Tag Archives: Social Media

Case Study: Real Simple on Pinterest

ImageReal Simple is a magazine that is tailored towards women. According to it’s website, the magazine specializes in articles focusing on food and recipes, home and organizing, beauty and fashion, holidays and entertaining, health, and work among others. According to Mashable.com, Real Simple magazine has the second most popular brand on Pinterest. Real Simple’s account has 59 boards, 2,667 pins and 99,036 followers. What makes this magazine so popular on this particular platform?

 To discover the answer, we first need to examine the demographic of Pinterest. An infographic, also found on Mashable.com, breaks down the audience on Pinterest.  Accorind to this, 68.2% of Pinterest users are women. It Imagealso says that 50% of these users have children. Finally, 27.4% of users are between the ages of 25 and 34 and 22.1% of users are between the ages of 35 and 44.

 This can tell us a few things about why the magazine is popular on Pinterest. More often than not, it is women who are decorating the home and doing more crafty projects. Therefore, pictures showing these crafts with a link that would drive the pinner back to the website for information on it, would be incredibly popular. This also goes for pins associated with recipes, decorating, and several other categories that the print magazine incorporates.

 This infographic also told us that half of Pinterest users have children. Real Simple magazine has several articles that relate to children. A few of these articles include “Healthy Snacks for Kids,” “3 Party Themes for Kids,” and “Fun DIY Activity Kits for Kids.” Pictures referencing these articles would definitely appeal to half of all Pinterst users.

 Finally, from the age demographics we can assume that most Pinterest users have a job and a stable income. We can also assume that they would have their own residence, whether that is a house, condominium or apartment. Real Simple’s decorating tips would be loved by women with space to decorate and room to entertain dinner parties.

 When one actually looks at Real Simple’s Pinterest page, the 59 boards cover a wide range of topics. A few of the board titles include “Easy Hairstyles & Accessories,” “Inspiring Living Rooms,” “Food Favorites,” and “Weddings.” Everything on this account is very women-oriented. Also, nearly every single pin has a link connected to it that will take the user back to the website. In turn, this creates a boost in website traffic and possibly, another subscriber to the magazine.


 In the end, Real Simple’s audience is a perfect match for the demographics of Pinterest. This is a match made in Pinterest heaven. 


Linking in with LinkedIn

ImageNetworking is one of the most important things in business. After all, the saying is “It’s not what you know but who you know.” A social media platform called LinkedIn seeks to take networking online. Instead of making “friends” on Facebook or following someone on Twitter, on LinkedIn you link with other professionals. Instead of a basic description on Twitter or s short About Me on Facebook, on LinkedIn you can upload your resume and post any job qualifications you may have.

 Currently, LinkedIn has acquired over 150 million users. I am one of them. However, I do not check my LinkedIn as often as I probably should. Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter take up most of my time due to its ever changing content. LinkedIn appears to me much more static to me.

 150 million users means that there are a lot of potential contacts that I could be making and with this job hunt still hanging over my head, I can’t have too many. That being said, how can I get the most out of my LinkedIn account?

 BusinessInsider.com published an article on April 24, 2012, with 13 little tips and tricks for LinkedIn. For example, did you know that you could share interesting stories with professional contacts and see them pop up on LinkedIn today? LinkedIn Today is “a daily digest of news and links people are sharing on ImageLinkedIn.”

 You can also search status updates on LinkedIn much like you would see on Facebook. All you have to do is click “Update” on the search bar, which should appear on the right side of the screen. You can specify that search to only include status updates from professionals in a certain industry, region, state or even by company.

 Adding apps to your LinkedIn page can show others work you have done, even presentations. There is also an event app, which can tell you where and when the next professional and networking event is. Another potential app you could link to your page is the “Reading List by Amazon” app. This will show colleagues and others what your currently reading and what you should be reading. You can find more apps here: http://www.linkedin.com/static?key=application_directory&trk=hb_side_apps

 What do you think is the best way to use LinkedIn or what way have you found to make your resume stand out on this platform? 

Social Media Policy: Best Buy

Best Buy’s social media policy has very good points along with some that I feel could be expanded on. You can find Best Buy’s social media policy here: http://forums.bestbuy.com/t5/Welcome-News/Best-Buy-Social-Media-Policy/td-p/20492

I really like how this policy seems to be set aside from other employee policies. I think that by making this document separate from others it can serve as a better reference for employees. They will not have to search through the entire policy to find maybe one or two bullet points on social media. Also, social media is now such a large part of business the policy for it deserves to have its own in-depth document of rules and regulations.

A highlight that I see in this policy is that an employee should, “Disclose your affiliation: If you talk about work related matters that are within your area of job responsibility you must disclose your affiliation with Best Buy.” I feel this is particularly important because if a consumer reads what they think is a neutral third party giving a recommendation, it will be received differently than if it is an employee giving that recommendation.

Honestly, when I first saw this regulation I immediately thought of the PR stunt Wal-Mart did with the couple that would camp out in Wal-Mart’s parking lot. They would then give positive reviews on each Wal-Mart. They later came under fire when it was exposed that this couple was actually being compensated by Wal-Mart, which would clearly influence their reviews. If something like this doesn’t work offline it certainly will not be condoned online.

One “Don’t” that I felt was particular important in Best Buy’s policy was “Do not publish, post, or release information that is considered confidential or top secret.” Now, I feel like this would be kind of a no brainer. If you know something about the corporation that is confidential, like anything having to do with a legal situation, don’t talk about it on social media. It is called confidential for a reason.

