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Mastering Pinterest For Business With Alisa Meredith

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST
  • Whilst Pinterest may not give you instant gratification, it’s a great platform for getting results over a long period of time.
  • Pinterest is not only a great tool for sharing your own posts, but a great place to search for information too! Whether you like searching for fashion ideas, travelling goals or recipes – Pinterest is a great place to see all the information you need presented to you visually.
  • When you create a new piece of content you should pin it straight away to your most relevant board, that way, Pinterest will know that it’s your content.
  • If you repin something you have already pinned, try changing the description to increase your chances of it being seen. You can do this manually or using Tailwind interval pinning (a scheduling tool for Pinterest).
  • Pin every single day and not in a flurry – using a scheduling tool will help with this. Tailwind will be able to suggest the best times for you to pin, based on when your followers are online.
  • The ideal size for a Pinterest image is 600 x 900. Don’t give too much away in your infographic or image, otherwise people won’t click through. Ensure it’s a clear, high quality image.
  • When it comes to Pinterest, the best kind of engagement you can have is someone saving your pin.
  • Promoted Pins on Pinterest are a lot more simple than Facebook Ads and when people save your promoted pin, it can lead to further repins and traffic to your site.
  • If you have never used Pinterest for business before, you may need to start a new account if you want your engagement rate from the start.
THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE…

There is very little negativity on Pinterest, so it’s a great place to find motivation and Inspiration. Above all else, that’s what people enjoy most about using the app.

HIGHLIGHTS YOU SIMPLY CAN'T MISS
  • Introducing Alisa – 06:15
  • The Beauty of Pinterest – 11:10
  • What is Pinterest and Why Should You Use It? – 14:10
  • Using Keywords on Pinterest – 18:30
  • How To Use Pinterest As a Business – 23:15
  • The Importance of a Pinterest Image – 29:40
  • Engagement and Pinterest: How Do You Do It? – 35:20
  • Using Promoted Pins On Pinterest – 43:40
LINKS TO RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAY'S EPISODE
Transcript below

 

Hello and welcome back to the podcast. How has your week been? I hope your January's going well. Is it still January? Let me think. Sorry, I had to look at my calendar then to see if whether we were still in January. I know that sounds completely crazy, but obviously I record the podcast early as in I batch content. So it's actually only the 11th of January when I'm recording this. So I hope you're having a wonderful rest of your January and I hope you've got it off to a great start.

For me, January is all about taking action. Setting me ready for the rest of the year and making sure that those things that I want to achieve this year, I am working on every single day. And actually, even though this podcast isn't about this, I just want to touch on that a minute. Because I never used to do that. I used to have these things written down and be like, “Okay I want to achieve this this year.” And I did that last year. So imagine going back to January 2018. I sat there and went, “Right, this year I'm going to do this and this and this.” And do you know what? I didn't do them. And I didn't even work towards doing them.

So now what I do is … because what I'd do is I'd wait for the most ideal time or I'd be thinking, well let me get all that done and then I'll work on that. Or let me take a week off and then I'll work on that on the week off. And, of course, those times never come. You never get to take time off to chunk out a section of time to work on something that's on the business not in the business. You often sit there and think, I'll do this later on today or later on in the week. And of course, your time just zips by. Something happens, something comes in and those things don't get done.

So throughout last year I did a lot of work on myself, I did a lot of work on the business, I did a lot of coaching and going to experts and getting great things. And this year this is one thing I have noticed. And I did start it at the end of last year as well, but every single day I write down the three main things that I'm trying to move forward. And even if I just do one little thing of that process, at least I've moved forward every single day. Even if it's just one hour of my day or half hour of my day or ten minutes. As long as it's something and I somehow move forward that day, even though it can seem incredibly slow progress, at least I'm moving forward. At least every day I'm inching closer and closer to those things that I'm trying to achieve.

So for me, January is all about doing those things, getting started on those things and making sure I got my year off to a great start. And it has gone really well, and I know it's only the 11th even though you're listening to this later on in the month, but it has gone really, really well. So I really hope you've achieved the same.

