6 Pinterest Tactics for Exposure and More Traffic! [Part 6]

How many times have you heard it said that, “Build It and They Will Come” is only a line from the Field Of Dreams?

Lost count, right?

Ok then, I beg to sound like a broken record here for the fact is, even if your Pinterest account has a professional look and its well optimized in all the places, if you cannot get people to see your pins or if your Pinterest boards are not driving traffic, you might just be wasting your time.

In this post therefore we want to look at some tactics for getting targeted traffic to your boards and how you can siphon some of that traffic to your niche blog and then convert them into leads that will make your money!

But before then, let me quickly remind you that this is part 6 of our Pinterest for Business blog series. If you missed previous entries, please click here now to join the flow!

Now, on to today’s post….

How to grow your Pinterest account

Related Reading: How to Put Your Traffic Generation on Steriods in Five Easy Steps!

Pinterest Algorithm, Pinterest Search and Your Pinterest Exposure

Before now, Pinterest was showing every new pin in the category sections. This was good for everyone since the pins could stay for a few minutes before being pushed down by newer pins. However, of recent, Pinterest has changed this to also show repins.

Of course as expected this pushed up the volume of pins showing in the category sections. The result is that pins now only stay at the top of the category sections for a few seconds leading to reduced exposure for your pins!

But there are more frustrating things. For example, getting into the popular categories on Pinterest is a herculean task, especially for new accounts. Right now, no one can actually say exactly how Pinterest algorithm works to determine what pins to show in the popular categories. All we can work with for now is what we know about other social media sites, like Facebook EdgeRank, We must must content ourselves in assuming that Pinterest gives more weight to well-established accounts with more followers, more likes and more comments.

But the good thing is that though Pinterest algorithm proves elusive Pinterest search engine, on the other hand, appears to work basically on keywords density.

For example, a simple search on Pinterest usually returns pins with no likes, comments or repins showing up above the ones with hundreds of repins simply because these ones have photo titles and descriptions that match the keywords used in searching!

Knowing these about Pinterest and its algorithm here are a few tactics to boost your Pinterest exposure:

1. Keywords optimization

Forget about Google’s war against keywords. This is Pinterest and not Google! Freely use keywords in naming your photos and graphics. Use keywords also in the descriptions. This will increase the chances of pins showing up when someone search on Pinterest with your target keywords.

2. Use of #hasttags

Hashtags are another good way of getting find easily on Pinterest. Hashtags have now become a generally accepted way for many to quickly and easily find what they are looking for on social media site. When this is used together with keywords you actually increase your chances of being found on Pinterest.

Recommended: Simple Tactics To Use Social Networks To Boost Traffic!

3. Choose who to follow with care!

Of course it may be tempting to want to follow as many pinners as possible. However, instead of following just anyone out there you will want to concentrate on popular pinners who are in similar niches and have boards similar to what you have. Though many of these established pinners may not be as willing as newer people to follow you back, but because you have similar niches and boards, many of them are far more likely to follow you back because you match their interest and taste.

Now one of the reasons why you need to focus on popular pinners is the fact that these pinners already have large followers. When they follow you back and they repin your pins all of their followers get to see your pins!

But how do you uncover popular pinners to follow? Here are 2 simple methods that can help:

a. Visit the popular category on Pinterest and look for pins that match your boards. Select the ones that are repin-worthy.  Locate the original pinner and then follow them.

b. Carefully search your niche category with keen interest for the pins that have a good number of repins. Choose a few of them and then follow them.

Do this over time and you will soon have a group of targeted followers.

4. Comment on popular pinners’ pins

This is a covert way of attracting the attention of other pinners. As mentioned above when you start following other pinners, watch out for those who have thousands of followers. When you notice anyone that matches your interest, take note of them and then monitor your following feed for latest updates from these popular pinners.

Whenever there is an update from any of these pinners, like and comment on some of them before other pinners start seeing and repining them.

The idea is to expose your comments to as many of the followers as possible. This is similar to posting comments on popular blog posts when they are first published to gain the attention of other commenters. The good thing here is that not many people post comments on Pinterest pins.

This is good for you as your comments have more chances of standing out.

5. Use guest pinners

Do you know you can invite other pinners as contributors on your boards?

Yes, you can actually use this to have access to popular pinners’ follower news feeds without you doing anything. This is actually like guest blogging. First, you will need to create a special board specifically for guest contributors. After doing this, go out and look for popular pinners. First follow them and then invite them to be contributors of your board. If any of them accept your invitation, your board will automatically show up on their own list of boards.

To take this to another level, you can also choose to follow your contributors’ boards and they will automatically follow all your boards!

On the other hand you can seek to be a guest on others’ boards. This automatically gets your pins in front of all their followers without even having them to repin your pins.

6. Paid/Sponsored Ads

You also have paid options that will help you build your Pinterest following faster. If you want to take this route it is advisable that you wait till when you start making a profit from your efforts and then re-investing part of that profit into paid advertising.

