10 Business Faux Pas to Avoid When Using Pinterest

Since 2004 social media has been booming and there is no indication of any lapse in its strength. If for some reason you are not yet taking advantage of the intense growth and popularity of social media for your business, now is the time to get started.

Over 72 million people use Pinterest and many of them can become your customers. Businesses make money from Pinterest users and you can too. But learning and building an effective social media network takes time and a lot of work. As much as you should learn what to do, you need to learn what NOT to do. Below are 12 mistakes you might be making on Pinterest.

1. Dead or Broken Links

– Be sure to check all of your posts to make sure the links are working and actually lead to the intended information. Sending your followers to dead or non-existent pages is a good way to lose them.

2. Ineffective Images

– Images are everything on Pinterest. Images without human faces get liked and repined much more than images with faces. You also want to have multiple colors in your images. Images with red, orange and brown get repined many more times than blue. You do not want a lot of background or whitespace in your image. The less background, the more repins. Less than 30% will get the most repins. Smooth texture gets repinned much more often than a rough texture. Medium lightness does the best as opposed to very light or very dark images. Details matter and paying attention to your image details could make all the difference.

3. Unorganized Boards

– Pinterest has a very good format for organizing your pins and information. Take advantage of that. Separate your pins into categories and create more boards for easier navigation. But do try to keep the number of boards you have under control. If your boards are too specific and only have a few posts, consider merging them with similar categories to make fewer user-friendly boards. Place your most interesting sand intriguing boards on top to get more followers. You need to get their attention immediately especially if you have a lot of boards to scroll through.

4. Not Commenting on Other People’s Posts

– Look for popular posts and share your thoughts, opinions or ideas. Get involved. Don’t just say “Nice pin” or “Love it”. Also, mention others in your comments, when it is appropriate. Be on guard on how much you comment, however, as Pinterest strict spam rules. Keep your commenting down to a few times a day.

5. Not Using Buttons

– Pinterest has all kinds of buttons and widgets you can use to help get people to your boards. Use a Pin It button on your website to make it easy for people to share your pages. Use widgets that show your pins to get people to follow you. Sprinkle these tools all over your website and if you use WordPress, look over all the best widgets available to you. Show off your pins and get more followers.

6. Incomplete Profile

– Make sure you have a completed profile with all needed information available. Be sure to add your business info as well. An incomplete profile might give people the impression you are trying to hide something, making you untrustworthy.

7. Not Customizing the Description

–Although the image does most of the talking, you need a good description included with your post as well. Add searchable terms and keywords. Add your call to action. Like, share, comment, repin – what do you want them to do. Be clear, straightforward and appealing to the senses. You could also use quotes from testimonials or reviews you have. Adding prices when appropriate could increase the response to the pin. Link back to your website when possible. Be sure to use Rich Pins which will include extra information on the pin itself. Find out more about Rich Pins at Pinterest for Business.

8. Not Pinning Original Content

– While cruising through your home feed and repinning all the useful pins can get you followers, you do need to pin original content as well. Use Pinterest’s Pin It button while you are surfing the net and be sure to pin information, content, resources and other helpful things you find. Visit Pinterest to find out how to install the Pin It button on your browser and make pinning original content easy.

9. Not Using Pinterest Analytics

– Pinterest provides you with detailed information about your activity sot be sure to take advantage.

Their analytics can tell you:
Your most popular pin
Which of your pins were repined and how many times
Monthly viewers
People who engaged
Average daily views
Profile views
Most popular boards
Pin impressions, clicks, repins, etc
And more….

The information seems endless. As a business, you need to use that information to help improve your Pinterest marketing efforts.

