How to Reach your Brand’s Audience on Pinterest

Gone are the days of just Facebook and Twitter as the main players. Nowadays, there are countless apps popping up, and typically being born from the original pack, or at least being acquired by them.

To date we have: Facebook, Twitter (yes, still here), YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat (in no particular order). The visual platforms with content that lasts temporarily seem to be all the rage. They allow consumers to share with less fear, and feel excited to consume content that is more exclusive by brands. However, it doesn’t mean the players like Pinterest are going anywhere. They have a different focus, and a different purpose for the consumer who uses it. As snapchat is for quick consumption, Pinterest is for taking the time to peruse and discover.

Pinterest has been a contender for a while, being known for it’s pivotal role in referral traffic to websites, and hitting the consumer during moments of discovery and planning, with a visual tool that makes it simple and easy. People (although still mainly female) use it to plan life events (i.e. Marriage, babies) and festivities. They look for large inspiration, as well as daily ones. For example, one person may go on Pinterest to find their meal prep recipes for the week, while another may go on to plan their friend’s bridal shower.

But why should your brand care? According to Social Draft, “nearly 75% of Pinterest users have purchased something on the platform or because of the platform.” So you’re thinking, ok great – but will they look at my product or brand? Considering the average time on the channel is about 15 minutes, there’s a good amount of time to get your brand out there, with the right search optimization (keyword strategy) and frequency of posts (on average 5x a day) with bright, quality images that grab consumer eyes on the channel.

The other cool thing is that according to social marketing writing, 80% of content are re-pins – meaning that people are likely to share your content if they find it beneficial to themselves and their own community. And if you’re in the food and drink category, you’ve basically hit a goldmine as it’s one of the top 3 categories on Pinterest. And some of the most re-pinned words include “bake” and “recipe” … Yes, goldmine.

But if your brand has other categories to consider, think through the trending topics as they’re most likely to get repined, and/or hit up your target audience based on categories and days that hit hardest for them. For example: Fitness (Monday), Fashion (Thursday), and Travel (Saturday).

Still not convinced? According to viral woot:

  • A Pinner who close-ups on a pin is 1.6x more likely to sign up or convert.
  • A Pinner who saves is 3.9x more likely to sign up and 1.6x more likely to convert.
  • A Pinner who clicks thru is 4.5x more likely to sign up and 7x more likely to convert.

But before you go there, remember to focus on your content and the quality of it too. For example, the color tone that does the best is reddish-orange. It’s also good to have a couple dominant colors, rather than the blue/white that works better on Instagram. Lastly, it’s best to have no faces/people as objects with minimal background perform best.

In the end, it’s always about test and learn and seeing what works best for your brand and content strategy. This month, pick five pinterest tactics, that ladder up to your overall channel strategy, and see which ones work best for your brand’s content. Then…do it again.

Originally written for Social Media club. 

How to Use Promoted Pins on Pinterest to Grow Your Fashion Business

 

promoted pins

Promoted pins opened up to the masses over the past year, which is huge for smaller businesses and startups, and allows brands to reach more of their potential customers through this ultra visual social platform.

What are promoted pins?

Promoted Pins are a paid advertisement opportunity for your brand to choose your best pins to appear in the most relevant places within Pinterest with selected targeting to drive awareness, engagement, or traffic to your website.

Why it works:

The Pins appear natively within Pinterest so it allows consumers to engage with your content as if it were a part of their regular Pinterest experience. It is not interrupting their feed or visual exploration and discovery of pins they are excited to check out.

How to choose your pins:

Remember why people are on Pinterest. They are there to discover and plan. Those are the native behaviors of Pinterest users on a daily basis between fashion, fitness, food, weddings, vacation, so on and so forth. They want to be inspired. They want to discover. And they want to plan their own lives through those ideas.

In addition, because there is so much content on pinterest, especially within the fashion sphere, it is important to be consistent and have regular weekly content. When you see which one of your weekly content is performing well, you can decide which of those pins to promote.

Case Study by Pinterest on MVMT Watches

MVMT Watches started using Pinterest as a way to connect with women. When they saw higher-than-expected engagement, they ramped up their strategy.

The watch company adds Pins of products as well as lifestyle photography, though high quality, close-up shots of watches perform the best.

