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Content marketing – it’s not just content for contents sake

Consider the changing shape of the comms industry, and you will undoubtedly come across the phrase ‘content marketing’. Content has become the ‘buzz word’ for the industry – whether you specialise in SEO, digital marketing or indeed more traditional avenues such as online advertising and PR. But what does content mean? And why is it so important?

At the risk of teaching you to suck eggs, content is – in a nutshell – what makes the communications industry go round. It’s the bread and butter of the sector and it’s an essential tool to ensure brands are putting out the right message and engaging their audience; whether they’re corporates, consumers or stakeholders. So we’ve established that content is the crooks of online communications, which may – to some extent – explain why it’s such an overused term. It’s an essential element to any communications campaign. Without the content, there really is nothing to communicate online, no way to get across your message and in turn no way to build awareness, drive sales or increase footfall.

But has the industry really changed? Or is content marketing merely a new term used to dress up old school tactics? Well yes and no. Content remains at its roots, exactly that; information, a message – whether its worked up into an old school snappy strapline, or a radio jingle, the content remains. What has changed is how content is utilised. The medium in which we both push out and consume content has become ever more varied, and of course we can’t mention medium, without touching on platforms – think blogs, social media, vlogs, digital press… the list is endless.

So, final question… what is the real key to successful content marketing? Well, in short it’s entirely dependent on audience. More and more communicators are being pressed to really consider whom they’re looking to engage. The days of pushing out a press release and totting up press cuttings has long gone. The press office, whilst still relevant, is now an entirely different beast. It’s digital and it acts more as a groundswell from which a brand can maintain a presence and voice, but without strategic campaigns interweaved into the strategy, it is in some aspects a little redundant.

The audience, the consumer – whether B2B or B2C – is savvy, savvier than ever. We’re used to consuming media on mass. Generic content has become sub-standard. It just doesn’t cut the biscuit. Consumers want more, they want tailored messaging, something they can relate to, and something they can truly feel engaged with. And so we see the rise of lifestyle content within the B2B market becoming more successful, and very personalised and strategically relatable content for the B2C market becoming nothing short of essential.

There are four elements to successful content marketing:

  • First and foremost you audience – what do they want to see? What is it that really appeals to them?
  • Secondly, your messaging – how can you make your message relevant? Is taking an indirect approach more effective in the long term?
  • Third comes the platform – how can you access your audience? Do they read online news…? Or are they more proactive across social platforms? Perhaps they’re not proactive across traditional social platforms at all? If so, how are they engaging with brands across the web, is it via online communities, local groups, podcasts?
  • Finally comes the content – once the former points have been established, only then can you really consider how you can create and indeed market your digital content to your audience

Content marketing is developing and ever changing. But, other than mediums changing to adapt to platform updates and launches, the core principle remains the same: Always consider your audience.

Influencer relations – the do’s and the don’ts 

Just over a year ago I started a blog. It was more of a cathartic exercise than anything work related, but it has provided me an invaluable insight into what works for influencers and what’s an absolute turn off. With this in mind I’ve put together my top tips for more engaging influencer relations.

The do’s

  • As with any media, building a relationship first and foremost is paramount to your brands success in being advocated by a influential blogger or Instagrammer. With this in mind, focus on quality over quantity. Identify your key targets from the offset and focus on building really valuable relationships with these influencers.
  • Be prepared to offer value in kind or even payment for features. An influencers time is valuable, not least as many blog, whilst working full time or juggling a full family life. If you value your influencer’s time, you’ll receive more traction when pitching.
  • Make sure your targets are truly relevant and personalise your pitch. If you mention family names or similar it goes a long way to demonstrate that you’ve done your research and you genuinely feel like their platform is the perfect fit for your brand.
  • Use your engaged network as more than just influencers, help them to help you by including phrases like; ‘if you or any of your influencer friends want to come along, just shout.” Or; “As a valued influencer, I wondered if you could recommend any food bloggers too me? Naturally we can send you some cheeky samples for your mummy blog too”. This way you can build an engaged audience that is more likely to really buy into the brand you’re looking to promote.
  • Remind your influencers that you’re available for review opportunities. Make sure you drop them a line from time to time to keep in touch and promote new products etc.