10. Over Pinning

– Once you start pinning and repining it can just take over and before you know it, you have pinned hundreds of pins and you don’t even know what you pinned. Control your pinning and make the pins more effective. Turning into a robot and pinning everything from recipes to how to paint your house will not do you much good. Think of your followers and how this might affect them. Were all those pins helpful in any way to them? What would you do if you got bombarded with 100 pins in less than an hour? For me, Pinterest is the one social media site I tend to get a little addicted to, so watching myself can be a challenge. Try to keep the number down to about 5 to 10 posts per day. As little as a few times a week can also be effective for business growth.

Extra Faux Pas:

Not connecting to your other social accounts. Create a social web by connecting all your social accounts to enable people to easily find them all and hopefully follow all. Be sure to post different information to different accounts. If you post all the same stuff, people will have no reason to follow your additional accounts.
There are many facets of Pinterest that are not covered in this article so head on over there and start learning about all the tools and features they offer to help you build and expand your business.

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has almost 20 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Now is the time to get started with your own exciting resell ebook business. Visit now to get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.ebooks.seymourproducts.com

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The Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Using #Hashtags

Hashtags are simply words or phrases with a hash tag or pound sign (#) in front of them to highlight or emphasize the specifics of the message. For example: If you are posting a message about a product you offer, you might do something like #newproduct #diamondbracelet or #affordable.

The hashtag promptly increases the chances of your post being found when someone uses those terms in a search. They can be a bit annoying but are important if you want your posts to be found.

As with any tool or technique, it must be used properly to work effectively. Below are some ways to effectively and not so effectively use hashtags.

1. Do Not Use Spaces

– The words or phrase you want included in the hashtag cannot have any spaces. You do not want your hashtag to look like this: #vegetable gardening. You need to keep the space out. #vegetablegardening As with a url if you want to separate the words, use upper case letters. #VegetableGardening

2. Do not Use Punctuation Marks of Any Kind

– Adding punctuation marks or special characters will render your hashtag ineffective. You also do not want to use all capital letters. You can use numbers as they will be effective within your hashtag.

3. Do Not Overstuff

– I have seen messages or posts that were nothing but a jumble of hashtags. This is a definite no-no. Try not to use more than two or three hashtags per message. Using too many might give people the impression that you are a spammer. Use them as a tool, not as your entire message.

4. Do Not Make Them Too Long

– For example: #bigsaleonallfurnituresavemoneywitheverypurchase. As you can see this is just a big confusing mess. Try not to use more than two or three words for your hashtag. #FurnitureSale You want your hashtag to be easy to understand.

5. Do Not Use Irrelevant Hashtags

– Make sure your hashtag is related to your post content. If you continually post hashtags that are not relevant to your content, you will just alienate your readers and followers.

6. Do Use Hashtags in All Social Media

-–Although hashtags saw their beginning on Twitter, they are now readily used on most social media sites. Do a little research to see the most effective way to use them for each particular social site. Each site may have different guidelines for how to use them properly for the best results.

7. Do Create Your Own Hashtags

– Create a relevant hashtag that has not yet been used to promote an event or special promotional campaign. Include the hashtag in all your promotional materials and marketing.

8. Do Be Specific With Your Hashtags

– Just as with keywords you want to really narrow in on your topic by being very specific as opposed to a generic hashtag. Hashtags that are too generic will not generate many results. For example: If you sell cosmetics do not use cosmetics as your hashtag. Zero in with hashtags like #AllNaturalPerfume, #24HourLipstick or other precise terms.

9. Do Test Your Hashtag

– When you come up with a hashtag do a search for it to see if it is already in use. The possibility exists that is could already be in use for an entirely different topic. It could be a touchy and embarrassing situation if you used a hashtag that was already in use for something negative or a tragic event of some kind.

10. Do Make It Memorable and Unique

– Use hashtags that are very memorable, unique and will develop some interest. Even adding a little humor or quirkiness can make the difference between a good hashtag and a great hashtag. Using hashtags for contests and other events is a good way to create a buzz about your business. By making your hashtags interesting the chances of people retweeting or sharing them will be much greater.

