Coffee Shops or Social Media

I am a huge advocate of social media.  That is stating the obvious, since it is how I make a living. While saying that, I need to say it is not the only tool you should use to market your business or is it? This Forbes article struck a chord with me.Why Social Media Isnt Doing For Us What Londons Coffee Houses Did For 17th Century – Forbes.

According to the article, using social media may help you spark the creativity and gain the new Time2Mrkt New Ideasideas that you need to be more effective on your job. That is what the coffee houses of the 17th century did. The coffee houses were bemoaned as a waste of time, much like people bemoan Facebook or Pinterest calling them and social media in general a time-sucking black hole. But, how many times have you found the answer or the spark for something that you needed on one of the social media platforms? How often do you turn to YouTube for the how-to of something you need to accomplish or learn? I would have to say frequently.

Today in the coffee houses, most people have their faces glued to a device of some sort, so it makes it next to impossible to strike up a conversation with a stranger. Unless you are attending a networking event, you may not meet anyone new or be able to get the spark of creativity. For people like me that work independently, we need a resource for brainstorming. Sometimes I turn to groups on LinkedIn, sometimes, I float around on Pinterest or Houzz for construction ideas. I receive a number of e-news letters that sometimes give me the spark to write an article like this one.

Where does your inspiration come from?

B2B vs B2C – Pinterest

B2B vs B2C – Pinterest

Next in our conversation about what are the best platforms for B2B vs B2C – Pinterest.B2BvsB2Cpinterest

Now many of you may think that this is just an image site like the ones that we discussed in the last article on images, but I feel like Pinterest requires and /or deserves it’s own article.

When I was young, I had a cork board in my bedroom that was painted an obnoxious loud blue color that I would never use today! I pinned up buttons that I gathered and pictures of things that I wanted or liked. This today is called Pinterest.

Pinterest is classified as a visual bookmarking site. Early in it’s infancy (2010) users had to be invited to participate. Over time they allowed brands to develop a brand identity instead of having to create a “personal” profile for your business. Many equate Pinterest to women as fantasy football is to men. 21% of Pinterest users purchased a product after seeing a picture on Pinterest. So how can this be used for your business?

B2B

This will depend upon the product that you sell whether or not it product placement is beneficial for you on Pinterest. What does work phenomenally well on Pinterest are infographics. Create one that represents your industry statistics, processes that you have developed, or other industry related information. The visual aspect will help readers more easily digest the content. Link images from your product webpages. This will take viewers back to your website to get all of the details. Pin images that you have included in blog articles to drive viewers back to your thought leadership articles.

B2C

Pinterest is especially useful for companies who sell products to women, but can be just as useful for products geared towards men, since most women do the “shopping”. Include a price in the description and pin the image to your board from your website or sales site and they can click your image to be able to buy the item on your website. The platform is great for crafters, builders, designers, vendors in the wedding industry, food establishments and clothing outlets. Because of the “board” concept your pins can reflect your company’s work as well as ideas you are gathering.

In my humble opinion, there is a slight edge here for the B2C business.

Why | Blogs | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Video
Google | Image | Pinterest | Location Sites | E-news

B2B vs B2C – Images

B2B vs B2C – Images

Continuing our B2B vs B2C discussion, our topic in this post is Image sites. The biggest names include Instagram, Flickr, Picasa and Pinterest.  Pinterest is big enough to warrant it’s own post, it will be next.

People are very visual. When I read the paper or a magazine, I scan the headlines, look for B2B vs B2C - imagesimages and if either of those things grab my attention, then I might read into the article a bit further or the whole thing. A picture draws the attention of a reader – that could be why picture books are so popular with small children.  They can’t read the words yet, but bright colors and imagery draw their attention.

Image sites all  you to have images posted, sometimes into photo albums that may (or should) include backlinks to your website.  According to an article from MediaPost, 70% of all interactions on social media sites now involve pictures.

How can that help your business?

B2B – Many vendors will post images of their products so that businesses that purchase will see the item. Consider showing the item in “action”. Share images of company events, participation at trade shows, or internal employee recognition occasions. Include links to images in your white papers and definitely in blog articles. Use images to announce new products, especially in press releases.

