Category Archives: Pinterest

How to use Social Media to promote your holiday accommodation

 

Social Media for tourist accommodation

Social Media is a great marketing tool for any tourism business, whether you are a B & B, Hotel, Self-catering let or tourist attraction.  It can save you money on your advertising budget and get better results, if done well with a strategy behind it.  Social Media can increase brand awareness, be used to add value for customers and prospective customers and helps your business stay in existing customers newsfeed, so that when they are planning their next holiday there you will be.

However, sometimes you are so busy working in your business that you haven’t got time to think about Social Media and it is just easier to continue paying for the adverts that you have always done, especially when everyone else is doing the same thing.  But with a little extra time and thought you can use Social Media to help your business stand out from the rest.

Therefore, I have written this article to get you thinking how you could use Social Media to promote your business to your ideal customers and get better results from the time you put in.

Social Media works best if it is fully integrated into all your other marketing activities, whether they are online or offline, make sure all your marketing material such as leaflets or adverts include follow us on Facebook, Twitter @….  Equally make sure that there are links (and they work) to your Social Media accounts on your website, on your email newsletters and at the bottom of the emails you send out.

Facebook Page

Use your Facebook page to tell people what is going on in the area.  Share information about things that are happening this week and weekend, for visitors who are staying with you, to give them ideas of what they could do during their stay.  Also share events that are happening in the future for people that are planning a holiday in the future.  As someone who uses Social Media to research and plan holidays, this is very valuable for prospective clients and if I came across a holiday let sharing this sort of information, that made my life easier and saved me time, I would be more likely to book my holiday with that place.

Here are some ideas of the sort of things that prospective customers would be interested in:

  • Places to eat
  • National Trust properties
  • English Heritage properties
  • Local attractions for children
  • Local Market days
  • Good places to go shopping
  • What’s on at the Cinema and the Theater
  • Things to do on a rainy day
  • Museums and galleries
  • Local shows and festivals
  • Swimming pools
  • Indoor play areas, ten pin bowling, laser quest
  • Local beaches
  • Nature reserves

Below is the type of Facebook update you might want to share.

Visit Lincoln Steak & Chips

Think of all the different types of leaflets that you might have available to visitors and see which ones of those have links to their Social Media.  Hopefully you will have an idea of the sort of things that your ideal visitors like, whether they are families with small children or older people without children, so you will be able to tailor the content to what they will be interested in.  If you aren’t sure what your ideal customers visit the area for, why not send a short questionnaire out to visitors that have stayed with you in the past.

You can follow other local attractions pages via your page so that you can easily and quickly share their content, you could also create a list of dates of certain annual events so you are sharing the right events in plenty of time.

Don’t forget to share content that is relevant to your establishment, such as the beautiful view from the bedroom window or pictures of the lovely homemade cake and cup of tea that is available on their arrival or the yummy breakfast full of local produce.

Twitter

Follow lots of local attractions, places to eat, local tourist accounts that share great content and retweet their tweets about what is going on locally.  Then sprinkle in your own tweets about the best places to shop or have a cream tea in your local area, again always think of how you can add value to existing and prospective visitors.  Also by retweeting other people’s content they may retweet your promotional tweets.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a site that is very good for any tourism related businesses, as there is nothing better when you are planning a holiday or weekend away to pin a few things to your places I want to go board, there to refer to when you are actually ready to book the holiday.  Pinterest is a site where you can organise and pin images from a website, so that you can refer back to them at a late time.  The site is very inspirational and aspirational and some people use it to organise things they want to do or own some day.  If an image is pinned properly, when you double click the image on Pinterest it will go straight to the page on the website it was pinned from.

If you have great images on your own website you could create a board all about your property, then have boards for places to eat locally, things to do, places to see etc.  Giving your clients an online brochure of things to do when they come and stay with you, similiar the image of the boards below.

Pinterest Boards Lincolnshire

Instagram

Instagram is great if you have the time and love taking pictures with your phone, Instagram posts gets lots of engagement via likes and comments but unlike Pinterest there is only one clickable link and that is in the person’s or business’ profile.  You can type links into a description but it won’t be clickable.  Also unlike other Social Media sites sharing other people’s post can’t be done within the app itself, you have to use a regram app and you have to have the permission of the other person to regram their pictures.  That said Instagram is great for increasing brand awareness and is great if your ideal customers are under 30.

I hope this article has given you some ideas on how you can use Social Media to promote your business and give your clients and prospective clients useful information about the local area.  If you would like to work with me either for training on a specific Social Media platform or to work on your Social Media strategy do get in touch or take a look at my Social Media Services page.  Also if you have found this post useful please do share it via your favourite Social Media site.