Here are some places for paid/sponsored ads options:

Pinbooster – http://pinbooster.com

Pinauthority – http://pinauthority.com

Apart from the above you can also use fiverr.com. There numerous special fiverr gigs of people who will repin your pins for only $5!

Must read: How to Set Up Your Blog to Leverage the Power of Pinterest for Business

Conclusion

Whatever your target in building your followership on Pinterest there are few things you must commit to over time as this does not come easy. Pinterest like Google is working hard to ensure no one knows much about how its algorithm works but from what we know about other social media sites it is clear that by simply increasing your followership and engagement, the Pinterest algorithm will give you some preference.

Use the above strategies therefore to improve your chances of being found on Pinterest and subsequently driving more traffic from the one social media that is reported to drive more targeted and converting traffic than Twitter, LinkedIn and Google plus combined.

So, that is for this entry. Which of these tactics are you already using on Pinterest? Do you think any of these ones should not be on the list? Share your thoughts with us in your comments below.

PART 7: 11 Awesome Pinterest Tools to Boost Your Business Easily!

7 Proven Pinterest Optimization Tactics That Work Wonders! [PART 5]

As a continuation of our series on using traffic from Pinterest to build a flourishing online business, we want to look turn our attention to setting up our Pinterest account in a way that will help you leverage the great site.

As you will recall, for the past few weeks our focus had been on setting up our niche blog. If you have followed the series thus far you would by now have a niche blog that is designed and optimized to profit off Pinterest traffic.

As expected your expertly designed site and your great content will amount to nothing if you cannot siphon the right traffic from the Pinterest social platform. This is where your Pinterest account comes in.

So, let’s now turn our attention to setting up your Pinterest account.

But first, let’s remind ourselves of what we have covered thus far:

  1. The Definitive Guide to Leveraging Pinterest for Business Success
  2. How to Set Up Your Blog to Leverage the Power of Pinterest for Business
  3. Unusual Content & Monetization Tactics That Gets Radical Results from Pinterest!
  4. How to Build an Email List and Skyrocket Your Niche Blog Income With Ease!

Now on to today’s entry…

Setting Up Your Pinterest Account For Traffic And Conversions

Creating your Pinterest Boards and pins

Getting targeted traffic from your Pinterest account is greatly dependent on how your brand is represented by your Pinterest profile and your Pinterest boards. You don’t just want a Pinterest account you need an account that will help you drive traffic and conversions.

There are of course a few ways you can do this. One of such is taking a look at some top boards and influencers and taking a cue from them when creating your boards. Beyond that, these tips will greatly help you:

1. Get a Pinterest Business Account

Pinterest allows you to either create a personal or a business account. Personal accounts allow you to use your personal or pen names while a business account gives you the opportunity of using your company or blog name.  Apart from this, with business accounts you get more Pinterest tools that are designed specifically for business promotions.

Your type of account choice depends on what you really want to do with your account but I will advise that you go for a business account since we are concerned with building a business off Pinterest traffic!

N.B: If you already have a personal account you can convert this to a business account. Follow this link to convert your account. To learn more about Pinterest business accounts click here.

2. Cross promote your Pinterest account with your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts

When creating your Pinterest account you have the option to link your account with these social media sites if you have already account there. It is important you do so as it will save you a whole lot of work while driving more targeted traffic from these other platforms.

You can use services like IFTTT (If this, then that – https://ifttt.com) to automate your cross platform sharing. Jetpack from WordPress (a wordpress plugin) is another great resource that will help you do this right from your blog’s dashboard.

Related Reading: 5 LinkedIn Marketing Tactics That Will Help Boost Your Online Visibility!

3. Allow search engines to index your Pinterest boards

In your account settings ensure that “Hide your Pinterest profile from search engines” is set to OFF. This is important as your Pinterest boards could rank high in the SERPs for your target keywords thereby helping you drive some additional organic traffic to your sites.

Another powerful tactic is using your target keywords and related phrases effectively in your profile description.

4. Verify your account to gain dofollow link from Pinterest

When Pinterest started it used to be a dofollow site for backlinks, but this has since changed. However, you can still get a dofollow link in your profile page. What you need do is simply to enter your blog url address in the website settings tab, click on verify, download the HTML file you are given, upload it to your blog’s root directory and then go back to Pinterest and verify your blog.

Doing this is sure to give you a high PR dofollow link from Pinterest on your profile page.

5. Write good descriptions for your Pinterest boards

Your boards should reflect your brand and target niche. Choose your account categories with care and name your boards in such a way that they are unique and interesting to your target audience. Use your target keywords both in the board names and descriptions. This will help both your target audience and the search engines to know what they are about.

6. When pinning and repining, ensure you use keywords in the descriptions

This way you will be optimizing your boards for Google and also making them more search friendly on Pinterest’s own board search.

