Getting Started on Pinterest: Understanding What’s What

Now that you’ve found out how to setup your Pinterest profile in the earlier post: How to Use Pinterest: Setting up Your Pinterest Profile let’s get more familiar with Pinterest and understand what’s what.

Pinterest Lingo

A pin?  A pinner?  Repin?  English please!

Here are some definitions that you might want to know:

Pin: A image or video uploaded or added via the Pin It button

Pin It Button: A button that you may see on websites that you can click and pin it to one of your boards

Board: A set of pins

Pinner: A person that uses Pinterest and pins things

Repin: A image or video that a pinner reposted to one of their own boards

Like: A pin that a pinner likes, but is not posted to any of their boards.  It is displayed in the “Like” section of their profile.

 

Pinterest Homepage

After you logvin, you are brought to the homepage where you will see pins by the pinners you follow.

On the left you will see suggestions for friends to follow from Facebook and you will also see recent activity from the pinners you follow that have repinned, commented, or followed any of your pins or boards.

 

The menu below the Pinterest logo has different links to view the Pinterest site in different ways.

Pinners you follow + Everything + Videos + Popular + Gifts

The Pinners You Follow link simply returns you to the homepage. (See below.)

The Everything link displays pins from all the categories listed when you hover over the Everything link. You can click on a specific category to only show pins in that particular category.

The Videos link displays the videos that are posted.

The Popular link displays the most popular pins.

The Gifts link displays items you can buy from the prices listed when you hover over the Gift link.  You can click on a specific price range to only show pins that are in that particular price range.

On the top-right of the screen there are three links: Add +, About, and your name.

The first link you will see is the Add + link.

If this is clicked, it will bring up three options.  The options are Add a PinUpload a Pin, and Create a Board.

Add a Pin

After Add a Pin is clicked, you need the URL of the site you want to pin something from.

After entering the URL and clicking Find Images, a box is displayed with images from the site that you can choose from.  After you find the image you want, you can use the dropdown box to choose the board to pin to, add a description, and also post the pin you post to your Facebook profile.

Upload a Pin

 

 

 

 

After upload a pin is clicked, you choose an image or video from your computer.

 

 

 

 

 

After you find the image or video you want, you can use the dropdown box to choose the board to pin to, add a description, and also post the pin you post to your Facebook profile.

 

 

 

 

Create a Board

 

 

 

 

 

After Create a Board is clicked, you simply fill out the information and you have your own board you can put pins on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can also allow someone else to pin on your board.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the top-right of the screen the second link you will see is the About link.  If you hover over this link you’ll find a menu which will direct you to all the information about Pinterest as well as a Help and Support page if you just can’t seem to figure out what to do on Pinterest.

The last link you will see on the top-right of the screen is your name. If you hover over your name you’ll find a menu which will direct you to finding friends, different parts of your profile, your settings, and logging out of the site. You can invite or find friends by using an email account or your Facebook account.  If you click on your name it will take you to your Pinterest profile.

This is where you’ll find how many followers you have, how many you’re following, your boards, pins, likes, and activity.

You can also edit your profile and change the way your boards are displayed here.

 

You can also choose your main board cover from any of the pins you posted on that particular board.

 

You may also want to describe what your board is all about and select the category the pins of your board fall under.

 

Now that you know all of that, you can start pinning. I hope you found this information helpful and it’s enough to get you started. Happy pinning!

Kia Tinsley is a software consultant with a degree in Information Systems and Operations Management from UNC Greensboro, and worked with us for a long summer internship as a Social Media Intern with Martin Brossman & Associates.

Martin Brossman & Associates is a Raleigh based firm providing social media training, workshops, management, talks and advising to micro businesses, small and medium sized businesses, professionals, associations and communities. Contact info@martinbrossmanandassociates.com.

Using Instagram for Business

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a free popular photo sharing app.  This app allows you to take pictures and share it with the world and also apply filters to your photos to spruce them up a bit.  A boring photo on a phone could be turned into a visually aesthetic photo and earn a top spot on Instagram’s “popular” page where the popular photos of the moment are listed.

Photos that are taken can be shared with different social media networks within the app so you only have to upload a photo once. The social networks that have access to share a photo from Instagram are: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr.

What is Instagram?

Instagram photo sharing app

A user also has the ability to geo-tag photos which then allows the user to share their location on Foursquare by checking in.

Instagram photo map

Instagram profile, photo sharing, and photo map.

Instagram Features

Should professionals or businesses use Instagram?

Sure! Instagram allows a professional or business to share their brand visually.

Let’s discuss Instagram’s features and how businesses can get involved.

