Luscious Links to Unlock Pinterest: Free Resources Show How to Pin Your Marketing

Just when you may have thought that social media marketing has settled down to the “big 4” (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube), Pinterest breaks new ground. It’s actually fun to use, highly visual and growing like a weed.

I’ll have more to say about why I think Pinterest is a real trend setter in a future post. Meanwhile, here is a choice selection of way luscious links that will help you get started or understand more, no matter whether you’ve already pinned your first board or not. These free resources should be useful in improving your understanding of how to create effective social media marketing via Pinterest. Or, perhaps you might prefer to start by checking out my Pinterest boards by way of example? 😉

Pinterest:  Everything You Wanted to Know About 2012’s Hottest Startup
InfoGraphic and impressive data from Mashable.com

The Remarkable Rise of Pinterest:  Chart
Get the picture literally via this chart from Business Insider.  See how many people are already spending more time on Pinterest than on other big social sites like Twitter and LinkedIn!

The Big Picture, Big Changes.  How Pinterest is Leading the Way for “The Next Social Networks”
An intelligent perspective from “Trust Agent” Chris Brogran

How Pinterest is Becoming the Next Big Thing in Social Media for Business
Jason Falls makes the case for Pinterest for business on Entrepreneur.com

Pinterest: 13 Tips and Tricks for Cutting Edge Users
Mashable’s how to guide will help you maximize you Pinterest activities.

56 Ways to Market Your Business on Pinterest
A cool & comprehensive blog post by Beth Hayden

30 Resources, Tips and Tricks for Marketing Your Business on Pinterest
A very useful collection from Jeff Bullas that also includes many more “luscious links”

The Ten Most Followed Brands on Pinterest
Mashable’s selection shows the woman-leaning bias of Pinterest, except I’m a Whole Foods and Mashable kinda guy and those companies are way into Pinterest too 😉

Dozens Of Major Companies Failed To Secure Their Brand Names On Pinterest
The name game is under way and lots of businesses are not paying attention… at their own peril. Are you and yours all set with the Pinterest name you love and deserve? 😉

Pinterest Data Analysis: An Inside Look
Research firm RJMetrics delivers some fascinating insights about Pinterest’s rapid growth as well as its “growing pains”

A Pinterest Board of Cool Pinterest Stuff
And, what selection of Pinterest links would be complete without a link to a Pinterest Board packed with cool Pinterest stuff? This is also a great example of how a Pinterest Board can be useful, interesting and creative.

Enjoy and please comment. Do you like this kind of link aggregation? Did you find this post useful? Thanks!

Top 3 Social TV Trends Emerge from CES News Announcements [Video]

CES,  the Consumer Electronics Show, happening this week in Vegas, is a sure bet for the inside track on the latest innovations in social TV and the convergence of traditional television and the exploding world of online video. As I explain in TheTVNews video commentary below, three CES news stories stand out for me as big-picture trend indicators. This blog post also provides links to the stories themselves so you can get more details.

Bottom line, the difference between being online and watching TV is blurring as a hybrid experience of the multi-screen experience and social TV comes to the forefront. Contextualized advertising, watching TV with friends who aren’t actually in the room and integrated TV/web browsing are just a few of the changes I expect to shake up the way we think about watching television as well as the TV industry itself.Another CES TV announcement

1. Google TV Isn’t Going Away
Despite its slow start, Google TV is re-emerging as its Android platform is being integrated into more and more Internet-enabled TV sets. Thus, Google is re-entering the TV market via at least four TV manufacturers: Sony, Samsung, LG and Visio. All four will be including Google TV into their internet-enabled televisions.

2. Social TV is Already Attracting Significant Investments 
The social media and mobile Internet revolutions (and I don’t use the term “revolution” lightly) have led to the rapid growth of people using mobile devices to interact while watching TV. This has resulted in an assortment of “second-screen,” social TV solutions, which allows users to hang out on the “virtual couch” with their friends while watching TV.  The fact that one of these apps, Zeebox, has just received at eight-figure investment from the News Corp-controlled pay-TV firm BSkyB shows how serious this new media playground is becoming. Neat Zeebox promo video and more details here. (Meanwhile, Forbes magazine thinks GetGlue has taken the social TV lead.)

3. TV Advertising Gains New Power
I think this is great news for small businesses. Google AdWords has already fueled Google’s approach to becoming a $40 billion/year company. Now its TV Ads product is expanding its reach through a new deal with a major cable system operator (MSO). Google TV Ads has signed a new deal with Cox Media, the ad sales extension of the big cable operator Cox Communications.

We can only hope that our ever-splintering attention level will serve as motivation for content-creators to offer deeper meaning, connection and context, within whatever social platform we happen to be sharing, at any particular moment.

If you’d rather watch than read, my video report starts at about 20 seconds into this clip:

Stay tuned.

