Marketing Strategy: Tell a Story Pinterest Style

Pinterest Marketing Strategy

Hi. I’m Ronii. And I have a Pinterest obsession.

also have an elephant obsession, flamingo obsession and everyone knows about my crazy cat lady obsession, which you can find on my, you guessed it… Pinterest boards  There is no 12 step program for these addictions and I’m super excited about that. But I digress.

Recently I won this amazing Alesya Bag. How did I do that? My Pinterest obsession of course.

So Alesya Bags ran a contest on social media to tell them in 140 characters where you are going on your summer vacation and why you need an Alesya Bag for your trip. The top 5 most creative entries would win a bag and you can enter everyday until the finish of the contest. I’m sure that you are painfully aware as much as I am that 140 characters is short. Like Daisy Dukes kinda short. How am I going to tell my summer adventure in this short format and get the emotion I want across? Oh, and did I mention that you had a hashtag to use as well taking up even more precious characters? Yeah, that too. But...

Challenge Accepted.

Pinterest obsession rears its beautiful winning head with storytelling.

At B&A we have been using Pinterest for a variety of initiatives over the years. We use it as a collaboration and content distribution tool. Branding and vision boards are big for us and our clients and it’s an amazing collaboration tool for us to gather visuals that drive art direction. And like everyone else we use it to distribute our content like blog posts, products and ideas.

Since on Pinterest you can tweet your pins (or post to Facebook), I decided I wanted to use it. One because I wanted to tell a story and not just a tweet and two because I freakin’ love me some Pinterest. I figured why can’t I use Pinterest more like a storyboard rather than as a vision board and then tweet out each pin with a teaser to read that piece of the story?

I will admit this storyboard idea took some planning and definitely time, but I WON! And if I can utilize this strategy to win an amazing bag (which by the way I’ve been carrying for a couple of months now and want to marry it) then I’m sure I can use the same strategy to win audience engagement and hopefully customers. 

Tweetable: Utilizing Pinterest in multiple ways for business is a good strategy for winning audience engagement and potential customers

Tell a story with a Pinterest Storyboard  

Here’s how I did it:

  1. I planned out the days of the contest and knew that I needed about a post a day because I got an entry per day.
  2. I created a separate board that was named the hashtag and wrote a short description about what my story was about.
  3. I outlined the story by day so each piece of the story had one post. I started my story with an overview of everyone needs an adventure and why I needed an Alesya Bag for that adventure. Then everyday you got a little piece of the adventure until we got to the final days and I revealed where I was going on my summer vacation. I put these all in a doc so that it could make the daily task of posting a bit quicker.
  4. Everyday I pinned an image that correlated with that day’s piece of the story and used the pin description to write that day’s adventure. It was longer than 140 characters but it gave an expanded detail of the adventure and then I used the tweet this pin on my Pinterest app to submit via Twitter with a shortened version or teaser of that day’s adventure.
  5. The last day I gave the big reveal. But then after I found out I won. I did do a final post to conclude my story that I did actually win the bag because that was the goal of that board.

This strategy was so much fun to plan and do and it worked. We can translate this same strategy into a marketing campaign that tells a story rather than just pretty pictures and distributing content. It's a great way to engage your audience and then get them hooked on following the story and engaging with your brand. It could work for as a story countdown on a product launch (watch for this from us in the fall) or leading into a big announcement or sale. The one thing that I found to be a disadvantage is that if you go to the board because pins post by day the story on the board is backwards and you have to read the whole story from the bottom up. But the point is to get people to follow daily so that shouldn't have a huge impact. 

What do you think about this strategy? How will you use it? Do you have any other cool tips for using Pinterest as a business or marketing tool? Let us know in the comments and if you decide to run a story, post it here so we can follow it. I’d love to know your results. 

Facebook Engagement Down? Our Tip for Getting Your Brand Loyalists to see You

Navigating the new Facebook Engagement for Marketing using Facebook Lists.png

Social media marketing (big sigh). This segment of the marketing industry stands alone in its enormity. There is so much information out there that it’s overwhelming for a marketer. And it changes so much that it’s hard to keep up with. And Facebook is the elephant in the room (haha, get it? Elephant? Don’t judge.). It is the one that businesses are either totally rocking it or getting an #epicfail. Recently, Ad Age published an article where Facebook has admitted that business pages are its redheaded stepchild.

Reaching Brand Loyalist on Facebook Pages

Social media is here to stay, whether you’re into it or over it. Honestly, I’m kinda over it. A little insight into the mind of Ronii is that I’m a social butterfly and I love interacting with people but I’m a terrible networker because I hate to just walk up to someone and say, “Hey, I’m Ronii. Let’s try and get to know each other in this awkward situation.” And I’m the same way with my online presence. I just find it weird that you pick random people to start conversations with. I realize that social media is all about engagement and conversations but it’s just odd to me. As extroverted as I am it’s really easy for me to be an introvert when it comes to meeting strangers on or off line. So there. Now, you know. I’m totally fucked up. I don’t deny this. But if I’m going to favor one platform over another I still prefer Facebook. It doesn’t overwhelm me like Twitter and some of the others. But lately the engagement on our B&A Facebook Page has consisted of me and Jenn just talking to each other with no one else paying any attention. And that doesn’t help my business.