Anyway, on to today's episode. And you know what? I've just re-listened to this because I think we recorded it before Christmas and, oh wow, it's so funny and it's such a good episode and as I've sat here listening to it, this sounds really sad, I was actually sat smiling to myself thinking, “Oh, this is really cool. I loved doing that.” I had great memories from it, we had a great laugh. And also, it's really funny 'cause I listen back to myself and I'm literally, like, totally the student. Sucking in every bit of information, asking all the stupid questions. And James Wedmore says there's never a stupid question, so you always ask the questions. But I really feel that on this episode I'm learning as much as, perhaps, my listeners do on the other episodes. So I'm loving this.

Anyway, I've wittered on and I haven't even told you who I've interviewed. So this week I have interviewed the very lovely Alisa Meredith. Now she is the content marketing manager for Tailwind which is a Pinterest and Instagram scheduler and analytics platform. She is a sought after speaker and teacher on Pinterest and promoted pins. And in particular has spoke at places like Social Media Marketing World, Agents of Change and has appeared on places like the Art of Paid Traffic podcast and Social Pros podcast. Alisa will be the first to admit that she's spent a huge amount of time crafting her expertise in this area, and realises that this is an ongoing process and that the learning never ends. And as I've already mentioned, she was a pleasure to interview. Now, like I said, I really do go to town on her in this interview, in terms of picking her brains, because even though I'm a user of Pinterest and I love it and I pin things that are personal things or things that are to do with recipes or cooking or clothes or whatever it might be. So I'm a personal user, but I don't use it for the business and I really should be.

So she talks about the fact that Pinterest is a virtual pin-board where you can store ideas and images and articles. And it's more of a search engine. She also discusses the fact that businesses perhaps aren't using it because they feel that Pinterest really is for females who are getting married or want to decorate their home or whatever it is, and actually she completely de-bunks that in the sense that obviously there are people like that on Pinterest, but actually there is a way in which pretty much any business can use it. And she honestly blows my mind with some of the stats that she gives me. Some of the results that she and her clients have got on Pinterest. And she also makes me aware that Pinterest is unlike any other social media platform. In fact it's not even really a social media platform, it just happens to be lumped in there with everything else.

So this is such a brilliant episode and I don't want to tell you any more about it because I want her to … well I don't want to ruin the surprise. So I want you to listen to it and hear the stuff she's got to say because I literally came off the end of this interview and my head felt like it had just blown up. Because it was such good stuff. So Pinterest is firmly on my board of things to do and I really hope it will be after this episode. Enjoy.

 

Introducing Alisa

 

So I am so excited to welcome to the podcast, Alisa Meredith. Welcome.

Hey, thanks for having me Teresa. This is going to be fun.

No worries. It is going to be fun. We've already been laughing before it started so hopefully this is going to be awesome. Always a good sign. I like podcasts that I laugh my way through, they tend to be the best ones. I'm not sure that the listeners might agree 'cause they're literally hearing me howl down their headphones. But, you know, I think it's good fun. So I am so excited to have you on today and we were just talking about before we came on, and I've mentioned in the intro, that you are here to talk all about Pinterest. And I am so pleased about it. And I'm pleased for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I love Pinterest and it's something that personally I use all the time and I really enjoy and it's one of those social medias that personally I can get lost in. But also I have been so aware that it keeps coming up from a business point of view and I feel like we're about to expose a hidden gem that loads of businesses don't know that actually it is way more powerful than they can even start to imagine. So I'm really excited to enlighten my audience and for them to hear all about Pinterest.

But before we start, let's just give people a quick idea of who you are and how you got to be doing what you're doing now.

Who am I? So I started off with social media, really. Well website design before that but that was … I don't even want to think about that, I was so bad at that. And then content marketing. And then when this thing Pinterest appeared I thought, well what is that? And I started using it myself, like you said, as a user to kind of bookmark things I wanted to come back to later. I liked it for organising things I wanted to do later. But I wanted to know what it could do for business. So I dug right into it and I wrote a little book about it, just online, and I started getting questions. Well how do you do this? And can you walk me through that? And eventually it was, can I just hire you to do this? And I thought, well there's an idea.

Yeah.

So I started pinning for people's businesses. And it was amazing to me how much traffic Pinterest could drive. So for this first client of mine on Pinterest, and anyone who's heard me talk about Pinterest is tired of this story, but he gets more traffic from Pinterest than from every other source combined.

