Growing Your Brand With Pinterest – My SearchFest 2013 Presentation

First of all, SearchFest 2013 was an amazing event.  If you have never been to one, (this was my first) I HIGHLY recommend going.  The venue was fantastic and the content was even better.  I have never been to Portland before, and it what a great town it was!  I even got to try some famous (or infamous) Voodoo Doughnuts!  Props to David Mihm for having me there.  I hope to go back again and again, if they’ll have me!

Anyway, I wanted to share the slide deck from the event here, where I talked about “Growing Your Brand With Pinterest”.  I also wanted to share a few pictures from the event (below) sorry just low quality iPhone ones … didn’t feel like hauling the big DSLR with me this time.  The presentation has already got amazing response on Slideshade so I hope you enjoy it too!  I really did my best to share some actionable information that can help any business do better with Pinterest marketing.

Other presentations I enjoyed (by the way there were a TON of good ones, I just especially enjoyed these):



Search Fest 2013 SearchFest2013_b SearchFest2013_c SearchFest2013_d SearchFest2013_f SearchFest2013_h SearchFest2013 SearchFest2013_gSearchFest2013_e

Always nice to be checking out a presentation and your company gets a “shout out” Great job again to Luke for putting together that reference for everyone.

7 Ways to Get an Endless Stream of Infographic Ideas

Here at Avalaunch we all have to be creative ideas machines, because every day we come up with ideas for our clients. It’s the perfect position for idea people like me. Our ideas are what sell our work, make us stand out and eventually end up as infographics that get blogged about, linked to and shared.

An infographic has to illustrate and illuminate or inform on a topic using images combined with text. To me, the best infographics are also timely. They’re about something that is on people’s minds right now. Ideally they combine search engine optimization and they have PR value, so that news outlets will also be interested.

For example, we created an infographic about the true cost of owning the latest iPhone. It was created a few weeks after the iPhone 5 was released. It highlighted not just the cost of your phone and contract but the accessories, apps, and even the time it will cost you to figure it all out. It resonated. Gizmodo, Huffington Post and Mashable picked it up. It got over 16,000 shares on Mashable alone.

Want to get ideas for compelling infographics? Here are some ways to dial up your creativity.

1. Scan HARO – 
HAROHARO, short for Help a Reporter is a daily email newsletter with pitches from journalists and bloggers writing stories on a variety of topics. In short, it’s a bunch of story ideas that could turn into compelling infographics.

For example I saw this fact on an email:
Move over Thanksgiving turkey, you’re safe for now… According
to the National Chicken Council’s 2013 Wing Reporter, more than
1.23 billion wing portions will be consumed during this year’s
Super Bowl weekend. Run chicken, run!

Bam! I thought of an infographic about Superbowl foods, including that over a BILLION chicken wings will be eaten.

2. See What’s Trending on Reddit –
RedditI scan or search Reddit for interesting facts or stories that are a bit outside the mainstream. These can help me think of a theme for an infographic that goes for entertainment or shock value.

Example: Today’s homepage had an image of someone’s business card. After seeing the picture, I thought of an infographic of the most creative business cards for photographers (or just one about business cards). It would work well for a printing company or any business whose customers are other businesses.

3. Search press release sites like PRNewswire –
pr-newswire-iphoneBusinesses often tout the latest study or findings with a press release. PRNewswire lets you search any press release and see what news was most emailed or shared on Facebook and Twitter. These can give you ideas for themes for infographics. I often just put in the word “study” or a word that relates to what our client sells.

Example: The first headline in my search is Orthopaedic Surgeons Advise Using Helmets During Winter Sports. It talks about while 40% of skiers and snowboarders don’t wear helmets, wearing one reduces their risk of a serious head injury by as much as 60%. So there’s the start of infographic idea for the skiing industry or even for personal injury attorneys.

4. Google News, Yahoo News –
Google NewsNewsjacking is big and easy to pitch to the media. The idea of newsjacking is to make an infographic about a hot topic that’s in the news right now. So to get ideas, search the biggest online news sites to see what’s in the news relating to the topic you’re researching.

