She said /She said : Pinterest

She said She said

Karen from The Media Mesh and I run a monthly series called She said/She said. Once a month we will cover the same topic on the same day from our individual perspectives. Sometimes we’ll probably have similar views, sometimes we  definitely won’t.


We chose this topic because Karen has not been convinced on the merits of Pinterest yet and we can’t always be agreeing in these she said posts now can we? :)

I’ve written about Pinterest before, so for this post I am simply going to delve further into why I think Pinterest is worth spending some time with.  If you haven’t read about Pinterest before, please go read my first post.

I mostly think that Pinterest is fun and a great place to find ideas on everything from food to home organization, and crafts to do with the kids to how to clean the grout in your bathroom. I will also say that I believe the primary audience of pinterest is women looking for these types of topics. Given that, I probably wouldn’t say a high tech firm should rush out and start trying to use Pinterest, but there are definite business uses I can see for the tool and I am listing several for you here.


If you have a membership, or a lot of staff that could share ideas with each other, curating a Pinterest account, or even just encouraging members to use the tool could be an great tool for people to help each other with ideas, tools, guidelines, etc

The types of professions I could see doing something like this:

- Teachers and early childhood educators (or daycare providers)

- Photographers

- Direct sales companies

Inspire people into needing your product

People are constantly looking for inspiration, for cooking, for their homes and for their crafts (to name but a few).

Create a Pinterest account for your business and start curating inspiring ideas for your customers. Some of them could be ideas that you’ve had, from a portfolio or blog, and others can just be things you’ve seen other people do.

A few examples of businesses I could see doing something like this:

- A fabric store

- A paint store

- A professional organizer

- A hair stylist

- A producer of food




If you have a business that requires you to keep people motivated, curating a Pinterest board with motivational quotes and meaningful thoughts could be something your customers put a lot of value into.

A few examples of businesses I could see doing something like this:

- A life of business coach

- Weight loss/Fitness businesses

- Healthy eating businesses


Source: via Mary on Pinterest




A Pinterest board of just your work in certain field would be a way to share what you’ve done with your followers and potentially have them forwarded on.

A few examples of businesses I could see doing something like this:

- Photographers

- Event planners

- Cake decorators

- Graphic designers

- Fashion designers



There are many ways that Pinterest can be used for business (here’s a post about what some companies have been doing) - have you seen any interesting ones?

Now go see what Karen has to say! :)

Crowdsourcing a logo

I’ve been wanting to get a formal logo for my consulting work for awhile, but have been putting off the arduous

Image representing 99designs as depicted in Cr... Image via CrunchBase

task of finding a designer and starting the process with them.

In the last two weeks flew across my screen twice and I realized it was the answer!

How it works

You decide what you want to have designed, how much you’re willing to pay, and you write a project brief describing what you’re looking for.  You pay 99designs and you submit the contest.

Designers then start submitting ideas, which you rate and give feedback on. I picked the cheapest logo package and on day 4 I was feeling very nervous with only a few submission.  I didn’t need to worry though because by day 6 I had a LOT to work with!

99designs is also built to easily let you create polls to ask people what they think (also easy to share via Facebook and Twitter).  This is a great way to get feedback on what you’re seeing and considering.  My project closes tomorrow (Wednesday) and I’m on poll #4 - would you like to weigh in on my choices?

What do I think

I think this has been an amazing experience.

- I got a lot of different people coming up with concepts giving me the choice of a lot of different styles and ideas. I can’t imagine I would have gotten this with just one designer AND I may never have gotten around to getting the logo designed because taking the time to find and make the commitment to one designer would have been put on the back burner.

- The poll option allowed me to get great feedback.  There were so many thoughts people had on logos that I never would have had, but once suggested to me I couldn’t forget. It had huge impact on my choices (although one logo that kept getting great reviews just wasn’t to my taste. I realized I needed to take it out of the equation).

Overall, I would highly recommend the service to anyone !  Now go vote on my logo!

Have you tried a service like this? What do you think?

Enhanced by Zemanta

Fantastic Fanpages: Volkswagen Netherlands

Every once in awhile I see a Facebook/social media campaign that blows my socks off and this one by Volkswagen in the Netherlands really does!

