Pinterest Has A New Look… Here’s The How To make it work

Curtesy of our friends at http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com below is an outline of the new changes, enhancements as well as step by step directions on how to get the newest version and how to use and explore the new features. Features like, Analytics…Larger Pins, Profile and Account separation, and basic ways to navigate around the new Pinterest.  Let’s get started.

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How to Switch to the New Look

To get the new look, scroll over your business/profile name on the top right corner of your account. A drop-down menu will appear. On this menu, click on the last option, Switch to the New Look.

Pinterest switch to the new look

Click on Switch to the New Look to get the updated version.

 

A pop-up will open up asking you if you are “Ready to switch for good?” If you are, click on the red Get It Now button.

Pinterest click to switch to the new look

Click on the red Get It Now button that appears.

Another pop-up message will appear on your screen welcoming you to the new look. Click on the red Okay button and the new look will be set up.

Pinterest welcome to the new look

Accept the changes by clicking on the red Okay button.

What Has Changed: Modifications, New Additions and Removals

Now that you know how to set up the new look, here are the important changes that make it easy for you to use the newly set up site.

1. Larger pins: Pins used to have a width of 600 pixels when enlarged. They are 735 pixels wide now.

Pinterest bigger pins

The pins are bigger in the new look.

2. The Categories section: One of the most obvious changes you will notice is that the Categories section has been moved.

Pinterest old categories section

Categories used to be located in the center at the top.

In the earlier version, the Categories section, along with Everything, Popular, Gifts, etc., was located in the center right, below where it says “Pinterest”.

Pinterest new categories section

The categories section is in the top left corner.

Now it’s on the top left, right next to the search field. Under this menu, you will find the Home Feed, Popular Section, Everything, Gifts and all the other categories. You will also notice that there’s a new Videos section.

3. Comments button removed: In the earlier version, when you hovered over a pin, the Comments button appeared. You could then click on this button and leave comments. This button has been discarded. Now, to leave comments click on the pin and enlarge it, and you’ll see a comments box appear where you can enter your comment.

Pinterest pin it button on pins

Repin images by clicking on the red Pin It button.

You will also note the Repin button has been replaced by the Pin It button. This button does the same job as the Repin button—you can click on it and repin the pin.

4. More options when you expand pins: On the right side of the expanded pins you’ll see more pins from the same board. You’ll also see pins from the same website.

Pinterest expanded pin

You can see the number of pins, repins and the link to the image above the pin.

You will also find a Share button on the top, which makes it easy to share the pin on other social networks. To the right side of the pin you will find other pins from the same board and website.

Pinterest below expanded pin

Below the expanded pin you will find a collection of pins called “People who pinned this also pinned”, which helps you find pins that might interest you.

Below the pin you’ll find a collection of pins made by the same people who pinned the expanded image called “People who pinned this also pinned” section.

Another change to note is that the number of repins and likes has been moved to the top. And the link to the pin can be found under Website. There’s also a Share button that makes it easy for you to share pins on other networks and by email.

5. Settings method changed: Earlier, all of the settings changes could be made under one settings page. But now the settings have been divided into Profile Settings and Account Settings.

Pinterest pencil icon for profile settings

Profile settings can be modified by clicking on the pencil icon.

Profile Settings can be changed by clicking on the pencil icon on your profile page. Here you can edit your name, username, about section (you might need to change this as the character limit has been reduced to 160 characters), location and website.

Pinterest edit account settings

Edit your Account Settings by clicking on Settings on the drop-down menu.

To edit Account Settings, hover your cursor over your profile/business name on the top right corner and click on Settings, which appears on the drop-down menu. Here you can edit email address, password, language, business type, contact name, search privacy, notifications and social networks. You might want to take a close look at notifications as they have made it easy for you to manage the notifications you receive.

6. Analytics: This is probably the best feature introduced in the new Pinterest, especially for businesses, marketers and bloggers. It provides an opportunity to see if your efforts are converting into results.

You can only view your analytics if you’ve verified your website. If you haven’t done it, you should do it now. You can learn how to verify your website by reading this post by Kristi Hines.