For example, I thought of making an infographic that is an obituary of sorts for Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend. It would chronicle their relationship until her “death.” Sports bloggers and media outlets might pick it up as a way to illustrate the story.

5. Search Twitter
TwitterSince Twitter only indexes recent tweets (maybe 1-2 weeks back) you can find very current information. Again, use the word “study” or a word related to your industry.

I found a tweet about how cruise line Norwegian is doing a Pin to Win type of Pinterest contest. So I thought of an infographic for a marketing firm about the most popular Pin to Win contests or tips for running one.

6. Use Pinterest
PinterestAgain, I use the search feature and search for a topic that relates to the client. For example, if I had a client who has an online store that features women’s shoes, I could put in the word “shoes” and see what comes up. From the search I can see ideas for how to organize your shoes which could be the basis of an infographic that featured various methods. You could also do one on celebrity’s closets because it’s eye candy for women and that’s why their pinning those types of images.

I even found an infographic about the right type of shoe to wear with your wedding dress. You could adapt that to talk about the type of shoes to wear with various outfits.

Tip: Just because someone pins an image of shoes doesn’t mean they will necessarily put the word shoe in the description. If they don’t, it won’t show up in searches. So start broad first and narrow down. In this case, you might start with the category “women’s fashion.” Scan for patterns or trends and use that as a basis for an infographic about new trends in women’s fashion.

7. Look at Infographics in Google Images
Google Image SearchSearch for any topic + infographic to see what’s out there. You can take concepts from outdated infographics and find more current data and a new look. It can help you think of new angles to take on a topic or show you elements you can borrow.

For example, while researching ideas for men’s ties, I saw an infographic for Father’s Day that included a “tie graph.” That gave me the idea for a tie graph infographic that used ties instead of pieces of pie in the traditional “pie graph.”

Now you know our secrets.

So I want to know: how do you find inspiration for infographics?

Facebook Antics and Your First Amendment Rights

Well, look who became one of the internet’s most-hated women. I introduce to you Lindsey Stone of Plymouth, MA, who thought it would be gut-busting hilarious to be “loud and disrespectful” in one of the nation’s most hallowed ground, The Arlington Cemetery.

After taking this fine photo, she decided to post it on Facebook at the beginning of November for all the world to see because, hey, isn’t mocking dead soldiers funny? “Whoa whoa whoa…wait,” Ms. Stone wrote. “This is just us, being…d-bags…challenging authority in general. Much like the pic posted the night before, of me smoking right next to a no smoking sign.

Well, it seems many thought there was a huge difference between a no smoking sign (probably in front of a 7-11) and a sign in a consecrated national cemetery duly reminding one of the blood and life that has been spent for your freedoms. As you can imagine, the photo went viral. A page called “Fire Lindsey Stone” was even created that quickly amassed several thousand “likes.” Ms. Stone was immediately put on unpaid leave by her employer and by Thanksgiving she was fired.

For the past week or so, many have cried fowl against Ms. Stone’s employer and have said that her behavior was protected by her First Amendment right to free speech. There have even been those that have said Ms. Stone’s employer was trampling on her Constitutional rights arguing that Ms. Stone should be able to say whatever she wants and no employer can do anything about it. Well, I’m not here to defend Ms. Stone’s behavior and, granted, it was probably not the smartest thing to post the photo for everyone to see, but those that are trying to defend Ms. Stone have somewhat of a misunderstanding of the application of the First Amendment.

Let’s look at what the First Amendment says regarding free speech, “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.” While originally applying to Congress’ law-making power, legal cases since the drafting of the Constitution have further interpreted this clause to apply to any federal, state, or local government. So, actions against free speech apply to the government only. Government is the entity that cannot punish someone for their speech.

So what does that mean for private employers? Well, generally (with some exceptions such as malicious or unequal acts) they can be free to fire an employee for the posting of inappropriate content online, whether it was done on or off the job. In the world of free market enterprise, this is a good thing. The Founders did not want to curtail a private entity’s power and ability to rid their company of someone that was damaging a brand or business reputation, or worse yet, leaking out important business data and trade secrets.  Ms. Stone definitely has the right to freedom of speech, but in this case that right should not shield her from her employer wanting to give her the ax.