“A lot of people that come for Pinterest are in discovery mode, looking for products to purchase for themselves or others,” said Jake Kassan, CEO. “Pinterest is different from other channels but when done correctly, it can have huge results.”

MVMT Watches promoted their Pins and saw higher average order values and conversion rates from visitors referred to their site from Pinterest. In fact, Pinners convert at a rate 2X higher than users from other channels.

Targeting:

You can target based on gender, location, and devices. Targeting allows you to reach more people who fit your brand based upon your target audience. It helps if you have a certain offer you want to serve to a particular location so you can zero in. Or if you only care to reach people on the go, perhaps you want to reach people on their smartphones versus desktop. These are things to consider as you decide on your promoted pin strategy.

Keywords:

When it comes to keywords be sure you choose strategically. You can choose and up to 150 keywords – so you definitely want to do your research. Check your keywords using Google Adwords Keyword Plannerunless you have another tool you prefer. Also, be sure to check the keywords within Pinterest, as Pinterest search can be different than on Google. People typically search on Pinterest the same way that they speak, so you want to write descriptions in plain language as much as possible.

Try answering these questions like:

  • What is it?
  • Where is it?
  • Why is it interesting?
  • Why should the reader keep clicking through your brand’s board?

Also remember to write text that will travel well, as your boards and pins will be re-pinned and shared out. Make sure your captions make sense out of context of the Pinterest channel, so that when they’re re-pinned and shared, people won’t be confused by content that’s specific to your brand or your brand’s board.

Purpose of the Pin:

Lastly, but definitely not last in your strategy – you need to consider the purpose of your promoted pin. Is it to gain awareness, engagement, or drive traffic to your website? Knowing the purpose can help you determine the message of your pin, how much money to put behind it, the targeting, and how to measure success.

  • Create awareness for your brand by using a channel full of people wanting to discover.
  • Create engagement for your brand content and particular campaigns by allowing people to interact with certain aspects of your campaign. For example you would pay for a closeup, repin or click, not a view. You can then make each piece of that engagement interactive and allow your audience to get more out of each piece of that content.
  • Create more traffic to your website by allowing people to get more of the story on your site.

Great examples according to Pinterest, of this include:

  • Adore Me increased Pinterest-referred revenue by 4000%
  • Zola increased conversions by 44% and clickthrough rates by 50%
  • Dot & Bo quadrupled the number of people visiting their website, increased repins by 6000% and boosted daily clicks to their site by a whopping 18000%
  • Living Royal saw a 31% decrease in cost per acquisition (CPA) and a 6x increase in traffic within the first month of paid promotion on Pinterest
  • MVMT Watches found Pinners convert at a rate 2X higher than users on other platforms—and with higher average order values

My overall advice: A/B test to see which pins work best.

Test different imagery and copy. After a few tests you’ll start to see a pattern and learn which ones work best for your audience on Pinterest and you can invest more with that specific type of content going forward.

Another thing to keep in mind is the longevity of content on Pinterest. Once your content is on Pinterest, people will re-pin it over and over. It will live across the channel for much longer than your original campaign, so your content needs legs. Will it make sense later? Food for thought.

This post was originally written for Startup Fashion. 

Everything You Can Do Right Now to Leverage Pinterest to Increase Sales

leverage pinterest increase sales fashion business

Pinterest, having launched over 5 years ago, is still a marketer’s dreamland for reaching consumers. It is a visual storyboard for consumers who love to dream and plan. And when it comes to fashion, people are always dreaming…and planning.

With Fashion Week in full swing across the major cities of New York, London, Paris, and more… fashion enthusiasts are drooling over the latest upcoming trends and what they can potentially get their hands on. And with the holidays…(yes really) only a couple months away, people are planning what to buy their friends and family and also themselves.

It’s the perfect opportunity for your startup.

It’s the perfect time of year to be pinning pieces for your current and potential consumers to drool over and covet.

How can you take advantage of Pinterest right now?

Get inside the mind of your customer. Think through their lens. They’re still thinking of fashion week and they’re also looking ahead. Consider the following to get your Pinterest boards ready for both inspiring, planning, and purchasing.

