Posted on March 28, 2012
Filed Under (General Business, Marketing, Social Media) by jennifer

If you run a business that has a strong visual bent — e.g., a clothing or furniture store, a photography studio, a catering business or restaurant — Pinterest is a great, easy, and inexpensive way to find new customers and generate sales. Indeed, think of Pinterest as your online catalog, where people can not only view your merchandise — but “like” it, share it with their friends, and click to purchase it.

To find out how specifically Pinterest can help small businesses (and really visual businesses of any size), I interviewed dozens of Pinterest pros. Following are their top 12 tips for using Pinterest for business.

1. Get invited — either by asking someone you know who is on Pinterest to invite you or by requesting an invitation to join Pinterest directly from the site.

2. Get pinned — by adding “Pin It” and “Follow Me on Pinterest” buttons (available via the Pinterest Goodies page) to your product pages.

3. Create pin boards that are geared to your customers — that speak to their lifestyle and interests, not just your products.

4. Categorize your boards — using titles that are easy to find. For example, if you sell items for brides-to-be, make sure you have a board titled Weddings, or something similar.

5. Tell a story — make sure each board has a unique theme.

6. Create content just for Pinterest — instead of adding images you already posted on Facebook.

7. Make sure the images you post are “Pinteresting” — meaning well photographed and visually appealing. Poorly lit or uninteresting images don’t get “like”s and repinned.

8. Include a URL and a description with each pin — and don’t be afraid to list the price. Make it as easy as possible for people who like your product to buy it.

9. Follow others — and “like” and repin those images that fit in with your brand or image.

10. Invite your coworkers, friends, and family to Pinterest — and encourage them to repin and “like” your pins.

11. Time your pins for when your customers will be on Pinterest — just after the kids go off to school, lunchtime, just before work ends, and before bedtime are typically peak times for Pinterest’s mostly female audience. Though if you have customers in multiple time zones, timing can be tricky. So experiment and see which times yield the most repins and likes.

12. Find out who’s pinning your products (or images) — by typing “” (inserting the URL of your website instead of “WEBSITEURL”).

For additional information on how to use Pinterest for business, read my article, “14 Tips for How to use Pinterest for Business.”

Have a Pinterest tip I didn’t include here? Please leave it as a Comment.

Happy pinning!

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Posted on March 9, 2012
Filed Under (Marketing, Video) by jennifer

More small businesses are using video to help sell their product or service. But does having a great video — one with thousands or millions of hits on YouTube — translate (or convert) into great sales?

On a related note, are you more likely to buy a product or service if you like the video?

Let’s take, for example, this brilliant YouTube video for Dollar Shave Club:

I love this video ad — and it did make me go to, which has a very attractive, easy-to-use e-commerce site. Another big plus. So, will I subscribe? Would you, based on the YouTube video?

Let me know what you think about the Dollar Shave Club video, and if it caused you to subscribe — and your thoughts on whether a great video can generate great sales numbers. I am particularly interested to hear from business owners as I’m planning on writing a feature article on this topic and could use sources.

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Posted on March 5, 2012
Filed Under (General Business, Social Media) by jennifer

For those of you suffering from social media marketing overload, the mere thought of having to consider yet another social media tool — in this case Google+ — no doubt makes your eyes roll. But with over 100 million users (many of whom are your existing and prospective customers and partners), and growing, and some seriously helpful business tools, Google+ should not be ignored. Indeed, Google+ Your Business is more than a social media marketing tool. It’s an online collaboration tool (Google Apps anyone?), an SEO tool, an analytics tool — and did I mention it’s free?

Following are nine ways Google+ can help your small business.

1. Improves your search engine ranking.

2. A plus for collaboration.

3. Video chat with customers, colleagues and media — for free.

4. Get your message to the right audience with just a click.

5. Free focus groups.

6. Good for B2B marketing.

7. A potentially powerful PR tool.

8. Can help promote brand awareness.

9. Another way to advertise promotions.

For more details on the above, as well as additional information about Google+ for business, read my article, “9 Ways Google+ Can Help Your Business.”

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