7. If you’ve just created your Pinterest account, ensure you fill up your boards with repins and some unique photos before adding pins from your blog posts. This way you would already have some followers who will see the pins from your blogs as soon as you add them, if you add pins from your blog when you still do not have followers, most of that would be wasted efforts as they will not get as much traffic and repins as you wish.

Do a search online using your target keywords and pick interesting pictures and graphics you will want to pin to your boards. Then use a free service like Pingraphy (http://www.pingraphy.com) to schedule your pins. Post these to your boards for a few days before adding pins from your blog.

Conclusion

How your Pinterest account is setup and the optimization tactics used will determine to a great extent the success. The above are just a few tips that will greatly help you lay a solid foundation for your Pinterest traffic strategy.

In our next post we will look at how to skyrocket your Pinterest traffic and conversions. Once your account is set up you need to apply the tactics we will be looking at in our next post to supercharge your success.

As usual, I’m inviting you to sign up for our free updates by clicking the button below. This way you will never miss any of our future entries.

Besides, I love to respond to your questions and comments. Feel free to share them in your comments below.

PART 6: 6 Pinterest Tactics for Exposure and More Traffic!

Setting Up Your Blog to Leverage the Power of Pinterest for Business

In our previous post, we looked at some very interesting stats about Pinterest and how this can help you determine what niche and demographics to target on Pinterest. In this post we want to look at your niche blog setup and your monetization strategies.

[NOTE: If this is your first time here please note that this is the second part of a series on building a business online using Pinterest.com]

How to setup your blog to leverage Pinterest traffic

Setting Up A Pinterest Targeted Niche Blog

For better understanding, let’s take this step by step, shall we?

Step #1: Get a Domain Name/Webhost

Though you can actually use free blog software like blogger.com and wordpress.com the truth is investing in your own domain name and web host will give you more value as a business.

In choosing your domain name there are a few things you must take note of. For example, your domain name should reflect your target keywords if you want to take advantages of the search engines in driving organic traffic.  Also adding the word “blog” to the domain name can make it more appealing to your target audience, for example, www.diyhomecraftblog.com

While many advocate a .com extension you can always go for a .co, .pw, .net, or even a .info if .com is not available. Any of these will do for what we have here.

Recommended: How to Choose a Domain Name That Enhances Your Brand

Once you’ve found a domain name that meets your plans, you can use NameCheap.com or GoDaddy.com to register it.

Registering a domain name using any of these two cost less than $10. However, if you purchase a web hosting account with BlueHost.com (Affiliate link) you’ll receive a domain name for free. Here are some of the features:

  • Disk Space                                   Unlimited
  • Monthly Data Transfer                   Unlimited
  • Websites (Domains)                      Unlimited
  • Free Domain Name                       First Year
  • Pricing                                          Starting from $3.95 / month

Click here to check the full details.

Step #2: Install a WordPress Blog

Frankly, wordpress is my preferred blogging platform for niche blogs. This is for various reasons. One, is the ease with which you can setup your blog using wordpress.org. For example if you purchase a webhosting package from any of the above recommended companies, installing wordpress is simple and can be accomplished in under 5 minutes.

Here’s a video guide on how to install wordpress using fantastico:

It is important, after installing your blog, that you change the default theme. This is how to give your blog a customized look. You can search the wordpress theme depository right from your admin dashboard and pick any one. However, if you want a paid theme (which gives you premium features) I recommend you take a look at ThemeJunkie . Their themes are not only of high quality but you can get a good number of them for a small investment.

Click here to check out some themes available at HappyThemes.com

NOTE: Magazine style themes are proven to work best with visually oriented traffic like the ones from Pinterest.com

Step #3: Optimize Your Blog with the Best of Free Plugins

Ask any wordpress fan any day and they will tell you that one reason why wordpress has become a darling of webmasters and bloggers is the availability of different plugins that can help you to do a whole lot things with your wordpress blog.

Though there are thousands of plugins available for your picking, it is important that you use only the necessary ones. The following are some of the ones I have used with outstanding success:

1. WP Edit  – This is the successor of the very popular Ultimate TinyMCE. It is very useful for content formatting. Once installed you have designing and styling features like shading, coloring, bolding etc.

2. Pinterest Image Pinner – This enables those who visit your blog to easily pin images on your blog to their Pinterest boards.

3. Pinterest Pinboard Widget – This is great to showcase your latest Pinterest pins on your blog as a sidebar widget.

4. Jetpack by WordPress.com – This is a multi-purpose plugin. You can decide to activate only the ones you deem necessary.

Some of the ones I have used in my niche sites are:

Sharing – Gives you share buttons to enable your site visitors share your content on different social media sites. This also has an option to automatically share your posts to G+, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter once you publish a new post. For me this is really top choice.

Contact Form – Easily add a contact form to your site for visitors to contact you.

Stats – Monitor traffic to your niche blog right from your dashboard.

There are a few others you can choose to activate depending on what you want.

5. Google XML Sitemaps – This will create a sitemap for your blog and also automatically ping the search engines whenever you add new content to your blog. This is really great for SEO and for driving organic traffic to your blog.