Currently, there are 17 filters that a user can apply to their photos.  Filters are different effects that a user can apply to their photo to enhance the look of it. Here are three examples of different filters compared to the original photo:

Instagram normal filter

Instagram normal filter

 

Instagram earlybird filter

Instagram earlybird filter

Instagram sutro filter

Instagram sutro filter

Instagram kelvin filter

Instagram kelvin filter

Instagram inkwell filter

Instagram inkwell filter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instagram is fairly easy to use. You simply take a photo through the app itself or choose a photo from your phone and apply a filter to it. Once you’re happy with your photo effect, you press the share button and it is shared on your Instagram profile and any other social network mentioned above if you’ve choosen to do so.

Instagram VS Other Social Networks

This social media app it started out being available to iPhone users only. It is unlike other social networks because it’s specifically for sharing photos.

There are no status updates, messages, and games just to name a few differences.  However, you can:

  • “follow” people,
  • create hash-tags,
  • “tag” friends,
  • “like” photos,
  • view your newsfeed, and
  • display your profile to the world or make it private for your friends and family viewing pleasure only.

Later, Instagram came to Android devices as well. For now, the only way you can get an Instagram account is by having an Apple or Android device to sign up.  You must download the app from the app store on your smart phone to get started.

Many people wanted to be able to view Instagram outside of their phones, and now that’s possible.

Several sites that have been developed to do just that.  Some examples are http://web.stagram.com and http://followgram.me.

Webstagram instagram web viewer

Webstagram Instagram web viewer

Followgram instagram web viewer

Followgram Instagram web viewer

 

Using Instagram for Business

Businesses are beginning to use Instagram to their advantage.  Instagram allows a business to get their brand out  creatively and visually. It’s being used as another marketing tool just like other social networking sites.  Businesses are appealing to audiences that like images more than words.  No doubt, a photo will catch a person’s eye quicker than a bunch of text.

A business or professional can share photos of conferences or events they attend, behind-the-scene exclusive photos, customer photos, new product photos and more.  A business can share a photo without using a lot of words in the caption and draw more people to their site or product by simply catching their attention with an awesome photo.

Below is an image of  Mashable’s Instagram account.

Mashable is one of the biggest sources for all of your social media and technology news.  The iPhone 5 was recently unveiled and Mashable posted a picture to their Instagram account of it.  The iPhone 5 is big news and Mashable visually shared this with their readers.  If someone wanted to know more about the iPhone 5 they could simply visit Mashable’s website to get all of the details.

Mashable's Instagram profile

Mashable's Instagram profile

Would you like to see more? Here’s a quick video on how to use Instagram for iPhone or Android:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JETkbUfWY-4 via SmartphoneNirvana.com

So if you love to take photos of your products or display what your business has to offer to the world then you should definitely give Instagram a try!  Go to your smart phone’s app store now to get started.

Still not sure about using Instagram for your business? Get a lot more information and examples of business use via Instagram’s official website: http://help.instagram.com/customer/portal/topics/43530-instagram-for-businesses

Kia Tinsley is a software consultant with a degree in Information Systems and Operations Management from UNC Greensboro, and worked as a Social Media Intern with Martin Brossman & Associates over the summer of 2012.

Martin Brossman & Associates is a Raleigh based firm providing social media training, workshops, management, talks and advising to micro businesses, small and medium sized businesses, professionals, associations and communities. Contact info@martinbrossmanandassociates.com.

How Do I Set Up a Facebook Business Page?

Do you want to learn how to create a Facebook business page?  This post will teach you how to do just that!  You will also receive some tips on the best way to set up your very first Facebook page for your business.

The best set up is to build the Facebook business page off of a core person in the company then add other admins that can also update the page.

The next key thing is do not let people know about your Facebook business page until it is filled with good content.

First things first:

  • Get a personal Facebook page with your real name. Don’t worry; the people on the page will not see your personal data from your business page unless you want them to.
  • Log in on your personal profile then build the business one off it.
  • Make sure you have minimum of 5 outstanding posts and a good top photo before asking anyone to like it.
  • Invite people.

Now, let’s get started.

1. First you need to login to Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your Facebook page is not currently displaying your real name, you can change it to do so. You can edit your name under Account Settings on the right hand side, in the drop down menu under the down arrow:

See Account Settings on the drop down menu under the down arrow on the far right side

 

Click Edit on the right side
Enter in your information

After you’re logged in, you will see your newsfeed.  You will need to scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click on the ‘Create a Page’ link.

2.  Create a Page will display and list different categories that you can choose from.  You will then have to fill out some information based on the category you choose.

There are six big categories, and within each a number of sub-categories to choose from.