No.

Yes, yes.

So if you added up all of his, I don't know, let's say Facebook, Twitter-

Google.

… and Pinterest is bigger?

Pinterest is bigger than all social plus search engine traffic for him.

That is crazy.

Yeah, let me tell you the crazier part about it is that I still have access to his Google analytics even though I haven't pinned for him in maybe three years. And he hasn't pinned anything since then either, and that is still the case. He gets more traffic from Pinterest than everything else combined. And if that doesn't illustrate the power of Pinterest, I don't know what does.

That is amazing, isn't it?

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

So what was it initially that made you then go … Like you said, you obviously liked Pinterest like me, but what made you kind of go, there is something really big going on here in terms of businesses for you to even start at the very beginning, you know? Even to pull that out to decide to write a book or anything like that on.

Curiosity really. And then I thought, surely there is a way to use it. But I couldn't really picture it in my head. But then you start to see how you act as a user. Okay, basically I'm saving ideas and the reason you're saving the ideas is to act on them later. So I kind of liked the idea of it being a slow return. So Instagram and Twitter, you really are counting on getting your reward right then, right? It's going to be kind of instant gratification. And I liked the idea of the investment on Pinterest today paying off for months and years to come. And you can't illustrate that any better than with that first client who hasn't in years and still that investment that he made is paying off today.

And do you know what? That is such good foresight isn't it? Because, like you said, we live in a world now where everything is about instant gratification. We put a post up, we want to see people liking it. We want comments on it, we want to see it immediately. And we want things immediately. I am the queen of Amazon Prime.

It feels good, you know?

 

The Beauty of Pinterest

 

It's like literally if I can't get it first thing tomorrow morning and I order it now, don't bother, do you know what I mean? We live in this world where we constantly want that, so like you said, it's kind of a lovely idea of it's a platform where you're nurturing it and you're doing stuff that not only is going to help to some degree fairly quickly but also long term. And what other platform could you possibly say that about? ‘Cause I can't think of any off the top of my head.

It's closer really to Google than anything else, right? So when you build a website you're building it for the future. You know Google's not going to pick you up immediately usually. But the other thing is it's kind of a personality thing. So I have tried with Instagram to have a beautiful feed and to create flat lays. And boy, that's just not me. You know, it's just not me. I'm an introvert and as much as I like people, I do not want to feel like I'm on display all the time. It's just not appealing to me. Pinterest, on the other hand, is what I like to think of as the introverts network.

Oh okay.

So really it's about me, it's about making my life better, it's about projects I want to try. And then, to expand a little on that, it's also about me and a very small group of friends. So like we were talking about before, my house was very badly damaged in a hurricane. So I created a secret group board on Pinterest all about my new house and what it was going to look like and it has all the sections in it. And I invited my very close friends to help me collect ideas that will help me to build the house that I want. So I mean that's social-ish, but it's kind of on my terms, right? And I'm not doing it to impress anybody or to make a certain image of myself. It's really about what I want for my future.

And also do you think that because you're sharing someone, or you're collecting is probably the better way of putting-

That is a great word for it.

… other people's images, therefore it's not like … whereas, and I will happily admit this on my Instagram, I show you the best parts of my life, obviously.

Oh sure, everyone does.

I'm not going to show you where I look dreadful or I'm having a terrible day or whatever. So, for me, when you're showing the best part it can feel a little bit egotistical, it can feel a little bit showy-offy, a little bit like, “Look at me.” Or, again, if you're putting pictures of a house going, “Oh, look at my house. Isn't it beautiful?” But actually by you collecting other people's stuff it doesn't say that at all about you, does it? Because they're not your images. That's just you kind of showing, this is what I like, this is the type of place that I want. But everybody … instead of people looking at it going, “Alright, stop showing off.” Which they might do in the UK, I don't know that you do it so much over in the States.

I suppose [inaudible 00:13:57] actually .

 

What is Pinterest and Why Should You Use It?

 

But instead of people thinking that they think, “Oh, how lovely.” Because it's someone else's images and you're just pulling it together going, “I love how this style looks or this style looks.” So I tell you what, let's backtrack a tiny bit. If someone's listening and thinks, do you know what? I don't even have a Pinterest. What is Pinterest and why should I even start to imagine how I can use it for my business. Can you just explain? ‘Cause it is very different from every other platform.

