Pinterest Welcomes Businesses – It’s Time to Get Involved

pinterestWithin the past month, Pinterest has unveiled its newest modification: the ability for businesses to set up their very own pages. In the age of social media, every business should be jumping whenever a new platform allows them to expand their brand recognition, and the ever-growing strength of Pinterest makes it a very interesting platform to use for advertising and social networking. Whether you did not know about this recent development until now or have simply been waiting to set up your page, the time for inaction is over. There are plenty of business opportunities available through Pinterest and there has never been a better time to setup your own page.

Explosive Growth

Over the past year, Pinterest has become famous as one of the fastest growing social networking platforms on the web. Just one year ago, Pinterest had approximately 3 million users. Today, that number has grown to 26 million and is continuously climbing at a rate of about 50,000 users per day. This sort of growth has led Pinterest from only focusing on individuals to realizing the potential that expanding its offerings to businesses can provide to both the company and its users. Best of all, setting up an account is straightforward and simple; we cover that aspect below.

Setting Up An Account

You will now see the option to register and create a Pinterest profile as a business. If you already have an account with Pinterest, you also have the option of converting the existing account into a business account. If you wish to get the most out of pinging URLs, status updates and other posts, you can also verify your business account. This action will allow you to directly link your website to your Pinterest account and the profile will display a ‘Verified’ icon to let users know you are who you say you are.

Business Features

One of the new features offered to businesses when they setup a Pinterest account is the ability to customize their page with buttons and widgets. By adding their own buttons that allow users to pin their items to their own boards, interaction is streamlined even more – something that was previously thought impossible due to Pinterest’s easy-to-use interface. If you have recently been pinging URLs to advertise important content about your business, users will find that they are able to easily share and view the content. With the ability to also verify and link the account to your website, you will most likely benefit from an increased amount of traffic flowing from the Pinterest profile to your company’s web page.

Conclusion

It only makes sense that the quickest growing social networking platform on the web is also quickly becoming the fastest growing hub for entrepreneurs and businesses. As Pinterest’s clout continues to expand, we expect to see more and more competition on the site between businesses. If you have not already taken care of the steps outlined above to secure your place on Pinterest, then you are wasting valuable time. It’s free, easy and provides yet another way for you to advertise and promote your business or cause.

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How to Make Meaningful Contacts on LinkedIn

LinkedIn was developed as a social platform for business professionals and other opportunists to connect and engage with like-minded individuals from around the globe. While it started out as a simple, bare-bones way to interact with one another, the platform is gradually moving in the direction of social sites like Facebook in an attempt to get its user base to spend more time interacting with others and sharing information. If you have been attempting to build up an audience of professional connections on LinkedIn, then you must follow these tips and tricks to make sure your time is well-spent.

Make Common Acquaintances

Before you proceed to begin pinging lists of individuals on the LinkedIn network to be your contacts, remember that LinkedIn works much differently than sites like Facebook. Due to the configuration of the website, it is more difficult to simply add people with which you have nothing or no one in common. There may, however, be acquaintances of current contacts that you wish to connect with at some point. You should make sure to send them a message identifying who you are and informing them that you are mutually connected to a particular person.

Get Involved With Groups

LinkedIn offers two useful features: LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers, both of which have valuable information that can lead to lasting relationships on the site and beyond. If you have information to contribute about a particular category, then consider doing some investigation for content in which you can offer advice and assistance. Afterward, you will then be able to connect with the person – having already demonstrated your short-term value. By narrowing down the fields and categories in which you participate, you are more likely to find like-minded individuals who will appreciate networking with you. Dynamic, organic connections like these are part of what helps build a strong, meaningful relationship on the site.

Connect With Customers

If you have done business with someone who uses LinkedIn, then it is a good idea to attempt to establish contact with them on the platform. While you do not want to be too invasive, you can take advantage of how LinkedIn is constantly pinging lists of status updates about your acquaintances and connections. A brief personal observation about one of your connections may come in handy later on in a conversation with that customer. By showing that you have taken the time to be aware of their happenings, you can easily demonstrate that you are a well-connected, attentive businessperson.

Utilize Endorsements

LinkedIn offers a new tool called LinkedIn Endorsements, which lets users “vouch” for other connections’ skill sets and qualifications. By entering in a phrase or keyword, you can easily endorse a person’s qualifications – which sends them a notification and encourages them to do the same. While this may not seem like a big deal, it is a great way to break the ice for a potential long-term relationship that can lead to future collaboration between you and that particular user. You may also find out that the person in question has unknown skills that can be of benefit to you – and vice versa.

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Should SEO Companies Be Renamed Content Marketing Companies?

content marketingWith constant shifting occurring in the world of search engine optimization, many have been pondering the question of whether search engine optimization companies should consider a refocus of their abilities – and also, their names. As we begin to see the SEO tactics of the past become outdated and an increasing reliance on social networking, multimedia and interpersonal connections develop, many firms have been considering how to proceed. In this article, we will address those concerns and hopefully provide some clarity as to what the future purposes of these companies should address.

Content Marketing is Evolving

While in the past, search engine optimization consisted of text in the form of quality content or keywords along with pinging backlinks, we are now seeing an evolution that relies on an increasing number of multimedia concepts to be successful. A recent survey showed that nearly 9 out of 10 respondents believe that content marketing will play a bigger role in web development over the next year. The same study shows that more than half of companies plan to address this aspect of outreach in 2013. As more and more webmasters become aware of the value that content marketing has, there will be greater and greater demand for those services.

