Pinterest: Home of the DIY Projects

(Don’t worry. The irony of calling this blog ‘How Pinteresting’ and not writing about its namesake has not escaped me. So here we go…)

In the world of social media, Pinterest can often be overshadowed. Businesses are more interested in the big players like Facebook and Twitter. However, Pinterest offers a really unique platform that caters to those who enjoy visuals. But don’t take that as its underused, it actually has over 100 million active users. For businesses, there are now business profiles meaning organisations can take advantage of Pinterest and advertising.

Sephora's profile found success through curating exciting pins

Sephora’s profile found success through curating exciting pins

So here’s how it works: basically, you can ‘pin’ images to your ‘pin boards’ and organise content based on different categories. For example, a pin board could be dedicated to recipes. But honestly, there are pin boards for just about everything – products, articles, destinations, movies… the list never ends. For example, make up company Sephora has a pin board for ‘eyes’, ‘lips’, ‘makeup of the day’ and so forth. These boards act as a way to collate a load of visual information, which users can then view and follow.

The beauty of Pinterest for businesses is that a low follower count does not indicate how far a piece of content will go. In the case of Instagram, it’s really only followers who consistently see your content. However, on Pinterest, you can encourage re-pinning, meaning people can take pins and put them on their own board. Subsequently, a pin can travel far and wide into many different news feeds whether they follow you or not.

Pinterest is home of DIY projects galore

Pinterest also offers free analytics for a business account. This means you don’t really have to delve into third-party apps in order to get the juicy information. So when you link a product or a service on a pin (which, by the way, you can direct users towards), you can find out just how many people are engaging via the pin.

For any business that has very visual products, this platform is definitely worth a look. It requires time and investment, but many success stories  have proven it’s a force to be reckoned with on the social media landscape.

Header image courtesy of roirevolution.com

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The Splendour Crisis Come Down

Crises. They are unpredictable and bound to occur. This is why it is so important to have a thorough crisis management program in place. Unfortunately for Splendour In The Grass, they spoiled a good weekend with poor crisis management.

Snippet of the 35k+ going in and out of the festival grounds (Image Source)

When tens of thousands of campers tried to leave the festival grounds with only two exits, the result was 7 hours of gridlock. However, it was Splendour’s reaction that really sent people into a frenzy. Here is how they went wrong:

THE RESPONSE

Obviously Splendour isn’t in control of traffic; however, they are in control of their response and a good response would have prevented the backlash.

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Casting blame, late reply and no other info. Big no no!

Their response had three major errors:

  1. Slow – the first rule of crisis management is to act fast. This just demonstrates they were unprepared and didn’t have a proper plan in place.
  2. Dishonest – Splendour blamed the gridlock on a traffic accident up the highway, however people pointed out this accident had occurred hours after the gridlock started. This caused campers to lose trust in Splendour because they refused to take ownership, and instead were dishonest.
  3. No information – during a crisis, people want FACTS (Jin, Liu & Austin, 2011). Splendour chose to be vague with their response, likely to maintain face. However, it completely backfired as people became more and more frustrated with the lack of information.

THE FOLLOW UP

Hundreds of comments filled up Splendour’s posts on Facebook complaining about the situation. People ranted about toilets being locked up, food being closed and not receiving any information.

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A few examples of the hardcore raging that occurred on social media

Instead of replying, Splendour chose to ignore them resulting in more frustration. A study demonstrated 74% of adults expect a response within an hour during a crisis.  For this reason, organisations must engage with genuine complaints in order to let their publics know they are being heard. Otherwise, it appears as if the company does not care at all.

THE GLOSS OVER

Still having not addressed the full magnitude of the problem, Splendour continued to post on their social media about how great the festival was. Naturally, this was met with some anger from campers who were still stuck inside the festival grounds in gridlock.

Ultimately, pretending everything is peachy will not magically make things okay. This meant that a highlights video of the festival was flooded with complaints. It really put a damper on the whole weekend.

What can be learned from this situation is that crisis management needs to be timely and appropriate. Ignoring it, pointing fingers and being vague are surefire ways to make people pissed off. Hopefully Splendour will take on board the feedback and improve the traffic for next year, or at the very least improve their crisis management.

References

Jin, Y., Liu, B. F., & Austin, L. L. (2011). Examining the Role of Social Media in Effective Crisis Management: The Effects of Crisis Origin, Information Form, and Source on Publics’ Crisis Responses. Communication Research, 41(1), 74-94. doi:10.1177/0093650211423918

BREAKING: Insights have finally arrived on Instagram & it’s glorious.

