their publics.

Here are my top 35 hints, tips and ‘do’s and don’ts’ of how to make the most of Pinterest:

1.       Make sure your content is interesting!

This may seem like a fairly obvious tip, but it’s one not to be forgotten. Be creative with your pinboard! In order to keep your current followers as well as gaining new ones, you must be imaginative, creative and original with your content. Make sure people are interested in what you have to post.

2.       Don’t just share – Sell!

Pinterest is not just good for sharing your favourite videos and images, but it’s also a huge market to promote your product into! The Pinterest website includes a section where users can search for gifts. To appear in this section, simply add a “£” character to the Pin’s description and ensure the URL is a direct link to the source of the product source and viola – Just watch your item sell!

3.       Pin as you go!

Sharing photos has never been quicker or easier with Pinterest’s bookmarklet! The add-on allows you to grab an image from any website and add it onto your own pinboard without even being on the Pinterest website. To take full advantage of this feature, head over to www.pinterest.com/about/goodies and install the “Pin It” button onto your browser.

4.       Pin it to win it!

Holding a contest on Pinterest is a great way to get some engagement back from your followers. For example, you could ask users to re-pin their favourite image of yours, or pin images related to a campaign or your business values. Winners could be chosen by random or based on responses. Remember, the higher your prize, the more entries you can expect to receive.

5.       Pin a coupon!

What better reason to follow a user then a potential freebie? People love to think they’ve got something for nothing, so drawing them in by offering a free coupon is not only a way to get more followers, but also a good way to gain new consumers – Why go to a competitor when you can get the product for free simply by following them on Pinterest? Coupons and discounts could be offered through printing an image or alternatively you could use a QR code.

6.       Create a digital catalogue 

If your business is one that sells products, why not use Pinterest to display your items on a virtual catalogue! You can link the images back to the item on your corporate website, which itself will work to increase traffic!

7.       Add videos

Pinterest only enabled videos towards the end of last year, so they’re not majorly popular on the site at the moment. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t have potential. Videos add depth and variety to your board and again make users feel just that little bit closer to the brand. It’s also a great way to get information across in a quick but interesting way. Videos are incredibly easy to add – You simply add a pin the same way you normally would!

8.       Create an Infographic

Creating an infographic and posting it onto your pinboard is a great way to visually demonstrate your expertise and increase brand credibility.

9.       Create exclusive boards

Create a couple of boards that are exclusive to your Pinterest followers only. Offer an element of exclusivity by offering followers content they won’t get anywhere else.

10.   Post a tutorial!

Why not post a tutorial on how users can make the most of your products? This way, they will be actively consuming your Pinterest account, making it the ultimate “go-to” page when users are unsure of what to do!

11.   Invite Pinterest users to an event

Forget the days of Facebook invitations – If your company is one that runs a lot of events, why not post your invitation on Pinterest? Following up, why not use Pinterest to show off how popular and successful your event was by posting post-event pictures?

12.   Get personal

One of the well-known advantages of social networking is that it provides you with the opportunity to make your brand expand from being just a name. It allows you to develop a public personality and ultimately making your public feel that little bit closer to you. A good way of doing this would be to post pictures of your staff and office.

13.   Make the most of your biggest, cheapest focus group!

If your releasing a new product or service, why not take advantage of Pinterest and the free focus group service it offers! Get a taster of the potential of your new project by asking your followers what they think. If there’s a number of potential products and you just can’t chose which one you want to release, why not ask users to re-pin the one which they like the most – the image that gets the most re-pins or likes will determine what your customers really want.

14.   Measure how you’re doing

Getting a good indication of what is popular amongst your followers by measuring your posts. Pinreach.com is a great way of getting a snapshot of your Pinterest activity. It can give you a great idea as to what images are getting the most likes and re-pins, which can help you to determine what sort of content is proving to be the most popular.

15.   Research

It could be worth researching what your ideal client or customer is pinning and what sort of content they are currently following. This could help to give you an indication as to what sort of content would be most effective. When creating your boards, do so with your ideal customer profile in mind – Answer any questions or queries about you that they may have, give them a solution to their problem!

16.   #Hashtag, Caption and Categorise

Remember that Pinterest is full of opportunities to increase your SEO. Use captions, keywords and categories to ensure your images are appearing in the right searches. Make sure they relate though – sales pitches are more eye-rolling than interesting

17.   Don’t be tag-shy

Remember that Pinterest is a community and is there to help you build relationships. Adding a “@” sign into your post will allow you to tag and interact with someone.

