SOCIAL MEDIA

Pinterest Freebie - Possibilities Planner 2018

Pinterest have created a wonderful Possibilities Planner for businesses, which is essentially a free calendar to help you implement your marketing strategies. "This is your go-to guide for audience insights, keyword recommendations and timing tips — download a copy to dream up a year of possibilities."

Screenshot of a wee section of Pinterest's  Possibilities Planner

Screenshot of a wee section of Pinterest's Possibilities Planner

The planner is designed to "help you understand what moments matter to Pinners and how your brand can be a part of their journey as they discover, save and do." Use the calendar to see when Pinners start saving Pins for each moment, which you may discover can be surprisingly early! Download Pinterest's Possibilities Planner PDF here.

Thanks Pinterest!

How to use Pinterest trend predictions to grow your business

Pinterest publishes an annual categorised list of data-backed emerging trends, and last December they shared their list of 100 trends to know for 2018.

The Pinterest list of 100 trend predictions for 2018

To begin with, have a read of Pinterest's blog post list: 100 trend predictions for 2018.
You can also download a PDF of the complete report with additional insights and metrics here.

You may be wondering how to use these trend predictions for the benefit of your small business. It's all very well to look at the list and think 'ooh, statement ceilings are gonna be big this year, how interesting!' but as businesses, we can actually use the data as actionable insights and make this information worthwhile to our brands. What can we do with essentially a free guide to what will be searched for and salivated over in the near future?

The Pinterest trends list is a vault of unlocked ideas. From a creative perspective you could use some of these to inspire what you make, how you market your business/products, and even aspects such as what to post on social media. You may not see any obvious connections with your own products/services, but some of the trends are transferable and linked in un-obvious ways!

Using Pinterest data to inspire and adapt what you make

Example: you're a bookbinder, and Pinterest predicts that 'unique keepsake guestbooks' are on the up. You could think about creating your own version of keepsake guestbooks. People are specifically searching for unique keepsake guestbooks, so be sure to design something original, perhaps even combining this with another trend, e.g. 'boho baby showers'!

A post shared by Stacy Koo (@doraecyscraps) on

Using Pinterest data to inspire your marketing

Example: you make scented candles and are planning a photoshoot. Pinterest predicts that the colour 'sage green' and 'patterned plants' are gaining momentum. These could be used as a theme for your photograph backgrounds and props to keep them fresh and on-trend. You could even incorporate these elements as a theme for social media cover images, branding, etc, and tailor towards your target audience.

A post shared by vtwonen (@vtwonen) on

Using Pinterest data to inspire your social media posts

Example: you're a leather worker, working from your garage. Pinterest predicts that 'garage workshop' is a rising trend, with a specifically targetable interest of 'craft storage'. Now imagine you organise that workspace a bit and take gorgeous pictures of it. Include some close ups of details, images of you working in your 'garage workshop', photos of your 'craft storage', videos of you speaking about your work, etc, and then release these as a series of posts on Instagram and Pinterest, along with explanations and your story, and blog about it too, why not! Further the reach of your posts by researching hashtags relevant to workspaces, home studios, work in progress, maker portraits, etc to target your ideal audience, and bingo! 

Other examples of incorporating trends:

  • Use popular themes for your packaging, e.g. street art, patterned plants, herringbone tile patterns on gift wrap and tags.
  • Start Pinterest boards with your own curated collections of the trending items and ideas.
  • Write a DIY tutorial blog post with instructions on how to make something related to a trending style.
  • Write a blog post featuring your favourite trend. (Then pin that to Pinterest!)
  • Start a project of documenting one of the trends e.g. 'colourful doors' and post a series on your blog and social media.

Bear in mind that the insights are from Pinterest, so we shouldn't make the assumption that these will be trends across all platforms and audiences. The data these trends are based on is analysed from search and save patterns of Pinterest users/shoppers so may not representatively reflect what a Facebook user is interested in, for example.

Are you thinking of incorporating future trends into your business strategy? Or is this something you already do? How is it working out for you? We'd love to know!

Pinterest announcement - using hashtags for your Pins

pinterest-hashtag-tips

Pinterest have just announced the introduction of hashtags to the platform. Read on for information about the new feature, and how to best use hashtags on your Pins.

Most Pinterest users are probably aware that hashtags have always been a no-no on the platform. They served no purpose on Pinterest, and users were advised against using them. Until now!

So what exactly has Pinterest announced? The following information is a direct quote, straight from Pinterest:

"When you add hashtags to the description for a new Pin, Pinners can visit a feed of all the Pins that share that hashtag. When you add hashtags to the description for a new Pin, Pinners can visit a feed of all the Pins that share that hashtag. To learn more about what hashtags are and how to add them to your Pins, visit this article.

