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Pinterest Week at 451 Marketing

Our friends are obsessed.  Our co-workers can’t stop. And, our clients have a million questions. Pinterest is definitely THE social platform of 2012 and we couldn’t hold back our love any longer – this week is officially Pinterest week at 451 Marketing.

 

Via @someecards

To kick things off, we’re debuting our 451 Marketing Pinterest boards.  Our boards are a mix of our brand, industry information, and our company culture – a place for us to share things with one another. They’re pretty straight forward, but here’s the rundown.

451Heat: Things that are hot – take that however you like. Everything from hot peppers to the hot announcement that 451 Marketing was named a Boston Business Journal Pacesetter for the second consecutive year.  This board honors our company’s namesake (Farenheit 451) and it will be a lot of fun to see what people pin.

451 Labs: This is a space for the geek in us all to come out and play.  Infographics, eBooks, statistics that relate to social media, search marketing, and public relations.

451 Eats: This board was a no-brainer.  We are an office of foodies and represent roughly 50 restaurants in the Boston area. In a word, we love food. We’re obsessed with it and like to look at pictures of it.

451 Inspired: This board is reserved for ideas and images that inspire us in our daily work (and life).  Inspirational phrases and images will fill this board.

Boston: Again, a no-brainer.  451 Marketing is based in one of the most unique and beautiful cities in the country – this is a board that pays homage to Beantown.

Furry 451ers: As a pet-loving and pet-friendly office, we couldn’t leave out our four (and three!) legged companions!

451 Book Club: Books we are reading, have read, want to read – including selections from the 451 Marketing Ladies’ Bookclub (aka #451LBC).

451 Hot Sauce: We can’t think of any other companies who have a bottle of hot sauce as their mascot, and we embrace it.  This board will feature images of the our hot sauce out and about – visiting clients, on road trips, at the food trucks.

Check out our boards today and stay tuned for a week filled with Pinterest insights, opinions, and favorites and let us know what you think about this hot tool!

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Pinterest Redesign and the ‘Buzz’ Around March Madness

 

Top Story: Pinterest Profile Pages Get a Redesign

 

If you checked out your Pinterest profile last week (instead of simply getting sucked into the boards everyone else was creating), you were in for a little surprise. Pinterest profile pages got a redesign! The new profile pages are much cleaner and, as many are saying, are actually a bit reminiscent of Facebook Timeline. It’s all about making the images prominent and bold, which is exactly how they should be.

 

So, what changed? Instead of having all of your profile information to the left of your boards, it now runs across the top of your page, including your photo and bio, recent repins, followers and following, and other recent activity. Below, live your boards, but they’re set up a bit differently than before. Instead of giving your pins equal real estate on each of your boards, the boards are now featured with one main image (the most recently pinned) and other smaller ones below it. While you can’t change that larger image (unless you pin something new), you do have the ability to change the order your boards show up on your profile page.

 

The redesign is certainly an improvement on Pinterest’s end, but it didn’t blow us away and we think there’s much they could do to make it even friendlier on the eyes, as photo-sharing sites should be. But we also think they have a few other updates they should concentrate on before more redesigns (private boards, anyone? Character limit on descriptions?). After all, it really is the images that make the website.

 

Of course, at SXSW last week, Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann led us to believe the site will be rolling out lots more changes in the coming weeks. We can’t wait to see what they are!

 

Under The Radar: NCAA Tourney Upsets Causing Twitter Madness

Selection Sunday always causes a lot of buzz because hopeful fan bases are waiting to see what seed their team will receive, or whether they will make it to the big dance at all. The selection committee takes into a lot of different factors into their decisions; record, RPI, strength of schedule, how teams finished the season and much more – but one thing they do not take into account is online buzz. While this may not be a good indicator of who should make the tournament, it does make for an interesting study of fan bases and online discussions.

 

Edelman and Simply Measured teamed up to track buzz for every team in the tournament on selection Sunday, and remade the bracket based on the amount of buzz. Surprisingly the 4 number 1 seeds all stayed in their respective spots, while the rest of the bracket got shook up big time! St. Bonaventure shot up to a 5 seed, Wisconsin dropped to 10 and California (who had to play themselves in) shot up to a 3!

 

 

On closer examination there is one team that was didn’t make the cut on the buzz bracket – but made waves in the first round – Norfolk State. While they were one of the 68 teams selected the buzz bracket had them in the bottom 4 teams, meaning they ‘lost’ the play-in game. After beating Missouri in the first round as a 15 seed (only the fifth time that has ever happened) their popularity soared, getting a mention every 0.082 seconds following the upset.

 

 

Around the Hub
Last week, after a transformer fire in the near the Back Bay Hilton lead to widespread blackouts, social media sites were abuzz with pictures and messages about the #BackBayFire and #BostonBlackout. The news spread like wildfire (excuse the pun) on Twitter and images flooded feeds.

 

Via @atowne07

via @AllEyesOnJenny 

Event the historic Citgo sign in Kenmore was out:

Via @sdavy

How did you learn about the #Backbayfire? What images did you find most compelling? Tweet us @451Heat.


