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. 

Things Go Wrong… 5 Tips to Still Rock It Out


How can this be happening… AGAIN?

Are you kidding me?


I know I am not the only one who has ever said these… repeatedly… sometimes it seems like I say them every day. Please tell me I am not the only one. You have had these moments… right? Shew! I feel so much better now. Actually, I am gonna let you in on a little secret about me… when I have THESE days I feel so much better after a long cry. (OOOHHH it’s not taboo to talk about crying now I hope).

Anyway… recently I had a fuckin meltdown because NOTHING was going right in my personal or professional life. I was feeling inadequate all the way around. NOT GOOD! I do believe that if you are trying to run a household, juggle two jobs AND two kids, something is bound to go wrong at least once a day. Well, mine hit several at a time and all within 24 hours.

End of the school year. ‘Won’t work worth a damn’ internet service. Can’t watch videos for B&A Book Club because of said crappy internet. Causing your boss more work. Starting a part time job. Not getting client work done faster. House looking like a tornado came through weeks ago and still is trashed. Ok I think you get the picture… or do you need more? No, I am done… for now ;).

If you feel me Tweet: Got #99Problems but does anyone really care?

Ok let me get to the fuckin’ point… we all have these days. Sometimes they are completely out of our control and there is NOTHING you can do about it at the time. But, what you do is what will define you. You can either go sulk in the corner and complain about it on Facebook, Twitter and to your friends for days on end or you can just roll with it (Tip #1). I tend to just let it all pile up and then have a meltdown (don’t ever knock the healing power of a good cry). I swear I feel 90% better after a good long cry (Tip #2) and then all you have left to do is just roll with what has been dealt to you at that particular time. You pick yourself back up, blow a kiss at your reflection in the mirror and go get shit done!

Business won’t get done while you bitch and whine and complain about it. Put your big girl panties on and OWN IT (Tip #3)! If you caused more work for said boss (ahem… Sorry Ronii!), just apologize and move on to the next item on your to-do-list and ROCK IT. Client work doesn’t wait for you to keep beating yourself up. And, yes, electronics suck and don’t always work when you are expecting them to so you take a break. Go sit out on the deck with a glass of wine to calm the stress that is building up and adding to your breaking point (Tip #4). Go talk to your best friend (you know she always makes you feel better because of her quirky attitude and AWESOME personality…ahem…again Ronii that’s you – five). Just walk away from the problem for a few and come back renewed and ready to take on the world!

Don’t ever let your feelings of inadequacy or technology crappin’ out be what defines you. MAKE the actions on how you deal with these little hiccups in life and business be what defines you! So are you going to continue to beat yourself up…OR… roll with the punches? Tell me your ‘shit hits the fan’ story. I bet we can relate and pull together, together (wait, that looks weird but oh well I’m rolling with it).

It’s My Birthday! 29 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me (+ 8 more)

Well, actually tomorrow is my birthday. So in celebration of my 29th birthday I’m listing the 29 things (in particular order) you probably didn’t know about me. Plus 8 more… because I'm actually 37 this year. I’m departing from our traditional ‘let’s learn about marketing and business’ post and giving you a sneak peek into the crazy mind of a creative entrepreneur/human. I get tired of the ‘let’s learn something’ format and like to hear about humans and can only assume that you like sometimes too, hence my shameless self promotion on my birthday because let’s face it, it’s really all about me up in here.

