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Are you Pinterested?

Pinterest is a photo sharing website that allows users to upload, save, sort, and manage images – known as “pins”.  Pinterest is known as a great site to increase awareness.  It can also be used to increase sales and website traffic.

Pinterest caters to millennial women ages 25 to 34 who are interested in cooking, DIY (Do it Yourself),  fashion and home decor.  Pinterest users appear to be more interested in brands than personalities.  More than 1.36 million visitors go to Pinterest.com daily.

Your organization can harness the power of Pinterest through a variety of ways.  Most important is to make sure “pins” are seen.  Pinterest can be used in a number of ways to help increase sales and website traffic.  Several ideas can be viewed below:

1). Photos should include descriptive text that will help “pins” bubble to the top of search results.  Utilize Pinterest analytic tools (and other social media and online search data) to identify keywords that will help images posted surface higher among search results.

2). Use “Rich Pins” to provide further details to help with conversion.

3). Backlink photos to your company, or organizational website so that consumers who click on photos will be directed to your site.

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Sources:

Wikipedia.org – Pinterest

AdWeek – “3 Tips for Using Pinterest to Drive Sales

Shopifynation.com – “How to Boost your Ecommerce Sales on Pinterest” & “Make your Pins Count: 7 Ways to Drive Sales and Traffic with Pinterest

Forecasting is Better than Throwing Darts Blindfolded

Forecasts may not always be accurate, but they are important.  Forecasting plays an important role in managing cash flow, inventory, sales, staffing and much more.  Many qualitative (e.g., subjective) and quantitative forecasts are available for use.  Quantitative methods have been proven to reduce errors compared to subjective methods though.  This is not to say that you should strictly base your decisions on quantitative forecasts though.forecast

Qualitative Forecasts:
– Survey of Customers
– Jury of Executive Opinion(s)
– The Delphi Method

Quantitative Forecasts:
– 
Moving Averages
– Exponential Smoothing
– Regression Analysis
– Time Series Decomposition
– ARIMA (Box-Jenkins)

Forecasting should not be perceived as quintessential.  A forecast is simply a tool to help decision makers by providing the best possible judgement about the future.  Forecasts are not always correct; however, they can be modified to improve accuracy over-time.  Popular quantitative methods incorporate comparisons to reduce error.

It is best to gather as many data points as possible before making important decisions. Forecasting is similar to traditional research methods.  Access qualitative insights.  Gather expert opinions.  Speak to leaders about their view on market direction.  Create quantitative forecasts.  Use all available information to make sound business decisions.

Predicting the future is not always precise.  Attempt to build accurate forecasts. Implement steps to improve forecast accuracy over-time.  Functional forecasts will allow your business to operate more efficiently.  Forecasts may not be totally accurate, but developing a good forecast strategy is better than throwing darts blindfolded.