Stuck on Pinterest? 8 Alternatives to Try

Don’t lock yourself into one platform. Here are 8 sitesImage to get your wares in front of more click-happy shoppers.

Have you pinned all of your marketing hopes on Pinterest? If so, it’s time to reconsider the law of working with new tech platforms: One day a platform is in, the next day it’s out—so don’t fall into the trap of pouring all of your time into the hottest one of the week.

You’re much better off spreading your efforts across multiple sites. Here are eight Pinterest-like services to check out. Sure, they might not have incredibly high page views (yet), but you never know when one of these might suddenly attract the attention of millions of new surfers looking for ideas.

1. Looqiloo

This brand new start-up, still in beta, is like Pinterest with video reviews. You can still browse through product categories and scan quickly through images, but other users post their thoughts about the product so you can decide if it is worth your time or not.

2. AllIReallyWant.me

The site All I Really Want (AIRW) claims to cut your clicks in half. Well, that’s true: With Pinterest, you click once to see an object of desire and then again to access the link for purchase. So, with AIRW, you can click once to see the purchase site for a new pair of glasses or a dress that catches your eye.

3. Postwire

Postwire is more like a private version of Pinterest. There are pages with links to products and services, and the same visual browsing slant. (The human eye can scan images faster than text.) But each page is a private link for articles, videos, and docs you send to potential customers.

“Instead of sending your client off to your website for a pricing page, your YouTube channel for customer testimonial, your Facebook page for a photo, and your blog for an article last week, we allow you to collect all of those disparate pieces of content into a simple, easy-to-view page where you can focus your client on the content that really matters,” explains co-founder Craig Daniel.

4. Pearltrees

This one might be a stretch, but there is a site discovery slant. Basically, Pearltrees lets you click on similar interest “trees” to find videos, links, and products. For a small business, there’s an interesting paradigm here: You can create an interest tree for whatever your product does. For example, here’s one tree for creating a website.

5. Main and Me

Pinterest is all about crafts and objects of desire. Main and Me offers a similar purview, but with a local feel. You can browse through items in your local area (or where you might be heading for a business trip). Geo-locating your business on a site like this might spur sales. The quick “nearby me” link can draw customers to your site, but the higher population areas will get the most traffic.

6. The Fancy

The Fancy is a pure-play Pinterest clone: It has thumbnails for unique products, including clothes, cars, and craft items. The big difference is that you can “fancy” something instead of using pins. End users let Facebook and Twitter friends know they have found an item-say, for a wedding. While that might not differentiate the site too much from Pinterest, it is another sales avenue.

7. StyleSays

I like the visual style of StyleSays, which has the same pinboards as Pinterest but the objects (with more of a home decor and personal style theme) are all sizes and shapes. There’s a clean white background, and instead of just pinning an item, you can “re say” something as a “first love” or “addiction.” For business owners, you have more control over the photo size of your product.

8. Knack Registry

It’s no secret that Pinterest has a primary user: those who are about to get married and want to let others know about gift ideas. Knack dispenses with the subtleties. Users look for gift registry ideas and share them with those who will be attending their wedding. In many ways, this makes the site like a wedding-centric version of Amazon, but the site is focused on smaller shops and artisans.

More from Inc.com:

HOW TO Use The Brand New Buffer For LinkedIn

There was some great news from LinkedIn announced recently. The 3rd largest Social Network, announced that over 150 million users are now on board using the platform.

Hitting that milestone couldn’t be timed any better because now you are able to Buffer your LinkedIn updates very easily.

It is the third Social Network Buffer is supporting now, on top of Twitter and Facebook

What can you do with Buffer for LinkedIn?

Post to LinkedIn via the browser extension, mobile apps or Buffer buttons
Get full thumbnail and preview of your postings on LinkedIn
Post conveniently to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn at the same time

Adding your LinkedIn account is super easy. If you are inside your Buffer dashboard, you can simply click the “+add” sign next to any of your connected Social accounts.

From there, pick LinkedIn from the selection of Social networks. It will conveniently connect you with your profile and you will also have the option to change it if you don’t have the right account connected.

From then onwards, adding any new update works exactly like it does with Twitter and Facebook.

The way it will appear on LinkedIn is just like any other status update, that you manually post on there.

 

10 Little Known Social Media Tools You Should Be Using — Now

Social media is everywhere. It’s in our homes, places of worship, schools and, of course, our businesses. Everywhere you look, people are using social media and are talking about it. And it seems that every week a new type of social site pops up.

And as the number of social networking sites grows, so does the number of services that are created to measure, track and monitor those services. What’s a marketing professional to do?

To help you cut through the clutter, here are the 10 must-use social media tools that can not only help you make sense of your social media efforts but make them more effective.

1. EditFlow
EditFlow is a plugin from open source content management system WordPress that allows you to manage your editorial team seamlessly.

With it, you can get a snapshot of your month-to-month content with the calendar feature. It also offers improved content status beyond WordPress’ default draft and pending review. And user groups can help you keep your team of writers organized by department or function.