  1. I hate the idea of a bucket list. Why can't we all just live our lives and do things we want to do.
  2. I want to learn how to surf.
  3. Speaking of learning stuff, I want to learn to sail too.
  4. I have this paralyzing fear of failure. And I'm a perfectionist, which is a deadly combination for a business owner. Hence no products yet like I promised. I’m trying to break through my upper level limit. 
  5. In the holy trinity of people in business models (the finder, minder and grinder), I'm a minder and love to strategize and think, which generally leads to over thinking. And I don't really link/want to implement or sell. 
  6. I'm a terrible "networker." It's really hard for me to meet new people.
  7. Most people probably know this, but I'm terrible with names. I recognize you and can probably tell you your birthday but I can't remember your name to save my life.
  8. I hate the concept of hustle. It bothers me that it's meaning is deceiving yet in business every guru talks about how you have to hustle as in work your ass off for 90+ hours a week. I'm tired. And I'm tired of working my ass off 90+ hours a week, hence starting my own business.
  9. My favorite restaurant is Rue de Jean. It's so indulgent.
  10. I love to go to the movies and have a huge tub of popcorn with lots of butter and a diet soda. Ironic, I know.
  11. Even though I'm a huge WVU fan, I did not go there or graduate from there. But it's the representation of the state.
  12. I'm a couch potato. And I love watching TV. It's relaxing to me.
  13. When it comes to TV though, I can’t commitment. Which is why I don’t watch shows like The Voice or American Idol. That’s just too much commitment for one week let alone a whole season.
  14. I'm extremely loyal. If I form a bond with you, you better be prepared for "till death due us part" because you will have me forever whether you like it or not. But I will always be there for you and will do anything within my power to help you.
  15. But once I'm done with you, I'm done. No confrontation, no explanation, no apology. Just done. A trait I get from my dad.
  16. I hate confrontation.
  17. I don't drink nearly as much as our readers probably think I do. One or 2 a week, maybe.
  18. My family is like the Cleavers. I'd rather hang with them than anyone else. And when friends talk about their dysfunctional/fighting family, I just can't relate because mine is awesome.
  19. I'm a thinker and analyze everything and everyone. I want to understand what drives peoples’ behaviors and decisions. I love psychology. A trait I get from my mom.
  20. My family in WV calls me Ronii Anne. But my middle name is Leeanne, which is my mom and my godmother's name together.
  21. My mom told my brother and me once that, "Brett was the smart one and Ronii was the pretty one." I’m still in therapy over that (not really).
  22. I'm the fuck up of the family. And I'm totally not (completely) a fuck up. I have a Master’s Degree for goodness sake. Just goes to show you how sane my family is.
  23. I love to eat! I love food and I love lots of it. I’m not one of those girls that picks at her food when you go out. I’m the kind of girl that licks the plate after I eat everything on it. The only thing that saves me from being 400 pounds is that I love to work out too and workout almost every day.
  24. While speaking of things I love. I LOVE to sleep. And its no secret that I’m a night owl and I think that early morning people have a conspiracy against us. I’m not one of those over zealous people that say, “I only need 4 hours a sleep a night.” Bullshit. That’s your exhaustion trying to convince you that you get enough. If I had my way I would get between 9 and 10 every night and sleep in until 10 every day.
  25. I’m a really slow reader because I read every word on the page but my comprehension is amazing.
  26. I counted and I have 5 books started and not finished yet. That’s just what I do.
  27. I love the Twilight Saga and I’m Team Edward. And one time on the way back to Charleston from Raleigh, I missed my exit and ended up in Wilmington, NC because I was so engrossed into listing to the book.
  28. I really might be the crazy cat lady. While I only have 1 cat, I’m freakin’ obsessed with her and she’s kinda mean. She probably reflects my personality perfectly.
  29. My favorite color is red.
  30. I have never broken a bone. Or at least that I went to the doctor and they told me it was broken. 
  31. I’ve never had a cavity and love to go the dentist. My dentist in SC is the son of my childhood dentist in WV (who my parents still go too).
  32. You would think that because I love to eat I would love to cook as well. Nope. Not the case. I only cook out of necessity.
  33. Confession: I really don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.
  34. I have been an extra in a couple of TV shows.
  35. I minored in French in college and really can’t speak a lick of it anymore. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
  36. I have a part time job at Curves and coach women on health, wellness and fitness. I’m a multi-passionate person.
  37. The lead singer to Tonic hit on my one time after a concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC. That was pretty cool.