6. FV Simpler SEO – This is an alternative to all in one SEO plugin. I started using this recently but I have found it to be great for optimizing your content for SEO rankings. Simple to setup and use.

7. WP Pinner – A powerful and free plugin for scheduling your blog posts so they can be pinned at the time you choose. You also have an option to auto follow other pinners.

8. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) – A great way to cross promote related posts at the bottom of your blog posts.

9. Adsense Explosion – This one is essential if you are thinking of monetizing with Google adsense. With this you can easily add Privacy pages to your niche blog and also insert and optimize google adsense code to your site easily.

Depending on what you want to do you can always search for other plugins that will help you. The above are some of the very important ones I use regularly on my niche sites.

While installing the above plugins can greatly help you to do a whole lot of things, changing the header image is a sure way to give your niche blog a unique appearance – especially if you are using a free theme.

Related Reading: Put the WOW Effect on Your Blog with these WordPress Plugins!

There are thousands of free graphic software out there which you can use to create a simple header image. However, if you need something more professional then investing in a paid graphics creator is the best option.

Ok, that’s it for now. In our next post we will look at how you can find and create content for your niche blog and the type of content to focus on. Don’t miss it!

As usual let me remind you that if you don’t want to miss our next entry you can always join other esteemed readers who get our free updates by clicking the button below.

Your Turn: I will love to read and reply to your comments on this post on setting up your niche blog for Pinterest targeted traffic. Post your comments below.

Alright, on to…

PART 3: Content & Monetization Strategies for Using Pinterest for Business

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Pinterest for Business: The Definitive Guide! [PART 1]

When a few years ago, Pinterest.com broke into the social media landscape, a lot of bloggers wasted no time in publishing different articles on how to drive traffic and make money with Pinterest. Of course, most of what was published then were nothing but a desire to simply leverage on a trending topic – the birth of a new social media site that was taking the internet by storm!

Here’s one such post I did back in 2012.

Besides the reason for doing those post, most of the Pinterest for business posts done back then were mostly based on business ideas that were working on other social media sites. As expected, most of those articles were far behind when it comes to relevance.

Today there’s so much information and business stats about Pinterest.com that in the past few months, after some indepth research I decided to do this series on building a successful online business using Pinterest.

Hope you find it useful and helpful!

The definitive guide to using Pinterest for business

The Pinterest Business Model – What You’re About To Learn

Here’s a summary of what you’re going to learn in this guide:

1. How to determine what niche to target on Pinterest

2. How to pick the best affiliate products based on Pinterest traffic

3. How to build a niche blog that leverages Pinterest’s audience

4. How to maximally monetize your niche blog

5. How to drive massive traffic from Pinterest

6. How to convert and build leads for long term business gains using Pinterest!

So, if you’re ready… then let the party begin…

A Few Interesting Stats About Pinterest.com:

  • Pinterest is the fastest growing website over the past few years
  • Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Youtube, Google + and LinkedIn combined!
  • Pinterest generates 4x more revenue than Twitter and 27% more revenue than Facebook, per click
  • Pinterest has over 25million registered users as at Jan. 2013 and over 28million monthly unique visitors – Comscore
  • Pinterest is evaluated to be worth $2.5 Billion dollars as of Feb. 2013 while another $200 million of funding was recently injected into its capital base.

From the above you can see that Pinterest is not just a passing fad. Also, it is clear that its value is not just in the amount of traffic you can drive to your business site compared to other social media sites.

Pinterest’s value is in how much its traffic converts to revenue as seen in the stats above!

It was actually these stats that motivated me into doing a research on Pinterest for business based on a social media selling strategy I laid out in this post sometime ago.

Related Reading: How Integrating Social Media And Blogging Can Greatly Enhance Your Online Success!

How to Build a Profitable Business With Pinterest

1. Picking A Target Niche

Just like any other online business, you need to start with niche research. It is definite that not every category on Piterest that can make you money. And so, if you are looking to build a profitable business with Pinterest you need to start with determining your target niche.

To help you with this let me give you some more stats about Pinterest’s top niches and demographics.

  • 84% of all Pinterest mobile app users are females!
  • 72% of all Pinterest mobile site users are females!
  • 70% of all Pinterest desktop users are females!
  • The age bracket of all Pinterest users are between 25 and 49
  • Caucasians form over 75% of all Pinterest users.
  • 28% have an annual income of over 100k!

Looking at these stats what can you make of them?

Of course, it is very clear that this is a female dominated social media site!

And that is really not surprising because as a visual platform, our women folk have find in it an online tool which they can readily use as an online album for collecting beautiful and stylish fashions and designs.

This is collaborated by the fact that the top most active and repinned categories on Pinterest are:

  • Hair and Fashion
  • Women’s Fashion
  • DIY Art and Crafts
  • Food and Drinks, And
  • Home Decor!