Organic engagement on Facebook business pages has decreased and small businesses are finding it hard to justify buying ‘views’. Click to Tweet

1 Facebook Trick that will Increase Engagement

As soon as Facebook changed the newsfeed algorithm for business pages I noticed our views decrease by 90%. That’s right. Where we were getting 100 views on a post, now we are getting 10. While Facebook has never been a great marketing tool for us now it’s totally a waste of time (which is money). Even I wasn’t getting our updates in my newsfeed and I own the damn company. Jenn would be like, “How was yesterday’s Facebook post?” And my response usually was, “What post?” It’s as though now to get in people’s newsfeed you need to pay for it and for a small business unless you’re getting ROI or can directly relate that cost to a sale, the budget just isn’t there.

Anyway, I’m goofing around one day getting sucked into the time vortex that is Facebook and I’m adding some people to my friends’ list. I find I have to use lists to keep up with everyone I want to keep up with and I’m sure I’m not the only one out there that does this. And I start typing someone’s name in the ‘add to list’ block and guess what pops up as a suggestion when I put the letter B. Ha! You guessed it. Bartles & Associates. I can add business pages to lists! Mind blown!

Do you know what this means? Other people can do this too. So I figured out a way to combat the ‘you have to pay to play’ on Facebook. Ask your fans to add your business page to one of their lists. Preferably their friends list. Your loyal fans will definitely do it and then you will be getting to the people that matter the most, that you want to see your posts. Behold, the power of the Facebook list.

How is your Facebook engagement? What tips and tricks are you using for the new Facebook newsfeed? Are you budgeting for Facebook advertising or trying to get organic engagement?

To Post, Or Not to Post: The Social Media Conundrum

To Post or Not To Post - Social Media Marketing.png

Ever wonder if your friends actually read your social media posts? Do the people that you associate with on a daily basis know what you do for a living?

Over the past several months I have pondered on these questions a lot. It could be because some of my friends will ask me “What is Bartles & Associates?” “Are you in sales?” “What type of marketing do you do?” “Why couldn’t you come to lunch on Friday?” “Who is Ronii?” and the list goes on and on and on…. Sometimes I want to just look at them and say “REALY?!?!?! HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT? ARE YOU LIVING UNDER A ROCK?”

I am pretty sure the answer to all those questions is somewhere on my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn page. #Justsaying…

It makes me wonder, do people get on social media just to post what they are doing and don’t care to see what their network is up too? Are people really that self-centered that they want you to know what they are doing but don’t care about what is going with you?

And then I have those friends, that are like…”Didn’t you see her status this morning?” Or “How could you not know what B&A is, just look at the post from yesterday?” This makes me feel better. Because obviously someone did read what I took the time to write and let the world know. You guys ROCK!!!!

In today’s society, we post everything from what we had for dinner, to who we ran into at the store, to how our job is going, to…. (you fill in the blank here) as a status on our social media pages. So you would think that everyone around you knows what is going or what you do. Right? Or is this just my thinking? Because working for B&A, selling Premier Designs Jewelry, being a Mom and just being me… I post A LOT about my day, from pics of my boys to what is going on at B&A and my life, on FB, Instagram and Twitter, and I have many friends that do that same thing.

I mean come on… running a business and working for a business I need to get my information out there, right? Plus as a Mom, I need to vent and know that I am not the only one dealing with the crap my 4 and 6 year olds do. It’s a way of being heard and understood. So it only makes sense that my peeps should know what B&A is and what I do there. (Cause really I talk about it ALL THE DAMNED time). Or why I couldn’t make lunch on Friday… because I was reading to my son’s class and tutoring a child that needs some extra help. If you read my FB post you would know that. Thank you to my peeps that know and call everyone else out on it. ;)

Being a business owner, I am sure you have similar concerns whether or not people are reading your posts on your social media pages. We have that same concern at B&A too. My advice is to not give up and keep telling people about your business and about yourself. Eventually it will catch on. That’s what we do at B&A because someone somewhere is reading them and passing on our content. Today’s life revolves around social media. Your information is out there and is being read by someone (probably us, we read a lot). Everyone else will catch on. Be yourself and it will pay off!

What are some of your social media concerns? Or how have you combated the social media battles of do they see/read it? What are some of your best social media tips or tricks to spread the word about that great thing you do?