Remember the old adage, if you fail to plan then you plan to fail. Businesses should always be prepared on how to deal with faux pas that may occur in social media and the internet. At Avalaunch Media we are experts in helping to protect your company from the pitfalls of social media misuse. For more information and to find out how you can start protecting your business, visit us at:

Facebook Gives the FTC an Earful on Privacy

Privacy issues are all the rage lately when it comes to social media use on both a personal and professional level. Yet another issue has reared its head against Facebook.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently published a notice to seek public comments on proposed modifications to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (aka the “COPPA” Rule). For the past year or so the FTC has been leaning towards creating rules that further protect children from the online collection, use, or disclosure of their personal information. For full information regarding these changes, you can visit FTC’s webpage here. In short, the changes FTC has discussed would lead to a dramatic shift in how information is allowed to be collected from minors. This in turn could lead to revenue losses for current marketing and advertising platforms that rely on models using this type of information.

Facebook quickly responded with a 22 page Commentary that the new regulations would restrict the ability for minors to “like,” comment on, or recommend websites and services against minors under certain circumstances, thus infringing on minors’ constitutionally protected Free Speech rights. In a recent case, the Supreme Court once again reiterated these rights by stating that, “minors are entitled to a significant measure of First Amendment protection, and only in relatively narrow and well-defined circumstances may government bar public dissemination of protected materials to them.

Now it may seem that Facebook is doing all of this just to take advantage of children so they can hook them in as future users. However, to Facebook’s credit their response was filled with their strong belief in the importance of empowering parents to protect their own children online, reminding the FTC that Facebook has been a leader in promoting safety for minors aged 13-17. Additionally, Facebook reminded the FTC of the original intent of COPPA, which was “to enhance parental involvement in a child’s online activities…to protect the privacy of children” and to “preserve the interactivity of children’s experience on the Internet and…children’s access to information in this rich and valuable medium.” Facebook obviously feels these new regulations could thwart the goals and original intent of COPPA and stop children from fully participating in these valuable mediums.

It will be interesting to see how this will play out with the FTC and the direction they will go, especially in light of a recent legal case where a U.S. District judge found that a “like” is not considered protected speech under the First Amendment for anyone (that will be explored in a future post). What are your thoughts on Facebook’s response to the FTC?

David Mink recently presented on other current legal compliance issues at SMX East NYC (Hot Topics in Social Media and Internet Law). Check out the full presentation here:

Pinterest Image Optimization Infographic

We at Dream Systems Media just finished up an infographic on Pinterest Image Optimization for our friends over at Pinnable Business that was featured on Mashable today.  The graphic is a great reference for those looking for how to integrate Pinterest into their social marketing strategy. We loved being involved in this project, because we love creating infographics!  Check out the full Pinterest Image Optimization graphic by clicking the link & learn more about Pinterest for Business by checking out Pinnable Business!

Pinterest Image Optimization
Pinterest Image Optimization - Infographic done by Dream Systems Media - Click Graphic to see full version

Negative Social Media Comes Back to Bite Pastor Robert Jeffress


Is Perry taking our advice about social media when a conversation turns negative? Doesn’t really look like it. Here’s what he had to say today:

While Perry has largely avoided questions on the subject, he told reporters in Iowa on Friday he does not consider Mormonism a cult.

And his campaign released a statement Tuesday in response to Romney’s comments vowing Perry would keep his focus on jobs and the economy.

“Mitt Romney’s comments are a distraction from the fact that Romneycare served as a blueprint for Obamacare,” the campaign said.

Avoiding the topic or changing the topic is NOT how to handle a conversation that turns negative in social media.

Man, I’ve never been an Anderson Cooper fan, but he completely demolished this guy that called Mormons a “cult,” and wiped the floor with him. It’s hilarious! (From the Facebook video description – which has since been taken down – go figure)

This was the description of a Facebook video, originally viewed on CNN with Anderson Cooper, that has gone viral and is being talked about all over social networks.