Oh yes it is. So what it really is is a virtual pin-board. So if you can imagine that you have 40 cork boards on your wall and you have a different topic for each one and you're actually tacking up articles that you want to look at or reference later or things you want to buy or try later and you have them organised by topic. That's what you're doing on Pinterest. So for me, it really replaced the browser bookmarks. If there's a few things I wanted to do or try or read later I would put them there but … you can sort of organise them, but I would much rather look at a visual representation of that idea than try to remember what the link was called.

Yeah, yeah.

So a place to collect your ideas so you can easily reference them later. It's also a great place to search for ideas as well. I think most of my searches on Pinterest probably are recipes and home design. Because you can just find so many great things to do.

And I think that's a fair point actually in the sense of … and this is maybe why businesses don't necessarily look at Pinterest because they think how would they use it, or how do I use it, you know? And obviously my Pinterest is open, people can go and have a look, and basically it's got things like clothes that I like or places I want to go, places I've been, kids bedrooms, oh, dinner parties. When I didn't have my own business I loved a dinner party. I can tell you I have not done a proper dinner party for years because I haven't got time for that anymore. But it's all those kind of nice things, also quite feminine things. So me, for instance, as a social media person or another business, how are they going to use Pinterest for them? Why would we go on and use it?

Okay, well I think it helps to start off as a user so you can kind of get a feel for how people use it and then kind of imagine how your product or service would become appealing in that setting. So the thing you want to keep in mind with your Pinterest images is to keep it inspirational, keep it useful. Whereas on Facebook you might be able to write a blog post and share an image that's like the five reasons you've failed on your diet this year. That could work on Facebook. On Pinterest you'd be better off to turn it to a positive. So the five reasons you're going to succeed with your diet this year.

Okay.

So it's the same content, right? Same content, but you flip it so that it's more inspiring really is the goal on Pinterest.

Okay, so it would be a case of then when you pin that image, you're using keywords. Is that right? So you do you hashtag like you would in every other social, or other social medias, or is it in the comment? Or how do you get people to find that pin?

Well I think that's actually a different topic which we can get to in a second, but the key to the difference is that on Facebook you can hit it a little bit more negatively, so the reasons you've failed, right? On Pinterest you need to go inspirational and encouraging. The reasons you're going to make it this year, right? The reasons you will succeed this year.

And I think from what you've said and how I use Pinterest that makes sense because I don't ever go onto Pinterest for negative stuff. All the boards I have are all positive. It's all like … like you said, nice recipes you want to do or nice clothes you want to buy. Or I've got a board I think … I can't even think what I called it but there's like positive affirmations on there or business planning or personal development, that's another board I've got. So, like you said, none of them are kind of negative, are they? They're all very positive things. I guess the [inaudible 00:18:07] is positive.

Absolutely. And I've heard people say Pinterest is vacation from all the negativity everywhere else in the world. So play into that as much as you can. And clearly you can turn anything around to a positive. I would just say if you do that and you're linking to an article that's called the five reasons why you've failed on your diet, that can work but give it a tagline underneath, and the five reasons why you will succeed this year. So you have to make sure it ties in but go positive.

 

Using Keywords on Pinterest

 

But you asked about keywords so the keywords are going to be important in the description of the pin.

Okay.

They're also going to be important in your board titles and your board description. So just a little technical Pinterest search tip. When you create a new piece of content, you want to pin it yourself right away to your most relevant board. So let's say I've written an article about Instagram stories. I might have a board about social media, I might have a board about video marketing and I might have a board about Instagram and then I might have a board about Instagram stories. So it's obvious I need to pin it first to Instagram stories. Because when you've claimed your website on Pinterest which is just a little technical thing you can do and set up that will, you'll see where to do it, it's pretty obvious. They know that's your content. So when you save it to that first board with the real specific title, a specific description with good keywords, that description and that title travel with that pin as it's shared about Pinterest. So it gives Pinterest more context of where to show it in search. Whereas if you just saved it first to your social media board, that's not as strong a signal about exactly what your content is.

