@PINTEREST: #Social #Media #Scrapbooking with #Style

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT
I fell in love with Pinterest the moment I discovered it. Blame it all on facebook. When I heard about the imminent changes that would include cover pages, I went wild. I am a visual artist first and a writer second. Finally, I had found a place to express myself, in pictures, on the Internet highway.

The Pinterest logo in its unique red script type

The Pinterest logo © Pinterest

I thought things would quiet down for a while. I had narrowed my must learn ASAP list to two or three new programs or apps. They included the new facebook format. To help me with that would be the Lujure.com program designed by my latest Internet hero, Nathan Latka. The other challenge on my list was how to fine tune WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Then Pinterest was going to be the cherry on top of the sundae, the reward for all my hard work.

MY PERFECT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM OR IS IT?
I breathed a sigh of relief. I could take a momentary rest from my two plus years of social media walkabout. But NOOO, it was not to be. Off again, I went to explore and excel. I am compulsive even delusional about being ‘the best’, at any app any more.

I do have to admit that, at first, this visual platform was heaven for me. I was drawn to it naturally. But what really lit a fire under me were the stats. Somehow Pinterest is getting more attention and return responses than all the other social media platforms. One by one, this dark horse is out running the more familiar and favorite social media.

So I could not resist on either account, my love of pictures and my drive to dally in the latest technology. I started like any neophyte, immediately gathering and pinning all my new facebook covers. Then I proceeded to my blog post images and on to other business material.

My Pinpuff.com scores as of 3.16.12

My Pinpuff.com scores as of 3.16.12 © Pinpuff.com

OUR FIRST DISAGREEMENT
I even joined the LinkedIn Pinterest Networking Group. Almost immediately, a helpful member suggested I take a different approach. I also got  my analytics scores from Pinpuff.com. The results were not glowing either but did indicate room for improvement. I had completely forgotten that, just like any form of social media, we approach it one, two, three. Didn’t I just write that in my last blog post, SOCIAL Media: One, Two, Three?

What made me think that virtual bulletin boards would have different rules from any other social media platform? Well, I was put in my place, front and center. Just because Pinterest is visual, it does not mean one can break the rules and commit the Cardinal sin of barging onto the scene pinning business in viewers’ faces. It is still Introduce, Engage and Relate.

KISS AND MAKE UP
So after the initial thrill of pinning every piece of visual business I could find, I had to go about rethinking my approach. I reminded myself of my own One, Two, Three SOCIAL Media guideline. I have to INTRODUCE myself FIRST by pinning things I like. Actually, that isn’t hard at all.

There are so many things I love. Due to the serendipitous nature of online finds, I have already discovered floods of photos and images worth sharing. Keeping my virtual glue close by, I can continue to INTRODUCE myself and begin to ENGAGE with others who love what I do and vice versa.

‘TIL THE NEXT GREAT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM MAKES US PART
When I have established RELATIONSHIPS, business material can be gently presented. In fact, when I went back and looked at my facebook covers on Pinterest, they looked terrible. Besides that, the conversations I had grabbed for my blog posts looked terrible too. I had not picked feature photos and had not even picked images that make good feature photos.

images on one of my Pinterest boards titled 'Magnificent and Magestic'

The images on one of my Pinterest boards titled 'Magnificent and Magestic' credited individually.

Pinterest demands that I look differently at the visual business material that I put on facebook and on my blog posts. But I admit I have not taken my original boards down yet. I did so much work on them. I have moved them to the bottom of my collection so that business takes a back seat.

Instead of a respite, I have another social media marathon to run. Oh well, such is the nature of the beast. There is no rest for this geek-girl. Technology waits for no one and no thing.  Not even for those pretty pictures on the now popular, Pinterest.

AUTHOR’S AFTERWORD
As this piece was about to go to press,  Pinterest just changed their profile page. I thought I was lost or did something wrong. But again, NOOO. They are just following in facebook’s footsteps.

SOURCES AND RESOURCE READING
Since my blog post is primarily about my experience with Pinterest, I want my readers to have a bounty of resources available to them for learning Pinterest’s ‘nuts and bolts’ as well as hearing other bloggers viewpoints.

What Is Pinterest?

Pinterest: HELP

Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide to the Hot New Social Network

What Is Pinterest?

