Pinterest Advertising? Yes Indeed…

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Pinterest, the four-year old social network that functions as a digital scrapbook will soon allow marketers to advertise to the site’s almost 50 million users.

Pinterest began testing promoted pins on both its web and mobile apps about six months ago with a set of undisclosed businesses. Ben Silbermann, Pinterest’s CEO, was very clear that the intention was to test the ad product, not make money. “Nobody’s paying for anything yet—we want to see how things go and, more than anything, hear what you think,” he wrote in a blog post.

By summer, a select number of advertisers will be able to place promoted posts in category feeds and user searches. Pinterest wants these visual ads to be viewed more like magazine ads than typical online ad units.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Pinterest ad chief Joanne Bradford equates them to “works of art.” It’s a smart strategy aimed at siphoning more ad dollars away from legacy media formats like print and television, but it will place Pinterest in direct competition with photo-sharing app Instagram, which has the exact same plan.

Because of their highly visual attributes, both Pinterest and Instagram offer a very intriguing medium for advertisers online.  Pinterest launched it’s 6 month experiment using brands like Four Seasons and TRESemme to test out the ad units. There is no word yet on who it’s first paid marketers will be.

To read more about Pinterest ads and how they are selling them to agencies, click here.

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Blogger Outreach: Why and How?

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We recommend blogger outreach (as a method of content marketing) to our clients for many reasons. First off, marketing has taken a turn from business-to-consumer (or business-to-business) to person-to-person. Word of mouth (WOM) marketing has become the way to learn about new products from someone you can trust. One way a brand can achieve that is working directly with influencers who have a command over a loyal audience. These “Bloggers” have a very distinct advantage because they have a fan base built around one topic (or series of topics) who rely on them to review products objectively and to share their perspective openly.

Research from BlogHer has shown that 81% of the online population trusts information and advice they get from bloggers and that 61% have made a purchase based on a blogger’s recommendation.” (socialmediaexaminer.com)

We have done several blogger outreach programs for our clients. Here is an overview of a few:

Fitmark makes bags for athletes and the fitness enthusiasts.  Each month we contact fitness and healthy lifestyle bloggers who we feel are a good representation of the brand. We send them a #nicebag from our client’s amazing selection and we only ask for honest reviews based on their experience. One of our first bloggers was Lindsay Livingston, of the Lean Green Bean.  She reviewed Fitmark’s Lavender Sport Tote and held a contest that required email entries to win the bag.  The simple contest earned 1215 entries (that could then be email marketed to for future marketing) and all week Fitmark was being @mentioned on Twitter from this contest. This gained tremendous exposure and a very nice list for future brand communications for Fitmark. = WIN!

Dollie & Me sells dolls and clothes that fit all 18″ dolls. They are also well-known for their match back fashions and their doll clothes fit most dolls of that size made by their competitors. We have worked with countless influential mommy bloggers, coordinating product reviews and giveaways that have increased likes and engagement, as well as interest from potential consumers. Partnering with these influencers has been extremely successful because they each have their own audience and fans who trust their opinion, which will encourage them to try products that the influencer endorses. We have directly tied back these efforts (through Google Analytics) to considerable traffic as well as e-commerce conversions each month. = WIN!

Oatworks is a oat based smoothie with fresh fruit mixed in that provides a great dose of beta gluten and is a very healthy “snack” option. We recently launched a campaign targeting healthy living or “fit bloggers” and it is off to a very good start. This is a very big audience online and there are a lot of bloggers in this category.  We work hard to find the best fit for our client so we can get the biggest bang for our buck.  One notable review was posted by Chelle from Oh Just Stop Already.  She reviewed Oatworks and held a contest for her readers to win a case and try for themselves.  The contest had 730 entries which was tremendous for this brand new startup who had little-to-no awareness in the market.  Now as the brand gains traction and starts showing up on retailer’s shelves across the country, guess who we will be notifying first to go in and try it? Awareness + Email Acquisition + Retailer Support (driving foot traffic) = WIN!

Get the 5 tips for developing better blogger outreach here from Social Media Examiner.

 

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Big Brand Theory: Deepa Gurnani

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Instagram, as we have talked about before is a great platform for brands, even if it is not a big driver of e-commerce. While it does not directly drive sales, it does allow a brand to tell a story and reach fans in an engaging way. One of our clients, Deepa Gurnani-a jewelry and accessories designer, has been very successful on Instagram since they signed with us in February of this year. We are very proud of the progress we have made on their account!

When they began with us, they had a little over 1000 followers on the platform and their numbers have grown steadily and continue to do so every day. Even more important that follower count is that they have found their voice on Instagram, which is not always easy to do. They employ a nice balance of product and lifestyle shots in their rotation. They also take advantage of filters to spice up their photos and make them attractive and fun to their audience, rather than just using a plain white background. The jewelry images show their product(s) in a clever and attractive way allowing them to really tell their story in the process.

We are also committed to being timely and keeping up with what is going on in popular culture- i.e. “Ellen’s selfie” from the Oscars.  We are also using NYC as a backdrop as this is where the brand is primarily based. There is a real connection to the city and it is therefore a must that we weave it into our conversation. By posting these types of lifestyle posts we are able to share more about who the brand is, without directly “selling” the consumer. This is all about brand building, and it is going really well thus far!

To see more of how Deepa Gurnani is owning Instagram here!