Okay. Would you then … because obviously you can re-pin things, can't you. So obviously if I see something and I want to save it, that's when I pin it to one of my boards. Would you then go in and pin that initial one to the other boards or does it not work like that?

Sort of, sort of. So you should pin your content to every relevant board. So it would be relevant on all four boards that I named, but you don't re-pin that pin. You don't go into Pinterest and save. On some accounts now you can't even do it, they've disabled that for re-pinning your own. What you want to do is save it fresh.

Okay, so four times you'll go in and save it. Can you save it with the same comment or the same description?

You can. It might be you'll do better if you change the description because it will give you more opportunities to appear in search if you try different keywords on it. But you absolutely can. With Tailwind, what I'll often do is use the interval pinning. So Tailwind is an Instagram and Pinterest scheduling tool and I'm the content marketing manager there. But I've used it for many more years than I've worked there. But when I have a new piece of content I will share it out manually usually to the most relevant board and then I'll set up interval pinning. So what that does is I can say, “Okay, here are my other three boards it's going to fit on and so I want you to put it on this board and then three days later I want you to put it on the other board and then three days later I want you to put it on the last board.” So you're spreading it out but making sure it get to all your boards.

Okay and then just because I've just thought about it while you're saying it. So one thing that I do with Pinterest, not that I am pinning any of my own stuff. I have to say, really bad-

We're going to change that.

You should look at it. You're going look at my stuff and you'll think, “What are you doing?” I am literally just like, “Oh here's a nice recipe.” I'm not marketing via Pinterest at all.

Oh that hurts.

And this is one of the great reasons I wanted you on because I know I should be. And actually I say to people, I'm on Pinterest, but they won't find any of my stuff. And obviously every blog I do, every podcast episode I do … what am I doing? I know I'm so sorry.

I need a break.

You just go and have a lie down. No. She's drinking gin by the way, she's making out like it's water, it's not, she needs a drink. I've literally drove her to it. Of course and it's earlier for you, I'm thinking that gin's okay.

It's only three o'clock here.

Oh yeah? Three o'clock is fine. I mean it's eight o'clock here so you've passed 12, always good past 12. But one of the things I do with Pinterest which is really bad, well, I'm assuming it's really bad, you're going to tell me.

Is this pure confessions?

Yeah. Every episode of my podcast it's like a confession, honestly. These poor people, they listen to me like, “Oh, not again Teresa. You need to get some help babe.”

So one thing I do is I will go on and have, like, a whole session of pinning and liking and whatever I'm doing and then I disappear for like ages.

You're [inaudible 00:23:06].

Yeah. So I'm assuming you're going to tell me that that's not great?

 

How To Use Pinterest As a Business

 

It's not great. But you're using Pinterest personally, right? So who cares. You're not using it to grow your followers, you're not using it to get traffic, so you can do whatever you want. Now, when you start using it for business, that is bad, right? So you need to be pinning consistently which means pinning every day and not in a flurry, right? So you're going to use a scheduler like Tailwind because you're going to want to pin in a flurry because, “Oh, here's my hour to pin. I want to do it all now.” Sure, you can do it all now but do it with a scheduler that will keep you active throughout the whole week or month or whatever you decide to schedule at that time.

Okay. So I've got to pin something every day. Does it have to be daily or just consistent?

It has to be every day.

Okay. That's fine, I follow rules really well.

Oh good.

Everyone tells me I'm very well behaved, I do as I'm told. So I've got to pin every day. And with the scheduler, with Tailwind that I'm using as a scheduler, do you pin at certain times? Do you pin … and I'm asking you the most basic stuff, you're probably sat there thinking, “Oh my, we're talking about this.” But is it specific times? Does it matter? Could you literally do it … because one thing in case people haven't used Pinterest, it's not quite the same … so for instance you'll be able to see on Twitter if I was tweeting out the same time every day, you'd be able to tell because you'd see it in my feed and it's obvious to see because it's just one long timeline. Whereas although Pinterest has changed up and there's different views, if you're looking at the board view you can't necessarily see what time I'm pinning it. Or can you? I didn't think you could.