Don’ts

  • Don’t send out generic emails promoting something irrelevant. I receive at least ten random emails per day from PRs that haven’t done their research. This makes me less likely to engage with them when they are promoting a brand that I could be interested in.
  • Avoid saying ‘Hey there’ when emailing en masse, it becomes very obvious that you’re one of many and the PR hasn’t done the research into what type of content will work for your blog.
  • Being afraid to step outside of the box is a no no. Take time to look at what your influencer is promoting and how you could work together on something exciting and new.
  • Don’t focus too much on your own products and lose sight of why you’re contacting your influencer. Consider instead what your influencer is trying to achieve and how they’re audience will feel excited and engaged by a partnership with your brand.
  • Don’t be too formal. The majority of influencers have a relaxed tone, and so respond to a more personalised and tailored approach. Ask how they are, how their family are. Tell them how much you adored their recent post and why.

Have I missed anything?

The ultimate social media cheat sheet

It is fair to say that it seems that everyone these days is glued to social media. Whether it’s a continuous stream of tweets or a Selfie in every location known to man we are now a generation obsessed with sharing.

With most social media users accessing platforms on the go from their phones and tablets it’s no wonder that the posts that grab the most engagement include some form of image or video, they are fun and easy to view and stand out from the sea of text based posts on users’ newsfeeds. This is why picture and video apps like Instagram and Vine have become increasingly popular, it’s true what they say, pictures really can say a thousand words.

When it comes to engagement, posts that include photos get around 39%* more interaction that posts without. Facebook and Twitter are constantly updating their apps and sites to provide the best platforms for media sharing and there are now thousands of ways to stand out from the crowd using visual media.

Here are our top five tips for sparking engagement using photos and videos on social media:

  1. Have a caption contest. Get your followers involved by letting them come up with an amusing caption for your image, it gets conversation going and a bit of healthy competition.
  2. Use quote pictures followers identify with quotes and then want to share them. It’s a win-win.
  3. Have a message to go with you image, whether it’s a team picture or a new product, have a message to go along with your image. Make sure you have all links included too.
  4. Use short video clips there’s a reason why apps like Vine and Snapchat are so popular, their videos are short sharp clips that can be filmed quickly and watched anywhere.
  5. Make sure your image fits, there is nothing worse than uploading amazing images to your social media channels only to find that they don’t sit properly or don’t look as good as they did on your phone.

Following the success of our Social Media Timeline we created in January, we put our heads together again at Prohibition HQ and decided to create a resource that would help anyone looking to amend their social media channels. We have created the Ultimate Social Media Cheat Sheet to help you quickly check the best formats for posting pictures and videos across the most popular social media platforms. Feel free to go through it and use it at your leisure. Did we miss something of the cheat sheet? If so what was it?

Social-Media-Cheat-Sheet_AW

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Are Snapchat priming their service for advertising with live stories?

Snapchat is becoming big news. Despite being only three years old, the popular ephemeral photo-sharing app has taken off in a big way, and has already rebuffed a lucrative take-over bid from Facebook, seen its user numbers rocket and has now been valued at over $10 billion.

SnapchatLogoWhilst many see the Snapchat service as something for the younger generations (46% of teens in the UK use the app), the service does hold an impressive market standing within the general population of the UK, with almost eight million users.

Despite the clear and growing success of the ‘dancing ghost’ app, at face value, Snapchat doesn’t seem like a particularly viable commercial model.

In the ever competitive app market, companies who boast a unique offering can’t afford to stand still and stagnate. Since launching in 2011, the app has seen regular updates, implementing a number of new features. From the 2013 introduction of ‘stories’, which are available to view for 24 hours, to the more recent implementation of a chat and ‘live video feed’ feature. It’s this constant progression from Snapchat that results in competitors, of which there have been a few (Bolt, Slingshot), being unable to catch up.

Snapchat-Our-StoryHowever, it’s their most recent creation, ‘Live Stories’, which will arguably carry the most importance to the app going forward. To those unaware of this latest progression, ‘Live Stories’ commenced at the 2014 World Cup Final. The new function allows people within the proximity of an event to upload photos and videos to their story (as usual), however these stories are then broadcasted around the world, to all users, under the guise of the live event feed. For the World Cup Final, the feed of videos documented the build up, match and post game activities at the Maracana in Rio de Janiero,  with highlights including Lionel Messi being filmed walk within yards of fans at the stadium.