Making Preparations

While some have said that the renaming is a simple task, the act of preparing for such a shift is much more difficult. It is true that current search engine optimization specialists are still needed in many of the same capacities, but content creation is a different field than SEO; most companies have until recently dealt with one aspect or the other. Firms specializing in these industries will need to consider how they can expand their operations to include both services. Content creation firms will need SEO specialists to make sure their content is distributed, and SEO firms will need content creators as a way to offer a balanced array of services to clients seeking to expand from just traditional SEO.

Examples of Services

What exactly constitutes content marketing? Many may think of simple content creation (articles, pages) at first thought but the concept runs much deeper. One of the more popular current trends in content marketing is the use of infographics to detail a particular subject or field of interest, with the hopes of attracting said individuals to your website. Other examples include viral videos and social networking campaigns that rely on word of mouth. Rather than pinging backlinks on purpose, the goal appears to be shifting to one where content is distributed in the hopes of it going viral – which will create a ton of backlinks on its own.

Conclusion

If the main question is whether search engine optimization companies should re-brand themselves as content marketing companies, the answer is no. A simple renaming will accomplish nothing, but it should be a top priority for search engine optimization firms to begin incorporating content creation and marketing directly into their day-to-day operations. The failure to do so will be seized upon by others and those companies will most likely become the big names in a future we may not yet recognize.

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How to Increase Your Google+ Following

googleGoogle+ has managed to catch up with major social networking platforms like Facebook over the past year and is quickly becoming a major player in online communication. With many features similar to that of Facebook as well as Twitter, Google held back for some time in its attempt to build a social platform that is more agile and simpler than its two predecessors. If you have been pondering how to expand your Google+ following, look no further. Here are a few simple tips to quickly (and for free) expand your clout and bring into the fold more interested acquaintances and friends.

People Search

Sounds simple, right? Well, you will want to refine your search to include people who are interested in the same topics and categories that you are in order to gain maximum exposure for yourself and your website/business. By logging into your Google Plus account, selecting the Circles tab and clicking on Find People, you can quickly find like-minded individuals to add to your circles. You can also use existing email contacts to find possible contacts; simply import your email list into Google Plus to see everyone who currently is signed up. You can also invite those who have not joined to sign up.

Returning the Follow Favour

You will have most likely seen individuals add you to their Google Plus circles for various reasons. Maybe you have friends in common or perhaps you have a similar interest. Whatever the reason, it is always a good idea to return the favour by following them as well. This is not only polite but will also expand your clout among those in that person’s circles who may also share similar interests with you. Those who do not return the favour may find that the people who have followed them will proceed to unfollow them in the future.

Share Unique Content

If you want to attract people to your Google Plus profile, then pinging YouTube videos, infographics and other forms of interesting content may be just the thing you need to do. By constantly producing valuable information – whether it is your own or is simply being re-distributed – you will find that more and more people will interact with your page. As time goes on, this will make it more likely that your content is shared by those following you. This in turn will lead to those in your circles sharing the content with their friends and acquaintances and hopefully will translate into you receiving more followers.

Add Share Buttons to Your Site

If you operate a website or business, then you can benefit by adding Google Plus sharing buttons to your pages. By combining this tactic with great content, you can encourage viewers who you may not connect with otherwise to share your content and begin following you or your webpage’s Google Plus profile. This tactic can prove to be beneficial on more than one front as visitors may end up sharing and liking any additional multimedia listed on the page, pinging YouTube videos and other forms of content higher up in search results.

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How Can Small Blogs Generate Six Figure Incomes?

For nearly twenty years now, the internet has been growing and transforming the way everyone does business and enjoys entertainment. Beginning shortly after the internet’s inception, bloggers have been online and using their portals as a platform to express their opinions and share their knowledge on various subjects. More recently, blogging has become a very profitable venture if done appropriately, but most successful blogs do not generate wads of income on their own. A few, however, have broken out and now are generating six and seven-figure incomes – a seemingly impossible task. It’s not, if you have the right skills, team and motivation.

Right Place, Right Time

We are sure that most large blogs will not outright admit that luck played a role in their own success, but this is a variable that weighs immensely into being successful. Many notable six-and-seven figure blogs like Huffington Post found themselves on the crest of innovation when it came to aggregation and pinging URLs; Mashable was started in 2005 as a blog that was dedicated to exploring the expansion of social media. Unfortunately, it’s practically impossible to artificially create this environment for yourself. Most blogs that wind up being successful start out as a labor of love by one or two people.

Aesthetic Creativity

Many successful blogs remember a time in which they had to “fake it until they made it”. What we mean by that is that their sites were designed to be creative, engaging and pleasing to the eye long before they became household names. Within this realm, you will also need to consider your own branding options such as a logo and site layout. By making a strong, consistent impression upon individuals, you will be more likely to create a bond. Vanilla-themed blogs blend into the rest of the internet and are easily forgotten – even if they have a great repository of information and opinion.

Be Bold, Opinionated, Resilient

Many successful blogs address topics that are heated and controversial; generally, passion breeds activity and with blogs, this is no exception. You should feel free to express your opinion in your own way, but you should also be prepared to deal with the eventual criticism that will come. Some criticism can be helpful – addressing site functionality, content or the range of opinions available are valid critiques that should be considered by you and any staff. However, you must also handle the criticism that will arise as a result of being opinionated. This type of criticism is necessary as it will continue the dialogue and discussion that brings people back to your site time and time again.

Getting the Word Out

Once you have built a solid base of readers and have been pinging URLs to your site to the major search engines, you will find that advertising is the final frontier in which you will have to compete. There are countless blogs out there vying for attention; what sets yours apart from the rest? There are both free and paid forms of advertising you can use to expand your blog’s profile – in the beginning stages, free advertising is the best route. Once your site is generating a measurable amount of revenue, it may be best to pour that back into targeted advertising efforts in order to expand your reach.