Here's my birthday wish: vanilla cake with buttercream frosting and a drizzle of chocolate ganache with a glass ob bubbly (of course). If you could deliver that to... Kidding. My birthday wish? Leave us comment with something we don't know about you. What is that awkward thing that I'm totally going to make fun of you for? Because I probably do that same awkward thing too and probably do a lot of people. I can't wait to hear all about you too. Don't let me be the only one here sharing. That would be awkward.

These are a few of my favorite words...

These are a few of my favorite things words...

Growing up, math just never “added up” (cheesy, but true). It turned out to be a subject that I struggled with as a child, and has continued to be a nuisance in my life. The fact that my math results on the SATs rendered the response “That’s MUCH better than I expected!” from my mother just shows that math has never been one of my “talents”. 

“English” class (grammar, spelling, syntax/diction) has always been my strong suit,from elementary school through my college years. Even in a subject that may be challenging, as long as papers are involved in the syllabus, I will do just fine. Tis’ a shame that math class never required essays..

Therefore, it is fair to say that I am a fan of words, and I have been able to compile a list of my favorites. Some of these words I tend to use (too) frequently, others I just love the sound of. 

To each their own..

  1. epitome
  2. pretentious 
    (the phrase “epitome of pretentious” is a favorite phrase. Those two words just sound magical together.)
  3. awesome
  4. epiphany
  5. ridiculous
  6. tickle
  7. shimmy
  8. dandelion
  9. sneaker

...and 10. soup


Mommy & Business Woman Collide

I am thrilled to become a member of the Bartles & Associates team. Being a stay-at-home mom for over four years now and watching my best friend branch out and become and entrepreneur inspired me to get back out in the business world. I haven’t totally been out of the business world though. I have been in direct sales for the past six years as an Independent Jeweler for Premier Designs Jewelry. This has allowed me to use and expand my knowledge of running a business and marketing myself. Direct sales is not an easy job and requires lots of motivation and determination, and this is what I intend to bring to B&A as an Account Executive.

When Ronii approached me to come work at B&A, I jumped at the chance. I get to sharpen and expand my business marketing skills and still get to be at home with my two handsome boys. I also hope to help B&A expand into other areas of the country, being as how I live in Martinsburg, WV.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not all business. I am a people person and love to socialize and partake in an adult beverage on occasion, especially being around a 5 and a 3 year old all day, every day. I do need adult girl time. One would say my weaknesses are jewelry, shoes, and purses. However, my boys are my #1 weakness. There is nothing more rewarding than those loving moments only little boys can give their mommy. But I need to be Jenn and not just Mommy all the time.

Being a 1999 graduate of Shepherd University majoring in Business Marketing and having backgrounds in real estate, office management, and direct sales, I feel that I am going to be a perfect fit with Bartles & Associates. I can’t wait to start working with current clients and bring in some of my own clients from West By God Virginia!

~ Jenn

Most Loved Words - Ronii's Version

Coco's post about her Most Loved Words last week has started a trend here at the B&A office and we have each come up with our own list of most loved words now. Here's mine. Enjoy!

