Category Archives: Pinterest

Do You Have a Social Media Strategy?

I know what you’re thinking. You don’t want to think about a social media strategy. You want it to just happen. You’re hoping a social strategy just means posting some stuff on Facebook, pinning photos on Pinterest, and writing 140-character tweets on Twitter. You don’t really want to take time to think it through. After all, social media is supposed to be fun, right?

strategy definition

What if I told you that you don’t need a social media strategy? I want to share a concept with you that I just read about this morning. It’s a thought that has been floating in my head for quite some time now; I’ve just never heard anyone verbalize it … until now.

Jason Falls Quote

Simply put, your social strategy should walk in lock-step with your business strategy. This approach should actually make social media easier for you to execute. Hopefully you do have a business strategy and your social media campaign will simply echo that strategy. Once you have your business strategy in place, simply determine what social media outlets you’ll use to “socialize your business.”

You might find you have different audiences in certain social networks. For example, Aquascape’s Facebook audience is primarily consumers. On Twitter however, our audience gravitates more toward the wholesale market. The information we share on each is slightly different and is packaged in an appropriate message, but all content is aligned with our overall business strategy.

As we move through 2013, be sure to plan an effective strategy to help your business succeed and make sure you employ specific tactics to execute for reaching your goals. Then socialize your business through a variety of social networks best suited for your target market.

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Using Social Media to Dispel Myths and Fears about Ponds and Water Features

Many of you understand the importance of promoting your business via social outlets, but are you aware that social media can help you conquer homeowners’ objections to water features before you even go on a design consultation?

Today’s consumers are conducting more online research before they commit to buy a product or service. The internet has  made it fast and easy to comparison shop before any money leaves your customer’s wallet. A quick Google search  provides a wealth of product information within just minutes, from pricing to consumer reviews and more.

Do you know what your customers are saying about your products and services? Are you talking to potential customers online, much as you would over the phone or face-to-face?

Many folks who desire a water feature have concerns that you need to overcome before they’re willing to take the plunge. They worry about mosquitos. They wonder if it’s okay to keep the fish out in the pond all winter long. They’re concerned their pond will become an ugly algae monster. You should use social media outlets to dispel pond myths and overcome objections so your potential customer a) is not afraid to make the purchase and b) trusts you as a source of reliable information.

Hometalk

Case in point … at the end of June I posted a “Small Water Gardens” photo album on Hometalk and started receiving several questions about the beautiful ponds. The first question asked whether the fish would freeze during the winter. The next question asked whether a pond should be located in sun or shade, or a little of both.

And then there was Judy B who was craving a pond but had a relative trying to talk her out of it. Her cousin had a pond that was a maintenance nightmare (obviously not built properly) and he didn’t want Judy to suffer the same tragedy. I mentioned she might want to start with a Pondless® Waterfall, and then after gaining confidence, she could always add the pond at a later date. She was thrilled with this notion, having never heard of installing a waterfall without a pond.

Aquascape on PinterestAnother example of dispelling fears occurred on Pinterest. I had pinned a photo of a Pondless® Waterfall paired with our RainXchange® rainwater harvesting system. Debra asked if the waterfall experienced any rainwater washouts and I was able to ensure her that the RainXchange® is actually designed to help manage stormwater runoff.

Questions are also posted frequently on our Facebook page frequently, from potential current pond owners alike. Answering each person’s question not only gives you the opportunity to designate yourself as an authority on ponds and water features, but it also provides invaluable opportunity to present yourself as someone who provides attentive service and concern for customers.

Be sure that while you’re posting photos of your beautiful water features and linking to your website, that you’re also paying attention to what current and potential customers are saying. Respond to their questions and comments in a timely fashion (within 24 hours is best) and they’ll grow to trust and like you. And when they’re finally ready to get their feet wet with a pond or waterfall, you’ll be the first person who comes to mind.

Is Pinterest the Next Best Thing to Sliced Bread?

Maybe the question should be, is Pinterest the next best thing since Facebook? After Microsoft and web browsers made the technology scene, everyone was wondering what the next big thing would be … and along came Facebook. Now we’re wondering what’s after Facebook. Could it be Pinterest?

Pinterest quietly launched as a closed beta (meaning it isn’t open to everyone) back in March 2010 and since then has grown into the 3rd largest social networking site. On August 16, 2011, Time magazine listed Pinterest in its “50 Best Websites of 2011” article. Not bad for a 2-year old company.

So what exactly is Pinterest? According to its website, Pinterest is a “virtual pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.” To use Pinterest, you download a pin application that allows you to “pin” photos from a website onto a pinboard on your Pinterest account (think virtual bulletin board). The photo is linked back to the website from where it was pinned … so anyone clicking on a photo pinned to one of your pinboards will be taken to that website.

Aquascape on Pinterest

Pinterest is a collection of photos you pin from websites to pinboards you create .

Interesting enough, but how is this good for business? Let’s say I’m renovating my kitchen. Normally I would look at decorating magazines or websites for ideas and bookmark or “favorite” a site that had appealing kitchen features. I would then have to go back to those individual bookmarks or magazine pages to pull all my ideas together.

With Pinterest, I can instead pin photos from those sites onto a “Kitchen Renovation” board that I’ve created in my Pinterest account. I now have all my kitchen ideas in one handy place and can click on any photo on my board to go to the webpage where it was found. This makes it much easier for me to remember that the French kitchen cabinets I’m craving are at Lowe’s, and thereby makes it easier for me to purchase them.

You can start to see the benefits of Pinterest, in addition to the magnitude of its reach. Although Pinterest is still operating under an “invitation-only” system, anyone can join (at least, I’ve not heard of anyone being rejected). You simply log onto www.pinterest.com and request to join. You’ll receive an email congratulating you on your acceptance into Pinterest. Doesn’t that make you feel special? As a marketer, I wonder if this is part of Pinterest’s appeal. Generally humans want what they can’t have.

As of February 2012, Pinterest had broken into the top 30 websites for page views in the United States. My prediction is that it will soon elbow its way into the number 2 slot for social networking sites. If you haven’t visited Pinterest yet, log onto http://pinterest.com/about/ to learn more about this escalating sensation. And stay tuned for future posts as we cover more on the benefits of using Pinterest for business.

Check out Aquascape’s Pinterest boards at http://pinterest.com/aquascapeinc.