Published: Saturday, 12 July 2014 00:06
You'll be up and pinning and creating new boards and place pins in no time!
1. Create a new Board OR open up and existing board to edit.
2. Click on the toggle button next to "Add a Map" so it's showing "Yes"
3. You will see the next screens to assist you in future editing and pinning.
4. For your existing pins, you can simply add the location to view it on your map.
5. You can also add places by inputting the name and city directly to the map.
... and that's the extent of adding Place Pins, Adding a Map and converting existing pins and boards.
Check out our ideas "How Place Pins Can Drive Tourism"!
Published: Friday, 11 July 2014 23:25
As compared to Facebook and Twitter where users are more reflective with their actions and posts more feed oriented, Pinterest users are aspirational in nature. So, it’s no wonder that marketers noticed how users were creating more and more boards around the vacations they were planning, along with pinning sites they aspired to visit and special places worth a watch, even those located close to where they lived.
In 2013, people Pinned almost 1.5 million places every day, and by the end of the year, destinations had over 750 million Pins on Pinterest. It was then, ‘Place Pins’ were introduced, primarily to help people convert their travel inspiration into reality. The tourism industry has slowly woken up to the immense potential of this Pinterest feature that can bring big business their way.
Here’s how you too can do it:
Craft content-rich guides and maps: Whether you are a tour operator or a hotel with lots to see and do around the location, you can use the ‘Place Pins’ feature to create boards with content-rich guides and maps and pin the locations to the board. Since this feature includes extra details like the phone number and address right on the Pin, users can easily pull up useful information before they venture out to explore the place. Imagine a group of users planning a tour to your resort. Won’t they appreciate having a user-friendly guide accessible from anywhere on their Android device or iPhone? You bet they will! Thus, you can connect with your potential clientele by offering them easy means to find new places on the go and even get directions to them!
Reach your target clientele directly: Many tourists these days are planning group trips on Pinterest using Place Pins, which let them find restaurant recommendations and places of tourist interest that are close to their hotel and any chosen destination within the city. As a tourism service provider, you can easily see such public information and know what these consumers are looking for. Thus, if you find a group planning to travel to your location, you can engage with the group (or the group leader) and offer them a special discount at your hotel or restaurant. This way, you can leverage the free consumer data available on Pinterest, engage with your potential customers and give your business a big boost.
Create collaborative boards for a complete experience: Travelers these days do a lot of research before they visit any place. They are no longer content doing just a thing or two. Rather, they would love to pack as much as possible within their limited time at a specific destination. You can ask others in the tourism industry to join hands and create collaborative boards, which offer the potential travelers everything they need at one place. Thus, if you are a hotel owner, you can invite those offering sightseeing/activity packages nearby, restaurants selling authentic local delicacies, those managing cultural attractions/art centers/entertainment scenes etc to help potential travelers plan their tour and ensure that they don’t miss out on the must-do’s. Imagine that there’s a small vendor near your hotel that sells the best ice cream in the city. You can now use Place Pins to put the location on a map or ask the vendor to collaborate. Thus, users can now have pictures of the place to look at, check how
close it is to their hotel, get directions to reach there and even get the phone number to contact the vendor. All these will add more utility to your place boards.
Driving traffic to your travel website: Whether you are a travel supplier, a travel agent or a travel itinerary planner, you can now create interactive, image-rich, searchable itinerary maps with Place Pins and even insert links to your own website. This way, you can drive traffic to your website and convert some of those leads into sales.
Offer paid services: You may even help potential travelers create a detailed travel map or offer advice on planning a trip in lieu of a service charge. With Place Pins, it has become much easier to pin the places a tourist wants to visit to the board, and then collaborate with friends who will be accompanying him/her on the trip. Once the tourist reaches the location, he/she can easily access the board while visiting one place and check the Place Pins to find what’s nearby amongst the places that he/she has pinned earlier. However, since not everybody may have the time or patience to do it, you can offer to get it done for a price.
The objective of Pinterest Place Pins is to inspire people to explore new places. Whether such places are in their backyard or on the other side of the globe, this feature has opened a tremendous opportunity for those in the travel and tourism industry as well. So, start using the Pinterest Place Pins to help people get to their desired destinations while enjoying a precious pie of the big profit share.
Now that we've given you some ideas, check out our "How to" instructions on getting started with Place Pins!