  • Fashion Week lookalikes from your line
  • Influencer curation from the runway and street style
  • Sneak peeks of your holiday line
  • Fall and Winter inspiration
  • Planning for winter getaways

In addition to creating those boards,  your brand can:

  • ask people to contribute pins to your boards. Ask followers to share their favorites from the runway.
  • get in touch with some influencers who were there.
  • share lifestyle content related to the runway cities, holidays, and what your brand stands for (eco-friendly, luxe looks, animal welfare, etc).
  • feature followers who embody what your brand represents through re-pinning their content

Let your community see that their inspirations and planning boards can be a reality with your brand. Give them a chance to attain it.

This post was originally written for Startup Fashion. 

How to: Leverage Pinterest to Increase Sales

leverage pinterest increase sales fashion business

Pinterest, having launched over 5 years ago, is still a marketer’s dreamland for reaching consumers. It is a visual storyboard for consumers who love to dream and plan. And when it comes to fashion, people are always dreaming…and planning.

With Fashion Week in full swing across the major cities of New York, London, Paris, and more… fashion enthusiasts are drooling over the latest upcoming trends and what they can potentially get their hands on. And with the holidays…(yes really) only a couple months away, people are planning what to buy their friends and family and also themselves.

It’s the perfect opportunity for your startup.

It’s the perfect time of year to be pinning pieces for your current and potential consumers to drool over and covet.

How can you take advantage of Pinterest right now?

Get inside the mind of your customer. Think through their lens. They’re still thinking of fashion week and they’re also looking ahead. Consider the following to get your Pinterest boards ready for both inspiring, planning, and purchasing.

  • Fashion Week lookalikes from your line
  • Influencer curation from the runway and street style
  • Sneak peeks of your holiday line
  • Fall and Winter inspiration
  • Planning for winter getaways

In addition to creating those boards,  your brand can:

  • ask people to contribute pins to your boards. Ask followers to share their favorites from the runway.
  • get in touch with some influencers who were there.
  • share lifestyle content related to the runway cities, holidays, and what your brand stands for (eco-friendly, luxe looks, animal welfare, etc).
  • feature followers who embody what your brand represents through re-pinning their content

Let your community see that their inspirations and planning boards can be a reality with your brand. Give them a chance to attain it.

This post was originally published on Startup Fashion.

Seven Paid Social Media Tips for Brand Awareness

First thing’s first, you need your goals (as with any marketing plan). Decide if your paid social media strategy will help for awareness of your brand being on that channel or perhaps help create engagement with a new campaign. Let’s assume for this post that you’re trying to gain awareness for your brand as you enter some new social channels. Different channels allow for different interactions with consumers as well as unique ways to target and reach them.

Some quick tips for each channel:

  • Facebook: A tough place to navigate without a budget these days. Ensure your facebook ads and sponsored posts have bold visual photos and videos. Within the feed a status update with just text will easily be skipped over. But a visual that can capture someone’s eye may allow a second glance, and hopefully a click for your CTA.
  • Twitter: Promoted Accounts and Tweets are the easy way in for awareness. Note, you only need promoted account tweet copy for the mobile ads, not desktop.
  • Instagram: Thankfully the budget has come down for brands, but the price tag isn’t cheap. If you want the extra boost go for it. But if you can manage to gain your audience through organic tactics such as cross promotion, hashtags, and influencers – stick to that.
  • Pinterest: Same as with Instagram. There are some great opportunities with Pinterest, but with the latest guided search opportunities, there are great ways to be found without needing paid promotion.
  • tumblr: The cool part about tumblr is that you rarely realize you’re looking at a sponsored post. The brands who have done it well, are sticking to the tumblr community ways of big images that captivate, and intriguing stories to keep you intrigued and hopefully follow the account for more. The cool paid opportunities include but are not limited to in stream sponsored posts for desktop and mobile. But one of the best places to really get your audience is through the spotlight ad. It allows full access to new members, as as tumblr continues to grow, so do the brand opportunities.
  • LinkedIn: I can’t say more about the targeting capabilities. You can reach your audience down to their job title. Need I say more?
  • YouTube: There are many ways to get your videos out there to your audience, but the preferred way is through Trueview in stream, in search and/or in display. The key with these ads  (especially in stream) is to have the most enticing part in the first 5 seconds. Otherwise your audience normally has the opportunity to skip after that time period.

