In my last blog, Social Media Marketing: Content Strategies to Rock Each Platform pt. 1, I discussed platform specific marketing strategies for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In this blog, I will be discussing platform specific strategies for Pinterest, Google+ and Linkedin, or as I like to call them, the “others”.
It’s no secret that platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and especially Instagram are considered ‘royalty’ in the social media realm, while these ‘others’ often take a back seat in the minds of most social media marketers. I personally believe that this is directly correlated to the fact that these platforms host very specific audiences. For some businesses, these platforms present the perfect target markets. If your business does not fall into this group, however, rest assured that these platforms can still provide an added value to your social media marketing efforts. As I emphasized in my previous blog, it’s all about tailoring your content for these specific platforms, and properly executing your marketing plan. Here are some strategies that will help you reap the benefits that these platforms have to offer.
Currently, Pinterest has over 100 Million active users. While this number may seem trivial in comparison to Facebook’s 1.55 Billion active users, and Instagram’s 300 Million active users, it should be noted that Pinterest had the largest growth in members as well as active users in 2014. What this tells us is that while your audience may be ‘smaller’ on Pinterest, there is no doubt that it exists, and is continuing to grow.
Now that we’ve established that Pinterest continues to possess growth potential, I’ll begin by addressing common mistakes made on Pinterest, and then provide some platform specific strategies to help you achieve a successful campaign.
One of biggest mistakes that marketers make on Pinterest is that they create boards with titles that are ‘non-searchable’ which include pins that are ‘non-descriptive’. When it comes to Pinterest, your main goal is to have your boards and pins show up in user searches. This is how you’ll expose users to your account, and hopefully, direct traffic to your website. For this very reason, you need to put yourself in the shoes of Pinterest users and take into consideration the keywords and phrases they are likely to search. For the sake of providing an example, let’s say that you’re an interior design company…
Some effective board names include:
- ‘Modern kitchen designs’
- ‘Baby girl nursery ideas’
- ‘Traditional living rooms’
- ‘Man cave inspiration’
‘Non-searchable’ board names include:
- ‘Our cabinets’
- ‘Bathroom projects’
The key to a searchable board name is that it’s specific with regards to the pins that the board will include, but very general in relation to your company/brand. While you want to put your services, products and projects on display, all of these things can be pinned under boards such as ‘Modern Kitchen designs,’ ‘Baby girl nursery ideas’ and ‘Man cave inspiration’; all of which are titles that are more likely to be searched by users.
Since your board names will be objective in relation to your company, it’s in your descriptions that you can be more subjective. The best Pinterest descriptions are detailed yet not too lengthy, and include a call to action. In this particular case (the interior design company), you may want to list the materials used in a particular project and highlight any special elements to the design. You can then include a call to action such as ‘Click this link to view more of our bedroom design projects!”
Winning through pinning
Now that we’ve cleared that up, here are some tips for an effective Pinterest campaign:
- Tailor your content to women
- According to SproutSocial, 42% of ALL online women are Pinterest users. To add, over 80% of Pinterest users are women. Because women dominate Pinterest, it’s important that your content is tailored to this demographic. If women make up a significant portion of your target market, then this is definitely the platform for you. Even if your business offers products and services strictly for boys and men, keep in mind that many of these women are mothers and wives, therefore, the platform could still be very effective for your marketing and sales…your messaging simply needs to be readjusted.
- Rich Pins
- There are 5 different types of Rich Pins: product, article, recipe, movie and place. Rich Pins are different than standard pins because they include more information. For example, a product Rich Pin will include pricing, availability and where the product can be purchased — critical information for consumers which can impact their purchasing decisions.
- Promote your pins
- Promoted Pins look exactly like standard pins, but they have a longer ‘lifespan’ and extend your reach beyond your organic following. Think about it; the longer your pin is visible in feeds, the more likely it is to be engaged with, potentially increasing traffic to your website, and increasing sales.
- Buy it on Pinterest
- The Pinterest buy it button is one of the platform’s newest and most revolutionary updates. The buy it button, currently available for iPhones, iPads and Android, allows you to purchase products directly (and securely) from Pinterest. The buy it button is beneficial because users can purchase products without having to leave the app — a feature that consumers absolutely love!
Learn more about the Buy It button with this YouTube tutorial.
- Pin It Button
- Pinterest can have a significant impact on your SEO efforts. Since pins include a ‘source,’ or a URL that users are redirected to when they click on your pin, it’s important that you properly source your pins to ensure that you’re driving traffic back to your website. The easiest way to accomplish this is by utilizing the pin it button, which pins images from your website and sources them directly to that page with just one click. You should also consider adding the pin it button to your website, which allows your website visitors to pin directly from your website, resulting in more exposure and impressions. The pin it button also gives you access to analytics regarding what users are pinning from your website; essential information for your marketing and sales.
