What happens when you let a Pinterest expert take over your business account? Rich Brooks found out the answer when he let Alisa Meredith do that very thing. The result: she helped him turn his dumpster fire into a well-oiled machine.
If only more businesses saw Pinterest as the search engine that it is, instead of just a social site to pin crafty ideas. Pinterest can help build brand awareness and loyalty. It has its own amazing analytics to help you in your marketing campaigns and strategies. There are incredible opportunities here for content creators. You can use hashtags!
Tune into this special episode (also available on video!), and see how to create a Pinterest business page that will help you direct traffic to your webpage and convert customers.
Rich: She’s the Content Marketing Manager at Tailwind who has more than once been accused of a Pinterest obsession. She’s a blogger, speaker and author. She’s a big believer in the power of visual marketing and she is on a mission to help businesses find their creative side in order to appeal to customers in a whole new way. Alisa Meredith, welcome to the show.
Alisa: Wow, thank you for that enthusiastic introduction.
Rich: Well, you know, you’re worth it. First of all you’re back, so I should have said “welcome back to the Agents of Change podcast”.
Alisa: Yeah, it’s been a while.
Rich: This is not your first rodeo.
Alisa: It is not, thank you for having me back.
Rich: It’s always a pleasure. And this is an area that I’m really weak on. In fact, we’re going to be doing this a little differently than normal. If you’re just listening to the podcast as usual, don’t worry too much about it. But Alisa is actually going to take the dumpster fire – which is the flyte new media Pinterest account – and try and help us move forward with it. Something that I’ve just been dreading because I can’t figure out Pinterest, but she’s really going to help us.
But I figured maybe what we could do is we could record this session, too. So if you are wanting to see what we are talking about, you can also watch the recording that we’re recording right now, we’re going to put it in the show notes. But if not, I’m going to do my best to kind of explain what’s going on anyways, so this will be like baseball on the radio.
Alisa: We know you’ve always wanted to do that.
Rich: Exactly. So Alisa, tell me a little bit about why Pinterest is having a little bit of a resurgence, especially around bloggers.
Alisa: Well first I’ve got to tell you, when I go to Social Media Marketing World – and I spoke for the second time this year – people come up to me and say, “I know I’m leaving so much money on the table by not utilizing Pinterest”, or, “I don’t do anything with Pinterest but it gives me so much website traffic.” And I think to myself, yeah, I hear you, and you’re going to tell me the same thing next year.
Alisa: That’s right. So we were both at Social Media Marketing World and Mike (Stelzner) released some of his stats from his survey. I don’t know if you remember that pie chart that showed the percentage of people who said “x social platform was their #1 most important platform”, and Facebook was around 62% or 67%, something like that, and Pinterest was around 2%. And I’m sitting next to Kate Ahl of Simple Pin Media and we just looked at each other and shook our heads because the behavior of marketers is not reflective of the advocacy of the platform. So that may be what marketers are reporting, but that might have more to do with where they’re putting their energy and probably has to do with paid advertising as well.
Alisa: So what we started to talk about and what we’re starting to see are the effects of Facebook further reducing the reach of our content on the platform. Now the numbers that have come out, I shared a link to a Buzzsumo article so you can share that in the show notes, as well as a Shareaholic study that shows that the share of visits on social by Facebook went down 25% every year, while the share of visits by Pinterest went up 27%.
So if you’re watching, there’s this graph – and you can find it in the report of that Buzzsumo link – that shows the traffic from social going down, the traffic from search going up, and at some point they met, and now search is far more above it.
Now Pinterest is also a search engine, so somewhere along the way the graph for Facebook, as it goes down, and the graph for Pinterest, as it goes up, are going to intersect. Now whether that’s going to be this month, this year, I’m not really sure. But the trend that we’re seeing shows it’s going to happen.
So I think that people are feeling a little bit desperate about Facebook and are looking for alternatives. And for some people, Pinterest seems to be it.
Rich: I think it makes a lot of sense. I will be honest that I haven’t been bullish on the organic reach of Facebook for about 5 years, and we’re a social media agency. I just haven’t seen the ROI there, unless I’m talking as Rich Brooks and not as flyte new media or The Agents of Change. And with Pinterest I just feel like there’s a lot more evergreen content up there, there’s a lot more opportunity there. And if I’m looking for new ways to share it – and that Buzzsumo report basically says sharing is down across the board – but LinkedIn, Pinterest, could be two bright places where people are moving their shares there because of the Facebook algorithm.
