In the seemingly endless world of online content and web pages, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) plays a critical role when it comes to getting found online. Let’s think about Google for a second; Google handles over a billion searches every day for information that is indexed across more than a trillion (yes, trillion with a “t”) pages, that’s a lot of content to get lost in! Without SEM, your website is merely a miniscule needle in a gargantuan haystack, but when used properly, SEM can put your site front and center in front of the eyes of potential clients.
SEM really consists of two different principles, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Paid Search (or Pay-Per-Click), both of which can provide dramatic results when it comes to improving your online marketing strategy. Since we have covered SEO and its role as a long term strategy in a few of our previous blogs, for now we will focus on the benefits of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. As the name suggests, Pay-Per-Click advertising involves a fee structure that allows you to setup “bids” (the amount you will pay per click) for keywords that you would like to trigger your ad. The actual price of keywords will vary depending on the level demand or competition, but daily budgets allow you to set limits to prevent you from going overboard.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of PPC over SEO is the amount of time it takes to begin seeing results. Although SEO is very important as a long term strategy, the gradual nature of SEO and the fact that it can take weeks and even months to begin seeing results can be quite a setback. PPC on the other hand is an excellent tool for producing immediate results which also makes PPC a great option for jump starting a new online strategy or as a boost for an existing strategy.
When a new website is launched, search engines such as Google have to go through the entire website to analyze and index all of the information stored within the site pages, and depending on the depth of your website and the amount of content that needs to be indexed, it could be awhile before you start to see any organic search traffic come your way. Now, you could sit around and patiently wait for the traffic to show up, or you could take a more proactive approach and bring the traffic in yourself with a PPC campaign centered around the keywords that you have optimized your new site for.
Aside from being a great way to generate traffic and leads for a new website, PPC is also a great way to target specific segments or demographics to help put your site in front of qualified, potential customers. With the help of properly selected keywords, you can ensure that your ads are being seen by the right people online and you take this opportunity to drive this traffic to a specific page within your site that is relevant to the user. This is great for highlighting a specific service that you may offer or to generate leads for a promotion or event that may be coming up.
If you are planning to change up your current web strategy or maybe just looking to improve it, SEM and more specifically PPC may be just the boost that you need to start seeing improved results fast. When implemented correctly, the results are fast, measurable and in most instances sustainable!
If you Google the phrase “logo design,” your results will be flooded with websites offering super cheap logo design options. As a designer, it’s quite embarrassing to see something so imperative subjected to such a colossal level of devaluation. Your business or company logo design is your brand… a representation of who you are, what services you offer, or the product you sell. As an opportunity to make an impression on your existing or potential customers, the visual of your logo should stick long after it’s out-of-view.
What Google turned up for logo graphic design when I conducted my own search was a bit of a shock. I couldn’t believe the low prices some places were offering. I thought this offer is too good to be true…so I had to try it. I found a place that offered four cheap logo design options and unlimited changes for $149. MONEY BACK GUARANTEED! So began my quest to prove my worth as a graphic designer…. or (fingers crossed) strike gold, outsource all my work, and spend the rest of my days golfing.
My 30-day experiment with cheap logo design:
DAY 1: I contacted the logo design company, explained that I needed graphic design for a logo to represent a B&B in the Black Hills, gave details for what I was looking for, and sent over pictures of the landscape.
DAY 2 – 10: I was told that the company’s logo graphic design team was coming up with ideas and concepts for my commission (from a “logo” company occupied with only logo design).
DAY 11 & 12: I found myself still waiting. Of course, I’m well aware that these things take time.
DAY 14: I finally received four logo concepts…and had a good laugh. I contacted the logo design company immediately to ask why they chose airplanes and paint-balls for three of the concepts, and then the Statue of Liberty for the fourth. I re-explained my original ideals for the graphic design of my logo again, trying to provide more direction.
