The Rise Of Pinterest

One of the next upcoming social networks in 2014? Absolutely not! It is one of THE most popular social networks. Ranked fourth most popular social network and valued at $3.8 million, Pinterest is not one of those up and coming social networks, it is part of the elite now! But after only being created a few years ago, how has it progressed so much in such a short space of time? 2014 is also being touted to be the “photo year” and with imagine sharing sites becoming more popular such as Instagram and Youtube, Pinterest is leading the charge!  

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Pinterest is a different type of social network compared to Facebook and Twitter, it is visually based but it is different than other visually based sites such as Instagram, Flickr. Pinterest allows users to post photo’s, videos and gifs to collections, also known as Pinboards. Also if users find a pin posted by another user, they can pin it to their wall, essentially like a retweet. Fancy yourself as a bit of a jet setter who loves a bit of good food? Most popular pins include tasty food and places to travel so if you’re a fan of it, Pinterest is for you!

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$500 million. That’s how much revenue Pinterest could generate from placing ads on their site as soon as 2016 according to Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.  Imagine what you could do with $500 million!  You could buy 2.5 billion Freddo’s, 6 Cristiano Ronaldo’s, the list could go on and on! However in all seriousness, it would be a wise decision to do so, users on Facebook and Twitter have came to tolerate advertisements on their timelines so it is likely that Pinterest users over time would do the same. One advantage Pinterest has over Twitter is that Pinterest allows you to create business accounts unlike Twitter where it is the same type of account for all. Is your business is in the catering industry? It would be recommended to set up an account on Pinterest as cooking and dining makes up 66% of activity on the site!

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But what is in store in the next year for Pinterest? After the progress they’ve made in the past couple of years, would it be right to assume that Pinterest this year will overtake LinkedIn in terms of popularity and users? Will they become the 3rd most popular social network or is too soon for them? Whatever happens, Pinterest won’t be gone anytime soon! 

My Experience as an Apprentice

Now, I’m sure you all know that stage where you can’t find a job?

Or even the stage where you have had enough of your job and want a new one?

Yes?

Well that was the position I was in.

When I first worked in retail and yeah it’s okay and everything and a great way of earning some extra money whilst at college, but I was just so bored of leaving college at 3:30 on a weekday then having to be at work 5-9. I know it’s only 4 hours but it’s one of those where you just don’t want to go, the journey there is horrible and that feeling you get just before you walk in, I’m sure you have all experienced that.

Swiftly moving on, I remember coming home and my mom had mentioned starting an apprenticeship and I thought I’d do a little research, anyhow I went to the Sunemployment Roadshow in Edgbaston and the only thing I was interested in was the apprenticeship scheme, I loved the fact that you can get paid for learning. I’ve always stuck by the quote “Find a job you like and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” I have stuck by this quote ever since I came across it. I registered on the apprenticeship website and applied for multiple positions and I had an interview for a graphic design company, I was really happy that I got an interview but something just didn’t feel right at all. I went for the interview and I thought it went really well, but it didn’t as I didn’t get a second interview.

The other apprenticeships I applied for were other graphics design positions and also a social media apprentice. At the time I wasn’t’t really concerned which one I got as I just wanted a change and I wanted something to kick start my career of. I got a screening for the social media position and I was psyched that I got it. Anyway, I had the screening and it went really well, I was nervous but on the other hand I had a really good feeling. I got a call back and they asked me to come for a proper interview, I was over the moon. When the date arrived I went for the interview, turned up nearly half an hour early and you know that feeling where you’re waiting for your interview? Time goes by insanely slow. Moving on, I got a call on the 15th August 2013 and I got the job, the start date was the 19th and I was so happy.

When I started I literally had no idea what social media even meant, all I could think of was Twitter & Facebook… I was wrong… Very wrong. Social media isn’t just ticking boxes it’s a way of doing business.