    1. Local Business or Place
    2. Company, Organization or Institution
    3. Brand or Product
    4. Artist, Band or Public Figure
    5. Entertainment
    6. Cause or Community

Here is what the page looks like:

We will choose Local Business or Place for this example.

You may want to click the ‘Facebook Pages Terms’ link just to ensure that you will be following all of the guidelines listed.  You wouldn’t want your page to be terminated after all of the hard work you put into it simply because you didn’t read the Facebook Pages Terms!  After you’ve read the terms you will click the box beside ‘I agree to Facebook Pages Terms’ and a checkmark will appear to signify that you agree to the terms.

Then you will click the ‘Get Started’ button.

3. Upload Picture. Next, you will be prompted to upload a profile picture for your Facebook business page.  You will have the option to upload an image from your computer or import one from your website.

If you choose to upload an image from your computer, you will select ‘Upload From Computer’.

You will then select the photo and it will display as you can see in the screenshot below.  You will then click the ‘Next’ button.

If you choose to use a picture from your website, you will select ‘Import From Website’.

You will then enter your site’s URL and click the ‘Import’ button.

You will see blue bars going across the white space as if something is loading.  This lets you know that it is searching for pictures from your website which will then be imported for you to choose from.

Once the pictures are found, you will have the option to select which picture you would like to display as your profile picture.  Simply click the one you want and then click the ‘Save Photo’ button.

 

4. The About Page.

After you’ve clicked the ‘Next’ button or the ‘Save Photo’ button, depending on which option you chose for a profile picture, the About page will display.  Here you will enter information about your business.  You can also add your websites.  You can add more than one website by clicking the ‘Add Another Site’ link.

Once you’re done entering your information you will click the ‘Save Info’ link.

You are then taken to your Facebook business page where you are asked to “Like” your page, so that when people come and visit they will see that at least one person has already liked it.

Liking your own Facebook Page

 

5. Visiting your New Facebook Page.

When you first go to your Facebook business page, a message will be displayed about taking a tour that will give you tips and basically show you around your new page.

You can take the tour or you can choose not to do so.

6. The Admin Panel

The first thing you will see is the Admin Panel.  You or whoever else has access to do things on your business page will be the only people to see this section.  Here you can do several different things to your page and see different information about what’s going on with your page.

Here’s a brief overview of the Admin Panel:

  1. When you are viewing your page you are viewing it as your Facebook Business.  You can switch back to your personal page by clicking the ‘Change to…’ link.
  2. This menu allows you to edit your page, build your audience by sharing or inviting people to your page, and get help with your page.
  3. The Notifications section will show who liked your page among other things that people do when interacting on your page.
  4. The messages you get from people will display in the Messages section.
  5. The New Likes section will display all the new people that liked your page.
  6. Once you have 30 people that like your page, you will be able to get insights about the activity on your page in the Insights section.

7. Loading the Cover Photo.

Now, let’s choose a good top photo.  The top photo is called the cover photo.

According to Facebook.com, “cover photos are 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. If you upload an image that’s smaller than these dimensions, it will get stretched to this larger size. The image you upload must be at least 399 pixels wide.”  You can learn more about cover photos by clicking here.

8. Page Profile Pictures / Logos / Icons

Page profile pictures are square and displays at 160×160 pixels. The photo you upload must be at least 180×180 pixels. We recommend uploading a square image.

Click the ‘Add a Cover’ button to choose a photo.

Note: This message will display if it is your first time ever choosing a cover photo.  Simply read the message and click ‘Okay’ to continue.

Once you click on the ‘Add a Cover’ button, you will be given two options to choose from.  You can add a photo from the photos you might have already uploaded to your page or directly from your computer.

If you click on ‘Choose from Photos…’, you will have the option to select a photo from your recent uploads or you can click on the ‘View Albums’ link to choose a photo from an album.  You simply select the photo you want and it will display as your cover photo.

Positioning your Cover Photo. Once your photo is selected and is displayed as the cover photo, you can drag the photo around to reposition it as you see fit.  After you’re satisfied with the way that your cover looks you can click on the ‘Save Changes’ button or you can click the ‘Cancel’ button if you’re not quite happy with how the cover looks.

This is how your page will look once you have a nice cover photo!  It can really make your page POP.

9. Your First Business Page Posts

Posting to your Facebook business page is the exact same as posting to your personal Facebook page, so if you got the hang of that, posting to your business page will be a breeze!

STATUS

To post a status you would simply type it in the text box and click the ‘Post’ button.

The status will post to your page.

 

PHOTOS / VIDEOS

To post a photo/video you would click the ‘Photo/Video’ link

and browse for the image or video on your computer

After you have selected the video or photo it will display on your page.