No you can't. No-one's going to notice. But the thing about Tailwind is that it will actually look at your followers and when they're most likely to be active and engaged and suggest those times for you. So what you end up with is a schedule with slots in it of all the best times for you to pin. And the reason why that's so important is because when you share out your content, Pinterest is watching to see if your followers engage with it. So of course anyone could engage with it, right? So most of the activity that happens on Pinterest happens in search so you're going to get a lot more activity than just from your own followers. But the strongest signal to Pinterest that, hey, this is good content, I should distribute it more, is the reaction of your own followers.

Okay.

So when you pin at the times when they're most likely to be on and engaging, you're giving yourself the best shot at getting distribution for your content.

So is it a bit like with Instagram, speed of response? So the quicker that people pick it up when you put it on, the more likely it is to show more people? Even though with the algorithm it kind of doesn't matter. And I guess the same with Pinterest 'cause once it's there it can still go viral at a time later on because if people pick it up then … but basically they want to see straight away ideally if people are interacting with it.

Yeah, that's right. Yeah, so there are a couple of reasons why … I mean people for a long time were saying you should delete pins that don't perform well because it seems logical that if you just kept the pins with good engagement that would bring your overall account up and that'd be a good idea. So delete pins that don't get engagement. The problem with that is Pinterest is looking for that engagement pretty quick. So by the time you think, oh, this is a dud, it's too late, doesn't matter, it's not going to help.

The other thing is that weird things happen on Pinterest. If an image does not take off at first can after a few weeks or even months sometimes, it can take off. So it's not only a waste of time it's also a possible missed opportunity. So just don't delete pins.

Okay. So tell me briefly about the comments 'cause I remember some time back, and I'm talking years, and I could be saying this all wrong, but you used to put hashtags on and then I think they said don't do hashtags anymore and now I don't know. So is it just a comment or is it hashtags?

Both. So your comments and your board titles and board descriptions are going to help you in search for ever. Your hashtags are going to help your content get found fast. So if you do a hashtag search on Pinterest now you're going to see that the display is almost exactly in chronological or reverse chronological order. So the first one you see was 12 seconds a go, a minute, two minutes and so on down the page. So don't go back and put hashtags on your old pins, it won't work. It doesn't work on a re-pin. Yeah, just put them on your fresh pins and they can appear in search. At first they said up to 20 and then it was, I think, five or six and now they're saying one to two. Most people are sticking to something around three or four.

Okay.

Let's just be reasonable.

And are we trying to be really specific? So, again, sometimes the larger … and I keep likening everything to Instagram because one, as I said, that's where I'm working quite hard at the moment but it seems to me that I can pick up some similarities. So for instance on Instagram I wouldn't go for the massive hashtags because they're too big. So I would go a bit more specific and put another word against … so for instance, I mean social media is a fairly full-on hashtag anywhere in the world, let alone just on one of those platforms, but for instance you could go with social media management or social media marketing and that'll help a little bit. So is that the kind of thing you would suggest doing on Pinterest?

Yeah. And I would think about the types of hashtags. So whereas on Instagram, InstaQuote might be a good hashtag, I don't really know but it's not on Pinterest at all, right? Or anything like that. Quote of the day.

They're not the type of things. It's more proper search stuff isn't it? Rather than … I don't know how you would describe that, I'm sure someone could think of a very smart word and there probably is a smart word out there. But all these kind of lifestyle-y, comment-y type hashtags, you're talking more … and I guess what I would deem more as a keyword, if someone was searching for that thing on Google, what word would they search for?

Yeah, that's a great way of putting it. Yeah.

 

The Importance of a Pinterest Image

 

Okay. So that's awesome. So we've got some comments, we've got some hashtags. So tell me about the image itself. So we've talked about using blogs and podcast episodes and putting them out there the same way as I would … oh it's embarrassing. So I do it everywhere else I just don't do it on Pinterest.

Okay. But I just want to clarify one thing though because you mention comments. But really what we were talking about was description.

Sorry, description.

Yeah. So there are comments on pins. They're not used that often, they're probably mostly used on things like recipes or projects that people do themselves. You can upload a photo if you made a recipe, you can upload a photo of it and then make comments like, this recipe was great but I added more cheddar, or whatever.

Okay, yeah yeah.

