Tag : social-media-strategy

How to create a group board on Pinterest

Confession: I have fallen in love with Pinterest. Serious love.

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where you can tag and share almost any image you come across on the web. It’s driving crazy traffic to retail sites and some are calling it the next social commerce game changer. Marketers and business owners are quickly developing ideas on how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to their own sites.

Some big brands like Whole Foods, Lowe’s and Southwest are have already set the bar high. These brands get it. They get that it’s a space to connect with their most engaged consumers and not just another platform to push every pretty picture of their products in front of anyone who’s looking.

Smaller organizations, even those that aren’t retail-based, have the opportunity to find their own success with Pinterest. One way is by giving fans a look inside their culture by creating group boards, shared by people within the company. Showing your brand’s personality on your boards lets fans connect with your brand creatively and share that experience with others.

There’s also opportunity for people to collaborate on Pinterest group boards outside of business. Planning a bachelorette party with the girls? Have a big family trip in the works? Get a board started and get to pinning.

Whether it’s for business or just for fun, here’s how to create a group board on Pinterest:

1. When viewing your boards, click “Edit”

Click "edit" under the board you'd like to share

2. Select the “Me + Contributors” option. Start typing the name of the person you’d like to add to your group. (Note: You have to be following the person you want to add as a collaborator.)

Add a PInterest contributor

3. Congrats! You’ve just added a team member. Now when your team member wants to add a pin to your new group pinboard, your board will show up in the list along with the boards they’ve already created.

A little group icon appears next to the group name to let you know that’s the group board and not yours. The icon looks like this:

Pinterest group image

How would you use a group board to collaborate with a team? Are you already using one? Have you found value in the group option?

Learn how to make a secret Pinterest board here.

Categories: Branding, Marketing/advertising, Social media

Want to keep your content fresh? Toss a couple zombies in it.

Zombies are coming


Ok, so I’m a month late in announcing that the 2011 hurricane season is officially here. Funny thing is, when you’ve been living in South Florida for long enough, nobody really bats an eye at the start of hurricane season (unless there’s a gargantuan hurricane in the Atlantic, then maybe we pay attention).

Every year on June 1, we’re hit with a barrage of messages – from handouts at Publix to non-stop excitement across local news channels – that we need to be prepared TODAY, RIGHT NOW for a major hurricane. Truth is, most of us don’t lift a finger during the first month of hurricane season. Our procrastination ends up biting us in the ass when we realize we haven’t lifted a finger and we’re dead center in the destruction cone of a monstrous hurricane.

Herein lies the major challenge – how do you get people to listen to the same information year after year?

Easy. Turn it into a zombie apocalypse.

This year was a little different that past hurricane seasons. Instead of delivering the same old, same old messages on hurricane preparedness, the CDC was able to get the public to listen by framing the information around an event that would later go viral – the zombie apocalypse.

The CDC posted the information on a Monday. The site crashed that Wednesday.

Think people got the message?

When you get past the craziness of the message, it turns out preparing for a zombie apocalypse and preparing for hurricane season are pretty similar. The CDC recommends:

Make an emergency plan. Stockpile food, water and medicine.

Have a utility knife, duct tape and battery-powered radio handy, along with some changes of clothes and bedding.

And keep some cleaning supplies handy, along with key personal documents like a driver’s license and birth certificate.

The CDC also recommends having basic first aid supplies handy for a hurricane or a pandemic.

Only difference – one zombie bite and you’re dead.

Luckily, we don’t have to worry about the zombie apocalypse just yet. Hurricane season, on the other hand, is an unfortunate truth that everyone in the Southeast needs to be prepared for.

Whether it got your attention, or made you wonder why the hell everyone is talking about zombies all of the sudden, I say kudos to the CDC for finding a creative way to turn the same old messaging on its head.

Did you tune into the zombie apocalypse messaging? Did you make the connection between zombies and the CDC’s messaging strategy? Do you think it worked?