And to this day I have learnt so much, I have built my LinkedIn profile, generated leads and I even have my own business cards. Now I never would have thought that I would have even had my own business cards let alone my own desk. An apprenticeship has made me understand and even realise the advantages of doing an apprenticeship scheme, referring back to my quote “Find a job you like and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” I don’t work a day in my life, this isn’t a 9-5 job, it’s a lifestyle and I love what I do. I chose this route over university and boy am I glad I did. The difference between university is, at university you pay to learn where as an apprenticeship scheme you get paid to learn…  in an apprentice you get a qualification and an 85% chance that you will stay in employment and also a 64% chance that you will stay with your current employer. Whereas at university you have a 50% chance of getting a job in something that you have a degree in… Now that’s silly… You pay to learn something for 2-4 years at university and you have a 50% chance of getting a job, or you can start an apprentice like I did and not know anything about it all, and you can get paid for it…

That’s why I chose an apprenticeship.

If you would like to follow the path I took, there are 10 social media apprenticeships available now in Birmingham. For more information please click here.

By Luke Priest

How To Build You Profile on LinkedIn [Infographic]

LinkedIn is the most popular social networking platform for business professionals. There are endless opportunities to help you succeed in the professional world, from motivational articles to new career opportunities, you can find it all on LinkedIn. Whether you are new member or a veteran you should always be updating your profile and if you haven’t touched it in months, now is the time to step up and give your profile a makeover! But what makes a perfect profile? I have put together a few tips for your to revamp your professional profiles and be the new, digital you!

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By Heather Wong

When Twitter Goes Wrong

When Tweeter Gets WrongWith the news that Katy Perry has now taken the crown as the most followed person on Twitter, we ask the question ‘What are the pros and cons of such as huge following as a celebrity?’ In this blog entry we will be looking at how celebs have used the power of a strong following to the advantage of their career and also what happens when it all goes wrong.

People like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga are masters at using Twitter to the advantage of their career (whether they admitted or not). Creating names for their fans such as “Little Monster” and “ Katy Cats” allows their audience to feel included and empowered as they have means of communication with their idol and feel part of a community. Using their fan communities to promote their products and releases. Countdowns to new releases is a great example of how these stars use their following to create buzz.

But what happens when Twitter becomes your enemy? Twitter meltdowns are a rare thing but when their happen it can be truly detrimental to a celebs career. One example of this is the now notorious Amanda Bynes, she started as a child star starring on Nickelodeon show The Amanda Show.  Amanda’s career had been on downward spiral for a couple of years before here meltdown, her erratic behaviour was documented and watched by millions through her Twitter account.

twitterwrong2A day didn’t pass through mid-2013 without a news channel or gossip column talking about her tweets and worrying actions. Amanda also had confrontations with other stars through the platform such as Rihanna which gave entertainment for some and concern for many more. Amanda’s behavior came to end in late 2013 when she was sectioned. It is yet to be seen whether Amanda’s reputation is permanently damaged but it’s hard to see how it wouldn’t be. This brings a big issue to the forefront of celebs on twitter. Where is the line between what is kept personally and what is public for celebs on social media platforms?

twitterwrong3So, we’ve seen what happens when Twitter goes right and wrong, but what happens when a Twitter meltdown goes in a celebs favour? Charlie Sheen is a great example of this. Charlie’s famous meltdown #Winning! left him with mental health and substance issues and even lost his spot on American smash hit show Two and a Half Men. But unlike Amanda this meltdown didn’t seem to damage his career in the slightest, in fact it seemed to heighten his career even more. With a new hit show Anger Management along with many other projects in the pipeline Sheen’s #Winning streak doesn’t sees no sign of slowing down. The moral of Sheen’s story seems to be being a little crazy isn’t an issue as long as you embrace it strangely enough.

By Thomas Parker

How Celebrities Use Twitter

Imagine a world where social media didn’t exist, no FaceBook, no Twitter, no YouTube and no Instagram, now imagine not being able

to track your favourite celebrities 24/7, depressing right?

Why do we have these feelings of despair? Well we have these feelings because we have all been caught in the ‘Celeb Web’.

The Celeb Web is like a spider’s web, once you’re in you can’t get back out again, you become addicted to looking at their social media sites and this is actually what the celebrities have set out to do.

So how do they do this, here are a few ways ‘celebrities use Twitter’

Keeping themselves in the public eye

What’s a better way to keep yourself relevant than constantly updating your social media sites.

