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BRANDE : blog archives for April 2012

April 30, 2012

Why Your Brand Should Be On Pinterest…And Why It Shouldn’t

Everyone is talking about Pinterest. The social sharing site has grown by 329% over the last three months…and by 4,000% over the last six months! Clearly, people love it. So now the brands move in.

Or do they? I’ve been researching Pinterest — and using it myself. And while Pinterest has some great features, it may not be for every brand, at least right now. Here are four reasons why your brand should be on Pinterest…and four reasons why it shouldn’t.

Pinterest is clean and simple. The Pinterest interface is incredibly easy, even for non-technical people. Because comments and replies are downplayed, the images take center stage. If other users like what you’ve posted, they can either “like” it or “repin” it; commenting is optional. So you can set up a board, or share others’ images, with just a few clicks.

Pinterest is great for SEO. With so much traffic, Pinterest accounts are rising in Google rankings. You can take advantage of this by adding keywords to your “About Me” profile. Add your location to help local customers find you. Even your pin boards can help your search ranking; try titling them with your field, location, products, or type of business.

Pinterest leads to better conversion rates. Pinterest is perfect if your brand involves consumer products. A pin board is basically a catalog. If users like a product and see that others like it (via likes, repins, and comments), they can then click on the image and be taken directly to an e-commerce site. It’s the least amount of steps from seeing an item to buying it.

Pinterest is about what people love, not what they had for breakfast. On Pinterest, people pin crafts. They pin hairstyles they’ve created and desserts they’ve baked. This makes the site much more of a shared community than the text updates of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Users also pin items that they want or just bought, which gives brands a good opening for users to engage their products.

These are all strong reasons to bring your brand to Pinterest. But the site doesn’t work miracles. It’s not for every brand, and it’s not for every market. Here are some reasons not to spend time with your brand on Pinterest.

Pinterest doesn’t move the needle for service brands. The site does lead to sales of clothing and crafts, but it has virtually no referral rate for photographers, contractors, or consultants. If your company is service-oriented, you’re better off building relationships with customers on Facebook and Twitter, which allows for more dialogue between parties.

Pinterest only works for visual brands. This is related to the first point. Pinterest is about sharing images, which can be hairstyles or clothes or photographs or infographics. But if you’re an accounting firm or a wireless communications company, what are your visuals? Your brand is better conveyed through words and numbers on a blog than pictures on Pinterest.

Your audience might not be there. A recent TechCrunch study found that 97% of the fans of Pinterest’s Facebook Page are women. While that doesn’t translate exactly to Pinterest’s users and viewers, clearly the site has a major bias towards females. That works great for lifestyle and beauty brands, but not so well for, say, sports. I think men will eventually discover the site (and that “Pinterest for men” clones are doomed to fail), but keep in mind the current gender disparity when considering whether Pinterest is right for your brand.

You can post images elsewhere. Yes, Pinterest has more than 10 million users. But Facebook has 85 times that amount. If you already have a Facebook page with a following, there’s no reason that you must also post your content on a Pinterest board. For smaller companies, time spent on social media is limited, so don’t feel that you have to rush to Pinterest because of the buzz. And don’t forget that images can also be sent via Twitter, uploaded to Flickr, or posted on Tumblr, which are just as popular as Pinterest.

Whether you use Pinterest, and how you use it, is up to you. If you’d like help in integrating this hot new site into your social media or web marketing efforts, feel free to contact me. My interactive branding experts are standing by.

April 23, 2012

Learn how to socialize your talent strategy

In a recent Jobvite survey, 80% of recruiters said they use social media as part of their strategy — and 40% used three or more social media channels. If you’re not using social media for recruiting, you may be missing out on top talent.



The incoming generation of workers has been raised on social networks and aren’t looking for jobs only on LinkedIn. They’re on Facebook, where new applications like BranchOut allow them to network while they chat with friends; they’re on Twitter, where @pepsicojobs and @UPSjobs each has more than 12,000 followers; and they’re on YouTube, the world’s second-largest search engine. And now they’re even on Google Plus and Pinterest.