Pinterest click on analytics

View your analytics by clicking on Analytics on the drop-down menu.

After you verify your website, scroll over your profile name on the top right corner and click on Analytics, which appears on the drop-down menu. Here you can see:

Pinterest analytics

You can view your data in the form of easy-to-understand graphs.

1. The number of everyday pins and pinners from your website
2. The number of everyday repins and repinners
3. The total number of times your pins have appeared on the site and the number of times they were seen
4. The number of clicks and website visitors
5. The most recent pins from your site
6. The most repinned and the most-clicked pins
7. You can also download all of this data

For a detailed post on what each term is and how to use them to promote your business, check out this post.

Note These Important Changes:
  • You cannot currently like boards on Facebook.
  • The Rearrange Boards button has been removed—you can easily rearrange boards now by simply dragging them around with your cursor.

These are the main changes that have been made to Pinterest. When you’re ready, switch to the new look and make the most of them.

Thanks again to http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com & Mitt Ray

About the Author, Mitt Ray

Mitt Ray is the author of the book White Paper Marketing and the founder of Social Marketing Writing, where you can download his free Pinterest Marketing Video Tutorial. Follow him on @MittRay. Other posts by »

Posted in Marketing Tips

Get Leads Today from your Calls To Action in this guide ! “101 Examples of Calls-To-Action”

My friends at HubSpot.com more specifically Magdalena Georgieva one of their inbound marketing managers at HubSpot, responsible for the company’s marketing content offers, such as ebooks and webinars have come up with an awesome Call To Action campaign called “101 Examples of Calls-To-Action”. I wish to thank them and share with you these incredible insights to drive more traffic to your business. Using these simple idea’s you will in no time at all have consumers at your door…

This week we will explore chapter 1, Calls-to-Action using Contrast Colors: I especially like this CTA because it reminds us of how important it is to use color to differentiate our graphics. Simple use of dark and light can make all the difference in the world on how effective an CTA will be. Try some of these for yourself in your next ad campaign or blog post or even Facebook post. If you are really adventurous and wish to read Hubspot’s full ebook it can be found here.

Here is a brief look at their first Chapter & examples:

“Use contrasting colors but make sure they still fit in with your general website color scheme.”

Let’s start by exploring how companies use contrast to create effective calls-to-action. As a reminder, contrast is one of the most powerful graphical techniques you can apply to calls-to-action. The fastest way to grab someone’s attention is by making your CTA stand out from the rest of the page and making it dominant. You can achieve that by picking a color for your button (or hyperlinked text) that contrasts the background. What colors should you use to make your call-to-action stand out? Some marketers argue that red can increase click-through rates significantly. Others explain that the context of the web page should dictate the color. So stay mindful of your overall website design. While you want to keep the colors contrasting, make sure all of them fit in with your general website color scheme and avoid using patterns.

Example 1

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Example 2

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Example 4

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Example 5

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These are just a few of the 101 idea’s and sample images offered at Hubspot.com and their ebook Let us know what you think works best for you and if you have some idea’s on how to effectively use Calls-to-Action. Next week we will dive into Chapter 2: “Calls-to-Action Presenting an Incentive”

Posted in Marketing Tips

Tips for sharing the news

Tips for sharing the news

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Simply hitting “share” or “tweet” is not enough to build your expertise. Here are a few ways to use housing headlines to boost your expertise locally.

 1. Start a local conversation

National headlines and facts can do a great job of garnering attention, but at the end of the day buyers and sellers want to know what’s happening in your market.

Use the national headlines or quotes from some of the shares in this post as an intro for blog post about what’s happening in your market.

2. Share it with your spin

To convince prospects you’re an expert they need to hear from you.  When your sharing these facts, stats, and helpful tips make sure you add your own commentary on the news you’re re-sharing.

3. Send it in your follow-up

Your ads, social shares, and any of your other marketing tools are pointless if there’s no substance in your follow-up.

