Pinterest has nearly five million users, and is rapidly growing. Nearly 1.5 million unique users visit Pinterest daily, spending an average of 15 minutes a day on the site. Think those inspiring vision boards don’t result in referral traffic to websites and blogs? Think again. In January 2012, Pinterest drove greater traffic to websites than LinkedIn, Google Plus, Reddit, and Youtube — combined. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how beginner, intermediate, and black-belt Pinterest users are using it to grow their businesses and connect with their customers using these appealing online collages.

Here are 56 powerful ways I’ve come up with to incorporate Pinterest into your content marketing mix …

  1. Make sure you feature your business name on your profile for maximum exposure. Use your business name as your username, or change your profile name to your business name after your profile is set up.
  2. Add a paragraph about who you are and what you’re interested in to the “About” section on your Pinterest profile. It will show up right under your photo, and will be one way that users can find out more about you.
  3. Connect your account with your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Not only will it help you gain followers, but making this connection adds social media icons under your profile picture that link to your Facebook and Twitter profiles.
  4. Don’t forget to add your website URL in your profile, too!
  5. Pin lots of stuff. Pin content steadily, instead of in huge bursts, to maximize your exposure and engagement.
  6. Come up with creative and interesting board names. They get shared whenever you pin something, so make them enticing. But be creative — you need to keep your board names short. There isn’t a lot of room for long descriptive titles.
  7. Tag other Pinterest users in your pins by using “@username” in your descriptions. Network with other professionals and vendors in your field by using this feature. Not many people are doing this yet, so it’s a great way to build your following and stand out.
  8. Comment on other people’s pins. Just like with tagging, this feature hasn’t really caught on yet, so use it regularly to really engage with other users. Obviously, use the same good manners and common sense you would when commenting on a blog or other social media site.
  9. “Like” other people’s pins to give a thumbs-up when you want to recognize great content.
  10. Pin from lots of different sources, instead of just from one or two sites. Variety is important on Pinterest.
  11. Mix pinning your own unique finds with doing lots of “repinning,” which is repeating someone else’s pin to your followers (just like a Retweet on Twitter). The person whose image you repin gets notified via email, and they also get a credit on your pin, which increases their following.
  12. Feel free to pin your own blog posts, but don’t over-promote. Follow the usual etiquette rules of any other social media site, and don’t be the boorish one at the party who only talks about himself.
  13. Pin videos! Pinterest has a special section just for pinned videos, and there are far fewer videos than images on Pinterest at this point, so use them to distinguish yourself. Any YouTube video is easy to pin.
  14. When you pin an image, add a description under it. Be smart about these descriptions — a good description will stay with an image as it gets repinned all over the Pinterest world. If the image is something from your own site, definitely use your business name in the description.
  15. After you pin a new image using the very handy Pinterest browser bookmarklet (a great tool in its own right,) use its built-in social media prompts to re-share your pin on Twitter and Facebook, too.
  16. Use Pinterest’s embed option to publish pins as content in your blog posts and website pages. Note: As Pinterest is catching on, you may need to tell your users that they need to click on a Pinterest image to get to the original source. When I tried this last week, a reader wrote to me and asked, “Is there more to that Pin thing? Or is it just a pretty image?”
  17. Get the Pinterest iPhone app, so you can repin on the go, pin from your camera and add a location to your pins so others can find your images.
  18. Optimize your website content for Pinterest sharing (Part One): Use images in every single post you write, so your post can be shared on Pinterest. When you find yourself getting lazy about this, remember –- not using an image in your post means no one will pin it. And remember — the prettier the picture is, the more it will get pinned. The images that appeal to Pinterest members are powerful and emotive, so keep that in mind when choosing your pictures. That combination tends to work well for your blog readers, too.
  19. Optimize your website content for Pinterest sharing (Part Two): Consider watermarking your images, or adding text to them. If you’re using your own images on Pinterest, one of the best ways to help your image stand out is by adding a clear description to the image itself, or adding a watermark with your business name. Make sure it’s clear, but that it doesn’t block out the main subject of the photo.
  20. Create seasonal or holiday boards that relate to your brand. Example: New Year’s Resolutions, Fourth of July, etc. Users love these.
  21. Add a prominent Follow Me on Pinterest button to your website to advertise that you’re a pinner!