DAY 16: Second proofs of the logos arrived in my inbox: airplanes, paint-balls, and the Statue of Liberty were all gone. To compensate, every other design element of the original concept was enlarged. Same colors, same elements. I was urged (forced) to eliminate two, and did so with ease. I replied to the logo design company with additional descriptions of the Black Hills, and then asked if they understood what a Bed & Breakfast was. I sent more pictures in an effort to make it clear.
Day 18: The next round of changes arrived. I asked them if they realized that the “Black Hills” are covered in trees. I sent more pictures.
Day 21: I contacted the logo design company because three days had passed since our last correspondence. I was informed that the designers had received neither my last set of changes—nor the pictures. I repeated everything I had done three days ago.
Day 22: My concepts arrived, yet again, with the company’s interpretation of my requests. I promptly called and asked for my money back.
Day 30: My money was returned…but my hypothetical Bed & Breakfast was without graphic design for a logo.
I’d consider this a wash, and I definitely received what I paid for. Absolutely nothing.
So what kind of price tag can you put on a logo? It depends really – consider the prices on these famed designs. If you’ve got the money Pepsi does, I guess you could pay up to a million bucks. If you’re on a slightly tighter budget and want the job done professionally—with actual customer service—look to an agency. It’ll save you so much hassle in the end.
If done right, cost-effective logo design shouldn’t look cheap. The right graphic design for a logo conveys feelings and mind-sets that can’t be measured. Think about how often you go shopping in a market crowded with, for the most part, identical products. It may be subconscious, but most would say that they choose between similar products based on presentation and a proper logo. If you’re looking to buy a six pack of beer, which company logo design will jump out at you? The nicely designed Budweiser logo? Or the white can that says “BEER” in a black, box-like font?
Logos and design are all around us—they’re part of our everyday lives. An illustrious and effective design is conceptualized and brought to life by a professional. It’s not cookie cutter junk done by someone who has no idea what the product/service is or the goal their cheap logo design is looking to achieve. The last thing I want to hear from a perspective client is: “here’s my logo. The design is pathetic; but hey, it was really cheap.” If you don’t believe in the power of your logo and brand, then you probably don’t believe in your own product. You don’t have to break the bank to get good design…you just have to break the habit of falling for cheap and badly designed gimmicks.
I’ve been in the marketing and advertising industry for a handful of years now – likewise, I’m familiar with advertising tactics used to entice the consumer to buy. However, I’ll be the first to tell you that marketing and advertising tactics lose integrity when the product baited as ‘free,’ ‘cheap,’ or ‘easy’ ends up as giant hook to swallow.
In this technologically interconnected age, TV and radio are saturated with commercials advertising web hosting options. How do we, the professionals on the hosting side of web development, stay sane? I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but our sanity is a feat just shy of amazing.
With the economy in the state that it is, large and small companies alike are looking for cheap ways to spend less and achieve the same value of result. The message of having a professional online business presence that anyone can accomplish is very tempting, I’m sure—but honestly, is it really worth your while to take the cheap alternative and, likewise, end up with cheap product? In other words, you get what you pay for.
Recently, my team and I have run into client websites from these alluring hosting services that, structurally and functionally, are horrifying to deal with. These services are either offered “free of charge,” or they are very inexpensive—beyond this initial appeal, most are inadequate for hosting a business website. This is especially true if business productivity relies on consumer leads or purchases generated on the less-than-satisfactory website.
I’ll admit that these inadequately hosted websites have tantalizing features. I understand why businesses are lured into the whole ordeal with promises, such as the following:
“Free Hosting with Domain Name Registration,” or vice-versa.
“Free Email Service”
“Free, Fast and Easy Website Creation Tools,” with multiple, attractive preset templates to choose from.
“Customization to Fit Any Business.”
…the list goes on and on…
Although these features sound great, there can be some major issues with the way implementation is handled by the company. For example, say that you decide to take advantage of “Free Hosting,” but then decide that you require a better service for your business. Some services will hold your domain name hostage and prevent your freedom of movement from one hosting service to the next.