Remember, the key for social media ads is not to just spend away all of your social media budget. But to test what posts are doing well and how you can gain more traction on those channels. For example, if you have a tweet that is doing well organically, boost it. Make it a promoted tweet to gain even more. Once you and your team learns which posts do better on particular channels, you can plan to boost certain ones ahead of time. For instance, if you are planning a Halloween promotion, you may want to ensure you have your spend ready for that week and have some posts to a/b test for the best copy, image/video, and link. And it doesn’t hurt to see what your competition is doing too.

Bonus tip – don’t skimp on the visuals. They work on every channel. Make sure they’re quality photos or videos and not just simple stock photography.

Image Sources: Instagram – lexus, michael kors

This post was originally written for Socialnomics.

The Go-to: Pinterest Checklist for Converting Pins to Sales

 

Pinterest Fashion

For the fashion industry, Pinterest is practically gold.

As a predominately female social media platform, Pinterest is the place where women go for style inspiration from brands, friends, bloggers, celebrities, and other individuals who have great style to share.

These women are not there just to look at a dress and walk away – they spend hours looking, liking, re-pinning, and sharing their coveted finds throughout their own Pinterest account, as well as on their other social channels such as Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.

In short, our fashion brands need to make sure that they are being noticed and that their pins are coveted by these Pinterest-loving women.

Here is a Pinterest tips checklist to help convert those pins to sales.

The Basics of Setting Up Your Pinterest Boards

  • Make sure your bio is beyond awesome.
  • Ensure that your profile photo is attractive, inviting, and easy to understand.
  • Include your website or blog link.
  • Make sure that your cover photo for each board is attention-grabbing.
  • Remember that each pin should have a referral link.

How to Be Found on Pinterest

  • Use words a regular person would use to find and discover your pins. Instead of “iconic dress,” try something simpler like “cocktail dress” or “summer dress.”
  • Encourage your friends and influencers to help support by re-pinning your items on their boards, too.
  • Follow relevant people and brands in your industry.
  • Like, re-pin, and comment on others’ pins on a regular basis.
  • Reply back to those who comment.
  • Cross-promote on your other social channels and blog.
  • Promote, promote, and promote some more.

Read more on how to go beyond the regular outfit pin, by checking out my full post on Startup Fashion!

How to: Use PInterest Guided Search to your Brand’s Advantage

 

How to use Pinterest Guided Search

Pinterest, a visual social platform known for being awesome for fashion brands, has been upping it’s ante when it comes to search.

A few months ago, Pinterest opened up Guided Search for consumers, which allows people to explore and discover more than expected.

This is great for brands, so they can be found and discovered even when people may not be looking specifically for them. It allows for more opportunities, and fun for both brands and consumers.

There are of course a few tips to ensure your brand is able to take advantage of Pinterest Guided Search:

Board Names: Consider board names that people look for such as “summer fashion” or “great gifts” (which Nordstrom does). They keep it simple, but fun.

Board and Pin Descriptions: Don’t use words like “cute” or “shiny” unless there’s more to it. Make sure your brand describes the object in the image. Make it enticing so people keep clicking through the board to find more. Be their favorite discovery.

Hashtags: Simple one word hashtags. #fall #fashion vs. #fallfashion (and make them worth the hashtag).

To learn more about links, keywords, and limitations, check out my full post on startup fsahion

Wanelo vs. Pinterest for your Brand

Pinterest and wanelo for business

Pinterest isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s been rocking the visual content scene since its closed beta in 2010. It has over 70 million users (as of July 2013), with average of 14 minutes per session.

  • In fashion and retail, 18 percent of content engagement on Pinterest is driven by brands, 82 percentby community
  • 70 percent of brand engagement on Pinterest is generated by users, not brands
  • Pinterest pins that include prices receive 36 percent more likes than those that do not
  • Pinterest accounts for 25 percent of retail referral traffic

Then came, Wanelo, (also known as Want Need Love), in 2010.

