How to Photograph Jewelry for Pins

Look at the following boards:

Diamond jewelry on white background

Diamond jewelry against white background looks flat.

and this one, from Michaan’s Auctions:

Jewelry on a black background

Jewelry shown on a black background shows up.

Any one of the pins on the first board is probably worth more than everything seen on the second, but which one are you more likely to repin?

If you don’t have Harry Winston’s brand recognition or advertising budget, make your jewelry do your marketing work for you.

(I’ll write a whole ‘nother post about all those “uploaded by user” tags that leave clickable URLs on the table…)

Pinterest for the Conway School (CSLD, Conway, MA)

A discussion on the Conway School of Landscape Design Linkedin Group about “what projects are you working on?” prompted me to offer, “we should have a Pinterest account for this…”

Volunteering….

People weren’t sure how we could use Pinterest as alumni, and what putting projects on a CSLD account would do for their own business.

Here are some ideas for boards:

  • Board showing the school, inside and out.  Might need someone with a smart phone & Pinterest app on the ground to load this; not sure if there are enough on the school website.
  • Board about Conway the town (need someone on the ground locally if Conway doesn’t have an image inventory on its website)
  • Board with pins showing the staff; linking to the Faculty pages (or other bio information)
  • Board with this year’s students, linking to whatever website they want to point their pin to
  • Board with the 2013 projects
  • Alumni board (Would have to do some web research plus work with the alumni list; realize I’m volunteering to do this bit)
  • Group board with alumni projects; if we have enough activity on this I can see it being subdivided in to different types of projects.  I’m not working in landscape now but I certainly have enough projects.  Link to Behance or other portfolio site; Pinterest can pin video, presentation, audio.  Could be a lot of material.
  • Group board with books written by or recommended by faculty and alumni
  • Board about attractions / points of interest in Western MA.
  • Board with pins about other landscape programs in the area, or in the country.

One person said, “I’m not sure how I’d interact with a CSLD account” (paraphrase).  My thoughts:

Benefits of participating (following AND pinning to) a CSLD account:

  • Additional recruiting tool for the school (mixed thoughts on whether it would be cost-effective compared to everything else the staff does to recruit)
  • Access to different / more followers (presuming we can make the account rich enough & active enough to hit the magic “100” number where followers start growing exponentially (OK, they do at any level, but the first part of the curve is virtually identical to a straight line, not a curve)
  • Access to different sources of ideas
  • Traffic to your own website.  What you do with it there is up to you.  (I could write a much longer rant about the need for marketing if you’re self employed; alums either know this first hand, or don’t need to know it because they’re in jobs that don’t require self-marketing.)
  • More active connection with the alums
  • Where the FB page is linear, a Pinterest account is horizontal and less prone losing information “below the fold”
  • Where the FB page tends to lose information quickly (within days, once new stuff is added), Pinterest pins have an internet half-life second only to YouTube videos

That’s enough for this morning.  I’m willing to do some of this work; need someone locally to be the official contact if this will be a “business” account (and it should be).  I’ll be away over Thanksgiving but can get back to it in early December.  Ideally, comment on the LI group entry because I have moderation turned on for this post and won’t be able to read or approve any comments while I’m gone.

 

 

Pinterest and SAP

An acquaintance runs a business that sells an analytics program that can determine how employees are actually using the SAP system. He said, “SAP support services is not a Pinterest marketing opportunity…” The challenge was on.

Cut to the chase: Board Suggestions

SAP Solutions Partner

  • Employees
  • An office; in a city
  • SAP certifications / awards
  • Reports from their software
  • FAQ
  • Customers (both logos and people)
  • Epic fail stories about implementations gone wrong (use with care)
  • LOL and inside jokes (also use with care, but if CSC can create them, so can anybody)
  • Blog posts, illustrated with screen shots of the software
  • Convention information

That’s 10 Pinterest boards right there, and the only thing I know about SAP is that it used to deposit my pay in the bank.

Why Pinterest Over SEO & Google SERP?

Search Google for “SAP Consulting,” first page SERP:

SERP SAP consulting

First page Google SERP for “SAP Consulting”

Same search in Pinterest Pins:

SAP Consulting Pins

Search Pins for “SAP Consulting”

Same search in Pinterest Boards:

SAP Consulting Boards

Boards found on a search for “SAP Consulting”

And one more time, for Pinners:

SAP Pinners

Pinterest accounts with “SAP Consulting” in their name or description.


Now, you tell me which search provides more instant information, and which results page distinguishes your business from all the others more, for free? (Ok, not “free;” somebody’s maintaining those accounts. It’s not PPC rates, either.)

More Research

A quick search found 50 pins about the company SAP and its product (excluding pins about maple syrup, victims of cons, and other spell-alike captions.) (Deeper diving into the accounts and boards that contained those pins yielded much more information which did not use the “SAP” term in the caption.)

