Bridgit here, with a quick update on my Bridges campaign…..
As celebrity endorsements go, you can’t get much bigger or better than Kermit the Frog – the latest figure to support my Bridges campaign. A long time friend and supporter of mine, Kermit is in the middle of a worldwide trip but in the midst of it all, he still found time to take some images of himself in front of various bridges. Take a look at the Pinterest page – Kermit is on bridges in Sydney, Amsterdam and London.
Kermit is not the only interesting character to take part in the campaign. Miles Better, the brand new face of the Good Garage Scheme has also got involved. He sent us a picture over Twitter and has been helping support the campaign since.
It was Coventry Society who started the trend. Once I had jetted off round the world’s bridges and the Bridge directors had ventured out onto their nearest bridge, Coventry Society was the first organisation to add a bridge image to our Pinterest board. Their representative Adam Mottershead sent us an image of himself on a well known Coventry bridge.
We have even got mum’s in on the act. Our Account Executive, Natalie’s mum sent us a posy image of her on a bridge in Tenerife to help us build momentum on our campaign. We now have a total of 16 bridge images on our Pin board and that is only the start. Still to come are images from national ERP providers K3 Syspro who have promised us an image of their marketing team on a bridge near Old Trafford once the weather holds out – and Tamworth’s premier community radio station TCRFM, who will get their presenters out on bridges for our campaign. Expect those images to be added to our board as soon as they are ready.
It’s a whole load of fun but there is a serious side to my Bridge campaign. We are, of course raising money for the charity FrogLife, who very kindly featured our campaign on their latest blog post. Froglife is a national wildlife charity dedicated to the conservation of the UK’s amphibians and reptiles – frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards – and the habitats on which they depend. Naturally, they are helping to keep me and my relatives safe in dangerous times to be a frog. It’s simple – the more bridge pictures that are pinned to our board, the more money gets donated to look after my family and friends.
So, what are you waiting for? If you are already on Pinterest, follow my board and we will invite you to share it and take part in our campaign. If you are not on Pinterest don’t fear, share an image with us over email, Twitter or Facebook and we will Pin it for you! Go, on, hop on the Bridgit campaign!
Hello – Bridgit here, taking over the Bridge blog…..
I’m on a quest. Maybe you can help?
I want photos of you on, under or by a bridge. This could be anything from an actual bridge, to a road sign with the word bridge on it or even a building named after a bridge. The photographs will be published on the Bridge Pinterest profile, on a related pinboard. If you can involve frogs on bridges too, all the better! (Please don’t harm any of my frog friends doing this though!)
This is more than just a simple campaign. The directors of Bridge are committed wildlife conservationists, and we have all jumped on board with this to help develop a campaign that will raise the profile for the conservation of us frogs, as well as just being a fun thing to do.
We want to start the ball rolling first by getting your photos in. We will then get the visitors to the Pinterest pinboard to vote on which photos they think are the best ones. The lucky winners will receive various prizes, and we will also be donating money to amphibian conservation projects to help my home stay looking nice.
This campaign is yet another demonstration of Bridge utilising the latest social networks to show clients how effective campaigns can be run online.
To take part in the game, simply email your photograph to me at Bridgit@bridgepr.co.uk or share it with Bridge PR over one of its social networks.
Alternatively, this pinboard is a community board so to contribute, email firstname.lastname@example.org with Bridgit’s Bridges in the subject line and your Pinterest username in the email body. You will then be added to the board as a contributor.
We all know that social media is growing at a rapid rate. Facebook values Instagram at $1 billion and according to a recent report by Forbes, LinkedIn is worth $10 billion and Pinterest £7.7 billion. There’s no doubt that social networking is an industry where money can be made but what about those businesses actually using it themselves? Social media is essentially a free marketing resource but it could cost your business hundreds and thousands of pounds if you make just one careless error whilst using it.
Cost of social media
There are stories all over the press daily about people whose tweets or Facebook statuses have landed them in trouble. What about Liam Stacey who recently tweeted racially abusive messages about footballer Fabrice Muamba after he collapsed on a pitch? He received a 56 day jail sentence. Or Jordan Blackshaw who was jailed for four years after creating a Facebook event page for the London riots? That’s not to mention Paul Chambers who was fined after tweeting a joke about blowing up Robin Hood Airport or Peter Copeland who received a four month suspended jail sentence after posting racially abusive messages on Twitter aimed at Newcastle United fans.
These are all personal instances where carelessness on social networking sites have led to criminal prosecutions, but just as there is a risk using social networking carelessly for personal accounts, the same applies to business. Remember, what is put on the internet stays on the internet. Even long after you have deleted a tweet or Facebook status, it can still be found on the Internet through various sources and remembered. Once something is posted on the web, it stays there in one form, forever.
What should I do?