 

Potential customers need to be drawn to your products and services through online marketing, Promotions, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Social Media and Customer Service. Here are a few tips that will help your online business stand apart from the rest and become successful.

Easy Website Navigation

Make sure your e-commerce website is user friendly with intuitive navigation that is clickable and self-explanatory. Leave a navigation trail for them to follow. Here is an example: Clothing > Woman’s > Dresses > Casual > Black. This allows for online shoppers to skip around or speed up the process by clicking on sub-topics.

Surprise Them

Surprise your customers by proving to have excellent products and customer service. Be sure to not over promise them and this way you can wow them when you exceed their expectations.

Promote Your Products

Promotional campaigns can win new customers while keeping your current ones happy. Everyone loves perks and giveaways on websites and promotional calendars are a MUST for companies selling online. Cutting prices is the most popular way to increase traffic and sales to your online store. Any way you can make people feel like they are getting a good deal the better off you will be. Another way to keep first time buyers coming back to your website to shop online, is by offering a free product or free shipping for first time buyers only. Also, make sure to have excellent product descriptions and lots of images.

SEO-Friendly

The best way to get traffic to your site is to optimize your e-commerce store for search engines. The goal of SEO is to be where your potential customer is online before your competitor gets there. Compelling content is key and implementing your keywords into your title tags and articles on your website. Also, linking to relevant and popular sites that you have built relationships with will prove to be very effective.

It will take a lot of time and hard work to make a successful e-commerce business. However, if you follow these few helpful tips you will be heading in the right direction in no time.

Pinterest has nearly five million users, and is rapidly =
growing. Nearly 1.5 million unique users visit Pinterest daily, spending =
an average of 15 minutes a day on the site. Think those inspiring vision =
boards don’t result in referral traffic to websites and blogs? =
Think again. In January 2012, Pinterest drove greater traffic to =
websites than LinkedIn, Google Plus, Reddit, and Youtube — =
combined. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how beginner, =
intermediate, and black-belt Pinterest users are using it to grow their =
businesses and connect with their customers using these appealing online =
collages.

Here =
are 56 powerful ways I’ve come up with to incorporate Pinterest =
into your content marketing mix …