Corporate users

A board called “Production Users” contained an SAP logo pin.  This account is maintained by 10gen / MongoDB, which offers a high-performance, open source, schema-free document-oriented database.  Presumably, SAP uses their database.

The SAP Super Users Group has a Pinterest account with only one pin, linking back to their site.

By looking at the Super Users’  followers and following listings, I found the IBM SAP Alliance Pinterest account, with 33 pins on five boards.  It is an “official” IBM account.

ConsultantBox SAP Consulting (Sweden) has an account, introducing their services and some of their consultants.  Their followers and following lists have a large number of accounts related to SAP. Brainarea is just one of them. Panorama Consulting, from Denver, specializes in ERP work and has a fairly active account.  (Check the list of people they follow for LOTS of business journal and other technical accounts.)

By following a pin, I learned about the SAPWeb2.0 service that allows you to pull tweets into a presentation.

One user maintains a board about SAP Training, but I can’t get a feel for why from the rest of the account.

ConPlus Mittelstandslosungen collects SAP information, including videos. They are an SAP business partner in Germany.

CSC Australia is one major technical services provider using Pinterest reasonably actively.  They have an SAP pin on an “Know Our Partners” board.  I recommend following this account to see how a business in the technical services space can use Pinterest as a public face.  They are only following CSC accounts from around the world; it is clear there is significant corporate investment in their Pinterest activity.

The SAP HANA datamining engine is represented by a pin on a Datamining board.  (Can’t read his captions but can tell it’s a technical account.)

SCM systems have a board of their own. CRM systems (including SAP) have a board on a very interesting account.

Chris Herbert, a #B2B marketer for technology companies with the Mi6 Agency, develops content, networks, communities and business for clients. He collects SAP information on his Big Data and Analytics board.

Incidentally, Cisco and IBM Research have Pinterest accounts. Salesforce has a GREAT business account. Accenture and Deloitte have accounts with no pins.

Graphic Design

Nick Smith, a desginer, collects SAP Advertising on a Graphics Design board.

A graphic designer has a pin about an SAP how-to manual on her Portfolio site.

Another designer, more technically oriented, has a pin of an SAP interface, labelled “disappointing,” on a Windows Phone UI design board.

One user maintains a board of “enterprise iOS designs I don’t like.”  They are all SAP versions.  (His “likes” are all from much newer applications that have been created in the past five years, without having to build on history or even enterprise-wide integration.)(I’ll bet he never coded COBOL, or ran punch cards…)

Another graphic designer maintains a board about Signage that includes pins of interior navigation sign from SAP USA properties.

Personal accounts with SAP pins

A board called “Work Information” contained a pin linking to a Harvard Business Review issue highlighting Competing on Talent Analytics.  (I’m guessing the pinner is an HR professional.)

Someone is maintaining an account titled “SAP ERP” .  The URL for this account is /breakingnewz10/, which makes me suspect it’s not an “official” SAP account.  However, the Books Worth Reading board is loaded (300+) with mostly-technical books about programming in enterprise systems including SAP and Oracle, as well as ERP and eHR theory. The user maintains a related board called SAP ERP Modules, which is solely about ERP.

Recommendations

To tell the truth, I found much more about SAP and its cohort of associated services than I expected to.  Few of these boards / accounts have significant followership, but it’s also not clear how many followers or leads it takes to succeed in this business.  There are, after all, only 500 companies in the Fortune 500…. (who employ some 20 million people, however).

It crossed my mind that selling SAP and its services is not too far from selling an airport financing deal.  Readers of Pitch Anything will see where I’m going with this.  Both transactions are traditionally considered completely logical, rational decisions.  Neither is, at least to the winner of the financing package for the new San Diego Airport.

As I write this post, I don’t have my copy of Pitch Anything at hand.  When I get back to it, I’ll review and make additional, more specific recommendations.  The general direction is to use images on Pinterest to set the frames for the opportunity:  how will my friend’s services help THE PEOPLE who will use the system, rather than the business numbers that make moving to SAP a good idea.

 

Pinterest for a business coach

One of my clients runs a small business coaching center, where he facilitates monthly peer advisory groups segmented by number of employees. He teaches a monthly class “100 Days to Abundance” class that helps small business owners develop effective client attraction and lead generation practices to keep their pipelines fille.  He is interested in learning how Pinterest can help generate leads for this business.