  • Kumquat: Say it. How fun is that to say? Not only is it a delicious fruit but kinda dirty in a way. Randomly inject the word into a sentence or question and instantly people are listening to you because they are suprised and thinking about what a Kumquat is. The other day I was having a conversation with a guy who wasn't paying much attention to me and all of a sudden I say, "Do you like Kumquats?" He looked up at me and actually thought about what I had just said to process it and laughed and finally said, "I don't know if I have ever had one." After that he listened to every word I said. Try this at your next networking event. Go around ask people if they like kumquats. I bet they remember you next time you see them.
  • Sultry: God, this is a sexy word. As we were talking about this word in the office, we came up with the analogy that 'Paris is sexy and Italy is sultry.' Its more earthy than sexy but what a brilliantly discriptive word.
  • WTF: This is my sutle way of saying curse words without really offending people. Its just a perfect phrase for when I'm completely befuddled (this will show up later in the post), which seems to happen a lot here recently.
  • Comme ci, comme ca: French for so so. I learned this word my first year of French in high school. Why they taught us this particular word? I don't know. Probably because it is fun to say. But no one says, "How are you?" and your respond, "So so." Who does that? Apparently the French. But it is a really fun word to go around saying.
  • Wiggle: Not only is it fun to say but fun to do as well. Do it! Right now. In your chair. Then, say it while you are doing it - wiggle, wiggle, wiggle. How much fun is that. Do this daily and you'll feel better about everything. Dr. Ronii is out.
  • Sparkle: Um, confession. I have a secret Twilight obsession (Ugh, feels good to confess). Hence, I love all things that sparkle - jewelry, eyes, vampires. Sparkle is such a good distraction too. "Consumers attention spans have become shorter than in the past and now you only have - Ohhhh, sparkly!" (SPARKLY FLASH!! Shameless B&A plug! Contact us if you want to know how long you have to grab consumers' attention when they come your website. We can help you with that.)
  • Befuddled: I added this word as I was typing this post because I realized I kinda love it. I tend to be beffuddled a lot. Its a more elegant way to say that I'm confused all the time. I'm not confused, I'm just befuddled.
  • Flabbergasted: Surprised. So originally, Aga added this word to her list because she heard me say it. I'm taking it back because it is my word and I love it. I found it first. It is so much more fun to say instead of surprised. People flabbergast me.

There are several other words and phrases that I tend to say quiet frequently but are not appropriate to put on a blog post. But if you want to know them give me a shout, buy me a beer and let's talk off the record.


Most Loved Words

I recently read something and immediately exclaimed, “What! I HATE that word!” Something about it struck me almost angrily. So, I decided to write a blog listing my most loved and hated words. It ended up being too long, so I had to split it up so I didn’t lose your attention. Without further a due, a very abbreviated list of my most loved words: 

Extravaganza-not to be confused with “extravagant,” because extravaganza is just so much better. Say it out loud. Extravagaaaaanza!

Peace- it’s so simple in its one-syllable format; yet, there is such debate about the phrase “world peace.” Let’s just leave it at peace. It almost relaxes me just to read it. Peace. Also, I love its association with hippies and the whole hippie culture.

Robust-I love the way this looks and sounds, and it’s a very powerful adjective.

Brilliant-just a great descriptor and I think it’s association with awesome things and people  (Steve Jobs, for example) help give it meaning.

Raunchy-although this word describes less than desirable things, it’s very raw and effective at doing so.

Paramount- I like this word in copy and writing.

Putrid-ewwwwww. Perfect. Just like raunchy.

Seldom-I feel very smart when I use this word, I think because my grandpa used it a lot and I feel very old-fashioned and cultured when I use it. Not to mention, it’s pretty easy to work into a sentence and not make it sound like you’re trying too hard.

Hippopotamus-visually, this word is just awesome. So are hippos.

Charlatan-I learned this word in freshman English. Its kind of flashy in terms of day-to-day use, but for some reason I never forgot it or it’s meaning. It’s fun to say out loud, but the number of syllables makes it generally unrealistic to use commonly.

Dabble- visually fun and is so flexible in it’s use.

Filthy-I use this word a lot, and after seeing it written, I don’t like the way it looks. But when I told a friend I was writing a blog on most loved and hated words, she immediately reminded me I loved this word. And I do. But I don’t think I’ll ever use it in writing.

Bat-shit crazy-this is for Ronii. She likes this term and I have to say it rolls really well off the tongue. Plus, I like using swear words in writing because it kind of startles the reader (and hopefully doesn’t insult them. Because let’s face it. Swear words are swear words and we’ve all said them, heard them, or seen them. Unfortunately they are a part of our culture and they really are the perfect word to express your situation sometimes). I don’t recommend the use of this phrase in professional writing (that’s my being diplomatic to appease both of my bosses).

Diplomatic-I very much am diplomatic and it’s a very sophisticated and stout word. It’s sound and look are so much more powerful than it’s meaning, I feel. I also think it’s a good trait to have.