Make sure you feature your business name on your profile =
for maximum exposure. Use your business name as your username, or change =
your profile name to your business name after your profile is set =
up.
Add a paragraph about who you are and what you’re =
interested in to the “About” section on your Pinterest =
profile. It will show up right under your photo, and will be one way =
that users can find out more about you.
Connect your account with your Facebook and Twitter =
accounts. Not only will it help you gain followers, but making this =
connection adds social media icons under your profile picture that link =
to your Facebook and Twitter profiles.
Don’t forget to add your website URL in your =
profile, too!
Pin lots of stuff. Pin content steadily, instead of in =
huge bursts, to maximize your exposure and =
engagement.
Come up with creative and interesting board names. They =
get shared whenever you pin something, so make them enticing. But be =
creative — you need to keep your board names short. There =
isn’t a lot of room for long descriptive =
titles.
Tag other Pinterest users in your pins by using =
“@username” in your descriptions. Network with other =
professionals and vendors in your field by using this feature. Not many =
people are doing this yet, so it’s a great way to build your =
following and stand out.
Comment on other people’s pins. Just like with =
tagging, this feature hasn’t really caught on yet, so use it =
regularly to really engage with other users. Obviously, use the same =
good manners and common sense you would when commenting on a blog or =
other social media site.
“Like” other people’s pins to give a =
thumbs-up when you want to recognize great =
content.
Pin from lots of different sources, instead of just from =
one or two sites. Variety is important on =
Pinterest.
Mix pinning your own unique finds with doing lots of =
“repinning,” which is repeating someone else’s pin to =
your followers (just like a Retweet on Twitter). The person whose image =
you repin gets notified via email, and they also get a credit on your =
pin, which increases their following.
Feel free to pin your own blog posts, but don’t =
over-promote. Follow the usual etiquette rules of any other social media =
site, and don’t be the boorish one at the party who only talks =
about himself.
Pin videos! Pinterest has a special section just for =
pinned videos, and there are far fewer videos than images on Pinterest =
at this point, so use them to distinguish yourself. Any YouTube video is =
easy to pin.
When you pin an image, add a description under it. Be =
smart about these descriptions — a good description will stay with =
an image as it gets repinned all over the Pinterest world. If the image =
is something from your own site, definitely use your business name in =
the description.
After you pin a new image using the very handy =
Pinterest browser bookmarklet
(a great tool in its own =
right,) use its built-in social media prompts to re-share your pin on =
Twitter and Facebook, too.
Use Pinterest’s embed option to publish pins as =
content in your blog posts and website pages. Note: As Pinterest is =
catching on, you may need to tell your users that they need to click on =
a Pinterest image to get to the original source. When I tried this last =
week, a reader wrote to me and asked, “Is there more to that Pin =
thing? Or is it just a pretty image?”
Get the Pinterest iPhone app, so you can repin =
on the go, pin from your camera and add a location to your pins so =
others can find your images.
Optimize your website content for Pinterest sharing =
(Part One): Use images in every single post you =
write
, so your post can be shared on Pinterest. When you find =
yourself getting lazy about this, remember –- not using an image =
in your post means no one will pin it. And remember — the prettier =
the picture is, the more it will get pinned. The images that appeal to =
Pinterest members are powerful and emotive, so keep that in mind when =
choosing your pictures. That combination tends to work well for your =
blog readers, too.
Optimize your website content for Pinterest sharing =
(Part Two): Consider watermarking your images, or adding text to them. =
If you’re using your own images on Pinterest, one of the best ways =
to help your image stand out is by adding a clear description to the =
image itself, or adding a watermark with your business name. Make sure =
it’s clear, but that it doesn’t block out the main subject =
of the photo.
Create seasonal or holiday boards that relate to your =
brand. Example: New Year’s Resolutions, Fourth of July, etc. Users =
love these.
Add a prominent Follow Me on Pinterest button to your =
website to advertise that you’re a =
pinner!

 

 

 

 

We all know the importance =
search engines give to backlinks of a website in their overall ranking =
algorithm. Every webmaster knows the fact that to rank well in search =
engines they need to have a decent number (greater than their =
competitors) of quality backlinks linking to their website. And, we also =
know that how hard it is to build quality links when you are managing a =
100% E-Commerce website leaving most of us with the only option of paid =
links and spamming.

But, in this article we’ll cover 9 =
more methods you can implement to build some high quality natural =
links.

1. Share a coupon =
code

Online couponing has gained a huge =
popularity in last 1-2 years. Thanks to tough economic times.  =
Nowadays, almost every buyer tries to find a coupon code of a store =
before doing a purchase from it.

Create a discount =
coupon code and submit it to as many coupon sharing sites and blogs as =
possible. Most of these sites give a do-follow link to the store =
website. So this technique will not only help you in building links but =
also in increasing your brand awareness.

You can also =
create exclusive discount coupons for readers of most popular blogs and =
sites to keep track of orders you get from these websites. This data =
will help you in planning your long term marketing =
campaigns

2. Offer exclusive discounts to =
customers

Offer an exclusive discount coupon =
or an attractive offer to your current customers for a mention on their =
blogs with a link back to your website or for testimonials on other main =
business directories like Google places, yelp, Yahoo local =
etc.

3. Offer products for =
review

Create a list of most influential =
bloggers (Fashion bloggers, Software bloggers) of your niche and send =
them free products for review. This technique won’t be very effective if =
your product is very common as most of the A-list bloggers will decline =
it because of the numerous pitches they get every day. So you need to =
keep contacting new bloggers until you get the desired =
results.

4. Join niche associations and local =
business organizations

The other good source =
where you can get high quality relevant links is local business =
organizations and associations. Normally, all such organizations have =
websites with backlinks from other big organizations and government =
websites. Becoming a member of these organizations not only gives you an =
opportunity to network with other like-minded people but also entitle =
you for a link to your website from the members section of these =
websites.

5. Donate to local charities and =
NGOs

Find out charities and NGO’s which links =
to their donor’s websites. It is a win-win situation if you donate to =
such organizations. These organizations will get some money to support =
their causes and you will get a high quality =
link.