How can you reach those job-seekers?  What brands are using social media in innovative ways? If you’re a novice, how do you even set up accounts on all these sites?


I’m here to answer all these questions and more. Join me for Socialize Your Talent Strategy, a free webinar on Thursday, April 26. 


We’ll seek out the most inventive brands for each of the six major social channels to engage applicants. We’ll talk about the unique content that differentiates your recruitment strategy from your marketing campaign. And we’ll look at the emerging trends for 2012 and beyond.


Three different webinar sessions make it easy for anyone to attend:


10 am EDT / 7 am PDT

2 pm EDT / 11 am PDT

5 pm EDT / 2 pm PDT


I hope to see you on Thursday. If you have questions, write to me for more information.

April 16, 2012

The Creative Behind the Brande!

Recently we hosted a guest post by Kathryn, our Director of Client Services. This week we turn the blog over to our Creative Director, Clarissa Zorr. She’s an award-winning designer with more than 10 years of experience in developing and executing integrated brand strategies ranging from print to web to video. Clarissa is a member of AIGA, the professional association for design. Here, she tells us the about her branding process, her ideal client relationship, and when to break the rules. Take it away, Clarissa!

On my branding process:

Start With Trust
Whenever I begin a new branding project, I always like to have an in-person meeting with the project stakeholders.  This is how I establish mutual trust. They are entrusting us with their branding, their marketing, and their communications needs. How can they do that if they don’t know me personally? I am entrusting them to provide us with history, context and the business perspective that I need to help solve their problems through creative. In-person meetings provide real-time sharing and feedback that transcends telephone tag, and reigns high over email communications.

Assign Each Project A Clean Slate
Everyone has preconceived notions on just about everything, and I am certainly no exception. But when I approach any new branding project, I always begin with a clean slate. I try not to talk – I just listen. I let clients tell me what they need, what they think, what they like, what they don’t like. They might say something that will spark a totally new idea or creative direction, and I won’t get that freedom unless I have a blank canvas to start from.

The Creative Brief: Where Art Meets Science
Design is art, and therefore subjective; people may have different opinions but we all share one goal. That’s why, after that first meeting, my team and I put together a creative brief. The creative brief helps outline each project’s general information, its goals, objectives, and deliverables, helping everyone stay on track for the duration of the project. It’s the blueprint from which all things emanate, and it’s what we check our work against to make sure we’ve done our job well. I describe it as bringing “science” to the art of creativity.

Client Mood Board

On my inspiration:

Ideas Are Everywhere
When I start any new branding project, I look at what others are doing – not just competitors, but also other industries and trends, and even what aren’t people doing (and why), so I can always bring something fresh and unique to the client that’s meaningful and helps deliver their message. My inspiration comes from all sorts of places. I might see a texture in a wall that I could use as a website background. Or I might take a photograph of flowers and use it as the color palette for an identity. I also draw inspiration from many industry magazines and websites. One of my favorite publications is Communication Arts. They feature the cream of the crop in design, photography, illustration, typography, and advertising. Some websites I frequently visit to check out the latest in all things cool are FormFiftyFive,  NOTCOT, and AIGA.

On our mantra: “One Brand”

Employer Branding vs. Consumer Branding
I don’t see any creative or process differences between creating employee communications and consumer-facing campaigns. Design is all about problem-solving. In each case, there is a message to deliver to an audience, and it’s the designer’s job to make that message clear. As creative director, my goal is to build brands, creating emotional connections between our clients and their target audiences.  I seek to attract, educate, and inspire people with my work, and my approach doesn’t waver based on audience, geography, or medium.

Want to talk more about your branding? Write to me at Brandemix or check out some of our recent design work on Pinterest.

April 9, 2012

Are You Truly Socializing Your Talent Strategy? You May Be One of the Few.

Last week, Bullhorn Reach published the results of a survey of more than 35,000 recruiters in its user network, tracking their use of social media. The survey focused on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.


