Pinterest: Can Businesses Catch “Pinsanity”?!?!

If you are a slightly plugged-in user of social media and technology, by now, you may have heard of Pinterest. It’s certainly the flavor of the month. Hopefully, it sticks around longer than Jeremy Lin and his “Linsanity” followers as his production comes back down to earth.

Pinterest is an online bulletin board where you can post your favorite images. I’m kind of hoping it helps move some of the image spam / memes / and other noise off of Facebook and onto there. The site has registered more than 7 million unique visitors in December more than quadrupling its userbase of 1.6 million in September (source: Entreprenuer magazine article).  Not sure why, but I find it very interesting that 97% of Pinterest users are women.

This “pinning” of images allows you to show images of interest, wishlists, favorite crafts, saying, celebrities, etc. The key is the linking ability which would drive traffic to other blogs, shopping, etc. It’s a great way to generate traffic to your site if you have people pinning your items to their boards. In fact, many retailers are encouraging it and shaping their pictures to best fit on your pin boards in hopes you do just that. I don’t think businesses are spamming by pinning their products. In fact, the products are getting visibility by users pinning other product images that get clicked thru to the point of sale website. Viral / influential marketing at its best.

As I said, the most powerful business application is the ability to post images of your company’s products on your Pinterest board and link them back to your website. It works as a sort of virtual store catalog. However, savvy social media users know not to get too promotional. For example, Whole Foods Market pins pictures of delicious-looking food, food art and images of recycled or reused products to inspire customers to be environmentally responsible.

If you run a lawn-care center, for instance, pin pictures of landscaping you find online or snap in your community. If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, pin shots of the interesting sites and people around your neighborhood and photos you take at community events. You also can search through Pinterest’s categories and add some inspirational, funny or beautiful images you find.

I would suggest checking out Pinterest and seeing if it works for you.  The answer may surprise you.  If you’d like to see how I use it, hit me up on Pinterest as well.

Beer Tasting Fundraiser Event – Silent Auction Items

Below are the Silent Auction Items for tomorrow night’s Beer Tasting and Margarita Sampling at Allentown Brew Works.  Tickets for the Event are available at the door or online at http://teamtweetup.ticketleap.com/margarita-tasting-and-beer-sampling-tour-fundraiser.

If you’d like to bid on any items, feel free to drop me a line at mandrean AT gmail DOT com with the title and bid amount.  Or Tweet it to @mandreano.

Note: Cash and Credit Card all accepted as winning bids.  Payment is due at the conclusion of the auction.  (9PM)

Night out in Allentown:
4 Tickle Me Tuesday Tickets
Cosmopolitan Restaurant Gift Card
Retail value: $45  Starting Bid: $20

Lehigh Valley Steel Hawks Arena Football Package #1
4 Tickets to May 21 Game, Stabler Arena
LV Steelhawks Collared Shirt
LV Steelhawks Program
Retail Value: $85  Starting Bid: $30

Lehigh Valley Steel Hawks Arena Football Package #2
4 Tickets to May 28 Game, Stabler Arena
LV Steelhawks Hooded Sweat Shirt
LV Steelhawks Program
Retail Value: $85  Starting Bid: $30

Two Tickets to Bobby Collins at the Easton State Theater
Saturday, June 18 – 8PM
Retail Value: $60  Starting Bid: $30

Lehigh Valley Ironpigs Tickets with Overnight Accomodations
2 Tickets to an Ironpigs Game of your Choice
1 Night at the Hilton Garden Inn, Airport Road, Allentown
Retail Value: $130 Starting Bid: $45

Lehigh Valley Rollergirls Prize Package
4 tickets to next bout – June 4th – 5PM
4 LVRG shot glasses
4 – $10.00 certificates for LVRG merchandise to claim at bout
4 – Glow in the dark beer cups
4 – LVRG beer koozies
1 – Framed and autographed league picture
4 – LVRG stickers
Retail Value: $140 Starting Bid: $40

Fashion and Food Fixation
$50 Gift Card to Shuze, Main Street Bethlehem, PA
$50 Gift Card to Starfish Brasserie, Broad Street, Bethlehem, PA
Retail Value: $100 Starting Bid: $50

