8 Tips to Drive Traffic From Pinterest June 08 2015

If you are not yet using Pinterest for your store, you need to be doing so! The e-commerce web-building giant, Shopify, recently analyzed data from over 529,000 of their online store orders to find that Pinterest was the second largest social source for traffic (over Twitter), and resulting visits had the third highest average order value (beating Facebook).  That alone should be reason enough to start using Pinterest for your store!  If you need more incentive, keep in mind that as of April 2015 Pinterest had approximately 73 million users.

So now you know you should use Pinterest for your store but how do you go about it? Here are a few ways to drive sales and traffic with Pinterest:

 1.  Gain Followers / Increase Engagement

Grow a following of engaged Pinners that interact with your Pins and see them on their home feeds. You can add the follow button to your website and promote your profile and boards with widgets and email campaigns.  Also, include signage in your store and on business cards with your Pinterest sitename. 

 2.  Install the Pin It Button

One of the easiest and most important things any website can do to help people to discover their items on Pinterest is to install the Pin It button. The Pin It button makes it easy for people to save and share things they find on your site. These Pins link back to your website and increase the spread of your content across Pinterest.

 3. Keep Your Info Fresh

Ideally you should pin daily to maintain a healthy stream of content.  You want Pinners to engage and interact with your Pins on a daily basis.  Be careful though not to overwhelm your followers with too much content at once.  You do not want to monopolize their feed as they may get annoyed and unfollow you.

 4. Optimize Your Visuals

As Pinterest is all about images, you’ll need to come up with great visuals to entice people. Here’ are a few ways optimize your pictures to increase their chances of being repined:

    • Try not to use real faces. Images without faces receive 23 percent more repins
    • Use dominant colors in your images (aim for reds vs blues)
    • Use the 2:3 aspect ratio for images (aim for taller rather than wider)
    • If applicable, use a clever mix of pictures, text overlays and step-by-step instructions to create sharable images. These are also referred to as ‘how to’ images

 5. Add Your Website or Company Name to Images

Images can generate more traffic if they have your website address or company name on them. This way when people see your image on Pinterest, even if it has been re-published on another website and shared from there, they will always know that you created it and can learn more about your company by visiting your website. So make sure you add your website address to images like quotes which people tend to re-publish on other places.

 6. Use Rich Pins

Rich Pins are Pins that include extra information right on the Pin itself. There are 6 types of Rich Pins: app, movie, recipe, article, product and place. Utilizing Rich Pins is a powerful way to increase both your search impressions and clicks. They add more textual content to your Pins, helping them rank better. Rich Pins have extra information and stand out more on the grid, helping drive clicks. 

 7. Ensure Link Quality

Make sure your Pins link back to relevant, high-quality content that includes the Pin image or video. Pins with spammy and irrelevant links are often demoted.

  8. Host a Contest

Contests are a great way to attract more traffic and followers directly to your Pinterest boards and indirectly to your website. Make sure to read Pinterest's guidelines about hosting contests before you start. Create a buzz about your contest by promoting it to your email list, other social networks, and website visitors and be sure to mention the date that the winner will be announced.


5 Keys to Setting Up a Successful Twitter Account October 01 2014

For many users worldwide Twitter has become a crucial tool for maintaining contacts, exchanging opinions and making new connections.  So, how can you start taking advantage of all that Twitter has to offer?  Here are 5 keys to setting up a Twitter account for your business:

1.  Choose Your Twitter Handle

Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your twitter handle:

  • Make it as short as reasonably possible
  • You should include your brand or business name
  • The handle should be easy to spell

    2.  Set Up Your Profile

    Make sure you keep your Twitter account consistent with your other marketing efforts.  Consider using your logo for your profile picture or use a personal picture if that's how your brand is known.  Try to include a nice, attractive photo as your banner across the top.  Photo suggestions include a picture of your store or merchandise you carry.  You will also want to customize your background so it is consistent with your overall scheme.

    3.  Complete Your Bio 

    You have 160 characters to squeeze in as much information about your business as you can.  Make sure you use them.  Prepare a bio that has keywords for your business.  This is good to do for 2 reasons: first, this will increase the chances of your account being found in searches for certain keywords (including brand-related search terms); second, this will produce a favorable first impression on your visitors.  Be sure to include your city if you are looking for local business.  Put a link to your website in your bio.  Over 80% of people use Twitter on their smartphones, so make it easy for them to click from your bio to your website.

    4.  Create Your First Several Tweets

    Before you take your Twitter global, create your first batch of tweets. These will show potential followers what you normally tweet about and what they should expect from you.  Remember, each tweet can only be 140 characters long, so you’ll have to be smart with your words. Aim to be concise without getting too casual; it doesn’t look very professional when you use shorthand like a texting teenager.

    5.  Give Your Profile a Jump Start

    A Twitter account with zero followers does not produce the most favorable impression. Before you do anything to promote your new account, ask as many people as you can to follow it. Just let your friends, colleagues, family members or old-time clients know that you now have this new Twitter account and ask them to follow you.  


    5 Ways to Save Your Small Business August 15 2014

    Making money as an independent retailer has become increasingly difficult.  Today working harder is no longer enough.  Instead, small retailers must work smarter to capture their share of business.  Here are five ways to help your small business survive in this ever-changing economy.

       1.  Have a website and sell on your website.

    If you don't have a website, you are missing out on a huge opportunity for e-commerce.  You don't need to have any technical or design experience to easily create a beautiful online store with so many free or relatively cheap website design companies out there.  Allowing your customers to place their orders online is critical to keeping up with consumer behavior.  Although e-commerce revenue is not rising at the high double-digit rates it was several  years ago, it is still rising faster than retail in general.  Don't miss out! 

       2.  Tap into existing marketplaces.

    Although eBay and Amazon are the powerhouses, there are lots of e-commerce marketplaces already in place to offer you another outlet to sell your products.  Selling your products on an existing online marketplace may be the most straightforward way to start selling online. Third party sites already have an established member base that you can tap into for your own business.

       3.  Get on local business listings.

    Many websites like Google and Yelp love local businesses.  If you haven’t setup your Google local listing or Yelp page, do it today.  These are two of the best free advertising means for your small business.  It allows consumers to find your business easily and it's free to you.  Once you have set up these pages, ask your customers to leave you reviews.  The more great reviews you have gets your listing higher up on the results page and makes new customers more likely to shop from you.  Besides Google and Yelp, there are several other websites offering free listings, leverage as many as you can.

       4.  Utilize e-mail marketing to stay in front of your customers.

    Why does e-mail marketing present such a benefit over other more traditional forms of marketing?  Reduced time, effort and cost are the biggest benefits.  You can produce an e-mail marketing campaign n typically less than two hours.  Using recurring email templates, all you'll need to do is to approve the copy for the email and any changes to graphics, use easy database list queries to decide which customers to send to, and then just hit send. All this can be accomplished in just a few hours and by a single employee.  Keep your customers informed of sales, new products or anything else you think they should know.

       5.  Utilize social media.

    Social media is an extremely effective way to stay in front of your customers.  Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are the most popular platforms and are all completely free to use.  Each one has a different way of engaging with people, so do some homework and find out the best way to leverage each one to its fullest potential.  Social media platforms present a completely new opportunity to instantly deliver messages to millions of people. The impact on public relations is simply ground shaking.