- Last, but most certainly not least, creating shareable pins is crucial for your Pinterest success. Pins that are likely to get noticed (and therefore re-pinned) include properly sized, high-quality images. After all, it’s an eye-catching image that will get a user to notice, and potentially engage with your pin. Check out these other tips to help you master your Pinterest marketing.
Let’s face it; Google may be the world’s most powerful search engine, but when it comes to dominating the social realm, it didn’t have much authority (see what I did there). Still, Google+ does fall under the category of ‘social media’, although it requires very specific strategies and caters to a particular audience. Here are some tips for utilizing Google+ properly and maximizing the benefits that it offers.
1. Help with your SEO
- Naturally, being that Google+ belongs to Google, Google+ posts are indexed by Google in search results, and therefore, are more likely to show up (hey, we’re all a little biased). For this reason, simply having a presence on Google+ (and regularly posting, of course) increases the chance that your content comes up in search results. This can be extremely beneficial for your SEO efforts.
2. Knowledge is power
- Unlike other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where humor is highly successful, Google+ users are interested in more ‘educational’ tools and resources. From company updates, to new products, to industry relevant blogs and infographics, Google+ users are looking to gain some knowledge.
3. Visuals are king
- Because visuals occupy a large space on a user’s feed, they’re more likely to be noticed and engaged with. For this reason, a Google+ post including an appealing image is likely to improve your click through rates. While the visual component plays a significant role in ‘railing users in,’ it is proper formatting that drives engagement, consequently increasing exposure and impressions. The results of a study conducted by Jerry Low supports this claim. Included below is his breakdown of a successful Google+ post:
4. Create and join communities
- Whether you’re promoting your brand, a cause, or discussing an industry relevant topic, Google+ communities are a great way to gain exposure, establish yourself as an industry thought leader and connect with like-minded users. By creating and joining communities, you are more likely to reach your target market(s) or valuable users who are likely to engage with your content, share your content (increasing your exposure and impressions), and visit your website.
When it comes to LinkedIn, it’s actually pretty simple: think professionals, professionals, professionals. From your account picture, to your profile information to the content you share, always keep in mind that this is a ‘social’ platform for professionals, first and foremost. That’s not to say that you can’t have a little bit of a personality on LinkedIn. In fact, a little personality is more likely to get you noticed and recognized. The main point here is that you want to establish your company/brand as a credible player in your industry. Included below are some strategies for effectively utilizing LinkedIn in your social media marketing efforts.
1. Establish a presence
- Ideally, you want to begin by establishing a presence on LinkedIn (I know what you’re thinking, duhh). What I mean by this is you want to create a thorough account that represents your company/brand as accurately as possible. By doing this, your page is then more likely to show up in search results conducted by relevant personas. As a result, your company/brand will be seen by relevant prospective connections, resulting in a valuable network.
2. Showcase your work and expertise
- In order to establish your company/brand as a noteworthy player, it’s important that you showcase your work and highlight your expertise. This can be achieved by posting significant company updates; company accomplishments as well as individual team member accomplishments, awards and recognitions, and last but certainly not least, successful case studies. It’s also not a bad idea to announce all the major industry events that you’re participating in as well as any community involvement. By doing this, you’ll exhibit your work and expertise while unveiling your footprint within your industry.
- If your company/brand actively blogs, it’s crucial that you share this content on your company’s LinkedIn account (and if you’re not actively blogging, you need to get on it ASAP). Blogging is a great way to establish your company/brand as an industry thought leader. By producing relevant and valuable content, your audience will view you as a credible source.
Two effective strategies include having various team members share blogs on their personal LinkedIn accounts, and for the authors of blogs to share their blog using the LinkedIn publishing tool. Long-form posts on LinkedIn get featured on the ‘Pulse’; a great way to increase impressions, exposure and brand awareness, while further establishing your brand identity.
Here are a few other tips to help you leave a lasting impression on LinkedIn:
- Encourage team members to participate in groups (especially those related to their areas of expertise).
- Engage with your audience
- Establish a voice by starting/participating in discussions
As you can see, although there is a misconception that Pinterest, Google+ and LinkedIn are ‘irrelevant’ in comparison to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, they do present tons of opportunities for your company/brand when utilized properly. As is the case with any of your marketing efforts, all it takes is the proper knowledge, creative/strategic plan and effective means of execution to see your ROI!