Wednesday, July 30, 2014

First steps in Pinterest by China Rodriguez

This month has been all about Pinterest for me. I tested (and showed you) how to plan a party with Pinterest´s help, and I actually made something I had liked and pinned! To contribute to your inspiration I pinned something I made too.

Knowing I still have a way to go in the learning curve I contacted social media expert China Rodriguez for some tips on how to use Pinterest in an effective way.

She has such a clear way to guide you through the steps! Read on. She´ll show you the way.
Pinterest has captivated our attention.

This social network was born back in 2010 so the users could upload, organize and share images and videos, known as "pins" to collections called "boards". Each user can follow other users boards or just one of them, depending on their interest and share or repin the pins he/she likes the most.

As you know, when a social network gets some thousands of users ( Pinterest has over 70 million users, about 130 thousand from Argentina), big brands ask themselves what to do to get the attention of all those people who spend hours looking at images.

The entrepreneurs ask themselves the same! Let´s start by knowing some things that it will make it easier to use Pinterest.

The essential is invisible to the eyes: The most popular themes in Pinterest are food, drinks, DIY and fashion. Many designers, photographers and illustrators use this social network to share their work. If images are an important communication tool for you, Pinterest can be your ally.

2- The female audience: Did you know that over 80% of Pinterest users are women? Also, 81% of users are between 25 and 54 years old and 50% have kids. If your business targets the female audience, you will find a great amount of those women that might like what you have to sell on Pinterest.

3- I plan, therefore I exist: Before we launch ourselves to add another tool to our already busy life, let´s think what we will use it for. A good use for it is to show our brand´s personality through the boards. We can´t just show our products, we need to show something more. The boards are ideal to show our essence, what we like, what represents us. And that generates empathy with our potential customers.

If Pinterest is right for you and your brand we can go into some technical detail:

1- Create a business profile: just like Facebook, Pinterest makes a difference between personal and business profiles. In some countries you have the chance to promote pins, include prices and locations and other specific features. Those aren´t available worldwide yet.
2- Complete the information: These are the points you need to check in your Pinterest profile:

a. Profile picture: as always, it is the way our followers identify us in a quick way. It is ideal to use the same picture on all our social media profiles. you can use your company´s logo too. Pinterest recommends a 660x600 pixels size for the picture.

b. Username: this is going to be our url on Pinterest. It is best if you use the same username on all your social media profiles as well. Keep your brand image consistent.

c. About you: this is your business description. No links are allowed here at the moment. Use this field for your business keywords.
3- Build your first board: I´m sure that while you were planning what to use Pinterest for, you were already thinking about what to share. That is the content of your boards. Each board has a description and in there we can use keywords and hashtags. With those our followers may choose in a quick way what they want to follow. Another key element is the board title image. A visual tool to communicate what is inside each board.

If you click on a board you can move it around to organize them the way you like them. Choose your products board to be in the first place to gain more visibility.

4- Pin from your web and complete the description: Pinterest allows us to upload pins from the web or our computer. Upload your pins from your own website. Why? Because each pin is a link back! That way each pin is a potential visit to our website. In the description of your pin, include keywords and hashtags to be found by the users who are searching for those.

5- Be consistent: Some weeks you may sit on a Sunday, pin a hundred things and then go MIA the rest of the week. That is a mistake. Pin at a regular rythm to be more effective. It is valid to pin a lot at once when you are telling a special story or are showing a special theme. Even then a regular schedule works best. If you want to upload a lot at a time, you may do so to a secret board and then make pins visible in a regular manner. 

Now you are ready to go pin! 

Thanks for all the advice China!Isn´t she lovely? If you want to see more of her work (in Spanish) this is where you can find China on the web:

Website: La nube de tips
Facebook page: China Rodriguez
Twitter (in Spanish): China Rodriguez
Pinterest: China Rodriguez

Do you have a Pinterest account? Did you give it some thought as a tool? Have you planned your boards?

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thirty souvenirs aka I´ll do something with that ... eventually

Tatiana´s Asian style 15th birthday party was a learning experience. First we went through a tutorial to learn how to keep your ideas organized in Pinterest boards. Then we spoke about actually making a Pinterest project for the decoration and now we´ll see how to present the party favours in a cute way with a twist of fun.
Tati was born in the year of the cat, so she chose little porcelain cats with symbols of good health and prosperity. There were four different models.
As a dash of oriental with a twist of fun we added one fortune cookie with each cat.
I needed to make thirty party favours to distribute among family and friends. I had been collecting jam jars for a while "to do something with them". Their chance to get showcased arrived. Always remember to cover your working surface when paints or glues are involved!
After the first two layers ofcolour I noticed something was NOT working. The bubblegum pink paint just slid around the jam jar lid. It had no staying power and the green that looked fine at first looked thin when dry, letting the original dark blue go through. Time to stop, wash all the paint from 30 lids and start again with white acrylic base. After three layers of white base and three layers of colour it looked good enough. Two more layers of sealer and we were good to go on.
My mom helped at this point, folding silk paper rectangles that I had cut in coordinating colours.
On each folded paper I placed a cat and a fortune cookies and put all in a jar, so you couldn´t really see what was inside.
The jars were a teaser during the whole party as they were on the kitchen table with the snacks. 
Which is the best party favor you ever got? Do you still have it?