There is plenty you should do when using social media. Engage with your customers, promote your products (but not constantly – there’s nothing worse than constant self promoters on Twitter!), engage with other businesses and enjoy making new friends – but remember to always think about what you are posting. Who can see it? It is libellous? Could it be taken the wrong way and ultimately should I really publish it?
Social media policy
Introducing a strict social media policy will ensure that members of your business are not sending out tweets that could be interpreted negatively. Set aside and pinpoint the areas of Twitter or Facebook you could eradicate without affecting your business. For example, a celebrity expects abuse on Twitter but that doesn’t mean your business should be seen handing it out. Yes, your team’s star striker may have missed a sitter last night but you don’t want your customers to see you calling them useless over Twitter do you? Keep the personal tweets; sarcastic or otherwise, to your personal account and don’t let them be associated with your business in anyway.
Got your staff tweeting on their own personal accounts? Get them to put a small disclaimer in their biographies stating that their views are their own and not that of the company’s, just to ensure you are disassociated with anything that could potentially spell outrage.
Decide on the kind of people that you should be engaging with and keep it friendly. By following all the local hashtags – #coventrybusiness, #followbigbear and #followcoventry for Coventry – you can meet local business and make new contacts. When someone leaves your business – that is the time to change all your social media passwords to protect against potential hacks. Most importantly though, think before you publish anything online and make 100% sure that nobody can be offended by what you have written.
Keep it fun
We don’t want to ruin your social media activity by throwing in too many rules. After all, social media is and should be a fun and constructive activity, but as soon as carelessness creeps into your social media usage, so too do business risks and compromises. A policy will keep you thinking about your own social media usage and ensure that your personal thoughts never reflect upon your business. Of course, there is room for sarcasm and jokes – social networks would be boring without them but the old rule ‘if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all’ certainly has a big place within social media.
Still questioning Quora? Found that Google Plus has turned out to be a negative? Then you are probably uninterested in Pinterest – the very latest in a long line of social networks that experts are citing as the next best thing. However, unlike the others, Pinterest actually has taken off and was one of the fastest networks to reach 10 million users a month. When it comes to sharing content and meeting people with similar interests to yours, Pinterest is perhaps the most useful social network of them all so why should you join in with the buzz?
Firstly, let’s myth bust; Pinterest is not a new social network. It has been around for several years but only recently has found itself blossoming in popularity. Unlike similar hyped up networks like Quora, Pinterest’s early adopters were not typical internet geeks but in fact, average everyday women with mainstream interests, opening up the passageway for a wide ranging audience of users. There is no intimidation factor here; no importance laid upon keeping up with the most influential users. In fact, unlike most social networks it runs at your own pace and can be about anything you want it to be about.
The idea of Pinterest is that you share ideas online by pinning images from the web to virtual pin boards. Users then have the choice to follow a particular pin board or repin something of interest to their own pinboard – much like Twitter’s retweet facility.
Upon first visiting the website, the first thing to note is its appearance and usability. It’s very easy on the eye and very simple to use. Much of the content on the social network is about products; furniture, books, clothes and household items and it can at times seem like a large online shopping store – the female influence coming across heavily. However, leaf through the typical domestic boards, the wish lists and the clutter and there are some very interesting boards. Boards on social media, infographics, images of old newsrooms and even one board looking at hot businesses of the month. It is easy to see why Pinterest is attractive to advertisers – this is a place that they can promote themselves, with links back to their own website without ramming advertisements down a user’s throat.
In terms of content marketing, Pinterest could well become the most useful and important social network of them all. Of course, a lot depends on the user and that is the beauty of Pinterest – it can be about absolutely anything you want so as long as people share interesting content it will always have a purpose. However, unless you are specific, your individual boards may well become lost in translation. Millions of users will be following pinboards about marketing so make yours niche. Title it content marketing, digital marketing or b2b marketing and allow it to stand out from the crowd.
Make sure you are repining interesting content to your own pinboards and sharing it with your own network of followers. As with any social network, following the right people can bring new content to your attention which you can then, in turn share with other creating a chain of content marketing practitioners.
As a business you need to curate your content properly and organise it into different areas of your business. If you are a retailer, just as you organise shop shelves, you need all your products categorised and displayed together. If IT is your industry, sub categorise the genre into different factions; network systems, new innovations, mobile devices and web devices. The key is to make your content unique, niche and interesting enough for others to repin and share.
Above all else, have fun. Pinterest is unlike any other social networks in that there is no pressure to be seen as an industry leader. It moves along at its own pace and can be personalised to suit your needs. As well as serving as a platform for content marketing, Pinterest can also be your own personal pin board of interests, products you want to look at further and links or diagrams of particular interest.
Pinterest is unfortunate in that it has been tipped for success by the experts and predicted as the hot new social network of 2012. However, unlike fellow victims to this hype like Quora and Google Plus, Pinterest is causing enough of a stir to actually live up to its expectations. The interface is simple, the idea effective and the reasons for using it plentiful. In fact, Pinterest could just be the most (P)interesting thing to happen to content marketing.