Always make it a point to follow hashtag etiquette. Along with the above mentioned tips, #do #not #use #a #hashtag #with #every #word. Do not hijack a hashtag that is already being used for an unrelated topic. Use proper spelling. Do not get over descriptive with too many words. Use simple but relevant hashtags. Don’t let your hashtag be the extent of the message. Be sure to add content to your hashtag message.

It seems like there are a lot of do’s and don’ts to remember but do not let that deter you from learning to use hashtags. As with any marketing tool, it must be used properly to be effective. Hashtags could and should be a very important part of your social media marketing. So, start slow and build up to becoming a #hashtagexpert.

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has almost 20 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Visit her site for free articles, resources, information, resell ebook business opportunity and more. Get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.SeymourProducts.com

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12 Twitter Tweaks to Beef-Up Your Following

Twitter is a micro-blogging site that has grown into one of the most popular social media sites available. To communicate with your followers you send short messages called tweets. These tweets can be used to build your business by building relationships.

With close to a billion active users, Twitter is a powerful force in the online marketing world. But, as with any marketing tool or method you do need to use it properly. Below are twelve things you can do to increase your following and beef-up your business.

1. Interesting and Complete Profile

Unfortunately you are only allowed 160 characters to sum up who you are in your profile so it has to be better than good. If you are tweeting for your business be sure to use your real name. Do not use cutesy or clever pun names. You need to be straightforward and let people know who you are. Use a “casual professional” photo of yourself. You don’t need to look like a stuffed shirt but you don’t want to look like you’re ready for a night on the town either. List your professional skills and/or accomplishments in your bio and ad your link.

2. Timing

There are good times to tweet and bad so do some testing and find the best times to tweet. Finding the best tweet times is not easy but there are tools to help you. Tweriod analyzes your tweets and your followers’ tweets to give you the best times. TweetWhen will let you know the days and times when you get the most retweets.

3. Repeats are Good

A lot of people would say to always post new and interesting information but if you repeat your popular posts periodically, it will help you get more followers. Just search for your name and see which posts got the most replies and retweets. Repost those tweets a few times but not too close together.

4. Follow Autofollow

Some Twitter experts encourage the use of Autofollow. This is an automated service that allows Twitter users to automatically follow people who have followed them. Look for people who follow a lot of people but have the same amount of followers. This could be an indication of Autofollow. If you follow that person, they will automatically follow you back. But be wary of spam followers. They will be following thousands of people but will not have the same amount of followers like a person using Autofollow.

5. Promote Your Twitter Account

Spread the word about your Twitter account to your website visitors, other social media friends, subscribers and anyone else you can. Post it on your website, link to it in your email, connect from your other social site accounts, etc. Use any means you can think of to let people know about your Twitter account and why they should follow you.

6. Variety is the Spice of Twitter

Many people claim that variety is the spice of life so carry that philosophy over to your Twitter account. Don’t get hung up on one subject or topics. Offer a wide array of interesting, quotes, events, images, links, etc.

7. Retweet Tweets

Make it a point to retweet other people’s interesting tweets. This could most likely lead to a follow by that person.

8. Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a way to make your post accessible to everyone who shares similar interests. They do not have to be your follower or fan. Hashtags can be and are annoying but they have a purpose as well. If you are posting about aromatherapy you would add the hashtag #aromatherapy and other specific keywords like #aroma, #essentialoils, or #candles. Use them anywhere in your post but do not use too many or excessively long ones. Two or three is quite sufficient.

9. Finding Others

Use keywords to search for and fine other people with similar interests. Respond to their posts, retweet their tweets and follow them. Make a connection with them and they will more than likely follow you back.

10. Encourage Engagement

Asking questions and posting polls and quizzes are great ways to increase engagement. Use polls or ask questions about current events to get people interacting and spicing up the interest in your tweets. Asking for people’s thoughts and opinions can increase response dramatically.