Pinterest – Top 10 tips for getting referral traffic to your site

Pinterest-How-to-generate-referral-traffic

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest may be a relatively small social media site in relationship to the likes of Facebook, but do not underestimate it, it is a powerful site if used correctly.  Every Social Media site is different and to get the most out of each Social Media site it makes sense to find out how to use that particular site and join in the community.  Although Pinterest is grouped within Social Media, it is quite different to Facebook and Twitter, and you might find it helpful to think of it as a mini search engine, as people that love Pinterest and use it regularly will go there and search for things they love and want to pin. Social-Media-Lincs-on-Pinterest I use Pinterest to organise blog posts that I may need to refer back to and that I think my followers will find useful.  I also pin for fun, fashion, gift and home ideas I like, Dr Who, recipes that I will most probably never get round to making, Green living and motivational quotes.

So who is using Pinterest?

Is your ideal customer a women between 25-44 years old, who is educated and is a middle to high earner?  Then you should think seriously about starting to use Pinterest.  If your business is in any one of these categories you definitely need to be on Pinterest, Food & Drink, Crafts, Women’s Fashion, Weddings, Travel.

So here are my top 10 tips for getting more out of Pinterest

1) Always make sure you link your pins

Because one of the great things about Pinterest is the quality free referal traffic this is one thing you do not want to get wrong.  An unlinked pin will say image, next to like on the pin rather than visit site, an unlinked pin will just take you to a jpeg image rather than the specific page that the image was pinned from.  To make pinning easier add the pin it button to your tool bar, go to help in Pinterest to get the right pin it button for your browser.  Always link a pin to the page where you found it, as the idea is you are making your content easy to find, if you send me to your home page rather than the blog post or product page I won’t bother trying to search your site I’ll just leave. Example-of-unlinked-pin Great pin but it doesn’t take you to the blog post.

2) Start thinking of Pinterest as a search engine rather than Social Media site

When Pinterest started out it was seen as a Social Media site for sharing and collating images, however it is so much more.  People who love Pinterest will use the search facility in Pinterest before they go to Google to find information and products.  Do you sell products? Ever thought of using Pinterest as an online catalogue?  Keep an eye out for people that are pinning your products directly from your site and repin those pins.  There are 3 ways you can search on Pinterest – pins, boards and pinners so this is where you want to be adding keywords in different areas of Pinterest so that you get found for your keywords.

3) Always complete your profile

As with all other social media sites always complete your profile with a profile pic and complete the bio using keywords that you want your business to be found for, so that if someone is using your keywords and searching in Pinners you will appear.  If you are using Pinterest for business you should have set up a business account.  Linking your Pinterest account to your Twitter account is a good idea as then you can share some of your pins on Twitter so that existing followers can see you are on Pinterest as well.  Don’t Tweet all your pins though.

4) Titles of boards

Although Pinterest is based on pictures you need to use words in the right places to get your pins found via search as mentioned in 2.  The first place to use keywords is in the titles of your boards so if you are a wedding planner rather than naming boards, cakes, dresses, jewellery, shoes, hairstyles, etc you need to use the words that your clients will be typing into search such as chocolate wedding cakes, vintage wedding dresses, Gothic themed weddings so that your boards and pins will be found in search.  Your boards and pins will also come up in Google searches too if they described well.  If you have an about me board call it your name or business name for example Jackie Elton/Social Media Lincs rather than about me. Cake-boards-on-Pinterest The difference between using cakes as a title and wedding cakes as a title for your board. Wedding-cake-boards-on-Pinterest Also if you have been on Pinterest for a while and you may have boards called Products I Love, Books worth reading, Animals, My style, For the Home.  (These were generic boards that were present when you opened your Pinterest account.)  If they have a lot of pins on change their names to Social Media Books worth reading or something that sets you apart from all the other boards with those titles.  Don’t believe me, do a search using those board titles and see how many boards appear.  However, if you don’t have many pins on these boards, repin the pins and delete the boards.  You want your Pinterest account to stand out and look professional. Generic-boards-on-Pinterest Examples of “products I love” boards

5) Describe all boards & Categorise your boards

As I have mentioned you want to be putting your keywords in places that help your profile, boards and pins to be found.  Therefore describe what you board is about, such as Vintage wedding ideas including wedding cakes, dresses and ideas for venues.  Add your boards to categories, some businesses fit into the available categories easier than others, like weddings, travel or food and drink, opposed to Green Living.  This means if someone is browsing via categories your pins might be found. categories-Pinterst

6) Describe pins

When I started out on Pinterest several years ago, when it was relatively new, I didn’t know what I was doing and I wasn’t using it for business.  I would pin something and the description would be something like gorgeous, love it, wow, pretty.  Apologies if you ever find any of my early pins.  Obviously from a keyword and Search Engine perspective these are useless.  Don’t use too many words but do describe your pins using keywords.