Published: Wednesday, 09 July 2014 16:47
Looking for fresh ideas to post on social media? We’ve rounded up some topics to get folks sharing, interacting and wanting to visit!
- Post a photo of your resort pool with a caption, “Who wants to play? MARCO!...”
- Post photos of local or your speciality food – everyone loves food pictures!
- Post photos of the lovely grounds, flowers, the view, sunrise, sunset with the caption, “who needs a vacation?”
- Photos of things to do… swim, scuba, kiteboarding, skiing, paddle boarding, etc and ask visitors what their favorite water sport is?
- Sinking your toes in the sand with a caption, “Wish you were here!”
- Post a beautiful photo of your resort or view and add the caption, “Tag yourself if you need a vacation.” You could even make this into a contest if you want and select someone who tagged themself as your winner.
- Post a photo of something unique visitors would see so they can almost envision themselves there - local street vendors, a unique artifact (totem pole, statue, pier, etc) or well known sign (Welcome to Las Vegas) that signifies your visit-worthy locale
- Post a photo of things going on nearby: a street player playing jazz, a surfing event, a race. You never know who’s looking and what they’re interested in - it just may be what you capture a photo of!
- If you offer excursions or travel related services, post photos of what they will see on the trip and post a caption like, “You’re invited” or “Here’s what you’re missing!”
- Who is your demographic? Older retired couples? Singles? Young adventurous types? Post something that would appeal to them - a bicycle built for 2 that they can rent? Excursions for solo travelers or maybe a wild and adventurous trek.
- Post how your business is contributing to sustainability, eco-tourism, protecting coral reef, wildlife conservation, low water usage, recycling, energy conservation, local sourcing of food, etc
- Ask people what their favorite thing to do when visiting is
- Post a screen capture of the current weather conditions and a caption saying, “it’s perfect here for you to come visit”
- Post photos of the various things to do when traveling with kids
- Share posts and photos from other nearby businesses that your demographic might be interested in. (IE: if you’re a resort, you might want to post photos of a travel excursion that went on a trip to XYZ and shared it on their page)
- Ask visitors what their favorite beach is, favorite snorkeling spot, favorite place to eat
- Take a photo of some “off the beaten path” place and ask if folks can identify where it is or what the photo is of
- Iguanas? Tropical Fish? Birds? Share photos of sights and sounds of nature around you.
- Stage a photo of cervezas under a palm tree on the sand, a surfboard at the beach on top of a jeep, guests getting on gear to go on an excursion, etc - anything that makes visitors wish they were there living in that moment!
- Take photos of guest having fun, enjoying their time or relaxing. Ask them if you can share it on your website blog (even better to get a model release signed) as well as on Facebook. Ask them to tag themselves or if you may.
When you find what your visitors interact with the most, do it often, but also don’t forget to still have a good mix that will appeal to your target demographic.
Published: Tuesday, 01 July 2014 20:03
Congratulations on taking the step to search engine optimization and internet marketing for your website. Many of the tools contained in the eBook are what top SEO firms use to market your site to your target customers. This eBook not only promotes your website with each task you do, it will teach you WHY you are doing it and HOW it will help in the long run.
Using this eBook
The majority of the tasks in this eBook will require an internet connection to complete. Links have been provided for you for supplemental information and link directly to the source.
This eBook is intended for anyone that has a website and business to promote (or their webmasters) and specifically addresses unique needs for the following industries:
- Hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, Resorts, Inn's
- Travel Operators (island hopping, skydiving, ziplining, night dinner cruises, shuttles, etc)
- Tour Excursions (deep sea fishing, jungle tours, etc)
- Vacation Equipment Rentals (boats, gear, etc)
- Scuba Diving & Training
- Vacation Rental Properties
- Timeshare Properties
- Restaurants (street vendors, food trucks, etc)
- Bars & Nightclubs
After Completing the Tasks, You Will Have:
- Learned essential skills for marketing and promoting your business and website on the Internet
- Promoted your site on the top Travel Related Sites and Directories
- Created more inbound links for people to find you
- Improved the foundation for your site
- The ability to track your growth the way professional SEO Firms do
- Formed a social media network full of potential prospects
- Developed a reason for search engines to crawl your site more often
- Submitted your site to top search engines
- Utilized your time wisely while using very little money to achieve your goal
- Increased your breadth of ways for people to find you
- Produced effective marketing campaigns to drive traffic back to your site again and again
- Given followers a reason to revisit your site
The 23 page eBook is chock full of hundreds of tasks for you to employ STARTING NOW, which you are sure to use again and again - FOR FREE!