  • Over 7 million products are saved 8 million times a day
  • Over 10 million users, up from 1 million in November 2012
  • Wanelo users spend an average of 50 minutes per day on the site
  • Products from over 200,000 stores, including major retailers to small independent shops

Yes, neither of these two channels are new per say. But they are still hot – for both brands and consumers. And if you’re still unsure, just check out how Nordstrom has expanded it’s use as of the past couple months – especially on Wanelo.

Wanelo, known for being a channel for younger females, has expanded the social commerce territory. It allows for brands to have another way to cross promote their products, and allow for direct purchase. Why is this better?

Let’s say I find the pair of black booties that I want for this Fall. However, there’s no link to the product, or if there is, it’s just going to a blog post. That’s not very helpful. Nor do I want to go to your site and search through pages of shoes to find the pair, and see that it’s already sold out. Make it easier for the consumer by being able to discover, fall in love, and purchase within a few clicks or swipes of a finger.

So let’s break it down further…

Pinterest Fashion Consumer Habits:

  • Search easier
  • Find what your friends love
  • Discover and plan your dream style and fashion wardrobe
  • Admire others, and follow influencers and brands

To learn more about Wanelo consumer habits and where your brand should focus, check out my full post on Startup Fashion

Nordstrom stays ahead of the Social Media Curve

Nordstrom, the brand that has been cutting edge in both mobile and social, has done it again. It’s kicking butt and taking names with another visual app. First, there wasPinterest, where they did a great job of integrating online and offline. The brand took loyal UGC content, and “pinned” their actual items within the store — showing what consumers preferred most. This allowed some consumers to feel special, and others to get intrigued and excited by their purchase. They were allowing consumers to tell their story, and become part of the Nordstrom story (and vice versa).

Linking online and offline, seems easy, but not always the case. It’s taking different sets of behaviors and figuring out how they work together. People have very unique mobile and social behaviors, and they not only by device, but also by channel. For example, a primary behavior on Pinterest is dreaming and planning. People plan their future homes, their weddings, the arrival of a new baby, or a summer vacation. Others dream about what that wedding will be like when they arrive their one day. And others are inspired by the dreams and planning of other Pinterest users and influencers. Those dreams and plans can become a reality when you walk into a store like Nordstrom and you see those sparkly heels for your Big Day. The bride-to-be is walking into the store to be inspired in person. She may also be on a mission and searching for something particular. And a store like Nordstrom, can help her search, and/or help her “discover” more than she had thought she could find or imagine. It connects her online inspiration, with her in person discovery.

Recently, Nordstrom helped their audience connect with the products they “want” and “need” from their mobile behaviors to their in-store behaviors through Wanelo. They are are integrating social TV displays within their physical stores. This will allow the younger audience (mostly female) to be inspired and discover along with other fellow fans – what is most loved and wanted by others. Along with Pinterest, and sites like Polyvore, Wanelo allows for unbelievable engagement with products as well as referral traffic to sites and points of purchase. And if Nordstrom’s 1.2 million followers on Wanelo, wasn’t enough proof, check out these stats:

  • Wanelo went from 1M to 10M users in 2013
  • With 200,000 product uploads, Nordstrom had 30 million product saves by consumers
  • There was an average of 343 saves per Nordstrom product

I am sure the in-store integration will  not only increase the awareness and engagement for Nordstrom, but bring the awareness of Wanelo itself for other brands through the offline audiences. Fashion brands, take note - social shopping apps like Wanelo are a gold mine for style trendsetters and fashionistas alike. And this isn’t to say that other brands can’t excel. When it comes to home decor, it’s a similar playing field (with a lot less players). Get after it.

Sources: Racked.com; Buzzfeed.com; Techcrunch.com

This post was originally written for socialnomics, and can also be found here 

Tips to Invest in Visual Content for the Digital Space

Content isn’t just about blog posts, whitepapers and only written content. Content can be anything from a Tweet to a TV Commercial. Unfortunately, some brands write a great article, and then just slap on a photo. The photo for that article is what will entice people on social channels to actually consume your content and potentially share to their audience. For example, when posting an article on Pinterest, unless your brand’s photo is visually appealing, the likeliness of someone clicking on it is slim to none. And who wants to Re-Pin an article with a blurry or unappealing photo? So before you choose any photo (or video), consider investing your money and resources to something that’s of higher quality and more engaging to your target audience.