 

Your Social Media Future: It’s Time to Say YES.

I continue to be amazed by how many professional people still resist social media marketing. In fact, this seems to be one of the main reasons that participants find so much value in my workshop, “Mastering the Social Media Marketing Mix.”

The US “premiere” of this workshop will be in San Francisco, next Wednesday, October 12th. The producer, Linda Kosut just sent out an email announcement to her list with the headline, “Social Media IS Our Future” including a commentary about how she personally resisted this idea for a long time.

social media marketing workshop in Auckland, NZ

"Social Media Marketing Mix" workshop in NZ

When I was in New Zealand, Mark Lowndes of the law firm Lowndes Associates described his experience this way:

“A year ago I was certain social media had no relevance to our commercial law firm.  Today I am convinced I was wrong. Social media will be an increasingly important part of our interaction with our clients and the business community at large. As with many businesses, I now believe there is no option but to learn how to engage effectively using social media.”
— Mark Lowndes, Lowndes Associates

When I speak about how important I think it is for companies and professionals of every variety to engage in social media marketing, I compare it to the ’80’s when I used to tell business audiences that email was as important as their toll free phone line. (Yes, amazing but true, not everyone recognized email at that point as an important customer service and/or sales communications channel.) I told these business people that they have to respond to their customers, and your customers have the right to communicate via any communication “channel” they want to use.

Now, your customers are “calling” you via social media. Of course, I think you should be pro-active in this new arena. But, for openers, if your toll free phone line was ringing, or you were getting email from a prospective customer, you would answer, wouldn’t you? Of course you would. Well, if you’re not engaged in social media marketing yet, please consider this your social media marketing “call.”

And, here’s a real invitation: If you are in the SF Bay Area, please do not miss the chance to experience the whole 3-hour presentation of “Mastering the Social Media Marketing Mix” at Ft. Mason, Wednesday, October 12th, 6:30 to 9:30pm. Frankly, the $99 registration fee is a remarkable value. My four-week online version of this workshop which will be announced shortly is expected to cost $397.

So this San Francisco live presentation, to a small interactive group offers great value. It will also deliver great inspiration that will motivate real productivity. And there will be tons of great information. I promise all of this, and I hope to see you there. Please click here to register and/or for more information. Thanks!

Social Media Makes the Old New Again: “If You Don’t Have Something Good to Say…”

A recent viewing of a Yahoo! video of Seth Godin reminded me that the social media “sea change” is much more than an incremental shift. It is literally a game changer. (FYI, this was also the subject of my latest TheTVNews.tv video commentary.)

It’s no wonder that so many people are either being diverted by “get rich quick” scam artists or trying to stuff social media strategies into some kind of  “same-ole-media box.”

In order to make sure that your social media marketing time is well spent, here are some provocative questions inspired by some respectable authorities that I hope will help you approach your social media marketing in a meaningful, satisfying and successful manner. After all, A Billion Dollars Isn’t Cool. You Know What’s Cool? Basic Human Decency :

  1. What’s the Difference between the Engagement Game and Actually Being Engaging?
    The Difference Between Engaged and Engaging” — a blog post by Danny Brown
  2. Why are Facebook “Fans” and YouTube Video Views a Meaningless Statistic?
    AdAge: “Sorry, but Counting Facebook ‘Fans’ or Video Views Won’t Help Your Brand
  3. What’s Wrong with Us? Are We Lazy or What?
    Social Media Fatique” — a blog post by Chris Brogan

Creating meaningful social media means moving beyond this “Social Media Fatigue.” And, it’s not going to happen unless we, as Brogan says, take the opportunity “to make something interesting and worthwhile, to be helpful, to empower others, to encourage and inspire others.” (In an earlier blog post, I called this “Leading with Value.”)

As our grandmothers used to say, “If you don’t have something GOOD to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Bottom line, real relationship building—which is what social media marketing is (or should be) all about—comes down to communicating your “basic human decency.” Now that’s “really cool.”

Luscious Links – Catching Up with the Goodness

I come across so much useful information in any given week that I’ve taken to these “Luscious Links” blog posts to try to share with you some of the best of the best that I find. Does this format work for you? Please let me know.

Google’s Focus on Quality and the PostRank Acquisition
This is an excellent & useful post from SitePoint clarifies the changing state of SEO & social media marketing. My take aways: 1. quality content rules 2. social media really does matter. 3. It’s the conversations, connections & relationships that matter most. Are you listening?

Why is Authenticity a Crucial Component of Internet Marketing?
As I’m re-grouping for the “next generation” re-invention of NewMarU.com, I was discussing with a friend, this ten-minute edited video conversation (linked above) with Robert Rabbin that came out of NewMarU’s first “guest” webinar. I LOVE what we said here and would really like more people to hear it. I sincerely believe that this is important information/perspective re marketing in the age of social media.

