Q and A: How can I use Pinterest for Business?

QuestionHi Kalena

I am the online marketing manager for a medium sized toy retailer. We have brick and mortar stores but also allow people to purchase online from our toy catalog. Increasingly, our web sales are outperforming our offline sales, and we are trying to grow this side of the business.

One of our staff here is a big user of Pinterest for her crafting hobby and she said we should be using the site to promote our company and products.

Can you please advise if this is a good idea and if so, suggest ways we could get started using Pinterest for business?

Thanks in advance,



Hi Liam

Your staff member is right. Despite being initially hyped as a site for hobby bloggers, Pinterest has exploded into the online marketing space since its astounding popularity and skyrocketing user numbers were revealed.

According to Mashable, customers who find a product via Pinterest are more likely to purchase it than those who find the product via other social networks. Although over 80 percent of Pinterest users are currently women, I imagine that would be a good match for your target market, given women are traditionally the gift purchasers of the household. You might also want to look at the more detailed lifestyle demographics of Pinterest users.

In terms of how to use Pinterest for business marketing, initially, I would talk to your staff member about how she uses Pinterest and how she thinks it could be used to promote your products. I’m not sure how long she has worked at your company or in what department, but if she has familarity with your products and understands your target market, she will probably have some good ideas already.

If you need more inspiration, there is a free eBook on how to use Pinterest for business. Plus here are some related articles that should tweak your imagination:

5 Creative Ways to Use Pinterest for Business

Boost Your Business With Pinterest

Why You Should Be on Pinterest

Honda’s Pinterest Debut

Hope this helps!



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Facebook Logout Ad Placement

It seems the Facebook premium ad placement on logout has finally reached New Zealand.

After logging out of Facebook earlier today, I was shown a full page ad for Harvey Norman (see below). I have never seen an ad on logout before, even though the service has apparently been in testing since February.


Hat tip to Matt Burgess for demystifying the ad format for me. Apparently the service is VERY pricey, but if any NZ company can afford it, it’s *Hardly Normal*. So now I need to put up with their annoying Facebook ads AND their extremly shouty tv commercials.

Oh goody.


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2012 Social Media Demographics: An Infographic

I know not everyone is a fan of infographics, but I love them. Sure, they’ve been done to death at conferences and meetings, but nothing beats an eye-catching graphic to quickly highlight important data within complex statistics.

Today I was searching online for the latest social media usage statistics to incorporate into a presentation I am giving and I stumbled upon this brilliant infographic put together by OnlineMBA.com.

Click on the image for a larger view:

Here are the highlights:

Social Media Usage:

  • More than 66%of adults online in America are connected to one or more social media platforms.
  • 67% of Americans use social media to stay in touch with their friends.
  • 64% of Americans use social media to stay in touch with family.
  • 50% of Americans use social media to reconnect with old friends.


  • Facebook has 845 million active users.
  • The average Facebook user has 130 friends.
  • The average Facebook visit lasts 23 minutes.
  • 46% of Facebook users are over the age of 45.
  • 57% of Facebook users are female (43% male).
  • 57% of Facebook users report having been to “some college” (24% bachelors or graduate degree).
  • 47% of Facebook users report making between $50,000 – $99,000 annually (33% between $25,000 – $49,999).


  • Twitter has 127 million active users.
  • 13% of Internet users also use Twitter.
  • 33% of Twitter users are over the age of 45.
  • 54% of Twitter users use Twitter on their mobile devices.
  • 36% of Twitter users tweet at least once a day.
  • The average visit on Twitter lasts for 14 minutes.
  • 59% of Twitter users are female (41% male).


  • Google+ has had 90 million unique visitors.
  • Google+ users are 71% male.
  • The most common occupation of a Google+ user is an engineer.
  • 44% of Google+ users are “single”.


  • Pinterest has had 21 million unique visits.
  • The top two locations for Pinterest users are Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee.
  • The top interests of Pinterest users are crafts, hobbies, interior design and fashion.
  • 82% of Pinterest users are female (18% male).
  • The average Pinterest visit lasts 17 minutes.


  • LinkedIn has 150 million registered users.
  • 75% of LinkedIn users use it for business purposes.
  • There are 2 million companies on LinkedIn.
  • 50% of LinkedIn users have a bachelors or graduate degree.

So as suspected, Facebook users are the biggest time wasters. Puts a new perspective on the value of Facebook advertising though, doesn’t it?

