Pinterest Approach to Facebook

It’s no surprise when I say Pinterest is slowly taking over the social media world. Why? It’s simple: people love pictures.

*Photo from MindJumpers.com

Think about your home or office. It’s strewn with photos of your favorite vacation, family members, friends, pets, etc. It’s those images that keep those memories and moments close even though they’re in the past and those favorite people might be far away.

The old adage says, “An image is worth a thousand words.” As with the images you surround your spaces with, this rings true for social media. An image can convey any emotion a photographer might have in mind but through a viewer’s perception, it can mean so much more.

In the past few years, more social platforms have been changing their formats and content to make photos more prominent. Why? Because as I said before, people love photos. Pinterest is the best example of this.

The fast-growing digital high school locker, as I like to call it (and I love it), is nothing but photos. Granted, the photos have captions and comments and ultimately link to something else but at first glance, it’s all photos.

As a woman, I couldn’t love Pinterest more. With photos of my favorite fashion brands newest items, new tasty recipes I can try, cute quotes, fitness tips…the list goes on and on. Ultimately though, when I’m on Pinterest, I have the idea of buying new products, services, ingredients, etc. constantly on my mind.

Now take Facebook. As Facebook’s powers-that-be notice the meteoric rise of Pinterest, it got them thinking-and maybe shaking in their boots a bit. Facebook has changed the way we look at photos in just the past year, taking images from thumbnails to photo galleries with a black background when looking at albums. The photos pop and images seem stronger, even if you’re just looking at that kid you used to remember from high school’s pictures. Regardless of who or what you’re looking at, the photos have more power on Facebook than ever before.

Now on to my marketing point. As a social marketer, I strive to keep my clients’ Facebook pages on the cutting edge and always changing. I spend several hours a week researching-reading articles/books, comparing case studies, examining my favorite brands pages-all to bring the most engagement to their pages.

Social media should never be about the most likes, followers or what have you. It’s about building brand loyalty and ultimately brand advocates who can be blessings from God for marketers who make our jobs easier.

With photos on Facebook, once again, regardless of who or what you are, there’s almost a guaranteed spike in interest. With brands, that could ultimately turn into dollar signs.

Many of my clients are within the food industry. Customers comment on our latest specials, offers, and their favorite menu items day in and day out. We ask them questions, post quirky sayings or poems, tell them about upcoming events, etc. But what causes the most engagement? You guessed it – photos.

Guests of the restaurants naturally seem to find themselves more hungry just by seeing the images of the food they love. This will many times result in comments on the photo a few hours after it has been posted (when posted before lunch or before dinner) with thank you’s for a great meal. All because of one little photo.

Not all of my clients are within the food industry but this information has become a key takeaway. It essentially can be applied to any consumer product or service. Just remember this math: photos +  engagement = brand loyalty. Now that’s the kind of math you can literally take to the bank.

If you photograph it, they will come.

Tips for Social Media Research

As an avid social media fan for years, I have been teaching myself about the medium for some time. Recently, I started my dream job. To say I feel blessed is an understatement; I am humbled and honored. I am now working as a social media manager at a small marketing firm.

As I adjust to my new position, I have found myself diving in with enthusiasm as I research what we can do to enhance our social media reach and truly engage our friends and followers.

To do this, I have discovered a few ways to help myself more effectively research social media trends.

  1. Create a Twitter account solely for research: I started a new Twitter handle, @SocMediaSiren, so I can follow only social media news, entrepreneurs, and social media superstars.
  2. Subscribe to Fast Company. No explanation here. Just do it.
  3. Read Mashable.com every day. Don’t check it just once. Check it several times a day for breaking news. Don’t stop there. Look for every media outlet you can that features social media.
  4. Research on the various aspects of social media/mobile marketing. Just because you manage your clients’ Twitter and Facebook accounts doesn’t mean that at some point mobile marketing won’t be an option.
  5. Create a separate Facebook account solely to manage your clients’ accounts. It keeps you from having to tell your friends you can’t talk when they enthusiastically instant message you.
  6. Master Hootsuite ASAP. Not only is it probably a requirement, but understanding it will help you learn how to do handy things like schedule posts for certain times.
  7. Research who the leaders in social media are and read their blogs. Follow them. Learn everything you can about what they’re doing right. Do you work with consumer brands? Which consumer brands have been the most successful with social media? Work in sports? Which teams/athletes/brands have been the most successful with social media? And so on. Savvy?
  8. Teach yourself social media ROI backwards and forward. Don’t just learn it so you understand. It’s even more important to learn how to explain social media ROI to your client. This is constantly changing so it’s important to stay abreast of.
  9. Create a Facebook page just for research and for managing brand Facebook accounts. I’ve liked a lot of pages on Facebook strictly for to study their engagement which might be a tad embarrassing if friends thought I was a hardcore fan of. Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian’s pages are great examples of this. By creating a “work” Facebook account, you can separate your work and personal lives on Facebook. It’s almost the same as putting on a suit for a video conference when you’re at home. You might not be going anywhere but just dressing yourself right puts you in the right mindset.
  10. “Never lose your beginner’s spirit.” – Lance Armstrong. In other words, never lose your passion for social media. Stay engaged by blogging, retweeting, tweeting — whatever you need to do to keep learning and keep growing to be the best social media expert you can be.

These are some tips that have worked for me. Do you have any you would add to this list? Let me know. Comment below or shoot me a mention on Twitter @SarahBonkowski. Or just follow me and I’ll follow you back. 🙂

Spotify = Love

I have to admit. I was a little late to board the Spotify train but now I can’t live without it.

For those who are unfamiliar, Spotify is a music sharing service. What’s especially interesting is you can link it to your Facebook page to see what your friends are listening to.

As a creative professional in the social media marketing industry, I strive to be inspired to come up with the most interesting copy to engage my clients’ customers. For me, I get a lot of inspiration from listening to music. If I tailor a playlist to music that my target demo. would probably listen to, the words just seem to come to me.

I’m a huge fan of just about every genre of music. It’s not odd for me to go from listening to a song by Barbra Streisand to Usher and then to Carly Rae Jepsen. I’m a little all over the place.

So as a fan of so many genres, Spotify allows me to create as many playlists as I choose, and even subscribe to playlists created by other users. For example, I subscribed to a playlist of songs about Chicago, my hometown.

Basically, if you’re a professional who finds work easier when you’re listening to the right tunes, or a person who loves being able to listen to all the music they love for free via their computer – Spotify is absolutely for you.