Some celebrities even post controversial content that will get people talking about you, because after all if you’re a celebrity and you are not being talked about, you might as well face the fact the fame game is over for you.

Let’s take a look back to April this year, Lindsay Lohan decided that she wasn’t being spoken about enough, like in previous months, so decided to pull the old ‘April fools prank’ on twitter. This tweet received 12,000 retweets and 4,000 favourite and people actually fell for it, although Lindsay admitted it was a prank in the end, the tweet was still being spoken about days later. So for Lindsay keeping herself in the public eye this was.. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Treating their fans like friends

The one thing that fans appreciate the most is to be spoken to like a friend rather than a follower, once a celebrity has mastered this, they can do anything.

Lady Gaga has mastered this skill and always makes sure she interacts with her fans whether they are tweeting about her music or generally just trying to get her attention.

Dealing in self promotion

 

Many celebrities these days use their social media sites as a way of self promotion. So what’s a better way of getting the word out there about upcoming albums and single than having a tweet about it along with a cheeky hyperlink that leads them straight to iTunes, Great use of a call to action right?  This method of self promotion is very affective for upcoming artists who want to get their songs out there to their fans, because what’s a better way of getting their songs up in the charts, than selling singles.

A great recent example of a celebrity using this method to their advantage is upcoming artist Iggy Azalea, her call to action was asking people to pre order her ‘Change Your Life’ single off of iTunes and what did the fans get in return, she promised to follow fans who had pre ordered it, clever isn’t it?

As you can see these three examples are the main aspects of what makes a celebrities twitter tick, if a celebrity can get these things right then they have effectively conquered the twitter world.

A celebrity needs to get the right balance between responding to fans, selling their products and keeping their profiles interesting, if they get this right, they are prepared for twitter domination!

By Zoe Cresswell

How To Use Instagram To Grow Your Business

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With 100 million monthly users, 40 million posts per day, and a staggering 1,000 comment per second, Instagram has established itself as the most visual social media platform. With most of its users between the age of 18-24 Instagram is predominantly used by a younger audience. The aim of the Slideshare is to show people how business can use this particular social media platform to grow their business.

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5 Tips On Using Social Media To Land That Dream Job [Infographic]

I recently watched ‘The Start Up Kids’, a documentary about young entrepreneurs and their journeys to evolving their companies. There was one guy that stood out to me, Brian Wong.

He is one of the founders of ‘Kiip’ a mobile network in which you can gain real rewards for virtual achievements.

He is also the youngest person ever to receive venture capital funding, beating Mark Zuckerberg by a year! In his interview he says how he started off by emailing and how with the use of this was able to reach the unreachable. Wong got the attention of people who without social platforms would not have been able to get in contact with and through hard work and dedication, Wong eventually got offered a job. I think this just goes to show the importance of social media.

Did you know 94% of recruiters rely on social media for their process? In this day and age, it is vital whether we are contacting old friends or reaching out for that new golden opportunity, the world is now at your fingertips. As Wong said, ‘This is the Culture of Listening’ with this in mind Wong has inspired me to share with you my top 5 tips on using social media to land that dream job.

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By Heather Wong

5 Types Of Blog Posts That Will Promote Engagement

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1. The did you know post

Blogs always try to hit you with an amazing new fact or bit of information that they think no one else in the world has heard before!
E.g. Did you that that Wednesday comes after Tuesday!
And you have to try and make out that you are totally blown away by this next exciting fact that you have just saw.
Come on! We all know that this is just a plea to try and get the viewer to carry on looking at the ret of your blog. If they succeeded then you fell for it!

2. The issue post

A lot of blogs take the oppositional view, just to get some kind of interaction from viewers.
E.g. Margret Thatcher was an amazing Prime-Minister and done great things for the country.
This is a highly controversial topic and is likely to get people to argue against it. This is one great way to get people to talk on your blog. But the things they might be saying, is something you might not be too fond of!

3. The question post

Ask your blog some questions!
If you want to get someone to talk in a normal conversation, you’d usually ask them a question because you want to hear some answers. It should be no different in a blog. You are trying to get people to talk on it, you want interaction, you want engagement, and you want people to be talking about it. What greater way is there than to ask questions to your audience and receive some answers!

