Tag Archives: Pinterest

Stop Wasting Your Time on Social Media

facebook did you get your fixn darkerAs social media has become a form of mainstream communication and marketing, small businesses and professionals , driven by their desire to be relevant a forward thinking, have become enamored of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and more recently Pinterest. Fueled by people that claim that Social media Marketing is the next greatest thing, and aided by hyperbole about “game changers” and “thought leaders” who trumpet warnings that without social media, you will be out of business, or even worse irrelevant in the years to come. To all of them I say “Nonsense – Stop wasting your time on social media and worry more about your business and less about the shape of the tools you use to move your business forward. And when I say social media, I mean the entire interactive online universe where people interact , not just the larger three or four channels I mentioned above. Don’t think for a moment that I am not a proponent of social media. I’m not only the CEO of company with the words Social Media in its name, but I’m an engaged participant in social media, to advance relationships in my personal life, advance my personal business goals, and to further my company mission and vision. Properly employed, I think that we have magnificent platforms for communication and the amplification of voices, both personal and business that have existed in the history of mankind, but like anything else, a tool that is used poorly or improperly can’t save the workman from creating a poor product. The key to all of this however is that you need to be thoughtful about what , when and how you engage. My social media involvement and yours are probably not the same. You and I might need to be on different channels, have different interest, different goals, and different communities we want to interact with. In fact, our interaction in the communities where we intersect might not even look the same. But we do have several things in common, and if you keep them in mind, you will stop wasting your time on social media and begin to see your desired results. 1. Define Your Community and then find them – Know who you want to reach and then find where they are. Those are the channels you need to use to reach them. Today’s consumers want to be reached when they want, where they want, in the manner they want. Remember that and you are more than halfway home when you want to reach them. 2. Have a purpose – Being on Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family is a great purpose – possibly not a business purpose, but a great purpose nonetheless. Any social media engagement should have a purpose. Are you trying to drive traffic to your company website? Do you want to increase your business profile? Do you want people to think of you as a trusted advisor in your field? Do you want your business to be identified with a local community? Do you want to fund raise for a local charity? All important purposes, all achievable through effective social media engagement. 3. Have a strategy- random postings on Facebook, sporadic tweets, self-serving hyperbole are less self-serving and more self-destructive. This is a permanent record of engagement and “ready, fire aim” is a fool proof way to damage your public image. 4. Review Analyze and Refine and don’t get distracted by shiny objects. every great new thing is new, not necessarily great for your purpose, but keep reviewing and seeing how your social media plan is working. Any good plan requires revision periodically, and with the speed of social media engagement, continual analysis and revision as needed is crucial. And here’s the neat part – since you had a measurable purpose and goal, its easy to see if you’re reaching it? Simple right? Easy as that, you’re ready to stop wasting your time on social media and start being more effective right away.

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Instant Success with Instagram

We have all become photographers.

Its almost impossible to attend an event, go to a historical landmark, or watch a sunset without  seeing someone using their phone to capture the moment.

Smartphones add to the photography explosion by providing numerous apps to enhance the photo taking and editing process. On of the most popular of these is Instagram, not only because its simple and easy to use, but because it has a strong and engaged social aspect. Instagram provides a simple and easy way to enhance and edit your photos with just a few taps of the a screen and its users are an engaged and responsive community that shares and comments and likes at an amazing rate.

Facebook‘s acquisition of Instagram took this already important player in the social space and amplified their reach and potential, and increased our need to have a plan to utilize the app and the community it provides access to in a thoughtful manner. Instagram is not only a cute and easy to use app, it can be a very powerful tool for using photos to increase involvement with the people you are connected to. Here is a terrific infographic from our friends at ColumnFive and Marketo that can help you simply create , curate and tag your photos, both new and existing to connect with your target demographic in an effective and personable manner.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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Choosing Your Marketing Resource Strategy

I’ve always worked for small businesses. In fact, the largest company I have worked for as an adult is the one I own. So I have always been a big proponent of cost effective solutions.

If I can’t afford to hire a quality staff person, I may need to find another way to get the job done. But I am fascinated by the thought process that goes in determining whether to develop in-house resources or go outside of your company to get your goals accomplished.
Our good friends at MavenLink have combined two of my favorite things a flow-chart and infographic to help you through the thought process (with a smile on your face).

Hope you enjoy

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Should you have any Interest in Pinterest?

Pinterest has been the the lastest shiny object for a couple of months. Maybe its the ease of use, or perhaps the visual nature of the site, but it has grown rapidly and substantial fanfare on the web. And like any new shiny objects it has had its champions and its detractors.

All of this was complicated by the business model of the site which had two unmentioned but really significant repercussions. One was the appropriation of affiliate link profits by Pinterest generated by any click through on something pinned to the site. This was a matter of some discussion, but was really not significant since most people who were busy “pinning” weren’t doing so in any anticipation of any financial return.

The second and more important issue in Pinterest’s terms of service was the liability for copyright infringement caused by any items pinned by site members. Pinterest, not unreasonably , wanted to avoid liability for any potential intellectual property litigation. They manner in which they did it created a stir. Essentially, anyone who pinned anything to Pinterest was absorbing the potential copyright issues, as well as assigning them a copyright on the “pinned” material.

According to their terms of service

“You acknowledge and agree that you are solely responsible for all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services. Accordingly, you represent and warrant that: (i) you either are the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content, as contemplated under these Terms; and (ii) neither the Member Content nor your posting, uploading, publication, submission or transmittal of the Member Content or Cold Brew Labs’ use of the Member Content (or any portion thereof) on, through or by means of the Site, Application and the Services will infringe, misappropriate or violate a third party’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other proprietary or intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy, or result in the violation of any applicable law or regulation.”

A lot of people didn’t see this coming. After all Pinterest is a site that is based around “pinning” and is set up so you can easily repin stuff. Though many of us weren’t paying attention in English class when we went to school, the people who knew the difference between “can” and “may” started dropping off of Pinterest like water off the roof in a rainstorm.

We are all more aware of intellectual property rights today than we were five or ten years ago. And as we publish and re-publish on sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ , Tumblr and others, we need know more so that we can avoid the stress of cease and desist demands and potential litigation. Especially when the owners of those copyrights aren’t happy – like many of the photographers whose work is being pinned.

In an unusual twist, Amazon , who owns the servers where Pinterest lives, has reportedly just agreed to process DCMA notices concerning infringements by Pinterest users. An article on PaidContent  quoted a site called Artists’ Bill of Right who seem to be a group of artists who have Pinterest squarely in their crosshairs.

It will be interesting to see how people balance their desire to use the site for business or pleasure against the potential downside of sharing material that you have no right to use. Its not the first time after all – YouTube and Twitter each had their own early copyright controversies, but it all worked out in the end. Under fire by a number of different sources, Pinterest may indeed change their copyright policy  to insure their continued growth, but until that time comes, people will be “pinning” at their own risk.

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Does Pinterest Make Sense for Your Business?

Yesterday I wrote about the issues facing Pinterest users concerned about potential copyright violations, and that hasn’t gone away, but I know that many of our readers are still wondering whether Pinterest has a business application for them , so I thought that this infographic from our friends at Intuit might help with the thought process. Check it out and see what you think.


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