Category Archives: Pinterest

Work and Social Media, Do you know the rules?

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I currently have a full time position where I work with social media all day long. While I only manage one brand, there is a lot of research that goes into finding good content to post, plan for the next week, and so on. That being said, I check Facebook about 10 times a day. While I don’t check it right when I wake up unless it is the weekend, I work with Facebook and am on it constantly. While I manage a separate page, all of the groups I monitor are linked to my personal page and in checking all of them periodically, I also check in on what my friends are doing for a couple of minutes here and there.

My company logs every site that we go on and I think it is completely ethical to do so. I know that I am being tracked because I am constantly coming across sites that are blocked while I am doing research and I know that is monitored. Ethically, I think that as long as it is acknowledged that they will be tracked it is fine. I think that while it should be common sense that everything can be tracked, I think it should be written down in an employee contract so that people really do understand the implications of what they are doing. Unfortunately, people still do not understand what they are doing when they are on social media at work.

I personally have my place of work show on my Facebook and LinkedIn page, however I am also very focused on not posting anything inappropriate on social media. I feel that I am my own brand and I am my own advocate and if I do not think it is in my best interest, I don’t post it. I don’t think posting something about having a busy day or a stressful day is a bad thing, however posting about being drunk or any kind of lewd behavior would make me think that it might just be easier to not attach anything to my profiles.

While I think that there are some policies that are more strict, I do think that there should be some kind concept of not allowing social media to overwhelm their work mainly because social media is a major distraction. While some people can handle it properly and only check things occasionally as a break, some people truly are addicted to checking and monitoring social media and it can create a really stagnant work environment where not a lot of things are getting done.

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Taking a Look at Pinterest

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Pinterest1This week I was asked to take a closer look at a social media platform and the “Terms and Conditions” and I chose Pinterest. I chose Pinterest mainly because I think it is a growing platform and one that I truly enjoy using. When I started to research the Terms of Service, I found out that in 2012 Pinterest had changed their Terms due to major backlash after people realized what they had agreed to.

A particularly good post about what was wrong with the site was one written by the Shrimp Salad Circus. She described why she had deleted all of her pins after carefully curating content. As it turns out, Pinterest had decided to not allow people to use Pinterest for self promotion, but expected people to own the content that they were posting. I was very confused by this and had to read the legal jargon a few times before I actually began to understand why this was such a conundrum. The fact is, most people use this site to create boards of wonderful things that they want to look at and keep for use at a later date. However, 99% of the time, they do not own that content. Which means that people should not be pinning anything except for the 1% that they own. What?

So many people were upset, that Pinterest did something great. They listened to their audience and changed their Terms. I found an article by the Huffington Post about the changes. It talks about how people were upset and how they changed the Terms to make them more palatable for people.

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Above is a screen shot of the current Terms of Service when it comes to “Your Content”. The terms have changed to accommodate the requests by users, which I think shows how they were willing to deal with the ethical problems that their original Terms contained. Another point of ethics that I think Pinterest shows is how they have the “More simply put” boxes next to every paragraph explaining what it means for the user in simple terms. It shows how they are trying to make their terms simpler so that people actually know what they are getting into when they sign up. I think this is a great way to make sure that ethically they are making users happy as well as avoiding all unethical implications by confusing their users.

However, when it comes to the Copyright policy, I noticed that they didn’t put their “More simply put” boxes to make things less complex. On that page they used a lot of jargon and I think there was a reason for that. Since the copyright laws are what caused the problem for them the first time around, it is intentionally confusing for users to understand. At this time there is not a problem, but there is a potential problem if lawsuits end up happening and the original pinner and any other secondary pinner becomes held liable.

Results of my First Survey!

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surveyWhen I first set out to make this survey, I was hoping for a LOT of engagement, interaction and people taking my survey. This is not what happened, at all. I shared this survey on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. Between those three social media platforms, I have 1,500 connections. While there is some overlap, I can still safely say that I have 1,000 connections. I received 96 completed survey results. This is after friends of mine shared the survey as well, which brought the amount of people who saw my survey up to 2,500. This means that the amount of people who saw me or a friend of mine request survey results and completed the survey is 0.038%. WHAT?! While I knew that it would be hard to get people to take my survey, I really didn’t think it would be THIS hard. Especially since I was asking about social media, on various social media platforms.