Customer Service Woos

I don't know if you remember or not but I wrote a blog post a few months ago about my Love/Hate relationship with Twitter. I talked about how I love that Twitter has opened communication between so many people, but on the reverse how it is a little bit of information overload for me. I talked about how as a customer you can go on Twitter and blast a company or product and that I did that exact thing. This week I'm going to expand on that experience and subject. I believe that monitoring social media is very important even if you don't participate because you want to know what/how people are talking about you and/or company. If you are a company that has implemented a social media strategy and you have dedicated people to monitoring conversations, empowering your team to solve customers problems via social media is a good idea.

I had (and am still having) a poor experience with a company and its social media team immediately contacted me to apologize and say that if I had any questions or needed any help to let them know. So, I did and they have been very generous in "trying" to help me but they can't. I know they want too but the corporation they work for has not given them any authority to make any decisions or even point me in the right direction. So, what's the point then? If you spend money on having a team monitor social media but then you don't actually let them do anything to solve people's problems, one could argue that the company is just wasting money by essentially not doing anything. You might as well not have any social media strategy at all. Is it better to monitor social media and just tell people sorry or not do anything at all?

I think that consumers would be more aggravated if you apologize and then do nothing to solve the problem. Isn't that just patronizing me is some sense? Because you recognize there is a problem but then don't do anything about it. In my situation, I don't blame the social media crew whose intentions are good in trying to satisfy me, but the "corporate monster" who won't let them do anything about it. Generally, I find this is an issue with large Fortune 500 corporations because small to mid-size business are very active in their social media policies and understand that empowering employees as an HR practice gives them an edge over their competition makes them faster and more efficient to solve problems. Don't get me wrong there are many companies out there that are doing it right and using social media as a way to monitor and fix problems and I may be the one person in the world that has come across this issue. What are your thoughts on empowering your employees to solve problems of customers via social media?

My Love/Hate Twitter Relationship

I'm taking over Bartlby's Blog today, which I normally don't do, to share an experience I had last week that I think we can all learn from. As many of you may know I have a Twitter account (you can follow me @bartlesandassoc) that I have an unhealthy, co-dependt relationship with. I love Twitter because it is an innovative medium to hold conversations that businesses can utilize to give their brand a personality and to start to create that all important relationship with consumers that is so vital in marketing today but it can be a bit of information overload (for me at least).

So to give you a little background, for the past year and and half I have been trying to work with a mortgage company (who will remain nameless to protect the innocent) to try and take advantage of this low interest rate market. I'm a business person, what do you expect? Every single time I call the company I get the same snarky, why did you call me, answer, "You have to send in your information again and call every week to check the status. I'll make a note in your file." And then I call a week later and get yet another person who can't even put together a proper sentence who asks me all kinds of personal questions only to tell me they have no note that I called last week and to fax in my information AGAIN and check back in a week. So at this point every person in the company has my social security number because I have to keep giving it to them over the phone and then faxing it in with my information AND I have lost an hour of my life that I can't get back which I could have been using to make money to, you guessed it, pay the mortgage. Needless to say, my customer service experience has been terrible!

This last time I had had enough so I took to my Twitter account (because I was in one of my love moods with it that day) and posted, "I want 2 know why (company) takes forever & never gets anything done & I have 2 go through the process all over yet again." Followed a few minutes later by, "So aggrevated with (company), going to the pool for a few hours to get over it. See you guys on the flip side." Within about an hour a representative from the company tweets me back about how they are sorry for my aggravation with the company and to DM them with my concerns and questions. So in 140 characters (part of the hate end in my love/hate relationship) I tweet them my issue and they are now working on my case. It still remains to be seen if I will get any help, but there is a very valuable lesson to be learned here. All consumers now have a loud voice and they WILL use it.

For businesses it is extremely important that you monitor the conversations that are happening on social media about your brand and company. And whether or not you choose to participate in the conversation is up to you, but you need to monitor them because if you're like me you can't afford negative conversations happening about your company. Also, it allows you to spot good and bad opportunities that you can build on. The company I'm dealing with is going through a particularly hard merger right now and CANNOT afford to have bad PR floating around on the interwebs about how their customer service is terrible. Can you afford that kind of bad PR? I know I can't.


Happy Anniversary B&A!

I have been with Bartles & Associates a little over a month now. It is hard to believe how fast time flies when you are having fun. I have learned so much and meet so many people. I am quickly learning lots of new strategies and ways of doing business.

Marketing has been a major focus for many of our clients this past month. Particularly social media. Social media has burst onto the scene as a viable marketing medium so fast and is ever changing. It has gained so much traction because social media is a great way for brands to communicate their personality and create relationships AND most of it is FREE. We all love free, right? If you haven't integrated social media into your marketing plan, you should. You will have too because it is a medium that is here to stay. We approach social media from three angles: 1. messaging, 2. programming and followers and 3. measuring. Bartles & Associates is an excellent partner in helping your business strategically plan your messaging and then implementing, executing and measuring the effectiveness of that message by managing vendors to achieve goals.

This month is B&A 2 year anniversary and in celebration we are offering 25% off all our services. Check out our services tab to see some of the things we do. Enjoy the summer heat and until next time...

Best wishes,