I am believing that for flyte, for Agents of Change, for our clients, and for basically anybody who’s creating content out there, that you need to be taking Pinterest more seriously. It’s not about weddings anymore, it’s not about interior decorating, or recipes. Those will always be popular on Pinterest, but there’s going to be opportunities for all of us content creators out there, which is why I’m telling my team we just need to take this a lot more seriously.
Alisa: I’m really glad to hear you say that. And you know I’m going to follow up to make sure it’s happening.
Rich: I know.
Alisa: So it gets lumped in with social networks, but of course it is a search and discovery engine, so I think it will really appeal to you once you start getting into it because there are those aspects of SEO.
Rich: Right. And I think that’s what people -marketers especially – need to think about it. It’s not a social media platform like Snapchat or Twitter, it is really a search and discovery engine. So I like that a lot.
Those are the reasons why I’m taking things more seriously. As I did mention before, I look at flyte’s account and I think of it as a dumpster fire. So somehow I convinced Alisa… so I’ve got 3 accounts there actually. There’s flyte new media, there’s Agents of Change, and there’s The Rich Brooks. Or actually, we discovered there is no Agents of Change, I do not believe we ever set that up. And it was just time-wise, we never did. And I’ve more or less been using The Rich Brooks as a bridge between AOC and flyte, mostly with AOC. But I’m thinking that really this would be a good opportunity for us to launch a new account for Agents of Change.
But why don’t we start by talking a little bit about flyte new media. I gave you access to the account for you to take a look. What should we talk about, where do we start? For all the people out there that are like, “Oh my god, I’m afraid to even look at my Pinterest boards because it’s just so terrible and messy and off-brand.”
Alisa: Well, where do we start is the question. I’m going to start with your profile, how’s that?
Alisa: Ok. So we do have flyer new media, all these are important for SEO. So we see here that your username is flyte new media, not awesome for SEO. So something for you to consider – now I don’t know how many links you have out there to your profile that could be ruined if you changed your username – but flyte new media for your name on your account is definitely worth a look, because nobody is going to search that.
Rich: Or if they do they’re going to find us, I assume.
Alisa: Right. And it’s not because you don’t have a fabulous brand, it’s just because people on Pinterest don’t search for brands typically, 97% of the searches are unbranded. So you’re much better off to go for keywords that talk about your industry and your services, than your brand name.
Now what you could do is “web design & internet marketing – flyte new media”, so people will know they hit the right place. Depending on if you can fit that all in there.
Rich: Do you know what the length of a …what are we calling that, the title?
Alisa: You would ask me that, wouldn’t you? I don’t remember. You can just go into settings.
Rich: So if I said something like “web design & internet marketing – flyte”, or “-flyte new media”, that would be better. Ok.
Alisa: Yup. Now you’ve got your website here which is good, because that’s your one follow link from Pinterest, so that’s nice. Now you have “Portland, Maine”, are you going after the local market?
Rich: Right, so we do go after the local market. But whether I want to lead with that and basically tell everybody else why don’t you work with a local vendor wherever you live, is not really what I want to go after.
Alisa: Right. So what we could do is go into ‘settings’ and we can look at your profile. So this is where it comes from, “location: Portland, Maine”. What I prefer to do is to put in the area you serve. So you could do Portland, Maine if that’s what you want to make clear. I would do “nationwide” or leave it blank. Because otherwise it can be kind of limiting.
Rich: I have to think about that because part of our brand is Maine – or even Portland, Maine – and in fact the photos from our website all come from Portland, Maine. But maybe there’s another way to do that. The photos on our website come from Portland, Maine, but we don’t specifically say it’s Portland. It’s like anybody from Maine knows it’s Portland, Maine, but anybody else just looks like it’s a hip town that they have photos of.
Alisa: Right. So it’s kind of an inside story. Ok, I understand. So you have “flyte new media” in the name, you also have it here in the description. I feel like flyte new media is – unless it’s not obvious in the name – I don’t think you need to repeat it. So instead you could just start “Web design & internet marketing company that helps small businesses grow. We don’t build websites, we build businesses.” I think there’s probably some keyword strategy you could work up to make this a little better.