When inserting a hashtag, we recommend you be specific and descriptive. Use words or phrases that describe the content in the Pin – we recommend you add no more than 20 hashtags per Pin. It’s best to be objective and use hashtags that make sense and are relevant to the Pin. Depending on your Pin, consider using hashtags that are timely (e.g. #oscars, #backtoschool, #halloween) and/or hashtags for evergreen content that works well on Pinterest (e.g. #mealplanning, #hairgoals, #homedecor). This is to help make it easier to for users to filter and find relevant content they are interested in.

Hashtags are a new way to reach users interested in your content. When a user searches a hashtag the freshest pins with that hashtag will appear at the top of the feed. When a user searches the same phrase without the hashtag, it will pull up the original search results page.

Right now we won’t show any Promoted Pins in hashtag feeds, but adding hashtags to the organic instances of your Promoted content can help distribute your content in those feeds."

Below is a screenshot to illustrate how it works. In the process of pinning your image, start typing your hashtag with keywords, and a list of suggestions appears that you can choose to select from. It's just like Instagram in this sense. There are relatively few hashtagged pins so far, so why not be an early adopter?

Skeleton baby grow image from  Nappy Head .

Skeleton baby grow image from Nappy Head.

Are you a frequent Pinner? What are your thoughts on Pinterest's new capabilities? Let us know in the comments! Find me on Pinterest here.

Get your products featured in Christmas gift guides using Twitter - a how-to guide for small businesses

Social media tip from Digibloom: How to get your products featured in Christmas gift guides using Twitter.

If you haven't already done so, now is the time to seek out Christmas gift guide opportunities to have your products featured by blogs and press. Sadly the opportunities won't always find you while you sit there and wait, so it's important to be pro-active!

HOW TO USE TWITTER TO GET YOUR PRODUCTS FEATURED BY PRESS AND BLOGS

1. Use the search term 'Christmas gift guide' in Twitter's search box. No hashtag needed. At the moment bloggers and press are requesting submissions for their gift guides, though in the next few weeks I expect that search term will reveal all the lovely gift guides that have already been produced. So get in quick, and check back as often as possible for new opportunities!

The search will default to a list of the 'top' tweets, and I suggest clicking on the 'live' tab to get the most recent tweets first (EDIT: This tab is now titled 'latest'). You can save the search by using the 'more options' drop down list and selecting 'save this search', as pictured below. Next time you click in the search bar, a list of your saved searches will drop down.

How to get featured in Christmas gift guides

Examples below:

Then contact the blogger/journo via direct message or email with a short, friendly message about your product and why it would fit well with their blog/website/magazine - and see what happens.

Be aware that some blogs may be offering paid showcases, so be sure to research whether or not it's a free opportunity. If you have to pay - is it worth it? Is it a quality, juried gift guide, or just a quick way of making money for the publisher that won't get you much engagement?

Some bloggers will request 'samples' of your work to review - if you're interested in this, be certain their photography and reviews are of a high standard in advance or it could do more damage than good.

2. Use hashtags #journorequest and #prrequest to search for opportunities. Journalists and blog editors tweet requests all year round - some are for small blogs and occasionally well known magazines or tabloid press. I often retweet the best ones on Digibloom twitter account if you haven't the time to weed them out yourself.

When promoting your products via TWITTER posts, these are my recommendations:

  • Include an image. Tweets with images receive much higher engagement. If you're auto-posting from Instagram and it shows as a cut off sentence with a link to Instagram and no image - you've wasted an opportunity. Post directly!
  • Use one or two hashtags. Think carefully about which hashtags to use - you're using them to further your reach to potential shoppers and people that may feature your products. What hashtags might your target audience be searching? Are your products relevant to any trending topics? Is it Monday and does your product ooze motivation? #Mondaymotivation. You get the idea!
  • Include a link to your product.
  • Don't make every post about your products. Post about your business by all means, but show sketches, studio space, workshop, packages ready to be posted, what's on your desk, behind the scenes, retweet customer appreciation tweets, and most importantly - be a good listener too. Comment and favourite tweets from others, engage with them, and build relationships.
  • Tell your audience what's interesting about your product. The majority of people are tweeting 'my product is perfect for...' or just slapping a link and an image (only really works for MUST-have products!) Use your imagination, tell a story within a few words, be positive, be fun, be cheeky. Describe it, make an emotional connection. What are the benefits? What are the features? Why do we need it in our lives?

Do you have any tips to share regarding getting your products featured in gift guides? Or Twitter tips that work for you? See the comment section? You know what to do!...