USING THE WEBCAM

Clicking the ‘Use Webcam’ allows you to take a picture or video with your webcam.  Clicking the ‘Create Photo Album’ link will allow you to create a photo album.

10. Posting Events, Milestone+

The ‘Event, Milestone +’ link gives you three options.

You can post an event:

You can post a Milestone:

11. Questions and Polls

You can ask a question:

 

You can also ask a question with poll options:

12. Ready to Invite your Friends?

You can use any of the above options to make your first five posts to your page before you invite others to like it.  You definitely don’t want to invite someone to a page with nothing on it because they will probably not stay very long or click the Like button to show that they like your page.

If you have done these three things:

1) Get a personal Facebook page with your real name. Don’t worry; the people on the page will not see your personal data from your business page unless you want them to.

2) Log in on your personal profile then build the business one off it.
3) Make sure you have a minimum of 5 outstanding posts and a good top photo before asking anyone to like it.

You’re all set! Now, let’s do the last thing on the list above. Let’s invite people!

 

To invite people you will click on ‘Build Audience’ in the Admin Panel.

This will bring up the option to Invite Email Contacts, Invite Friends, Share Page, or Create An Ad.

Clicking on ‘Invite Email Contacts…’ allows you to invite people by email.

You can choose any option you like:

Clicking on ‘Invite Friends…’ allows you to invite your Facebook friends.

Here you can search for friends or select friends that will show up in the whitespace below if you have friends.

Clicking on ‘Share Page…’ allow you to share your page.

It defaults to sharing your page on your own timeline, but there are other ways to share your page as well.

You can share your page on your own timeline, on a friend’s timeline, in a group, on your page, and even in a private message.

 

Please let us know if this was helpful to you, and share your new Facebook Page in the comments below!

This post was written by Kia Tinsley and Martin Brossman.

Kia Tinsley is a software consultant with a degree in Information Systems and Operations Management from UNC Greensboro, working as a Social Media Intern with Martin Brossman & Associates.

Martin Brossman & Associates is a Raleigh based firm providing social media training, workshops, management, talks and advising to micro businesses, small and medium sized businesses, professionals, associations and communities. Contact info@martinbrossmanandassociates.com.

Google + Hangouts & Livestreaming

Google+ Hangouts – Live Video

Google + is one of the newest social networks with a ton of features, but we are going to focus on how your business can live stream by using a feature called Google + Hangouts.

Google + Hangouts is a feature that allows a user to have a video conference with up to 10 people.  One of the ways your business could use this tool is to have virtual meetings and share documents or share screens.

Now that you know what a Google + Hangout is and some of the things you can do with it, let’s figure out how to use it!

Getting Started with Google+

To use Google + you must have a Google + account.  Sign into Google +

Google Voice & Video

You must also have the Google voice and video plugin which you can download here if you don’t have it already: http://www.google.com/tools/dlpage/res/talkvideo/hangouts/

Starting Google+ Hangout

Once you have the plugin and you’re signed in you will be on the Google + homepage where you can start your live stream.  Click “Start a Hangout” to begin.

Editing your Hangout Settings

After clicking “Start a Hangout”, the window below displays.  This is where you invite who you want to be a part of your hangout, name your hangout, and edit the settings of your webcam and mic settings if necessary.  You can see your webcam in the bottom of the window.  If the image looks distorted or if nothing is showing you can click the gears button to edit the settings of your webcam and your mic.

After clicking the gears button, you will be brought to this page where you can change the configuration of your webcam, mic, and sound.

When everything is set up you would click the hangout button to begin.

The Hangout Begins

The following will be displayed on the screen until the people you invited accept the invitation to join you.

 

Once everyone joins, their webcams will display and the “hangout” or meeting can begin.

Hangout Tabs

There are several things you can do during your hangout session.  In the menu bar below the Google+ header. Notice the tabs for: Chat – Invite – Screenshare – Google Docs and YouTube.

Click on the Chat tab to chat (see left sidebar):

Click on the Screenshare tab to share your screen:

Click on the Google Docs tab to share and edit documents:

You know the routine by now, the YouTube tab let’s you view YouTube videos together:

That is how you set up a simple live stream with people you have invited.

But what if you want more than 10 people to be involved?

 

Google+ Hangouts Live: Hangouts on Air

Google + Hangouts added a feature called “Hangouts on Air”.  When you first setup your hangout, you would simply check the “Enable Hangouts on Air” checkbox on the left side of the screen. We highlighted it in a red square.