HomeBase 610 Donate to Skate
$50 Gift Card to Homebase 610 Store, 4th Street, Bethlehem, PA
Retail value: $50 Starting Bid: $25

Laini’s Little Bundle of Prints
Bundle of photos from Laini Abraham
Easton Centre Square, 2 Prints from Lehigh Valley Sewer Cover Project
Retail value: Approx. $125  Starting Bid: $45

Tee Time for Two
2 Weekday Tee Times at Southmoore Golf Club, Bath, PA
$20 Gift Card to Dick’s Sporting Goods
Retail value: $85  Starting Bid: $35

Freedom has a price, even on the Internet

With the power of the electronic age we live in, news travels faster than ever before.  With this wave of information, we have to keep vigilant and take caution in what we read, trust, click on, and share as we surf the web.  The morning of Monday, May 2 and throughout that day, information rapidly broke about the death of Osama Bin Laden.  As expected, malicious software began to spread based on this incident primarily thorough search engine results, mass emails, and social media.  Even advertisements on websites such as Facebook and Google may have been malicious in trying to trick you with fake offers that may entice you to click them and then linked you to viruses and spyware that infects your computer and could steal your personal information.

By late evening, hackers unleashed a wave of new spam emails, poisoned search results, and specially crafted websites — all designed to mislead people seeking news.  The more common ones promised unofficial photos of Bin Laden’s dead body, videos of the assault and other conspiracy theories surrounding the events.  These links are false, misleading and dangerous.  Do NOT click on them.

Facebook Spam Post Example

The attackers are taking advantage of the curiosity of users and the excitement of the public, and then spreading malware along with it.  If you must look for news and the latest information, stick to well-known sites that may have bookmarked and rely on those.  As no images or video of the operation have been released, any sites promoting them should automatically be considered suspicious.

Always use caution when clicking Internet links you may not be familiar with or knowingly trust.  Also, please use good judgment when searching around the Internet for information.

Social Media for Good

Now that the Lehigh Valley Tweetup has turned 2, it is pretty clear how significant of an innovation social media has become, especially with community, and with charity. We can reach more people and faster than ever before. With this, we have decided to really put it to the test and raise money for Leukemia this summer. Please join us and be part of TEAM TWEETUP (@teamtweetup on Twitter). You don”t need to even be on Twitter to be part of this successful campaign.  Just spread the word the best way you know how – however it best fits!

Visit our campaign website for a list of events that fully support this charity initiative. There are plenty of events and something for everyone. You can also donate directly via the web as well.

One small business who stepped up to the plate is Kneading Hands Massage. Owner Tom Florio is offering a one hour massage at either their Bethlehem or Macungie offices for just $60, which is a $5 discount off his regular price. For each certificate purchased, he is donating $20 of that back to the Leukemia Society. If you would like a massage, help yourself and help a great cause in the meantime.

Thanks again Tom!

Click BUY NOW below and I will mail the certificate to you.  You can use PayPal or major credit card (see bottom right for “Don”t Have a PayPal Account?” to enter your credit card information 100% secure.

Top 10 Social Media Moments of the Lehigh Valley 2010

What else is there to do this week than to crank out a Top 10 list about something.  Social media has turned our world upside down and kept us one click or touch away from what is happening right now.  Similar to last year (LINK), here are the top 10 stories of our own Lehigh Valley from 2010 which had a social media element to them.  Thanks to all our followers and readers out there who suggested and nominated some of these items, you see below.  Enjoy!
10 – Readers Choice awards for BFD and Hosfeld Insurance
In August, the Morning Call had a Readers Choice contest where nominations were accepted and top nominees were awarded Readers Choice awards.  With the power of social media and momentum, two long time active participants in social media, Black Forest Deli and Hosfeld Insurance took home awards in their respective categories Best Deli in the Valley and Best Local Insurance Agency.  Maybe you attended one of their parties to celebrate?  Congrats ladies!
9 – More Local Businesses embrace Facebook and Twitter
The number of local businesses that now use Twitter and Facebook is abundant.  While you can’t follow them all (effectively, that is), you can certainly find your favorites.  Businesses are a lot more engaging since the start of 2010 than previously.  Some that come to mind, (the non-award winning ones that is) are Shuze, Moravian Book Store, Brew Works, ArtsQuest, Sands Casino, Morning Call, and the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs.  If any others come to mind, feel free to leave them in the comments section.  My apologies in advance.
8 – CelticFest App
Mobile apps was where it was at in 2010.  CelticFest was one of the first to get it out there and made the event jump up a notch.  It kept you up-to-date on everything taking place at the festival and downloads and stored the information on your mobile phone, iPod Touch, or iPad so it works with or without an internet connection. More info on that app at http://www.celticfest.org/info.  Well done.
7 – Lehigh Valley Hospital begins a No Texting While Driving Campaign raising awareness.
In one of the largest public awareness campaigns in the Lehigh Valley and nationwide, Lehigh Valley Health Network lauched http://www.celllimit0.com where they talk about the urgent call to action to stop texting and using mobile devices while driving.  The website states: “Each year, 6,000 Americans die in car crashes caused by distracted driving—and cell phone use is by far the greatest distraction. Studies indicate that talking on a mobile device quadruples your risk for a crash (raising it to the same risk level as driving drunk). “If you’re text messaging, you are eight times more likely to crash,” says health network trauma surgeon Robert Barraco, M.D.”.  As of last week, they have distributed 10,500 magnets and close to 500 lawn signs.
6 – laini’s little books go electronic
These books have been around for a few years now (since 2007, the launch of the 1st Easton guide).  but 2010 saw the launch of a website, blog entries and weekly lists of “9” things to do each weekend.  Not sure why 9, but it’s unique.  Relevant and timely content get pushed to her Facebook fan pages and Twitter feeds for all to see (and share / retweet / etc.).   It all mashes up nicely at http://www.littlepocketguide.com, which features a great way to end the year – laini’s list of 9 – New Year’s Weekend!
5 – Foursquare SWARM badge unlocked at Musikfest
One social media intregrated app that exploded on the scene in 2010 is Foursquare.  It’s (in my opinion) the market leader in geo-location based apps out there.  When 50+ people are checked in to a location on Foursquare – it’s a foursquare flashmob!  Not too many Lehigh Valley locations can get 50+ checkins at one location.  We got about 30-some at the LVTweetups from time-to-time.  Musikfest is just the event to make that happen though, and on Friday the 13th.  That night of Musikfest saw the badge get unlocked.  If you were one of the 50+ who did it, congrats!  Here’s @thuk18045’s badge.  http://foursquare.com/thuk18045/badges/4c65efefe1da1b8d3ed899c3
4 – Bethlehem Horses Tweet, Morning Call and NBC10 Philly covers the controversy
How TMZ missed this one, I am not sure.  One staple at Musikfest are the mounted police patrol horses. Suddently, they started tweeting.  As the profile states: “We are the horses who protect you during MUSIKFEST in Bethlehem! Horses can’t tweet, this is a parody. Idiot.” and links to http://www.lehighvalleywithlove.com.  This was covered by the Morning Call (http://articles.mcall.com/2010-08-09/news/mc-bethlehem-musikfest-horse-twitter-20100809_1_police-horses-patrol-horses-john-sarnicky), and then NBC10 even came up for the story and interviewed official PR LVwithLove correspondent George Wacker (Facebook profile) about it.  See the NBC10 clip about it. http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/tech/Tweeting_Horses_Gets_Bloggers_in_Trouble_Philadelphia.html
3 – LVTweetup turns 1, holds 20 Tweetups!
Back in April, we had our 1 year anniversary for LVTweetup.  We even had a cake from Backdoor Bakeshop to go with our pint-glass giveaway.  This year we went to Musikfest, CelticFest, and an IronPigs game as well as the local nightlife scene places.  Look for more great places and event in the coming year.  And thanks to our sponsors for all the great giveaways and promo items.  All your support is appreciated by all!!  Follow the Tweetup on Twitter at @lvtweetup along with the current 1,130 followers.
2 – Callahan and Dent (and Towne) for Congress
The battle for this seat in Congress made #7 in the Stories of 2010 by WFMZ.  http://www.wfmz.com/lehighvalleynews/26304393/detail.html While the candidates did nothing out of the ordinary when it came to social media, it was the power of the people’s voice that kept the social media airwaves going through the fall leading up to Election Day.  Social media is one way that the demographics of Americans that weren’t as active at the polls stay informed and stay motivated to get out and vote each election.  This is where 1992 MTV called to say they are proud of you – back then it was called “Rock the Vote”.
1 – 2 Days in a Cube, 70,000 Text Messages
They said it couldn’t be done (well, maybe they didn’t, but still..) The Tweetup community picked one lucky fellow George Wacker (Facebook profile) to rally behind and vote their way to Mayfair’s Morning Call sponsored 2 Days in a Cube contest to win a 2010 Nissan Cube.  Among the five contestants, George came out on top thanks to a large following of votes, tweets and facebook posts to remind us, and many ancillary viral marketing moments throughout the month of May.
Feel free to leave a comment below with thoughts, opinions, commentary, etc.  After all, isn’t that what social media is for??  Happy 2011 all..  See you online!

