Tag Archives: marketing

  • 7 November 2014



The Chain Collaborative


Coffee is a staple in the daily routine of millions of people. It’s delicious, flavorful, and energizing. But how does it get into our cup? The process coffee goes through in order to reach our bellies is one worth taking interest in. A lot of help is needed to make sure our coffee gets to us in the most humane, sustainable way possible. But where do we go to lend a helping hand? Introducing: The Chain Collaborative.





The Chain Collaborative was founded in 2014 by Nora Burkey, whose passionate interest in sustainable development led to a passion for the coffee industry. The interest was sparked when Burkey began work as a coffee shop barista. A greater opportunity arose when she met one of the original three founders of Coffee Kids, an organization geared towards supporting the communities of coffee farmers in Latin America. Burkey ended up joining a project in Nicaragua, with the intent of using the experience to aid the development of her master’s thesis, aside from gaining hands-on experience in a chain of the coffee industry. However, the trip gave her more than just that; it helped to inspire the creation of The Chain Collaborative. Burkey saw that there are people who want to get involved in working with sustainable coffee development. However, many either don’t know where to start or don’t have the right expertise to carry out their intentions. That’s where The Chain Collaborative comes in.

“We wanted to draw attention to the fact that there are so many important players in the supply chain of coffee, but often we only focus development efforts on relatively few parts of the supply chain” says Burkey, about the naming of The Chain Collaborative. “So we wanted to be a resource to people at every level of the supply chain and not favor one part of another, since all levels are really important.” They are the experts who establish and develop connections between different parties in the coffee community. This can range from connecting consumers to nonprofits that specialize in coffee sustainability, to connecting coffee farmers with businesses or importers that are looking to collaborate. Gaining momentum in February 2014 and kicking off in July, The Chain Collaborative has had no trouble finding organizations to team up with. Along with co-founders Mike Morgenstern and Tina Kim, Burkey has focused on linking various companies and businesses with coffee farmers from various regions.


coffee cherry.jpg

Coffee cherry

Why are so many people interested? When speaking with WebServes, Burkey brought up a fact that many of us know but don’t think about: coffee is everywhere. “Coffee is the second most traded commodity, after oil,” she stated. “It’s greatly consumed, and a lot of people have a passion for it.” That passion expands beyond the morning cup of fuel into the desire to contribute to its cultivation in a positive way. With an international consumer demand for coffee, there are repercussions in the form of labor, environmental, and economic security issues. Thankfully, since coffee is so popular, there are also a lot of platforms that address these issues. Consumers want to help, and The Chain Collaborative is a resource to help businesses and nonprofits reach out and engage with them.


planting hope.jpg

Coffee Camps Kids

The Chain Collaborative works with other nonprofits and cooperatives in order to help create, facilitate, and develop projects that accommodate the ever evolving needs in the coffee community. Here are a few of their current programs.

 The Coffee Residency

coffee retail bags

Collaboration with Irving Farm

Coffee shops sign on to three-month long “residencies” with TCC that get cafes and consumers involved in active awareness of sustainable coffee cultivation. Coffee shops “in residence” promote certain products where buyers can donate a dollar of the sale to a project of their choice, or the shop itself can fundraise in a different manner of their choosing. This networks together the shops who participate and brings about more awareness of resources available to those who want to get involved. All funds raised are used for the projects promoted.

Planting Hope

art class 1

Kids in art class during Coffee Camps

TCC’s main operations are focused in Nicaragua at the moment, where Burkey arrived at the end of October. A large part of The Chain Collaborative’s objectives is to collaborate with other organizations and nonprofits to help boost these other programs and develop them further. Following the harvest season from November to January, The Chain Collaborative will be working with Planting Hope , a nonprofit that focuses on promoting interaction between Nicaraguan and U.S. communities. They are running a project called Coffee Camps, where education, health screenings, and meals are provided for the children who accompany their parents, who work in the coffee farms. The Chain Collaborative’s plans are to revamp the food system for the children, write a Coffee Camps manual in English and Spanish for other communities to follow, and better connect Planting Hope with  both cooperatives and businesses in the coffee industry.  So instead of just giving out meals, the idea is to cultivate organic gardens and teach agricultural methods that can be sustained all year round. This will provide a constant food source for the migrant workers and their children. One of the businesses The Chain Collaborative is assisting Planting Hope in strengthening a relationship with, is Green Mountain, a coffee company that is taking initiative to collaborate with Planting Hope.

 Nyamigoye Coffee Farmers Group


Farmer in Uganda

Further down the line, TCC will be working in concert with coffee farmers in Uganda, who are looking to organize together in order to sustain a practice of better coffee production, and to better connect with potential buyers. By doing so, they will be able to more effectively organize care of their collective crops, and care of the workers themselves, coordinating to gain health care, insurance, and loans. By working with The Chain Collaborative, a goal will be met to eliminate the middleman in their selling process and thus gain more control over the sales process of their harvest. The Chain Collaborative will also take charge in creating programs that will give them access to benefits they need, and will aid the process of connecting these farmers directly to a US importer.




The number one information resource is the Internet. An organization’s web presence and its visibility  in various social media platforms is crucial. For The Chain Collaborative, being a young organization means that the need to cultivate a credible, professional face is key. It’s important to maintain constant social outreach, whether it is through Twitter updates or Facebook events. That, connected with a navigable, informative website, creates a legitimate presence. The Chain Collaborative has such a specific and detailed mission, and so their website is being geared to easily lead the curious and the interested to accurate and informed perceptions. This speeds up the process of collaboration and increases opportunities for working together with other parties who wish to get involved. WebServes is currently working with The Chain Collaborative to help polish that effective public element. We are glad to know that TCC is finding our services welcoming and encouraging, and that our organizational expertise in the nonprofit sector through the efforts of our WS Tech Agents, especially James Bradley, Anna Karingal, and Maya Leggat, has helped to guide The Chain Collaborative’s objectives. We will focus together on fleshing out thechaincollaborative.org with the information and the impact it needs to interact and connect well with visitors. We are also improving the aesthetic appeal of the site in order to highlight and emphasize all pertinent information. After its launch, we aim to have created the professional face TCC is looking for and for which they can easily take over ongoing updates and management.


- Maya


Interested in other clients we've worked with? Subscribe to our newsletter! Or check out the links below.

All Star Code Alexander Robertson School Staten Island Children's Museum December 2011 Newsletter

  • 29 October 2013
5 Google Analytics Metrics You Should Track

5 Google Analytics Metrics You Should Track

As an old Management adage goes, ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Quantifiable evidence gives us valuable insights about what is working well, and what could be improved. Granted, there are some things we can’t measure (like a satisfied customer’s smile), but nonetheless, the numbers behind the purchasing process of the satisfied customer could give us valuable insights.

Lessons from the Google Analytics Summit

It is this power of data that was the backbone of October 1st's Google Analytics Summit 2013 held in Mountain View, California but live streamed on YouTube for audience everywhere. The recorded version of the livestream is still available on Youtube.

The theme of the summit was Access, Empower, Act. Collect the right data, pass it on to the right  people, empower them with the right tools to analyze the data and act on the insights. Simple, right? However, as simple as that sounds, data can be so overwhelming that we might not know what is most important for us and what is not. This is why we have this simple guide that focuses on key metrics in Google Analytics.

A Simple Guide to Analyzing Key Metrics In Google Analytics

This guide assumes you've already set up Google Analytics for your website. If you haven't, don't fret; the process is very simple and straightforward. Google Analytics' Help center outlines the process in easy-to-follow steps here. The format of this guide is in a Q & A style. The answers to the questions are the metrics you should be running.

Q. How do visitors find you and from where do they access your page?

A. Traffic Sources

It is important to know how your visitors find your site so that you can determine which platform is the most effective one to reach out to your audience. Our blog receives most of its traffic from the following sources:

Google Analytics Traffic Sources        

Based on the numbers above, we can discern that of the 348 people that visited our site over the last month, 74.71% of them found our blog by searching for certain keywords that directed them to our blog. According to the Vital Design Blog, a good traffic search rating should be above 50%. Here is a breakdown of what each traffic source means:


Organic Search Traffic: Found your website using certain keywords. This metric shows the effectiveness of your keyword usage and Search Engine Optimization.


Direct Traffic: Typed your site's URL into the browser.


Referral Traffic: Clicked on a link on another website that linked back to you.


Social: Found your website from social media platforms on which you have a presence.


In addition, the Traffic Sources metric shows the location of the visitors, the browser used and even the mobile devices used to access your website. Again, it all comes down to what metrics are important for your decision making.


Q. Which is the first page they visit? 

A.  Landing page    

Knowing which pages are first visited can help you convert leads into followers. By analyzing which of your pages are the top landing pages, you can optimize them to include calls to action that will encourage your visitors to interact more with your site. For example, one of our top landing pages is 5 Steps to Improve Your Website's User Experience (UX) and our top keyword searched is user experience. By knowing this information, we know that our visitors are interested in improving user experience and hence we try to put out more user experience related content.

Google Analytics Landing Page    

Another metric to note is the Bounce Rate from the Landing Pages. A high bounce rate could mean that the visitor just views that one page and does not interact with the site any further before leaving your site altogether. The aim therefore, should be to reduce the landing page bounce rate by having prominent calls to action that will push the visitors to visit other pages in your site.


Q. How much time do they spend on your site?

  A.  Average time spent

Knowing this data will help to understand how much time your visitors are spending while engaging with your site. Longer times spent are good for sites such as blogs. This means that the visitors like your content, are reading it and also reading other content linked to a specific post. On the other hand, shorter times are preferable for online banking because it ensures a higher level of security when visitors can access the site and complete their tasks quickly.

Q. What do they do when on your site?

A. Popular Content

Google Analytics makes it very easy to analyze which type of content works best for you. A higher number of page views indicates that the content is popular. The aim should be to have a high number of page views and low bounce rate. This kind of data shows that your most popular content is encouraging your visitors to explore other pages in the site.


Q.Which is the last page they visit before leaving your site?

A.  Exit Pages, Exit Rate, Bounce Rate

Exit Page is the last page that a visitor views on your website before completely leaving your website. The visitor could have already visited multiple pages or could have just viewed that one page.

Google Analytics Exit Pages

The Exit Rate measure the percentage of visitors who visited multiple pages in your website and exited your website through a specific page. For example, in the screenshot above, our top exit page is 'How to improve your website's user experience in 5 steps'. This page was viewed 156 times in the past month and had 74 exits meaning that visitors to our site exited through that page for a total of 74 times. Therefore, the Exit rate is 47.44% meaning that of the 156 page views, 47.44% were exits (Formula: 74/156 %).

This information helps us to know that the visitors found what they were looking for and left after being satisfied with the information they got. For a main website, the ideal exit page should be a Thank You Page that comes up after the visitor makes a donation or signs up for a newsletter, for example.

The Bounce Rate measures the percentage of visitors that landed on a single page and left the website without looking at any other pages. Thus, Bounce Rate is typically measured for Landing Pages.

Google Analytics Bounce Rate

The Bounce Rate of 4.11% for the 'Prezi: A new way to make presentations' shows that 4.11% of our visitors viewed the post and left our blog completely. This could mean that the visitors found our post through search sites, read it and after finding the information they needed, they left. While there is no correct or ideal Bounce Rate, a rate of over 50% could mean that your site is not converting leads and needs some tweaking.

Google Analytics has a number of other metrics that are important and need to be analyzed. Two things to keep in mind when analyzing metrics are:

1. No metric should be analyzed independently of others. For instance, just observing the exit rate and not paying attention to bounce rate would give inaccurate results. All the metrics should be put into context and analyzed accordingly for accurate results.

2. The metrics are not generic to all types of websites. For example, some websites may focus more on the Page Value (the value of a page in monetary figures) while others (like our blog) focus less on revenue and more on how many visitors we get and which types of content are popular. Therefore, only you can decide which metrics are most important to you and build goals around the same.


Do you use Google Analytics? If you do, which metrics have you found to be the most useful? If you currently don't use Google Analytics, we hope our post has convinced you to start using this powerful tool soon.


  • 12 September 2013
6 Reasons Why Visual Content Is Great For SEO

6 Reasons Why Visual Content Is Great For SEO

The Power of Visual Communication...