Since the initial launch of the feature, Snapchat has rolled out the service at a much higher frequency, with live chronicling of New York’s Electric Zoo music festival, the launch of the 2014 college football season for the Oregon Ducks, New York Fashion week and, most importantly, the Apple launch conference from Cupertino, California.

It’s this most recent use of the ‘live’ function which may see Snapchat finally take steps towards commercialising the service for revenue. Whilst the Cupertino Live feed didn’t seem overly advertising led or Apple driven, the service could easily be utilised in the future for advertising, especially around events.

Whilst for the time being, it appears that Snapchat’s live function is simply being used as yet another quirky addition to the ephemeral photo sharing app; with big money backers now behind the project, it will be interesting to see how long it will be before the ‘fun’ social network makes serious moves in order to start bringing in sizeable revenue.

Top Tips for a successful Work Experience in Public Relations.

Don’t be afraid the agency is not as scary as the name may seem, except Chris Norton, watch out for him!

I had no idea, clue, understanding, gist or hint about Public Relations, the term I like to use for myself in a situation like this is ‘I am a blank canvas’ meaning I have no knowledge but I’m ready to learn and ready to work, so throw all the paint you can on me.  Working for 3 months at Prohibition PR, I can now officially say I have knowledge and understanding about Public Relations and its relative Social Media. So here is an abundance of tips that I have learnt from working at Prohibition PR;

First and foremost to succeed in PR you need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills, practice of these abilities can lead to someone having journalistic and negotiation skills, all of which are the bases or foundation of an industry, they are not just needed in Public Relations and Social Media but business and employment in general.

Ask questions, we are all taught from a very young age to put our hand up to ask a question but for some reason we get to an age (which I think is around high school), where we feel as though it’s not necessary or it’s not ‘cool’ to ask a question, however when we do reach adulthood that confidence of asking a question isn’t there, but if you want an answer, ask a question. In Public Relations, working as an intern, to really understand the business you need to be able to confidently ask questions.

‘Be on your toes’ some would say. PR is a business where people need to be quick thinking, they need to have the ability to produce ideas and generate these ideas at a fast pace because the industry is fast-moving, the industry isn’t for the swift. Public Relations is competitive, savvy thinking and catchy titles with the aim to have top link on a search engine such as; Google gains more exposure, this results in an increase in recognition and profit for a client and the PR agency.

Thoroughly do your homework, before you even step into a Public Relations firm, buy this book, The Social Media Handbook for PR and this will get you ahead of the game and ahead of second year university students studying PR. Get a real understanding of Public Relations before even applying to work in a PR firm.

Understand the importance of clients in PR. Clients is what drives a Public Relations agency as a business in general, PR is the state of a relationship between the public and a company other organisation or famous person. Clients are the core of PR, the importance of brands or clients is as important as the strings on a guitar for a guitarist; an arms-length relationship with a client is not going to harvest effective long-term results and draw other clients to the agency.

‘The power of social media’. In this day and age Social Media and Public Relations go hand in hand. As a young adult living in 2013, I know how important Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are to the young generation however it wasn’t until I started working at Prohibition PR that I understood the engagement between PR and Social Media and how this relationship best serves brands and clients. I learnt that Social Media is a powerful tool, not only for PR but for many industries in general, one being the music industry, working at Prohibition PR I created a blog post about the effects that Social Media has on the Music Industry, which ended up being posted on the official CIPR website (15 minutes of fame), from this I discovered the effects, the pros and the cons of Social Media on the music industry and the mass integration of economic, business, social and political industries on social media.

Grasp the technique of how to write a good blog post. Understand the language and distinguish between the types of languages such as; reporting like a journalist and advertising like an advertiser.  Develop or have a good eye for a story and understand the nature of the PR agency you’re working for and what stories are best suited to them, once this is understand learn to develop the ability to craft content, and write in a way that brands, future clients or the public might be attracted to.