6. Discount =
Programs

Search for organizations/institutions =
which keep track of companies offering discounts to their employees for =
shopping. Contact them with an exclusive discount coupon and get a link =
back. An example can be found here.

7. Sponsor a tweet-up/local bloggers meet =
up

Search for local bloggers using search =
feature on social media sites like Facebook /Twitter. Also you can make =
use of sites like blogdigger.com to find bloggers in your area. Invite =
them for a meet-up  to your company or local caf=E9 where you can =
tell them about your products in hope that they will mention your =
website on their blogs.

8. Sponsor/organize =
contests and giveaways

Organizing contests or =
just sponsoring them is another great way to attract some links. Search =
for bloggers (you can easily find a lot of them) who actively organize =
contests for their readers and request them to organize a contest on =
your blog promoting your company. Most of the bloggers will happily do =
it for free (though a few demand a fee or a free =
product).

9. Start a =
Blog

It is a fact that to get natural links =
you need to have high quality content. And, since most of the ecommerce =
sites don’t have any useful content there is a very low probability for =
them of attracting links. One can remove this limitation by simply =
adding a blog and updating it with unique, useful and of course SEO =
friendly content. You can learn more about the SEO benefits of a blog here=
.

10. Tweet

Join =
Twitter and follow the leaders in your space. Contribute thoughtfully to =
get some influential followers to your tweets and blog. =

 

Social media applications like blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook can be
useful tools to help you publicize, gain attendees and supporters for
fundraisers such as benefit auctions. Not only are these tools free to use,
but they enable you to relay short, constant reminders about your
fundraiser.

Creating “something to write” can be overwhelming for some people, so here
are 12 auction-related ideas on what you (or your public relations
volunteer) can post on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, or other social
networking sites to promote your benefit auction.

1. Announce donations: When an auction donation arrives, announce the item,
thank the donor, and provide a link back to the donor’s website. Be sure to
include a photo, if possible.

2. Ask for a donation to round out a package: “We need a florist to donate a
bouquet to complete our Mother’s Day package at our Fabulous Fundraising
Auction for Children.”

3. Testimonials: Auction fundraisers should be mission-focused. Keep your
supporters updated with successes. For instance, “Peggy is off the streets,
thanks to our non-profit,” or “Jeremy credits St. Stephens’s art teacher in
giving him the confidence to pursue art in college.”

4. Event Preparations: Share a photo of the decor committee drawing
backdrops for the auction, or the Gala Chairs meeting to send out
invitations. This shows that others are involved in auction planning and
preparing to attend the event.

5. Special announcements: Share news. “In just three weeks, we’ve surpassed
50 raffle ticket sales.” Or, “Only 200 seats left before our school auction
sells-out!”

6. Apply gentle pressure to past auction donors: A post such as, “We sold a
lovely 2-night stay at the Fairmont last year, and are hoping they’ll donate
again,” might work. Include a link to the hotel, and then contact the hotel
so they see how you are treating them kindly – even before they donate.

7. Answer questions: Make the questions up, if you need to. “A new family to
our school asked what was appropriate to wear to the benefit auction. Here’s
our answer, and we included three photos of past guests.”

8. Create a list: You can create a list on almost anything. “Top 5 Reasons
to Attend our Auction Fundraiser.” “Three Ways You Can Volunteer That Will
Take Less Than 2 Hours per Week.”

9. Seek specific volunteers: “Any math lovers out there? We need an auction
clerk, and your primary job is recording numbers during the live auction.
Any takers?”

10. Link to relevant websites: “In 55 days, our charity auction will be
raising money for cancer research. Here’s a link to fascinating article
written by XYZ about the need for a cure.”

Your online store needs to have people visiting so that they will make purchases. The best way to get traffic to your site is to optimize your e-commerce store for search engines. The goal of SEO (search engine optimization) is to be where your potential customer is online before your competitor gets there. This checklist will help you get more traffic to your site and ultimately more sales for your online business.