Who should use it and why: Any business owner who manages a multi-author website should give EditFlow a look. This tool can keep all of the things that are important to a multi-author blog in one spot so management is easy, clean and documented.

Read the full article by Neil Patel, co-founder of San Francisco-based online analytics provider KISSmetrics.

The Inc. 500 Social Media Use: Facebook, Twitter Up; Blogging Down

Facebook and LinkedIn are now the most popular and most effective social media tools among the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, according to a study by the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, Center for Marketing Research, under the direction of researcher Nora Ganim Barnes, PhD.

Meanwhile, the number of Inc. 500 businesses that publish a corporate blog has fallen over the past year, the study found, as companies appear to be shifting away from maturing tools (e.g., blogs, message/bulletin boards, online video, and podcasting) toward popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Foursquare.

Key social media-related findings among companies listed on the 2011 Inc. 500, according to the study:

  • Facebook and Twitter use is still growing, albeit slightly: 73% of Inc. 500 companies use Facebook, up from the 71% that did so in 2010, and 64% use Twitter, up from 59%.
  • Blogging and online video are down: 37% of Inc. 500 companies now publish a blog, down from 50% in 2010, and 24% use online video (vs. 33% in 2010). Among those not using blogging, 56% plan to start, whereas only 34% of those not using online video plan to do so.

The use of podcasting has also fallen sharply—from 16% in 2010, to 6% in 2011.

Below, other findings from the 2011 Inc. 500 study of social media use, conducted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Center for Marketing Research.

Across other social channels and digital marketing activities, LinkedIn enjoys nearly the same popularity as Facebook among the Inc. 500:

  • 73% use LinkedIn and 45% use YouTube (adoption levels were not measured in 2010).
  • 13% use Foursquare, up from 5% in 2010.
Some 14% of Inc. 500 companies are developing mobile applications (that activity was not measured in 2010).

Blogging: Inc. 500 vs. Fortune 500

Among the Inc. 500, the use of blogging may have peaked as a primary social media tool.  By contrast, among Fortune 500 companies, blogging has leveled off over the past three years, at roughly 23% penetration:

6 QR Code Mistakes You’re Making and How To Fix Them!

Over the past couple of months the folks at QRlicious had the privilege of watching and helping people create marvelous and intriguing QR code campaigns for everything from donation drives to enhanced product labels. Unfortunately, during this same time span they’ve also been victims and witnesses of the many poorly executed QR code campaigns that seem to be lurking around every street corner. You know the ones – small, black and white, scanning takes you to a full blown flash based website… Frankly, it’s embarrassing to the whole QR code industry. QRlicious has identified the 6 most common QR code  biggest mistakes you can make and how to avoid them!

Problem: Too small to scan!
Solution: Make it loud and show it proud! You want people to see and scan your QR code so don’t be afraid to amp up the size a little! Too many people are printing QR codes smaller then an inch or two and half centimeters. This can create many problems when trying to scan in low lighting and if your QR code has a lot of information (like a vCard) then it might not scan at all! Yikes! So make sure you are printing and displaying your QR codes as BIG as possible!

Problem: Ugly black and white QR code!
Solution: Chances are you know the solution to this and a good amount of you have probably already fixed this by getting yourself a custom branded QR code from us! Branded QR codes help you gain the trust of your audience and it gives them an idea of what they are in for when the scan your QR code. Customizing your QR code also helps you stand out from black and white QR crowd, which is going to become more and more important as adoption continues to rise among businesses and consumers.

Read the full article at Qrlicious.com

Measuring Social Media ROI & Goal Conversions with Google Analytics 5

First off, I want to preface this post with the fact that social media shouldn’t be done only with the goal of making direct conversions. Social media is about building new relationships, generating word of mouth marketing, and strengthening brand loyalty with your customers.

That said, I know that there are a lot of you who may be curious on the monetary value of your social media campaign, have clients that are asking the value of the social media services you provide for them, or simply want to learn more about how your social media strategy is leading to conversions.

The following are the steps you must implement to be able to see the return on investment and goal conversions for your social media campaign.

Read the full post by Kristi Hines at Unbounce

8 Ideas for Using Custom QR Codes in Your Marketing

Now that we know how to use Google to make QR Codes, and how to share content on social networks with QR Codes, it’s time to talk application. Like any technology these strange looking images are worthless unless they have some meaningful application to your business, or in this case a marketing application. How can we engage our market more meaningfully? Here are a few ideas:

Add a QR Code to Email Signatures or Newsletter
Take them to an informational page, a bio page, LinkedIn profile, fan page on Facebook. If possible, take them to a piece of content not normally available to traditional web-surfers.

Thank You Page QR Code
After opting in, or making a purchase, present a QR Code to a welcome video or an unannounced bonus. Invite them to a second product at a reduced price. Affirm them that their purchase decision was a good one.

USE QR Code as Avatar for Company Page on Facebook for a Promotion
Change up the company image to a QR Code, this can promote anything in your business, a milestone, a special promotion. Sky is the limit.

Read more at Marketing Professor