7) Create your own unique images

80% of pins are repins, this is an important statistic, if you want to stand out on Pinterest.  It basically means that there are a lot of the same pins on Pinterest, so if you create your own pinnable images for your blog posts then these will stand out and if they get repinned they stand a higher chance of being repinned.  There are so many great, easy to use design programmes and apps that there is no excuse for not producing your own visual content.  Canva.com is easy to use as is PicMonkey if you like taking pictures with your phone PicsArt is a great app.  I use it for creating quote pictures.  If you are really short on time and aren’t good at design then make some quote images using Quozio.com.

Read my post about creating your own images to share on Social Media for some ideas on what you could create.  You can also pin YouTube videos, so if you create your own YouTube videos you can pin them too.

8) Re-arrange your boards

The first 8 or 10 boards are the first thing someone sees when they click on your profile so it is the first impression they get of your business.  However, if in the middle of summer the first board they see is a Christmas ideas board followed by a Valentine themed party board, they may not bother looking further down your boards and see your Summer Party ideas board or your great about me board.

9) Cover Images

Cover images are really important firstly these are bigger and are what people will notice when they first come to your profile, so they need to be beautiful and a good representation of your individual boards and your business in general.  They are what make people want to see what else is on your boards.  The Cover Image is usually the first pin that you pin on a board so if that isn’t the best cover image change it by hovering over the cover image and then click change cover.

10) Secret Boards

Use Secret boards to pin things that you don’t want your followers to see, this could be ideas for a new product or project, pins from competitors, blog post that you find interesting but that don’t fit with your business brand.

There is more to Pinterest than I can put in one post but these are the basics and some of the common things that people could do better.

This article first appear in issue 10 of Business Rocks online magazine.  If you would like to work with me to get Pinterest working for you, send me an email at socialmedialincs@gmail.com or fill in the contact form.

How to create original images for your blog and Social Media

Do I really need to create original images for my business?

Do you want more engagement on your Social Media sites?

Do you want more people to visit your website or blog?

Then yes you need to create original visual content, which links to original written content.

5-simple-ways-to-create-shareable-images

Some call it the Pinterest effect, as since the imaged based Social Media site Pinterest has appeared and been so successful, other Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter are now giving more prominence to images.  Or it could be that in this fast paced world we live in images are what draw our attention the most, whether it be a picture of a cute kitten or the northern lights.  As the saying goes “A picture paints a thousand words!” They also stand out in a sea of words.

“But I can’t afford a photographer and designer to create original images for me,” I hear you say, never fear there are quick and easy ways to create your own visual content.

1) The quote image

create quotes which are shareable imagesThe quickest and easiest way to make a quote image is to use quozio.com although the choice of font and background are limited.  To create a more original quote image either use your own photo or a stock photo and add a quote using PicMonkey or Canva.  Below is a quote I created using my own photo, make sure you add your web address and/or logo, so then if it is shared, people know the source or who created it.

Do not go where the path leads2) The Screenshot

The screenshot is great for how to blog posts and to show good examples of what you are talking about in a post, they can also be used to share testimonials.  They are very quick and easy to create you just need a screen capture tool on your toolbar.

Screenshot of new Twitter profile

3) Add the title of your blog post to a picture

Image-with-text-for-blog-postThis is a picture related to the blog post and by adding the title of the blog post, it tells the reader what to expect.  Therefore increasing the chance that people that are interested in the blog post will read and/or share the blog post.  This is also a great way to use a free stock image to create your own visual content.

4) Create a collage showing different products or different stages of a craft tutorial.

Facebook-header-collagePic Monkey is quick and easy for creating collages or Facebook header images, as is Picassa.  Above is an image I created for my Facebook header at Christmas using Pic Monkey.

5) Create a graphic to summarise key points of a blog post

How-to-be-a-Twitter-StarI used Canva.com to create this simple graphic.

I hope this post has inspired you to create your own visual content.

If you have found this post useful please share it on your favourite Social Media Site.

 

 

Pinterest Video Tutorial

A while ago I wrote a post about Pinning Images from Facebook and linking them back to the Facebook page that they were from, well today I have done my first video tutorial on that very subject and it also shows the new Pinterest layout too.