One thing I learnt overall from the work experience that I have done over the years and was reinforced by Prohibition PR was that you should take correction and because it leads to direction, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes as an intern or on work experience, see it as a trial run and a place where making mistakes is allowed because no business or agency would take anyone on if making mistakes wasn’t allowed. I had no idea about Public Relations or this sector of media, so Prohibition PR but a foot in the door and allowed me to hop on the train of PR and develop an understanding. I decided to voluntarily work for Prohibition PR because there’s an abundance of knowledge to gain, and I understood or understand how valuable work experience is not only for me and the agency but for applying to university. Working at Prohibition PR on my gap year possibly gave me a hand up or put me at an advantage when I applied to universities, because universities see work experience as vital attribute to a student. It may have been pot luck that Prohibition PR took me on even though I had no experience in PR; however I took the bull by its horn, and just dived in with the attitude to learn and the interest in the business which employers in general want to see.

Voluntary work experience in PR builds character and confidence due to the office type of language and banter, its preparation for the big adult workplace. I will now see how working in the workplace and working at university will be two very different things. ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’, I did not know anyone in Public Relations, so to what extent or what industry is this quote true? Create a catchy CV and covering letter that thoroughly and sincerely shows off your personality, experiences and skills which also reinforces your ability and interest in PR and social media because this may catch the eye of an employer. I also Google mapped all the PR agencies in Leeds to see how long my journey will be to each agency.

Quick Tips for Working at Prohibition PR

  1. Be prepared to bring a laptop.
  2. Get involved in the office language and friendly banter.
  3. Be prepared to make tea and coffee, however after an embarrassing cup of coffee that I personally made I never had to make one again.
  4. Understand that hard-work is at the centre of this agency and they consider the relationship between them and the client to be very valuable.
  5. Come with the attitude that Prohibition is a great place to work because it
  6. Understand that working for this agency does not just gain an excellent reference but in my experience it gains friendship.Always bring a great lunch, they admire that.

Overall my verdict on work experience is, gain as much as you can. A months work experience is better than 2 weeks’ worth of work experience because you get a real understanding of the business you are working for and the working environment in general.

PR Interviews: 7 types of question a journalist might ask and how to deal with them

That old saying ‘forewarned is forearmed’ can be applied to many fields – and most especially to when you’re being interviewed by a journalist.

Journalists are generally pretty skilled at asking questions in such as way that will get their subjects talking – whether they want to or not!

But if you’re forearmed – not just by preparing in advance what you want to say, but also with what the journalist might ask – you’re much more likely to go into the interview feeling more confident, be able to take the control and make the points which are important to you and your organization.

Most questions fall into seven broad categories, and once you can recognize them, you then can work out how to answer them well, in a way that delivers your key messages effectively.

1. Open questions

Any question starting with who, what, where, when, how and why (and not forgetting ‘tell me about’). There’s normally no way you can answer these questions with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

“What does your company do?”

They are often asked at the beginning of an interview, so they give you a great opportunity to take control of an agenda, talk at length and really get your message across.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve asked a question starting ‘tell me about’ working on TV programmes such as Remembrance Sunday, to encourage people to talk about their experiences.

Do beware, though, as they can be used to trap you.

“When will the chief executive resign?”

“Why didn’t you call in expert help when you knew there was a problem?”

2. Closed questions

A closed question is one that can be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. For example:

‘Do you think that your company provides good media training courses?’

Or

Does your company also offer video production as one of its services?’

(the answer to both these is ‘yes’ by the way)

The way to spot these is that they generally invert the pronoun and verb in a sentence, so they might start with ‘Is it …?’, ‘Do you …’, ‘Will you …?’, ‘Have you …?’ or ‘Has your …?’.

When you answer them, it’s generally advisable to expand on what you’re saying and don’t just answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’, particularly in a print interview where your answer might be turned into a quote by the journalist anyway.

Sometimes, however, you will disarm the interviewer by simply saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’, which can be very powerful.

3. Leading questions

These invite you to make judgments about your activities, and are highly likely to be asked if you’re under fire for some reason.

“Your track record running this hospital is hardly one to be proud of is it?”

In these circumstances, it’s probably best to ignore the premise of the question and deal with the issues factually, clearly refuting the points made. So you might list your achievements and describe the measures you have taken to overcome the current difficulties.

