Pinterest Place Pins, Ness, Social Media Texting, Thanksgiving Dining Guide


Top Story: Pinterest Place Pins


From style tips to DIY ideas to culinary adventures, content sharing platform Pinterest has become a mecca for discovering and sharing inspiration for your daily life. This Wednesday, CEO Ben Silbermann unveiled the platform’s latest feature “place pins,” which allows users to tie new or previously pinned images to a location using data from Foursquare, Mapbox and Stamen. These pins can then be visualized on a map.


Pinterest Promoted Pins, Instapaper, New York City Ballet’s “New Beginnnings”, Boston Cycling Celebration

Top Story: Pinterest to Test Promoted Pins


One of the most talked about topics this week is Apple’s iOS7 update, but since we covered it in our blog post yesterday and with over 7 million tweets about it just in the past two days alone already on the web, we’ll let you catch a break. Instead, let’s talk about Pinterest’s newest plan for monetization.


Back in 2012, the belle of the social media ball for retailers and fastest growing platform in social media history came under fire when users discovered the service was manipulating pins to make money through its partnership with automatic affiliate linking service Skimlinks. This was Pinterest’s first attempt at monetization and they tried to keep it under wraps.


As anyone in the social media game should know, nothing stays quiet. The scandal drew widespread criticism across the industry and Pinterest quickly severed their relationship with Skimlinks.


Luckily, with a $200 million round in funding from this past February, Pinterest isn’t exactly scraping for cash, which allows them to err on the side of caution. This time around, wary of their past mistakes, Pinterest will be testing the waters with promoted pins from select businesses.


“Nobody’s paying for anything yet,” wrote Founder and CEO Ben Silbermann in an announcement. “We want to see how things go and, more than anything, hear what you think.” He ensures pins will be “tasteful,” “transparent,” “relevant,” and influenced by users’ own feedback.


Do you think promoted pins will work for Pinterest?


Tool of the Week: Instapaper


Anyone who commutes by public transportation knows the ride is made exponentially better with something to read in hand. Five years ago, Instapaper launched as the first subway-friendly news mobile app. With its streamlined navigation and aesthetically appealing use of white space, several news publications took note and integrated similar qualities in their re-designs.


Bought by Betaworks in April, Instapaper is now back in action and better than ever. The ultimate goal for Betaworks was to design an interface to match current iOS aesthetics while preserving its core functionality.


“The interface was very dated, with heavy gradients and shadows,” says Brian Donahue, who built the updated app. We all know the latest trend in mobile design, including iOS7 and the Google logo, is flattened images.


With public transportation reading in mind, Donahue also added two new layers to organize reads. “Sort” lets users sift through stories by newest saved, oldest saved, longest articles, shortest articles, popularity, and shuffle while “Filter” categorizes articles by the length of time they take to read.


“When I’m taking a subway and I’m two stops away, I’ll sort by length,” Donahue tells Co.Design. “That’s a more efficient use of my time instead of looking through all the articles.”


Instapaper is currently  available for $3.99 in the App Store and $2.99 in Google Play. Will you download it?


Under the Radar: New York City Ballet Presents “New Beginnnings”


From AT&T’s photo of a handing holding a phone up in front of the Tribute in Light searchlights to that Wisconsin golf club advertising a special promotion of nine holes of golf for $9.11, brands have been struggling to pay tribute to 9/11 in a way that isn’t insensitive or inappropriate: 


The New York City Ballet, however, was the exception. In the film titled “New Beginnings,” directed by Davi Russo and produced by Radical Media, New York City Ballet principal dancers Maria Kowroski and Ask la Cour perform on the 57th-floor terrace of Four World Trade Center in lower Manhattan at dawn with One World Trade Center in the background. The breathtaking choreography, dancing, music, and backdrop melded together in an exceptional testament to the testament to the resilience of the human spirit and a tribute to the future of the city.


Take a look for yourself.


Around the Hub: Boston Cycling Celebration


This Saturday and Sunday, Boston will showcase its biking community in the Boston Cycling Celebration honoring Mayor Tom Menino’s Boston Bikes initiative.