In addition, some attractive web hosting services give the customer very little access to what can be changed within the domain name settings. Others are guilty of offering unlimited email addresses, and then failing to educate the customer on possible limitations related to these email addresses. Here’s another one: you’re given one email address, and then charged an additional fee for additional addresses. Did you forget to read that fine print?
In general, “free services” are quite limited, and at the same time, riddled with additional charges—such as a service that does not provide a database feature unless you pay extra.
Oftentimes, these fancy web hosting services don’t specify what type of hosting they provide—and “yes,” there is a difference. Others don’t update server software frequently enough, causing new website functionalities to fail. On top of it all, most are based in other countries with servers that aren’t geographically located anywhere near the U.S. This leads to problems with the speed of the website, its overall functionality, and customer service times.
In addition, none of these companies happen to mention that you will be on a hosting server with thousands of other websites that are trying to use the same bandwidth and computer resources. Keep in mind: servers hosting porn or other questionable sites are not servers that a company of integrity wants to be affiliated with. Do you know who shares your server? Find out: the integrity of your business is at stake.
At RSA, my team has run into several different scenarios that have prevented the customer from doing what is needed to keep their online presence reputable. When all is said and done, this type of hosting solution is not as cost effective as it professes. The wrong type of hosting service can leave a company feeling cheated and fearful of the entire process, when what they deserve is a good online experience. The internet is deep and intriguing ocean of worldwide communication and information sharing—don’t fall for a bad piece of bait.
There’s a whole lot of bloggin’ business going on these days. It’s a bit contagious, really. But what’s the purpose? Who are these bloggers? Where do they come from? Can’t a blog’s topic be about anything?
Blogging is not all about fun and games. You could blog until the cows come home but it will not do you any good unless you have a purpose. There are logistics behind this whole blogging sensation. Logistics that follow a specific pattern, tactic, and research (yes, professional bloggers research, they don’t just rant). The purpose behind a blog is to drive more visits to your website. While the blog should be informative, it also needs to be interesting. If you own a Tom Selleck memorabilia store, would you blog about Burt Reynold’s mustache? No. The blog content needs to be relevant and within the criteria of what your business blog represents-your business.
Does your blog mean business like Selleck's 'stache?
Consistency is key. Uploading a blog on your website every now and then won’t do justice. Blogging needs to be done on a consistent basis to enable search engine sites, such as Google, to recognize the pattern as to how often new content is uploaded to your website. Google then sets a pattern to “crawl” your website on the schedule of your consistency and will recognize the new content and SEO strategies being used on the fresh blog. This is when research and blogs collaborate.
Stop…Collaborate and Listen.
Blogs can’t be posted out there into the endless world of cyber space without any tactic. Strategic keyword research must be performed on the relevant topic of which you are writing. These keywords and SEO tactics allow that page to be optimized so your website can rank higher in search engines.
Does your business need a blog, or is this just a bunch of fun SEO mumbo jumbo? Do Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds have bad ass mustaches? Of course! The purpose of blogging is fresh content. Regular, fresh content keeps your website consistent and reliable in the eyes of Google. If your website is full of static content, Google gets bored with your site and slowly starts nudging it further away from that ever important first page presence. With a consistent and fresh blog, you are able to provide current news and tips a well as implement strategic keywords into the content, which will in turn increase search traffic and visitors to your business website.
Blogging isn’t about fun and games. It’s business. It generates, maintains, and grows business. It is essential for a clothing business (blog about fashion and trends), coffee business (write about the varieties of beans and health benefits), or even a garbage company (guide people on recycling tips and composting food waste). Blogging, just like Tom Selleck’s meticulous mustache, means business.
With the advancements of online marketing, Facebook, SEO and everything else, you may have heard that traditional television advertising is dying out. That certainly is not the case. While it’s true that the advertising world is changing, television advertising is still a major part of the equation.
