As an intern for CloudItGuru.com, my current assignment has been to work on creating the first ever Cloud It Guru E-book. One of the sections I have been focusing on for the past few weeks has been devoted exclusively to various forms of digital marketing. In order to learn how small businesses can benefit from marketing on Pinterest I have been reading Hub Spot’s E-book, How to Use Pinterest For Business. As I was reading some of the suggested Pinterest marketing strategies I was reminded of the ways that individuals market themselves online. I really liked many of Hub Spot’s ideas on how to best use Pinterest for business marketing and I believe that many of their ideas can be applied to how we market ourselves and strive to create our own personal web presence. Here are 5 things we can learn from Pinterest about building an online web presence and marketing ourselves online:
1. Show, don’t tell. Pinterest operates largely with visuals. Yes, there is some text, but look at this screen shot of my Pinterest dashboard:
While there is certainly some text, the pictures are what catches your eye first. It is important for Pinterest users to “pin” visually appealing content. In terms of our website and general web presence, it is important for us to show what we can do rather than say it all in text. On my website’s index page I have three “feature” articles, showcasing some of the actual articles I have written rather than simply saying “I have written this and this…”.
2. Create content for a target audience. On Pinterest users can create various “boards” featuring a variety of topics. HubSpot’s E-book suggests that businesses create boards that reflect their company’s values, beliefs, or motto. When we market ourselves online it is important that we keep our target audience in mind and write or post content for them. For example, on Twitter I follow many people involved with both social media and creative writing. They post information relating to these fields and I do the same. This information includes where I am in my progress with social media and my creative works, links to interesting articles, and other general related comments.
3. Don’t be just a “self-follower” or “self-promoter” — be engaging! It is important to engage with others. On Pinterest, Hub Spot warns against companies that strictly post their own products/company info as Pinterest boards. One example they give is of a shoe company. While it may be beneficial for shoe companies to have boards featuring their own shoes and related products, they should also create boards that can engage their users such as a board for places to wear said shoes, activities to participate in wearing certain shoes, etc. Instead of merely talking about the work we have done online, we should engage with others about it and ask what they are doing, gain feedback on our work, swap advice, and comment on where we are now or hope to be in the future. Our online presence isn’t a one way street; in order to work most effectively we should be willing to engage with others who cross our path.
4. Give people a reason to follow you. Keep the content you post online fresh and new. Give people a reason to keep coming back to your website or social media pages. Be fun, informative, and approachable. On Pinterest many companies have chosen to hold contests to engage with other users and to give them a reason to follow them and stay engaged. You don’t have to have a contest, but you do have to be interesting and engaging in order to gain an online following.
5. Build Connections both with individuals and the web. Link your social media pages together. Posting on Twitter? That’s fine, but don’t be afraid to include a link to Pinterest or your website or another online channel that you’ve built a web presence for. Connect with other individuals, too. Comment not only on their tweets and Facebook posts, but their actual blogs as well. Remember to include links to your website and social media pages whenever applicable. By doing this you will not only build connections, but help to build up your overall web presence which will make it easier for others to find you online through search engines.
What is your strategy when it comes to marketing yourself online and building a web presence? Have you tried any of these tips?