Saturday, September 21:

5th annual TD Bank Mayor’s Cup Bicycle Race

  • Who: Professional cyclists from around the world
  • What: A professional cycling race in the heart of Boston where cyclists compete for $40,000 in prize money
  • Where: City Hall Plaza with the start and finish on Cambridge Street
  • When: 12:00 – 6:00 p.m.
  • Other: Kids race open to ages 3–9

Boloco’s “Block Party”

  • Who: Anyone
  • What: live entertainment, beer garden, family activities
  • Where: City Hall Plaza
  • When: All – Day


Sunday, September 22:

9th annual Hub on Wheels

  • Who: Those who register
  • What: A celebration of Boston and bicycling while raising money for important causes
  • Where: All across the city; 3 different routes for riders to choose from
  • When:
  • Price: Registration fee is $45


Will you attend?


Special Lab Report: ULTIMATE Social Image Sizing Guide

Download full guide here:

We all know the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. When 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, it’s not hard to agree. With cover photos, profile pictures, timeline images, pins and more, social media platforms seem to agree. After all, ROI Research found in their 2012 study it’s the pictures users take and share that they enjoy the most for online social engagement.


Photos have become one of the default modes of sorting and making sense of all the information we’re exposed to in the digital era. The problem? As any social media manager can attest, when it comes to posting your visual content across multiple platforms, one size does not fit all. What looks incredible as your Facebook cover photo most likely will not translate quite the same as a Twitter header image.


How do you keep up with optimizing your images to look their best no matter where they live? We’ve got you covered.

We’ve gotten together to create 451 Marketing’s ULTIMATE Social Image Sizing Guide – our easy to read, ready to print infographic series with guidelines for the social media platforms you use the most. This comprehensive guide includes sizing details for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.

Download it free and print it out for your desk. We already have.


Download the full guide here.


Dictators on Social Media, Simple Banking, Pinterest Price Alerts, Comic Con


Top Story: Dictators Go Social


Images have an immense power to persuade. They can also have the power of illusion. Put the two together, combine it with the digital world and you get a propaganda platform that screams BINGO to dictators.

One such dictator that has begun to take advantage of social networks is Syrian President Bashar Assad. What US State Department has called “a despicable PR stunt”, President Assad views as an opportune way to mask the horrific conditions in Syria that have been caused by his regime. This PR tactic is one we’ve seen before. Hitler used positive propaganda to mask the horrors of his regime, as did Saddam Hussein. What today’s dictators have that they didn’t is social media, which presents a new and more effective way to cover up regime brutality with images of benevolence.

Syria is plagued by a government vs. rebels conflict. Minority Alawite Muslims dominate the government while Sunni Muslims dominate the rebels. The country is in the midst of a bloody war that has killed 100,000 people and displaced millions more; yet take one look at Assad’s Instagram account, and you’d think that Syrians are enjoying a period of peace and stability.

The Instagram pictures feature Assad and his wife, Asma, showing affection towards Syrian men, women and children, who appear to welcome the couple with admiration. After one week of existence, Assad’s Instagram has 5,300 followers and 73 pictures. Whoever is monitoring the Instagram account seems to be deleting negative comments.

dictator 2

It is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous to report the reality of Syria’s current conditions. Syrian groups looking to make money off of ransoming journalists have made it risky for foreign reporters to stay in the country. Slowly but surely, Assad’s regime is becoming the sole source of news and information on Syria.

Aside from being guilty of instigating a civil war within his country, Assad is guilty of employing a false narrative of his regime in an attempt to counter his reputation as an inhumane tyrant. He is abusing the power of social media by using illusion and misapprehension to distort reality, which should encourage the opposition to explore ways for how it can be used to uphold the truth.

What do you think of the power of social media to spread a political agenda? How do you think social media can evolve to minimize wrongful usage?


Tool of the Week: The “Simple” Way to Bank


“Bank to the Future.” That’s the motto of Simple, an alternative banking solution that aims to live up to its namesake.