As I was reading about the power of visual communication the other day, I came across a number of statistics and infographics outlining why visual content is so important in not only Marketing, but in communication in general.  And why not? After all, in 30,000 years of human communication, textual communication has only been with us for about 3,700 years. (Source)

How the brain processes visual content

Image courtesy of The Science Daily

The main reason that causes our high affinity for visuals is the wiring in our brains that is skewed towards processing visual content. Did you know the following facts about the magnificent machine we call a brain?:

  • Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. (Source)
  • Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about 7 bits of information (plus or minus 2). Images, on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched. (Source)

  • Half of the brain is dedicated to visual function (the eyes are regarded as a physical extension of the brain). (Source)

  • Images are processed simultaneously while text is processed sequentially. (Source)

  • Most people only remember 20% of what they read and 80% of what they see and do. (Source)

6 Reasons why you should use Visual Content

Now that we know how well we process visual communication, let’s note 6 important statistics that illustrate why you should use visuals in your marketing efforts:

1.  Articles with images get 94% get more views. (Source)

2.  Engagement rate on Facebook for photos averages 0.37% where text only is 0.27%. (Source)

3.  46.1% of people consider a website’s design as the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company. (Source)

4.  Videos are shared 12 times more than links and text posts combined. (Source)

5.  Viewers spend 100% more time on pages having videos. (Source)

6.  Colorful visuals increase people’s willingness to read an article by up to 80%. (Source)

One important thing to note is that it isn't enough to just insert visual content into your blog posts or social media channels; you need to optimize the images to generate traffic. Derek Halpern has the following 4 tips for optimizing images for SEO.

Visual content optimization

1.  Add alt text to your images to make sure that the search engine understands the images.

2.  Make image file sizes as small as possible for faster page load times.

3.  Give your image a file name to help with your search engine rankings.

4.  Use captions for your images because they are one of the most well-read pieces of content on your entire site.

    visual content in SMM Cave Art Comic-Image courtesy of Mashable Comics

Visuals have long been part of our social network as humans. How have you used visuals in your marketing efforts today?


  • 23 April 2013
Empower your people for a successful marketing strategy

Empower your people for a successful marketing strategy

Have you ever read an article or some bit of information and felt like saying ‘I knew that already..it’s common knowledge’? But have you reflected upon why the author may have written the article even though there is a wealth of information on the same topic? I recently underwent the ‘reading and reflecting’ process after reading an article titled ‘People are the new channel’ in the Harvard Business Review and realized how much the message in the article resonates with WebServes' mission of 'Empowering through technology'.

People are the new Marketing channel; empower them to further your Marketing Efforts

The authors talk about how the world of marketing has changed and that people are the new channel. This is not necessarily new information in itself. I mean, we know that the concept of Marketing (pardon my textbook-ish analysis for the next few lines) has evolved through some stages from the initial Production Marketing (which was based on creating products and hoping there is a demand for them) to the Societal concept (which focuses on delivering value to a customer in a sustainable way). However, the way in which the authors put the information across is interesting. They talk about how people are replacing the ‘pipes’ that delivered messages to the audience. What was once a one-way street is now a network of traffic flowing to and from all directions; the sources and destinations being people who are using technology at a rate it has never been used before! What the authors stress upon is the fact that the most important marketing gimmick that an organization can have is how they empower their people to do the marketing with them. The authors gave a few suggestions for the same:
  • Externally, empower your clients to become brand advocates. You can do this by asking for reviews, requesting to be tagged in photos, starting conversations and asking for comments, sharing information and requesting your clients to share it with their networks. In short, use your existing clients’ networks to spread the word.
  • Internally, treat your entire organization as your marketing team. Give everyone the ability and opportunity to own the brand they work for and increase its awareness. This includes creating awareness through social media, representing the organization at events and opening up lines of communication.
This empowerment of people is made possible through the use of technology; especially the internet. While it is true that technology cannot replace people, the opposite holds true too. The key is to have a balance and the authors give a very good formula for achieving the harmony; mix one part technology with an equal part humanity! How do you empower your people? Share your ideas with us! ~Ramya

  • 17 April 2013
Twitter Advertising Introduces Keyword Targeting

Twitter Advertising Introduces Keyword Targeting

Twitter announced today that advertisers would have the ability “to reach users based on the keywords in their recent Tweets and the Tweets with which users recently engaged.” This step is a logical step in the progression of targeted advertising. Google has done this with its banner ads. It has happened to everyone: search for a pair of shoes through Google search and then later that evening the banner ads are for Amazon Shoe Discounts. The “promoted” tweets that Twitter has been running for months are less specific and do not target specific consumers or users. With Keyword Targeting Twitter says that users will tweet about their interests like a brand of shoes, to pull from my earlier example. If a certain brand is mentioned, that keyword can be targeted by the manufacturer or by a specific vendor and eventually a advertising tweet will appear in the users Twitter feed. Twitter is careful to point out, however, that user experience won’t be interrupted by extra ads:

“Users won’t see any difference in their use of Twitter — we’re not showing ads more frequently in timelines, and users can still dismiss Promoted Tweets they don’t find relevant. In fact, we believe users’ experiences with ads will improve as a result of this feature as they see more relevant Promoted Tweets.” -Nipoon Malhotra
  Twitter provides this helpful tutorial on how to set up a keyword targeting advertising campaign: keywordtargetingintimeline Marketers can already specify the geographic location, gender, and device type of the user they want to target, but now marketers will have the ability to specify the keywords to target; advertising on Twitter is now going to be fully customized. How could this make for a better user experience?
  1. Relevance - It might make the ads matter more.
  2. Money saving - Targeted Campaigns could cut down on the cost of advertising, because now the advertiser knows that the ads are not just blanketing an arbitrary population of Twitter users.
Will you use it for your organization or small business? ~Josef

  • 20 February 2013
The Kingdom of Content Is Advanced Only By Its Followers

The Kingdom of Content Is Advanced Only By Its Followers

Content is the king of your website, but the comments, interactions and mentions (in essence the buzz) is what gives your content the power. If people aren't talking about the organization or interested in the discussion being held, then your content is as good as money, not backed by gold, or confidence. Danny Flamberg wrote an article for Talent Zoo entitled Content is King. Content is Media. Content is the New Black, in which he described basic strategies to employ when forming, or crafting content. The strategy, he discussed, that is most important to a nonprofit or small business is this:

Direct Interaction. Social content is the substance of an ongoing conversation. Many brands tell and sell too much. They don’t open up enough opportunities for interaction. Be sure you are asking questions, taking polls, soliciting consumer input and responding, referring to popular topics and memes, and are being perceived as involved in the ongoing social swirl. Be straightforward and be directive. If you don’t ask followers to act; they won’t. This will affect what you post, how you present it, and when you post.
Content is the buzzword for many that speak about web marketing, and it is a very important aspect of branding your organization, but the truth is, content alone will not boost visibility or conversation. The content held within an individual website, or blog post is static, but the conversation that surrounds it is the morphing, changing phenomenon that is usually so evasive to marketers and content writers, but that conversation is what makes an organization interesting to the public. “Contrary to custom, a blogger’s job doesn't end once you click ‘publish.’ In this Age of Big Data, where every blog, vlog, and broadcast lives and dies by metrics, your success depends on your page views,” writes Mark Ragan of Ragan’s PR Daily and he’s right. The idea that a blog post is floated out into the Internet and will generate readership on its own merits is not a valid plan for your organization. The intricate details of when to publish, where to publish and how often to publish are the keys to an organization’s presence in a community. The interesting part is that these times, places and frequencies are different depending on the target audience and vary greatly from one company, or organization to another. Mark Ragan adds that he will post a link to his content as many as twelve times on twitter, surrounding it with different target questions, with different target audiences. As a new-comer to the web marketing circus, this may seem excessive or annoying, and it isn't the best strategy for every organization, but it goes to show that content is something that needs promotion, it is something that needs fostering and it is something that needs nurturing. Custom Content Council says:
Consumers appreciate companies’ efforts to provide custom media:  More than three-quarters say they understand that these companies are selling something, but feel it is okay since the information provided is valuable.  7 in 10 consumers say they prefer to learn about a company through a collection of articles rather than in an ad.
Confidence is encouraged through discussion and interaction. Does your company or organization have the right strategy in mind? Share your thoughts on Twitter @WebServes or on Facebook or Comment on this blog. ~Josef

  • 11 January 2013
Digital Matters for your Business

Digital Matters for your Business

There’s no shortage of bloggers making their predictions of the hot trends for the new year and marketers are never shy about adding their two cents. I’ll refrain from making a gamble on whether Facebook will still be relevant or Myspace making a comeback and instead stick to the facts. Well, one fact. Here it is - Digital matters.