Tool of the Week: InstaCover Integrates Facebook Cover Photos with Instagram Photos

 

 

With most personal pages now on Timeline and the recent news that business Facebook pages will be forced to Timeline by the end of the month, getting the perfect profile cover photo is on many of our minds. And while lots of tools and services have been launched to help us get our ideal cover photo, this may be one of our favorites yet.

 

Instacover is a new service that lets you build a cover photo using your own (or somebody else’s) Instagram photos. We know, we know, you could totally build your own cover photo with Instagram photos, but you would need a little bit of design skill and it would be some pretty tedious work. Instacover gives you a few options for choosing photos and then automatically generates your cover photo and sends it to Facebook for you. Easy peasy.

 

There are a few drawbacks that might just prevent us from using the service ourselves just yet. It’s not completely customizable. You can choose which user’s images you want to display and can either utilize all images, the most popular images, or images in certain categories or with specific tags. Once you generate your cover photo, you can’t remove specific images or add others. When I generated mine, there were plenty of images I wouldn’t want to show up on my Facebook cover photo. However, from now on, I might start tagging my Instagram photos, so that I can choose precisely what will show up on the Instacover generator. It also feels a bit odd that you can generate a cover photo with someone else’s Instagram photos… And I don’t love the idea of my images making up someone else’s cover photo. That’s just strange.

 

Would you use Instacover to generate a Facebook cover photo of Instagram images?

 

Let us know what you think about this week’s #451Labs post – tweet to us @451Heat.

 

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Pinterest – The Hot New Social Media Platform

 

Pinterest is the hot new social media platform that is everyone’s new guilty pleasure! To be honest, I just discovered it about three weeks ago and it has already become part of my daily online routine.  If you’re not a Pinterest addict like me, you may be asking, “What is Pinterest?! What the heck is a pin?”  Below is my Pinterest “How-To” – enjoy!

What is Pinterest:

Pinterest lets you organize and share all the awesome things you find on the internet. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, create a dream wardrobe and organize their favorite recipes! In order to get started you must request an invite.

So here’s how it works – Users collect and ‘pin’ images that they find online. Once the image is on a user’s boards others can see it, ‘Like’ it, and comment on it. The people in your network can also ‘re-pin’ an image that you’ve pinned to their boards. You can create different boards for different topics such as a Wedding board, a Style board, a Recipe board, a Quote board or whatever you want! Here are some examples of popular boards:

Home Décor– a popular board for people to post pictures of new ideas for your home. People post furniture, window treatments, color schemes, accessories and more!

 

Food & Drinka popular board people use to post delicious recipes, restaurants and cooking tips for you to try out!

 

 

Style– a popular board for people to post the latest fashion trends, hair styles, tips and anything stylish!

 

 

Now that you know a little bit about Pinterest, here’s how to get started. When you first creating your account, you want to start following people. Click your name at the top, a drop down menu will appear and you can click on “find friends” to see which of your friends are on Pinterest. The more people you follow the more Pins you see on the main page. You can also follow “boards.” This means you aren’t following a person, just their pins on a specific board will show up in your stream, but pins from their other boards will not show up.

 

 

After you start following your friends and different boards you can create your own boards which allows you to categorize your pins. Go to the top right corner near your name and click “Add +” to add a pin or create a board.

 

 

When you find something you like and want to “Re-Pin”, “Like” or Comment, hover your mouse over the image and “Re-Pin, Like and Comment” will appear. Click whatever you want to do and re-pin, like and comment away!

 

 

Even though Pinterest may seem like a personal social media site, it is actually a great way for companies to promote their products and services. Companies can join as their company name, create boards and pins for their different products and services. Companies can encourage their Facebook friends and Twitter followers to follow them on Pinterest and start pinning their favorite things about their company. Eventually companies can even run promotions on Pinterest, such as voting for your favorite pin or new product! For example, see Layla Grace’s recent Pinterest competition:

 

Hopefully this has helped answer some of your questions and by now you have now created your own Pinterest account! Welcome to the Pinterest phenomenon! Tweet us @451Heat to share your thoughts! And keep an eye out for future posts on Pinterest by @451Heat with more how-to’s and best practices.

-Melissa Garabedian, 451 Marketing PR Intern

@M_Garabedian

Melissa is a senior at Merrimack College majoring in Business Marketing

 

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Google Social Search & Pinterest Pointers for Brands


Top Story: 
Google Integrates Google+ into Search Results

As I was scouting out a chili recipe online the other day, I was somewhat surprised to see so many Google results from people I actually know. Who knew that blogger’s chili was so popular that their image is the first result to come up on Google Images? That’s when I realized it had begun: Google had integrated Google+ into search. Up until now, I, like many other Google users, trusted that the search results I was getting on Google really were the top search results. But the other day, I quickly understood that the results I was getting for my chili search were showing up because I was logged in to my Google account. Results were showing up personalized just for me, not only from users I follow on Google+, but also for users it is recommended I follow on Google+. The thing is, I’m not very social on Google+. The social content that’s important to me can be found on Twitter and Facebook and most of the people I trust to get me that top chili recipe aren’t on Google+ just yet. Will the promise of your Google+ content showing up in the searches of others encourage you to use Google+ more actively? That’s certainly what Google hopes.