Much like other banks, Simple allows you to deposit checks via photo upload, gives you visa cards, they get access to the largest fee-free ATM network in America—50,000 ATMs, which is more than Bank of America. Simple takes customers money and gives it to their banking partners who hold the money in fully FDIC insured accounts.

What sets Simple apart is the level of customer service that comes with your enrollment. You have the ability to block and unblock your own card 24/7 without having to call a customer service number, wait 5, 10, 15+mins to speak with someone—though if you do have to call, they’ll answer on average within 3 minutes. You can protect a lost card with the push of a button with immediate effect.

If these features alone, wasn’t enough to get you thinking about signing up, how about operating hours like 9 AM – 10 PM EST weekdays and weekends, and they’ve even open from 10 AM – 7 PM EST on holidays! And for the cherry on top: through their mobile app, hours are extended by one hour and two hours on weekdays and weekends, respectively. Oh… and there is hardly any wait time.

As far as fees go… there are none. No hidden fees, no monthly card fees, acct maintenance fees, low balance fees, overdraft fees, no domestic transfer fees, or anything of that sort.

You can set goals that will take money from your account until you reach your amount and hashtag expenditures for easy categorization.


This video shows just a fraction of what they offer! Do you think this is taking banking to the future?


Under the Radar: Pinterest Price Alerts


Pinterest is the social network site of aspiration. Users get caught up in pinning away clothes, décor and accessories to boards titled “Wish List” or “Dream Things”. However, Pinterest has taken a step toward encouraging their users to actually make purchases with the debut of “price alerts”. The site can now be thought of as a money-saving tool, rather than a place full of products users long to buy.

Price alerts monitor the prices of pins and alert users when the price drops. Using price alerts is as easy as saving a product pin to a board, and if the price ever drops, you’re alerted via an e-mail notification. A Pinterest representative has been quoted saying that the site will try to aggregate the notifications into as few e-mails as possible, so as to not fill up users’ inboxes and turn a useful feature into a nuisance.

2013 has been an innovative year for Pinterest so far. In May, Pinterest introduced new pin types, including product pins along with others like recipe pins and movie pins. These new and improved pins show more information than the usual pin such as the prices of products, the retailers’ logos, links to the e-commerce websites and locations to purchase them. Online merchants can also “enhance” their product pins by adding codes to their websites that help Pinterest identify and validate the pins. As a result, Pinterest is credited with generating higher click-through rates to e-commerce sites.

Price alerting is challenging several startups that help consumers decide when it is the right time to buy a product., Nifti, Clipix and other tools for price alerting and tracking sales will find it difficult to compete with the ease and aesthetic appeal of Pinterest. Price alerts will make both Pinterest users and online merchants happy, in turn driving more traffic to the social network site that works to make purchase dreams come true.


Around the Hub: Comic Con 

comic conThousands are expected to join the spectacle of superheroes, villains, and video game characters this weekend as Comic Con officially makes its way to our doorstep! Take out your costumes and join the masses of superhero aficionados at the Seaport World Trade Center on both Saturday and Sunday.

Although Comic Con doesn’t officially begin until Saturday, fans already got into the spirit at Faneuil Hall on Wednesday. Dick’s Last Resort hosted a Comic Con kickoff party that included “best-dressed” prizes. First place winner, Mark Sylvia of Bridgewater, dressed up as Spartan-051 from the “Halo” video game. Second and third place went to Lucas Jandreau of Dracut as Heinoustock Dave and Melody McGlame of Newton as Scarlet Witch, respectively.

comic con 2 An array of events is set to take place throughout the weekend to entertain fans. Another costume contest, a BBC film festival, artist panels, and games are a few events planned for the festival. Celebrity guests such as Laurie Holden of “The Walking Dead”, Kristen Bauer of “True Blood”, and Dean O’Gorman and Aidan Turner of “The Hobbit” will be making appearances. DC Comics Art Director Mark Chiarello will be present and conducting a limited number of portfolio reviews, and various guest artists will be in attendance throughout the event.

comic con 3

Keep a look out for the Comic Art Auction on Saturday from 5-7 p.m. in the Beacon Hill Room. The public auction will feature original comic book art. A portion of the auction’s proceeds will go toward The Boston One Fund for the Boston Marathon victims as well as The Mike Wieringo Scholarship for aspiring comic book artists.