I suggested the following types of boards for this business:

  • A 100 Days to Abundance board, with individual info-spins explaining the various components of building a business woodpile, and other lessons
  • A board for each flight of the 100 Days to Abundance class, containing pins that link to attendee websites, as well as in-class images uploaded from the Pinterest app for phones
  • Images from the holiday party, uploaded from phones and edited to point back to the business website
  • A board about scouting (he is a Scout leader)
  • A racquetball board
  • A small business resource board, including pins from local support such as the SBA, the SBUs, the SBTDC, and so forth
  • Small business owner of the week
  • Pins from the Small Business Insight magazine
  • Business wisdom pins using a text-to-pin tool such as Quozio.com, including some of the graphics used in the classes and peer advisory groups
  • Images of the meeting space that is available for rent will be displayed on the “Gift” list, increasing exposure of the center as a rentable location
  • A board about the other Team Nimbus centers around the country

 

Pinterest for a career coach

One of my clients runs a career coaching service. Resumes aren’t “pretty,” generally, and service businesses in general are not the most obvious target for marketing on Pinterest. However, that’s not a valid reason to ignore potential web traffic.

I searched on “Dream Job” and found the following pins:

Pins found on a search for “dream job.”

Only two of the pins are about FINDING a dream job, while the others are examples OF dream jobs. This is a market opportunity.

Searching on “job interview” yields a few more helpful pins, as well as a lot of funny ones:

There is room in this space for pins about interviewing skills and improving your work situation.

Career coaching is not a market that will generate instant sales traffic from Pinterest. However, it may be fairly easy to ask a visitor from Pinterest to sign up for an email list, or even to follow the business’ boards and pins in Pinterest itself. Board and account description fields offer plenty of space for traditional copywriting.

I recommended that this client start by taking each of her “talking points” from the sales letter:

  • Are you working in a job you hate . . . and thinking “I can’t take it anymore!”?
  • Are you retiring (or planning to) and need to figure out what to do with your time?

and turning it in to a pin using a text tool such as Quozio.com.

Quozio example

Example of a text-to-pin conversion from Quozio.com.

Pin the quotation from the Quozio application to an appropriate board:

Pin from Quozio

Quotation pinned from the Quozio application

Edit the pin to add a more engaging caption and a link directly to the blog post or email sign up page on the business website:

Edit pin from Quozio

Edit pin to point link to business website and adjust caption to include a call to action.

So that the pins and boards for this business are not seen as sales pitches, at least 80% of the businesses’ original content should be “how to” info-graphics, containing helpful suggestions.

Repins from other users’ accounts will include fashion, industry-related (our clients work in places like this), dream offices, commute (transportation), and retail food (places to have a business lunch or to meet for coffee). All of these will be selected based on the ideal target client for the coaching service–C-level executives will have different “fashion” tastes than people just starting out.

More Info Pin Ideas

Inc Magazine, October 2012, p. 8:  Three questions great job candidates ask:

  • What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 60-90 days?
  • What are the common attributes of your top performers?
  • What are a few things that drive results for the company?

You could either pin “three questions” linking back to a blog post about all three and what the employer is hoping to hear, or make up three separate pins, one for each question, and send them to the same blog post.

References:

See Candy Chang’s TED talk for more about the “Before I die” pins.)
Bucket list pins

Brazen Careerist 9 Lies Job Interviewers Tell (Post has a PinIt button already)

Five common interview mistakes

 

Headlines that Backfire

Why isn’t your dog sleeping on an Orvis memory foam bed?

reads the headline in the email subject line this morning. The text in the image in the email itself goes on to say, “Giving your dog a memory foam bed makes you feel good inside. And sleeping on a memory foam bed makes your dog feel good all over. … every dog benefits from the perfect support and unparalleled comfort of memory foam.”

Please!! (multisyllabic….)

Memory foam beds start at $300. I spend $400, give or take, per head per year to feed and care for five dogs and two cats. Orvis thinks I should be spending an entire YEAR’s support on a bed? Has Orvis ever been to a thrift shop and seen how many couches can be purchased with $300? A LOT. Without any shopping at all, at least 10. I could get a new-to-us couch almost every month for that much money.

My dogs have clearly voted. They prefer to sleep “up”–on the couch or bed, depending on what we allow, or “under,” in the cave created by the bed or corner table. They’ll argue and whine to get the best positions.

Orvis products are marketed as being of “better” quality. We purchased collars from Orvis a few years ago. The boys chewed each other’s off pretty quickly, although they left their sister’s collar alone (and hers faded from pink to dingy pretty quickly). In other words, they weren’t high quality for the variables that mattered to me.

The company markets to my own, human-centric, sense of quality, which is remarkably different from my pragmatic understanding of my dogs’ habits and preferences. Why would I spend $300 on a foam bed when I’ve seen what this pack can do to a foam teddy bear?

The larger conclusion, with regard to marketing: when you write a headline, make sure it doesn’t inspire a “because I’m not stupid!” response!

Saw another headline that backfired in my email box:

You have to make up your mind today!

No, I don’t.  Rather, I made up my mind last week.  The fact that your offer ends today is not affecting that decision at all…