I think that the only thing guaranteed in 2013 and beyond is that you need to be online. The World Wide Web is living up to its name and there is a market for every possible business and every single niche in every location. Kickstarter has proved that any good idea, in spite of potential market size, can find an audience and funding online.

The ideal digital tools for your nonprofit or business will be specific to who you want to connect with. Facebook’s billion users and LinkedIn’s professional audience are an excellent starting point for most businesses. If you’re blessed with a photogenic organization or travel a lot, Instagram is a social photo sharing community of enthusiastic members. If you’ve got lots to say, Twitter is your best friend.

It comes down to looking at your organization and matching your strengths to the social media that suits best. There is no point in forcing your business onto any social media channel because it’s the “next big thing” if it doesn’t match your brand or your audience. Whatever your business, there’s a social community online that wants to hear from you.

- Peter

  • 25 October 2012
Cross-Channel Marketing: The Future of Social TV is a Multi Screen Experience

Cross-Channel Marketing: The Future of Social TV is a Multi Screen Experience

The Future of Social TV is a Multi Screen ExperienceAs a follow-up to my recent post on Cross-Channel Marketing, below is a video by Brian Solis [@briansolis] entitled The Future of Social TV is a Multi Screen ExperienceSolis is an author and thought-leader in new media and in this video he interviews SVP Digital of USA Network, Jesse Redniss [@jesseredniss]. The video has some very interesting points about how television viewing is changing and how a well designed social media experience can boost ratings through engagement.

One point which resonated with me was how real-time social media can support live television and turn it into a multi screen conversation. This social media dialogue can elevate live television above watching recorded programming - a solitary experience by comparison. This, in my opinion, is where television advertisers need to focus their attention because this is the best way to keep audiences engaged and away from the advertiser's nemesis - the fast-forward button.

http://youtu.be/NoFU7JdOnMg - Peter

  • 16 October 2012
Will Context dethrone Content? The importance of context in making your content marketing seen

Will Context dethrone Content? The importance of context in making your content marketing seen

Following on from my previous post, I’m still totally inspired by Gary Vaynerchuk’s Inc. 500 Keynote speech. It is widely acknowledged among web marketers that ‘content is king’ but Vaynerchuk proposes that content marketing is about to be usurped by context.


While Vaynerchuk doesn’t dispute the value of content, his argument for the importance of context is based on an unbelievable fact learnt from Eric Schmidt: Every piece of content created by the human race from the beginning of time until 2003 is now being replicated in volume every 48 hours. Take a moment to let that sink in. Mind = blown. This fact is the reason that Vaynerchuk highlights the importance of context. How can you expect your content marketing to be seen when you have that much competition? Context is how.

Context is defined as the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc. That’s a pretty broad definition but what it really amounts to for marketers is knowing your customer. And not just in the 'know your target market' sense, know your individual customers. Vaynerchuk gives insightful examples of this such as following a customer on twitter, finding out what their interests are and then buying them a suitable gift in an effort to establish a long-term relationship. It's about going the extra distance.

Tortoise and Hare - via Leo ReynoldsWhile his example (buying a signed NFL jersey) is extreme and expensive on a large scale, Vaynerchuk describes his company’s implementation of the “Thank You Economy” as a way to show your customers that you value them. Each customer receives a phone call from his company, thanking them for their recent purchase and wishing them a good day. Nothing more. No sales pitch or survey, just a thank you. Vaynerchuk is in business for the lifetime value of customers.

"Most businesses are not playing the marathon, they’re playing the sprint"

An area that Vaynerchuk sees becoming vital to marketing is location-based context. The example he gives is walking into a supermarket and an advert on your phone shares a recommendation your peer has given for a product on sale. The advert also includes a discount for this product. The success of the smartphone makes this a very real scenario and is already evident in businesses offering discounts when customers “check in” at their premises.

While you would think that technology and the Internet has made people less social, the opportunities of context show that this isn’t the case. We’re social creatures and technology is amplifying this. The key to marketing in the coming years will be optimising your marketing strategy to personalise the experience for your audience. The Internet is making the world a smaller place and marketing needs to reflect this. Since these are all Vaynerchuk’s ideas, I’ll let him close:

"As we all go Jetsons, the action is in being like the Flintstones"

- Peter

  • 29 August 2012
More Social Media; ‘Pinterest’ed?

More Social Media; ‘Pinterest’ed?