Categories: Marketing/advertising, Social media

Social media management tools – what to choose [graphic]

Looking for a social media management tool to help manage your Twitter account(s)? There are A LOT out there. Just take a look at the graphic below from Brain Solis and JESS3. I’ve tried Tweetdeck and Twhirl, but really love Hootsuite. You may have to try a few to figure out what works for you, but that’s ok. Most tools are free (I’ve personally never paid for one), so poke around, download a few and find what works for you.

Social media management tool diagram

Social media management tool diagram

Categories: Social media

Content calendars keep your social strategy on target

Maintaining a social media content calendar not only ensures you’ll always have something to write about, but it also ensures you’re sticking to your overall social strategy and that your messaging is proactive. Karen Woodward over at the Conversify blog shared a great graphic that illustrates the proactive/reactive nature of content creation  in a post earlier this month (see Why You Need a Social Media Editorial Calendar).

Your content calendar can be as simple as jotting down topics by hand in a notebook or as detailed as a line-by-line plan in an Excel spreadsheet. However you choose to keep your content ideas organized, the most important part of outlining your social strategy is creating a calendar that keeps you on target.

Content calendar key to social strategy

Content calendar key to social strategy

Categories: Social media, Writing

Awareness campaigns: Social media 101

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting with members of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter at Florida Memorial University, along with representatives from Switchboard of Miami who had recently partnered on an awareness campaign. With my past nonprofit experience and being a former PRSSA member, of course I was happy to help however I could.

The PRSSA chapter received a grant from Switchboard of Miami to develop a campaign to raise awareness among 18 to 24 year olds about HIV prevention and substance abuse. I came in to help with the social media aspect of their campaign – offering social media best practices, messaging tactics, monitoring tools and tips to help the group achieve their campaign goals.

Nonprofits and associations that use social media strategically as part of an overall communications plan will find success in the form of increased awareness, audience engagement and higher conversion rates. Whether those conversions are having someone use a service or donate to a cause, the right online social strategy can help organizations get there.

Here’s the “Social Media 101” presentation I put together to help the FMU PRSSA students jump start the social strategy piece of their project. I’d love to know what you think, please leave a comment or two.

Categories: Social media

Because I couldn’t say it better myself…

I’m just going to quote Oliver Blanchard, aka. the BrandBuilder. This is “why your social media marketing campaigns aren’t working:”

This really isn’t rocket science.

If you want results, think. Use your head. Don’t keep doing the same thing over and over again hoping for different results each time. Calling “marketing” by another name or adding “social media” to it won’t change what it is: Marketing. Just because your ad agency’s digital department has rebranded itself a “social media” department doesn’t mean anything has changed or improved. Same products and services, different skin. That’s it.

If you don’t believe me, that’s fine. Just keep pushing marketing content out through social media channels and see where that gets you. As long as those budget dollars keep coming, digital marketing companies will eagerly sell you whatever services you want.

Don’t be a sucker. Focus on results, not buzzwords and BS.


Categories: Marketing/advertising, Social media

Get more with less on Twitter

Last week, I caught a tweet from one of my favorite writers on the web and I’m completely stealing it. Yes, Raven (aka. the Writerbabe), I’m stealing your quality over quantity Twitter project and will be pruning my following list tonight. (Hope you don’t mind. It’s for a good cause, I promise.)

No, I don’t have half as many followers or am I following as many people as @Writerbabe once was, but I think there’s definitely something to be gained from lessening my following list.

When you’re following 500 people on Twitter, how much do you actually hear?

By following fewer people, you may actually be able to hear what people are saying AND have meaningful conversations with those people you’re listening to. It’s those responses that can help strengthen relationships and build your online network.

And isn’t that what social media is all about?

Categories: Social media

When brilliant content goes viral

I had an awesome day at work. By the time I shut down my computer I was wiped out, but wiped out in a good way.

See, today I was able to participate in a full-day social media workshop, my absolute favorite aspect of my nine-to-five. From engagement tactics to social media strategy and overall online goals, we touched on just about everything that will help our organization grow online.

Our group leaders shared a few videos to inspire our creativity, and there was one that stuck with all of us when the day was through. It’s a video from AARP, of all organizations, that shows how one brilliant idea can drive web content to go viral.

So, here it is, my latest inspiration…

Categories: Marketing/advertising, Social media