* Keywords- The more people you can get interested in your website to share information with, the more chances you will have to sell them your products online. Use your top 25 keywords in the anchor text of your links. Another important point is that you should not overuse any one keyword. It tends to look unnatural if all of your links have the same anchor text.
* Content- Content is the master of attracting online searchers. The more useful and unique your content is on your website the more opportunities you will have to create interest around the products and services that you are selling online. Great content gives freshness and relevancy to your e-commerce website to boost the ranking.
* Link Building- Links on relevant sites are more powerful and should be the primary focus of your link building/buying efforts
* Site Map- Adding a site map makes it very easy for search engines to find and index every page on your website.
* Image Descriptions- The text around images is very valuable for SEO and using captions for images is beneficial as well.
* Develop Relationships- An easy way to direct traffic to your website is by linking to other sites.
* Product Reviews: A great strategy for unique content is by displaying user-generated content from your online shoppers. Allow customers to review products they’ve purchased and comment on them.

af

 

Cheers,

Gus

________________________________

Gordon =
Gus

www. GordonGus .com =

Email: =
gordon(at)gordongus.com

Mobile: +1 (858) =
342-1763

Skype: =
dogbeachdude

 

af

 

Cheers,

Gus

________________________________

Gordon =
Gus

www. GordonGus .com =

Email: =
gordon(at)gordongus.com

Mobile: +1 (858) =
342-1763

Skype: =
dogbeachdude

 

For businesses that are looking to accept credit card payments online,
security is always an issue. You want to be able to reassure your clients
that their important financial numbers are not going to be misused, but if
you have the numbers stored on a computer, they are vulnerable to a hacker
attack. The solution? A payment gateway company.

What It Is

These companies provide a method of verifying credit cards in real time by
sending the information immediately to a bank. There is no information
stored anywhere since it is simply transferred. If the card is not reported
stolen or wanted for fraud, then the transaction will be continued.

There are numerous benefits to using this technology. For one, no stored
credit information means that the client’s payments are as secure as they
can be, something the business can promote when encouraging sales. Many
people are wary of paying online and the assurance of secure processing
tends to help them make a decision to buy.

Another advantage to the business is a large reduction in the number of
stolen or fraudulent card numbers being used, which protects the business
from monetary loss, as well. While it isn’t possible to completely eliminate
the use of invalid card numbers, using a system like this will definitely
keep the problems to a minimum.

Not all companies are the same. While all process the information in a
similar manner, online businesses need to ensure that they are choosing the
right payment gateway company for their business. It’s a good idea to check
out several companies and read reviews if possible so you can get a better
idea of what to expect from each one.

One of the most important areas to look at when choosing a payment company
is which shopping carts they support. For companies that are just getting
started, this isn’t a big problem because they can set up a shopping cart
that can be easily integrated with the payment service of their choice.
However, if the business already has a shopping cart and has set it up with
their products, chances are, they will want to find a company that will work
with the cart the business is already using.

It’s important to check the rates and fees, as well. Some companies charge a
fixed rate per transaction, others will charge a percentage. Compare prices
to be sure your business is getting the best deal for the number and type of
payments that your company will be receiving. For example, if the majority
of a business’ products are under $10, a fixed fee of $1 per transaction
will be more than a percentage of 2.5% per transaction, but if the majority
of the sales are over $50, the fixed fee is far more economical.

Payment gateway companies are not required in order to do business online,
but they should certainly be considered. Choosing the right one is very
important, since it can affect the future of your business.

Kristen Nagy, an 18-year-old from Sparta, N.J., sends and receives 500 text
messages a day. But she never uses Twitter, even though it publishes similar
snippets of conversations and observations.

“I just think it’s weird and I don’t feel like everyone needs to know what
I’m doing every second of my life,” she said.

Her reluctance to use Twitter, a feeling shared by others in her age group,
has not doomed the microblogging service. Just 11 percent of its users are
aged 12 to 17, according to comScore. Instead, Twitter’s unparalleled explosion in popularity
has been driven by a decidedly older group. That success has shattered a
widely held belief that young people lead the way to popularizing
innovations.

“The traditional early-adopter model would say that teenagers or college
students are really important to adoption,” said Andrew Lipsman, director of
industry analysis at comScore. Teenagers, after all, drove the early growth
of the social networks Facebook, MySpace and Friendster.

Twitter, however, has proved that “a site can take off in a different
demographic than you expect and become very popular,” he said. “Twitter is
defying the traditional model.”

