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PinterestPinterest is gaining steady popularity as users begin to use it to organize and share images online. You can create attractive virtual pin boards with DIY art and craft tips, dream vacation locales and must-read blogs as well and browse through the site to add to your own boards as well. This invite-only site is slowly turning into a great tool for businesses considering the growing audience that makes it a great site for promotions as well.

Pinterest and Your Business
Branding in the SERPs remains an important aspect of most online marketing programs and one of the main advantages of Pinterest is that it allows your profile to show up as www.pinterest.com/yourbrand in search results. Users sharing support for the product images you have pinned are sure to “Pin”,“Repin,” and “Like” providing for brand exposure. It even aids in discovery of newer products and services which users would not even know existed previously. And of course you gain link backs to your image source or url with every “Pin” and “Repin”.

Pinterest and Local Business
As with most social media platforms you can connect with your Facebook and Twitter accounts when you set up a Pinterest profile. Name a board after your product or service and include interesting pictures of the product, service or even the location you are at. View boards of Pinterest users in your area and other boards which are of interest to you and “Pin” interesting pictures to your board. Good keyword text, a descriptive about you, use of hashtags and categories to tag your content and attractive boards are the best means to use your Pinterest board. While you try to design your infographic related to your business, don’t make it seem like you are only interested in promoting your brand. Show an active interest in boards related to your brand and area.

You can choose from many unique categories including Travel, Weddings & Events, Food & Drink to Technology, Science & Nature among others to “Pin” or “Like” and “Repin”. Keep in mind that you use permalinks only when you pin, always pin from the original source and also give credit to the pin with a description about it. If you are keen on cross-promotion, Pinterest is again a great tool to promote your pins on Facebook and Twitter. For anyone who has been using Flickr to promote images, you can use the same image links to further optimize the Flickr set so you rank better in the search engine results.

Build a Strong Pinterest Presence
The site frowns on brands which choose to have boards for self-promotion alone. It is advisable to have a few boards in a range of topics when compared to a single board centered around your brand or a single topic. Also, it helps t “Repin” content from the site itself as it is bound to increase your followers. Try to make your profile an excellent resource for users before you begin promoting your products and services.

local1In these days when social networking has become a part of one’s daily and business lives, Location Based Services or LBS is making it more effective. This is one marketing strategy that takes your use of social media to another level, and helps your efforts become specific and more concentrated. This will aid in getting more customers within a particular region or locality. Moreover, thanks to LBS, you can expect your customers to visit to your place and get the feel of the products and services. The major LBS applications that are currently in vogue are Loopt, Foursquare, and Gowalla. Let’s examine some killer tips to make the most of these services.

Knowing Your Apps: Let’s face it. Unless you know your applications inside out, you will not be able to get the best out of them. Different applications work differently, but they are all connected to the Global Positioning Satellites (GPS) that locate the area where the user is logging in from. The primary applications that people generally use include Facebook, Google Latitude, Loopt, Foursquare, Yelp, and Brightkite. Downloading all these applications on your mobile will show that some of them also endorse badges, logos, and free gift announcements. Considering the fact that LBS users often refer a place their friends, you can offer these freebies whenever they login from your place.

Cut to Your Size: The ultimate strategy is to customize according to your need. Now, this is again interconnected to your understanding of the application or the services. If you know your application well, you can create a logo or marketing strategy that will fit the uniqueness of the application. You will get the freedom to make your own changes with most of these applications. Rather than waiting for the customers to create a to-do list, you may offer them once as soon as they drop by your shop or area. All you need to remember here is that many of these customization options are dependent on the network that you will have.

Connect with Customers: Connecting with customers will become more direct and much simpler with the help of these LBS. Whenever customers log in from your place, you can inform them about your new products and services. If they like it, they may pass it on to their friends or family. These services give you enough scope to become more creative with your approach. The combination of innovation and technology can do wonders for your business.

Tracking and Analyzing: Yes, with LBS you can also find out the result of your communication and advertising strategies. This is important to see whether your steps are making the expected impacts, or whether you need a change of strategy. You will also come to know the patterns that customer behavior often shows. This will help you to fine tune the marketing strategy further, as and when it’s necessary.

