Are You #WINNING by PINNING?

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Is your brand on Pinterest? If the visual discovery platform is not in your current or future marketing plan, you’re making a big mistake. Big. Pinterest is a great tool for e-commerce stores to use to increase site traffic and boost sales.Visual storytelling is a key element to any brand. “According to a new study by Piqora, A pin on Pinterest generates $0.78 in sales, on average on e-commerce sites, which is 25% more than what it drove in the fourth quarter of 2012. What’s more, a pin is repinned (a form of sharing) 10 times on average” ().

“Another interesting point made is that pins are “frozen in time,” in that they tend to be pinned and repinned often over time, rather than fading away like a typical Facebook or Twitter post. That’s because Pinterest is not focused on user feeds, but on category pages and popular sections.” (Business Insider)

According to Social Media Examiner, here are six ways brands are using Pinterest:

1. Bring Pinterest to You

2. Share Your Lifestyle, Not Your Products

3. Partner With Influential Guest Pinners

4. Show Your Fans You Appreciate Them

5. Humanize Your Brand

6. Inspire Your Audience

For more on these six ways to use Pinterest to promote your brand, click here.

Pinterest/E-Commerce Infographic (via Shopify):

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Source: Shopify.com

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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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Social Content Playlist-From The Kitchn

We recently came across The Kitchn, a daily web magazine devoted to home cooking and kitchen design. The site publishes twenty short articles a day that inform and motivate every aspect of home cooking, “from recipes to cooking lessons to product reviews to kitchen design and renovation advice”. While this site is geared towards foodies and homeowners, they have gone outside the box and played up social content with their own original content, which we, here at Sircle Media LOVE and recommend to our clients.

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They released ’20 Songs for Dancing in the Kitchen’ using Spotify. Great idea, right? This is a great way to integrate something creative that is not directly related to their original content. By creating this they get readers more involved, and hopefully find new readers based on the playlist. They involve their audience when they ask them to share their favorite song to dance along to in the kitchen, which sparked engagement. Then they posted this playlist across their social media platforms, which made it easy to find and to get the readers back to their site.

It is very important for brands to step out of their typical content comfort zone and provide fans and consumers with articles, playlists, news, and quotes that are not directly tied to their brand, but relatable. Consumers want to feel as though they can connect with you and that can be done with these types of social content plays. We always advise that our clients think about what other content would be relevant and resonate with their consumers, outside of their product(s) that they are trying to sell. We love what they have done here not only because music is so universal, but they also leveraged Spotify, a social network in its own right.

Big Thumbs Up from us!  Don’t forget to check out The KItchn!

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Vilebrequin Design and Development

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Custom Facebook Design and Development Project: Vilebrequin has been a client of ours for over 6 months now and we have worked intimately with this amazing brand on their social/digital strategy development, new ecommerce website launch and their day to day community management.

They have a very passionate and loyal following and they have established themselves  as a global leader in men’s fashion in and around luxury beachwear. They wanted to enhance the user experience on their Facebook page by providing some brand curated content that their fans could engage with. Check out their  Custom Spotify Tab here (their most trafficked tab on FB)

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Let SEO Guide Your Future

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Effective SEO is more than just content and linking. Now, more than ever before, social media is a rising and critical part of any comprehensive plan. An important component of your SEO strategy is scaling social media. The more active you are on social platforms, the larger social foot print you will have on your SEO efforts.

It is very important to realize that social media is not all about promoting and advertising products. It’s about building relationships and listening to your audience. Although indirect, the overall performance of search marketing efforts when social data is used to inform content marketing strategies is larger. Your audience can lead the way when it comes to trying to figure out what fits them best. You can see what websites they are on and what they are most interested in. By using that information, you are able to provide the best content for your customers.

Strategy is key when trying to improve your SEO and social media efforts. You should know your alignment opportunities, tactical next steps, and strategies for each quarter. Use the tools in front of you to improve SEO!

You want to get into a cycle by having social conversations to get keyword strategy, and then search keywords that can inform social content strategy. This cycle is needed because it will boost your social engagement, which in the end, increases social conversations and social signals. Let SEO guide your future by aligning search and social. To here more about this, check this out.

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Pinning Articles To Pinterest Has Never Been Easier!

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Pinterest recently released the ability to pin articles straight to their boards. The pins will automatically include critical information in a way that catches the eye and brings in viewers! It will have a story headline, the author’s name, a description of the story, and of course, the place to put the source URL!  There is no more worrying about having to manually put in the information, Pinterest will do all the work for you.

These article pins will look better because, well, now they are meant to be on Pinterest! The images will be larger, the information will be easier to access, and the pinning process is less tedious! #Win

If you’re one to write blogs, articles, etc., this new feature should be thoroughly taken advantage of. You can deepen your marketing strategies and provide compelling visuals and descriptions that will stand out! It’s about time this feature made its way to the platform.

With Pinterest’s new ad feature, and now this, Pinterest is taking big strides towards being a more effective marketing machine! Your written content will now have a more prominent role and now you have another place (where a lot of people are) that your articles can be seen, re-pinned, and viewed.

Click the link to learn more about “Rich Pins for Articles”!

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Sircle Media Launches Sircle.It

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On August 1st, Sircle Media launched a new division, named Sircle It. We pride ourselves on being a full digital solution for our clients and we wanted to continue to follow through on that promise. Most of our clients start with a “strictly social” plan, but they quickly realize (with a lot of urging from us) that social is much bigger than Facebook and Twitter posting. It is all a part of a larger plan and you need to employ a more comprehensive strategy to make it all come together.