18.   Wherever you are – Pin!

Don’t let being out of the office stop you from using Pinterst. The official Pinterest app can be downloaded on the iPhone, iPad and Android via the app store. For those of you who don’t have an iPhone or Android, keep your eyes open as the company have since signalled interest in releasing the app for other smartphones.

19. Don’t forget who your audience is

When posting images, it’s important to not only bear in mind who your business audience is, but also who are the main users of Pinterest. It is estimated that 3 out of 4 Pinterest users are female! There’s no doubt that the number of men joining the social network bandwagon is rising every day, but for the moment, make sure your content is something that women could be remotely interested in!

20.   Let your audience become part of your brand

Allow your audience to feel like part of the family by letting them become part of your brand! Allowing people to contribute to your pin board will make them feel as if they have almost developed more of a relationship with your brand, rather than just being a consumer. To allow contributors to pin on your board, when editing your board select the “Me + Contributors” option.

21.   Keep up-to-date with the world!

One popular theme that people seem to pin and re-pin is seasonal things. Whether it is the London Olympics or ideas to decorate your Christmas tree, keeping up to date with what’s going on in the world can really help you to engage with users who have the same interests. A good idea is to keep an editorial calendar and plan ahead what posts will be relevant when.

22.   Connect beyond Pinterest

Maximise your chances of getting more followers by linking your Pinterest account to Facebook and Twitter. Add a Pinterest “Follow Me” button onto your website and blog so users can find your account easily – You can find these at www.pinterest.com/about/goodies. You could also add Pinterest “Follow Me” buttons to your e-mail signature with the “Pinterest Email App”, which helps users achieve this without having to handle HTML.

23.   Let people pin your photos

A “pin it” button can also be added next to an image on your corporate site, which allows people to pin that image onto their own pinboard. Head over to www.pinterest.com/about/goodies to get this feature.

24.   Make sure your images are pinnable!

In relation to the previous point, it’s important to make sure that your images are pinnable in the first place! Make sure the images on your corporate website are high-quality and interesting!

25.   Quality over quantity

While it’s without a doubt important to keep up to date with your account, don’t bombard it with posts which lack quality – It reflects badly on your brand. Instead, take the time to find an image which shines with quality.

26.   Don’t neglect your pinboard

Another obvious point, but this is yet another vital thing you need to consider when setting up a Pinterest account. As with all social media platforms, the ultimate aim is to generate engagement from the public. Keep your audience interested by posting fresh content on a regular basis. Perhaps set up a routine whereby you update your Pinterest after a certain amount of time and make sure you stick to it.

27.   Don’t over-cram

In relation to the previous point, you need to find a happy medium of how frequently you’re updating your pinboard. Whilst you don’t want to neglect it, be wary not to over-do it either! Pinning a lot of stuff at once can be a bit overwhelming and off-putting for your followers. If you’re having a brain storm and have lots of things you want to post at once, remember that patience is a virtue! Give it some time and spread the posts out!

28.   Keep things tidy

Make sure you keep your boards clean and tidy! No one wants to look at a pin board which resembles that of a jumble sale. More people will want to follow you if the contents of your board are organised and relevant.

29.   Keep your identity strong!

This may again seem like an obvious one, but when setting up your Pinterest account, make sure that it is properly branded with your logo and that your boards suit your industry.

30.   Follow other people

Don’t just expect to create an account and within five minutes have a million followers. Chances are that if you follow people who share your interests and values as you, they will follow you back.

31.   Comment on other peoples posts

The whole point of social networking is to be social. Commenting and interacting with other people and their posts will not only help to encourage a greater form of two-way communications between yourselves and your publics, but will also overall expand your visibility.

32.   Be Inspired

Let your relationship with Pinterest be a two-way thing. By searching relevant key-words and categories, Pinterest could really do you a favour by presenting you with boards and boards of inspiration for your next post.

33.   Perceiver with it – Follow individual boards

Keeping an interest in Pinterest is vital to ensuring you actually perceive with it and keep it up-to-date. Instead of following users, maybe follow individual boards. This way, you can follow boards of your interests without having to look at the other boards that user owns. To subscribe to individual boards, simply click on the name of the Pinterest user so that you see the full collection of their boards – then just click and choose the boards you want to follow.

34.   Beware of Copyright

Be extremely careful not to pin any external image that has copyright! It really just isn’t worth it…

35.   Remember the 500 character limit

Pictures say a thousand words, but if you feel you need more, remember you do have a 500 character limit to caption your photos. Use them wisely!  You can do a lot more with 500 characters then just give the picture a title.