Check out one of our Facebook Agent Integration Tab Pages “News” allows your friends and followers to see what’s going on in the world of real estate right from your Facebook Page. One of many Custom Tabs you can get for your Facebook page. Visit us at www.smarketnow.com

 

Posted in Marketing Tips

How to Make Listing Meetings Shorter & More Effective

How to Make Listing Meetings Shorter & More Effective
A pre-listing kit slashes meeting time up to 50%

Deliver a pre-listing kit first! One way to drive the efficiency and efficacy of your listing meetings is to be sure to send a pre-listing kit ahead of your scheduled meeting. Not only will this allow clients to digest a lot of information at a comfortable pace (on their own time), but it also frees up considerable time during the meeting for true discussion which can build rapport with your clients.

Here’s a representative example of what you might include in a pre-listing kit:

1. A personalized cover letter

2. A “communication one-sheet” detailing all of the ways (and the best ways!) for getting in touch with you

3. A bit about your experience in real estate (remember to keep this relatively free of jargon… clients may not know what your various designations mean!)

4. A short marketing piece with a focus on your blog or Facebook Fan/Business page as well as any “case studies” you have from previous sales

5. Short bios of any team members who support you (also a good time to highlight any companies you partner with who will help market the home– from SEO companies, video professionals, or other marketing experts)

6. Testimonials from past clients (including links to videos on your website if you have them!)

7. Any relevant press concerning your experience, community involvement, or charitable causes

8. A property disclosure form which covers the condition of the home, property taxes, and any unique features the home possesses

9. An open form for your prospects to write down questions they have about you, your service, or the home selling process

The pre-listing kit shows you are organized and that your prospects can expect to be in the hands of a true professional who has a trusted process for selling their home.

Posted in Marketing Tips

Managing Your Reputation With Social Media

Managing Your Reputation With Social Media
How you define yourself online may be how others first get to know you.

Who are you in social media? Whether or not you’re actively using Facebook, Twitter, or other social media websites to grow your real estate business, you should be aware how your presence on social media can (and likely will) impact your relationship with clients, brokers, and other agents.

While you may be in the habit of keeping your personal and professional life separate, your ability to do so is highly compromised by the combination of social media and everyone’s ability to Google your name. You can bet when researching an agent, your prospects will likely Google you and other agents they’re considering.

It is safe to assume that everything you post online is public. Even with the strictest of security settings, the odds are that over time the information you’re posting will be visible.

Now, if managed well, aspects of your personal interests and “public” life can help prospective clients get to know you a little before they meet you. They can, after browsing your status updates and photos, get a view of your hobbies and how you spend your recreational time. They might even share your interests, which can definitely help you get a leg up on building rapport.

But also consider this: If you’re vocal about political and/or religious beliefs in social media, you should realize you risk alienating prospects. The same goes for excessive sharing of your “downtime” and even moments when you may be blowing off steam.

It may seem obvious, but the following are a few good guidelines for preserving your reputation:

1. Alcohol and social media do not mix. Don’t have a few and pick up your smart phone for some quick updates.

2. Minimize polemic political opinions, unless you’re comfortable losing out on those who do not share your views.

3. Never complain about clients, even if you don’t name names.

4. Before you post a photo, ask yourself if it’s one you’d put on the wall of your office.

5. Don’t bad mouth other real estate professionals, companies, or business associates.

6. Nix any romantic relationship woes.

7. Never post what a great golf round you’re having when you should be at an open house. :-)

Not participating may not be the best solution, by the way. If you don’t define your story in social media, it might be done for you, through the posts, photos, and thoughts of friends, relatives, and other businesses. Proceed mindfully!

Posted in Marketing Tips

9 Digital Marketing Lessons From Top Social Brands

As copied from Mashable.com

The Digital Marketing Series is supported by HubSpot, which offers inbound marketing software that helps small and medium sized businesses get found on the Internet by the right prospects and converts more of them into leads and customers. Learn more.

While there are hundreds of ways to calculate the ROI of social media, the general consensus is that Twitter and Facebook are worthwhile tools that can add a lot of value to your marketing campaign. Of course, the value of social media depends on how well you execute it.