About the Author
Michelle Crossley has been working in marketing and design for over 20 years. She's helped many clients achieve great results growing their businesses using proven tactics in this book.
Through the years, she's taught college design, internet skills and marketing while continuing to work in a freelance design capacity. She launched studio1c in 2007, hasn't spent any money towards online advertising and tripled her business during it's first year in business.
"...wanted to be sure and mention how pleased we are with your sharp internet skills and overall SEO expertise and knowledge. You have demonstrated some remarkable strategic marketing channels and methods that we were not familiar with... Thank you for always staying involved, being interested in our business and always thinking “outside-of-the-box”."
Anita Sparks-Bohn, CasaNuevaGuide
"...thanks to Michelle's skill and creativity my website is now at the top of Google's search engine after only 2 1/2 months. My online gift certificate sales have increased by more than 70% and overall my profits have greatly increased."
Becky Manor, Therapeutic Massage Works
"Our site came up in 8 of the top 10 slots on Google's first page - now that's GREAT results!" Candace Hansford, Bella Laser Center
Published: Sunday, 22 June 2014 23:34
Pinterest allows you to share as well as organize every interesting thing you see on the web. With the help of this pinboard-style social picture sharing site, you can produce and manage a wide variety of theme-based images, which may include interests, leisure pursuits, events, and more. Since users can ‘like’ photos, browse other pinboards to get ideas and inspiration, and ‘re-pin’ images to their own assortments, this medium can help you to drum up publicity for your business and brand. Let us see how restaurateurs can benefit from Pinterest:
Posting pictures of food: Since Pinterest is more of a visual platform, this is the best media to display high quality pictures of the various unique food items offered at your restaurant. Visual impact is much effective to woo new clients and retain your existing ones.
Post events: It is essential for you to share pictures of the events you entertain in your restaurant. People are attracted by varieties that are offered and constantly look for something new. Hence, keep improvising and updating these pictures.
Post pictures of your restaurant: Most people look for the ambience of a place, especially when they decide to dine out. The interior of your restaurant would certainly make a huge difference to the ambience followed by the food that is presented with an appropriate customer service.
Post the ingredients: Though you may have your secret recipes, you must mention the special menus that are unique to your restaurant with some of the key ingredients used in them. With the increase in health awareness, people do look into what they eat and how hygienic it is.
Post offers: There are times when you would offer free drinks with a meal menu or let the 50th visitor enjoy a free starter. When you use the Pinterest to post these offers, you can expect more people to take note of such offers, which in turn may increase the number of visitors coming to your restaurant.
Post images of work areas: This actually makes a difference in getting more people. Posting the pictures of kitchen and the work areas projecting the chefs at work etc, would give an idea about the clean kitchen and other food items. This in turn would motivate more people to visit your restaurant.
Plan contests: From time to time, you may plan a contest with people who follow you on Pinterest. Offering the winner a free night out or dinner could make more people interested and even give you some word-of-mouth publicity, not to mention the re-pins that your post may get.
Talk about special achievements: You can pin about milestones achieved by your restaurant like being in business for 10 years, or talk about other successful milestones like hosting a dinner party for your city’s soccer team, making it special for a guest’s birthday or anniversary etc.
Post about other things: It’s not wise to always talk about your restaurant, recipes etc. At times, you may go off topic to pin about a special news or your city’s sport team to show that you really care about the place your live in and want meaningful interaction with fellow citizens. Pinning about your family roots and why or how you came into the restaurant business are also good ways to break the monotony.
Pinterest can help you tap into new audience while retaining your existing clientele. You can even increase the number of visitors to your restaurant’s website by using this medium wisely. You can use a Pinterest follow button and Pin It button on your website to let your clients easily connect with you and share your content online. So, use the tips mentioned above to give your restaurant business a boost.
Published: Sunday, 22 June 2014 20:02
Following these steps will make your gatherings more successful
There's no need to fret, if your business or organization hasn't started planning for this year's calendar of events. Just follow these simple tips and you'll be on the road to successful gatherings.