Case and point. Thanks to television ads, we all know Flo.
If you think television advertising just isn’t the place for you because viewership is dropping, think again. Studies have shown that television is still the best place to be seen, reaching nearly 90% of people each day.
It’s true that as a business you should have an online presence with a good website and social skills on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, but you still need to direct people to those platforms. You’ve got a great website and are active in Social Media. That’s great, but what good does it do you if no one knows you’re there? That’s where television comes in.
Television advertising isn’t just about “Buy my product!” anymore. It’s about getting your name out there. Use those television commercials to direct people to your website and social platforms, from there you’ve got a captive audience who is interested in your product or service and wants to know more.
Dakota Spirits Distillery shines in this television ad put together by the team at Robert Sharp and Associates
It’s also still proving to be the most effective when it comes to selling products. While that user maybe end up in your store or on your website to make the final purchase, they had to get the idea somewhere. Television is still proving to be the most influential marketing medium when it comes to making a purchasing decision.
It’s becoming more and more common that people are multi-tasking when they watch their favorite TV shows. Their favorite episode of Big Bang Theory is on, but they are surfing the web or checking Facebook at the same time. When they see something interesting in a commercial the first thing they do is look it up online. This creates the perfect opportunity for you to get them on your website to learn more about you and you product.
We no longer have to search for a piece of paper to write down a phone number or address, it’s all at our fingertips, you just need to tell them to go there. Yes, you need a good website, but having a great commercial to catch someone’s attention and get them to find you online is equally as important.
The long story short is that television is here to stay, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. So grab your Snuggie and remote and take it all in.
A couple months ago I was visiting with a friend that is a SEO director for a marketing agency in Denver. She was preparing for a conference and was one of the guest speakers. To better prepare herself for the event, she did a run through with my boyfriend and I as her audience. I was amazed with all the information she had in her speech. She focused on the value of good content, why some information goes viral, link building, and the importance of utilizing all mediums of social media.
Her presentation filled me with excitement; I could not wait to get back to work to apply some of her techniques. My boyfriend on the other hand thought her presentation was great, but could not believe how much work it was to get re-tweeted, liked or linked to other sites. He thought it seemed like a lot of work to get 17 likes, and he is right, it is a lot of work. SEO marketing does not happen overnight, it is a long term strategy that takes time to develop.
It makes sense for those who work in the field, they are the ones sitting in front of the computer, searching key words, posting to Facebook pages, writing content, and sharing information. People want information, and they want it quick and easy, and the only way to get information out there is to create it and share it.
How do we reach our audience to share this information? To better explain SEO, here are four suggestions to better improve your content marketing and SEO strategies.
RSA is your premier source for your marketing needs in the SEO field. Contact us today for info on how to improve your marketing strategy using SEO.
• Power of Keywords: How do you captivate the power of keywords? So you have researched your market and you know the keywords that you want to use, but now you need to apply them to your site. It’s important to use the keywords artfully. It may seem crazy, but you can over use key words just as easily as under use them. Having content that uses the same five words every sentence or creating awkward sentences to include your keywords can decrease your credibility. Not only will your visitors not finish reading your page, but there are other penalties. Some article directories will not let you submit articles where the keyword density is too high; this is the same with search engines. If your pages are too stuffed with keywords, they will actually count against you in search engine rankings. By perfecting your content research and strategically placing your keywords throughout your site your content you will have a higher success rate thanks to your keywords.
