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Five Ways Brands Use Pinterest to Authentically Connect


Here's the big shocker: If you don't think about strategy before you dive into Pinterest marketing, your pinning efforts are very likely to be a giant waste of time. The first thing you need to do--even before you create your boards and pins--is to define your company's Pinterest strategy in order to determine which individuals you are trying to reach with your marketing efforts. And the more you know, the better your chances of being able to truly connect with those people.

By Beth Hayden as seen in Fast Company

Introducing the 2 Young Men Who Made Pinterest


Growing up, Ben Silbermann liked to collect things: stamps, insects, you name it. At Yale, he studied medicine and political science. After college, he got a job as a consultant in Washington, D.C. Not exactly prototypical start-up material, but today he's CEO of one of the world's top social networks, Pinterest, which he co-founded and is valued at a staggering $1.5 billion.

By Christine Lagorio as seen in

Great Brands Are About Fusing Product And Service. How Do You Do It?


For the past 40 years, futurists, economists, and media mavens have debated which business strategies are best suited for the networked, postindustrial era. In his 1971 book, Future Shock, the futurist Alvin Toffler talked about the upcoming “experiential industry,” in which people would be willing to allocate high percentages of their salaries to live amazing experiences. Apple has been held up as the definitive example of how to integrate a brand and its products and services to create an extraordinary company. The stock market, the ultimate arbiter of American business success, now places more value on a design-driven company than tech titans like Microsoft and Google.

By Reuben Steiger as seen in Fast Company Design

Free Admission is Just the Ticket


Jack Reuler doesn't mind that his organization is losing money. In fact, said Reuler, it's a sign of success. Mixed Blood Theatre just ended its first season of free admission to all of its productions, and Reuler, the troupe's founder and artistic director, said the organization achieved exactly what it had hoped: filling seats with everybody who wanted one.

By Sharyn Jackson as seen in Star Tribune

How Much Time You Invest in Social Media Does Not Matter


"How much time do I need to devote to LinkedIn and/or Facebook per day?" Stop. Behind this question is a lie that is preventing your success. Wanting to know the optimal amount of time to invest in social media platforms each day is a natural desire, but having that answer won't make social strategies produce more leads. That's why top social sellers are putting down "hour-a-day" books and picking up a new habit: Changing the question entirely.

By Jeff Molander as seen in Target Marketing

Using YouTube? 4 Tricks for Video Marketing


Not marketing on YouTube yet? You probably should be. If you're in business and trying to connect with your audience, you can't afford to ignore YouTube as a digital marketing channel. So how can you approach your efforts on YouTube? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when planning and measuring your campaigns:

By Hollis Thomases as seen in

The 3 LinkedIn Etiquette Rules You Should Never Break


LinkedIn is one social network where little mistakes can directly impact your financial future. Avoid these LinkedIn no-nos that could work against you when building your networking or looking for a job.

By Amber Mac as seen in Fast Company

Phantom of the theater: Audience is getting older


Next time you’re in a theater in Boston--or down on the Cape, or out in the Berkshires, or on Broadway, or pretty much anywhere, really--take a look around at the audience. Chances are you’ll notice something missing: young people. What you’re likely to see instead is wave upon wave of gray hair. Most of the seats will be occupied by baby boomers and those of the generation born around the time of World War II. Thirtysomethings will be scarce; twentysomethings will be even scarcer. And teenagers? Don’t ask.

By Don Aucoin as seen in

Google AdWords: 12 Essential Rules


Executed well, AdWords (and other similar "pay per click," or PPC, campaigns) can effectively drive qualified traffic to your website–-which in turn can generate new leads and sales for your business. The best-run campaigns have a clear strategic directive, established benchmark metrics, and analytics in place to measure everything. But the key phrase there is "executed well." What my company often sees instead, when we're called in to audit or take over these DIY campaigns, is a whole lot of aimless setup, general mismanagement, and under-utilization of features that could otherwise help overall performance. If you're managing your own PPC campaign in-house, make sure you understand these essential rules.

By Hollis Thomases as seen in

The Secret To Marketing Success On Facebook? Advertise Like Your Grandfather


A new study by Facebook brings some big news that, curiously, at first blush might not seem like much news at all. It's this: If you want to create successful ads for the social network, just do the same thing you would do if you were advertising on TV. Or in magazines. Or on the radio. But here's the thing: Until now, Sean Bruich, head of measurement at Facebook, tells Fast Company, marketers have been unsure about how, exactly, to advertise on the social network. It's a new medium, and a whole conventional wisdom has emerged about dos and don'ts, telling brands they need to interact differently with consumers on Facebook than they have in other forms of media. Be conversational, for example, or be interactive.

By E.B. Boyd as seen in Fast Company

Social Media Makes Bad Pitches Go Viral--And Can Save PR From Itself


Every day I immediately delete about 20 percent of the messages in my inbox. Historically, the em-ails I trashed were mostly relegated to Nigerian scams and requests for cash from someone "unable to access" his pending inheritance. Fortunately, Gmail spam filters have helped to abolish most of these. Unfortunately, these same filters can do nothing for the endless stream of PR pitches that assault my inbox that are often irrelevant, impersonal, and, dare I say it, lazy. The laziness is especially damning in the age of social media. Never before have PR professionals had such an enormous opportunity to custom tailor pitches to journalists, bloggers, and content creators, who are most likely flocking to sharing sites online. With a few minutes of simple due diligence on a pitch recipient, which means dipping into Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, an e-mail message is easily customizable to become more relevant and personal.

By Amber Mac as seen in Fast Company

To Connect With Consumers, Ditch The Focus Groups. Try Acting Instead


I believe one of the most powerful methods for synching up your brand with the zeitgeist, or people’s unrealized wants and needs, is by tapping into good old-fashioned empathy. You may wonder how to institute empathy as a capability in the marketing department. Empathy cannot be mapped and measured empirically. Nor is it an activity that you can clock in at work and start “doing” like market research, design, or project management.

By Michael Raisanen as seen in Fast Company Design

Websites Illuminate Unknown Artists


At twilight on Monday, something new will light up a Times Square billboard. An original work of art, 23 stories high, will replace a bright yellow ad for Sprint. The artist whose work now gets a canvas Rembrandt could never have imagined is a substitute teacher from Allentown, PA, who has made art for more than 30 years but never had the backing of a major museum or gallery.

By Melena Ryzik as seen in The New York Times

Four User Interface Lessons For Instagram


So Facebook buys Instagram for $1 billion. Then last week, out of nowhere, Facebook releases the Facebook Camera app--what is clearly the not-so-secret Instagram knockoff they’d had in development for a while now. In other words, Zuckerberg bought the original, and then he started selling knockoffs. A strange move? Maybe, maybe not. It seems to me that Facebook is buying themselves a bit of time, offering consumers better photo sharing on the go while deciding how much or little they should ingest the soul of Instagram (I’m guessing very little). But it is a fascinating case study, either way, like when Batman and the Joker battle one another one day, just to team up to take down the Penguin on another. And there’s a lot each could learn from one another’s apps. Let’s look at them side-by-side.

By Mark Wilson as seen in Fast Company Design

Preview Audiences Help Shape Off-Broadway Productions


During rehearsals for his new Off Broadway play, Storefront Church, John Patrick Shanley rewrote the final scene 20 times before he was satisfied. But it wasn’t until the production’s first preview, on May 16, that he discovered other scenes needed revising too. The evidence came from audiences — the sort of patrons who pay to attend Off-Broadway shows early on and have more power than they may realize to shape new plays, even one by a Pulitzer Prize-winner like Mr. Shanley (Doubt).

By Patrick Healy as seen in The New York Times