Checking the Visibility of Your YouTube Channel

You will also need to make sure that your YouTube channel is not marked as invisible.  If your channel is marked as invisible you’ll see the message prompt we got in the yellow box above to change your YouTube channel settings.  If you don’t know how to do so Google provides you with step by step instructions.

Verifying Your YouTube Channel

Your account must be verified with YouTube before using Hangouts On Air.  Once you verify your account you will not have to do it again.  The verification process is basically supplying YouTube with your cell phone number so that they can text you a verification code that you will input to verify it’s your account and prevent abuse.  You will simply click the Start Verification Process button to begin. See the screenshots below.

More Settings for the Hangout On Air

Once you have made the necessary changes you can continue and begin your hangout by clicking the Hang out button.  You will be prompted with Google + Hangouts On Air – additional terms to agree with before you can continue.  You must click the checkbox to agree before pressing the Continue button. You can learn more about it here http://www.google.com/+/policy/hangoutsonair.html and you need to link your YouTube account.

After you press the Continue button you will be prompted with a message about broadcasting publicly.

Embedding the Live Player for Live Public Viewing

If you click on the Embed link, you will get the code to place the live player on your site or wherever an embed code for a live player is allowed to be posted so that people can see you live once you click the Start Broadcast button.  Be sure to place the embed code on your site or wherever you want before clicking the Start Broadcast button otherwise only the people that were invited to your hangout will see your broadcast until it is posted to YouTube where anyone can view it.

Going On Air!

You will click on “Start Broadcast” to go on air once your hangout is up and running.  It will start recording once “Start Broadcast” is clicked.

To stop broadcasting you simply click the End broadcast button.

Hangouts on Air Expand Your Audience

Hangouts On Air allows a user to live stream to a bigger audience.  Google states that you can now stream or broadcast the hangout publicly not only to a Google + profile, but to YouTube as stated above or even your own website!  You can share your live stream like any other video you might share on the web by using the embed code.

What if you want to share your live stream that you’re broadcasting so many people can see it on YouTube?  No worries!  The live stream automatically saves to your YouTube account if you have one.  Google has made it quite easy to use “Hangouts on Air” don’t you think?

Hopefully, this will get you started on having your first Google + livestream with people in your circle or “On Air” to an even bigger audience!

Kia Tinsley is a software consultant with a degree in Information Systems and Operations Management from UNC Greensboro, working as a Social Media Manager Intern with Martin Brossman & Associates.

Martin Brossman & Associates is a Raleigh based firm providing social media training, workshops, management, talks and advising to micro businesses, small and medium sized businesses, professionals, associations and communities. Contact info@martinbrossmanandassociates.com.

Kindle Fire Mini Review

Kindle Fire Tablet

Amazon designed a tablet named the Kindle Fire specifically for reading with other features such as movies, apps, and more for $199.  Amazon has five versions of the Kindle with the Fire being the most recent one.  The other Kindle’s are pretty dull compared to the Kindle Fire.  For starters, the previous Kindle’s were not in color.  The Kindle Fire has a beautiful and colorful interface with many more features that gain the attention of a bigger audience.  It’s definitely not just for reading magazines, books, and newspapers anymore.

In addition to reading, the Kindle Fire now allows you to download apps, browse the web, play music, video, and movies.  If you’re an Amazon Prime user you get unlimited access to a big collection of movies and TV shows.  If you’re not an Amazon Prime user like me, but have a Netflix or Hulu account, you can still have a pretty good collection of movies and TV shows once it is downloaded from the app store.  I like the app store on the Fire.  Everyday there is a paid app that is the editor’s pick that can be downloaded for free.  A user can discover new apps that they may not have discovered because they would have never paid for it.  I think this feature is pretty cool because who doesn’t love free stuff!?

The reading on the Kindle Fire is great except there are no page numbers which I find kind of annoying.  There are location numbers instead of page numbers and I don’t really understand that design.  Along with the location, it tells you the percentage of the book you have read which is more helpful than telling what location I’m at.  Amazon should get rid of the location design, keep the percentage, and add page numbers.  Hopefully Amazon will fix this in an update one day.

The Kindle Fire is fairly easy to use.  I was able to take it straight out of the box and get started.  I would recommend the Kindle Fire to anyone who is looking for a device where you can read as well as do other things you may be interested in that you can get from other tablets, but at a more reasonable price.

Kia Tinsley is a software consultant with a degree in Information Systems and Operations Management from UNC Greensboro, working as a Social Media Intern with Martin Brossman & Associates.

Martin Brossman & Associates is a Raleigh based firm providing social media training, workshops, management, talks and advising to micro businesses, small and medium sized businesses, professionals, associations and communities. Contact info@martinbrossmanandassociates.com.