Think quarterly - With all the other responsibilities you have as a small business owner, it can be difficult to plan for a full calendar year all at one time. Solve that problem by breaking the year down into four manageable three-month chunks, and figure out what you can reasonably handle in the quarter ahead.
Figure out what kind of events you want to hold - It may sound obvious, but as you ponder what type of events you want to hold -- workshops, seminars, customer appreciation nights, charity drives -- make sure you know the answer to two questions: What do I want to achieve from each of these events? And, what should the attendees gain by attending each of these events?
Decide when you want to host your events - When thinking about the dates and times of your events, it's important to take into consideration your audience, and any holidays that might fall around those dates. From the audience perspective, consider the time of day, particularly during the week. For instance, if your desired attendees are working professionals, a daytime schedule is probably a bad idea.
For weekend events that fall around a holiday, my rule of thumb is two days must separate the holiday and the weekend to make the time viable. For instance, if Christmas fell on a Friday, the weekend of the 26th and 27th a poor choice for an event. Choose a different weekend if the two-day window rule is violated.
Where is your event going to take place? - For retail and restaurant customers, the answer to this question is obvious. But for those in search of a venue, there are a couple things to keep in mind. First, ensure the location is in an area accessible by the most number of target attendees. Also, make sure the venue is easy to find and has plenty of parking for those who drive there.
(Note: If there are multiple places or dates you're considering for a single event, use an online survey containing a single question with the top three or four logistical options and let attendees decide what works best for them.)
Save the date - People are busy, so it's important to get space on their calendars as soon as possible. If you have the date nailed down, I recommend sending a save the date email 10 weeks in advance.
Open registration as soon as possible - As soon as the date, time, and venue are nailed down, open registration for your event, regardless if it's a fee-based event or free. For fee-based events, getting someone to pay even $1 is a commitment that they are going to attend. Paying online with a credit card is about as firm a commitment as you can get from an attendee. Getting as many people to register online as soon as possible helps with head counts, food orders, and other logistical items.
Follow up after the event - Don't forget to plan for post-event follow-up as well. After each gathering, you should send a short survey to attendees to see if your event lived up to their expectations. Use the feedback to make positive changes for future events.
Following these steps on a quarterly basis can help you make your event calendar much more manageable. Now is the time to get rolling and make this a successful year filled with customer events.
All of this content can be filtered out through your blog, newsletter, and social media channels in an effort to build excitement and awareness around your event and compel target attendees to register. Best of all, you don't have to write or create most of content from scratch, and you're still giving people a larger sense of what's to come when they attend your event.
Published: Sunday, 22 June 2014 20:00
Show and tell would-be guests why they should come to your event
When promoting your event to potential attendees, it sometimes takes more than just an invite with the who, what, where, and when details to get guests to commit. To get people off the fence and clicking the Register button, you may need to give them a taste of what's to come at your gathering and share why they should attend.
There are a number of ways you can use content to promote your event via your invitation, event homepage, email newsletters, social media, and your website to hook people into coming to your gathering, whether it's a class, webinar, open house, fundraiser, or party. Most importantly, your event invitation and/or homepage should provide the benefit attendees will get out of coming to your event. You could list three things they will learn, show who their donations will benefit, or include some of the items that will be available for auction at your gathering.
But there is more content that can be used to whet the appetite of those you want to attend your event, content that can used beyond the invitation and event homepage:
Have speakers write a blog post: If there are guest speakers at your event, ask them to write a quick blog post or article that previews what they will be talking about during your event. If there are multiple speakers, you could roll out posts over a number of days during the registration period to build excitement. Spur engagement by asking readers and attendees what questions they would ask the speaker and have them post their thoughts in the blog comments or to your Facebook Page.
Post videos of scheduled speakers: Some guest speakers may have video of previous talks available on YouTube or other public video sharing sites. If so, link to the video in your event communications or embed the video on your website for people to see. Such videos could provide context to what will be covered at your event (homework for attendees) or give a taste of the speaker's style and flair.
Book excerpts: Are any of your speakers or guests published authors? Ask them if you can publish an excerpt from their books as a way to promote their appearance at your event. Authors always want publicity, and the content from the book will help demonstrate the expertise that will be on display during your seminar or class.
Post thought-provoking articles: Find an article online with a topic related to your event? Post it to your social media accounts or link to it from your blog and ask readers to share their thoughts. Make sure to tie the question back to your event!