Here are some quick tips to invest (and some ways that don’t break the bank):

1. Don’t just rely on your smartphone camera – It’s definitely easy and convenient, especially for apps like Instagram to shoot and share immediately through your phone. However, for better quality shots an investment on a good Canon or Nokia may be worth the few extra bucks. That way you can have more effective photo shoots of your products, services, influencers, and events with a little less stress.

2. Have a committed resource (or freelancer) – Taking photos isn’t a 5 minute job. It takes time to get the right shot. Additionally if your brand is committed to posting every day on channels like Instagram, Pinterest, and/or tumblr, you need the assets to do it. It’s ok to have multiple shots from one shoot, but it’s important to have variety.

3. Curate - Not only is this helpful to not put all the pressure on your brand, but it helps to highlight others in the community who also have great content. And if karma is real, it’ll definitely come back around.

4. UGC – Your consumers will like and maybe even love to be highlighted. I admit, when I posted a picture tagging Nordstrom Rack a couple weeks ago, and then the brand took notice not just by liking my photo, but regramming it to their feed – well I may have done a little dance or two. I was ecstatic. It was the ultimate compliment by a brand I admire. So not only is that a way to win over a consumer, but it’s more content for your arsenal!

Screen Shot 2014-03-23 at 5.43.42 PM

How to use your new awesome visual content wisely:

1. Facebook – Considering it’s almost impossible to get noticed organically on Facebook nowadays, the more you can do the better. Ensure that each post has a featured image that is bright colored (blue is always helpful), with the main product/service/person standing out clearly. It helps if it’s an image a consumer would be excited to share.

2. Twitter - Instagram will not show up in-feed anymore, so consumers have to click out to view the image. However if you post directly through Twitter than it will show up. It’s more likely that someone will click on your Tweet and the link in your Tweet if the image is enticing.

3. Instagram – My favorite as of late – can’t help it. It’s fun, easy to share, and addicting to follow others. Make sure your content stands out in the crowd. A helpful tip is to ensure you post regularly (daily) with pictures that are high quality – not blurry! The filters are fun, but most brands don’t use them because they take away from the photo and make them lower quality. Also if you want to feature your pop of color, don’t use a filter to take away from it.

4. Pinterest – Some people think you can only post images on Pinterest – not true! You can post articles, infographics, and more. However make sure that there is an image that goes along with said article that makes it pop and appealing to the crowd. Mashable does a great job of repurposing their blog content on this visual channel, which in turn leads to great referral traffic back to their blog.

And don’t forget to have some fun with it. Show off your brand with some behind the scene pics of your team, your product being made, your event being planned, or even let an influencer take over your instagram account one day to show their take on your event or brand.

This post was originally written for Marketing on the Rocks.  

Social Media: Understanding how your Consumers Use it

customers social media

Remember the days of using RSS Feeds? Seems like a long time ago; the shift into using social media as a primary source of information is something that has become very popular with a lot of people.  That’s why it’s important to have an understanding of how your customers use social media so that you can create your social media plan accordingly.

Here’s a quick look at how I use social media:

  • Twitter is my daily news feed from what’s happening locally to what’s happening globally. It’s my go-to for quick snippets, and long form content when I link out. Without Twitter I wouldn’t know half of what’s going on in my industry and the world sometimes.
  • Facebook is my brand go-to for the ones I’m passionate about. I won’t just “like” any brand and have them clutter my daily home page on Facebook – so if I like your page, that’s huge.
  • Pinterest is my guilty pleasure. It’s where I go to lust over things I want and pin away from friends or influencers who’ve done the same.
  • Instagram is my daily binge session with image content. I love following brands, influencers, and friends who share daily or moderately regular image content. It allows me to get a closer view into what makes that brand tick, what makes that influencer share such cool things, and what my friends really love.
  • tumblr is my go-to for quick consumable content from brands and bloggers I love. It’s where I read up on other fashion folks and why they do what they do, as well as lesser known folks who are just publishing their passions.
  • LinkedIn is where I read my thought leadership from people and brands I admire. It’s few and far between that I follow brands on LinkedIn, and even more selective on groups I join. The content and value has to be worth it.

See how each platform has a very different purpose for me?  I’m willing to bet that your customers are the same way.