Here’s the video:

Here’s what just a few of my Facebook friends had to say:

No, this isn’t a post where I “share my testimony” about politics, faith or religion.

No, I haven’t really done any additional research on Pastor Robert Jeffress (nor do I plan to waste my time doing so).

But, as Anderson Cooper stated a couple times in the final questions: “Don’t you think a stand like this will only hurt Perry’s chances for the Presidency?”

Using Facebook to Spread the Word

Just from my Facebook friends alone, there were at least 197 mentions of this video within a couple hours.

I’m sure most of us know the potential Facebook has for sharing content all over the world. But do Pastor Jeffress or Governor Perry really understand the power of social media and reputation management?

Not only did Jeffress slam the Mormon faith, of which there is a strong following and support in social networks, but he also went on to basically slam all other religions that don’t follow his practices. And all this in an effort to support his politician of choice? Really?

Other Highlights of the Interview

Pastor Jeffress: When I talk about a cult, I’m talking about a theological cult as opposed to a social cult…(although he never explained the difference)

Pastor Jeffress: And we could get into an in-depth theological discussion and put everyone to sleep out there (Anderson interrupts)

Anderson Cooper: Well, I’m fine putting people to sleep as long as we educate people…

Anderson Cooper: Hindus, Buddhist, Islam – Cults?

Pastor Jeffress: Yes, absolutely.

Anderson Cooper: Do you worry that you’re actually harming your candidate Rick Perry…clearly Rick Perry is now distancing himself…do you worry you’re damaging him?

I was happy to see articles later this evening, some event written by Evangelicals, that took a stand for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons).

The 4 Social Media Takeaways for Protecting Your Online Reputation

1. Do Your Research

Take time to think things through before you blast away, especially if you’re talking about things that are near and dear to potential voters hearts. Jeffress should have asked himself these important questions before saying a word:

  • What are my goals and objectives?
  • Who am I trying to reach? Where do I think those people are online?
  • What online channels or social media sites might be the right fit for my business?
  • How much time do I realistically have to invest in this?
  • Am I prepared for negative conversation about my products and services?

It appears to me that he didn’t ask himself ANY of these questions or he’d be “repenting” for all the fluff he said.

2. Listen to Your Audience

Can you imagine what’s happening on Google Alerts with phrases like “Pastor Robert Jeffress”, “Anti-Mormon Pastor”, “Evangelical Pastor”, “Mormon Cult”, etc.?

I wonder how this all ties back to Governor Perry and his run for the Presidency?

3. Join the Conversation

Interesting point: If you go to Pastor Robert Jeffress Youtube account, he’s turned off all comments, all likes and dislikes. Isn’t that ironic with social media? Does he really WANT to know what other people think and feel or is he all about his own $ocial agenda$?

4. When Conversation Turns Negative

What will you do if people write nasty things about you, or even worse, an issue explodes that could deliver a devastating knock-out blow to your business, or in this case, to Rick Perry’s presidential campaign? It appears Pastor Jeffress plan is to just turn off all comments, ignore the negative, and keep getting TV spots to make more of a fool of himself.

If you want to do social media the right way, the most important thing to do when and if you receive negative feedback is to respond as soon as possible—and that’s true of almost any online channel.

There is nothing wrong with admitting a mistake or apologizing. Most people will stick with you if you work to make things right. Rick Perry has had one of his representatives make a comment – but if he really wants to win back votes he should take a stand himself.

What are your thoughts on this bad PR stunt for Rick Perry by Pastor Robert Jeffress? How do you feel it will effect his online reputation (if he had one to begin with)?

16 of the Stupidest Job Titles for a Social Media Specialist

Hey psycho traditional marketers, Social Media is here to stay.

In fact, in my opinion, if your business doesn’t have a blog and isn’t practicing social media on a fairly consistent basis, you’re going to be passed up in SERPs and in market share by some of the younger generation marketers that “get it”.

I read a great post recently that talked all about the job opportunities out there in social media. The funny thing was, if you’re a social media marketer looking for a job, the simple phrase “social media marketer” is only one of at least 75 different titles describing your area of expertise. Doing a job search for this industry, according to the list I read, has become much more “long-tail“.