Fortunately, a few big brands have already blazed trails in the digital marketing world. We spoke to social media and marketing experts at MTV, American Express, Xbox, NBA and AT&T to get the scoop on how they learned to hit the mark.

Have some other lessons that helped you achieve digital marketing success? Let us know in the comments.


1. Be Human


 

 

“Nailing a tone that resonates with your audience is of paramount importance,” says Tom Fishman, manager of social media and community at MTV. The goal at MTV, he says, is “to sound human and conversational and not be the voice of some corporate overlord.” To that end, tweets are often written in the first person (“we” and “I”) to convey that there are “hearts and faces” behind the screen. Resonating with a particular audience is especially important because MTV has 70 Facebook Pages, covering everything from Daria to Jersey Shore — MTV’s social media crew has to speak in a way that feels comfortable with each audience.

At Xbox, there are 15 people on the Xbox Tweet Fleet, all of whom tweet with their own personalities and “create a collective voice” by being passionate. Each tweeter signs off with his initials so the consumer knows who tweeted at them (American Express also does this). Adds Jerry Kansky, manager of the Tweet Fleet, “We are the consumers, and we know how we’d like to be talked to, so we’re just being ourselves.”

Chris Baccus, executive director of digital and social media for AT&T, notes that it’s important to “be a part of the conversation and not try to own or control the conversation.” While brands can — and should –- use social media to promote their messages, it’s important to be real and not sound like a press release. After all, people are opting to follow you — don’t give them a reason to unfollow!

Something else that’s human? Making mistakes. If there’s a spelling error in a celebrity’s name or the wrong time is tweeted for a Real World episode, “the move is not to delete the tweet and let it go away,” Fishman says. It’s an opportunity to show what kind of company you are, and that human touch (a follow-up tweet with a “sorry” or “oops”) is something the fans appreciate more than sweeping mistakes under the rug.


2. Know What You Want


Every brand has its own reasons for jumping onboard with social media, and it’s important you know your reason and your goals before you start. “It’s not a toe-in-the-water-thing,” says McKenzie Eakin, whose @XboxSupport handle specifically offers technical customer support.

For AmEx, reach and engagement are essential — as a result, assessment is qualitatively focused — it comes down to sentiment and what people are saying more than the raw volume of tweets and Facebook posts. However, Shari Forman, director of online communications and social media at AmEx, does track links and remains cognizant of the numbers to see what kind of content is most engaging.

MTV’s goal is to crystallize communities around shows and bands. While promoting the new show Skins, Fishman says MTV was able to build a hyper-passionate community before the show even premiered. He says it was an eye-opening experience when it comes to “thinking about how to approach special campaigns in a pre-promotional phase.” MTV Vice President of Digital Media Colin Helms told Mashable in January that, “We usually build a community after the show has launched. We did the opposite with Skins.”


3. Listen and Respond


 

 

No one likes asking a question and not having it answered. The @XboxSupport stream sends 5,000 tweets per week, and it is the Guinness World Record holder for most responsive brand on Twitter. The average response time? “Three to five minutes, if not faster,” Eakin says. And Baccus says AT&T usually responds within 15 minutes — impressive, huh?

While public messaging is obviously the purpose of Twitter, it’s also a good idea to engage in behind-the-scenes communication with fans. The MTV team responds to every single direct message that comes its way on Twitter. “It’s another touchpoint for the brand,” Fishman says.

Baccus says “social listening” is a big part of AT&T’s initiative. The social team takes note of trends and engages in casual “cocktail conversation” to glean information from customers. The team then uses that information to advocate for its customers within the company. For example, if a number of people in one town are lamenting poor reception, AT&T will send a team to the town to investigate and improve the situation. This kind of active response and proactive troubleshooting is highly valued by customers and easily executed via social media.


4. Diversify and Pace Your Content


Fishman says the purpose of @MTV is to advance the brand’s message, but it’s also important to be “a good source of content for people.” Since MTV is a cultural tastemaker, that content ranges from music and fashion to social issues and politics — the feed provides a lot of relevant information for myriad demographic groups.

