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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Black Friday Bonanza

Catalogs.com is all about shopping - more Cyber Monday kind of shopping - but Black Friday gets us going, too.

Black Friday has been a PR bonanza, thanks to a couple great HARO leads, some really sassy list-making by my funnier-than-anyone cohort, Samara, who inspired a blog post to which I added the "meat," the Twinkies and the tattoo, and a cool connection made with FoxBusiness.com.

Here's my public relations ode to Black Friday insanity - and sanity:

On Wisebread:  Even More Black Friday Savings Tips From Shopping Experts

On FoxBusiness.com: Six Things Not to Buy on Black Friday

and, at our marketing blog:

What (really) not to buy on Black Friday

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pinning my heart out ...

I haven't been to Paris since I was there with a long-ago-love when I was in my early thirtys and living life in the arty lane.

It's time to go back, to reminisce, to renew, to introduce myself and the best guy who ever happened to me to the best city that ever happened to me. The place where I grew in the city of lights: at the marche aux puce, taking the metro to my piano teacher's cluttered ex-pat apartment, to the bois de bologne where we rented rowboats and laughed at the red-assed and obscene baboons.



So I am pinning my heart out ... because my heart belongs to Paris.

Click over and show my "Chic after Dark" board for Refinery 29 and Estee Lauder's Pinterest contest.



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Super Advice for bloggers from BitRebels

I find wonderful direction and professional pointers everywhere, especially as infographics on Pinterest. I love this one from BitRebels:


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Social media is like that bluelight thing

I had a thought about social media, and it pretty much works, if you're into metaphors and those kind of things.

Let's say your business - whatever it is, a service, a consultancy, a cute little store selling handmade soaps - is a great big "box" store. Picture one, it doesn't matter what the giant name is on the front of the store.

You, as a big box owner, use a variety of tools to communicate with your customers. These are your constituents. If you are a shopper, you've seen all of these.

That's when I had a funny flash of inspiration and drew a correlation between each one of these, and which social media channels we use for a similar type of communication.
  • The "Meet Your Store Manager" sign = Linkedin
  • The sales flyer by the door = E-newsletter
  • Blue light special & loudspeaker blasts = Twitter
  • Sales assistants and customer service desk = Facebook
  • Aisle endcap = Pinterest
  • In-store Smart Network  = YouTube

Thinking like this can help you decide where to invest your social media efforts. What does your "store" need? What makes sense for you?

Don't have blue light specials? Don't need to blast specials or hot tips over the loud speaker? Then you can probably do without Twitter. If you don't have a constituency waiting for your quick blurts of day-changing data, don't waste your time. Think about what your business needs.

Don't have any information that your customers want to pick up and read? Then you probably don't want to barge into their inbox.

Don't have big displays with great product and flashy images? Your Pinterest will be very shallow.

Unless, of course, you love it and you're having fun.

That's where I'm going with this. What do you think?

Saturday, August 25, 2012

If you're a brand, you better know how to PIN it!

I love Pinterest. It's a great big pretty world: it's simple, it's graphic, it's immediate. It really doesn't take much more than whim to create a beautiful board, be inspired by a whole new world of "pretend friends" and stay up way way way past midnight.

It's also easy to get carried away if you are pinning for a brand.

It's important to have a plan and to understand basic strategies for promoting your product or service. The point is to build brand awareness and rustle up a slew of click-throughs.

Read more in my article for Simplelize: What a brand needs now.

Then follow Catalogs.com on Pinterest, where I'm pinning all kinds of fun stuff, especially for catalog lovers.

 
Catalogs Arts & Crafts board, with tons of ideas for old catalogs

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pinterest Contest ... channeling my inner Social Media Diva

If you really love the product (insincerity is easy to detect) and if you really want to win, having some serious social chops is nothing to sneeze at.

Famous Footwear's "Star Studded Style Contest" had my name all over it. Shoes - check. Pinterest - check. Trip to L.A. - check.

All I had to do was create a "Hollywood" theme Pinterest board, pin at least four shoes from Famous Footwear (they make it simple with the "Pin" button on their product pages), tag the posts correctly and then pin the board URL in the right place.