In perhaps the biggest advancement for businesses since it launched advertising, Instagram has now introduced analytics. Now businesses, of all shapes and sizes, have access to detailed reports on their posts and audiences. Instagram is cooking with gas.

It seems only logical that this is the next step Instagram would take. The platform has grown huge with 500 million users, of which 300 million use it everyday. It has also become a hub for businesses with 50% of users following a business and 60% learning about goods and services on the platform. Now the introduction of analytics will seriously step up some business game.

But how? Let’s look at the major additions.

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Fancy new dashboard with fancy new statistics (Image source)

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No need to guess who you’re followers are anymore! (image source)

Followers

If you ever wondered who on earth is following you, well now you know! Quite specifically actually, with detailed reports into age, gender, location and activity.

Having this information will help businesses in determining who to target for their Instagram advertising.

It also means businesses can begin to monitor the best time to post based on follower activity. For small businesses who probably don’t utilise third party apps, this will be a game changer.

Insights

Now all will be revealed about just how effective a hashtag is. Insights allows businesses to see reach, impressions and engagement of a post. They even provide a handy little description of each (thanks Instagram 😘).

This means businesses can begin to see what posts are more popular over others, and just how many people are looking at the bait but not biting. From this, they can begin to curate better posts that are tailored to what they know, from empirical evidence, is likely to be well received.

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Happy dancing for Call To Actions!

Business Profile

For everyone who understands the struggle of having only ONE link in their bio, then REJOICE! A contact button has arrived 🎉 When clicked, the button will provide an option to call, email or ‘get directions’ which leads to Maps. The best part about the button is that it is front and centre. Users no longer have to implement some FBI grade detective skills to locate a mere phone number. Gone are the days!

In essence, these additions are really for the little guys. Big organisations would have been accessing this information from third party apps for a while now. But times are changing, and this update truly epitomises the notion of equal opportunities provided by social media. Get ready Instagram, the teatox ads are coming.

Snapchat 101

It is actually really pertinent that Snapchat, an app dedicated to transience and impermanence, is becoming increasingly popular in our ever-so dynamic society. For it’s 100 million users, of primarily 18-34 years olds, this quick fast nature is the appeal. For businesses, this can cause a headache.

Any content put on Snapchat is only available for 24 hours, so content creation is about the moment you’re in. Note: Of course, the advent of Memories has introduced some retrospect to Snapchat but we’re yet to see how that takes off just yet.

Whether you’re a business targeting Millennials or you just want to see how the show is run, here are some handy hints for a Snapchat rookie.

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Don’t stress about making your Snaps perfect or using the right “language”. Just keep it genuine. Image source.

  1. Creative a narrative

Story telling is one of the oldest tricks in the book as a persuasive tool and Snapchat is just a modern extension of this. For example, QANTAS recently joined Snapchat to tell stories about their employees and the company. Users enjoy getting to pull back the curtain and see into the daily narrative of an organisation. The operation of this is low cost and low risk, since it is deleted in 24 hours, and a fun way to engage with users through brand narrative.

2. Don’t overthink it.

Snapchat is raw and stupidly simple. There aren’t any after effects on this bad boy. Of course, you can get creative and add emojis, or filters and the like. But at the end of the day, Snapchat isn’t anything flashier than a 10 second video. Consequently, don’t get too overwrought on perfection! You’re not supposed to curate the perfect image, you’re supposed to capture the moment. The beauty of this is that it allows true, genuine communication between an organisation and its publics. There’s no frills, fluff or photoshop. It’s pure, two-way communication at its finest.

3. Get some cash dolla $$$

(Kylie Jenner uses Snapchat to exclusively release content before any other platform)

Snapchat is not just all fun and games. It can also be about the dollars (🤑💸🤑) by incentivising your Snapchat following with exclusive perks. Kylie Jenner does this through releasing new cosmetic products to her Snapchat following before anyone else. And it actually works, with stats demonstrating that 58% of students said they were more likely to buy from an organisation when given a coupon code.

While bearing these tips in mind, enjoy using Snapchat to engage with your publics. Keep it short. Keep it casual. And remember – you’re only as good as your last Snapchat.

 

References
Hopkinson, G.C. and Hogarth-Scott, S. (2007), “Stories: how they are used and produced in market(ing) research”, in Belk, R.W. (Ed.), Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods in Marketing, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp. 156-74.