Why do I think this campaign is so amazing (other than the fact that it’s different and fun)?

1) They are totally speaking to their audience on Facebook and making something fun and gimmicky for them.

2) The contest requires at least 20K likes on one model which means you are compelled to invite and share with friends.

3) They given you an incentive to keep coming back to check on how the contest is going.

What’s more… I visited the Volkswagen Netherlands page and they do a really fun job on a regular basis! Check out their most recent photos:

They clearly make a regular effort to reach out to what’s going on with their fans - a volkswagen inspired pumpkin carving and a volkswagen ready for movember.  I LOVE IT!

Let’s for a minute compare how Volkswagen Netherland’s page looks to some of their counterparts:

And now Volkswagen USA

And Volkswagen Canada


They aren’t bad pages, but in comparison to their European counterpart, they just aren’t doing anything amazing.  I thought it particularly interesting to compare the same brand and how different management can makes such a different impact on your audience.

What do you think? Are you impressed with Volkswagen Netherland’s Facebook presence?


Brands working with social media influencers

In the last month I got to attend two fairly big conferences in Toronto geared at women online.  She’s Connected and Blissdom Canada.

I have a long list of post ideas that have come from both of those conferences. This first one is about the brands trying to work with women in the social space at these conferences and what I think works, what I’m left wondering, and where I would love to see brands ultimately end up when trying to build relationships. (there is a short recap at the end, because this blog post is way longer than I like my posts to be!)


Cheesy fun

People like to have fun.  If you can have them have fun and then share that fun with their network you just spread your brand.

What’s important to note here:

- Your brand needs to be well represented in the gimmick.  If you had me dress up in a funny costume, took my picture on a red carpet and I can’t remember what your brand is or what you sell - you missed the mark.

- People will do silly things, and spread those silly things, for the right incentive.

I doubt I would have taken this photo or tweeted it if I hadn’t had a chance to win grocery money. Also, I won :)

- If your fun is “fun enough” you won’t need the incentive - but that’s hard to predict.

This Fisher Price bouncy seat big enough for adults (multiple!) to climb into for photo opps was a huge success.  SO many people wanted to do it and we had a blast while posing in it!

I loved what Kellogg’s did with this cereal box posing.  You can certainly see the value in having something professionally done instead of us using our cell phones for photos and they emailed the photo to you IMMEDIATELY which meant we were sharing them right away.

This  booth was my favourite of both conferences. They were displaying people’s photos as you walked by and it made me want to do it.  I don’t even eat corn flakes and I went to this booth by myself so I could have a cereal box photo.

And then I went back to make it even more fun with friends!


I also walked away with an awesome vintage cereal box tshirt which is a lot of fun, and some samples.  You’re all thinking about corn flakes now, whether or not I said I liked them.  That’s a good push in my opinion.

Yummy and delicious

Kraft had a great suite decorated for Halloween with all kinds of holiday specific treats, a cupcake decorating station, and qr links to the recipes for the treats you were eating.  At the end they gave you a sampling of a few of the treats.

It was fun, unobtrusive and gave ideas for things you could do later on. I could see some people who like to blog about cooking with kids and activities for doing with kids making some of those treats and blogging about it.


Ford was a sponsor of She’s Connected and they had all kinds of information booths set up about their different features. I’m not sure I’ll ever own a Ford, but let me tell you - I know A LOT about some of the really cool technologies they have in their vehicles! My favourite is the Mykey technology which allows you to lock down things like speed and stereo volume for the teen you’re lending your car to! Me (and people like me) knowing this stuff about Ford and talking about it online in the right context could prove valuable to them in the long run.

Jane’s told me about their toaster chicken.  I admit that when I first found out toaster chicken existed (essentially a frozen chicken patty you heat in your toaster to eat) I was a bit…. alarmed.  They handed out an information sheet that compared toaster chicken to other convenience snacks.  I’m not going to pretend toaster chicken is healthy for you - but it’s not so bad compared to french fries and frozen pizza and I’m willing to admit my kids get those sometimes and they could potentially eat toaster chicken one day too.