So just a quick primer on Pinterest keyword strategy. If you go up into the search bar as I’m doing, and you type in “internet marketing”, you can see that it gives you suggestion searches like “internet marketing tips”, “tools”.
Rich: Can you actually switch that to digital marketing? Because that’s what we say we do these days, just to see if it’s any different.
Alisa: Ok, “digital marketing strategy”. So that’s probably a good phrase for you to be using.
Alisa: The other thing is when you hit ‘enter’ after you put in a search in the search bar, it brings up these tiles below the search bar that give you words that Pinterest is telling you these are words that people search for in connection with that big keyword. So, “digital marketing career”, “digital marketing strategy”, “digital marketing ideas”, digital marketing checklists”, “infographics”, “social media”. All of these tiles here are going to form the basis for your keyword list on Pinterest, which I imagine it’s probably a little different than your Google keyword list. Is that right?
Rich: Only because digital marketing is more of that overview of umbrella term where we might also want to dig deeper into SEO, social media, these specific platforms on social media, Google Analytics, web design, that sort of stuff.
Alisa: Right. But if you were to do keyword research for digital marketing for your use on Google, do you think that the combination of keywords would look the same?
Rich: I see some, “career” I don’t care about, but “strategy”. And “quotes”, I probably wouldn’t do a thing on Google quotes but I can definitely see using that on Pinterest for sure.
Alisa: Ok, so sometimes the difference that you see is related to the difference in the location of pinners in the funnel. So on Pinterest they tend to be much higher up in the funnel so you don’t really know what they want. Whereas when they go to Google they have a pretty good idea what they’re looking for.
So in Pinterest search when you’re doing keyword research, you’re going to see some things like ideas, or tips, or hacks, words that really reflect that people are just looking to be directed. So your keywords will probably be a little bit different.
So going back to your profile, I would do that keyword research and make sure that those keywords get into your description, because they’re not really there now.
Rich: Makes sense.
Alisa: So we won’t even talk about your pins at the moment, we’re going to look at your boards.
Rich: Just for you guys listening right now, Alisa is one of the sweetest people on the entire planet, but I told her she could be brutally honest and we’d still be friends at the end. So please don’t write her anything nasty.
Alisa: Yes, Rich told me I could be mean. So I’m trying to pull up your boards here so we can look at some of your board titles. This is the spinning button that you saw earlier. Ok, that’s not pulling up, so here’s what we’re going to do instead, we’re going to look at it in Tailwind.
I also bullied Rich into starting a Tailwind account, I work at Tailwind, but only since May and for years I have made all my clients use Tailwind because there are some analytics in here you can’t get anywhere else and I needed them for planning.
So what I’m looking at now is the Tailwind dashboard, I’m looking at “board insights”. So what this is showing me are your most successful boards. This can be super helpful if you somehow ended up with 100 boards and you know you need to consolidate but you’re not really sure which ones to prioritize, and just looking at them in Pinterest it’s hard to tell.
I prefer to look at virality score over engagement score. Virality score is just the number of re-pins for every pin on the board. So looking at this one we can see that your top board – which is called “Mainer Stuff” – so you are doing well becoming a Maine brand, you’re getting 8 re-pins for every pin. That’s really good.
Alisa: But is it really serving your purpose?
Rich: It is probably not bringing us in any additional business.
Alisa: Ok, well it might be just a fun board to keep, and I think because you are concerned with the local market there is a good argument for keeping it. So from here you can go right to the board on Pinterest or you can click through on the board title so you analyze each and every pin on the board to get more of an idea for what works. You can also use this little button to find similar content that you can save right from here if you want to. But let’s go down your list and make sure we’re sorted by virality. “Geek Stuff”, that one does pretty well.
Rich: Again, it seems to be a little bit off-topic stuff, though.
Alisa: It does. And that’s what’s frustrating about being a content creator on Pinterest. For a while I was combining my own personal interests with my business boards. So I had my blog board and I had a board on ketogenic diet desserts. It was so annoying, the ketogenic desserts one.
Rich: It just crushed everything else.