At AmEx, Forman focuses on hitting a balance of proactive and reactive tweets. Proactive tweets result from events that are planned on an editorial calendar — promoting Small Business Saturday, for example. Then there are reactive tweets that respond to inquiries from followers and cardmembers. “We’re cognizant of what we’re pushing out, and we know that people are following us for different reasons,” she says.

To figure out what content you should be sharing, pay attention to your followers. NBA fans are passionate about their favorite teams and players, and they want to chat about what happens on the court in real time — the NBA feeds let the conversation flourish. “Our league, team and player Twitter feeds give us a unique opportunity to connect directly with nearly 35 million followers and to help them share in the excitement of our game — the amazing plays, buzzer-beaters and great moments,” says Melissa Rosenthal Brenner, vice president of marketing for the NBA. The NBA feeds often republish “compelling tweets from fans” to share the enthusiasm and show appreciation for their fanatics.

Brands have to be careful not to push too much content — no one wants to hear from a brand more than they hear from their friends and family. The NBA frequently polls its fans to find out just how much content they want. With those responses in hand, “We try to guide ourselves accordingly” and not let too much “uncurated information” clog the feed, Brenner says.


5. Inject Yourself Into the Conversation


We know that responsiveness is important, but there’s another related trait that’s crucial, too — preemptive tweeting. When someone tweets about a problem with his Xbox — even if he’s not tweeting at Xbox — the Tweet Fleet team responds. In fact, someone on shift is responsible for “engagement finds” — tweeting at users who mention Xbox to let them know the Tweet Fleet is there to offer support for technical issues.

And when something big happens in your industry or your brand has exciting news, get out there and share it. Brenner says game highlights and player milestones are heavily shared because social media has become what NBA Commissioner David Stern has called, “the digital water cooler” — a single place where passionate fans can gather and talk about the game in real time. In February, when Celtics guard Ray Allen broke the all-time 3-point record, @NBA tweeted:

 

It was retweeted almost 2,000 times, driving “Ray Allen” to the #3 worldwide top trending topic on Twitter.


6. Get Feedback in Real Time


 

 

Because the Tweet Fleet fields kudos, comments and complaints about Xbox, it is able to relay important information from the consumers to its tech and development teams, which can be incredibly useful for troubleshooting.

At AmEx, Forman says she and Hamouly closely monitor response to tweets and Facebook posts — are we getting new followers? Are people responding? Are they engaged? -– to make their social marketing efforts more effective. It’s test and learn — if something falls flat, they fix it.

A perfect example of this flexibility is AT&T’s “Plead Your Case” Facebook app campaign. AT&T discovered a high dropout rate — people weren’t clicking through to the end. Instead of letting the campaign fail, the AT&T team made some quick tweaks based on the real-time data it was collecting from the app. The result? More than 90% of people went through the entire process once the fixes were implemented.

Another AT&T lesson involved an email blast sent from the VP of general marketing. It was a broad and generic email that outlined how much money AT&T was spending on infrastructure. The email outraged customers, and the team manned the Facebook Page for 48 hours, compassionately responding to every single post within ten minutes. “It really changed the tone of the page and within 24 hours, the sentiment totally changed because we were engaging and responding.” Lesson learned: AT&T now personalizes email messages and geotargets its email blasts.


7. Know Your Audience


Eakin says that the Xbox audience is so diverse — moms, dads and kids — that the same tone doesn’t fly for all tweets. She says her tweeters take the extra few seconds to click on a user’s Twitter handle to find out who they’re talking to, because a working mother should be spoken to differently than a 14-year-old gamer. That personalization is simple to implement, and it goes a long way.

In addition to knowing who your audience is, you should know where it is. AmEx has an international following, so Forman geotargets posts on Facebook for promotions and contests. “Recognize that you’re casting a wide net and be specific about who can benefit” from what you’re offering, Forman says — or else you could get some angry messages.


