Tag Archives: brand management

I’m a man on Pinterest! Don’t judge me…

I recently spoke on the topic of “Selling with Social Media” at the University of Akron’s Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing. I went through the standard protocol of what social media is, why use it and how to strategically use it, as well as the top social media networks out there. This year, I spoke about Pinterest and its value.

When I got to that social network, I made a mention that I enjoy using it. But before I could get into why and how I – as a male user – use Pinterest, I received the stereotypical laughter and giggles from the audience that I was in the minority. Was I using it to plan my dream wedding? Was I using it to post pictures of cupcakes? How about my favorite flower bouquet?

My Pinterest Page

It was none of them! As the smiles faded a bit, I quickly told them about how I like to use this female-dominated social outlet. And in retrospect, I think they were laughing with me, not at me! Regardless, I told them of how I can, as a guy, pin photos and videos of the things that reflect my personality. These things include photos of my motorcycle and cool accessories I want, social media infographics to share with others, really sweet products I like, have or want, and more.

I immediately showed how brands like World Market and the NBA and C&A Harley Davidson in Columbus, Ohio (about 2 hours away from where I live) use their pages to reach all types of demographics, including men. An image is certainly worth a thousand words, and remember those words aren’t always directed at a female audience on Pinterest!


A story of crowdsourcing on Flickr

The Flickr platform – part of the Yahoo company – has exploded in the last year, with the addition of social bookmarking and RSS feeds. The ability to integrate into Facebook with the widget MyFlickr and photo editing functions has also expanded its reach. But how are others using Flickr to engage in business conversations?

A “soft” case study
Interestingly enough, I read a recent blog post by prominent blogger Jay Baer, from Convince and Convert fame, on how one photographer has been using Flickr to “soft” crowdsource.

Jay interviewed Tyson Crosbie, a photographer out of Phoenix, Ariz., about how he used Flickr to crowdsource his photos among his audience. He decided to use the platform to allow users to vote for their favorite photograph for his clients – providing the client with another valuable source of feedback (example).

According to a quote from the Convince and Convert blog post by Jay, Crosbie said:

“I initially began the soft edit crowd sourcing process as a way to better educate myself and my clients about photography,” says Tyson. “Sometimes clients select photos that they probably would not have, but the positive feedback from the community can be influential.”

An online community
Crosbie was able to build his brand and develop a powerful online community because he engaged in a fun and interactive conversation. Not to mention that beyond the fact that users were discussing what they liked, the photography was getting more exposure, hence more business for Crosbie. It helps that he adds his logo and name to the bottom, right-hand corner of his photos for further brand recognition.

It all comes back full circle when done right and Crosbie, in fact, did it right. He said:

There are dozens of people who comment on the photos. Some are professional photographers, but most aren’t…If they know the subject of the photo, they are more likely to comment, and some people just love the process and participate regularly.

How does this help me?
There are so many social media platforms out there, and they all serve a valuable purpose, but utilizing the right one based on your objectives and strategies is imperative. Flickr can be a great tool when you want to share content, specifically photos, with your friends, consumers, co-workers and so on. It also allows you to tap into a whole new audience by letting people speak their mind about the topics presented to them, as well as generating potential revenue from the increased brand reputation.

People could crowdsource my picture by commenting

As an example, Crosbie actually builds the “soft” crowdsourcing fee for his photography into each project. This is a way for him to create extra value to the customer and provide another unique selling proposition (remember that term?) to his audience. He has even built a reputation around shooting avatars for Twitter users. Now that’s a niche to be in!

Jay mentions about Crosbie that:

Business portraits for use in social media and elsewhere make up a large portion of his commercial photography work, and he charges $500 for that service – including the soft edit crowd sourcing process.

This can be of help to you by keeping one thing in mind; that with the right strategy and creative mindset, you can use Flickr to build your personal or business brand in new and innovative ways.

Who holds the key to integrated marketing communications?

Illustration by Francis Anderson

Illustration by Francis Anderson

Having worked at both PR  and advertising agencies, I’ve had the opportunity to experience how each view integrated marketing communications (IMC). I believe advertising agencies do not understand IMCs true purpose, but PR agencies do.

Is it because people at ad agencies tend to be more creative-based? Or is it because PR pros are inherently analytical and strategic? Or is it rooted in the education each practitioner receives?

What I Think
I consider advertising professionals to be limited in their knowledge of IMC because they’re not exposed to the many facets of marketing communications in both theory and practice like a PR practitioner is. So I contend that advertising professionals lack of understanding of IMC stems from their cumulative education. University advertising programs look to train their students singularly in advertising, with few courses required in public relations or general communications. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: