Pinterest is a Bigger Influencer Than You Think

 

Any fellow Pinterest addicts out there? The first step is admitting that you have a problem, and I definitely do. When I’ve exhausted checking Facebook, Instagram, and a parenting message board that I frequent, Pinterest in my next stop. And then the next thing I know, it’s four hours later, my mouth is watering with visions of desserts and delicious recipes and my wallet is cringing at the impending trip to Hobby Lobby for craft supplies.

Pinterest has done a lot of things right in its first few years. It has gained a huge following, opened itself up to businesses, and launched very user friendly mobile apps so that people can use the site on the go. While the network is not free of all Internet issues (think spam) it’s definitely a great example of a company that is run really, really well.

When you think about it, Pinterest is genius for everyone involved. Designed to be an online bulletin board, it’s perfect for users to keep track of recipes, craft ideas, decorating inspiration, and so much more. But it also drives traffic to websites. When you click “see more” you’ll visit an actual website. This has been a boon for many small blogs and companies that might not have gained exposure otherwise.

In light of all of this info, it should come as no surprise that Pinterest is the second largest referrer of web traffic when it comes to social media. Eclipsed only by Facebook and its more than one billion users, Pinterest is really in a league of its own when it comes to referral traffic. According to Mashable, Pinterest drives more traffic than the four other major social networks (LinkedIn, Reddit, Twitter, and Google +) combined. I particularly love Pinterest because the traffic is primarily organic and sites are getting people to click through because they are genuinely interested in what they are seeing.

There’s no doubt that Pinterest is a juggernaut when it comes to the Internet. I’m interested to see what the company will do next.

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Maddie Heinen is a regular contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com. She is a freelance writer who specializes in blogging, content creation, and social media. When she is not working, she is taking care of her two kids, husband, and home in Central Florida. Maddie enjoys reading, shopping, and is interested in real estate. She is currently working on establishing her own internet-based media company, Red Hibiscus Media, which will specialize in both online content as well as print material.

Google and Waze: Acquisition of Really Cool App

 

Ever heard of Waze? I hadn’t, until recently. My husband insisted that Apple Maps was awful and would lead me astray. I brushed him off and kept using it – until I was nearly an hour late picking up a friend from a small airport because Apple Maps told me that it was located in the middle of a lake. Um. No, it’s not. So while my husband briefed me about the history of the Waze app, I downloaded it. I’ve been smitten ever since. The small company also has a colorful recent history.

Waze is a really interesting hybrid of a map service and a social network. You plug in your destination and Waze will tell you how to get there. But the difference is that it uses data collected from other users to give you the quickest possible route. Other Wazers check in, offering information on slowed traffic, accidents, police, cars stopped on the side of the road, and more. The app also senses if you are going slower than the posted speed limit in that area and asks you if the traffic is heavy.

Users can also comment on events. For example, if an accident is noted on the map, there is a thread of conversation attached that users can contribute to. My family and I once discovered that we were going 5mph down the interstate because an RV had crashed into some trees in the median, even though the accident had been cleared by the time we got there.

Originally developed in Israel, recently Waze has skyrocketed in popularity. In 2013, both Facebook and Google attempted to acquire the company. Waze and Facebook could not reach an agreement, and in June 2013, Google was able to acquire the company for more than a billion dollars. However, Google is now being investigated for possibly violating competition law, as there are very few competitors for Google Maps and they just purchased one of the largest ones.

Waze is a free app that is supported by most smartphone platforms. It appears to support itself by the use of sponsored ads. While it is a very useful app here in the U.S. where its mapping system is considered complete, it is not yet complete around the world. Waze also relies on a strong community to keep the maps updated and other users current on what is going on. If you are in a remote area, while the map should be accurate, the social aspect may be lacking.

I don’t work for Waze or get paid to promote it, I just think it’s a really cool app that more people should know about!

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Maddie Heinen is a regular contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com. She is a freelance writer who specializes in blogging, content creation, and social media. When she is not working, she is taking care of her two kids, husband, and home in Central Florida. Maddie enjoys reading, shopping, and is interested in real estate. She is currently working on establishing her own internet-based media company, Red Hibiscus Media, which will specialize in both online content as well as print material.

5 Essential Truths about Social Media

 

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that social media is taking over the world – both business and personal. Their immense popularity has caused the networks to grow and change very often. While this is good on some levels, it can also make for a confusing landscape for people who use it for a variety of applications.

Businesses in particular have faced changes to social media platforms and terms very often. Having to adapt to these new requirements and recommendations can be exhausting. But behind it all, there are a few principles that are important to follow when it comes to social media. I’d consider theses some of the most fundamental “truths” when it comes to using these networks. Here they are:

  1. The quality of what you post is so important. The old adage is of course, quality over quantity. The same is absolutely true with social media. Take the time to really figure out what kind of time and effort you can contribute to your pages. Then use that time to post quality information. If you can only make the commitment to post once every two days, but it is quality content, that is the way to go.
  2. Keep your focus on your followers. Don’t forget who you actually joined social media for. While you might be tempted to push your own agenda, make sure that you post things that you think they would like to see. By focusing on the people that you hope to engage, you’re more likely to achieve the results that you are looking for.
  3. Make your pages/accounts visually interesting. The more photos and video you post, the better. It’s a simple as that. On Facebook, changing your cover and profile photo often will make you more visible. People like visuals!
  4. Interaction is key. Use your pages to actually talk back and forth with your followers/customers. Don’t just give a canned reply to a question or comments. It’s important to keep checking back and continue the conversation until everyone is satisfied.
  5. Sharing is a good thing. While you shouldn’t share every single thing that comes across your social media path, your followers are likely to appreciate you sharing content that is relevant to their interests.

We all know that social media can either really help or really hurt a business. Make yours one of the good ones!

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Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.