- What do the brands who give out big bags of product but no guidance expect from those receiving it? Are you thinking we will blog about a loaf of bread or are you hoping that when we use the products we’ll tweet about them or are you hoping that we’ll eventually become brand loyal and blog about you? I don’t know what you’re trying to do.

- What a big company expects when they are at a conference as a big company representing multiple smaller companies.  If I talk about big huge company nobody knows being great - is that helpful?


- more companies working with bloggers in long term ways.  Make them your brand ambassadors.  Have them write content (and pay them) that you can use on your own web site, in your publications, etc.  I can almost guarantee that if people are writing this kind of content for you they will link to it from all of their channels, and then you’re getting the audience you want to your own site.  Makes more sense!

- create experiences that make sense.

I was invited to a Mark’s Over a year ago when Mark’s Work Wearhouse re-branded.  I was their audience (woman, 30+ years old) and they did my hair, my makeup, gave me an outfit (chosen by a stylist) and then took awesome photos of me.  They wanted more women like me to realize they could shop at Mark’s. Since then I not only have continued to shop at Mark’s, I used that photo for a long time on Twitter and Facebook, I bring my friends on shopping trips to Mark’s and I have been able to continue that relationship with Mark’s to help keep promoting their clothing to my demographic (have I mentioned how much I love my Inspiri jeans.  LOVE). They created a relationship with me that made sense and that I WANTED to continue.

If you want moms to talk about your food products, maybe invite them to a day where you teach them to meal plan, freezer cook for a month, describe how to make healthy meals for your kids that they will eat, and then send them home with food for a week that they can keep talking about. Don’t just give them a box of cookies and expect much in return.

I could go on for hours with ideas of what I think would work but instead I will recap (because this post is LONG)


If you want to target socially influential people at events here are my top tips:

- make it fun (but don’t expect follow up)

- make your message clear

- make sure people have the information to share your message

- don’t expect much in exchange for a bag of free stuff

- your chances of getting mentioned on Facebook and Twitter are for more likely than being blogged about.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

- build relationships

What do you think? Are you a brand working with people in the social space (I am avoiding saying bloggers for a reason, I don’t think that should be the target)? Are you working with brands? Share your thoughts on what works on this topic!


Enhanced by Zemanta

What is it and why should I care: Pinterest

What is it?

Pinterest is a Virtual Pinboard. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes. ~Pinterest

When you click on a pin it will bring you through to the original place on the web that it was found.


There are different ways to use Pinterest

1) Follow lots of people on Pinterest and then see what they are pining. Repin what you find interesting to your own boards for future reference and to share with your friends.

2) Pin things you see online that you like to your pin boards with an easy to use button you can add to your browser’s tool bar, to go back to for future reference and to share with your friends.

3) Browse through the most recent and most popular pins without following strangers, but to see the neat and fun things they pin. Repin as above.

Why should you care?

I think there are a lot of different reasons to use Pinterest.  Most of them are not business related, but sometimes things just need to be for fun don’t they?


I can spend huge chunks of time just browsing through other people’s pins looking at beautiful things. It’s like looking at a magazine put together by your friends… the chances of there being things you like to look at are even higher than in a regular magazine (and it’s easier to save the ideas than to tear out a page from a magazine and shove it somewhere you may or may not ever look in again).



There are all kinds of great cooking and organizing ideas, decorating ideas, ideas for activities with kids of all ages, weddings, etc.


I have run into several community run pinterest boards which I think are phenomenal. It is a great way for a group of people to share a common interest by sharing pins.  A couple of examples of such boards are:

Curvy Girl

Apartment Therapy


Although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend Pinterest as something that should be in your top ten things to do for your business online, if you are already pinning for fun then pinning some of your own content can be useful.

If you have tutorials, images, tips, etc, pin them into a business account for people to hopefully repin. Because Pinterest brings people back to the original site for more information, it could drive more traffic to your site and to your products and services.

Are you in pinterest? Do you use if for business? (If you aren’t and would like an invitation, I can invite 6 people per day. Leave me a comment and I’ll invite you)

Enhanced by Zemanta