12 Most Poppin’ Ways to Get Started on @Pinterest

Pin Etiquette

26 Tips for Using Pinterest for Business

6 Ways Brands Can Rock Pinterest

Facebook App Integration: This Week In Social Media

Pins from Social Media

YouTube Video Annotations

http://www.youtube.com/t/annotations_about

Pinterest Now Generates More Referral Traffic Than Twitter

Pinterest Drives More Traffic Than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn Combined [Study]

3 Trends You May Have Missed

Pinterest gains social marketing appeal, named one of the top U.S. websites

Pinterest Sent More Referral Traffic Than Twitter In February

7 Personal Qualities to be Successful on Pinterest

Social Media: One, Two, Three

social media icons © iniwoo.net

Social Media icons. 65 Bookmarks and Social Icons. © iniwoo.net

MY FACEBOOK ANNIVERSARY
When I first signed up with facebook a few years ago this month, I was gung ho. I wanted to be up there with the superstars batting 5,000 and having to get a fan page because there was no more room on my personal page. Well the names are not the only things that have changed since then.

‘Personal pages’ are now called ‘profiles’ and ‘fan pages’ became ‘LIKE’ business pages. They are now just referred to as ‘pages’. In an effort to comprehend even the most superficial of the latest facebook changes, timelines, page covers, no more choosing the default page, etc., I have attended webinars, read numerous blog posts and spoken to colleagues.


WHO CARES IF YOU ‘LIKE’ ME
During a fact filled webinar hosted by social media diva, Amy Porterfield, I got some real gems in addition to the big boulders of info. She emphasized the importance of users stopping focusing on the almighty ‘LIKE’ and indicated what was more important.

That really got me thinking about ‘SOCIAL’ media as a whole. We have reduced this term to a single hashtag, #socialmedia. I think this is a mistake. It is no coincidence that the term SOCIAL is put before the word media as two words. Internet media is distinguished from other types of media by the single adjective SOCIAL. Why does this matter? I thought about it and have concluded the following.


SOCIAL Media
Using SOCIAL Media correctly involves a three step process. All these steps apply to the myriad of online technological applications:

ONE: Introduction
The purpose of SOCIAL media is to introduce ourselves to others both as individuals and as business people, to begin to get to know each other, to interact.

TWO: Engagement
The way we get to interact is by engaging in conversation. A conversation is NOT ‘post and run’ or ‘LIKE’ me and I will ‘LIKE’ you. I see these so often it frustrates me to tears. A conversation, discussion or interaction is, for example, about my providing information of value, asking others what they think about it and getting responses. It is about starting a CONVERSATION, in other words, providing an opening for there to be one.

THREE: Relationship
Engaging in repeated conversations even limited to 120 characters (leaving room for re-tweeting) can start and lead to a relationship. The chances of meeting unlimited numbers of people on the Internet that we have interests in common with are staggering. The relationships that can form are real and rewarding.


JUST REMEMBER THIS
Whether it is in-person or virtually, it is human nature to connect, and want to connect with others, especially folks with things in common (tribes).  SOCIAL media makes this possible like no other tool of communication has done during any other time in recorded history. To be social on the Internet, just remember, it’s as simple as one, two, three.


AUTHOR
Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz. Located on Long Island, New York, MARKETING BYTES serves clients virtually everywhere.

Their boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by transitioning from traditional advertising to online marketing. Contact MARKETING BYTES at info@marketingbytes.biz or call 516-665-9034 ET


SOURCES

Facebook Facelift From the Inside Out

THE OPERATION BEGINS
Far brighter minds than mine have started and will continue to explore and explain the facelift that facebook is once again giving itself. First it was timelines for profiles (these are for our personal not professional or business use). Many surrendered to this initial makeover kicking and screaming. Personally, I loved the change since I would rather post and look at photos and images most of the time, anyway. Now, we have been informed by facebook that as of March 30, 2012 all facebook pages (these are the business/professional ones) will have the timeline format, as well. They are in preview now and none but the hardy are taking the plunge. Most marketers a very hardy. 

the icon for the facebook conference for marketers held 2.29.12

The icon for the facebook conference for marketers with a slight facelift of some red and yellow. Original icon in blue and white © facebook.

