The NBA’s Got Social Media Game, But Pinterest?

It’s a typical day on Pinterest. 40 Ways to Tie a Scarf, romantic fashions from Ralph Lauren, Fun Cinco de Mayo pinata cookies, DIY baby pictures, and the Boston F$#% Celtics!

Pinterest, it’s not just for women anymore.

Mashable says the NBA is stepping up their social media game in time for the 2012 playoffs. The expansion will include a Tumblr page and yes, a Pinterest page. They’ll be asking fans to upload photos of their favorite places to shoot hoops. I expect we’ll see just as many office trashcans as actual basketball hoops and that’s what makes it a fun idea.

Other ideas:

Google’s Latest on Mobile and More

While Google scrambles to put together all of its disparate pieces into a cohesive product set it is still busy showing off the other areas where it feels it needs to be. Two of those areas that received attention in the past day or so are mobile and Google Translate.

First with mobile. Google released its “The Mobile Playbook: The Busy Executive’s Guide to Winning With Mobile“. You may think that all Google does well is search (and even that is hotly debated in many camps) but they are getting better at the content marketing game. This offering is pretty cool. Here is the table of contents to give you an idea if you want to look a little deeper

Here is a sample page from the Playbook looking at the definition of the local mobile user according to research

Google Testing Email Marketing Technique Inside Adwords

Google tests new things all the time. They have to in order to figure out the best way to deliver ads to visitors as well as the best way to get those visitors to engage in those ads so advertisers keep paying Google for the chance to be there.

Oftentimes these tests are minor and can go relatively unnoticed but this latest effort is pretty interesting and quite differnt, at least from my perspective.

Google is testing whether prospects will ask for more information via their Gmail account which is already filled in for the email address to be used for the offer. Similar tests have been running around building newsletter lists but this move to offers marks a different approach. Here is what it looks like

Consumer Acceptance of Cause-Related Shopping is on the Rise

Nearly half of all consumers surveyed said they’ve purchased from a brand that supports a cause on at least a monthly basis. This represents a 47% increase since 2010. Clearly, cause-related shopping is in.

The 2012 Edelman goodpurpose study is an extensive look at the relationship between consumers, brands and causes. If you’re even thinking about hitching your company’s wagon to a cause, you should take the time to review all sections of the report.

If your not considering the idea, you should keep on reading right here.

The Edelman study shows that, due to the economic crisis, US citizens are cutting down on direct contributions to charity. At the same time, the US is the only country who largely believes that it’s the people, not the government who are responsible for conquering the problems of the world.

A Positive Customer Experience Leads to Customer Loyalty

A happy customer is a loyal customer. You probably already know that, but did you know that 89% of consumers who had a negative experience with a company switched to a competitor? What that means is you can’t afford to make any mistakes when you’re dealing with customers online.

Look at this section from a new Monetate infographic:

These numbers show that the online customer experience is supremely important when it comes to shopper loyalty and word of mouth. Customers are now looking for the same kind of service they expect from an offline store and I believe that’s a new thing.

Not Your Old LinkedIn; iPad App Is for Infotainment

I admit that I have woefully under utilized LinkedIn over time. I don’t know exactly why I feel this way but it is a nagging feeling I get from time to time. I get it enough that I pay attention to it so there must be something there, right?

Even in my lack of commitment to the service I have noticed significant changes in the approach of the service on my mobile device. It is more about the content being pushed around by my network than it is about the network itself.

Now, the 150 million member strong social media outlet for business people has turned it full throttle to being about informing you about things other than just your friends glorified online resume. In fact, the new iPad app, released late yesterday, is aimed at taking the mobile device experience mentioned earlier to an iPad-esque level.

Groupon Looks to Grow Up (Burp!)

I know the whole daily deals thing isn’t very newsworthy to our readers. I get that. As business people, though, the story of Groupon is actually fascinating and it continues to entertain at the very least.

After a much ballyhooed IPO that left many people (the insiders) rich but now leaves actual investors (the suckers) feeling the pain of reality (the stock opens today at just over $12 per share after its IPO opening of $26 and has shed exactly 53% of its value since that fateful day), Groupon seems, at least from the reports, to be a bit of a mess.

Here’s the question though. If you are looking to right a ship that is supposedly worth billions of dollars would this report from the Wall Street Journal instill confidence that this will get better?