What not to do: Here are a few things that you should avoid by all means. It is a good thing to avoid any kind of false review and make sure that your ad is well made. It should have directness that suits the medium.

negative-pressEvery company undergoes it at some given point. Just Google it on the internet and you will find a good number of problems involving high profile companies. In an era where social media has become one of the major sources of information, controlling PR crises has become even more challenging. One false step and your business may get promoted throughout cyberspace in a matter of hours. But at the same time, one can use these same media channels to fight negative press. In fact, there are many PR professionals who plan strategies keeping in mind their possible impact on social media. The important question is how one should approach the problem.

Communication: Any relationship, be it personal or professional, can become stronger through communication. Moreover, communication helps one to clarify doubts and misunderstandings. Proper communication becomes more important during the time of PR crisis. It is very important that you place your side of the story to the customers without losing any time. And it is here that social media can help. A short message on Twitter or a Facebook post will get you more attention than mere press releases. Remember, keeping mum will not help you at all; rather, it will be seen as an acceptance of the mistake.

Preparation: The best way to avoid a crisis is to stay prepared for it. Though some of the crises are unforeseen, some others happen because we tend to overlook alerts. Starting a social media profile is a first step. Opening one at the moment of crises will not help. The more you nurture your social relationships through these sites, the better it is. This will help you to get the confidence of the users. You will also come to know what people are saying and thinking about your brand, services, and product. Any negative talk or any red signal, and you can act on it immediately.

Introduce “Black Pages”: The term “black pages” may catch some unaware. But, it is just a fancy name of a web page where your users and other browsers can post their comments and feedback on various topics. Most of the time, these pages operate live sessions. Understand the possible problems that can crop up while running the business, and prepare their solutions or answers. So, if any of these questions comes up in future, you may immediately provide the answers.

Propose Service: While offering solutions to any crises, continue an attitude of service provider over the social media. A humble tone and acceptance of mistakes, followed by quick solution will keep your customers happy. Chances are that you will get a good load of positive tweets or Facebook posts.

Continuous Process: Though it’s a bad habit, the common practice is that people start ignoring social media once the crisis is handled. Considering the trend in businesses, this will not be a wise move. Irregular presence in social media will not give you any benefits. As said earlier, keeping a relationship is a continuous and long process. If you remember the social media in your good times as well, it will definitely be of great help to you during your worst times.

Social media are neither the enemy nor the competitors of the PR department. Rather, they are one of the most potent weapons that the department can use to evade or solve a crisis.

seo-analyticsSocial media is a great way to listen to clients' needs and build a credible web presence that extends beyond your website... but did you know you can use the social web to generate leads? Below are some tips on how to acquire new business using popular social media sites. If your current and prospective clients are there, you should at least be in on the conversation.

Twitter - Twitter search is one of the most powerful lead sourcing tools available. Using this feature, you can see in real-time what people are tweeting about. Search and see how many people are tweeting about your topic... hundreds! Now, how many of those people are looking for an expert like you? How many need an SEO expert? The list goes on and on -- don't let these cries for help get snatched up by someone else.

Search for your area of expertise. Find the leads. And then send them a friendly tweet letting them know you can help. Remember: people hate spam. Don't hit potential clients over the head with your pitch. And before you start hunting for leads make sure your Twitter profile outlines your expertise and includes links back to your credible website, portfolio, etc.

Facebook - Like Twitter, people share their thoughts on services they want or need. And you can use their search feature to see who may need your help. Try searching your service or product in Facebook's search feature. On the left sidebar, look at the option to choose Posts by Everyone. This is everyone that is currently posting about that topic. Again it's a lot of people... but one of them might be a potential client.

LinkedIn - As you probably know, LinkedIn is a fantastic place to network and join groups of like-minded professionals. But are you using it to garner business? Does your profile mention that what services you offer? LinkedIn is a great site to promote your services.

First and foremost, add an offer to your profile updates. What's more compelling to a potential client: "Looking for a new car" or "Get a Free analysis at (insert your url) and see what I can do for you!" Also make sure your specialties and summary include your strongest skills. If you want to drive business make sure you have the profile to back it up.

Craigslist- Much more of a barebones approach as opposed to the previous mentioned sites, but definitely another great place to find people looking for your expertise. You can use Craigslist's search feature to look for "gigs" in your area that apply directly to your expertise.

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