As I reviewed the collection of social media job titles, some were creative and probably helped broaden the appeal to “old school” marketing folk. However, there were at least 16 that I felt I had to share as a warning on how NOT to market your social media skills.

16 Stupid Job Titles for a Social Media Marketer


  1. Blogger-in-Chief – this sounds like a name from “Dances with Wolves”
  2. Brand Champion – who did they compete against to be considered the “Champion”?
  3. Community Data Guerrilla – the word “Guerrilla” reminds me of the “get-rich-quick” schemes I see way too often.
  4. Conversation Manager – so does this mean they are constantly monitoring every employees conversation, both on and offline?
  5. Director of Enterprise Communications – sounds corny.
  6. Idea Inventor – wow, now that’s creative and must be really time consuming
  7. Social Media Rockstar – “Hey now, you’re a [social media] rockstar, get your game on, go play…”
  8. Social Media Missionary – do they go door to door preaching the good [social media] word?
  9. Product Evangelist – amen, amen! They must work closely with the “SM Missionaries”.
  10. Serial Entrepreneur – “Serial”, really? This seems too much like something you’d read about on the front page of the morning news and wonder – what’d they do?
  11. Social Media Guru – Guru is just like “Guerilla” – aka FAKE, SCAM, LIAR, etc.
  12. Online Community and Social Media Czar – Czar is a new one but seems too similar to Guru and Guerilla
  13. Leadership Trainer – wow, that’s a generalized term for social media work
  14. Tweeter / Ghost Tweeter – I’d be so excited to have that title on MY business card… :)
  15. Virtual Worlds Developer – hmm…how would you explain that one to the in-laws? To have this title do you have to be at a certain level in Facebook Farmville?
  16. Youth Marketing Manager – this sounds illegal


What are your thoughts on these titles? Are there some that I left out of the “stupid” list?

To help you SEE the growth of social media, check out this infographic: it will give you a better picture of how social media has become a part of every aspect of our business and personal life:


The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic
Source: The Growth of Social Media: An Infographic

Nate Moller works with businesses who want to improve their online business. For over five years, he’s worked with thousands of companies who are looking for answers in their online marketing journey. Follow Nate on Twitter and become a fan of Moller Marketing on Facebook!

Old School Ads That Wouldn’t Fly Today

We have talked about all kinds of Marketing Channels here at Avalaunch Media, and at one point in time, these ads had their 15 minutes.  Social standards have done their fair share of evolving across the years and in many cases, what use to be widely acceptable in the mainstream, is now deemed taboo. With this social-shift in mind, we’ve decided to highlight some old school advertisements in the gallery below that are definitive proof that the times they are a changing…

Illegal to Kill a Woman?

Is it always illegal to kill a woman? As much as this might seem like a no-brainer, the topic was apparently up for debate in past generations. Rest assured, we looked it up and the answer is yes, it is always illegal to kill a woman.


Lane Bryant Chubbies

Maybe it was endearing back in the day when plus-size was the preferred size; however, calling bigger women Chubbies in this day and age will drastically increase your odds of being slapped across the face or with a law suit.


Cocaine Toothache Drops

Although the science behind these vintage cocaine toothache drops is tried and true (if you can’t feel your face, you can’t feel your tooth), the now-illegal substance is the last thing you’d feed your children these days – if you’re looking to stay out of prison that is.


Blowing Smoke

The process of courtship has evolved across the years, and although there are many ways to approach a woman, recent studies have shown that blatantly blowing smoke in her face, as your method of seduction, will have the same result as casually offering her chloroform – AKA she will not be following you anywhere.


A Girl Around the House

We’re not sure whether the modern Women’s Rights organizations or the Animal Cruelty societies would show the biggest resistance toward this vintage ad campaign but one thing is for sure, the black and white print is not the only outdated element in this message.


Blatz Beer

Yeah, last we checked the Surgeon General has advised us that infants and alcohol don’t mix. While Blatz Beer might have been a refreshing beverage for the mother in its day, the modern interpretation of this ad’s fine print is: It’ll get your kid drunk!