Why this matters to your brand:

Understanding how your audience consumes content is half the battle. It allows your brand to shape your content strategically for each channel; in a voice that fits that place; in a way that is easily consumable, and in turn shareable by that specific audience.

The content you place on LinkedIn is not what you place on Pinterest.  Understand that while the topic may be the same (new collection, new event, new sale) the way in which the content is presented should be very different, based on how you see your customers responding.

To read more on how you can apply each of these channels to your brand and have a list of key takeaways, check out my full post on Startup Fashion

Nordstrom: A social media case example for any consumer brand

Nordstrom's social media approach

The well known retailer Nordstrom is proving itself to be an expert at engaging with its audience across multiple social channels, as well as connecting both online and offline for continued engagement.

On thing that Nordstrom ensures is that its visual content is available on whichever channel its audience prefers — providing insight into the latest styles available in the store, upcoming sales, and much more.

Let’s take a look at Nordstrom’s Social Media Approach

Twitter and Facebook

Nordstrom uses Facebook and Twitter to provide updates on daily specials and tips through their committed community managers. The community managers are helpful, quick to respond, and always give nice, sweet comments when consumers share their latest Nordstrom finds.

Going the extra mile: When customers have a question for the store, they often use Twitter to ask it.  Nordstrom, unlike a lot of major retailers out there, do actually respond within minutes including direct messages for direct answers needed.

Email Marketing

Frequent (but not too frequent) emails allow consumers to be alerted to the new trends available in store and online, as well as sales occurring at that moment so their customers don’t miss out on a great deal.

Pinterest and Instagram

Nordstrom’s Pinterest and Instagram accounts are always up to date with their latest trends.  They include highlights of bloggers and their best customers wearing styles from the store. When customers tag their latest purchases with Nordstrom handles or hashtags, they are automatically considered for a highlight.

tumblr

Nordstrom’s blog is especially unique because it isn’t just about the products but also gives consumers an inside look at Nordstrom’s take on fashion. This includes street style pictures from the week, which is great for a quick daily inspiration and feels almost like a service that the retailer is offering its customers.

Takeaways and Lessons to Apply to Your Brand

  • Use visual content that highlights your products in a way that the consumer can see the value, be excited to share it, and potentially purchase it.
  • Provide a path to purchase on appropriate channels.
  • The same content doesn’t live on every channel; allow diversity.
  • Allow the audience to be a part of the content; User Generated Content can allow your fans to feel special.
This post was originally written for Startup fashion – for the full list of takeaways and lessons for your brand check out my full post here
 

Five Simple Ways Marketers can take Advantage of Pinterest

So in case you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, just have, or are wondering what all the hype is about, Pinterest is still sizzling. It’s a fun and useful tool that brands can use to their advantage in order to show a more visual side to its consumer market.

Now here’s what’s really important…how to truly capitalize on Pinterest and all it’s glory:

1. Integrate with other social networks: Allow your target market to see you on all the places they play. Share your new pins on your Facebook page or Tweet them out. Consumers don’t always know you are present on the latest social networks, so the more you promote your presence, the more traffic you may receive, even if just for mere curiousity.

2. Show a more visual side to your brand: Take the time to prepare aesthetically pleasing visual content to share. For example if your brand produces blog posts, such as tech, then make sure the pictures which will direct back to those posts are eye-catching. If your brand has consumer products to share, then ensure the photography behind it is something your target market will want to like, comment on, re-pin, and/or follow.

3. Use instagram: Be creative and use fun photography such as instragram to highlight certain boards. Pinterest focuses on visual beauty; the more you can make your pictures exciting to view, the more engagement you may receive from consumers as well as other brands.

4. Ensure the pins are items people will want to re-pin: When you are pinning your items to the different boards, ensure the link goes to something on your website, blog or other social network. It should help drive traffic to your other brand sites, and additionally be something your consumers will want to share their own followers on Pinterest by re-pinning your content.

5. Marketing Campaigns with Pinterest. Brands can utilize Pinterest  (along with Facebook and Twitter) to do creative campaigns which may include…

  • contests: For example, allowing consumers to create images to be featured on the pinterest page
  •  voting: For example, allowing consumers to vote on their favorite item on a specific board, or picking what other boards they would  like featured.
  • how-to: Feature how-to demos, videos, posts, and other items in order to let consumers get better insight into your service or           product.
  • audience-specific: For example having different boards with content specific to different audience groups. This will allow for more targeting rather than just focusing on one consumer group at a time.