PinterestBefore you say ‘not another social network!’, let us revisit the phrase ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’. When time is of essence and reading a text-heavy marketing message is out of the question, well-captured images take effective marketing to a whole new level. Pinterest is the latest kid on the block in the world of social networking that has rapidly gained enough popularity to be rated 3rd after Facebook and Twitter and is the fastest standalone site in history to cross the 10 million users mark according to TechCrunch.

What is Pinterest anyway? Just to have a small intro course for Pinterest 101, we’ll define Pinterest at its simplest by calling it a highly visual virtual bulletin board of images that allows users to ‘pin’ their images to their own boards and explore other user’s images.

via perfectpinning

There is a ton of information on the web as to how Pinterest works but in this blog, let’s focus more on why an organization should consider Pinterest as a marketing medium. For-profit organizations have effectively used Pinterest to market themselves but would this apply to nonprofits as well? If we go by Pinterest’s goal of connecting ‘people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests’, then we can conclude that nonprofits can effectively use the medium to connect people based on social passions.

Reasons for using Pinterest

There are a myriad of reasons for Pinterest’s popularity as a marketing medium but the following are the most important for nonprofits:

1. Target Market

Demographically speaking, Pinterest has captured the attention of a certain population group which would be of great value to the nonprofits. According to the Huffington Post, 70% of Pinterest users are women aged between 25 and 34 with a household income of $100,000+ per annum. In addition, statistics from ComScore report that Pinterest buyers spend more, buy more items, and conduct more transactions than other social media buyers. Why is this statistic important to nonprofits in particular? Well, statistics show that women are major donors to the causes of nonprofits so using Pinterest as a targeted marketing tool for this specific population segment makes good marketing sense.

2. SEO points

As outlined in a previous blog post by Peter, having recommendations and referrals is important for organizations to generate traffic to their website.  With Pinterest, this is made possible by linking images in the profile to the organization’s website such that every user who clicks on an image is directed to the official website which is a very good way of increasing visibility. In fact, According to TechCrunch, Pinterest’s referral traffic has topped that of Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined which further reinforces the use of the emerging social networking site.

3. The ‘Human’ Effect

In addition to the descriptions in the ‘About Us’ section, Pinterest goes a step further and allows organizations to give a face to their cause.  According to marketer Jim Ewel, Pinterest is a great way to ‘humanize’ your company and give a chance for clients and constituents to interact with people and not just faceless brands.

A good example of a non-profit that has effectively used Pinterest is Amnesty International. They pin inspiring pictures related to rights and equality, as well as links to T-shirts and jewelry that support the organization (The Huffington Post).

4. Social Integration

Emily Jenkins, a freelance writer with a keen interest in social media, raises a key point on the importance of integrating social media sites for maximum brand efficiency. Pinterest integrates seamlessly with many social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter which allows for the replication of posts when you pin on Pinterest.

As with any other social media platform, it is paramount that nonprofits invest time in developing their Pinterest profiles in order to optimally display what they stand for. The 10 strategies for Nonprofits on Pinterest by Matt Petronzio serve as a guideline on how nonprofits can effectively use Pinterest to their advantage. A summary of these points is as follows:

  1. Know your audience: who is using Pinterest and how can you customize your profile to attract them?
  2. Get Personal: show how much you care for the cause by sharing information with your followers.
  3. Reveal yourself: show images of staff and volunteers working on the cause.
  4. Focus on the achievable: a non-profit is all about making things possible; not just creating hopes and dreams. Show what is possible and inspire supporters that what you have set out to achieve is doable.
  5. Make it a team effort: encourage everyone to ‘pin’ and contribute their ideas and thoughts.
  6. Fundraise: use Pinterest to sell branded items such as t-shirts with the non-profit’s logo. This creates an additional avenue for raising funds.
  7. Pin/Highlight other non-profits: repinning another non-profit’s images helps to increase their following and who knows, the non-profit may return the favor by pinning you!
  8. Add Pinterest to your website: just as you would add Facebook and Twitter.
  9. Pin videos: videos add extra emotions that pictures alone cannot. Pinning a YouTube video outlining your latest project could generate enough interest to raise funds.
  10. Be inviting: do not let pinning be a solitary action. Invite followers, supporters and staff to contribute and make your Pinterest profile a community.

WebServes wishes you happy ‘pinning’!