The findings are surprising. Only 21% of Bullhorn recruiters are using all three social networks. In fact, 48% are using only LinkedIn! Apparently these recruiters haven’t seen the study from Jobvite that showed that, in 2011, 50% of job-seekers used Facebook to find a job. 25% used Twitter, while only 26% used LinkedIn. Why aren’t recruiters fishing where the fish are?

Of course, use of social media, by either recruiters or job-seekers, doesn’t necessarily mean success. But in case after case, I’ve found that it does.

For example, in 2010, UPS announced that it received applications from 680 people who arrived via Twitter – and hired 45 of them. Almost 4,000 people applied via Facebook, 226 of whom were hired. Heck, UPS even received 1,000 applications from candidates applicants communicating via text messages, but I bet few recruiters have created a strategy cialis online generic for texting. Though it’s the world’s second-largest search engine (second to its parent, Google) you’d be amazed at how few people actually have a YouTube recruitment strategy in place. The Jobvite study goes on to state that 18.4 million Americans “say Facebook got them their current job.” Only 10.2 million Americans give LinkedIn that credit, which isn’t much more than the 8 million jobs that were the result of Twitter. Bullhorn’s survey states that “a Twitter follower is almost three times more likely to apply to a job posting than a LinkedIn connection.” So why are less than half of its recruiters using Twitter?

I think I know why. As I told ERE’s editor-in-chief, Todd Raphael, Twitter can be intimidating to recruiters because of the sheer volume of information. It takes a focused professional, not just a summer intern, to monitor your chosen keywords and engage job-seekers. Twitter can also be a time suck and presents the daunting opportunity to have public conversations with applicants. But I’ve found that conversations can begin on Twitter and then become private, via direct message, email, or even a phone call.

Whatever the reason, recruiters who aren’t using all three major social networks are missing out on millions of applicants. As applications like BranchOut and BeKnown bring more professional searches to Facebook, recruiters who remain exclusively on LinkedIn will be losing the competition for top talent.

If you missed the Brandemix webinar on Socializing Your Talent Strategy, contact us and we’ll share all our knowledge with you – from important studies of the past to the emerging trends for the future.
April 2, 2012

Insights from the BDI Social Consumer Conference

I recently attended the Social Consumer 2012 conference, presented by the Business Development Institute. Representatives from major brands discussed how they used social media to connect with customers. There were five fascinating presentations (and one entertaining interview, courtesy of the Wall Street Journal’s Simon Constable) followed by roundtable discussions hosted by experts in numerous fields. A very educational experience.


If you couldn’t attend, here are some highlights.


JetBlue on Twitter Drinking From the Fire Hose
Jenny Dervin, VP of Corporate Communications, called customer service on Twitter drinking from the fire hose.She gave a recent example of how JetBlue uses Twitter to handle complaints. A passenger had a carry-on bag that held a folding bicycle. The ticket agent ignored the fact that the bag was the proper size and weight for carry-on, and charged the passenger JetBlue’s standard bike fee — meant for bikes that take up valuable space in the cargo hold. Unsurprisingly, the passenger complained about the fee on social media and got his Oregon-based bike club to join in. Dervin’s team saw the problem on Twitter and issued a refund within 24 hours. Now the entire bike club are JetBlue fans.

The Lesson: Dervin put it best: A service failure is an opportunity to build loyalty — if it’s done well.When a customer has a problem, “you get credit for publicly saying We agree with you and we will look into this.’”

Fun fact: JetBlue has 15-20 people monitoring Twitter and other social media channels using CoTweet; six are on duty at any given time.


MultiVu Brands As Storytellers
Tom Miale, Director of Multimedia Engagement at MultiVu, said that the #1 issue at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive was that brands must become storytellers to be compelling to customers. As an example, Miale presented the Facebook Page for Captain Morgan. The company uses the Timeline feature to post events all the way back to 1635, the real Morgan’s birthdate. In the 1800s section of the Timeline, you’ll find photos of Morgan’s crew,

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