I had one of those lightbulb moments that played right into my passion - dogs. So I pinned photos of Hollywood stars, some current and some retro, walking their dogs. For each one, I found a look-alike shoe from Famous Footwear and pinned that. And I pinned some random photos, too, just because I was having fun. No way did I stop at four shoes. My "Celebrity dog-walking shoes styles" board became my nightly passion!


I blogged about my board. I Facebook-ed my board. I tweeted my board. My pinning friends liked, repinned and commented on my pins. (Love you all!)

I channeled my inner Social Media Diva on this board. With passion.

And I won. So rock on, L.A., I'm on my way. The trip may include an invite to the E! Emmy's After Party.

What does a SMD (Social Media Diva) wear to such a function? I am thinking something a little glam and a little whack and a little techno-nerdy.

Suggestions welcome.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Professional and polished - a real media kit

Catalogs.com media kit

I designed the new media kit for Catalogs.com -- concept, layout and content -- as a sales tool. We used an outside pro to code and build the site and then fine-tuned it internally. Beautiful! Find it here.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Trail of my day

These are the tools I use every day, which pretty much tell you what I do:

Outlook. Skype. Google Docs. Groupon. Google Adwords. Wordpress. PR Web. Quantcast. Alexa. SEOBook. Affiliate Wiz. Facebook. Twitter. Google+. LinkedIn. HootSuite. Pinterest. YouTube. Social Mention. Google Alerts. bitly. Publisher. Powerpoint. QRCode generator. Blogger. Klout.

On my laptop, Droid, iPad.



Oh, and Coke Rewards. That's my photo posted on Diet Coke's Facebook page that was used in Coke's in-store digital advertising campaign.

Then I relax on Ancestry ... and do some more pinning.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Step aside Facebook, I have a new love

Source: facebook.com via Anne on Pinterest



I am in crush with Pinterest. It is like eye candy: easy, pretty, friendly. It's simple.

Now I have two windows open all the time, hopping between Facebook (making a pretty and engaging timeline) and Pinterest (making a pretty and engaging personal collection of boards).

Demoted? Definitely Google+ ... sorry!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Google +


I admit it ... I'm a Facebook addict. I love the new timeline, I love connecting to other sites with my Facebook, I love "liking" and "sharing."

And now I love Pinterest. Almost as much as I love Facebook.

Actually, when I'm off-the-clock, these are the tabs I always have open to my personal accounts.

Google + , not so much. I just can't get into it, because I feel like a traitor, eschewing FB and asking my contacts (really all of who are on Facebook) to jump over to a whole new world. And I have - from the very beginning of the Google + hype - felt like there was some social-guru snobbism "over there." So my +anne account is pretty dismal. It's there.

But I am maintaining an alter ego on Google + for Catalogs. I have an account for myself with my work email, and a respectable number of PR, media and social types in Circles. I run the page for Catalogs.com on Google + too. It is valuable to have a business presence there, and to post articles, images and public relations materials.

Check out what I'm doing on Google + for Catalogs.com. Put us in your "shopping" circle.

Targeted Audience Marketing on Facebook

Moms N Deals by Catalogs.com and Dogs N Deals at Catalogs.com

Catalogs.com is approaching 10,000 fans on Facebook. Without a concerted effort to market the Facebook page to our Website users, and with no advertising, it has been a slow process.

A couple of contests, run with Offerpop apps, gave us significant bumps in fans. The first, a "Refer a Friend" contest for $1500 in Catalogs.com shopping sprees, was a good success, and seems to have garnered real fans. The second, a photo contest, revealed the shady side of Facebook and captured frantic sweepers, fake and multiple-account holders, and a slew of overseas scammers. Watch for my thoughts on Facebook contests in a separate post.

Anyway, at almost 10,000 hard-won fans, I continue to feel that their is no single "agenda" for our Catalogs.com fans. The nature of our site is diverse - over 750 catalogs in more than 31 categories - and our social posts have been schizophrenic. One day I am posting deals from a dollar store, the next hot pumps from Chinese Laundry and a few hours later, new catalogs from auto parts retailers.
I decided to try creating two Facebook pages, branded to Catalogs.com, but targeted at very specific audiences. Neither of these pages are promoted at our website, and are not advertised. For now, they are growing "organically."
Check them out at Moms N Deals by Catalogs.com and Dogs N Deals at Catalogs.com.

The names say it all; the user knows what to expect.

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