What else is there to do this week than to crank out a Top 10 list about something.  Social media has turned our world upside down and kept us one click or touch away from what is happening right now.  Similar to last year’s list, here are the top 10 stories of our own Lehigh Valley from 2010 which had a social media element to them.  Thanks to all our followers and readers out there who suggested and nominated some of these items, you see below.  Enjoy!

10 – Readers Choice awards for Black Forest Deli and Hosfeld Insurance

Readers Choice logo

In August, the Morning Call had a Readers Choice contest where nominations were accepted and top nominees were awarded Readers Choice awards.  With the power of social media and momentum, two long time active participants in social media, Black Forest Deli and Hosfeld Insurance took home awards in their respective categories Best Deli in the Valley and Best Local Insurance Agency.  Maybe you attended one of their parties to celebrate?  Congrats ladies!

9 – More Local Businesses embrace Facebook and Twitter

The number of local businesses that now use Twitter and Facebook is abundant.  While you can’t follow them all (effectively, that is), you can certainly find your favorites.  Businesses are a lot more engaging since the start of 2010 than previously.  Some that come to mind, (the non-award winning ones that is) are Shuze, Moravian Book Store, Brew Works, ArtsQuest, Sands Casino, Morning Call, Starfish Brasserie, and the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs.  If any others come to mind, feel free to leave them in the comments section.  My apologies in advance.

8 – CelticFest App

Mobile apps was where it was at in 2010.  CelticFest was one of the first to get it out there and made the event jump up a notch.  It kept you up-to-date on everything taking place at the festival and downloads and stored the information on your mobile phone, iPod Touch, or iPad so it works with or without an internet connection. More info on that app at http://www.celticfest.org/info.  Well done.

7 – Lehigh Valley Hospital begins a No Texting While Driving Campaign raising awareness

little-girl

In one of the largest public awareness campaigns in the Lehigh Valley and nationwide, Lehigh Valley Health Network lauched http://www.celllimit0.com where they talk about the urgent call to action to stop texting and using mobile devices while driving.  The website states: “Each year, 6,000 Americans die in car crashes caused by distracted driving—and cell phone use is by far the greatest distraction. Studies indicate that talking on a mobile device quadruples your risk for a crash (raising it to the same risk level as driving drunk). “If you’re text messaging, you are eight times more likely to crash,” says health network trauma surgeon Robert Barraco, M.D.”.  As of last week, they have distributed 10,500 magnets and close to 500 lawn signs.

6 – laini’s little books go electronic

These books have been around for a few years now (since 2007, the launch of the 1st Easton guide).  but 2010 saw the launch of a website, blog entries and weekly lists of “9” things to do each weekend.  Not sure why 9, but it’s unique.  Relevant and timely content get pushed to her Facebook fan pages and Twitter feeds for all to see (and share / retweet / etc.).   It all mashes up nicely at http://www.littlepocketguide.com, which features a great way to end the year – laini’s list of 9 – New Year’s Weekend!

5 – Foursquare SWARM badge unlocked at Musikfest

4bbd1ae3675403bb25a55c94

One social media intregrated app that exploded on the scene in 2010 is Foursquare.  It’s (in my opinion) the market leader in geo-location based apps out there.  When 50+ people are checked in to a location on Foursquare – it’s a foursquare flashmob!  Not too many Lehigh Valley locations can get 50+ checkins at one location.  We got about 30-some at the LVTweetups from time-to-time.  Musikfest is just the event to make that happen though, and on Friday the 13th.  That night of Musikfest saw the badge get unlocked.  If you were one of the 50+ who did it, congrats!  Here’s @thuk18045’s Swarm badge.