Now based on these stats, when choosing a target niche for your Pinterest business model you should target the kind of stuff that people like to look at rather than what they want to read about.

Put simply…

…choose a niche where your content can work best with images instead of words!

Recommended Reading: How to Effectively Optimize Your Social Media Marketing For Success!

2. Keyword Research

Traditionally, keyword research involves finding keywords that have high search volume but low competition. However, for your niche sites built basically around Pinterest traffic you need to go beyond this. As mentioned above, you should go for keywords that can be better illustrated by pictures/images.

For example, if you decide to target the “home decor” category, you could go for something like this: “bedroom decorating ideas for nearly weds.” This is definitely a keyword phrase in which people want to see images showing them what you have in mind rather than text that simply tell your story.

Another thing worth noting is that you needn’t agonize over the competition. You simply need a little creativity. Choosing long tail keywords with reasonable monthly searches that can be better presented in images will do great. And so, instead of spending the time trying to research the competition, simply pick a few keyword phrases that you could create your content around and then move on to the next step.

And talking about the next step, we will need to keep that for the next post as this post is already getting too long! ? But before that here are some places where you can easily and quickly uncover what is most popular on Pinterest right now:

www.repinly.com

www.repinned.net

www.quantcast.com/pinterest.com

Hope you find some good use for these sites in your desire to build a profitable business based on Pinterest traffic.

In order not to make this post too long, I’m breaking it here TO BE CONTINUED in our next post!

If you don’t want to miss the remaining part of this tutorial, simply click the button at the end of this post and join the list of our esteemed readers who get free updates. whenever I add new content.

Have any questions or suggestions? Feel free to put them in your comments below.

PART 2: How to Set Up Your Blog to Leverage the Power of Pinterest for Business

Facebook Goes Hard Against News Feed Spam?

Did you think webspam is only on Google’s Search Results Pages? Then it will interest you to know that Facebook is now hitting hard against spammy content as they recently announced that they are currently battling News Feed spam!

When in the recent past, Google came out hard against webspam; many thought it was simply a fight against search engine optimization. To them SEO has run its course and therefore “SEO is now dead.” Unfortunately, a lot of the spammy culture has gradually shifted to social networking sites because of the very important role that social media is presently playing in online commerce and in search rankings.

Facebook, in a recent released, has made it clear that they are ready to fight this menace. Announcing this, Erich Owens, Facebook’s Software Engineer, and Chris Turitzin, Product Manager, wrote:

“The goal of News Feed is to deliver the right content to the right people at the right time so they don’t miss the stories that are important and relevant to them.

Today we are announcing a series of improvements to News Feed to reduce stories that people frequently tell us are spammy and that they don’t want to see. Many of these stories are published by Pages that deliberately try and game News Feed to get more distribution than they normally would.”

From the above, it is clear that the spammy content facebook is targeting is basically brand stories distributed by brand pages in a bid to game Facebook’s News Feed. These come in 3 broad areas namely:

1. Like-baiting

As all content creators know, the purpose of a link-bait is to get people to Like, comment on, or share a piece of content. Since Facebook’s algorithm rewards posts that generate more engagement, many marketers now use this tactic to explicitly ask News Feed readers to like, comment or share their posts in order to get additional distribution beyond what the post would normally receive.

If you are managing a facebook page and you are using any such covert tactic then it is time to make a u-turn because the new improvements from facebook are designed to better detect such spammy content.

Here’s an example:

Facebook Link Baiting graphic

2. Frequently Circulated Content

When you post something on facebook you expect people to reshare that content. However, some brands now misuse this by uploading photos or videos over and over again to facebook. Facebook has added these as part of the News Feed spam that must be removed.

Recommended: 11 Simple Tricks to Market Your Facebook Page More Effectively!

3. Spammy Links

According to facebook these are links posted to mislead users into clicking to a web page that offers no real value to the user. To better detect these type of spammy links facebook reported they are using the number of users who end up liking or sharing the original post as a gauge to know if such a link was spam or not. And thus far there is already a 5% increase in users clicking on links that take them away from Facebook an indication that users are finding content in their News Feeds to be much more trustworthy.

So, How Do You Stay On The Clean Side?

Though facebook has made it clear that if you are not posting feed spam you will never be negatively impacted by these changes, it is important you know how facebook is doing this so you can stay clean always. You should understand that this move by facebook will increase in tempo in the days ahead and, like Erich Owens and Chris Turitzin clearly stated:

“Frequently and intentionally creating feed spam will see their distribution decrease over the next few months.  We’re making these changes to ensure that feed spam content does not drown out the content that people really want to see on Facebook from the friends and Pages they care about.”

I’m sure you don’t what to be caught unawares, right?

That is why you should study how Facebook determines what is spammy content?

For that, let’s turn to another post done earlier by Varun Kacholia, Engineering Manager for News Feed Ranking. In that post Varun said:

“While the goal of News Feed is to show high quality posts to people, we wanted to better understand what high quality means. To do this we decided to develop a new algorithm to factor into News Feed. To develop it, we first surveyed thousands of people to understand what factors make posts from Pages high quality.”