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Facebook Pages Redesign: Sircle Media’s POV

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We recently highlighted the Facebook redesign of the newsfeed, but they’re not stopping there. Facebook Pages are also getting a redesign for Page visitors and Page administrators, and Facebook is calling it a more streamlined look.

What you need to know:

  • The redesign includes two columns similar to the old version, but the right column is now the Page’s timeline and the left includes information about the brand or corporation (In the old design, both columns served as the Timeline; posts were staggered between the left and right columns as users scrolled down.)
  • In the new design, the “Invite Your Friends” section has moved from the right side of the screen to the left, and the text box for posting switched from the left to the right side.
  • For Page admins, a new metrics section on the far right-hand side of the Page includes data about ads, Likes and post reach.
  • Facebook is also rolling out “Pages to Watch” for all admins, meaning users can create a list of similar or competitor pages to compare metrics like engagement and Page Likes.

We are all for change here at Sircle Media, especially if it helps our clients better achieve their goals of engagement and reach for their brand. The “Pages to Watch” will be a very helpful and useful feature in order to know what’s going on in the competitive landscape and how to compare the insights.  Once Facebook rolls out the changes and we have had a chance to use the new features we will check back in and let you know more about what we do and/or do not like about the redesign. Until then you can read more about it here: http://on.fb.me/1ftK8Po

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Facebook Redesign: What You Need to Know

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Facebook has recently announced a redesigned News Feed that separates streams of content into multiple categories and elevates the user interface with a mobile-inspired design.

The goal of the News Feed is to provide a “personalized newspaper,” according to Mark Zuckerberg.  It’s being changed to take advantage of more visual content sharing, as well as seperating personal stories and posts from public figures. “We want updates from our friends, but we also want updates from publications” and others.

Understanding that half of posts on the News Feed are visual content, the Facebook team has made photos and albums larger. Articles have also been expanded to include a fuller summary and the logo of the publication. Facebook is also working to make third-party content from places like Pinterest more attractive.

Besides the visual redesign, Facebook is also trying to take advantage of its “Like” system and various streams of information from apps or different groups of friends. Along with user’s friends’ stories, it will begin including recommended sites and articles or other content from people or pages that they’re interested in. There’s a new dedicated feed for people you follow but aren’t friends with, another nod to the change from pure social network to “newspaper.”

Facebook’s new look fits with the current trend of clean, image-saturated sites — it can now be compared to it’s competitor, Google+.

The new News Feed is launching on the web version today, with a mobile version coming in the next few weeks;  for more information on the change, click here!

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Facebook Reach: Learn The Basics

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Facebook is always rolling out new features, but does it benefit you as a brand? Let’s discuss!

Facebook reach is the number of unique people who saw your content. That’s not all. The reach affects every other metric that you can track including comments, clicks, engagement, and likes. There are different kinds of reach as well — post, page, organic, viral, and paid. Let’s first talk about those.

  • Organic reach: The number of unique people who saw your post in the news feed or on your page, including people who saw it from a story shared by a friend when they liked, commented on or shared your post, answered a question or responded to an event.
  • Paid reach: The number of unique people who saw your post through an ad

Note: Viral reach is now counted as part of organic reach.

You will also see something in your insights called “impressions”. Impressions are the number of times a post from your page is displayed, whether the post is clicked on or not. People may see multiple impressions of the same post. For example, someone might see a page update in the news feed 1x (or more), and then a second time if their friend shares it.

Note: The reach will most likely will be lower than impressions, because it cannot reach someone multiple times like an impression.

Should you pay to reach more?

Paying to promote the right content in order to reach more people in your target audience (fans or not), can have it’s benefits. It is recommended that you adopt a pay to play mentality in today’s Facebook Ecosystem.

5 ways to maximize your reach:

1. Know your audience

Study your fans and know what they want in terms of content. Get into Facebook insights and really look at what your fans are responding to. Do they like video? Do they like two posts a day rather than one? Are they online at a specific time? What kind of content are they interested in sharing with their friends? Once you know your fans better and what they like/don’t like, etc. you will be able to get better results in a variety of ways.

2. Be relevant, brief AND timely

Your audience does not want to see paragraph long posts. It’s a fact, they are indeed turned off by it. They are more apt to read posts that are short, accompanied by a picture, and a link (bitly). If you’re sharing content, make sure it is up-to-date, especially if it is regarding your product in the press, etc.

3. Quality, quality, quality!

Quality content is going to get your posts even further. As long as you provide valuable information to your audience, your reach will be higher as fans will be more likely to share the content as well. Ask questions, conduct contests, and involve your consumers as much as possible.

4. Turn your fans’ friends into fans themselves

Facebook insights provides admins with the “Friends of Fans” metric, letting them know how many people they can potentially reach organically. Friends of fans are extremely important — they are more likely to visit a brand’s Facebook Page or website, purchase a brand’s products and become fans themselves. Organically, these Facebook fans can easily be reached through the Facebook Ticker, which tracks all user activity. Keep your fans interacting with your brand, and their friends will see all “liking” activity, comments and posts in the top right of their news feed.

5. Engage!

Fans love to know their favorite brands are listening and interacting with them. Sometimes social media managers overlook this very simple task, but it means a lot. Whether it is to say “thank you” or “have a great day”, consumers respond best to brands when they know they are being heard and responded to. Make sure to mix up your responses. Just don’t overdo it!

To read more about Facebook reach, click here!

 

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