B2C – Image sites are much more suited to consumer sites. Take for example a restaurant or a bakery.  How many people post photos of themselves in a new outfit and take the store in an Instagram post. That is one of the reasons why Instagram now has 200 million users who have posted 60 million photos a day. Once you have found your platform of choice, encourage customers to share their photos and tag your business in them. While we didn’t mention Facebook as a photo platform, it is a huge player in images and probably one of the main reasons Instagram was snapped up. Share product images, people enjoying your products or services and participation at community events.

In my opinion, the clear winner in this category is B2C.

Why | Blogs | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Video
Google | Image | Pinterest | Location Sites | E-news

 

B2B vs B2C – Google

B2B vs B2C – Google

In the continuing discussion about the better platforms for B2B vs B2C – Google+ is next up.  Google+ has seen more than a 58% increase in users over the past 9 months. AnB2BvsB2Cgoogle article from October indicates there are over 300 million users with 1/3 of them in active mode. One of the things about creating a Gmail account is that you automatically get a G+ account. When you have a Gmail account, you connect with all of the other Google services, +, YouTube, Hangouts, Drive, Picasa, and on, and on. Google was a bit late to the game creating a “posting” platform, but with the power of a search engine behind it, Google+ gives you a huge opportunity if you choose to optimize a platform here.

B2B

Create your company profile and verify your “official” page. Share photos with links back to your website. Recommend links to your blog posts. Use analytics to look at traffic and leads. Use the Hangout function to hold long distance training or brainstorm with colleagues in out of town offices or clients.

B2C

One of the benefits of Google+ and a brick and mortar location is the map functionality. While G+ is not quite as robust to the consumer as Facebook, the ability to post photos, have images related to your business and reviews about your business may help drive business through your doors. If you have a G+ local business page, you get much more real estate on a search results page. Verify your address to have that show up.

No matter which business type you have, you may want to consider establishing a G+ account and putting up a few posts. Engage with others as you can by sharing posts and +1ing posts from others.

Why | Blogs | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Video
Google | Image | Pinterest | Location Sites | E-news

Top 5 LinkedIn Business Page Tips – Imagery

In this series of articles on the Top 5 LinkedIn Business Page Tips, we have already covered Description, and Products & Services.  This article covers Imagery. The final two will cover the aspects of your business profile about Recommendations, and Activity

Top 5 LinkedIn Business Page Tips – Imagery

A client of mine who was starting a new career at an age when most of us hope to be retired wanted some tips and guidance on which social platforms to use. We stopped by Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.  On each platform, the client said – “Oh, that’s your website!” I said no, that is Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn, whichever we were visiting at the moment.  When we finally landed on my website, the client said, “I get it, they all look alike!”

Branding your company/products visually is very important. I believe that is why sites like Pinterest and Instagram are growing by leaps and bounds.  Personally, I tend to look at an image first before I read a headline or caption. If the image grabs my attention, I may investigate the item further.

That is why we are addressing as one of the Top 5 LinkedIn Business Page Tips – Imagery.

The opportunities you have are worth spending the time (or money) to develop.

Company Logo – Your company logo has an important place.  It appears on your company page and on the personal profile of all of your employees.

Header – Each company has a header image that can help brand your company.  The headerTop 5 LinkedIn Business Tips - Imagery image should be similar to the images on all of your web based platforms.  Additionally, LinkedIn offers you the opportunity to create up to 10 “Showcase” pages to highlight specific product lines. (Read more about showcase pages here).

Jobs – If you company uses LinkedIn to promote openings at your company on the Jobs pages, you have another image that can express your brand AND company culture.

Products/Services – In our last article we discussed the details of setting up your products and services, but the important part to remember here is the 3 banner images that can link directly to your website, the images that represent each of your products, and the videos that you can link from YouTube that illustrate your products in moments.

Use the power of LinkedIn’s imagery through the visual prompts to promote your brand on the most powerful professional social network.

Need more information on your personal profile? Read the LinkedIn – top 5 Tips – series on the following: PhotosCompleteConnectionsInvitationsParticipate