And here are the questions they asked people to determine that?

  • Is this timely and relevant content?
  • Is this content from a source you would trust?
  • Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?
  • Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it trying to game News Feed distribution? (e.g. asking for people to like the content)
  • Would you call this a low quality post or meme?
  • Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?

Recommended: Facebook Fan Page Timelines: Are You Ready To Tell Your Story?

If you’re familiar with what Google is using in fighting search engine optimization spam you will agree that this is really not different. So, if you take the same precautions you are presently using to avoid being hammered by Google you will definitely escape being hit by facebook’s News Feed antispam policy.

Spam, whether in search engine results or Facebook News Feed, is one and the same and therefore we must all join Facebook and Google in fighting the war!

Share your experiences about Facebook News Feed spam if you have encountered any out there. Share in your comments below.

How to Boost Your Facebook Marketing ROI despite the Drop in Facebook Page Organic Reach!

Increase ROI on Facebook Marketing

It is ironic but true all the same.

At a time when a survey by McKinsey & Co. revealed that facebook is really a poor alternative to email marketing when it comes to customer acquisition, facebook is nonetheless working to increase advertising spend on the platform!

The uncanny way they are doing this?

By reducing the organic reach of brands’ facebook pages!

Though there has not been any official announcement to this effect, a marketing document that was purportedly sent out to partners recently and obtained by Ad Age, states plainly:

“We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.”

In the face of this development, many brands are asking questions like:

“Why continue investing your precious man-hours on facebook if you will only reach 1 – 2% of your fans?”

“If Facebook is really that dismal when it comes to customer acquisition, how do we know that advertising on facebook will give the desired results?”

Indeed, these are questions you will need to answer if you must continue using facebook for marketing your business.

But, Should You Entirely Abandon Facebook?

In my previous post where I talked about the McKinsey & Co. research which gave the thumbs up for email instead of social media marketing, I also made it clear that the same report showed that between 2008 and 2012 email usage declined by about 20% compared to social media networks, instant messaging and mobile-messaging!

I think this is reason enough not to abandon facebook marketing entirely but rather to change your facebook marketing strategy.

First, you must admit the fact that Facebook is a business that needs to grow its income. And so, instead of blaming it for its business stand, you should rather strategize to maximize your advertising spend.

If you put the knowledge gained from the McKinsey & Co. research into your facebook marketing strategy you will be able to design a tactic that will greatly help your business. One such tactic is to use facebook “Boosted Post” advertising option to drive more attention to your business fan page while building an email list in the process!

Using Facebook “Boost Post” Ad to Grow Your Email List

1. Design an Irresistible Giveaway Offer

Having your target audience in mind, craft a giveaway offer that will help you collect the email contacts using your facebook fan page. Then proceed to design an attention grabbing landing page for this offer on your site. Ensure it is targeted at your facebook audience.

2. Update Your Fan Page Using the Giveaway Landing Page

Post an update on your facebook page encouraging your fans and visitors to the page to download a free copy. To make this really awesome include an eye-catching image with a one to two sentence description that will encourage click-through.  Use the URL of the landing page as the link in your update.

3. Craft a Powerful “Boost Post” Ad

Once you have posted the update in #2 above click on the “Boost Post” button. This will bring up a window like this:

Facebook Boost Ad marketing tactic

You have the option to either boost your post to your page’s existing fans and their friends or a targeted group.

For example, if you want to target a special group of facebook users, on the audience option check the “People you choose through targeting” option.

Now enter your target countries, the age bracket you want to focus on, the gender and then the interests of this target group. This way you will be able to greatly ensure that your post is shown to only those people who will be interested in your free giveaway.

Target your boost post facebook advert!

3. Continue the Relationship on Your Blog Until They Become Customers

If you take care of #1 and #2 above very well, you are not only going to acquire new likes on facebook but you will be able to pull in a few of those likes into your email list. Once you are able to achieve this, your next move is to use result-oriented email marketing tactics to nature this list of prospects until they become customers.

Indeed the above may look simple but don’t let that simplicity deceive you. If carefully handled, this tactic can help you beat facebook at its game! So, instead of running away because there is a decline on organic reach or because you’re not presently seeing any good return in investment from your facebook marketing efforts, re-strategize and use this tactic both to build an email list and also increase your facebook likes.

Your turn: What are you planning to do about your facebook marketing in light of the recent changes? Will you jump ship or do you have a plan in place to ensure you always win?

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5 LinkedIn Marketing Tactics That Will Help Boost Your Online Visibility!

LinkedIn marketing tactis
There is no doubt that marketers are today maximizing social media sites to interact with customers/prospects and growing their businesses in doing so. This is one of the reasons why many are rushing to create social media profiles for their businesses on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

But amongst these different social media sites, LinkedIn stands out for one reason – the site is built for the entrepreneur! While others like YouTube and Facebook were built on the platform of entertainment and friendship, LinkedIn has its roots in business; with a special focus on the professional crowd!

