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Saturday, 7 July 2012

Why LinkedIn And Pinterest Should Be Part Of Your Mix

While Pinterest's rise has been meteoric, LinkedIn has been the 'slow burner'. Both have their place in the marketing mix. I have noted that Pinterest has become increasingly effective in driving referral traffic to a corporate site and LinkedIn has a similar effect, especially when the posts have been made to targeted interest groups that content directly relates to.

In the first month of this year there were147 million users on LinkedIn and Pinterest reached the 10 million unique active users mark. LinkedIn has the highest penetration rates in the USA, the Gulf States and the Netherlands. Pinterest currently has 13. 6 million users according to AppData.

Higher referral traffic, better quality leads and ultimately increased sales result from using both of these platforms. (Awareness).

Interest in Pinterest has slackened slightly in the past year as this chart from Google Trends search results demonstrates.

By comparison, LinkedIn's search trends have remained fairly constant expect for a huge spike in June, no doubt related to the security breach that network experienced.

For the past couple of months LinkedIn  has been running a beta test for new targeting options and fifty brands have been taking part.

Companies will now be able to direct  posts to target  groups of followers with status updates based on company size, industry, function, seniority, employee tenure and geography. So for example, if your product or service is related to farming you can now segment by agriculture, the country profile and level of corporate seniority to get to the right decision maker.

Mike Grishaver of LinkedIn says that in a recent study they discovered that 67% of their members follow a company to gain industry insights, 61% for company news, while 49% are attracted by the peer community. LinkedIn's aim is to enable more relevant conversations between companies and followers.

Awareness recently produced a white paper 'Beyond The Big Three - 5 Killer Strategies to Dominate LinkedIn and Pinterest".  Here are their seven tips for increasing social reach using Pinterest:
  1. Create pinboards and populate the boards with your own pins and by repinning from other users.•  Create topic-specific boards that resonate with your target audience to encourage following ofyour brand’s profile. Focus board topics on the lifestyle, history, causes, and interests relatedto your customers.•  When creating boards, use keywords developed for SEO to refine your boards and integrateyour Pinterest brand profile with your marketing initiatives.
  2. Publicize your Pinterest account on all other social platforms.
  3. Embed Pinterest buttons or widgets on your company website.
  4. Register your profile in Pinterest directories to grow your is a directory based on specific interests.Repinly lists stats about Pinterest users and the most popular pinners / boards based on topic.
  5. Consider connecting your Pinterest account with your brand’s Twitter profile to effectively use hashtags.Note: Carefully consider connecting with Facebook - the hashtags on Pinterest are only appropriate for Twitter and may clutter your Facebook timeline.
  6. Once you've built a following, encourage users to create their own pins and repin items from your boards and your website. This will ensure that your boards are shared with your followers’ followers, increasing your brand reach on the platform.
  7. Post consistently to retain and grow your social reach.

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The ‘God Particle’ and big data

IBM Research’s Software VP, David McQueeney speaks with the Post’s Emi Kolawole about why there is no ‘golden screw’ for big data. (The Washington Post)

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