Alisa: It did crush everything. So guess what? It’s gone. So “Geek Stuff” had a virality score of 2.29, that’s pretty good.
Rich: I need to interrupt you for one second, Alisa, because this brings up a question. You said you got rid of it. Did you move it to a different account?
Alisa: No. I put it secret, I set it to secret so it wouldn’t show up in search and nobody could see it on my profile, but I can still use it and the people I shared it with can still use it.
Rich: For example, I’ve got The Rich Brooks account where I basically shared every single interview I’ve done on the podcast. Is there a way I can take all that work and move it to a new account, one that I would set up for The Agents of Change?
Alisa: No. But, what you could do is you could log into – and we still need to talk about that – but we assume that you’re creating an Agents of Change Pinterest account.
Rich: Nothings stopping me.
Alisa: I’m not sold on that yet. So we’re going to create that account and we’re going to log in as The Agents of Change, then we’re going to visit The Rich Brooks and we’re going to find that board with all those pins on and, then you’re just going to re-pin every single one of them to a new board. It doesn’t take that long.
Rich: No, but this is why I have coworkers anyways, I’m just going to assign this to someone else. The power of delegation.
Alisa: That’s right. They can be having a snack and drinking a cup of coffee and it will be no big deal. Ok, you need a blog for all your blog posts. So every account that I create or work on will have one board that is only their own content. The reason for that is it creates a unique board on Pinterest, so you can bet nobody else is creating that board. And those tend to rank very highly and they tend to have a very high virality score because there’s nothing else like it on Pinterest. You’ve created something special. So you need that.
“Finding Social Medial Content”, errr… we’re getting lower in numbers on the virality score.
Rich: And some of it is we just haven’t been posting regularly. So I think some of the stuff just doesn’t…if you’re not posting something in digital marketing fresh, no one’s going to be reposting it either.
Alisa: Well, you know, Pinterest is a little bit different. Which is one of the other things I love about it, it’s very forgiving. So a pin can last forever, especially if other people start to engage with it. But a board with 6 pins on it, yeah, that doesn’t have a good chance.
Rich: Is there a minimum number of pins you might recommend for these boards?
Alisa: I like to – before I even set them public – I usually create them as a secret board. I’ll fill it up with about 20 pins or so at least, just to get started. If you can’t find 20 pins that fit in there really well, 20 of your own articles. You probably don’t need that board.
Alisa: So here’s something that I think is super important about board insights in Tailwind, you can see your group boards and how they’re doing.
Rich: Now what are group boards, for those of us that don’t know?
Alisa: So it’s a collaborative board, you can see it is designated in the dashboard by a little person icon. And what it means is that one person owns the board but they’ve invited other contributors to the board. So the benefit of that is that you can get your content to people who are not in your audience through methods other than search.
So if you own Gadgets Café and you invite me to pin, I can pin to that, and then my pins will show up to your followers. Even if they don’t follow me and they don’t do a search. So it’s a good way to get your content in front of more people. The problem with some group boards is that they get too big and people spam them.
Rich: Right. So it’s about putting together a really good group that maybe could be competitors of yours but basically that you work together on this idea of creating something really valuable and there’s a Venn diagram of our followers and we want to reach people that are maybe not in our circle but in other circles, our content that we share is going to get in front of that audience. Did I get that right?
Alisa: You got it very good, yes. You got it! But you can see the problem with being in a bad group board is that it brings down your virality score and it brings down your quality as a pinner in Pinterest and we don’t want that.
Rich: Oh, so there is a ranking system here that basically because I’m in a bad neighborhood, so to speak, it might actually have a negative impact on how visible my pins and activity are.
Alisa: You got it. So I would leave these right away.
Rich: Ok. And just for those of you that don’t have video up, these are things called “Gadgets Café”, “Resources and Finds”, we’ve got something called, “Good Marketing Insight”, “Web Marketing Infographics”. I wouldn’t even say that these are the kinds of things – if I was starting from scratch – these are not the boards that I think represent my brand anyway. When I think about “What does flyte new media do?”, we do website design, and within that WordPress and mobile, we do search engine optimization, we do social media, we do digital advertising, we do content creation. And then of course there’s that fun brand that we’ve got going on.
