Piquing Your Pinterest -- How to use the hottest new social network to market your business

Posted by Clayton Smith on March 7, 2012

The concept behind Pinterest is pretty simple; see something you like online, tack it to a virtual bulletin board for all your friends to see. The site design is clean, direct, and easy to use. By all accounts, Pinterest is the simplest social network since Twitter. But for such a simple social site (try saying that five times fast!), Pinterest has generated an incredible amount of buzz in an extremely short amount of time.

The site already has well over 10 million users, and in fact, according to marketing company Lemon.ly, they were the fastest independent site in history to hit 10 million unique page visitors. They got there faster than Facebook, faster than Twitter, even faster than Google+. Clearly, there’s something to love about Pinterest.

If you haven’t used Pinterest yet, it’s definitely worth checking out. You can request an invite, or, if you want access a little more quickly, just find a friend who has an account, and she can send you an invite instantly. Once you’re in, the process is simple; create boards; pin things to boards; repeat. You can find things to pin on pretty much any website, or, if you want, you can search through the items already pinned by other users, then just repin the picture onto your page. Do you like the Muppets? A quick search on Pinterest will bring up thousands (and then some) images of Muppets for you to browse through, enjoy, like, and repin.

It’s a great network for quickly and easily sharing images with your friends, and it’s also useful if you want to keep an online collection of ideas and inspiration. Thinking of redecorating your living room? Start a board called “New Living Room” and pin every piece of furniture, every paint scheme, and every set of drapes you find that you think you might like. Getting ready for some spring landscaping? Create a board called “Landscape Ideas” and pin all your favorite landscape shots from around the Web.

The possibilities are virtually endless.

But how can Pinterest help you market your business?

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Topics: Business, business, campaign, dashboard, education, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, media, pinterest, ROI, social, Social Media News, strategy, twitter

Click-Happy: How many clicks does it take to make your social media strategy a success?

Posted by Clayton Smith on February 28, 2012

One of the best and simplest ways to get an idea of your social media ROI is by tracking the number of people who click the links you post to your social networks. Tools like Brev.is make it easy to track your social media links and determine
precisely how many people have clicked
through to your main content.

This number of click-throughs not only tells you how many people thought your link was worth clicking, but it also helps you discover the best time(s) of day to publish posts, what sort of teasers are best for your links, and what sort of content really interests your fans and followers. Heck, with Gremln’s Target Pages tool, you can even track link clicks from your tweet all the way to the actual sale. ROI measurement doesn’t get much better than that.

But the number of clicks can only take you so far. At some point, you’re going to need to sit down and answer the question, “How many clicks is enough?” How many times does your adoring public need to click on a link before you can call your tweet a success?

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Topics: analytics, brev.is, Business, business, click, education, gremlin, gremln, link, Marketing, media, ROI, social, strategy, success

Branded: The Importance of Being Self-Aware

Posted by Clayton Smith on February 8, 2012

Every year, companies sink huge amounts of money into their marketing campaigns in an effort to solidify brand awareness and recognition in the minds of the average consumer. From logos and colors to spokespeople and taglines, marketers dedicate a lot of resources toward the end goal of getting customers to favorably connect brand to business.

Brand awareness – we know it, we love it, and our customers need to have it. We have very concrete ideas about what our brand should be, and we want to make sure our customers do too.

But how often do we promote our own brand self-awareness? As marketers, it can be pretty easy to focus so much on how we want our customers to view us that we forget to take stock of how they actually do. McDonald’s recently provided us with a great example of why it’s important to understand not only the brand you want people to see, but also the brand you actually have.

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Topics: brand, Business, business, campaign, education, facebook, gremlin, gremln, hashtag, marketings, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

5 Social Media Analytics You Can't Live Without

Posted by Clayton Smith on January 15, 2012

When it comes to social media marketing, analytics are king. Knowing the details about who’s interacting with which messages (and to what extent) is priceless when it comes to building marketing strategies. But let’s face it; it’s easy to get lost in a sea of charts and tables and graphs that delve deep into details about the demographics behind followers, fans, likes, unlikes, tweets, retweets, mentions, clicks, views, shares, check-ins, posts, comments, impressions…the list goes on and on. It’s all great information, but it can get overwhelming, especially for smaller companies that just don't have the time.

Sometimes you just need to quickly grab the most important snippets of social information. When you’re short on time, there are a handful of key analytics you can use to get a clear, bird’s-eye view of how you’re doing in the social space. Here are five essentials:

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Topics: analytics, brev.is, Business, business, education, facebook, gremlin, gremln, link shorten, linkedin, Marketing, measurement, metrics, ROI, sentiment.al, sentiment analysis, social media, twitter

Staying Social at the Holidays -- 4 ways Gremln can help keep your marketing message strong over the holiday break

Posted by Clayton Smith on December 20, 2011

We're nearing the end of December, which means that many offices are about to hit Ghost Town status for a week or two. Between holiday time off and the last-minute usage of leftover vacation days that won't carry over into the next year, the time between Christmas and New Year's is a time of relaxation for many people.