4 – Bethlehem Horses Tweet, Morning Call and NBC10 Philly covers the controversy

How TMZ missed this one, I am not sure.  One staple at Musikfest are the mounted police patrol horses. Suddently, they started tweeting.  As the profile states: “We are the horses who protect you during MUSIKFEST in Bethlehem! Horses can’t tweet, this is a parody. Idiot.” and links to Lehigh Valley with Love.  This was covered by the Morning Call, and then NBC10 even came up for the story and interviewed official PR LVwithLove correspondent George Wacker (Facebook profile) about it.  See the NBC10 clip about it.

3 – LVTweetup turns 1, storms the Valley monthly.

Our @LVTweetup birthday cake

Our @LVTweetup birthday cake

Back in April, we had our 1 year anniversary for LVTweetup.  We even had a cake from Backdoor Bakeshop to go with our pint-glass giveaway.  This year we went to Musikfest, CelticFest, and an IronPigs game as well as the local nightlife scene places.  Look for more great places and event in the coming year.  And thanks to our sponsors for all the great giveaways and promo items.  All your support is appreciated by all!!  Follow the Tweetup on Twitter at @lvtweetup along with the current 1,130 followers.

2 – Callahan and Dent (and Towne) for Congress

The battle for this seat in Congress made #7 in the Stories of 2010 by WFMZ.  While the candidates did nothing out of the ordinary when it came to social media, it was the power of the people’s voice that kept the social media airwaves going through the fall leading up to Election Day.  Social media is one way that the demographics of Americans that weren’t as active at the polls stay informed and stay motivated to get out and vote each election.  This is where 1992 MTV called to say they are proud of you – back then it was called “Rock the Vote”.

1 – Two Days in a Cube, 70,000 Text Messages, One Winner, One Wacker.

They said it couldn’t be done (well, maybe they didn’t, but still..) The Tweetup community picked one lucky fellow George Wacker (Facebook profile) to rally behind and vote their way to Mayfair’s Morning Call sponsored 2 Days in a Cube contest to win a 2010 Nissan Cube.  Among the five contestants, George came out on top thanks to a large following of votes, tweets, a Facebook fan page, and facebook posts to remind us, and many ancillary viral marketing moments throughout the month of May.

Feel free to leave a comment below with thoughts, opinions, commentary, etc.  After all, isn’t that what social media is for??  Happy 2011 all..  See you online!

December 2010 Holiday Lehigh Valley Tweetup – LVTweetup Gives Back!

It’s about that time again.  Let’s blow off the doors and pack the SteelGaarden again for our Holiday Tweetup.  Last year’s LVTweetup had over 100 attendees from across the Valley.

Join us Monday night December 6th 7-9pm at Bethlehem Brew Works SteelGaarden for the Lehigh Valley Tweetup holiday fundraiser.  What’s a Tweetup? Well, the tweetup is where local twitter users get together to mingle, network, and socialize off-line.

The first 70 people to come will get a Lehigh Valley Tweetup Travel Mug FREE!  Like last year, we will also be collecting canned goods for the Trinity Soup Kitchen as well as new and unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots.  You have to give to get, so bring something to help others in the community.

For more information, follow us on Twitter at @LVTweetup.

Highlights from Tweeps Talk Tech Radio Show – November 10, 2010

As always – you can subscribe to our show right in iTunes here.

——

Have you tried Kik instant messenger yet?

Google Bonus Story tops our news tonight! http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/09/google-pay-hike/

RIM’s PlayBook Will Cost Less than $500 http://mashable.com/2010/11/10/rim-playbook-500/

Ask.com saying goodbye http://mashable.com/2010/11/09/ask-com-shut-down/

RockMelt – the first social browser http://techcrunch.com/2010/11/09/google-rockmelt-search-preview/

CHART OF THE DAY: Facebook Reveals The Most Popular Time For Breakups http://read.bi/a2NxXD

chart-of-the-day-facebook-status-updates-2010

Do Firefox Users Pay More For Car Loans? http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/11/04/132257/Do-Firefox-Users-Pay-More-For-Car-Loans

Over 500,000 People Quit Cable Last Quarter http://read.bi/95oEDY