Capture-I feel like this word is seldom used (see what I did there?) and frequently replaced with words like “caught” or associated with bad things like being arrested or kidnapped or seized. I like it for describing things like photography, or used in terms of being bewitched or enchanted. (both also great words)

Lastly,I love every word and everything about the following excerpt from my favorite book, A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, where captured (did it again!) my soul in describing music:

 “The trombones crunched redgold under my bed, and behind my gulliver the trumpets three-wise silverflamed, and there by the door the timps rolling through my guts and out again crunched like candy thunder. Oh, it was wonder of wonders. And then, a bird of like rarest spun heavenmetal, or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now, came the violin solo above all the other strings, and those strings were like a cage of silk around my bed. Then flute and oboe bored, like worms of like platinum, into the thick thick toffee gold and silver. I was in such bliss, my brothers.”


What's In A Name?

WARNING: This blog post has nothing to do with branding, marketing or design. It's simply a random thought by Aga...

Okay, so I have a weird Polish name, I know. It's Agnieszka and it's really hard to pronounce (ag-nee-eshh-kuh). Some of my friends actually thought it was fun to say, "bless you!" after I introduced myself because it sounded like I sneezed. I'm no longer friends with those people ;). So, to save myself a lesson in Polish pronunciation and some cruel jokes, I went with a short version-Aga.

Now, Ronii has a weird name, too. I love that I'm no longer the only one who has to explain her name in the office. I love when she tells people it's Ronii with two "I's" because she'd look pretty silly with only one "I". I crack up every time. Someone, who's never met or talked to her may think she's a man (she's not, I assure you). Still, some people, even after being corrected four times, still refer to her as "him" (yes, same person!). The first three times I got a kick out of it but the fourth time it got a little old. Come on!

We also renamed our marketing assistant, who's real name is Corinne. She's been Coco since the day we met her because Corinne is CLEARLY too difficult to say... I think we just have a thing for standing out from the crowd but also Coco sounds so much more chic, doesn't it?

I'm not great with names so I get it when people can't remember mine but at least I try to keep it straight on who's a gal and who's a guy!

Let us know if you have a funny story about your name. We can all use a little laugh on your account for a change.


Flying By The Seat of My Pants

Aga and I have this thing in our office that when I say some completely off the wall saying that cracks her up she writes it down and says I'm going to write a book one day with all your crazy saying (granted it is on scrap paper that she will probably never find again). Sometimes, they make it onto our Facebook wall and others they are just for us in the office to LOL at (I always have to look up these acronyms to see what they mean. I went for 6 moths not knowing what LOL was and couldn't figure out what people were saying to me). So I decided to take on a challenge this week to see if I could incorporate some of my best quotes into a story. Here it goes.

In the past three weeks we have been busier than a one eyed man at a burlesque show at B&A with deadlines for reports, new client meetings and just general B&A business stuff. It has been a fly by the seat of my pants kinda week trying to get organized but I ended up making it easy breezy lemon peezy (that's actually a technical term). Part of the reason for that in the midst of this madness is because I worked at Aga's house one day, which I love to do because she feeds me and I'm always so hungry I could eat your arm. Later in the afternoon she brought out watermelon and tried to convince me that it was made of water and Spelnda (that part of the story is actually true but I didn't believe her because they didn't give me a Master's Degree from The Citadel for nothin'). The next day I had a networking meeting where a woman who I have meet several times before introduced herself to me, AGAIN. Before now she wouldn't have pissed on my teeth if they were on fire but since she found out that I am a 40 Under 40 winner she's my new best friend. That's ok, it ain't a drop in a bucket to me because not everyone has a memory like me.

That probably doesn't make ANY sense whatsoever and obviously it is a fictional story (except for the watermelon part). But it was fun and we have fun with all my crazy saying and Aga's completely random thoughts in the office. Hopefully you be hearing more of them as they come up and we post them on Facebook or in the Little Things series. You have to have fun every now and again. What are some of your crazy saying that Aga can put in her book if she ever finds her scrap paper to write them on?