4. Incomprehensible questions

Interviewers do sometimes get in a muddle, especially if they know little about the subject of the interview. Don’t judge a journalist too harshly in these circumstances – they may have had only a moment’s notice of the interview and had no time to research. Rather than pointing it out the journalist’s ignorance, take the chance to answer the question you hoped they would ask, and deliver one of your key messages.

5. Multi-element questions

This is sometimes the sign of an inexperienced or over keen interviewer:

“With me now is Barack Obama, the President of the United States. So Mr President, can you tell me how you defeated the Republicans, but it’s all going a bit wrong now isn’t it, are you concerned about how the Democrats will do in this week’s elections, and what does it feel like to be the first black president of the United States?

Just pick the nicest question – ie, the one which will allow you to get your messages out best – and answer that.

6. Hypothetical Questions

The type of thing you may face from an aggressive current affairs journalist.

“Will you resign if the investigation proves that your department approved that shipment of illegal arms?”

To deflect this type of question, simply refuse to be drawn and turn the conversation to a positive point, repeating the statement you have made to other reporters.

7. The Cul-de-sac Question

This is designed to catch you out, no matter what you say.

“Mr Mullins, your organisation is responsible for leaking sensitive medical records. As managing director, you must surely be considering resignation?”

The only thing to do is refute both parts of this question – and stick to your own agenda.

Whatever kind of question you are asked, the most important thing in any media interview is to remember the reason you agreed to it – to promote yourself and your business or organisation. Good preparation – both in anticipating questions and in deciding on and polishing your key messages – will make that task far far easier.

 

We would like to thank to Ann Wright for providing us with this brilliant guest blog, Ann is the co-founder of Rough House which specialise in media training.

Top Tips for a successful Work Experience in Public Relations

Prior to my internship with Prohibition PR, I had no idea what Public Relations was and how it worked. Having gained three months experience now, I am amazed at how much I have learned in such a short period.

Here is my list of tips that I have learnt from working with the Prohibition team:

– Firstly, to succeed in PR you need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills. Be it writing a press release, a blog or presenting a proposal, they are not just needed in Public Relations and Social Media, but this applies to employment in general.

– Ask questions. When you start work in the industry, you’re bound to not understand everything, so it is vital that when you’re stuck, you are prepared to seek advice. To really understand the business you need to be able to confidently ask questions.

– Be pro-active. PR is a competitive business where people need to be quick thinking, they need to have the ability to produce ideas when under pressure.

– Prepare. Before you even step into a PR firm, buy The Social Media Handbook as this will give you a good base of knowledge to help you get ahead of the game on the social media and digital side of things.

– Understand the importance of your clients. They are the core of business, so keep them happy!

– Make the most of social media. An immensely powerful channel, working at Prohibition PR I created several blog posts including one about the effects that social media has had on the music Industry, which was shared in loads of places including on the official CIPR website.

– Try and grasp the techniques of how to write a good strong blog article. Develop and have a good eye for a story and understand the nature of the PR agency you’re working for and what stories are best suited to them and their clients.

– Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. See it as a trial run and a place where making mistakes is allowed.

Work experience is a great way to prepare for the working world and broaden your knowledge, so make the most of it!

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.

 

 

 

 

Public relations: Taking a Job Interview Too Far?

Okay so we all know that questions at a job interview can be pretty difficult to answer, or have a response that you would rather not say but you have to say it in such a way that is not offensive to the employer or the company, so what would you say if you were asked for your Facebook password by an employer at a job interview?

Personally, I would say no. Not that I have anything to hide at all, but I think that privacy in a job is important. In PR you will always have to take work home, so keeping your private life private is one of the only things you are left with.

I think this is a great breach of trust and privacy by employers and I can’t think of any real reason for the need to look at personal messages and photo’s on the social networking platform.

A recent article on the Telegraph explained how many employers in the USA have been asking for login information if Facebook profiles are hidden on the website.

There was one case which saw an employee refuse the information despite a number of persistent questions from his boss. He still works for the company but there may be many cases were you can lose the job due to this fact alone!

My own personal view is that a job is not worth the invasion of privacy and in a day to day role, there is absolutely no need for an employer to know so much about your personal life.

As long as you are performing well at the job, what is the need for the extra knowledge?