Yeah, and so people do use those and they're great. It's different from the old style comment which wasn't super valuable for most users. These are good. But that's totally different from a description.

So description is obviously the bit that you write about your post and then comments are if people are commenting on your pin.

Yeah.

Okay. So I need to just remember in my head that I want to ask you about engagement on Pinterest, we'll come back to that. But let's go back to the image. So the image itself obviously size wise it's completely different to everything else.

Oh of course. Of course it is.

Obviously. To make our life even hard.

Yeah right. So you can use square images but the recommended ratio is two to three. So just to think of it in terms of pixels, 600 by 900.

Yeah, and we're talking wide by long.

Yes, yeah. So you can go a little bit longer than that before you get cut off but 600 to 900 is about right. Yeah. But if you were … let's say you were going to make an image for this podcast episode and, I don't know, maybe you'd have your face on it and my face on it and the topic. That doesn't work on Pinterest. And maybe you'd even just have a quote, that could work on Pinterest but what's going to work better is perhaps the title of the episode or a revised title of it. So it might be, seven things you need to know about Pinterest for business, right? As opposed to a picture of you and me. People don't care.

What do you mean?

They don't [inaudible 00:32:01]. What they want to know is, what can this do for me?

So very actionable steps, but always positive.

Always positive, always approachable.

Okay.

So sometimes you look at Instagram and I'm not knocking Instagram 'cause it has a place and I love it and I buy stuff on Instagram, but Pinterest is more like, “Hey, I can do this.” Right? When I look at Instagram a lot of times I'm thinking like, “Well that's never going to happen.”

No I know what you mean, totally know what you mean. Oh that's lovely to look at but that's not my life.

No, no. And never will be. But on Pinterest it's like, I could make that part of my life. So how can you present what you're offering as a way to enhance someone's life? Either their business or their home or whatever it is. How are you going to make their life better?

I love that. And do you know what? This whole conversation so far you've literally made me think … the stuff you've said I've gone, “Of course, that makes perfect sense.” But I hadn't even thought about it. I hadn't even thought about the fact that people like the positiveness of Pinterest, hadn't thought about how it makes me feel when I'm on there and that it's actually something that, not only do I want to aspire to but also that's achievable. Because as you've said, on Instagram I follow people that I would aspire to be like, but actually do I think it's achievable? Not necessarily. You know, there's some amazing … is it Ashley Graham? Is it Ashley Graham who's like a … they call her a plus-size model, she's not plus I can assure you. She's like just got a bit of-

She's perfect.

A couple of curves but she is, like, stunning. And I look at that and think, “Oh that would be amazing.” Is it going to happen Teresa? Not in a million years. It's like you said, when I look at my Pinterest board I feel like, “Oh I could make that room look like that” or, “I could cook that food” or, “I could make my table decorations look that beautiful at Christmas” which is what I've been searching for at the moment on Pinterest.

With everyone else.

Yeah exactly, so I love that, I love that thought. Okay, so we've talked about-

But I want to give you a break because I feel like you're saying, “It's my fault, I should have thought of this.” But here's the thing. Pinterest is not a social media. It gets lumped in with social media but it really is a search and discovery platform. There isn't anything quite like it. So I think people default to that idea of, “Okay, it's social media, how can I use what I know about social media and make it work on Pinterest.” You can't. You can't. But that's how almost everybody goes into it, so it shouldn't be surprising, right? It's a total mind shift. If you're used to social media, Pinterest is kind of a mystery until you really break it down and think about how you use it, 'cause that's how everybody uses it.

That's so good, that's so, so good.

So you're okay.

Thanks. I'm glad that I … I'm just going to give up my job, what am I talking about.

 

Engagement and Pinterest: How Do You Do It?

 

Okay, so obviously because we do liken it to the same as all the other social medias, and one thing that I go on about, and one thing … in fact I had Tyler J. McCall on a few weeks ago talking about Instagram and he said that actually you should engage way more than you post. And for me, engagement is something I talk about all the time on social media in terms of the other platforms. So tell me how that works with Pinterest. Is it similar? Do I need to go and like other people's pins and comment on their pins? Do I need to reply to people's comments on my pins if they comment? Is it the same or is it literally posting?

Did you know you can't even like pins anymore?