I hope you like this video please leave any comments below.

 

Can any business use Pinterest?

I love Pinterest

Pinterest is a great social media site to promote your business, it isn’t as frantic as other social media sites so what you share will remain searchable and visible for longer.  Pinterest is a brilliant tool for businesses that have good images of products, which can then be linked back to a site where the products can be purchased.  However, even businesses without products with pretty pictures can use it to build their brand identity and help prospective customers get a feel for the business.

For example, if you own a hotel or B and B you can create boards with pictures showing your venue, the food it serves and local attractions.

If on the other hand you are a Virtual Administrator then you have to get a bit more creative and have boards that show your personality.  You could have boards with useful blog posts, your office and how to be more organised.

Remember for Pinterest, like other social media sites, content is still king.  So if you want to be repinned you need to have fantastic pictures, which link to good content.  Some of the most repinned images are quotes and recipes.

What do you like to repin? Let me know in a comment below.

If you would like to learn more about Pinterest have a look at my Pinterest Passion Coaching package.

Pinterest Passion Coaching

In January I will be launching my Pinterest Passion Coaching Package.  During 2012 it is likely that you have either read about Pinterest or heard someone talking about Pinterest or seen a tweet about someone Pinning something to a board on Pinterest.  You might have then thought “oh no!” not another Social Media site to keep upto date.

So why should you bother with Pinterest?

  • It is all about the links back to your site so it is great for referral traffic to your site, whether you have a blog or e-commerce site.
  • There are more women than men using it 79% female to 21% male, so if your ideal client is female it is a brilliant place to be.
  • It is a brilliant tool for telling the story of you and your business.  Helping people to know, like and trust you.

So if you want to take your pinterest account from this…

Heather Bestel Pinterest Account before working with me

To this…

Heather Bestel’s Pinterest Account after working with me

The above image shows what Heather was able to do after just one hour of coaching from me and here is what she said about working with me.

“I just loved my Pinterest Passion Coaching Session with Jackie!!! I’d heard everyone talking about Pinterest for ages but just hadn’t taken the first step. I wished I’d done it sooner now. Jackie was just the person I needed. During our session, she walked me through each step of the process until I felt confident to do it by myself. She was so patient and I learnt so much in such a short space of time. Now there’s no stopping me.”

During the Pinterest Passion Coaching Session I will show you how to:

  • Navigate Pinterest
  • Create boards
  • Update your profile
  • Add pins using the Pin It button
  • Upload your own pins and link to your site
  • Add prices to pins
  • Re-arrange your boards
  • Repin other people’s pins
  • Give you ideas on what boards to create to support your business branding

After your Pinterest Passion Coaching Session with me you will be pinning with confidence.  I will also give you feedback on your boards when you have set them up.

My Pinterest Passion coaching package is no longer available, however I still work with businesses and individuals so please contact me if you would like training on how to use Pinterest or me to manage your account.

Pinterest – Pinning a picture from Facebook & linking it back to Facebook

I love Facebook, there is so much fantastic content that is shared there and anyone that follows me will know I love my positive quotes.  I also love Pinterest, one of the many reasons I love Pinterest is that it is a great place to save and organise all the amazing pictures and quotes that I find.  However as some of you may realise you can’t pin directly from Facebook using the Pin It button, but you can add a pin manually and link it back to the place where you found it on Facebook.  It is a little tricky but I am a fan of linking back to the source of quality content and giving credit where credit is due.  So if I can direct people back to some of the brilliant positive pages on Facebook then that is what I do.

Here is a picture and quote that I want to Pin to one of my Pinterest boards.

A quote from Facebook I want to pin

Left click on the image you want to pin so that it opens. Then right click on the picture. So that the box with the options View Image, Copy Image and Copy image location are showing. Click Copy image location.  Next go to Pinterest and click add Pin and click paste to add the location link.

Then click Find Images.  Then make sure it is going to be added to the board you want and add some information, as you can see I also tell people where I have pinned it from.

Click pin it and it will appear on your board, however at this point it won’t be linked to where you found it on Facebook.  To do that you need to click Edit.

This is where it gets tricky.  Go back to Facebook where you have the picture open and copy the website url, which should end in theater.

Now go back to Pinterest where you have edit pin and deleted the link location that should end in jpeg and then paste in the url link from Facebook that you have just copied, then Save Pin.

Now if anyone opens and clicks on the picture it should take them to Facebook Wall Photos for that Facebook Page. So then hopefully people will look at and like the page.

Did you find this useful? Or do you know of an easier way to do this? Please leave a comment below.