Results:

Of the 96 people who took my survey, 21 were male and 75 were female

8% of people fell between 18-22 years old, 40% of people were between 23-27, 14% were between 28-32, 14% were between 33-37, 5% were between 38-42, 3% were between 43-47 and 16% were over the age of 48

60% had a Bachelor’s Degree, with 15% with a Master’s Degree and 13% only finished some college

77% of people did not have children, with 23% having children. Of that, 41% have only one child and 36% have 2 children

97% of people do use social media platforms, with 3% saying no they did not use social media platforms

Of the people who do use social media, 92% use their real names while 8% use fake names, when asked why a fake name would be used, the biggest response was that it was due to privacy concerns and not wanting their company to be able to find them on social media

When asked how please people are with the privacy level of the content an individual themselves places on social media, the results are: Screen Shot 2014-02-02 at 9.44.34 PM

I find this very interesting since so many people constantly complain when a new Facebook feature has been added that changes the privacy settings. The fact that only 21% of people are displeased in some way means that the people who get very upset about privacy and complain about it ad nauseam does not necessarily mean that they will partake in a survey.

So how often are people using various social media platforms?

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While I am not shocked that Facebook is used the most, I am a little more surprised that more people are not using Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest or Instagram. I knew that Myspace and Google+ would be a long shot, but I really thought that more people would use the other social media platforms more.

Put the social media platforms in the order of your preference

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I put this question in as a safeguard against lying. For instance, if all of a sudden Myspace had come up as the third or fourth preference I would know that people were not paying attention to what they were choosing as an option. However, I think that these results match the previous results very well, which means that people didn’t lie! I am excited about this since I was very nervous of whether or not people would be honest.

While I am thrilled that I got these results, I do realize a lot of mistakes that I made that I could fix in the future. I missed a lot of data gathering information when I did not ask more about age groups, education levels, or even offer more social media platforms. I completely forgot to include YouTube or Tumblr. I know there are a lot more social media platforms, but those two are pretty popular and should have been included. I think that learning to include more questions, as well as figuring out exactly what information I want would help me a lot so that I would really be able to pinpoint the information that I wanted to know. Let me know what you think!

Social Media Survey

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This week I worked on creating an online survey. Since I am focused on learning more about social media platforms, that was what I decided to focus on. I want to know more about why people choose to connect on various social media platforms. For instance, I use my Facebook to connect with people, my Pinterest to learn new things that I can buy or create, LinkedIn to grow a professional network, Instagram to see my friends pictures and to log my weight loss journey and my life, Google+ to connect with more people and Twitter to see what other people are talking about.

However, I know that not everyone uses their social media platforms the same way. Some people use them for completely different reasons and others don’t use some of them at all! That is why I would like to learn why people are using or not using various platforms. I also would like to learn how often people use the sites. I may think using a site “frequently” means using it daily, while the same wording may mean using it weekly to someone else. That is why I was careful to use intervals when asking how often people use the various sites.

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 5.42.56 PMI also asked people to put the social media platforms in the order of their preference so that I can have an idea of which ones are preferred. Another aspect of what I want to learn with this survey is how many people complete a survey. I made this survey fairly short, only 15 questions, but I think it will be interesting to see how many people just stop in the middle of the survey. I included two open-ended questions to see if that is what prompts people to exit.

I also made sure that I used various scales so that I could tell if people were actually paying attention to what they were choosing, or if they were just selecting things at random to quickly finish. I am hoping that people will be truthful, since it is a really quick and easy survey!

However, I know that not everyone will be, it is an unfortunate fact of survey results.

In the end I am hoping to learn a lot from my results, but the truth is that I have already learned a lot just making the survey! I had never made a survey before and it is a really difficult process. Thinking of the questions and how to word them is very complicated. Another problem I now realize is forgetting things. For instance I realize that I didn’t include YouTube, which is a social media platform. Well, you know what they say, hindsight is 20/20.

If you would like to take the survey to help me out, you can here.

Also, feel free to chime in below and let me know what you thought!!

Measuring Success

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measuring_successBefore this week I thought that any measure of interaction was a measure of success. To some extent, I still do. However, I now know that there are a lot of other tools that I can use to define success in order to truly gauge how I am doing when it comes to social media.

Peter Odryna talks about what the most important steps are for landing a client with social media research. One of the concepts that truly stayed with me is the idea of watching trends. I know that Twitter and other social media platforms will let you know what is trending, but I haven’t always known what to do with it. Now though I realize that you can use trends in two ways, one is to be able to jump in on the conversation and the other is to watch what is going on so you can monitor what is important to people and be able to do more research to know as much as you can about an important topic.

Why does keeping up with trends matter? Nils Mork Ulnes talks about how important analytics are when it comes to discovering what matters to potential customers and prospects in order to truly understand what they want to know about, hear about, and care about. When customers know that the businesses they are working with, it gives them a feeling of power and connection that not only has them connect back to the company, but excites them to share as well.