• Timing is everything: A few days ago I had a client ask me if there is a best time to post on Facebook. He stated that he tends to post during the week at random times, but when the weekend roles around he is not posting. Timing is everything. There have been multiple studies completed that have observed when our audiences are most engaged (http://mashable.com/2012/05/09/best-time-to-post-on-facebook/). Each social platform is designed to captivate certain audiences. One must understand the diverse characteristics of each social network to better understand what and when you should be sharing. By understanding the different social media platforms you will be able to publish your content at the right time to reach the maximum number of people. If you don’t have time to write a blog every week, or forget to post to Facebook every other day, it is okay, just make sure that when you are posting it is consistent. Set realistic goals, instead of writing a blog every week, write one once a month. Post to Facebook the same three days every week, tweet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the key is consistency. Don’t give up remember a habit takes 21 days to stick, before you know it, you will be excited to post to your blog, and create tweets.
• Boring Content Made Fun: How do you take a boring niche and create exciting content? This question is something I have asked myself plenty of times, and there is an answer. Nothing is boring, but how you present something can be boring. How do you make a paper cup exciting? By including pictures, info graphs, and video you will have fun content. Create a video on how to recycle a paper cups, write a blog about games you can play with a paper cup, take pictures of you making a hat out of a paper, the ideas are endless. You have to get creative with your content, and with a little brainstorming, eventually you will have content for your paper cup, your lemonade stand, or pet grooming shop.
• Link Building: What does Link Building do for your website? You don’t want to just link to any site, make sure it is sites that will promote traffic to your site. Sites that relate to the content you are promoting. The more popular and important a site is the more traffic you will receive from that site.
• A few things to include when you are link building:
Trustworthy: Make sure you only link to trust worthy sites that include relevant information. Spam links often go both ways. A website that links to spam is likely spam itself, and in turn often has many spam sites linking back to it. You don’t want your site to link your customers to spam sites.
Freshness: Keep it with fresh by earning new links. It’s important to make sure your links are active and consistently gain new ones. Search engines use the freshness signals of links to judge current popularity and relevance.
Social Sharing: Share your content. When you write a blog, upload a video, tweet a new product link it back to your site, or to the site that you received the information from. Linking is a beautiful thing, and by sharing and linking we will provide our audiences with all the information that they crave.
You can see that SEO and content marketing has a lot of factors. SEO marketing is always changing, but this is what makes it fun. So don’t get overwhelmed with SEO or social media…just tweet it out!
Who uses a phonebook anymore? These ancient artifacts keep showing up on my doorstep, and in all honesty, their function in the modern world is lost on me. I’ve tried piling them behind my home’s front entrance and using them as a doorstop, while my knick-knack shelves keep filling with Yellow Pages origami. In my bedroom, there’s an entire stack of the local listings serving as a makeshift nightstand, and last year’s Christmas presents were festively papered with the entire sections for J and M. The truth is: in our technologically interconnected world of Google and smartphones, the phonebook has become obsolete.
What does this have to do with the content on your webpage, you ask? Simply put: the tone and message of the words selected to grace the pages of your website are the “first impression” of the new millennium. Before a potential client makes that phone call to your business, and before that prospect ventures out into the ‘real world’ and up to your front door, they search for you in the ‘world wide web’ with Google, Bing, Yahoo, or a comparable web crawler. You can’t fight it—virtual communication is just “the way it is” these days, and the significance of internet presence isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
To begin with, if you don’t have a website at all, then your business or service is practically non-existent in today’s society. Sure, you may have a physical structure to house your company, a logo to represent it, and a product or service to fuel your operation—but without web presence, you have little-to-no connection to the outside world. You’re that tree that fell in the forest with no one around to hear it.
As a business in a competitive market, you want to be heard—you need to be heard. You can make sure that the public can hear you loud and clear by treating the text on your website like a road map that leads the way to your business. Text that is optimized for the search engine directs internet surfers to the pages of your site by providing arrows and signals in the form of keywords. The benefit: surfers searching for your product or service on the web will discover your website quickly, easily, and first—before they stumble upon your competitor.