Last but not least, make sure your brand doesn’t forget to let the public know you’re there. Use the Pinterest widgets for your website and other channels.

Wish List

Although Pinterest has taken off and many brands have already established their presence…there are always improvements that could be made. In my opinion Pinterest would be even more valuable if it had analytics within it for brands to monitor in order to improve their boards and pins. In the mean time brands can focus on the referral traffic through google analytics, which is helpful to know which pins are really of interest to their consumers.

Sources:

http://sproutsocial.com/insights/2012/02/pinterest-marketing/

http://www.socialnomics.net/2012/01/22/five-brands-engaging-like-pros-on-pinterest/

http://www.inc.com/john-brandon/9-tips-boost-your-business-pinterest.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204792404577227542820850590.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

 

Five Brands Who Rock it on Pinterest

Pinterest, a virtual pin board, is no longer just for individuals who pin what they love for potential home decorating, weddings, and recipes…it has become a mecca of fashion, design, consumer engagement, photo sharing, and more with brands and consumers alike. It’s a phenomenal platform for consumer brands to share what they have to offer in visually pleasing ways, as well as demonstrate appreciation for users who already talk about the brand, by re-pinning what those consumers already pinned. Whether it’s showing consumers taking part with the brand, introducing new products, campaigns, themes, or pictures iconic of the brand itself, Pinterest definitely has some legs to stick around when it comes to consumer-brand engagement.

Below are five brands, which have made other lists, and I believe are utilizing Pinterest for the value it can offer and showing their fans and consumers they aren’t just a brand name, but care to be involved with their consumers, offer cool content, and engage more personally…

1. Gap

The Gap on Pinterest has a few different boards including products they make, a focus on denim, but what sparked my interest was the board which was just about repins from other Pinterest users, “popular Gap images on Pinterest.” It’s a great way for the brand to engage with users as well as demonstrate the brand’s appreciation

2. Whole Foods

Whole Foods  takes it to a whole other level when it comes to sharing content via Pinterest. Not only do they talk about holiday preparations for food such as the not too long ago Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, but they also provide other inspirational boards. They aren’t just talking about food they have and offer, but creative spins on food as well as forging there way into adjacent categories which would be of interest to people who care about food, cook often, and put real effort into the preparation that goes into it. Hat tip to Whole Foods for not just talking about their own products.

 

3. Nordstrom

Nordstrom has gone beyond the regular department store image and demonstrated to consumers they care to offer more than just being a brick and mortar retailer. On their Pinterest page, Nordstrom does categorize products they have now, but they keep it current, looking forward, and fresh. In addition they offer holiday gift ideas and even feature popular brands such as Ugg and Toms, both of which have demonstrated they are not a fleeting trend. However, I do think it would be cool if Nordstrom would take a step further and crowdsource some content for boards such as people wearing Toms or giving holiday gift tips from Nordstrom. Perhaps make it a contest in order to make even more contagious.

 

4. Travel Channel

The cool thing about the Travel Channel on Pinterst is that avid watchers of the channel will be pumped to see stuff categorized for their interests. Interested in street food or animals from around the world…search no more. Want to get to see a personal side of the channel and its people? Check out some behind the scenes pictures which they bucket away and pin on a board just for those special seekers. The pictures are vivid, personable, and fun. Perhaps another board could be one of people’s travels or food they’ve tried from around the world…engaging a step further with consumer generated content.

 

5. West Elm

The numbers I look at first when I go to a brand page on Pinterst is whether the brand just pins, or do they also “like” and “follow” others on the platform. West Elm has some of the most “likes” I’ve seen among brands. Not only do they show different interior design ideas, but they also have a board for fashion and interior design savvy, Etsy, as well as a board for a personal take – Smile Booth. This board allowed West Elm to show its employees during parties, as well as guests, consumers, and fans of the brand. I always believe in humanizing the brand, and having a board like this one is definitely a good example.

Note: This Post was originally written for Socialnomics, and my original post can be found here.