More Doctors Smoke Camels

Speaking of the Surgeon General, we have a sneaking suspicion that this physician-endorsed Camel Cigarettes advertisement was released in the years prior to the connection made between cigarettes and … cancer. Just a hunch.


Group ShowerConsidering the NBA’s major campaign at the moment is intently focused on anti-gay slurs in sports, this all-male group shower is certainly timely but not necessarily the most appropriate angle on the controversial issue.

How TV Helps ChildrenNo it’s not a telethon benefiting under privileged children in third-world countries, it’s Motorola campaigning the idea that TV is the best thing for your child. Much like cigarettes, isn’t it interesting to see how much our tune has changed over the years?

Wives Work HarderWe’re not sure what lab discovered these groundbreaking results but these would have to be some pretty amazing vitamins to justify the call-out that women get cuter, the harder they work. Is this like beer goggles?

CourageFeaturing a brave English soldier, making his last courageous stand against the black “savages,” it doesn’t take a sociologist to recognize that this blatantly racist ad would not fly into today’s totally PC world.

Gay CruiseAlthough this ad is unintentionally slanted toward the flamboyant puppeteers, Gay Rights groups in this day and age would have a field day refuting the gesture that all homosexual men are the theatrical type.

I Wake Up GayWhile this ad seems innocent enough and was simply referencing the dictionary definition of gay (lighthearted and carefree), the three-letter-word has obviously morphed in meaning since this Ovaltine advertisement from the late 1940s.

Guns for XmasWith all of the issues surrounding gun control in the US these days, this ad would either go over really well or not at all – depending on which circle you run in. Regardless, of where you stand on the debate, it’s safe to say that the vending of guns is not as liberal as it once was and this print ad might not run as freely as the old days.

That’s What Wives are For…Rounding out the patriarchal ads of old on this list is this overtly offensive Kenwood Chef ad that suggests that women belong in the kitchen. While this might have been acceptable at the time, good luck getting away with this against today’s standards.


SURVEY: How Did You Hear about Bin Laden’s Death?

Facebook has been toying with the “Facebook Questions” function for quite some time.

I didn’t realize it wasn’t available to everyone until I recommended that a client use it to better define their target audience – come to find out it was nowhere to be found on their Facebook account.

I’m pretty sure that the Questions function is now available to everyone, and my recommendation is USE IT – especially for business interaction.

As most of you probably already know, social media marketing is taking over the world of modern media. It’s not very often that I don’t see or hear mention of Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube on the Channel 5 News. From sports stars talking about how Jimmer is the best scorer in the world, to President Obama sealing his election largely in part to his social media presence.

There’s a great question going on right now on Facebook about bin Laden’s death that we’d like you to respond to:

how did you hear about bin ladens death

RESULTS: The Osama Bin Laden Death Exposed via Social Networks First

So far, here are the results from 22,089 votes:

  1. Facebook: 6,860
  2. TV: 6476
  3. Phone (which could have been cell phone = social media): 2,832
  4. Twitter: 1,784
  5. Website: 1,071
  6. In Person: 998 (maybe these people were actually IN Pakistan…?)
  7. Other: 863
  8. Radio: 841
  9. Newspaper: 189
  10. Email: 175

My question then to all of you,

Where do you think the media will be in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years from now in regard to how they get the word out?

Facebook and Twitter have far surpassed the old-school methods of Newspaper and Radio. Even EMAIL is becoming a thing of the past to places like Twitter and Facebook and Texting.

Special thanks to the “…Tweeter, awake at the time of the crash [in Abbottabad, Pakistan]” who unknowingly tweeted the entire attack as he heard helicopters cruising by his place at 1:00 a.m.

If you’re not tapped into the social media mania, it’s time to hop on the band wagon because it’s only going to become a more eminent part of our day to day lives.

UPDATE: Since I started this post, votes have gone up to 22,449…

My Restoration Industry Association Webinar on Social Media

I had the opportunity to conduct a training webinar on Social Media this morning to the Restoration Industry Association, and for those who attended and are looking for the slides, here ya go:  It was an awesome group and a fun presentation.  Thanks for the opportunity!