Well, I put my money where my mouth is (see a previous post about why Pinterest is so good for business) and did some training on Pinterest and Instagram last week.
Provided (for free) by Business Gateway, the morning training session took place near where I live and consisted of a whirlwind guide to both Pinterest and Instagram.
Now, I am already aware of both platforms and have been using them for some time. The reason why I did the training was because I was woefully aware both offer so much more than I thought they did. And I wasn’t disappointed.
They are two different types of platform, but both very good for business. Both are about good visuals. You can’t put a lot of info on them, but you can put a clickable web address on your Pinterest post. It had never occurred to me to use Pinterest to promote my business. I was already on there for my author business, but I couldn’t see how it would help promote my pr and social media one. Which is a dreadful admission for someone offering to do social media for others. What could I possibly put on it that would be of any interest to someone else? Hey, I know differently now and have set up a separate business account for D A Nelson PR & Social Media. On my pages, I showcase some of the posts I have put up for clients and inspirational quotes. I use key words and I’m hoping that it may lead to business locally for me.
Pinterest is very like an online scrap book. You set up boards, you pin posts to those scrap books and build up boards that are inspirational or educational for you. You can make your boards private, but why would you? If other people can see your posts, they can like and share them, spreading awareness of your business as they go. For every post I put up, I make sure my website address is linked to that so that every time someone shares it, they can get right back to whatever website I want them to. In my case, my PR and social media site (ie this one this blog is on) or my author website. It’s not about selling anything, in my case, but about showcasing what I can do and what I have been doing. Other things you can do is promoted Pins and videos. Google and Pinterest, according to our tutor, “play well together” so Pinterest is much more searchable than Instagram.
Instagram is all about the image. What I don’t like about Instagram is that you can’t share the posts to all your followers, just one at a time. Plus you can’t put a clickable link on your posts (the only one you can put in is in your biog) and it’s not very searchable (to make your business more visible use descriptive key words, tag people (if you have a reason to) and put in your location to make it more ‘findable’). Talking of biogs, don’t forget to make yours work for you by putting in who you are, what you do and why it matters. Hashtags also make it more visible to others. Also, think about using Instagram stories for promoting your business. These are always at the top of the feed, so are more likely to get noticed. Plus, Instagram has started up their own ‘tv’ platform emulating YouTube. This might be something worth checking out.
What I do like about Instagram is how creative people are on it to get their business noticed. There are plumbers on there, for instance, who put up videos and photos of bent copper pipes and get thousands of likes. So, if they can raise awareness of their business, it just shows you anyone can!
My next move regarding social media is to start filming some short films for a client of mine. I’m no super model, but I don’t care. I think video is the way ahead for online platforms and I’m keen to try it. Watch this space for more!