Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm Just So In Love With All of You Right Now [a.k.a. A Case of TMI]

I share. Probably too much, but I like to share everything online from the drawing my daughter creates to a link to my latest webinar. People who follow me on Twitter, Facebook, G+, Pinterest, or any of the other online places I tend to hang out in probably know me better than I do.

That said, like many of us these days, my private and work life mingles closely online and for me they are practically indistinguishable from one another. Which is why I choose to steer clear of anything that might be considered too incendiary. Just like I wouldn't want to make someone uncomfortable visiting my home, I do not want to make people uncomfortable visiting my profile on Facebook or LinkedIn (or anywhere else for that matter) online.

Why am I talking about this? Because I came across some photos on a professional connection's Facebook profile that made Angelina Jolie's passionate kiss with her brother (see photo) look downright innocent.

To be clear, I have plenty of photos raising a glass or dancing like a maniac out there and I have rarely been put in a position to play hall monitor for my online connections, but after this evening's discovery I wanted to post a kind reminder to all of my friends: digital is forever.

And also, check out Facebook's privacy settings. Please.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Duh. Pinning. (Advice for Association Executives Interested in Pinterest)

If you are sick of hearing about Pinterest, then you'll really hate this post.

Pinterest has basically taken the world by storm and is one of my favorite excuses for insomnia lately. Haters are quick to call Pinterest an online campground for women who want to get married, lose weight, make scrapbooks, and decorate their houses. Admirers could say the same thing. There is a lot of all of those things there. But to be fair there is more to it than that.

Quick description: Pinterest in an online corkboard for cataloguing interests and sharing those interests with connections (or anyone). Does it have an application for associations? Yes. But right now you just want to know about this so you're aware of the phenomenon and will be ready if and when someone asks you about your organization's strategy with Pinterest.

I found this on Pinterest. Duh.

Here's the deal. None of the people who do social media that I hang with are happy about Pinterest having a practical application for business, including me. I have had a lot of fun going onto Pinterest to escape my usual business-related work and thinking, instead, about how much I love the color combination of plum and chartreuse. Too bad for us. Pinterest has some business applications for more than the obvious ones for retailers and Pinterest hasn't caught up to adding the functionality that would make business easier. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Rule 1: Follow this man

I mean, after you follow me. Noland Hoshino is nice and he's smart. He is also one of the first people on Pinterest to begin curating a board on non-profits that are on Pinterest.

Tip: Noland also sells the awesome that I wax poetic about when it comes to great ideas for sharing with clients. 

When you follow Noland on Pinterest, you will quickly see the smart way to use Pinterest for personal development, interest, and business. His business-related boards will appeal to those people who can't handle following everyone and who need a more down-to-earth, non-crafty sort of Pinterest experience.

My favorite boards of Noland's:

Rule 2: Be smart. There is no privacy mode. All boards are public.

I know. You probably want to create cool vision boards for your clients (with the ease of the Pinterest bookmarklet - see Rule 3) without sharing them with the world or your client's competition.  I know I do. Too bad. That functionality doesn't exist yet. But I bet it will at some point. 

Rule 3: Use the Pinterest bookmarklet.

Isn't this little baby a cutie?
Look at it. It's so cute. It just says, "Pin It" up there with your bookmarks making it omnipresent while you are online. Oh, this makes pinning what you find on any website so much easier, you won't be able to help yourself. Boop. Boop. Boop. Done.

Advice for Association Executives Interested in Pinterest
  • You don't need to jump on Pinterest right away, but you should make it easier for others to promote your content on Pinterest.
  • SEO works well with Pinterest already (its domain authority is rising fast) and can definitely work for you.
  • You know all those sharing options you hopefully already have for your content? You should look for the "Pin It" button to add to those.
  • If you sell books, merchandise, anything...make it Pinterest friendly.
  • Start thinking of images and videos a lot more seriously for their Pinterest use (you should already be doing this for future mobile use anyway)...arm your conference speakers, attendees, members, content providers, authors with Pinterest enabled promotional materials. Ways to spread the word on Pinterest from their websites and newsletters.
  • Start thinking of if you have "How To" videos, articles, or tutorials that might be of interest to a large group of people. These types of things are extremely popular on Pinterest.
  • If you want an example of an association using Pinterest, check out The American_Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Pinterest page. They discovered a large amount of traffic coming from Pinterest in their website analytics. When they explored it, it turned out many of their members were using Pinterest for sharing ideas and news. ASHA's social media queen Maggie McGary helped other ASHA members figure out how to use Pinterest by writing about it on their blog (bonus points for educating all members on the hip new way to share!). This may be something your organization could do, too.

KiKi's Pinterest Functionality Wishlist
Here is what I wish Pinterest would develop so I could use it for business:
  • Brand Pages
  • Privacy and Private Sharing Options 
  • Another option filed for tagging
  • Improved search
  • Analytics details

What do you think? Will you use Pinterest for business soon? Let me know what you decide to do!