3 Smart Strategies for Book Promotion
Here are just a few smart ways that authors can promote their books with social media and PR. Practical steps any author can use for book marketing via SlideShare.

The “Talk Radio” Approach to Effective Email Marketing
I like the way that this CopyBlogger article underscores my core value that “it’s got to be fun.” Yes! In content marketing et al, FUN makes all the difference. Don’t you agree?

12 Awesome Facebook Stats, Charts & Graphs
Are you taking Facebook seriously as a marketing channel? If not, maybe you should check out these 12 stats via a nifty little Hubspot SlideShare presentation…

Learn How Your Website Can Be The Center Of Social Network Attention
My recent video comments on TheTVNews re social media marketing and a new solution that lets more active brands aggregate various social media conversations onto their website so it’s more of a “home base.”

How to Combine SEO and Social Media for Maximum Impact with Lee Odden
This is a good overview video interview that covers something I’ve been talking about a lot lately. It’s very important to understand the relationship between social media, SEO and content creation in order to produce effective marketing in today’s online environment. This is a valuable 5 minutes, IMHO.

Your feedback is encouraged. I’d love to hear any comments you may have.

Luscious Links: Online Video & Blogging Tips for Small Business Success

I thoroughly enjoy mining the Web for useful articles that I hope provide you with insights that can help you build your business success. The most immediate way for me to refer you to these articles is my Twitter account and our ComBridges Facebook page. Please “Follow” and/or “Like” respectively if you’d like more of this kind of stuff more quickly. These “Luscious Links” blog posts are another way for me to share these tips and insights with you. If you are so moved, please let me know which you find the most useful and share some of your favorites in the comments.

6 Steps to Uploading Pro Quality Videos to the Web
As a long time video pro, I get lots of how-to questions about best practices for producing video clips for marketing. This post has a concise list of key must-do steps. A well done post.

At YouTube Boot Camp, Future Stars Polish Their Acts
And, yes, there is a business “there” there. As this NYTimes article illuminates, even YouTube itself is offering bootcamps to help small businesses succeed.

For Some, Blogs Also Pay the Bills
A passion and sustainable focus are key components of a successful online business. OK, they are a critical component of ANY business. Without a significant time commitment and determination—let’s tell the truth—you are doomed. This is another insightful NYTimes article that includes some modest (and some not so modest) success stories.

Five minutes with Steven Pressfield, author of ‘The War of Art’, ‘Do The Work’ and ‘Gates of Fire’
And, speaking of a sustainable commitment, Steven Pressfield is one of my absolutely favorite authors because of the clarity of his inspiration. His latest book, “Do the Work” is a must read, in my opinion. Amazon affiliate link is below. Enjoy!

 

More iPhone Art Fun, Apps & Viral Video

The mobile media revolution is me. Some call it “user generated content,” but I think that’s way too impersonal and lacking in even a modicum of fun. For me, it’s a surprisingly exciting new medium that opens fresh opportunities for creative expression, anywhere, anytime.

This morning’s creative expression began with the photo below. Captured at the turn-around point on my walk using my iPhone, shooting with an app called Pro HDR and then processing it a bit (still in the iPhone) with another app called Camera+. Then, I enjoyed sharing it with my friends and followers on my personal Facebook page and Twitter account along with more personal comments. It really is a “wonderful Web.” (more below)

Another form of user generated new media expression totally cracked me up. The viral video below is something like a very funny Saturday Night Live sketch which is getting extra buzz because not everyone can see that this is an audition/demo by a young actress who is having fun playing on camera. It seems that while she was at it, she has created a viral video “hit.” At least that’s my interpretation. Have a great weekend!

Luscious Links: Free Resources for Effective Facebook Marketing

Facebook marketing may well be the next “big thing” for marketers. Sure, mobile is huge, and Google still dominates search and pay-per-click advertising. But Facebook has more registered users than anyone, currently in the range of 600 million. And, more importantly, most of these registered Facebook users provide valuable details in their personal profiles— this is very accessible and relevant information (like “job title” for example) that savvy marketers can use to make their marketing particularly well-targeted.

Thus, (in what we hope will become a weekly style of blog post) this week in “Lucious Links” we offer three FREE resources that we found useful in improving our understanding of effective marketing via Facebook, as well as some “bonus” links below:

New From Hubspot: “The Facebook Marketing Update – Spring 2011
If you are interested in do-it-yourself Facebook marketing, this is an excellent, up-to-date primer (it’s free, but registration is required.)

The 8 Success Criteria For Facebook Page Marketing
This is a solid strategic primer on Facebook Page Marketing; and it’s a free download without registration.

Facebook Publishes Guide to Social Marketing Best Practices
You could do a lot worse than this overview straight from the Facebook “horse’s mouth.” Solid, free advice. You can’t go wrong with the five core principles featured in this well-produced, 14-page PDF (direct download link above).

