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Pinterest for Business Development

9 Feb

When I joined Pinterest awhile back I never knew I’d be reading it’s name in headlines every other day. It seems that it’s the “popular” thing to be talking about.

I use my Pinterest account to stalk my love of fashion and photography. But as I’ve discovered recently the business world is jumping on and engaging too.

Every blog seems to be chatting about how Pinterest is becoming the next big thing in social media for business. PR professionals are discussing Pinterest as a trend and how it can be helpful in promoting your business. Everyone is talking about it — even those who think it’s a waste of time.

Personally I feel that it is somewhat of a genius idea. Most people are drawn to visual pleasing things — so why not make a site that allows you to bookmark webpages in the most visually appealing way. As a long time user of Delicious I can tell you right now that I’d rather click on a link with a gorgeous description then a few words jumbled together. Of course it can’t be used to bookmark all webpages — I mean I guess it could — but it can mostly be used to trace back to a product or idea you like, or want to use in the future. It’s like a giant creative brainstorming device.

I’ve decided with all this chat about how awesome Pinterest is for businesses that I’m going to test it out for a client of mine — free of charge. The business is a retail surf and skate shop, and I thought it would be the perfect client to try it out with. The business is more small scale but I figure there will be no harm in testing out some of the business development strategies. Stay tuned for how it turns out.

With that I leave you with some of my favorite Pinterest business strategy ideas.

Share Your Products

  • It makes sense, and it is the most obvious strategy. What a great way to share your products with users? Group your pins in product categories. You can create a virtual product catalog of interest for consumers.

Drive Web Traffic

  • It’s driving buyers to websites. According to Entrepreneur, “In the last six months, the retail deal site ideeli.com has seen a 446 percent increase in web traffic from Pinterest and sales resulting from those visits have increased five-fold.

Better Understand the Larger Retail Landscape

  • Pay attention to who is pinning what, and from who. What products of yours are being re-pinned, and what isn’t.

Engage With Users

  • As any social network does it gives you the opportunity to engage with other users to get more ideas, and helpful feedback on how to improve and give consumers what they want. Share other companies products, or comment on other users posts you feel signify what your business is about. Encourage customer interaction, and try following users back.
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Integrating Social Media Into the Classroom

4 Mar

As a new media student I’m constantly interested in learning the new ways professors are trying to integrate social media into the classrooms. I believe that if you’re teaching students how to understand social media what better way then to make them use it.

In this MediaShift article “How to Integrate Social Tools into the Journalism Classroom,” there is a handful of great ideas of how to get students hands on experience with online tools in the changing face of modern communication. Here are a few examples of tools they are using:

Blogs are a great way to expose students to web publishing basics and online writing. With a group collaborative blog professors – and students – can post material for everyone to see and comment on.

I’ve been in a previous course where all students had to make a wordpress blog individually to capture the progress and work from our team projects. This helped to get students online and comfortable with a blogging platform (in my opinion it’s a necessary skill in communications today). But some problems may arise from this method. Examples:

  • It’s hard to track and make sure each student is doing their part on the blogs. Possible ways of keeping up with the class is to put each blog into a reader or RSS feed (eg. Google Reader).
  • If a class is assigned a team project and each student has individual blogs it can put some distance on what the team goal and message is.

Mashable community manager and social strategist Vadim Lavrusik uses a blog to teach Social Media Skills for Journalists at Columbia University. He uses Tumblr as the primary vehicle. This is a great example of how to integrate a social tool into education. Each student has his or her own account and can contribute to a collaborative Tumblr that combines everyone’s work. The site provides a place to submit assignments, give  feedback, and of course experiment with Tumblr. This kind of online atmosphere allows for online engagement, idea sharing, and a safe place for students to gain knowledge of social media.

With all these new teaching methods I feel that some educators are learning alongside the students and that is great – as long as everyone gains a better knowledge of how to work and benefit from these new tools.

For a better understanding of how each social tool can be used in the classroom read more at Mediashift.

Memorable & Creative Pitches

24 Feb

The other day I stumbled upon a blog post on Ragan’s PR Daily by New York Time tech columnist David Pogue about his favorite PR pitches. Click here to see the full post. I’m going to highlight a few of my favorite remarks of Pogue’s from the article and share both pitches below.

Pogue mentions how it’s clear when PR people believe in what they represent, and it’s clear when they don’t. I strongly feel that if you’re not representing a product, idea, or company that you truly believe in then what is the point of trying to promote it? If you want to be good at what you do in public relations start by representing something you’re passionate about, or at least have faith in. Otherwise how can you get your message across, and do so in a memorable way.

Both of his favorites are clever and address him directly on a personal level. The pitches aren’t flat or boring. Give the person who you’re pitching direct attention and you’ll be sure to gain their attention. His first example is from a company called CodeWeavers who were promoting their new program called CrossOver. They posted Pogue’s face on life size celebrity cutouts, cross dressed, and made a point on telling him how they were big fans of his. You have to see this video:

Not only did they make a video for Pogue but also four other writers. Personalizing each to all the writers.

The next pitch he mentions is by Nikon’s PR guy, Geoff Coalter. Pogue had written a review on the Canon S95 in the form of a love letter and to his surprise he received a response “from” the Nikon D80.

Dear David—

It has been far too long since our last encounter, and today I found out why. Imagine my horror to find your public proclamation of love for that floozy, the Canon S95, for the whole world to see. You called that little camera “something special?” Well, I remember when I was your one special camera, the one you could come to for anything. Photographing a soccer game? Done. Days at the beach? Easy squeezy. Amazing landscape shots on vacation? You betcha.

Is it because I’m so much bigger than the S95? After our years together, I would think you would accept me for what I am: a highly capable, semi-pro SLR that empowered you to take great pictures. Depth of field, fast burst rate, sharp focus, accurate colors—these are all things only a camera like me can give you.

Let’s not forget all the fun times we had with my friend NIKKOR, who was always willing to go to great telephoto focal lengths to please you. And sometimes our friend Speedlight joined the party to brighten the mood. You talk about physics? I’ll talk about chemistry. You, me, and your 18-200mm VR lens are a perfect match.

But I don’t want to be spiteful. I only want what’s best for you, and I think you are a great match for my cousin, the P7000. She is smaller and more powerful than most cameras, and leads the way for a segment of cameras that is quickly gaining in popularity, the high-end compact. She’s got a cute retro style that everyone loves, and full manual analog controls.

From Your First photographic Love,

Your Loyal Nikon D80

It’s a brilliant pitch. The pitch is personalized and one of a kind. The time and thought taken to address Pogue definitely won him the review.

To end Pogue’s post he mentions that not all great pitches are sure to win media coverage – but you better believe that if you make a great pitch and it doesn’t work out one particular time, they will remember, and next time you have a pitch they will be listening. It pays to take the time to be creative sometimes.