If I’m starting from scratch or I’m thinking about overhauling this, should I instead be creating new boards that are more relevant to the categories of products, offerings, and services that flyte new media sells?
Alisa: You should. That is where you need to start. So you’re going to list out each of those services, and then you’re going to combine that with the keyword research that you’re going to do, and those will be your boards.
You also of course need to look at the content that you’re creating and think what kind of board do I need for this content. And I assume it’s pretty similar to the services that you offer, so I hope that makes sense. But really you can have two similar boards with a similar title but with a different angle, perhaps, and you can pin your content to both and you should pin your content to both.
Rich: So let’s say that I had one that was on “social media strategy” and another one that was specifically about “Twitter”, there might be stuff that would go to both “Twitter” and to “social media strategy”. And if I had a board that was specifically every blog post we’ve done in the past 5 years and I had a Twitter blog post up there, it would also appear there as well.
Alisa: Yes. So that’s at least three boards and then hopefully you have some group boards you can share to as well. That’s not only acceptable, it is recommended.
Alisa: I’m going to give you a link to the Pinterest Resource page, it looks basic but it has some really great tips in there. One of them that used to be on there is not any longer, but it said pinning to related boards like that teaches Pinterest what your content is about. So it will start to make a connection between “social media marketing” and your “Twitter strategy” and your “Blog”. So it starts to learn what that pin really is so it will start to serve that pin out in more relevant places.
Rich: I’m just kind of blown away by how similar Pinterest and Google think in terms of putting together these connections and learning more about us by the way that we… in Google there’s good neighborhoods and the kind of content we share on our website influences how we do with other related searches. And it sounds like Pinterest is very similar in that regard and if I was thinking about Pinterest as a social media site before this conversation, I’m definitely thinking of it more as a search engine after this conversation.
Alisa: I’m so happy because I feel like that is right up your alley and you’re going to get into this.
Alisa: Ok, yay! So we’re talking about boards to create and I think you have a good start. Now the next place we can go with that would be your Pinterest Analytics. So here we are in Pinterest Analytics, the “people you reach” section, and I have switched over to the “Interests” tab. Now you can select either everybody who sees your pin, or just your followers. Your audience didn’t bring up very many results so we’re going to go with your followers. So what this is telling you is that these are the other things your audience wants, and lucky for you, these are all pretty relevant.
Rich: So we’re seeing “social media marketing”, “internet marketing”, “inspirational quotes”, “content marketing”, “social media”, “marketing strategies”, “life quotes” – which I’m definitely not ever going to do – and “web design”. I just feel that other people have kind of cornered the market on life quotes and there’s very little I can add to that conversation.
Alisa: You know what, I’m kind of with you on that. I have tried a little bit, but I just can’t, it just doesn’t feel right. So a lot of people when looking at their accounts- in fact almost every other account I’ve looked at – will have some weirdly seemingly related interests here. But if you can get creative and create a board that’s somewhat relevant, that can be helpful for getting people to find you.
But what I’m going to do now is click on “web design”, I click on that and it brings up some more suggestions for us. So we have “web design”, we have a bunch of pins, but in between the title and the pins we have 5 tiles. One is ‘web design layouts”, ‘web layout’, ‘website designs’, ‘website template’, ‘website layout’. So here again is a real goldmine of information for you to figure out what kind of board names should I create. And if ‘web design’ is a heavy focus for you, this is telling you that your audience is super into this and it may be worth creating 2-3 more boards with these names. So you can crate ‘website design layout’, and ‘website design’, because those are a little bit different.
Alisa: These analytics are incredibly insightful. Another thing you can look at is just below where it has follower boards with lots of your pins. What we’re seeing is one here has a lot of your pins on the “How To” board. We have “words to live by”, “WordPress”, “Geeky Awesomeness”.
Rich: I’m curious to know about this “Underwear” board, but whatever.
Alisa: I’m afraid to click, but feel free to later. But what I like about this is that as you start pinning this will become more valuable to you. But it’s going to show you how people will see your pins. So what I’m seeing here is that people are seeing that your pins are good for marketing ideas or how to’s. But I’ve looked at accounts that were about marketing and have seen that a lot of the boards that show up here are things like “realtor marketing”. So then I have to think about would that be appropriate to create a board for real estate marketing. If people are already seeing my content and what I pin, should I be catering to that?