11. Use Images

Images are much more attention getting than text so use them to your advantage. Tweets with images are also almost twice as likely to get retweeted. You can also tweet videos which will also increase your chances of getting retweeted or followed.

12. @Message

You can use an @message to get more exposure because this allows you to post to anyone whether they follow you or not or if you follow them or not.

There are many tools, tips and techniques you can use to increase your number of followers. The above tips are a good place to get started. Fuse many of them together to make your Twitter following everything it can be and to grow your business for more success!

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has over 15 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Visit her site for free articles, resources, information, resell ebook business opportunity and more. Get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.SeymourProducts.com

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10 Common Facebook Fumbles You Can Tackle

Although Facebook started out as a place for people to meet and share personal thoughts and opinions, it has gained major status as a way to promote your business. With a billion monthly users, Facebook is the most popular social media site. When used properly for your business, the effect could be quite substantial.

The idea is to get as many people to “Like” your posts and follow your pages as possible. But in doing so, remember the old adage – Quality, Not Quantity! You want your numbers to consist of targeted and responsive followers.

Below are ten mistakes many people make when engaging in Facebook’s vast social network. Some people may not even realize they are floundering so go over each fumble carefully to ensure that you are not part of the losing team.

1. Incomplete profile and Business Information

– Not filling in all your information suggests that you have something to hide. Be sure to fill out every aspect of the information forms. Be forthcoming and give out all pertinent information.

2. Wrong Profile Pic

– When you are trying to build a business on Facebook you don’t want to use inappropriate pictures for your profile. Don’t use a picture of your pet cat or your family get-togethers. Use a photo of yourself looking straight ahead. Do not wear sunglasses or avert your eyes in any way. Do not overdo on make-up or look like you are going to a party. Always smile and just be yourself. A picture can be worth a thousand words.

3. Too Much Posting

– You probably have read that you should post regularly to your page, but by the same token, posting too much can have as many adverse results as not posting enough.

4. Lengthy Posts

– Bite-sized posts are much more likely to get read and responded to than long, flowing text. Facebook research shows that if your post has over 100 but fewer than 250 characters, it will have a 60% better chance of getting a response. So try to keep your posts between 100-250 characters for optimum response.

5. Mobile Unfriendly

– Mobile marketing is making a big splash in the internet world and you need to be prepared. You need to be aware of the size of your posts and images in that they will fit and be readable on mobile devices. Keep your photos about 600 pixels wide by 400 pixels high and your text should be no more than 100 characters long.

6. Too Many Links

– Any post should contain only one option for your followers to choose. Including additional links or calls-to-action in your post could cause the reader to become indecisive and just move on.

7. Promoting Without Value

– Posting blatant sales ads without any other value will just get your posts skipped or cause you to lose fans. Posting periodical promotions and sales can work for you but you must also offer something of substance and value for your followers. For example: if you are advertising a sale on jewelry, offer information on how to choose the right jewelry for different events and outfits.

8. Ignoring the Negative (and Positive)

– If you receive negative comments or feedback on any of your posts, Do Not Ignore It. Post a reply but be sure you do not post negatively as well. Reply politely while explaining the situation. Always address positive comments as quickly as possible too. Do not let people’s comments go unnoticed, be they negative or positive.

9. Not Using Facebook Insights

– Facebook offers a great feature called Insights. They analyze your page’s traffic, engagement, likes, Friends of Fans, etc. Do not ignore this information. Study it to find out what posts are being responded to, what time of day gets the most response, what days get the most response, and more. This will give you more “insight” into what to post and when to post it.

10. Too Much Automation

– There are a lot of services, apps and programs you can use to automate your posting. While this could be helpful at times, do not get into the habit of doing it too often. You need to actually go to your page and participate in conversations and engage in people’s posts. While automation is a handy tool for helping in certain situations, it cannot replace us as live people!