All that glitters ain’t gold – Looking at Vanity Metrics

Intuition, being the ability to understand something instinctively, is a skill that has grown with humans through millions of years of evolution. Back when we lived in caves, intuition was about life or death. In a modern sense, it is much more important; it’s about being able to tell if you’re being jibbed on social media.

Not everyone is so clued on, with countless falling victim to pesky “Nigerian Princes”. However, those who have grown up surrounded by technology have an acute sense of when something’s not quite stacking up – for example, purchased followers. From the perspective of a business on social media, this has huge implications.

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Don’t be vain! Relying on vanity metrics is not enough for a successful social media page. (source)

When people approach social media, it’s often all about the followers and likes, or vanity metrics as they are otherwise known as. It’s understandable to feel the pressure of gaining more followers because there is nothing nicer than a large, numerical value to publicise how popular you are. The premise certainly makes sense, with one of Cialdini’s peripheral cues in Elaboration Likelihood Model being social proof. However, as Prince so famously told us: all that glitters ain’t gold. And if this is the analogy we’re running with, then purchased followers are like glitter; fun at first but then you realise you’ve just made a mess. Truth is that vanity metrics, while exciting, are only a scratch on the surface for social media management.

This is where intuition kicks in. Anyone can tell that a profile with a lot of likes but no engagement is not quite right. Contrary to popular belief, people are not stupid. Purchased followers are not enough smoke and mirrors to hide what really counts: engagement. When it boils down to it, social media is meant to be social and the sad fact is robots can’t like your posts. For social media, engagement is priority numero uno because, in order to convert a viewer into a consumer, they actually have to be real. Robots can’t buy things.

The other issue with buying followers is the fact it may backfire. An excellent aspect of social media is that it allows companies to build trust with their audience through two-way communication. However, you’ve instantly burned that bridge when the first thing someone notices about your social profile is your phoney followers.

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Prince telling us the harsh truth: all that glitters ain’t gold (source)

It might be tempting to purchase followers, but essentially it’s a bad idea. People know what’s up and it will not attract an audience to like your page. Instead, businesses on social media should be focusing on engagement which is ultimately what leads to trust and conversion.

References
Dainton, M., & Zelley, E. D. (2005). Applying communication theory for professional life: A practical introduction. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Image courtesy of offwhite.com

I’ll take one #flatwhite, please.

My first sip of coffee at eight-years-old was a traumatising experience. It was my Mother’s long black, no less, which is a beverage I believe is reserved for those with no taste buds. As you can imagine, for an eight year old whose self-proclaimed favourite food was “lollies”, I did not warmly welcome the bitter taste of coffee. I said to myself: Never. Again.

Enter Australian cafe culture. I can’t tell you exactly when it happened but some clever person discovered the power of an avocado and we haven’t looked back since. It is a delicious movement, and one that is founded heavily on the craft of taking a good picture of food. Social media has released a new age whereby consumers now have the opportunity to thoroughly research an establishment before attending. The new word of mouth now lies within Instagram hashtags and cafe check ins.

Paddock Bakery

Breakfast and Crew 🤘🏼 Sunday’s looking good 🌭🍳☕️
An image uploaded by Paddock Bakery

One cafe that has not overlooked the power of a good food pic is Paddock Bakery. A crowd favourite among GC locals, the food is as aesthetically pleasing as it is delicious. With over 30k followers on Instagram, Paddock’s social media epitomises the age old maxim: a picture is worth 1000 words. It’s almost diabolical how effective of a tactic this is. In fact, a 2012 study did confirm the obvious: seeing delicious food actually does make one hungry . Now, more than ever, we eat with our eyes and an aesthetically pleasing meal is a very real precursor into influencing perceptions on how good it will taste. Perfecting the art of filtering the foam on top of a latte is a tactic that can and will elicit a customer response. 

Another factor driving the foodie social media trend is the “social” component of eating. Sharing an image of your food resonates with the communal setting of the dinner table; now it’s just a dinner table shared with the whole world, In addition this, Millennials are seeking the trendiest cafes so they can ‘gram their latte and acai bowl before anyone else does .

What emerges from this combination of active consumers, their food sharing, and the power of a quality food image, is the winning trend for cafes and selling mugs upon mugs of flat whites.

So, having watched the #coffee explode on my feed, I did eventually get sucked into having coffee again post-long-black-incident. Now, like the rest of my Gen Y cohort, I am an admitted cafe addict and the mere image of a cappuccino is enough to send me spiralling. All thanks to Instagram and a couple of cleverly crafted images of coffee…

Feature image courtesy of magazine.com