If you don’t believe that Facebook is important for marketing, how about these numbers showing dramatic increases in website traffic just from adding Facebook “Like” buttons?

And in other news…

Comcast Threatened To Pull Nonprofit Funding Over Tweet
This is a classic demonstration of what NOT to do via a real bonehead corporate move that backfired big time thanks to the Twitterverse and social media. Marketing Pilgrim covered it well.

Speaking of Comcast, I did a video commentary / review recently on TheTVNews.tv of the Comcast Xfinity iPad app as well as the HBO Go iPad app with what I viewed as an inevitable comparison to what I consider the state-of-the-art, the Netflix iPad app.

Enjoy and please comment. Do you like this kind of link aggregation? Did you find this post useful? Thanks!

Follow the Data | How Netflix, Amazon & Warner Bros Are Pointing the Way

As I was preparing this week’s New Media / New Marketing report for TheTVNews.tv, my good friend, Nick DeMartino sent me a very timely reference with his post, Can Data Save the (Hollywood) Studios in the Age of Social Media?

As I produced that segment (embedded below) and continued following the news, an immediate theme emerged: The power of data mining as perhaps THE major way big websites like Amazon and Netflix (and now Warner Brothers) gain leverage, and how it motivates major initiatives—including the casting of major TV series. Of course, this same power of customer data is also in the background of the major battle between Google and Facebook! Certainly at the top of the market, user data is the ultimate weapon and differentiator. Here are a few very current examples.

First, Nick’s post led me to recognize Warner Brothers as a new Hollywood studio leader in social media marketing. As you can see in the video which is embedded at the bottom of this post, I not only connect Warner—who is the producer of “Two and a Half Men”—with the casting of Ashton Kutcher, but with their recent Flixster acquisition (see Nick’s post) and with Warner’s innovative move renting movies via Facebook.(Flixster, btw, is my favorite iPhone/iPad movie app. I’ve even posted reviews there.)

Then, in today’s news came the announcement of a major new move by Amazon.com. The power of data mining, their extensive knowledge of customer data, and their knowledge of customer behavior is clearly a big part of the leverage that has motivated Amazon to join the “big leagues” of book publishing.

Finally, my favorite example of using the power of customer data is the Netflix recommendation engine, which certainly is part of what motivated them to license their first original TV production via their House of Cards deal. Along those lines, I think everyone can benefit from listening to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings on Charlie Rose to learn more about how they think.

Below is my new video analyzing Twitter’s impact on the casting of Ashton Kutcher a.k.a. @aplusk in his new role on “Two And A Half Men,” including those Warner Bros tie-ins mentioned above.

As always, I will be very grateful for any “likes” of this video and/or any comments on this blog or on YouTube. I look forward to your feedback. And, whatever you do, be sure to Follow the Data (and if you need help doing that via your own website analytics or Internet marketing campaign, please don’t hesitate to ask). 😉

 

iPhone Art, iPad Ease & the Mobile Revolution

Tonight I’m doing my first “art show” as an iPhone artist. It’s a small, private showing amongst just a few other creative people. I’m sure it’s not a career “game changer.” But, it’s certainly fun to have some images that I created with just my iPhone (and a variety of apps) that at least someone is calling “art.”

On the other hand, I am quite certain that the iPhone and the iPad are game changers—for me and for the world. As a qualified media wizard and innovator, I think there are still a lot of people who don’t yet understand what a majorly disruptive force all of this mobile tech stuff is—creatively, socially and economically.

Created entirely in iPhone

Personally, I am consistently delighted by the ways that all of this innovation provides opportunities for connections and all kinds of communications between more and more of us, all the way around “spaceship earth.”

In the spirit of all this, I’d like to offer a couple of  audio-visual “windows” into what is really an emerging new media world. Just in the past week, the following appeared to underscore this trend:

1. A two and a half year old child, appearing in a crowd-sourced video, demonstrates how intuitive the iPad is to use:

2. Twitter celebrates its 5th Birthday with a fun celebrity-infused promotion that extoles us to “follow your interests” and “discover your world” (fun):

3. I find another way to play and have fun creating “art” via an app called Flowpaper (used to create signature below)

So, whether or not my iPhone art catches on and gains any traction (fat chance) beyond my more-than-recreational enjoyment, if you don’t yet “get it” then please trust me: smart phones and smart tablets like the iPhone and iPad are hear to stay. Not only are they profoundly ubiquitous but they are remarkably easy to use (well easier to use than a PC… way!). This new electronic environment… ok, “canvas” promises to change things even more dramatically than the advent of the Web has already done. Really.

It will be a fun ride. Come on along. And, if you are already “on board,” thanks for playing. 😉

Stay tuned. Much, much more to come.

(signature image created with Flowpaper app)