8. Know the Platforms


 

 

Twitter and Facebook are not interchangeable, and you should have a different approach for each. In general, Twitter is more of a two-way conversation — a brand’s Twitter feed is a timeline of responses to customer inquiries, “thank yous” for nice tweets, brand updates and conversational dialogue. Facebook, however, is more of a community -– the wall can be treated as a sort of bulletin board for announcements. Having Facebook posts push to Twitter and vice versa isn’t the best idea — the platforms serve different purposes.

AmEx’s Small Business Saturday campaign lives on Facebook, where it has more than one million fans and was one of the fastest-growing Facebook Pages during the early days of its creation. Though the campaign also had a Twitter handle (@SBSat), the Facebook Page had the unique opportunity to build a community –- and target more people, thanks to Facebook’s immense user base.

The NBA embraces both platforms pretty equally. “We want to be where our fans are — and we have worked hard to engage our fans and develop a strong presence on each platform,” Brenner says. The NBA has more than 200 players on Twitter and more than 50 players on Facebook. The NBA, player and team pages boast nearly 100 million fans on Twitter and Facebook combined.

In terms of post volume, brands typically can communicate more on Twitter than Facebook before annoying their followers, thanks to Twitter’s @replies, which are hidden from users’ feeds if they are not following those mentioned in the tweets. Forman and her AmEx partner are active Facebook users, and they use their personal experience to guide and inspire their posting schedule on Facebook and Twitter so as not to overwhelm their followers.


9. Create a User-Centric Experience


Social media has changed the way we market — billboards, print ads and commercials were always one-way. Now, brands engage in dialogue with the consumer, and communication has become a two-way street. Fishman says that, for this reason, you must make sure that the most important thing is to be “100% user-centric.” He adds that everything the MTV social team does is first assessed through the lens of, “How are we adding value for our users?” MTV’s TJ campaign also drove home the commitment to the users –- TJ Gabi fully dedicates her day to blogging, tweeting and interacting with the users and “isn’t beholden to some of the priorities that we are at the corporate level,” Fishman says.

Part of this user-centric experience can be thanking and rewarding the users. When someone “likes” your brand or follows it on Twitter, he’s publicly endorsing your company and becoming a brand ambassador. And so, he should be acknowledged. Forman says a huge part of AmEx’s social media campaign is making its cardmembers feel special -– they have exclusive access to concert tickets, travel giveaways and special discounts.


More Marketing Resources from Mashable:


- The Pros and Cons Of Tumblr For Small Business
4 Innovative Ways to Use Web Video for Small Business
Top 5 Web Design Mistakes Small Businesses Make
What to Look For When Hiring a Community Manager
3 Ways Companies Can Reach Generation Z


Series Supported by HubSpot


 

 

The Digital Marketing Series is supported by HubSpot, which offers inbound marketing software that helps small and medium sized businesses get found on the Internet by the right prospects and converts more of them into leads and customers. HubSpot’s software platform includes tools that allow professional marketers and small business owners to manage SEO, blogging, social media, landing pages, e-mail, lead intelligence and marketing analytics. Learn more.

Images courtesy of iStockphoto, melhi Moodboard_Images

Posted in Marketing Tips

Most (and least) affordable cities to buy a house

These are the five major U.S. metro areas with the most affordable (and five with the least affordable) home prices.

As posted from CnnMoney.com

74% of all homes sold are affordable
Median home price: $175,000
Median family income: $64,400
Affordability score: 73.9

There’s at least one benefit to the depressed housing market: Buying a home has become affordable.

74% of all homes sold are affordable

In fact, home affordability hit a record high in the last quarter of 2010, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The index found that 73.9% of all new and existing homes sold between October and December 2010 were affordable for families earning the median national income.

In some communities, virtually every home sold was affordable for typical working families. In Elkhart, Ind., for example, the 97% score meant that only 3% of homes sold were beyond the reach the average working family.

On the other end of the spectrum was New York, where less than a quarter of homes sold could be purchased by those earning the city’s median wages.

Read on for the most affordable (and least) large metro areas in the country.

By Les Christie, staff writer

NEXT: Most affordable: Indianapolis

Posted in Marketing Tips
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