Once your potential client is in the door—or in this case, absorbed in the text of your website—the significance of the “first impression” begins to gain its momentum. Go ahead and hire a smiling, helpful secretary to perch by your front door—by all means, install a fancy phone system with a hold message and a voicemail directory—but be advised that these modes of communication can no longer suffice as your business’s “first impression.” Technological interconnectivity has replaced your fancy lobby and your jovial secretary with an artistic and articulate homepage.
The first place your potential customer will turn to in order to gather more information about your business is your website, and your homepage is the welcome mat on your front door step; the impressive lobby at the front of your building. More often than not, the initial experience upon entering your homepage is the catalyst determining whether or not a simple web user will be converted into your next customer. In that case, you won’t want to simply convey the bare-bones facts about your good or service—you want to ‘wow’ them with your internet savoir-faire and your language skills, while also answering those questions that brought them to your page in the first place. In addition to providing substantial reasons why your business is the best choice for the product or service they seek, take this opportunity to demonstrate how smart and appealing you are in comparison to your competitors. Above all, make sure that your visitor is receiving all of the information about you that they need.
Before you jump to some hasty conclusions, know that I’m not suggesting you fire your secretary or have your listing removed from the Yellow Pages. Keep both on hand, but don’t make the mistake of neglecting the upkeep of your web presence. The text-based content of your website provides ample opportunities to brand your business, control your reputation, and stake your claim on the web audience. They’re out there—so make sure that they hear you. Open the lines of communication, and don’t miss out on the opportunity to win them over with a first impression.
Let’s say you run a business, and maybe you do, but maybe you don’t. Now let’s say that you have marketing access to over a billion people worldwide with about 200 million right here on the fruited plains of the United States of America. The best news of all is this exposure consists of little to no cost. Then let’s say you have turned this opportunity down. Why did you do that? Why the Facebook did you do that? There are over a billion reasons you need to use Facebook as a marketing tool and one of those billion reasons could end up being a new customer base added to your business. It is time to enter into the 21st Century and create your business a Facebook account and learn how to smartly maximize your customer base via social networking.
Here are a few DO’s and DON’Ts to follow when using a business Facebookpage:
Refrain from gaudy posts. Be succinct.
Post relevant material that relates to your business. If you own a bunny store and you start posting about guerilla warfare…where does that get you?
Embed a link/picture when needed so people aren’t just reading another text post.
Three to four times a month give yourself a “pat on the back” post. Acknowledge your company’s successes without being conceited.
Keep it succinct and informative. Try to be creative so what you have posted isn’t just scrolled over.
Take some polls. Get people involved on your Facebook page. This will create more views as well.
Post 2-3 times a week. Any more than this you risk the fact people may get sick and annoyed with you and (gasp!) unlike you. You want to be liked and loved.
Don’t be gaudy. Nobody likes gaudy. Well, maybe Dolly Parton, but she’s been around forever so we’ll cut her some slack.
Give your friends access to specials or specific deals. This will definitely keep them in tune with your page.
Now that you have a few pointers, go ahead and get that Facebook business page up and running. Remember these little tid bits and do a little research on your own for additional help. There are one billion people out there waiting for your page. One billion people nicely tucked under a blanket we know as Facebook. One billion people you have access to, free of charge.
If you have a business website you may or may not know about the ever important term ‘bounce rate’. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ‘bounce’ as “to expel precipitately from a place”. Ok, so what does ‘precipitately’ mean? Relying on good old Merriam-Webster once again, I find the definition to be “exhibiting violent or unwise speed”. What does violently expelling from anywhere have anything to do with bounce rate? What exactly is a bounce rate anyway?
Let’s break this down to the basics. In layman’s terms, bounce rate simply implies the percentage of people that visited one page of your business website, decided “meh, that’s not what I want” and then left your site in the dust. They bounced. Did they violently expel from your website? Maybe, but that seems a bit extreme, unless your website really sucks. But what exactly provokes people to bounce?
Leave the Bouncin' to the Bunnies.