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Something I found on Pinterest that I actually made

This month was my girl´s 15th birthday and I used Pinterest to keep the ideas for her party organized. Here is a tutorial on how to make Pinterest boards. I started with just one for the party and then moved things around to keep decorations and food separated.

Tatiana wanted an Asian themed party so the first choice we had to make was the style:
a) traditional: in red, black, white with touches of gold
b) panda: all black and white with touches of green for bamboo
c) kawaii: bright colours

We went to Chinatown in Belgrano to see what was on offer there. Sooooo many cute little shops with everything from paper lamps to food.
If you know my daughter, you will have guessed she chose bright pop style and you´d be right. :)

bubblegum pink, apple green and turquoise paper lamps
      With the style decided we perused the boards with the search with things like: "birthday party japanese style", "birthday party chinese style", "asian party", "japanese decorations" and such.
One of the decorations that got my eye was this one from The WannaBe Southern Belle . As we have one bare wall in the diningroom it was perfect for us.
We bought crepe paper with the colours of the rainbow
Yes, I know that blue and green are in the "wrong" place but it looked prettier. ;)
Without unwinding the paper cut each paper each 6cm (a bit over 2 inches) to have a long band 6cm wide.

Tape the bands to the wall with masking tape and cover the ends with fluffly clouds cut out of white printing paper. I coloured the edges with a light blue ink pad.

On the day of the party Tati wore her chinese red silk dress with golden dragons ...
and we put some chinese food on the table mixed with some local food, for all tatstes.

Bonus: we put the rest of the bands to separate the kitchen from the daily diningroom.
Tell me: have you ever found a project on Pinterest that you have actually made? 

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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

June´s 2014 summary in numbers

For June 2014´s update and goals check in I´m doing {My month in numbers}. It is a project taking place at Julie Kirk´s blog  where you sum up your month with numbers. Here are some inspirational instructions on how to go about it. This is my 26th consecutive participation.

I´m keeping 115 photos for the month. Here are my favourites from each day. Click on the mosaic to see it bigger.

I followed 18/30 of the #photoprompts for June plus 5 Plan B takes:  Find July´s prompts here! For daily reminders of the #photoprompts Like my Facebook Page here or Follow me on Twitter here.

News of the month:
Edwina, that´s my car, got to her 40000th km on June 1st. I kept an eye on the dial so I could park and take the picture.

Tati participated in an UN project at the National Congress for her school as part of a three team group, one of the teams got a prize for their work. Congrats kids!
Daniel was in Germany representing our school. He learnt how to take selfies because I asked him to. :D <3 p="">

Our son bought his first dot com domain. :)

"On line" goals:
In June my Paula - Buenos Aires Facebook page grew by 143 followers. Somebody must have been promoting my page as I got 100 new Likes in a 24 hours period. I´m hoping for the 800 followers milestone next. *I even have my celebration sign ready* The goal for 2014 is 1000. My Twitter account for which I didn´t set goals is growing too. 206 persons are following @PBAtweets.

Plus I wrote 4 Wednesdays posts:
My month in Numbers with May´s data
The reasons why a handmade calendar is so awesome by iHanna  
My work style
+ Quinn McDonald´s latest book Inner Hero, arrived in a box An autographed copy for me. :)

I got 1 award this month: the 2014 Influencers Award

I also got invited to be part of the board of the International Bloggers Association. I will be in charge of our G+ community which you can join here. It is brand new, come and make your voice heard.

I was invited to cohost linky parties:
+ 4 Saturday Media
+ 4 G+ Mondays

My "hobbies" goals for this year include:
60 layouts (0 so far), 12 fiction books ( 1 in June, 5 total), 6 non fiction ( 0 for June, 3 in total ) and 6 rereadings (1 began in Jan but I got going again this month).

My "go out" goals for 2014:
From the 6 new places to eat: this month, that is 2 total  ,  1 craft fairs in June ( 6 total),0 animé exhibitions (2 out of total Yay! ) and  from the 3 new Museums the count is still at 1 art exhibit in Jan.
This is me with Yasmin from Puchinis

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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

How to use Pinterest to plan a party

Debutantes at the Debutante Ball in Tully, 1936 
Turning 15 for latin girls is a BIG event that deserves a BIG party. Imagine a wedding without a groom. Yes, that BIG.

The "quinceañera" party is the equivalent to the debutante balls, when the young girls were presented to society to find a husband of suitable social standing.

In recent years girls here started to opt for a journey, mostly abroad and mainly to Disneyland, bringing a whole new market for travel agencies.