Rich: Right. So if I saw that it may not be that I’m specifically targeting realtors, but apparently there’s enough interest there that I should be creating a board about marketing for realtors because that’s going to get in front of even more people. It’s Pinterest telling me what my audience is interested in.
Alisa: Exactly. And then so this one here, ‘local search marketing’, that could be a really good fit for you.
Alisa: Ok, so I’m not sure why ‘brands’ isn’t showing up for you, usually you see a bunch here, usually Buzzfeed is there and Etsy, because they’re just huge. But if they show up there you can see businesses your followers engage with and see what they’re doing and what ideas you can have for your account.
Alisa: So those are the boards you need, but that’s not going to do it for you, Rich.
Rich: Oh boy.
Alisa: Yeah. I’ve got some bad news. We’re looking at Pinterest.com/source/www.takeflyte.com What this is is all the stuff people are pinning from your website to Pinterest.
Rich: Why are so few of them images?
Alisa: Yes, tell people what you’re seeing.
Rich: Well I see the most recent thing I did was a couple sharing a milkshake and it says “How to share your Google Analytics”. But then a lot of them are just text boxes. Now admittedly that’s from Blog World ’08. And then I’m seeing some images that some of them are the big header images that would appear at the top of our blog posts, but a lot of them are just random images from a page, probably not what I’d want to share. I mean I do love Bob’s Burgers, but I just don’t know if necessarily that’s the one that I wanted people to share. It’s messy.
Alisa: It’s messy, I’m sorry.
Rich: And one of them are recent, “Cryptocurrencies 101”, I could have sworn that there’s a big image up there hat’s bitcoin related, so I’m not really sure why we’re not seeing that.
Alisa: Well, nobody’s pinned it. Yeah, that’s why.
Rich: But they pinned the article, so why…?
Alisa: Oh, they pinned the article. Well, if you think about it, let’s go to your website. So now we’re looking at…
Rich: Let’s scroll down to the bottom, go to “blog”.
Alisa: Go to “blog” and we’ll look at the bitcoin one. I’m going to try and see what the browser extension pulls up for me. So we have the header image, “What is Bitcoin?”, it is a very short image so it’s your typical header style, which is wider than it is tall. The other option we have is this auto image that pulls up a quote from the blog post and creates an image that’s not pretty, but it takes up more room in the feed than what you’ve offered.
Rich: Right, ok.
Alisa: So I’m just going to pick one, and when I do, at least it has a description…sort of.
Rich: Yay us…sort of.
Alisa: Are you using WordPress?
Rich: Yes. So if you go to our Agents of Change, we will have one image that’s more vertical that we use on Pinterest, and another version that we use on all the other channels that’s more horizontal. We had implemented that at flyte, and maybe that’s just something that we need to come up with.
Alisa: Are you using Social Warfare or something else?
Rich: I am not. I’m just using Yoast.
Alisa: I love Social Warfare because you can have separate images, separate descriptions for the different sizes.
Rich: And you can do that in Yoast too, there is a social component of it. I don’t know if it’s as cool, I’ve heard great things about Social Warfare.
Alisa: Yeah, they have some other features that I like. You need to give people better options for pinning. So, this is what people ae pinning. That was distressing.
Rich: There is so much opportunity for me to improve.
Alisa: Be happy, because you’re right. You’ve got a good image here for your Google Analytics, however, it’s too small.
Rich: You say it’s too small, it’s horizontal, because it’s a huge image.
Alisa: Yeah. It’s too short. It just doesn’t look that great in the feed, and also if you try to look at it on mobile you could not read that text. It’s cute, it’s yellow text on an image, it looks good, but on mobile it would not be legible and 80% of the traffic from Pinterest is on mobile. That’s really important.
So let’s see what else we need to look at. So your content itself, I was looking at some of your pins – and I know it’s not pulling up right now – you have some pins of your podcast episodes. It’s a pretty nice looking template and it features faces very heavily. I would suggest that you try a test where instead of featuring the faces and the guest, you feature the topic.
Alisa: Because people on Pinterest are looking to be inspired and informed. And for it to be really useful they really don’t care about people that much. Which is in a way a good thing because it gives us all an opportunity to have our content found and be useful and we don’t have to be recognizable.
