Tag Archives: Pinterest

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.

Leveraging Pinterest: Is Your Website Pin-Worthy?

Last month, I shared an overview of Pinterest, the internet’s up-and-coming social star. Even if you decide not to create your own account on Pinterest, you still need to be aware that existing and potential customers could pin photos from your website to their pinboard … or can they?

If your website is a flash-based site that blocks pinning, you might want to reconsider how your web photos are displayed. Before you think that blocking pinners from your website means people can’t steal your photos … think again!

Pinterest wasn’t created so people could steal photos. Pinterest is for sharing photos and ideas, while giving the originator credit for the photo. When someone pins your photo, the link to your web page is automatically attached to that photo. So if you click on a photo that Mary Jane pinned from Betty Crocker’s website, you’ll be taken to the web page where the photo was pinned. That’s a good thing! It gives Betty Crocker more exposure. Likewise, if photos are pinned from your website, you’ll attract new visitors that may have never found you.

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To make sure your website is pin-worthy, it’s a good idea to test your website using Pinterest. Create your account, download the pin button (instructions are on the Pinterest website and it’s super easy), and then try pinning photos from various pages of your website. If your photos are rendered with flash, a message that says Pinterest couldn’t find any photos will appear. Otherwise, you’ll be able to pin the photo, add a description, and decide which pinboard to put it on.

Keep in mind, users can also pin videos from your website. If you have videos housed on YouTube, people can pin them from there or you can embed them onto your website. A couple months ago I pinned the video of Brian Helfrich’s amazing water feature and within minutes, it was being pinned by other users (in addition to pinning photos from a website, you can also re-pin photos and videos that others have already pinned).

If you want to learn more about Pinterest and other social media sites, be sure to attend this year’s Pondemonium! We’ll be sharing tips and tricks for enhancing your brand in the digital world!

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.