In this article I want to share with you a few ideas on how you can use the LinkedIn site to drive your online visibility and enhance your business profitability.

So, let’s get started.

1. The Group Announcement Feature

This is one of the ways you can greatly expand your reach on LinkedIn. Though there are other gains of creating a LinkedIn group this feature stands out. It is a powerful feature for announcing strategic events that are relevant and timely to your target audience. You can announce events such as an exhibition, webinar or even a white paper or ebook you are giving away free. Used correctly, it is a great tool for strengthening and maintaining mindshare with your LinkedIn communities.

using LinkedIn to boost your business

2. Make Your Connections Valuable For Your Business

Every wise business person desires highly targeted traffic to their offerings and this you can find on LinkedIn. You’ll be able to find new customers, suppliers, partners, experts and other people who are valuable to your business on the site. The secret is in first defining your target audience.

Once you have decided on this, start by browsing the networks of your connections. Then using the advanced search option, join groups that your target audience are already in or would likely join. You can also create an alert with your searches. This will let LinkedIn send you an email every week with new prospects.

3. Showcase Your Expertise Using The Help Forum

Question and answer sites over the years have helped marketers to drive traffic to their businesses. But one thing that separate answering questions on LinkedIn from other online Q&A sites is the fact that these site are filled with faceless individuals who post anonymous answers with different reasons.  Answers on LinkedIn however come from professionals with real profiles attached to them. This makes these answers more real and believable.

But since LinkedIn rested its Answers feature back in January of 2013, many marketers thought that was the end of a valuable making feature on LinkedIn. The truth is that there are still a few other ways to do this. One such way is through the LinkedIn Help Forum. By simply browsing the help forum and then answering member questions you’ll be able to siphon a part of that traffic to your profile and business site.

4. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

The main purpose of this is to position your LinkedIn profile so that when people use the search option on the site they will easily find you. A few ways to optimize your profile is to add relevant keywords to the headline, summary and the specialty section of your profile. You should also edit your public URL, and customize your website listings by choosing the “other” option when setting up each website listing. Also use relevant keywords to describe your websites instead of the “my web site” offered by LinkedIn.

How to optimize your linkedin profile

5. Make Your Profile Publicly Visible To Everyone

Apart from optimizing your profile as in #4 above, it is important that you make your profile public by choosing the “my profile photo is visible to everyone” option when uploading your profile photo. Not doing this may prevent potential customers from finding you when they search the site.

People search on LinkedIn

Conclusion: Indeed LinkedIn is a great site to find potential customers but creating a profile is not enough. To maximally utilize the social networking site for your business gains you need to carefully plan your strategy and work out your plan. If you’ll put these tips into use they’ll greatly help boosting your online visibility and ultimately your business success.

Are you using any of these tactics in your marketing efforts right now? Share with us in your comments below.

Generate Qualified Leads on LinkedIn With A 5 Minute Daily Plan! [INFOGRAPHIC]

5 minutes LinkedIn marketing plan infographic!There is no gainsaying that in the past couple years social media marketing has grown to a point where it is not about “IF” you should jump in but “HOW” you need to go about social media marketing as a business!

It will interest you to know that presently, social media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity online! More and more people now spend their time on the web on social media sites. Many savvy businesses seeing the marketing potential in this trend have jumped in body and soul! As at today, many have created social media profiles on different networking platforms but unfortunately, many of these profiles are far from achieving anything for such enterprises.

It has become clear to many of these enterprises that if you truly want to make any headway with your social media marketing efforts, setting up a workable strategy is definitely something you must consider. This is why this LinkedIn marketing strategy infographic from the good people at Bluewire Media is something you should take seriously.

The infographic is about growing your LinkedIn networks to produce qualified leads working a 5 minute daily marketing plan. The strategic plan is divided into 3 sections for beginner users, intermediate users and advanced users.

Carefully study this infographic, you will definitely get something from it no matter your level of experience on LinkedIn.

Enjoy!

5 Minute LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Infographic

This 5 Minute LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Infographic is produced by Bluewire Media
Over to You: Do you have social media marketing plan specifically designed for LinkedIn? Which of these strategies are you presently using? Share with us in your comments below!

Google +Posts Ads: Giving Brands the Social Power

Google.com has once again showed that 2013 is indeed a year of change and innovation. From the various Panda and Penguin updates to the launch of a completely new ranking algorithm and of course, the issue of encrypting search results, Google has shown that it is an entity on a mission! Right now, Google is taking that mission to another level by introducing a whole new twist to social media advertising.

Just some hours ago, Google announced the introduction of what it has chosen to call +Posts adsan advertising opportunity for brands to turn their Google+ posts into ads which will be displayed across the Google Display Network (GDN). According to Google,

“+Post ads let you turn your Google+ posts into engagement ads on the Google Display Network. People can join a Hangout On Air, add a comment, follow your brand, or give a +1, right from the ad.”