My girl is 15 tomorrow! You can wish Tatiana Happy Birthday in the comments. :)

She chose traveling instead of the party and her chosen destination is Japan as she is very much into oriental culture, specially all the manga, animé and cosplay arts. As the proper mother hen that I am I think that at barely 15 she is too young for such a trip alone so she is going a little bit later.

In the meanwhile I´m planning a small gathering Asian style and that is where Pinterest comes handy to keep my ideas organized.

1) First create an account. You can find mine at: 

2) Click your name at the top for the menu 

3) The first block on the left says Create board. Click on that. 

Yes, I like animé too and have Miku as my Chrome theme
4) A small window opens which you can fill with information on your board. Choose something really descriptive for the title so you know what is inside each board. The description is a useful space for reminder notes. Choose one category. Decide whether you want to be shown in a map or not. I chose not to. The last choice is to keep the board secret or not.

Tip: if you are planning a surprise party keep your board secret! If the board is secret only you and the people you choose to share it with can see it.

5) Start adding pins to your board. Click on the first rectangle.

6) You have three options to pin from: the net, your computer or within Pinterest.

And off you go to search the web for ideas. When you first start in Pinterest is the best time to plan your boards.

Examples for a party:
* Invitations
* Food and beverages (yes, you can separate those if you have too many to handle)
* Party decorations (you big into themed parties? then: table settings, home decor, door wreaths, etc)
* Party favours
* Games
* Dresses and hair dos (it´s a GIRL´s party! ;) )

If you change your mind at a later date you can edit the boards and move the pins around. I´ll show you how to edit boards and pins next Wednesday!

See you then and don´t forget to say Happy birthday to my girl!!! ;)

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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Second half of 2014. I´ve got new plans

The Ultimate Party on Facebook 

I´m a born planner so I bring you a new plan for the second half of 2014: a brand new party starting on Tuesdays, and I get to be a co-host for the very first one!

Whenever a post is liked, commented on, or shared, that post is boosted -- FOR FREE! Facebook weights shares the highest, then comments, and likes are weighted the lowest. Here is how this party works:

  • Link up at a host's or co-host's blog. Then follow all the hosts and co-hosts on Facebook (and any other social media you want to follow them on!) The hosts and co-host are also the first seven people listed on the linky below.
Tammy from The Ultimate Linky
Tammy from My Life Abundant
click to follow on fb
click to follow on fb
Kim from Kid Pep
Sinea from Ducks 'n a Row
click to follow on fb
click to follow on fb
Crystal from Finding Crystal
Amber from Snapshots and Snippets
Paula from Happysnappy by Paula - Buenos Aires
click to follow on fb click to follow on fb click to follow on fb
  • Link up your facebook page and put your Facebook page's name as the name Go to your facebook page and copy the URL in the browser window. It will look like this: Then I would put The Ultimate Linky in the name that shows under my picture.
  • Post a status to your own facebook page and add the hashtag #theultimateparty. Only do 2 statuses that include the hashtag. Use the hashtag only on Tuesdays!
  • Then in the facebook browser window, search for the hashtag #theultimateparty. #theultimateparty Go and boost other posts that have that hashtag on Tuesdays. There may be some weird party groups using the hashtag. If you can tell it isn't a blogger or if you think it is spam, ignore it.
  • You can follow our Facebook page (The Ultimate Party) if you want to see our updates! We will also send an email to anyone who links up to remind you of next week's party. You can always unsubscribe if you do not want to receive the emails!
  • If you wish, you can follow our Pinterest board called The Ultimate Party where all of your hosts can pin your great posts.
  • Optional: You can include your pin URL that coincides with your post on G+ so that others can pin it if they want to do so. If you repin the pin, please try to remember to include the hashtag #theultimateparty in the pin description.
  • We would love it if you grabbed our button!
The Ultimate Linky

And we would love some tweets! Thank you!

Before you link up, we have one more special feature that truly makes this Facebook party The Ultimate Party!
Every weekday except for Tuesday, you can share your posts on one of the host's pages. Your host will have instructions pinned to the top of her Facebook page on her day. For example, Tammy from The Ultimate Linky and Creative K Kids will host the share day on Thursday. On that day you can go to either one of her facebook pages and post to her page a status with a link to your blog post (not to your Facebook page) and a brief description of your post. Then she will share your post via at least one form of social media throughout the week: she will either pin it, stumble it, share it on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter!
So this party can help boost your Facebook posts every week day! If you switch to using your Facebook page instead of your personal profile before leaving the comment, then everyone will easily know what your Facebook's page is for your blog and you might get more follows! (You switch by clicking the arrow that points downward on right hand side of the facebook toolbar. Click on your page. It will take you to your page. Then search for the page you want, and you can comment on any page that is public with your Facebook page instead of your profile.)change profile to page.

Here is the schedule:

Schedule for Facebook share days
Now you get to link up and party!

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