The Importance of Being Visual – Pinterest and Instagram


While Facebook and Twitter are the two primary social media outlets, companies can also benefit from visual outlets such as Pinterest and Instagram. Pinterest and Instagram are terrific ways to share photos and are powerful tools to promote products, services, advocacy campaigns and businesses by inviting conversations via images.


With the right approach, companies can leverage these two sites to reach more customers. If branding is the main objective, Pinterest is an excellent choice. If your goal is to initiate conversations with individuals, Instagram is a better option. Some companies use both, but how do you know if one (or both) are right for your business?


With Instagram, users take a picture, apply filters and share it with family, friends or colleagues through the application directly or via other social media platforms. More brands and businesses are choosing this service to share visual content with customers and potential customers because the photo streams capture the character and experience of a business – beyond typical stock photos. Because it doesn’t have an official desktop site, Instagram focuses on mobile-centric users wanting to capture and share images in the moment, stimulating further engagement by passing these images on through other social media channels.


On the contrary, Pinterest is a computer-centric social media platform that lends itself effectively to marketing brands because it is highly interactive. Pinterest uses a virtual pinboard with ample space to “pin” pictures and share content across users who share similar interests.  As an example, a resort can pin visual content of the hotel, grounds, restaurant food, amenities and past events to draw more picture views and stimulate interest in its services. Pinterest encourages group usage and sharing of content, so other members can “repin” photos on Pinterest or from articles with hotel reviews, expanding brand awareness across Pinterest’s many users.


Marketers should consider using Instagram & Pinterest. At Graham & Associates, we can help you decide which visual social media platform will work best for your business. Please visit­­­  

Creating a Successful Social Media Strategy for Your Business

Without a social media content strategy, businesses can waste lots of time and money and even hurt their reputation. Untended Facebook pages, nonsensical tweets, questionable YouTube videos, or company lunchroom pins on Pinterest – however cute – won’t stimulate the desired conversations with your target audiences necessary to boost sales and increase demand for your products and services. What’s worse – they might even leave a bad impression.


Step back. Think about your objectives. Listen to online conversations first and visualize the entire social media landscape as an ecosystem. Then, develop your social media PR and marketing plans. Having an integrated strategy is the smart way to build a successful social communications program.


Companies often fail to consider how social media channels work together. A solid plan for effective social media channel integration starts with reviewing each social media channel, studying its unique strengths and weaknesses as it pertains to your brand or product. Only then, can you determine how these separate channels work best in concert. Also, consider how social media integrates with your existing traditional and online marketing campaigns.


For example, when a hotel marketing campaign focuses on compelling content for a website or a frequent traveler loyalty program, social media can actively drive awareness, and prompt engagement to boost these marketing efforts by engaging guests before, during and after their stay. A push to draw guests to a newly opened hotel might begin with Twitter teasers to raise curiosity and provide incentives to check out an informative URL or Facebook fan page and ultimately, the hotel itself. During a guest’s stay, hashtags on coasters in the bar encouraging guests to tweet can increase online engagement. Announcing the hotel’s daily activities/promotions on Facebook can also raise interaction. Post departure, encouraging guests to post photos on Pinterest and Instagram, tweet about their stay or write a review on TripAdvisor can generate excitement, result in further online conversations that go viral, and draw potential new guests to check out the property as well as build loyalty among repeat hotel guests.


Developing a simple interactive campaign where your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest profiles point to each other, and back to your website, is a good start.


If you need an agency to manage and tie all this together, please visit us at:  

What Brands Should Consider When Facebook Graph Search Goes Live

This week, Facebook announced a new search tool letting users find information shared by their connections through social queries. The new search feature, called Graph Search, allows users to search Facebook for data “shared” with friends, such as likes, pictures, people, places, business pages, etc., (“that users have access to,” as stated by Facebook, to address privacy issues).


Facebook may be trying to compete with Google for search business, but for now, they are really focused on making search more functional on their own site. Graph Search will make it easier for Facebook members (your potential customers) to search topics their friends have liked, and if your business is included in those likes, you’ll have a higher likelihood of popping up in the search results.