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I was so excited when Staples replied to me about a product I bought! I not only shared this with some other social media students, I talked about it in my own personal life as well. I shared it on Facebook and showed people what I bought, it was a really nice experience to have a company take notice of what I said and respond. I had reached out to a few other companies and had received nothing as a response, so this made a big impact with me. That is one of the reasons I believe paying attention to what is trending with people and potential customers is so important. Everyone has something to say and wants to feel as though their thoughts matter, just acknowledging them can have such a meaningful impact on who they decide to work with in the future.

So how do you use social media metrics to define and measure success? There are a lot of ways that you can look at different pieces of your own social media influence. Ian Cleary talks about 7 different ways to track links some are free, while others you need a membership to use. The only one that I have any kind of knowledge about is bit.ly. With bit.ly you can shorten extremely lengthy links so that you can fit them in your tweets. However, since you can also use bit.ly to see where your links were shared it makes sense to use them even when you don’t need to shorten the link for a character limit. This is one great way to determine how often your link is being shared and one which platform you are connecting the most on. This is a great way to monitor how you are doing and on which platforms you can use to engage more and which platforms you need to tweak your methods to get better engagement.

One thing I always like to keep in mind is that even though I am focusing on using social media, each platform is different. Something that works well on Twitter might need more of an in depth explanation on Facebook or Google+. Also, even though visuals should be used for better engagement on all platforms, what is posted on Instagram doesn’t always work with what is posted on Pinterest even though they are both visual platforms.

Another way to keep track of what is working and what isn’t is by using Klout. Ian Barker talks about how Klout measures influence across every platform that you link to it. It gives you a score from 1-100 that will vary depending on your current activity and engagement from other people. I do like Klout, but I recognize that it is only one measurement of influence. There are a lot and as I grow I know that I will have to use various tools in order to measure my own success.

So how do you measure your success? What tools do you use to track engagement?

Do you connect with followers differently on different platforms or do you use the same posts and information on every platform?

Pinterest, YouTube and Vine, which is your favorite?

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Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 9.16.15 PMThis week our focus is on visual platforms and how to use them to grow your company. One of the platforms discussed is Pinterest. Kathleen Davis talks about why it is important for your business to be present, explaining that “Pin-It” buttons get 10 times more clicks that “Tweet This” buttons. That is incredible! We have been learning how Twitter is such a great live feed updating platform, but when it comes to sharing content it seems that Pinterest is the way to go! Part of this stems from the visual aspect of Pinterest, I don’t see why people would want to tweet about their dream home, but building it on Pinterest is fun! This happens with a lot of various topics such as Food and Drink or Home Decor. Roye Okupe also points out that in January 2012 other than Facebook time was most spent on Tumblr and Pinterest. The two platforms has people spending an average of 89 minutes per visitor, the next highest was Twitter at an average of 21 minutes per visitor. That is a huge difference and that alone should create enough of a reason to be on Pinterest. I am on Pinterest and I love it! I planned parts of my wedding from that site alone. It really is a great place to connect and find great ideas and new things to do.

Another incredibly important platform is YouTube. Rich Brooks explains why it is so important to be creating videos and housing them on YouTube. This makes a lot of sense, since she points out that people may not find your website and go to it to watch a video, but it can come up in the search results on your YouTube channel. I have always been hesitant to create videos, especially about social media since I know that so many videos are just funny or whimsical, but it seems I have to embrace the way of the future and figure out how to make short content videos to help grow my presence.

John Swartz talks about an incredible point, that potential consumers trust YouTube more than Facebook. This I can completely understand. I think it makes sense that people want to see someone using the product before they make a purchase. If you can see something you can believe it. On Facebook if you see a before and after snapshot that is all it is, but if you see a before and after slideshow on YouTube you can see much more information.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 9.24.33 PMI included this infographic to give an idea of the differences between Vine and Instagram. I use Instagram a lot more, mainly because I enjoy taking pictures rather than having the creativity to come up with videos. However, Vine has really taken off, I am just becoming acquainted with Vine. I have to say though, I find it hilarious. I have enjoyed watching various videos, and judging from the comments that are up in the hundreds and thousands, a lot of people are enjoying Vine. Nick Cicero tells us that 5 Vines are tweeted every second and that is a huge number that will help this platform grow even more.

Some things to think about, do you think you would be able to use the 6 second Vine format to grow your business? Do you have any ideas on how will you present your business on Pinterest?