Rich: Alright, so let’s think that through. I’m going to have my team use the template to create a horizontal and vertical version of you and the title that we choose, and then basically would I consider now for this podcast to maybe create another image so that people can choose from them?
Alisa: Yeah, I would.
Rich: Let’s say it’s “How To Put Out The Dumpster Fire That Is Your Pinterest Account”. And I could find some really cool image of a dumpster fire and then put the words underneath it or make it vertical, and then make that the default.
Alisa: So now we’re looking at pins and here’s your Agents of Change podcast image, and it has the guest at the top, Agents of Change logo, and then it had a lot of text on it. You can still do that, now I will say that a dumpster fire is probably not awesome for Pinterest.
Rich: I’m so bad at this.
Alisa: No, no, you’re ok but you’re looking at it from probably more of a Facebook angle, because I feel like it would probably work on Facebook. On Pinterest you want more of a lifestyle image, more inspiring, and happy.
So let’s just look at it real quick. So, “Pinterest Marketing Secrets”, we’re just going to do a search on Pinterest and see what catches our eye. And really this is the best way to become good at Pinterest is to use it yourself because you can get yourself into the mindset of how people use it and what appeals to people. I wouldn’t suggest you do this for marketing. I know you have hobbies, what are you into right now?
Rich: I’m actually planning a 1 month sabbatical with my two daughters, we’re going to go cross-country on a month long road trip in our pop-up camper. So I’m really interested in pop-up campers.
Alisa: Ok, so you need to create a board all about campers and start excessively searching for that on Pinterest. See what catches your eye, what makes you click on it. So let’s just take a little look through this search result for “Pinterest Marketing Secrets” and see what catches our eye. So it is mostly text on an image.
Alisa: But it has kind of a little artistic background, so that one catches my eye. I like this one here, it has kind of a lifestyle image, it’s all “Instagram-y”, but it does have text on it. As you can see, you’re not really seeing much of the description. So if they had just posted the picture – it looks like it’s on a little table or a deck with succulents – theses seem to be real big on Pinterest.
Rich: My daughter is really into succulents, too, and of course the ones that are drawing your eye aren’t necessarily the ones that are drawing my eye, but I’m listening to y9u because you know what you’re talking about.
Alisa: Ok, but then you’re going to tell me which ones you like. The important part here is that we have some text on an image and also there’s a little bit of branding. So she has her URL right in the middle at the bottom, which is a great place for it. Tailwind has something similar, we always have our logo on our pins, it’s just a subtle way for people to know where I’m going to go when I click, and that does help conversions.
Rich: And it’s just great branding, I mean, to continually see your brand everywhere and people are like, “You guys ARE everywhere.”
Alisa: Right, exactly. And then this one I like over here, “How to Find the Best Time for Pinterest Traffic”. We have that flat lay behind it, flat lays can do very well as a background for your Pinterest image, but you’re definitely going to want that text overlay.
I think the only people who really don’t need text overlay is product marketers, because you can tell what it is usually. Otherwise we need the text. So tell me what catches your eye.
Rich: Alright, so if you scroll up to the top, since this is a marketing board, almost everything is red. So immediately my eye went to the row where there’s an opening Mac laptop with a little bit of glow and it reminds me actually of that scene in Pulp Fiction where from inside the case there’s just always this glow. So I think that’s kind of a neat approach and it’s different than the other ones. I didn’t love the way the words were treated especially, but it did catch my eye.
I liked the one that you showed before about Pinterest, it’s hard for me not to notice the one with bras all over it, but I do see a pattern of a light, slightly transparent, box with words on it over a background that’s eye catching. Somehow in the top row there was one that they basically took a picture of tools that should be horizontal and they just made it vertical by twisting it and then words on it.
So I can see taking some of the images that I’m buying at Adobe Stock Photo and just giving them a vertical treatment rather than horizontal treatment.
Alisa: Yeah, you can do that. Or when you buy the images buy the largest size possible so you can stretch them out, and make that work as the background. There’s a lot you can do. Something else you might try is you noticed one of the ones you noticed – the bra one – is promoted. The computer one that you like is also promoted. Promoted pins do convert at a higher rate than organic, and it’s logical to assume that has to do with the amount of time that goes into create the pin you’re going to promote, if you just do a ‘Control F’ or whatever it is on the PC, and just search for “promoted”, look on that page at all the promoted pins. Some of them are terrible, most of them are really good. And you can learn a lot about how to use them for yourself.