The power of social media, if used efficiently, could be game-changing. But if you are inadvertently fumbling and cannot make the tackle, you are in danger of doing more harm to your business than good. Be aware of any mistakes you might be making and take the necessary steps to correct them. By doing this, you are sure to score!

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has over 15 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Visit her site for free articles, resources, information, resell ebook business opportunity and more. Get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.SeymourProducts.com

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Social Media Equals Holiday Sales

The holidays are again upon us. We hardly have time to recover from the holiday season and it is here again! Marketing during this time can be challenging but yet very rewarding. Utilizing your social media for your holiday marketing is not only cost effective but extremely important. Social media has evolved and is more relevant to your holiday marketing than ever.

Last year consumers spent billions online shopping for the holidays and your company needs to become a part of that spending. Below are some techniques and strategies to help you elevate your social media marketing for the holiday season and increase your sales for this critical time of year.

1. Holiday Spirit

– Use holiday images, icons and other graphics to show your followers, fans and friends that you are in the holiday spirit and ready to give. Make your social media pages and posts “feel” warm and fuzzy. Make your pages a place people want to visit again and again to get that warm feeling the holiday season brings.

2. Pay It Forward

– Make it a point to offer a portion of the sales to charity. Give the customer his or her choice to what charity you will donate to from their proceeds. Helping others is a crucial part of the holidays so make sure you are right there doing as much as you can.

3. Holiday Events

– Events are an important part of marketing any time of year but can be even more vital during the holidays. Who doesn’t love a great contest or giveaway? Using the holiday theme can make them even more fun and satisfying. Hold a “Funniest Christmas Story” contest or “Most Outrageous Halloween Costume” event. Throw a holiday party and give away prizes, gifts and discounts. Use your imagination and creativity and do something totally unique!

4. Holiday Countdown

– Count down the days until each holiday while giving daily prizes, incentives and special offers. Provide a different sale special each day. Give prizes each day. We have all heard of the 12 Days of Christmas marketing campaign but take it a step further with each holiday throughout the season.

5. Holiday Help

– Take this time to post content to help get your followers through the stressful holiday season. Offer ideas on how to save money, gift ideas, cooking tips, stress reducers and more. Let your followers know you care and want to help make their holidays a little easier.

6. Holiday Engagement

– People are very busy this time of year so to help encourage engagement, ask your followers to post their best holiday tips and ideas. Have them vote on which is the most helpful or innovative and offer prizes. Ask people what their favorite holiday is and what they love about it. Encourage your followers to share their favorite Christmas or Thanksgiving story. Let your fans share their holiday events and contests as well.

7. Holiday Polls

– Another great way to get people more active on your page is to post a poll asking people for their opinions. Offer incentives for participating in the poll. Keep up the anticipation so when you are ready to reveal the results you can make it memorable.

8. Make It Visual

– Make short but interesting holiday promotional videos and post them each day. Let people know you have hidden a code in the video for special offers and prizes. Sprinkle in some holiday humor and fun but always keep it appropriate.

9. Holiday Hashtags

– Come up with a unique holiday hashtag to use for bringing people together. Use well-known holiday hashtags as well. #HappyHolidays, #ChristmasTree, #WinterWonderland, and #ChristmasMiracle are just a few examples.

10. Stay Social

– As with everyone else, you are busier than ever during this time but you must make a point of staying active on your social pages. Be sure to set aside extra time for keeping up with your social marketing during the holidays. All your marketing campaigns will not do you much good if you are not there to reinforce all your hard work and elevate your social media marketing for the season.

Planning and carrying out a full holiday marketing season could make the difference in your sales success. It is never too early to start planning your holiday campaign to make sure you earn your piece of the online spending boom. We wish you a happy, safe and successful holiday season!

About the Author:
Terri Seymour has over 17 years of internet marketing experience and has helped many people start their own business. Visit her site for free articles, resources, information, resell ebook business opportunity and more. Get three free gifts including The Big Book of Social Media Tips. http://www.SeymourProducts.com

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