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Many are upset that Google is choosing to promote content from its own service, despite the fact that it’s not necessarily the most relevant content to them. And if Google wants to be trusted as the most reputable search engine, they need to be providing the best results; not the results that cater to their own commercial means. Google will argue that Facebook doesn’t make its content publicly searchable and that Twitter ended their contract to incorporate real-time tweets into search results. But most of that information on Twitter is public, which means Google’s crawlers could easily be bringing relevant tweets to us in their results, too. But they’re not.

There is a bright side, though. Yes, if you’re logged into your Google account, personal search results will automatically show up. But you can easily toggle personal results off with just the click of a button. And I have a strong feeling that’s what most users will be doing.

 

Under the Radar: Google and the FTC

Speaking of Google, according to a report by Bloomberg, they may be in a little hot water with the FTC. Basically, Google’s expansion into the social space and the implications social search implications raise concerns about anti-competitive behavior – a.k.a. all Google, all the time. Other companies and agencies, including Twitter and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, have spoken out about the narrowing of search results caused by the Search plus Your World feature. We’re looking forward to seeing how this plays out. Google has been criticized before for having selective results, and this could definitely have an impact on the results the search engine returns in the future.

 

Around the Hub: We Take it Back, MBTA

Last week we wrote about the MBTA missing out on a big PR and social opportunity by not endorsing a Tufts graduate student’s project to improve the design of an upcoming new T station location. Well, a few days after writing about this, the MBTA proved us wrong, launching its own initiative with Hubway.

Together, Hubway (the bike rental service) and the MBTA have launched the ‘MBTA + Boston Bikes Developer Challenge‘ that crowd-sources the creation of 2 different applications and a ‘visualization’. There will be a winner picked for each of the three categories, and the winner receives a one year membership to Hubway, a year of riding free on the T and passes to two food truck festivals. Those are some awesome prizes if you ask us!!

This is exactly what we thought the MBTA was missing out on doing – accessing Boston’s existing creative talent to build cool new stuff while gaining positive PR for working with its customers. The more initiatives the MBTA creates like this, the less the will be slammed on social media.

The three categories are as follows:

  • Applications Challenge: This challenge calls on developers to create applications using MBTA data such as real-time and schedules bus, subway, and commuter rail data, together with New Balance Hubway Live Station Inventory Data to create an app, website, or other software application that provides an innovative way to access MBTA and New Balance Hubway information in real-time.
  • Visualization Challenge: This challenge calls on developers to create a visualization of, “A day in the life of the MBTA and New Balance Hubway” using both MBTA and New Balance Hubway data such as  historical vehicle location, for the MBTA and Hubway origin-destination data.
  • Bonus Challenge Bikes, Lunch, & T Challenge– This Challenge calls on developers to create innovative applications that help hungry residents learn about, locate and get to Boston′s food trucks. This app, for web or mobile, would ideally include locations of the trucks, menus, and routing information on how to get to them by walking, T or New Balance Hubway.
So, if you’re a developer and want to travel Boston free for a year, get to work!

 

Tool of the Week: Pinterest

We’ll admit it: we’re addicted to Pinterest. In fact, it’s an obsession for some (we won’t name names) in our office. When it first came on the scene as a social tool to share images and ideas with our friends, we were on-board immediately.  Its integration with Facebook made it an awesome way to have a new conversation with existing contacts. And, due to its overwhelming popularity, Pinterest recently joined the illustrious list of the top ten social networks.

The mission of the company is simple enough: to connect everyone in the world through shared tastes and “things” they find interesting.  More recently, we’ve begun to think of Pinterest as a social tool for companies.  As an agency that focuses on consumer brands, having the ability to share images of your products and ideas that complement your brand in a visual way is a very appealing way for our clients to engage with their audience and help them picture their products in the home/in their closet/on their dinner table. Mashable recently released its top list of brands on Pinterest.  We put together our list of the top things we’ve seen brands do to leverage the hot new tool.

  1. Clearly Defined Boards: the brands do a great job of dividing their content into themed boards, allowing users to easily follow the types of content that they want to see from the brand.
  2. Stunning Images: people pin things they think are pretty.  Having high quality, beautiful images definitely make your pins more re-pinable.
  3. It’s All In the Details: well-written descriptions explaining the content and context of an image makes it easier for pinners to add to your pin and share with their followers.
  4. Complementary Content: just as with any good social media communication, adding complementary content in-line with the theme of your brand is a good call.  Don’t only talk about yourself: include content that contributes to the topic as a whole.
  5. Encouraging Users to Pin Brand Content: Some brands have started to run promotions and contests that ask entrants to pin content from the brand to their own boards for a chance to win a prize. We’ll likely be seeing more and more brand promotions on Pinterest in the near future.
  6. How-tos: Many brands are using Pinterest to show users how their fans use their product. For instance, Chobani has boards devoted to photos of dishes fans have created with their yogurt.
Whole Foods Market’s Pinterest page

What do you think of the new Google social search results? How does your brand use Pinterest to engage with customers? Let us know in the comments section below or tweet us at @451heat.