4. The top 100 list

Everyone loves a good list! Whether it is a list of the best looking celebrities, or the best football players of all time!
When we look at top 100 lists we all go from the worst to the best, and we do take note. And there is always a talking point in there. Tulisa Contostavlos was a massive talking point last year when she got voted sexiest woman of the year. Likewise, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is always a massive talking point amongst sports fans of who is the best. So there is always an element of debate which is exactly what you want when you are trying to attract engagement.

5. The giveaway post

People of the UK love a freebee. In fact, scrap that, everyone loves a freebee. Whether that is moisturiser or a little spray of aftershave, if it’s free, we’re there!
We’re are instantly more attracted to a magazine if it’s in a plastic case and you can see that there something in there that you get free. Even if you are not the slightest bit interested in what the magazine or about, or interested in what the free item actually is, we are 100% more drawn to it if we know we are going to take it home having not paid for it.

By Mitchell Perry

6 Tips For New LinkedIn Users

Are you wondering whether LinkedIn is the way forward for you? Well whether you’re considering LinkedIn for your own personal use or for your business, there are plenty of reason why LinkedIn can be a great and useful tool for you. Whether you’re looking for a new opportunity or just looking to broaden your business connection. If you have already decided LinkedIn is the right step for you but don’t know where to begin here’s a few tips to get you on your way to the LinkedIn perfection.

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1. Asking for Recommendations

Recommendations are often an element of a LinkedIn profile overlooked by newbies to the platform. However, Recommendations are key! Just like business in any other form repetition is important. A potential client who has no previous experience with you or your company will look at your Recommendations. Clearly the more recommendations you have the better you seem to potential customers.

While some may argue the best course of action is to wait for other to recommend you for your skills. A more proactive and faster way is to gather recommendations is as simple as give and take. In most cases if you recommend others for their skills they will return the favour.

2. Add The Personal Touch

LinkedIn does offer a pre-complete template for you to request recommendations however it is more effective if you personalize these. It will increase the likelihood of getting positive responses and possibly improve the quality of the recommendations you receive.

3. Add your Skills and Experience

Adding your skills and previous experience is very important as the more information you give the more reasons there are for other users to connect with you therefore expanding your social media presence which could later be converted into paying customers.

4. Promote your Profile Online and Print

Adding your profile URL to your email signature, website alongside your business cards, letterheads and other print material can easily expand your profiles audience without too much work. Making sure your profile URL is distinctive is also a huge factor when taking this step as you want it to be short and memorable for your audience.

5. Connecting With Others

                          

Building up your connections is extremely important within the LinkedIn world. Start of connecting to people you already know and follow this up by connecting to people who are connected to more than one other person you know. This is a great way to easily widen your audience without adding random users. This is important as is the LinkedIn world, it’s all about making appropriate connections that are deemed useful for both parties involved. If you’re a business it’s also incredibly important to connect to other companies that you have or still do have a working relationship with as this shows support for their company which will more than likely be returned in the form of engagement or recommendations.

The next step when connecting to other users is to connect the potentially beneficial people or companies in your sector. The whole point of LinkedIn is to connect to other businesses and professionals to create business opportunities so use it! LinkedIn is a great tool in order to connect directly to the decision makers of a business to create opportunities so don’t be afraid to message them. We recommend to connect to other users around your business target before connecting to them. We suggest this as when you do connect to them it looks more natural and gives your a foundation to build a working relationship on. The last tip is to always create a personalized message tailored to the user you are connecting with. This is a good idea as it give the user a sense that you care about them as an individual. It also suggested a sense of professionalism and it is much more likely the user will reply.

6. Sharing Interesting Content

Like any other social media platform content is king! One thing that has to be remembered whilst posting on LinkedIn is that it’s a professionals social platform so the content must be in keeping with this. Ask yourself every time before posting ‘would i want your boss to see this?’Great forms of content include news or blogs concerning your industry, general business news and top tips involving your industry. These forms of content are easy ways to generate engagement on your profile. Asking a question or asking for peoples opinion alongside the content can encourage users to get involved and comment on the post. Remember LinkedIn is full of strong business personalities it should be too hard to get opinion out of one or two of them.

By Thomas Parker