In fact, though teenagers fueled the early growth of social networks, today
they account for 14 percent of MySpace’s users and only 9 percent of
Facebook’s. As the Web grows up, so do its users, and for many analysts,
Twitter’s success represents a new model for Internet success. The notion
that children are essential to a new technology’s success has proved to be
largely a myth.

Adults have driven the growth of many perennially popular Web services.
YouTube attracted young adults and then senior citizens before
teenagers piled on. Blogger’s early user base was adults and LinkedIn has
built a successful social network with professionals as its target.

The same goes for gadgets. Though video games were originally marketed for
children, Nintendo Wiis quickly found their way into nursing homes. Kindle
caught on first with adults and many gadgets, like iPhones
and GPS devices, are largely adult-only.

Similarly, Twitter did not attract the young trendsetters at the outset. Its
growth has instead come from adults who might not have used other social
sites before Twitter, said Jeremiah Owyang, an industry analyst studying
social media. “Adults are just catching up to what teens have been doing for
years,” he said.

Many young people, who have used Facebook since they began using the
Internet and for whom text messaging is their primary method of
communication, say they simply do not have a need for Twitter.

Almost everyone under 35 uses social networks, but the growth of these
networks over the last year has come from older adults, according to a
report from Forrester Research issued Tuesday. Use of social
networking by people aged 35 to 54 grew 60 percent in the last year.

Another reason that teenagers do not use Twitter may be that their lives
tend to revolve around their friends. Though Twitter’s founders originally
conceived of the site as a way to stay in touch with acquaintances, it turns
out that it is better for broadcasting ideas or questions and answers to the
outside world or for marketing a product. It is also useful for marketing
the person doing the tweeting, a need few teenagers are attuned to.

“Many people use it for professional purposes – keeping connected with
industry contacts and following news,” said Evan Williams, Twitter’s
co-founder and chief executive. “Because it’s a one-to-many network and most
of the content is public, it works for this better than a social network
that’s optimized for friend communication.”

Wendy Grazier, a mother in Arkansas, said her two teenaged daughters thought
Twitter was “lame,” yet they asked her to follow teenage pop stars like
Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift on Twitter so she could report
back on what the celebrities wrote. Why won’t they deign to do it
themselves? “It seems more, like, professional, and not something that a
teenager would do,” said 16-year-old Miranda Grazier. “I think I might join
when I’m older.”

The public nature of Twitter is particularly sensitive for the under-18 set,
whether because they want to hide what they are doing from their parents or,
more often, because their parents restrict their interaction with strangers
on the Web.

Georgia Marentis, a 14-year-old in Great Falls, Va., uses Facebook instead
of Twitter because she can choose who sees her updates. “My parents wouldn’t
want me to have everything going on in my life displayed for the entire
world,” she said. (Of course, because of the public nature of social
networks and the ease of creating a fake identity on the Web, even sites
with more privacy settings have proved dangerous for young people in some
cases.)

Many young people use the Web not to keep up with the issues of the day but
to form and express their identities, said Andrea Forte, who studied how
high school students use social media for her dissertation. (She will be an
assistant professor at Drexel University in the spring.)

“Your identity on Twitter is more your ability to take an interesting
conversational turn, throw an interesting bit of conversation out there.
Your identity isn’t so much identified by the music you listen to and the
quizzes you take,” as it is on Facebook, she said. She called Twitter “a
comparatively adult kind of interaction.”

For Twitter’s future, young people’s ambivalence could be a good thing.
Teenagers may be more comfortable using new technologies, but they are also
notoriously fickle. Although they drove the growth of Friendster and
MySpace, they then moved on from those sites to Facebook.

Perhaps Twitter’s experience will encourage Web start-ups to take a more
realistic view of who uses the Web and go after a broader audience, Ms.
Forte said. “Older populations are a smart thing to be thinking about, as
opposed to eternally going after the 15- through 19-year-olds,” she said.

About GordonGus
"Whether selling products, services or information I have helped others succeed online by clarifying goals, simplifying technologies, motivating players and executing tasks. My energy and perseverance has helped others reach their goals. Of course, some wanted to shoot me in the process."
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