We decided it was time to bring all of that under one roof to make for a smoother transition for our brands. Sircle had developed some great working relationships with outside fulfillment partners (and we remain in close contact with them if/when there is a chance for collaboration) but now most work is managed completely by Sircle.  We definitely feel this creates a better offering for our clients. Ultimately we want to be able to have all of the players in place so we can create a workable plan and then execute on that plan seamlessly.

Screen_Shot_2013-09-23_at_9.22.48_AMWebsite Design and Development for the current times. This means responsive, CMS’ that allow for clients to update/improve content on their own.

Search Marketing Strategies that allow for our clients to be found on popular search engines. We employ strategic SEO and SEM plans that increase visbility and drive traffic to their websites.

Content Marketing Solutions that allow websites to be more meaningful, memorable and shareable. We employ strategic content marketing plans, including Facebook Ads, Blog writing and Blogger outreach programs that also tie in with social messaging to create a 360 degree solution.

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Using Instagram To Grow Your Brand!

I came across these simple, but spot on tips for using Instagram to grow your business on Social Media Today and I felt compelled to share it.  The whole article paints a very clear picture of what Instagram is and why it is so powerful. Give it a quick read and take notes.  Here are the 6 tips:

1. Use images to tell a story, not blast your branding

If you sell a product or service, make sure the images you use are about the experience of using the product or service, and not a product placement ad. Starbucks is an example of a big brand that does this well. Sure their photos show lots of Starbucks cups, but their photos also tell a story—the focus is always on what the person is doing while enjoying their coffee—on the beach, reading a book, etc.

There’s not a lot of tolerance for marketing that’s obviously marketing on social in general, and I would argue less so on Instagram. Keep it subtle and keep the focus on the experience or emotion your Instagrams project.

2. Most photos fall into two categories: beautiful imagery or humor

Make sure your Instagram photos fall into one of these categories. Generally a humorous photo needn’t be beautiful as well. Most users aren’t posting all their random party pics to their Instagram stream and brands should exercise similar constraint. Photo albums in that vein are for Facebook. Think of your Instagram photos as high value/low volume.

3. Don’t post too often

A general rule, don’t post more than three photos in a row or once every three hours. If you post more often than that, you run the risk of hogging your users’ feed. And don’t automatically share your Instagram photos to all your networks—editorially select and customize each one for the appropriate platform.

4. Choose an account name that’s the same as your Twitter handle

Having the same Instagram account name and Twitter handle serves two purposes. One—your profile will be easily recognizable and easy to find. And two—if you are tagged by another user in a caption and that photo is shared on Twitter, that tag will link to your Twitter profile. It ensures that tagging makes sense when an Instagram photo is shared on other networks.

5. Use hashtags, but don’t be creepy about it

Like on Twitter, hashtagging photos enables discovery of your profile by users outside of your primary connections. You can use the search functionality on the app to find out which hashtags are often used. Like on Twitter, hashtagging Instagram photos by event, geolocation, or subject matter is a good idea.

Other hashtags people tend to use on Instagram are filters and colors. Hashtags tend to be somewhat limited on Twitter due to the character length limitations. Because Instagram doesn’t have these limitations, this has encouraged some users and brands to stuff Instagram captions with every hashtag imaginable. Don’t do this—it looks like you’re trying too hard. Even worse, it makes you look like a spammer.

6. Set up an account on a web-based viewer

Instagram’s focus continues to be all about the mobile experience, but the app recently added the ability to view individual photos on the web through a shareable link. This feature allows your Instagram stream to not only be seen by those not using the app, but allows those who do have an account to like and comment on a shared photo right from the web. However, using a separate web-based viewer can help you manage your presence and track your progress.

Using Instagram’s API, these tools recreate your feed on a webpage, so you can view multiple photos at a time (without scrolling) on your computer. Most often you can make the same actions (liking, commenting, searching, tagging, etc.) on these web viewers that you can make on the mobile app. My favorite tool is Statigram—they even have a few basic metrics, comment notifications, and an Instagram campaign toolkit.

Hope this was helpful! Follow us on Instagram @SircleMedia

 

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How To: Be Pinworthy on Pinterest

Pinterest is an image-based social media network that combines the power of visual and social media. This website created a search friendly engine for every business, providing incredible free marketing. What makes one of your photos “pinworthy” on Pinterest? Learn here!

Create great images: Valuable content is key. The P in Pinterest does not stand for promote. Transform your business’ information into visual presentations, this will build engagement.

Integrate your brand into your images: Make sure to use your company’s colors, and visual style. You want your business to come across as extremely professional. This means that you need to pick appropriate photographs to display on your Pinterest page. If you are uploading an image, be sure to incorporate the company URL or watermark.

Check your rights to use the image: Make sure that you are legally allowed to use a photo before uploading. Your company may not have legal rights to use older content.

Optimize your image to achieve goals: Include great content with each photograph. You want your re-pinner to read information about your company when they enlarge one of your images.

Make your content easy to pin: Make sure to include a “pin it” button! This will remind your audience that it is simple and worth a click of their mouse.

Content is such an important component to an online strategy and Pinterest is such a powerful vehicle. Learn it, use it and reap the rewards!

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