Tag 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.

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.

Final Project – I learned a LOT!

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For my final project of the semester, I decided to create a promotion, for my own start up business. I knew it would be a lot of work, but really the amount that goes into planning is so much more than I had anticipated! I have consulted and helped people with their social media planning and branding before, but starting from scratch was very difficult. It all started with my company name, Social Solutions For You. I had to build a website, www.socialsolutionsforyou.com, but I also needed a logo for branding. In order to get a logo, I did a lot of research and saw that VistaPrint offered design services. I had heard great things about VistaPrint before, so I decided to look into it. This is a really cool program called Design Crowd that reaches out to designers and they send you designs after reading a brief that you had written. I was on a deadline, so I made the design due in 3 days. I was stunned by the amount of submissions, I had chosen the lowest pay scale, so I knew I wouldn’t get a ton of designs, but in that short time frame I got 25 submissions. Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 8.04.10 PMSome were great and some really weren’t, above are two designs that didn’t make it. What was great was how I could ask designers to change colors, fonts, really everything! It was a long process though, and since people were submitting from around the world it was very time consuming and there was a lot of back and forth. The winning design took about 2 weeks to formulate, so if you hate it, don’t tell me..Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 11.01.29 PM

Once I finally had a logo, it was time to get a website going!!! In order to do that, and do it well, I took a look at various website options that I could work on myself. I looked at Wix, and did some research on their blogs, some of which really look fabulous! I started working on one, until I realized that it didn’t work well with WordPress, and since I already use WordPress for school, I really wanted to use a site that worked well. So, back to the drawing board. I finally decided to a site through my BlueHost domain hosting. There were a lot of choices, and it came down to the right theme. I want to add that I have no idea what I am doing when it comes to websites, so this was an adventure in itself. There are a lot of various things that can go wrong when building a website, so of course I experienced a lot of them. From accidentally deleting pages or posts and realizing that different side bar options are just not working.

A downside I learned while I was working on my website, was that unlike WordPress that actually sends people your blog post if they have shown an interest in something similar, I am on my own. I will need to make all of the interaction and engagement happen and will need to know how I track the information as well.

Due to that, one of the main things I wanted to have happen with my website was Google Analytics. I have learned this semester how much I can learn from Google Analytics, and because of that I knew I needed to have it on my website. It was not easy to get it on there though, it should be easy, but clearly I was doing something wrong, about 70 times. Luckily, my husband was able to figure it out in under 10 minutes after I finally asked him for help.

Once I had that working it really became time to formalize a plan and decide what I was going to do on social media sites, as well as with a campaign. To start I back dated posts on Facebook from September on, since I had really not been posting lately and began to invite friends to “like” my page, as well as try to grow my circles on Google+. I  also updated Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn to make sure all of the pictures matched for continuity. At this point I realized is that I need pictures of myself. I mean, I have selfies or other random pictures, but I mean a professional headshot. I definitely think it takes a profile to the next level when there are more professional pictures, so at some point in the future I will look into getting some taken. This way I can update my information and have some more up-to-date pictures. Since this company is mine and all about branding myself, I think it is important to have a good selection of my own pictures.

The next step was to figure out how I wanted to attract people to my pages. I turned to Woobox. When I first signed up, I noticed that there was a quick and easy way to add my Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest as static tabs to my Facebook page which I think is really great. I think it is important to always give people an opportunity to follow you in other places easily. The key is making it simple so that they don’t have to search to find your information, but by making it simple they can do so if they choose.

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To find out some more great techniques, I did some research on what is a great way to get more followers. While there are a lot of different ways to do that, most people agree on the idea that you need to be interesting, you need to respect your followers and connect with them and you need to be consistent. Simple ideas, but hard to follow through with sometimes. Social media is a constantly changing environment and to stay on top of it, we need to be constantly involved by posting and interacting.

While those are ways to keep followers interacting with you, at this point I need to play a numbers game and just begin to get followers. I know that it may not be the best way over time, since people may decide to unlike my pages or unfollow me, but in the beginning I think it is a great way to build a following. I had a lot of choices of what kind of promotion I wanted to run.

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 10.22.46 PMI have decided that when I make a promotion, I will most likely be using the sweepstakes option. I don’t know yet what my prize will be, but I can make a lot of different rules for my contest. I think this is a great feature since it means that I will be able to guide the settings to make sure that people sign up through Facebook, or email. How many times they can sign up and how many bonus entries they get if they have a friend sign up as well.

