Inspiration Alley: McCormick Pin-Spiration

Pinterest is the social network for women who love fashion, decorating and food. That’s why it’s the perfect home for McCormick’s new marketing campaign. They call it Spring Pin-Spiration.

The campaign challenges people to create a board with photos of dishes they made from at least five recipes from McCormick.com. Photos must be properly tagged and finished boards have to be emailed to the company overseeing the contest. 25 winners will get a spring baking kit.

The results are lovely to look at and the use of Pinterest is perfect. On the downside, the contest rules were extremely hard to find and they don’t contain an “enter by” date. Since social is forever and the main post keeps getting repinned all over the site, there’s no way of knowing if the contest is currently open to new submissions.

Tumblr Looks Beyond the Banner Ad for Revenue

When Pinterest rose to power a few months ago, I counted Tumblr out. Not that they totally occupy the same space, but they’re both graphically-based posting boards with a fondness for grid structures. Pinterest takes that idea a step further, while Tumblr remains a mix of old school blogging with new school graphics.

What neither network has figured out is a way to make the site profitable – yet. Tumblr CEO David Karp talked to AdAge this week about his monetization strategies and I have to admit I’m impressed. I’m not sure that it will turn Tumblr into a profitable social network, but I applaud his creativity and verve. Yes, verve.

Karp wants to bypass traditional adsense / banner marketing in favor of a self-promotion system.

Wayin Makes Twitter Voting Easy with TwitPolls

Which is your favorite flavor? Which color should we make next? Which team is going to take the title?

If you’ve ever posted a question like this to Twitter, you’re going to love the new service from Wayin. It’s called TwitPolls and it’s a simple way to count up votes via Twitter.

The secret is in the hashtag. Each possible answer gets a hashtag of its own (which means you’re limited on the number of choices). When someone replies using one of the tags, it’s automatically added to a traditional poll chart.

Here’s an example page:

Tom Jessiman, CEO of Wayin said in a press release,

‘Don’t Trust the B-‘ Pushes the Boundaries of Branding

ABC just launched a new comedy series titled Don’t Trust the B– in Apartment 23. Even without the missing letters, it’s pretty clear to all of use what the “B” represents, especially after you’ve seen two minutes of the show.

Standards being what they are, ABC can’t write in those extra letters and it’s probably just as well. Written out, the title would be very harsh, but with the mysterious “B–“, it’s quirky and cute.

According to CNN, the show’s cast didn’t believe it at first and then they got totally behind the title.

Says star Krysten Ritter,

“If I say ‘Don’t Trust the B– in Apartment 23.’ If it’s ‘Apartment 23,’ I have to explain way more. It makes my life so much easier!”

LinkedIn Adds Ability to Target Follower Updates

On Facebook, you follow a brand because you like it, but do you follow companies you like on LinkedIn? The B2B social network sure hopes so and they’re working to make those follow connections more meaningful.

This week, LinkedIn began rolling out two new products for marketers. The first is called Targeted Updates. This is the ability to send updates to only a specific portion of your follower list. New product announcements to buyers, software updates to users, job announcements to college grads who don’t already work for your company, etc.

To go along with this, they’ve launching Follower Statistics, a self-service look at who is sharing and engaging with your content.

Right now, these services are only available to the chose few, (Sound familiar?) but soon (?) they’ll be rolled out to the masses.

YouTube Adds Paywall Option to Live Stream Events

In honor of the first anniversary of the program, You Tube has just added monetization options to YouTube Live. This includes the ability to charge a pay-per-view fee and serve up in-stream ads.

To make the service even more friendlier, YouTube has added better analytics and free Wirecast software. With Wirecast, you can customize the live feed with multicamera effects, overlays and b-roll right from the computer.

YouTube Live is a big step forward for a site that is still mostly known for random, short-form content. With the Live option, partners can invite the world (sort of) to watch a concert, a red carpet, a sporting event, or conference. But why has it taken them so long to move into this arena?

When it Comes to Sharing, Email Still Rules

When we think about sharing content, we usually think of Facebook and Twitter. Just take a look to the left of this post and you’ll see a pretty typical display of one-click buttons for all of the major social networks.

So, would it surprise you to know that more people share by email than by Facebook?

That’s the result ExactTarget got when they surveyed folks for their 2012 Channel Preference Survey.

When you combine the age brackets, 63% of people use email to share content and only 33% say they put it on Facebook. Only 5% on Twitter.

The only time social media rules is with the 15-17 age group, so keep that in mind if this is your target audience. For everyone else, it looks like it’s time to revisit email as part of your marketing campaign.