This can be tricky for marketing departments, especially in small businesses, because the same surge of vacation time that's allowing marketers to stay home over the holidays is also giving millions of potential customers the chance to spend some quality time browsing around on social media. Many companies have strict policies about social networking, so their employees are likely to experience a little digital release from home over the end-of-year break. With so many potential customers surfing the Web, it's a prime time for marketers to shine. Here are a few ways you can keep your campaigns and promotions running, even if there's no one in the office:

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Topics: Business, business, christmas, education, facebook, gremlin, gremln, holiday, linkedin, Marketing, ROI, small business, social media, tips, twitter

The Path to Glory: How to channel your social media fans through to your website

Posted by Clayton Smith on November 21, 2011

Why do you work so hard to increase your social media following? Have you ever really thought about it? I mean, really, really thought about it? When it comes down to brass tacks, what’s the actual benefit of having half a million Facebook fans? Sure, it means more potential eyes on your marketing message, but what’s the point of that? Your social media strategies aren’t living up to their full potential if your fans are just watching your social media accounts and aren’t making purchases.

Many companies don’t have the capability to sell their products directly through Facebook like Delta Airlines does, and even for those that do, there’s a drawback: Offering product sales through third-party sites necessarily results in a loss of control. While social media networks are wonderful as marketing channels, you still need to move your fans to your website to really close the deal, whether you sell your product online or not.

Your website is perhaps your greatest marketing tool. In the digital universe, your website is the sun, and your social media networks are the orbiting planets. Some people have predicted the imminent demise of the website because of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but I’m not buying it, at least not yet. Not only is a website a space where many companies make their sales (or, in the case of services, a space where would-be customers can find direct communications channels and submit requests for proposals), but it is completely under control of the company that owns it. Having a Facebook page is important, but it’s also limiting. Facebook offers a pretty rigid structure from which it’s difficult to deviate. If you have the money to burn, you can hire a firm to create a Facebook tab for you that sort of resembles a real website, but no matter what you do to spruce up your page, it’s still going to take second billing to the Facebook brand.

That's why your social media isn’t working to its full potential if it’s not driving traffic to your website. Here are a few ways to help your fans and followers make that digital journey.

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Topics: Business, business, education, facebook, Foursquare, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media for Small Business, twitter

Social Snafu -- Recovering from a social media marketing faux pas

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 25, 2011

It’s every social media manager’s nightmare. One tweet taken out of context. One Facebook post with a catastrophic grammatical error. One good-natured joke that offends legions of social media users. One accidental check-in at the strip club down the street on your company’s Foursquare account instead of your own. Before you know it, without any malicious intent, you’ve managed to spearhead the biggest PR disaster in your company’s history, in 140 characters or less.

The social media screw-up has become pretty legendary. The news seems to be flooded with examples of people making poor social media choices and putting their brands’ reputations at risk. From Gilbert Gottfried to Anthony Weiner, social media snafus are everywhere, and they can mean serious harm to your company and your career.

First, let's face facts: The social media faux pas happens. Hopefully it won't happen to you, but it might. In case it ever does, here are a few tips for dealing with it.

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Topics: Anthony Weiner, Business, business, education, embarrass, facebook, faux pas, Gilbert Gottfried, Marketing, Nivea, offensive, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

The Week in Social Media - 10.7.11

Posted by Clayton Smith on October 7, 2011

"The Week in Social Media" is a new Friday series on the Gremln Blog where we highlight some of the important social media news stories from the past week.

Much of the world's tech news was put on hold this week as we lost one of the greatest innovators of our time, Steve Jobs. He will be sorely missed, and though it's not a story you're likely to have missed, we wanted to start off this week's recap with CNN's 5 memorable quotes from Steve Jobs.

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Topics: education, facebook, linkedin, Marketing, news, social media, Social Media News, twitter

The Gremln Guide to Facebook's New Timeline

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 27, 2011

It may not exactly be a surprise to hear that Facebook is preparing to make some more changes to its seemingly ever-shifting profile pages. But unlike Facebook tweaks of the past, the recently announced Timeline update is a complete overhaul for the popular social network. As Facebook faces more and more competition from strengthening social networks like Twitter and Google+, it’s looking to reinvent itself in order to become “stickier.” In other words, Facebook wants its users to stick around Facebook for longer periods of time. The Timeline redesign is one effort to get people to do just that.

I was able to get a sneak peek at how the new Facebook profile pages will look when Timeline is released to the public later this month. All in all, I find the new design to be pretty slick. The profile page has moved to an overall more vertical design, opting for one wide column instead of the current three columns.

The top of the page now features a large “cover” photo that spans the entire width of the profile page. The typical profile photo that we’re used to is now a square in the bottom left corner of the cover photo. As one of our Twitter followers pointed out, this part of the redesign gives the profile page the feel of a blog; a large graphic masthead centered over the content below.

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Topics: business, education, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, Social Media Education, Social Media for Small Business, Social Media Updates, Timeline, twitter, update

Beating Back the Boredom: How your social media marketing campaign can outlast your fans’ short attention spans

Posted by Clayton Smith on September 7, 2011

Bad news: Social media is killing your attention span. In fact, you’ve probably stopped reading this post already. If you’re still going, I applaud your strength and perseverance. You are truly an inspiration to us all.

How often do you log on to Facebook? Once every day? Once every hour? Once every seven seconds? I admit, I’m closer to the latter, and a lot of you probably are too. I check in on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ like a hyperactive six year old switches between Saturday morning cartoons, and when I do, I expect to see something new and exciting happening. Every single time.

That may be a little unreasonable (and it puts a heck of a lot of pressure on my friends), but it’s what social media has trained us to expect. It’s true for me, it’s probably true for you, and I can almost guarantee it’s true for your customer base. With the ever-shrinking attention span of the social media public, I can’t help but wonder—what’s the reasonable lifespan of a social media marketing strategy?

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Topics: Business, business, education, facebook, google+, google plus, gremlin, gremln, Marketing, ROI, social media, strategy, twitter

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