Photos of previous events: If your event is recurring and you have photos from previous gatherings, post them to your website, event homepage, Flickr account, Facebook Page, and/or include a couple in your email newsletters as way to show what attendees can expect when they come to your next event.
Tweet with an event-specific hashtag before, during, and after the event: When tweeting about your event, include a special hashtag (e.g. #wineclass2011) in each tweet and encourage other Twitter-using attendees to do the same. This will allow you and all your attendees to track the conversations surrounding your event and discover fellow attendees without having to first follow everyone on the invitation list. Tools such as Twitter Search, HootSuite, and TweetChat are great for following specific hashtags.
Published: Friday, 23 May 2014 17:18
Get your emails opened with attention-grabbing taglines
It happens all the time: You've written the content for your newsletter. You have all the articles perfectly squared away and laid out. Then you're faced with the task of writing a compelling subject line so irresistible that readers can't help but open and read your email.
The good news is you can craft powerful subject lines and article headlines that will attract readers. Here are six key steps to making it happen.
1. List your audience's hot topics.
Do you know what the chatter is in your area of business and how your audience may be affected by it? Are people worried about a decrease in sales or donations? Are they looking for ways to cut back on spending or to eat healthier? Find out what your customers and members are buzzing about, and keep a list of these topics handy. That way you'll have fodder for ongoing newsletter content. Better yet, your subject line writing will become a lot easier because you'll know what's likely to get noticed in recipients' inboxes.
If your business or organization is in an industry or marketplace that's changing all the time, it's good to examine your hot topics once a month. For more stable markets, go through this practice every three to six months.
2. Include numbers.
Headlines with numbers in them work well because they imply easily digestible content. So why not use numbers in your email subject line too? For instance:
"Only 4 seats left for next week's seminar"
"A 10-point plan for marketing success"
"3 ways to turbo-charge your marketing today"
Putting a number in your subject line makes what you're saying quantifiable. "Three quick points," "Eight simple tips," "Four seats left," etc. This lets readers know exactly what they can expect and makes them more willing to read the content.
If you're trying to figure out a way to get numbers into your subject line, think about the benefit you're providing to your readers. Let's say readers are looking for marketing advice, and the benefit they're hoping to receive is more sales. A subject line of "5 ways to increase sales" will encourage subscribers to open your message.
3. Get inspired.
Consider getting inspiration from subject lines and headlines you see in other publications. A great source of inspiration is a website called CopyBlogger.com. It offers out-of-the-box, engaging, and fun subject line and headline ideas for email marketers and bloggers. You wouldn't want to take anything you see there and copy it word-for-word, but choose a headline or subject line that catches your eye and tailor it to describe your own articles.
4. Encourage action.
With any subject line, especially a promotional one, make sure to include a call to action, such as a deadline or text like "Respond now," to get people to open immediately. Get in the wheelhouse of your audience by being interesting and engaging in your subject line, and inspiring urgent action.
Note: For membership driven organizations and associations, subject lines can be a little more generic since the audience is predisposed to opening messages from you. For instance, a credit union can send an email with a generic "Your April Statement is ready" subject line because, as a member, you're going to need the information contained within.
5. Think of your subject line as a tweet.
Social media is a great tool for extending the reach of your email, and in many cases, your subject line is all the text you'll need. For example, on Twitter, you only have 140 characters to communicate, including the URL of your archived message. That's more than enough characters for the subject line of an email. After all, conventional wisdom says that all subject lines should be five to eight words and no more than 40 characters long because some email clients will cut off the rest.
If you think of your subject line as a multi-purpose promotional tool for your message -- that it should encourage opens of your email and clicks from your Twitter feed -- then you'll understand why it should say more than just "Our April Newsletter." Be creative and, where appropriate, playful with your subject lines.
6. Test your subject lines.
Not every subject line will work for your campaigns, so test them out to see what tactics get your audience to open.
A good way to test is to make a list of all the people who opened an email from you in the last 85 days and divide it in two. Using the same email content for both groups, send one subject line to the first group and a second, different subject line to the other group. Then compare open and click-through rates to see which subject line performed best. One subject line could be more generic and the second could be more engaging. See which approach works best for your audience and pattern your future subject lines after that one.
With inboxes full of unread messages, it's the subject line that can deliver a winning click. Make your subject line stand out among the crowd to keep customers opening and reading your emails.