Tag Archive: social media

Four Ways to Make the Most of Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is coming up in less than two weeks. Scheduled for November 28th, it’s part of the nation-wide shopping spree that extends from Black Friday on the 27th to Cyber Monday on the 30th.

Big party

The Boston Globe reports that in 2014, people spent an estimated $14.3 billion across the U.S. during Small Business Saturday. For many small business owners, the event is a chance to stand out, enjoy a spike in sales, and connect with new customers and the local community.

How can you make the most of Small Business Saturday?

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Four fun ways to use social media for writing inspiration

One of the great complaints about social media is that it wastes time. Twitter, Facebook, and all the rest can derail your work.

However, I’ve been trying to make peace with social media by discovering some of its benefits. Among these is the potential to inspire writing ideas.

The following are four ways to turn social media into a source of writing inspiration:

1) Tweets as prompts

A tweet could push you to write a longer piece.

Maybe it will trigger an idea for a work of fiction.

Maybe it will display such an absence of knowledge and critical thought, that you’ll feel compelled to write an article or blog post setting things right.

Maybe a topic trending on Twitter is worth expanding on. (Why is it trending? What’s interesting about it?)

2) How would five different people react to the same Facebook post?

Your Facebook friend has posted a favorable op-ed on your least favorite politician, or a recipe using three different ingredients you’re allergic to. Instead of stopping at your own immediate reaction, consider how different people would respond to the same post.

These could be five different fictional characters. Or maybe three people representing different philosophical, political or religious schools of thought.

3) Continue a scene on Vine

The videos are short and play in a loop. Imagine what could happen next.

4) Create a writing project Pinterest board

You can keep a board with public domain images you plan to use for a series of upcoming blog posts or articles.

Another type of board collects images that set the mood for a work of creative fiction or help you flesh out your main characters (the clothes they wear, what their homes look like, etc.)

Make your Pinterest board secret if you’re concerned about sharing too much about a writing project early on or feel uncomfortable displaying other people’s copyrighted images publicly without their consent.

Have you ever found writing inspiration in social media?

For creative fiction, content writing, or anything else?

It’s possible to fall into another time trap, where you endlessly search for inspiration and compile ideas from social media without ever writing anything (similar to reading countless online articles on productivity without getting anything done).

I also doubt I’ll suddenly take to social media and spend much more time on it. But I can learn to work with it more, which includes benefiting from whatever it offers that’s informative or inspiring.

– Hila

Real-Time Marketing Example: Tweeting Winter Storm Juno

As Winter Storm Juno tore into the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, many people kept track of it on Twitter. Hashtags like #juno2015 and #blizzardof2015 sprung up, allowing people to easily search for storm-related updates.

Businesses also took the opportunity to reach out to Twitter followers and a wider pool of potential customers through real-time marketing. The following are a few examples:

  • Self Magazine shared this tweet about slow-cooker recipes, which they addressed to people “holed up in the next few days.”
  • Petco tweeted this advice on keeping pets safe during the storm.
  • Ben & Jerry’s shared well-wishes and a cute image of their ice cream arranged in snowflake formation.

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Three types of Pinterest captions that get people to click

There’s more to Pinterest than captivating images. Re-pinning and liking images is important, but you don’t want the site’s users to stop there. If you’re using Pinterest as part of your marketing strategy, and linking different pins to pages on your business website or blog, you’ll want to give people a compelling reason to click on a pin and make their way to your site.

This is where a well-written Pinterest caption comes in. Along with the striking image, which can be anything from an artistic, sepia-toned photograph to a clever infographic, include a caption that hooks people’s interest. Consider the following ideas for Pinterest captions:

1) Lists

People love lists (‘top ten’ lists, ‘five best’ lists, etc.). Given that most people browsing the web prefer skimming to perusing, a list offers them something fun to run their eyes over. If the caption promises a list on a topic that’s interesting, informative, and/or entertaining, chances are they’ll click through and have a look.

2) How-to content

Pinterest has a strong practical element to it, as people share tips on a wide range of topics: how to make the best sangria, whip up mouth-watering omelets, give their front porch a vintage look, or teach their kids about science. If you’ve got a how-to blog post or page for your business site, the caption should make it clear that you’ll be giving visitors useful information.

3) Info relevant to purchases

If you’re offering a certain product or service at a discount, mention this. In general, even if the product you’re displaying isn’t on sale, you should consider having a succinct caption with relevant details (e.g. brand name, available colors, price, etc.) reminding people that what they’re seeing is more than a pretty picture of a pair of high heels or a pashmina shawl; it’s something they can purchase for themselves. People use Pinterest boards in part to construct dream lives for themselves; one board is devoted to home decor, another to wardrobe, and others to delicious food, the “perfect body,” dream vacations, and collections of books and movies. Offer them a piece of their dream.

Additional tips for Pinterest captions

Keep your captions brief, ideally no more than a line or two. They should really convey what they need to at a glance. The one exception may be in pins that are meant to be more informative. For instance, if the image displays a great athlete or a pioneer in art or science, you could have an interesting mini-bio accompany it; but even then, don’t ramble on until Pinterest’s character limit cuts you off. You can also underscore your topic using hashtags.

With this advice as a starting point, potential customers will do more than just like or repin what you put up on Pinterest; they’ll also want to see what you have to offer on your site. So be sure you don’t disappoint them…

someecards.com - That moment when you find the most awesome recipe or craft or beauty tip on Pinterest......... and the link leads to nothing.