As a business on Facebook, the more you share, the more useful the Graph Search tool will be for your followers. So eventually, brands that share lots of information and wish to increase their Facebook traffic (and eventually sales) should keep a few things in mind about this new tool:


1) The good news is that brands with a Facebook page presence will be more visible to Facebook users following their brand. As users search for specific terms on Graph Search, it provides an opportunity for branded Facebook posts to surface months after the initial post. For example, tips on painting, where to find a suitable retirement community or a favorite restaurant or seaside resort in California that you posted last year will surface.


2) "Shares” will be more visible with Graph Search so updating brand content will be critical. Fresh content will maintain interest and entice your followers to share it. The more up-to-date the content, the more likely it will be shared, helping to drive traffic to your Facebook page increasing fans and ultimately generating greater brand awareness.


3) Key words aren’t as “key” with Graph Search. Including all the details on your Facebook profile will be more important so the Graph Search algorithm can find your business. For example, a user searching for a fine dining experience to celebrate a special occasion will only find your restaurant if all details about the food style, price range, proper attire, etc., are provided in the profile. 


The jury is still out on Graph Search, but the concept is a clever one, and brands can use it to their advantage. Stay tuned as Facebook likes to make changes, and this new feature will surely transform as trial users provide feedback.  

Pin and Share Your Brand on Pinterest

There are many interesting things about Pinterest, the hot new visual social media discovery network, which allows users to “pin” beautiful ideas captured in images or videos onto virtual pinboards. From home décor tips to restaurant suggestions to bucket lists, more than 10.4 million registered members of Pinterest create and curate visually stimulating content that they share via their Pinterest boards. A recent report found Pinterest drives more referral traffic than three of the largest social media sites, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn, combined, so brands need to heed the call of the pin and learn how the site can help increase business.

Currently, Pinterest users are predominantly women (90 percent), although men will likely soon catch up. Given the types of Pinterest boards users create, consumer brands have curation tie-ins that make joining Pinterest a good option for many products and services. Below are five reasons why your brand should get active on Pinterest:

1. It offers a platform for window-shopping: Unlike Facebook and Twitter, users visit Pinterest to discover ideas for interests as broad as travel, home décor, cars, sports, etc. As people visit other people’s boards, Pinterest becomes a platform for window-shopping and often leads to a sale through Pinterest’s “pin-it” function which links back to a picture’s originating site.

2. It functions as a vehicle to showcase brands: For companies, it is a platform to showcase new products and services, introducing users to new and existing brands.

3. It provides an instant call to action: The ability to pin images and videos from an e-commerce catalogue directly to Pinterest boards allows users to instantly purchase the products they like. This is one of the most distinguishing and financially rewarding features for companies. 

4. It delivers an instant user reaction: It is also a platform for conducting quick market research. For example, a home décor company can post a few creative ideas and note which designs and colors people are drawn to and which products are being re-pinned.

5. It boosts SEO: Linking back to your website through Pinterest can increase search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. Google now indexes personal Pinterest profiles, so adding keywords to your boards can increase your site’s ranking when users re-pin your post(s).

At the same time, Pinterest does come with a few challenges. For example, there have been some questions around image copyrights. Our suggestion is for companies to upload images they have rights to use and distribute, expecting those images will be re-pinned and spread around the site and Internet. If you’re worried about preserving image rights, then Pinterest may not be the platform for you. 

Is your company ready for Pinterest? Email your comments to  

Getting Started with Social Media

The social media landscape can be daunting for anyone, especially for marketers. Attracting distracted consumers’ attention and keeping them engaged with your brand can be time consuming. Here’s a cheat sheet to get you started:

Don’t sell: Social media platforms aren’t your company’s website or brochure. It’s not a place to sell to your targets. Be genuine, helpful and fun.

Offer something more: Share information that is unknown and unique about your company or the industry e.g., a sneak preview of product launches, trade tips, new regulations, product images and videos, etc.

Make them feel special: Indulge your community with a special deal on your service and products for a limited time.

Listen to them: Conversations should be two-way. Allow your audience to engage with you and share experiences. Read what they have to say about your organization on Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, etc.

Respect their feedback: After listening, take action to make changes as needed, otherwise just say thank you. Let them know that you are listening.  

Subscribe to our Newsletter

We've added you to our mailing list

Unsubscribe anytime from our newsletter by emailing:

Signup with your email to get public relations resources and insights that offer clarity about the rapidly evolving communications landscape.