I do wish that the policy was a little less broad. For example, if an employee at Best Buy posts on Facebook or on Twitter how much they love the new iPad, which Best Buy sells, without saying that they are an employee is that grounds for getting fired? Also, oftentimes on a Tweet there may not be room to say, “Oh, and I work for Best Buy.” Does that then have to go into your description on social media? Does anything you post about technology or even a CD that is sold at Best Buy need this disclosure?

In total, I feel that Best Buy is on the right track with their social media policy. The basic foundations are there but they are not very descriptive. There is still a lot of leeway between what an employee can and cannot do. Now, I know with any corporate policy it would be nice if it could be broken down into black and white but that just isn’t possible. I am not necessarily asking for that but a bit more description on each point couldn’t hurt, right?

Handling Negative Comments on Social Media

It’s a fact of life. Everyone will not agree on the same thing. Sadly enough, that goes for your brand as well. There will be people who love it and there will be some who either don’t care or feel the need to tell the world about how much they dislike it. It’s the latter that you need to be worried about. The people who post negative comments onto your Facebook page for millions of other users to see. One bad comment can start a chain reaction that could take your brand weeks, months or even years to overcome.

We’ve all seen it on other pages but what if it was on our brand’s page? Would you know what to do? From the numerous amounts of case studies on companies who have completely blundered up this situation, I’m going to guess the majority of us would say no.

Recently, I stumbled across an article on PRDaily.com outlining a few dos and don’ts of handling negative feedback on Facebook, even though these tips could include any social media site. Due to the incredible amount of SNAFUs on social media in spots like this, I felt the need to share this knowledge.

First of all, you should “respond no matter what.” Everyone’s opinion matters, even the opinions you don’t agree with.  Even if a consumer of your product didn’t like it, they were still a consumer once. No one wants another “Dell Hellon his or her hands. Even though this story is form 2005, it still proves just how important it is to answer no matter what!

Also remember to keep your reply simple. “According to Gini Deitrich from Spin Sucks, ‘There are four words that work really well online. They are, ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘thank you.’” It is ok to fess up that you’re a human to your online community and that once a while, a mistake might be made. Imagine how much better you feel after a fight with a friend when one apologizes and the fight is over. This is the same concept.

The third tip was to contact all individuals privately after they have made a comment bashing your brand or product. After a negative experience, they want to feel special and know that someone who is genuinely interested is hearing them. If you’re not, you should be.

The fourth tip is to not delete any content unless policies are in place regarding what can be deleted. A few instances where it is appropriate to delete is when the content of the comment is racist, sexist, includes verbal abuse, uses inappropriate language, includes pornographic content or has explicit antagonistic behavior towards other members of the community.

 The final tip is to deflect the comment towards a more positive direction. “Laurel Papworth recommends you try to move away from the negative conversation and toward a more positive one. She says, ‘Thank the commenter, ask for more information and then bury them in talking. If there is more than one negative reviewer, try the ‘Thank you, oh look, something shiny!’ approach.’”

Do you think these tips are enough? What else could you do to avoid a social media distaster?

Pinterest: The Next Big Thing

In a world wide web of new social media sites, how do you know what one is the next “big thing”? According to Augie Ray, the “mom test” seems to do the trick. The “mom test” consists of asking, “Would my mother use this?” In the case of Pinterest, the answer is undoubtedly yes.

For those of you who have not yet experienced the world of Pinterest, it is a virtual bulletin board where the user can “pin” appealing images or interesting links. Categories on the website include “pets,” “travel,” “fitness,” “weddings,” and pretty much anything else you could want. After the user sees a picture, quote, recipe, hairstyle, etc., they can place that image onto one of their personalized boards. When the image is pinned, it can then be repinned by other users. I have a board for animals, food recipes and even a little used fitness board for all of those exercises I just can’t wait to try. Right.

Once you try Pinterest for yourself, it is easy to see why experts are saying the site is taking the social media game by storm. According to an article on Mashable.com, in January 2012, Pinterest accounted for 3.6% of referral traffic when only six months earlier it accounted for only 0.17%. Just to put that into perspective, in January 2012, the social media giant, Twitter, accounted for 3.61% of referral traffic.

To add to those already impressive statistics, another article on Mashable.com wrote that Pinterest’s unique visitors increased 429% from September 2011, to December 2011.

Even Tim Cigelske, senior communication specialist in the Office of Marketing and Education at Marquette University, sees the power of Pinterest over his particular demographic and now my beloved school now has a Pinterest account of its own.

Personally, even though there may not ever be a social media site that can rival FaceBook’s popularity or size, Pinterest has become my new favorite time waster. It is constantly being updated with different photos and links to keep me interested. If I’m not careful, I could spend up to an hour or two on it. Which, according to Tim isn’t that unusual since the average time a user spends on it is 88 minutes.

But what does Pinterest mean for brands? I think that it has enormous potential, at least for some markets. I think that hotels and resorts, if organized appropriately, can definitely get their name out there in the “travel” category. I know I’ve repinned hotels in Europe and the Caribbean that I think look luxurious and interesting. Car companies could also make the most of these boards. Place a picture of a nice SUV, link it back to the dealer’s website and website traffic is increased by a potential buyer. Retail outlets such as ModCloth.com and Nordstrom have a following of a few thousand.

My vote is that Pinterest is going to be around and popular for a long time, so make the most of your brand and just keep pinning!