+Post ads - The all new Google advertising game!

For now, Google is testing this new innovation using a few chosen brands like Toyota USA, Cadbury UK and RITZ crackers.

This is really a new twist to social media advertising because unlike what we have seen on other social media sites, +Post ads will not be shown on the Google+ platform (Google’s social media site) but rather displayed across all its network which reaches to somewhere around 2 million sites!

Is This Taking the Rivalry between Google and Facebook to another Level?

Without trying to sound antagonistic, it is very clear that the launch of +Post ads is indeed another way of Google flexing its advertising muscles against other social media sites, especially Facebook.

In his post announcing +Posts ads, Eran Arkin, Google’s Social Ads Product Manager, said:

“+Post ads allow a brand to take a piece of their public Google+ content, like a photo, video or even a Hangout, and with a few clicks, turn it into a display ad that can run across the more than 2 million sites in the Google Display Network. This lets brands think of the entire web as their social stream.”

The statement, “…lets brands think of the entire web as their social stream” is definitely an indirect way of saying that as a brand you don’t have to limit yourself to just one social platform like others are doing but have the entire web as your platform. Of course, that is a way of luring more brands to jump in to the program!

For example in a video posted by Eran Arkin, he revealed how Toyota is using +Post ads to drive consideration for its newly launched Corolla. Arkin also claimed that the brands testing this new innovation are already seeing increased click-through and expansion rates of up to 50% higher than the industry average for rich media ads!

Did I Saw This Coming?

I must say that even when I did not see the whole picture of what Google had up its sleeves from the beginning, I can say I had an inkling that Google was going to do something in this direction at the time Google+ launched.

Back in 2011 when Google plus entered the market and many were comparing it to Facebook pitching Facebook’s big numbers against Google+, I did a post where I said,

“Facebook is not just competing with Google+ but with Google.com who has proved in its own merit that it is an online colossus.

So the question is not about Google+ displacing Facebook from the social networking game but Google.com putting all of its online resources into playing the game and coming out on the top!

You can read that post here.

Since then we have seen a whole lot of new things from the stables of Google aimed at putting all of its online resources to play the game. +Post ads is just another such move!

+Post Ads Is Actually A Two-Edged Sword!

As expected, many are already whining on why Google should not show the +Post ads on their social media platform – Google plus – even when the ads are initiated there.

But it is clear that this is definitely a tactical move. We mustn’t forget that at a time when many users had issues with Facebook concerning what to share with friends, acquaintances and family members, Google came up with the idea of Google+ Circles.

Right now, reports indicate that many youngsters are abandoning Facebook while elderly ones are complaining about the volume of ads they have to contend with on the site. So Google taking the decision not to display +Post ads on the Google+ platform but on its advertising network is definitely a good decision, business-wise!

RECOMMENDED: Business Lessons You Can Learn from Google’s Company Philosophy!
Beyond that +Post ads could really be a way of Google bringing more brands to using the Google+ social media platform while at the same time building its advertising business. And if that is the case, then this is really an innovative move on the part of Google!

How are Facebook and others going to react to this move? We only need to wait to see that in 2014!

But I’ll love to know what your reaction is. Give your views on these +Post ads in your comment below.

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[INFOGRAPHIC] Will These Social Media Relics Rise Again?

There is no doubt that social media has changed a whole lot of things in recent times – whether online or offline. For example, if you are in business and you are not using social media, it is definite that you are behind the competition.

Of course, Politicians, sportsmen and women and of course Pop stars are not left out of this social media rave. But we all know that this was not the case a few years ago. Unfortunately, in the teething years of social media, there were social media platforms that tried all they could to stay afloat but today these have either drowned or at the moment, clutching to whatever is handy to stay on.

MySpace was once the place where all the cool kids hung out, but a cluttered homepage and faulty spam filter allowed Facebook to move in and steal the social network crown. In 2009, the site had only 75 million monthly users which may sound like a lot until you compare it to Facebook’s 200 million.

MySpace has now rebranded itself as a social music platform for both established and emerging artists, and it received an unlikely boost in the form of pop star Justin Timberlake who bought the website for $35 million in 2011 and now co-owns it with Specific Media. In 2012, the FTC charged the site with sharing user’s personal information as well as spying on their browsing habits.

Despite the controversy, MySpace still has a legion of loyal fans that would love to see the social relic rise again, and the new owners have poured over $20 million into an advertising campaign to try and make that happen.

Whether MySpace can snatch power back from its archenemy remains to be seen, but new features such as an iPhone app that allows users to create their own playlists may help to make it relevant once again.

In this infographic, we want to take some time off to pay homage to these wonderful “kids” who tried to make our lives a little livelier!

Enjoy!

Will These Social Media Relics Rise Again? by Who Is Hosting This: The Blog

Over to you: What do you think? Do you see any prospect of these social media “kids” taking the stage again?