Rich: That’s good to know.
Alisa: You’re going to notice hashtags. Did you know you could use hashtags on Pinterest again?
Rich: I didn’t know they had stopped using them, that’s how out of it I am.
Alisa: (laughing) I love it! Yes. It never really worked. So the reason you want to use hashtags is if you look at your feed, it doesn’t tell you when things were pinned. And the way smart feed works is it’s a pretty good bet it was at least 2 weeks ago, but it could have been weeks ago, or even months ago. But if you use the hashtag in the description on your pins – not your promoted pins – if you’re pinning from your website or adding a description for people’s pins form your website, use a hashtag because it shows up in this hashtag feed. They show up pretty much in chronological order, the last one was 6 minutes ago. And that’s just something you don’t get in the smart feed in the regular full feed is to see these brand new pins.
Rich: So the hashtags can give us an immediate boost. It actually might hurt us long term – well not hurt us – but it’s not providing a whole lot of value after a day or two, depending on how popular the hashtag is. But we can definitely see our stuff start to disappear. Does it make sense at points to go back to older posts and clean up the description and get rid of the hashtag?
Alisa: No. And here’s why. Because if you do use hashtags and they do show up here in chronological order hashtag search, if they show up top in this search result and if somebody starts to re-pin it in this search result, that will really help your pin get out there more. So it not only tells Pinterest that these pins are engaging and I need to be sharing them more, but it also means that other people are creating more instances of your pin out there.
So yeah, in this feed it’s an immediate benefit that kind of goes away over time, but it starts helping you create that viral effect earlier.
Rich: This has been fascinating and I know we’re running out of time, but I just want to wrap up with a quick thing if you could give me quick advice. So you’re not sure if I’m going to or you’re not sure if I should start an account for Agents of Change? Can you kind of elaborate on that because I would have assumed you would have loved the idea of doing and Agents of Change Pinterest account, so I’m kind of curious on that.
Alisa: Ok. Well, how much content do you have to post to Agents of Change?
Rich: Well from our own stuff we have a weekly podcast, and then occasionally there might be some other stuff related. But of course I would assume that we’d also be pinning things that were related to the different topics we cover which admittedly has a big overlap with flyte new media.
Alisa: That’s kind of what I was hoping you were going to say. My gut says if you just focus all that time on one amazing account for flyte new media, you can do it. So I would have one account for flyte new media, have a board for Agents of Change, and then all your Agents of Change content also gets put on all the relevant boards on flyte new media. My feeling is that if you can concentrate your efforts on Pinterest search and on making really great images, I think you’ll be better off to have it all in one account.
Rich: I will take your word for it at least until I ramp up my team and tell them I need to create another account. But we’ll focus on flyte new media rather than just adding another dumpster fire to Pinterest.
Alisa: There are not going to be any more dumpster fires. And if you wanted to in your profile description, you could have in there, “Home of Agents of Change”. So you can make it obvious when people find you that they’re in the right place.
Rich: Awesome. Well Alisa this has been phenomenal. It’s been amazing, it’s been so helpful to me, and hopefully helpful for everybody else. If people want to check you out – and they’re idiots if they don’t – but if they want to check you out, where can we send them?
Alisa: We can send them to blog.tailwindapp.com, that’s where I do most of my blogging these days. I also blog at alisameredith.com, it’s almost exclusively about Pinterest ads, and I have a course there as well.
Rich: Alright, we’ll have a link to that in the show notes. Alisa, thank you so much for your time today.
Alisa: Thanks Rich, it was fun.
Alisa Meredith is a Pinterest obsessed content marketing manager at Tailwind, with an eye for the power of visual marketing. Check out her blog for the very latest and greatest tips and info in the world of Pinterest marketing.
Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a web design & digital marketing agency in Portland, Maine. He knows a thing or two about helping businesses grow by reaching their ideal customers, and to prove that, he puts on a yearly conference to inspire small businesses to achieve big success. You can also head on over to Twitter to check him out, and he just added “author” to his resume with his brand new book!