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Q and A: How do I get a Google+ vanity URL?

QuestionHi Kalena

I’m really enjoying using Google+ and I hope they don’t retire it like Buzz. I’ve started to cross post between my Google+, Facebook and Pinterest accounts and I’m finally getting some shares and links back to my hobby site as a result.

I’ve noticed that some people use vanity URLs for their Google+ and Facebook accounts. I finally figured out how to register a vanity URL for my Facebook page, but I can’t see the option in Google+ to create a vanity URL. Can you point me in the right direction please?



Hi Ethan

First up, for anyone reading who doesn’t know what a vanity URL is, let me just explain. A vanity URL is a custom URL that replaces the series of numbers traditionally used to reference an individual user account.

For example, a typical user account URL in Facebook looks something like this: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001516245179. A vanity Facebook URL looks more like http://www.facebook.com/kalena with the series of numbers replaced with a username. This makes the link more memorable and easier to share.

A typical Google+ profile URL looks like this: https://plus.google.com/112649886983103001682/posts. This is a little cumbersome and not very memorable. The bad news is that Google doesn’t actually allow the creation of vanity URLs for Google+ profiles, for security reasons. Because Google Profiles are linked to Gmail accounts, allowing users to create vanity URLs might enable spammers to work out the email addresses of millions of Google+ users.

But the good news is that there is a simple app that enables you to shorten your Google+ profile into a more memorable one. The site gplus.to allows you to enter your cumbersome Google+ profile URL and shorten it to a nick name of your choosing. So https://plus.google.com/112649886983103001682/posts becomes http://gplus.to/kalena. I’m pretty sure those are the shortened Google+ links you are seeing your friends use.

Not quite a vanity URL, but a pretty neat alternative, don’t you think?



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Death of Steve Jobs Fails to Break Twitter Record

RIP Steve JobsWe all heard the sad news yesterday that Steve Jobs, founder and visionary at Apple, had died at the age of 56 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

I heard it from a client who lives one mile from Apple headquarters and was awoken by helicopters over his house at 4.30am. But most people heard about it via social media. Within seconds of an official statement released by Apple, the first tweets started to appear.

“#ThankYouSteve for the magic you brought to people’s lives.”

“iSad. RIP Steve Jobs for leaving your mark on technology.”

“My iPhone made all the difference during earthquakes on 4 Sept, 22 Feb & 13 June – it found my kids & reassured my family #eqnz #ThankYouSteve”

“Life is the only thing Bill Gates has beaten Steve Jobs at. #ThankYouSteve”

“Steve Jobs changed the world. We have lost a true pioneer and American visionary #iSad #ThankYouSteve”

Twitter users started spreading the news of Jobs’s death, adopting #SteveJobs #iSad and #ThankYouSteve hashtags attached to their tweets. For the first few hours, the rate of Twitter activity about Job’s death looked like it was going to break the tweet per second record of 8,868 tweets per second, set after U.S. R&B artist Beyoncé announced her pregnancy at the MTV Video Music Awards in August.

Australian social media monitoring firm SR7 estimated that Twitter activity hit 10,000 tweets per second following the announcement:

“We’re awaiting the official Twitter data to be released, however, from the numbers that we’ve been monitoring through the day since the announcement it’s certainly been trending to break that record,” Peter Fraser, co-founder of SR7, told the news agency Agence-France Presse.

TwitSprout went even futher, claiming tweet activity reached 42,000 per second at one point.

But it was Twitter who finally revealed the truth. In a statement given to Forbes last night, a spokeswoman from Twitter said that their internal data showed a rate of 6,049 tweets per second. That’s faster than tweets following the death of Osama bin Laden (a little over 5,000 TPS), but below the 8,868 tweets per second that followed Beyonce’s pregnancy announcement.

But even though the death of the technology icon failed to break the all-time tweet record, Steve Job’s death *did* break Twitter temporarily. The site fell over for around 2 minutes under the weight of the heavy initial tweet load.

Apart from anything else, it’s an interesting insight into the growth of Twitter. Consider this: following Michael Jackson’s death in 2009 there were just 493 tweets per second being sent, yet this was still enough to crash the service.

As a final tribute to Steve Jobs and the impact he had, Twitter staff put together a fascinating infographic portrait, consisting of a visualization of public #thankyousteve Tweets, sent over about 4.5 hours yesterday.

RIP Steve Jobs.

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