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Another great feature that Woobox offers, is being able to see which post I can use to pick a winner, as seen below.Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 10.47.22 PMRight now, as you can see these posts have no likes, or comments. That is what I think running a promotion will change. This is something that has worked for many companies in the past, and I do not think that it will be any different for my company. I do think that I will have more luck if I grow my company more in the meantime, before I run a promotion, but a promotion will help me have fast growth at some point in the future. I think that until I am ready to post a promotion, slowly gaining followers who are actually interested in what I am posting is my best bet. I have learned to post in groups or communities, depending on which social platform I am using. This helps with growth and followers on those sites, and by beginning to direct them back to my Facebook page, it will really create cross interaction.

While considering what kind of promotion I want to use, I think I will create an image about the promotion instead of just a post, since it is proven that pictures not only create more of a reaction with followers, but it also is promoted more in news feeds because of that.

Since I would be buying something to give away I want to look at all of the different reasons that promotions and posts succeed. This article talks about different ways to make sure that Facebook engagement occurs and continues. One of the best suggestions I read was about how instead of just thinking of posting something, think of it as planting something since you have to stick around on the page and increase communication with anyone who comments. That to me makes a lot of sense since it is a great way to increase engagement, which is my goal at the end of the day. Engagement in social media is what thrills me about this field. Being able to get notifications when someone is engaging with something I have shared or written still brings a smile to my face. I hope I never lose that feeling since it really is what makes me want to stay in this complex but rewarding field.

Another great concept I learned about are, “caption this” posts. Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 11.37.19 PMThe above picture was taken from the page Dlisted, and they use this caption idea almost every day! There are always winners, and a lot of people put in comments. On this picture alone there were 80 comments. This shows me how great the idea really is and how much I do need to implement it into my campaigns.

I have learned a lot in the past 6 months about social media that has led to me starting my own pages and campaigns. One of my favorite images that has stuck with me is this one.

36-rules-social-mediaI think that while this doesn’t include everything, there are a lot of great tips here. Two that I think relate to running this promotion specifically are numbers 25 & 30. The only way to scale word of mouth is through paid advertising and contests and sweepstakes are fine, if you want to encourage short relationships. I see a promotion as a type of paid advertising, but yes, it will create a short relationship if it is not built correctly. I do think that by slowly building an audience and directing them back to my page it will help enhance my promotion when I do actually run it. People will be more likely to share the post and try to win if it is a product they want and a company they already interact with and look at the pages of.

I am eager to get going on not only creating a business, but branding myself I really think I will be well on my way to becoming an influence in this field. I am very excited to continue to learn how to grow and build an audience and connect with people about social media.

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!!

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?

Understanding Social Media and Its Uses

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Watching the lecture videos this week, there was a lot of content, but something that truly stuck with me is how John Goodman spoke about how people react the most to emotions. I studied journalism as an undergrad student and we learned the same thing then, the best sound bite is one that illicit some kind of emotion, good or bad, it doesn’t really matter as long as it gets a reaction. While I think that good reactions are a lot nicer to help with brand promotion than negative reactions, sometimes negative reactions illicit more of a response. What springs to mind about this is how people reacted to the Trayvon Martin case. While this case had a lot of angst over what occurred to begin with, one person Michael Baisden sent out a message to Twitter and Facebook which was seen by his own 65,000 Twitter followers and 585,000 Facebook fans and from there the story and the anger grew. Why is that? The truth is that for some people no matter what they felt, one way to feel heard is to shout it out through social media.

People who use Twitter or Facebook do so for many different reasons, one is to stay in touch with friends socially, another is to solidify a brand for themselves and reach out to professionally. No matter which way you do it, people want to be heard and to interact with each other. People who choose to keep their Facebook profiles private tend to choose to only interact with people they actually know, or acquaintances they have met. However, when someone is trying to build a brand the best way to do that is to try to grow your audience over a period of time through sharing things in order to gain their “likes”. Another social media site is LinkedIn, and this is still considered by far to be the most professional site, although for influence, sites like Google+ and Twitter are gaining ground rapidly.

As Professor Adam Bornstein explains, by using Google+ and using keywords that will be readily searched, an article can quickly jump to the top of the first page and gain influence. While Google+ may not be a lot of peoples favorite social media site yet, the people who do use it see themselves being rewarded and found more easily. Another site that should be mentioned is Pinterest. While it is mostly used by women, due to it being a largely home decorating, crafting, or decorating site, I will say that there are a lot of other ways to use it. For instance I started a board specifically for social media, and it includes different visuals and comments about branding and building a client base. While this does not get pinned as frequently as my board that consists of do it yourself crafts, I can see that over time as I find more compelling visuals other female business owners may decide to check out my boards and follow me as well. At this point I don’t think any social media site should be discounted since the goal is always the same, to get your name out there.

I think that is the end game of all of this. Find people who want to interact with you based on interests, reach out to them through emotional reactions and gain ground when it comes to becoming considered an influential person in what your focus is.