Have I missed anything? Do you have a tip to share if you do, let me know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

Pinning Your Hopes On Pinterest

None of us need to be told that social media is a fast-moving world and the site du jour is a vivid example. Pinterest has come a long way in a very short space of time. Launched just two years ago and still in open beta status, Pinterest is already attracting more 1.9 million visitors a month in the UK, and more than seven million globally.

Pinterest is an image-sharing service, based around the design metaphor of a pinboard. Users ‘pin’ images of things they find interesting or products they like onto virtual pinboards with different themes. Despite its focus on visual imagery, Pinterest is closer to Twitter than Facebook in its approach to social networking: users ‘follow’ rather than friend others users to view their inboards, and can ‘repin’ pictures they like onto other people’s boards, just as Twitter users can ‘retweet’ other people’s witty remarks or insightful comments as they wish. Pinterest also supports Twitter-style hashtags.

One of the easiest ways to use Pinterest is as a product moodboard or shopping wishlist and the site certainly brims with pinboards devoted to such topics as home decor, hair and beauty and wedding planning, leading to a popular perception that the site is ‘for girls’. This may sound like a stereotype but in fact the analytics bear this out: a massive 83 per cent of the site’s users are female in the US. Interestingly, the gender split is reversed in the UK, with 56 per cent of users male. Of course, pinboards can be created on almost any visual topic.

Superficially the site resembles flickr in its focus on pictures but the resemblance ends there. Flickr is built to host and display large numbers of photographs and other images in virtual catalogues but these are, in the vast majority of cases, created by the user themselves. Jus its name implies, however, Pinterest by contrast is firmly focused on allowing users to pin and share images which have caught their interest around the web. And of course, many of these images will be subject to copyright. Major stock photography libraries such as Getty Images and iStock have already expressed concern about Pinterest users repining their images without permission, with the former known to be having discussions with Pinterest on the issue. Commentators have cast doubts on the legal status of copyrighted imagery on Pinterest, and it is an uncomfortable fact that site users run a theoretical risk of legal action by pinning such images.

Pinterest has now established a system allowing copyright holders to notify the site of copyright breaches and as recently as last month the site also introduced a HTML meta tag which will allows sites to prevent pinning. Flickr has already begun to offer this tag as an option to its users.

Social media sites almost invariably grow from the ground up: they are created to provide a compelling service for individuals and it is only when (and if) they begin to take off that commercial and business interests begin to explore the possibilities of the site. Thanks to recent explosive growth, Pinterest has now reached this stage, with a variety of firms beginning to slowly and cautiously establish a presence. These include US department stores Nordstrom and West Elm, international clothing retailer The Gap, and popular vintage and handmade e-commerce Etsy, which already has more than 50,000 followers on Pinterest.

Of course, the site’s focus on visuals limits Pinterest’s commercial potential. If you are a lawyer, accountant or sell car insurance, Pinterest is probably not the social networking site for you. But if compelling pictures can be attached to your product – or your client’s products – with some degree of relevance, then a presence on Pinterest could yield value. An attractive product photograph linked to your or your client’s site could easily be repinned by one or more of your followers. In turn their followers will see the photograph, and some may repin and display it to their followers, and so on. This is the online equivalent of that most valuable of all marketing commodities: word-of-mouth advertising. And anyone sufficiently interested in a photograph to repin it is also quite likely to click through to your site and may even make a purchase.

Pinterest is still in its early stages but is already pushing more traffic to commercial websites than LinkedIn, Google+ and Youtube combined, according to a report recently published by Shareaholic.

But Pinterest is not a shopping catalogue and the same rules unwritten rule applies to commercial use of Pinterest as to any other social network: don’t be too strident. Blow your own trumpet too loudly and your are likely to be ignored. Create a sense of community around your images. Repin images posted by your followers if they are relevant or of potential interest, even if they show products you do not sell. Give your followers more than a commercial reason to follow your pinboards.

And of course, don’t forget to make it easy for people to pin your images. Don’t rely on people to acquire the Pinterest ‘pin it’ java bookmarklet themselves – sprinkle ‘pin it’ buttons liberally across your site. They should be as ubiquitous as the familiar Facebook ‘like’ button. A range of Pinterest plugins are also now available for popular blogging platform WordPress.

What is the fundamental difference between Pinterest and other big fish in the social networking pond? On Facebook, Twitter, Quora and Google+ I think it is fair to say that words are fundamental. Yes, you can post pictures and videos but in most cases these only illustrate the words and ideas expressed. On Pinterest this equation is reversed: images are the fundamental semantics of the site. Descriptions and comments serve only to illustrate the pictures and provide them with meaning and context. The image is primary.