Comic Con runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Will you be attending?

Pin It to Win It! How to Run a Pinterest Contest

pin to win

Pinterest has been around long enough that by now, you’ve likely seen several “Pin It to Win It” contests being run by brands. That is, if you haven’t actually run one yourself. Brands turn to running promotions on Pinterest partly because of the uniquely visual experience and affluent ready-to-purchase audience and partly because it often takes money and outside resources to launch a promotion on Facebook. But many don’t realize that Pinterest actually has similar-to-Facebook-rules for running promotions.

“Pin It to Win It” contests ensure that your brand’s content will be plastered across Pinterest, right? Well, not so fast. In the last couple months, Pinterest updated their guidelines for running contests on Pinterest and now have several “don’ts” they encourage you to follow. We haven’t yet heard of any business getting their Pinterest contest shut down or being reprimanded, but with the platform growing, we wouldn’t be surprised if they start regulating their users more.


Here are the updated “don’ts” taken straight from the Pinterest website, followed by our feedback on them:


  1. Suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses you or the contest: This one’s pretty obvious and Facebook has the same guideline, though Facebook takes it one step further and insists you blatantly write that they do not endorse the contest.
  2. Require people to pin from a selection: let them pin their own stuff: This one’s tougher. After all, a majority of Pinterest contests we see tell people to pin a specific number of images from the brand’s website or Pinterest board. Of course, you can still show people where this pin-able contest lives, but you can’t require them to pin it in order to win the contest.
  3. Make people pin or repin your contest rules. This is a biggie: We see a lot of brands breaking this rule, too, and as you can see, Pinterest labels it as a “biggie.” It seems like a no-brainer to ask entrants to re-pin your pin featuring contest rules. Then the board becomes fully branded and their followers can easily learn how to enter the promotion, as well. But you can’t require this for entrants to win. The bright side? We notice that many Pinterest users will still pin the rules pin even when not required to.
  4. Run a sweepstakes where each pin, repin, board, like or follow represents an entry: Just like Facebook doesn’t want you asking for “likes,” comments, and shares for entries, Pinterest doesn’t want to see you bribing users for engagement.
  5. Encourage spammy behavior, such as asking participants to comment: Same as above. Pinterest wants comments to be genuine and not made because someone wants to win a prize.
  6. Ask pinners to vote with pins, repins, boards, or likes: Oftentimes, brands will choose winners to their Pinterest contests based on how many re-pins, “likes,” etc. their pins and boards get. This turns into a popularity contest and Pinterest is saying no. Winners of contests should be based on the quality of their entries and not how popular the person is or how many pins they crammed into their board. We recommend setting up judging criteria and having your brand’s team choose a winner based on the criteria you set forth.
  7. Overdo it: contests can get old fast: So, we don’t think this is necessarily a “rule” and doubt Pinterest will lay down the law on this one. But Pinterest is about sharing and that should be your main objective on the platform. A contest every so often can mix things up and be fun for your customers, but it shouldn’t be all you’re doing.
  8. Require a minimum number of pins. One is plenty: Another rule that gets broken all the time

Pinterest ends their list of requirements by noting, “If you use Pinterest as part of a contest or sweepstakes, you are responsible for making sure it complies with all legal requirements. This includes writing the official rules, offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions), and complying with marketing regulations (ex:, registration requirements and regulatory approvals). These rules can vary from place to place, so please work with a lawyer or other expert to make sure you’re in compliance.” That’s right- all Pinterest contests should have a set of rules that go along with them and these rules should be reviewed, if not written, by someone with a legal background.

We know. It’s kind of a bummer that a platform that was once so easy to launch a promotion on has become a bit more difficult. But at least you don’t need to build your Pinterest promotions on a separate tab or need any developing skills to launch.

Has your brand been following Pinterest’s contest guidelines or do you need to start re-thinking how you run promotions on the platform?