HOW IS THE OPERATION GOING?
Murmurs of protestation have already begun. But I decided to jump right in and give it a try as I did with my personal profile. I liked that change. I had no objections to it. So I assumed the same would be true of the pages makeover. As I began to explore this latest facelift, I realized it might not be as simple as I initially thought. I got a bit concerned about all those great tabs, apps and other features I had begun to explore, conquer and love. 

The first facebook conference for Marketers 2.29.2012

The first facebook conference for Marketers 2.29.2012

A BRIEF PANIC
But then I was reminded of the conference facebook gave in NYC this past week and the webinar given by Lujure that will be repeated next week. My faith was restored. With this information and the help of my colleagues, even I would eventually get it, again.

The Lujure webinar

The Lujure.com software and webinar information. To be held on March 6, 2012

WHAT NEXT?
So I started with what came easiest to me, the covers. It reminded me of grade school when we had to write book reports. I was not much of a reader or writer then but I loved to do the cover artwork. In that same spirit, I found some images I had made over the last few years for the various websites that correlated to my facebook pages and began to install them as my covers. Then I got a comment from a friend on facebook:

A quote from Rick Milne about the facebook page covers and the rules to make them

The Rules for Facebook Page Covers

Here is what Rick Milne was referring to courtesy of  a source from Craig Yaris’ sources.
This is # 6 on the list of 7:

7 Crucial Things About Timeline For Facebook Pages
The cover photo can be up to 850 pixels by 315 pixels but may not contain any of the following:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40 percent off” or “Download it at our website.”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section.
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features.
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

PROCEEDING WITH GREAT CARE
Oh dear, there I was again. Using old technology thinking for 4th dimension communication and expression. Well, back to the drawing board I went. In this case, it was to Photoshop on my computer. I really let my mind go and took flight of fantasy. Here was an opportunity to be as creative and expressive as I wanted. So I began.

This is my contribution to the facebook facelift from the inside out. Combining my spirit as a visual artist, my training as a graphic designer and my decades of experience in various design disciplines, I began to create unique and creative visions for my page covers.

LOOKING GOOD
I have begun to get a positive reaction to my cover art. I am proud to include a comment I made to Lujure.com and the personal response made by Nathan Latka, owner of Lujure.com. I sent him one of my designs. It is at the end of this post. I am saving the best for last.

Here is my comment and his personal reply on facebook:

Nathan Latka's comment on my facebook cover page design

Owner of Lujure.com, Nathan Latka, replied to my comment on his site.

First, I would like to share a two covers; an original designs which was rejected for reasons explained underneath it:

The original cover for Little Bytes of Art with logo, too much type, cluttered and ad like.

One needs to keep it simple. This is meant to be a brand statement not an ad or promo.

The follow up comment I made to the posting of the above design is, “This cover does not work. It is too crowded, looks too much like an ad and is promotional rather than creative. I have redone it more in the spirit of what facebook is looking for from us in making creative, inspired artwork.”

Here is the replacement. It is based on a painting my husband did of me, wearing one of my hats, holding up one of my decorative painted pots. I use the entire painting as my avatar. The cover is a sliver of the painting to make a statement:

The cover for LIttle Bytes of Art on my facebook page.

A simple statement branding 'Little Bytes of Art, Wearable & Shareable Art'

And for dessert, I would like to share my two favorite designs. One is for Alison*s Heirloom Projects facebook page:

The cover for Alison*s Heirloom Projects

The brand and cover for Alison*s Heirloom Projects

This one is for the Marketing Bytes Blog facebook page:

The brand for the Marketing Bytes Blog

Branding the Marketing Bytes Blog new facebook page

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK?
I would like to know what you think and I would love to see what you are coming up with. So please send me your comments and your links. Thank you and have fun, too. I have just one final word. The dramatic change facebook is making has a lot to do with branding. And branding is very much about simple statements mostly with the clever and creative manipulation of images and pictures. Bear in mind the saying. ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’

AUTHOR:

Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz.

Located on Long Island, New York, MARKETING BYTES serves clients virtually everywhere. This boutique style – very personal service –  hybrid company specializes in helping local/small businesses generate sales leads by transitioning from traditional advertising to online marketing. E-mail us at info@marketingbytes.biz.

SOURCES AND RELATED INFORMATION

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