Bounce Rate…Is it Driving your Visitors Away?:
Landing on a site that is cluttered with blaring music, ads scrolling across the screen, or big text blocks with flashy font is too gaudy and will provoke the visitor to violently expel. If the site is annoying or difficult to navigate, visitors are not going to spend their time figuring it out when it’s quick and easy to get to another site that flows well, so they bounce. Does the landing page have a link directing the visitor to another site? If the visitor clinks on an outer link, they bounced. Yet, if that link directs them to another page within the website, they did not bounce (yay!), because they were directed to another page within the company site. Seems to be a whole lot of bouncin’ can happen, so how do you get visitors to stick?
Get ‘Em Glued…
If you want people to stick around on your website try a few of these tactics:
Create a website with easy navigation and accessibility.
Avoid annoying ads and graphics that interrupt the visitor.
Improve loading speed of the site.
Provide relevant content.
Add a search box on the landing page to keep visitors in the website if the initial page doesn’t have what they want.
Keep the landing page clean and concise. Don’t cram everything into one page.
Now that “bounce rate” has been lightly defined, go back and check that landing page on your website. If you were a visitor to your own site, should you stay or should you go (respectively insert The Clash tune here)? If the site needs a little help, try a few of these strategies. Hopefully some of these tactics will keep visitors from violently expelling from your company website.
As I contemplated whether or not my navy blue polka dot scarf could be paired with my navy, red and white plaid shirt, a thought crossed my mind. I could grab my laptop and jump on Pinterest!
As I typed in the familiar URL (www.pinterest.com), a familiar sense of excitement zipped through my body. The social media website popped onto my screen, displaying my personal page of pinboard collages. I couldn’t help but smile as I entered “plaid shirt polka dot scarf” into the Pinterest search box.
Dozens of images populated on my screen – images of women wearing every plaid and polka dot combination imaginable.
In one photograph, a woman had combined a plaid shirt and a polka dot scarf. For a funky twist on the trend, the scarf was tied in her hair. Perfect! I clicked on the image to pin it to my own page under my “Polka Dot Persuasion” pinboard – where I was collecting images of polka dot fashions.
I tossed my laptop aside, slipped into my flannel shirt, and wrapped the scarf around my head like a headband, tying a cute bow at the side. Thanks to Pinterest, I’d found a new fashion idea and a style that spoke to me.
Anyone who knows me is well aware that Pinterest has been my obsession recently. The site allows users to “pin” images, videos and links to create a virtual bulletin board of ideas. Once an item is pinned, everyone within a user’s network can view and comment on the pin, creating a dialogue of interaction.
This social network has become especially popular among brides who use the site to plan every last detail of their weddings, from hairstyle and dress ideas to potential reception and honeymoon sites. Friends and family members can provide feedback by “liking” the photos and commenting, or adding pins to offer more ideas.
Females ages 25-34 are the primary demographic on Pinterest, and the site is growing rapidly, with 11 million total visits per week.
Currently, Pinterest is an invitation-only site – but anyone who is already on the site can send a friend an invite. Or you can request an invite by signing up at www.pinterest.com. Once you have a Pinterest page, the site will automatically find your Facebook and Twitter friends who are already on Pinterest and connect you with them.
Besides fashion and wedding concepts, Pinterest is also being used for health and beauty ideas, vacation planning, recipe sharing, and gift wish lists. Many also use Pinterest to create boards of people, places and quotes that inspire them.
Artists can use Pinterest to upload a portfolio of their images. Businesses can use Pinterest in the same way. For example, an interior decorating business could link to images of its interior design work, as well as pin other popular home decorating and design trends. Businesses can benefit from having a presence on Pinterest. Not only can the business engage with its followers on Pinterest, but the social media site can provide referral traffic back to the business’ website.
I know that I’ll continue to scour Pinterest for fashion and beauty ideas – and it’s also fun to look at my friends’ collages to see what they like. Pinterest has me pinned – and I’m OK with that.