Can you … oh my God, see, that's so bad. I didn't even know. I think I obviously didn't like many, I used to just save all the ones I liked, but I didn't know you couldn't do that.

No, and so to me that really illustrates the point that that kind of engagement is not important.

That they're not looking for it.

No. I used to do it just to say … when someone pinned my content, just to say a quick thank you by liking it. Thinking that engagement might help them a little bit. But really the kind of engagement we're looking for is for people to save our pins.

Okay.

So it's interesting what … 'cause ultimately what we want is traffic from Pinterest to our website. And what gets traffic versus what gets saves is sometimes a little bit different. So, for instance, infographics will get so many saves generally, right? Because they're useful, you can look at them right on the screen, but if you give it all away in your infographic they don't click. So you've got to have that happy in between spot of making it super appealing to click and collect as an idea to reference later, but also keep a little mystery so they have to click.

Yeah, I like it, I like it. So actually thinking about all the other platforms that I use and all the other platforms that I promote my stuff and clients stuff through, the engagement is so important and that takes the time. So actually Pinterest for me should-

Oh you're going to love it.

… be like one of the most easiest platforms I'm doing because the posting is the easy bit. Like once you've worked out … and don't get me wrong, this takes some time and obviously people have to work this out as they're doing it. Like you said, there's a formula to posting, there's definitely a formula to, is it the right kind of image? Are you saying the right thing? Have you got the right comment? It's not comment, it's a-

Description.

… description. See my head's thinking … you've got the right description, have you put the right hashtags? Once you've kind of worked out that formula, then actually that's not difficult, you know? And I talk all the time about all the many things that you can post on social media and there really is a lot of stuff you can say. Sometimes when you're sat in the moment thinking, “What am I going to say?” That's difficult. But actually, for me especially, I have so much content that I've put out there through blogs and through podcast episodes that actually we could sit down and create hundreds of pins. ‘Cause presumably as well I can talk about one podcast in two or three different ways?

Oh yes.

And pin it two or three different ways?

Yeah, three different images, three different descriptions. Yeah.

Okay. And then tell me just briefly about the images. Because one thing that I used to do on Pinterest, very similar to Instagram, is I only liked or saved beautiful images. And if they weren't beautiful I literally wouldn't … this is so bad. But with recipes in particular, some of the pictures were ugly. And even though I might look at the recipe and think, oh yeah I quite fancy that, I wouldn't pin it because I'd just think, oh no, it makes my board look horrible. I'm very aesthetic, can you tell? I like nice looking things, honestly.

Well sure, everybody does. But I do want to tell you that people aren't looking at your boards.

Okay, so they're literally just searching and finding that thing.

Yeah.

And does it matter to people how beautiful the pin is now?

It does.

It does matter?

It does matter.

So obviously you want that image to be good still, that you're putting up there.

It needs to be professional looking at the very least, right? Blurry, hard to read, that's no good. But there are different standards. So like you said, a recipe image. But there are so many gorgeous food images out there that you're not going to bother pinning an ugly one just 'cause you don't want to look at it. Even knowing that it doesn't really … like people aren't going to look at your board and think, “Oh, I can't believe she pinned that ugly image.”

What is wrong with her?

I think that almost all the activity in Pinterest is happening in the search, so there's very little browsing going on so that means don't worry too much about organising your boards or board covers, it doesn't matter. But if you are in the food industry or travel or fashion, you really need to step it up. Because people have a high expectation. There was a pin for a moving company that was just like a picture of a back of a moving truck with just a plan old bulleted list about things to do when you're getting ready to move. And it was directed towards people going to college or something. It was for a finance company I think. Anyway it was ugly. I mean not like hideous ugly but just, ugh-

Not beautiful.

Not pretty. That pin did amazingly well because of the subject matter.

Yeah.

Right? So you can get away with a little bit more if you're not in one of the most popular topics. And here's another one, I work with a lot of teachers pay teachers sellers. So they're authors who write teacher resources and sell them to other teachers. You might by a lesson plan for teaching subtraction to second graders, for instance. Because for you and I when we think about a Pinterest image it's usually very feminine, it's very pretty, the colours are nice. Teachers pay teachers sellers, they're sort of like black backgrounds, primary colours, just very, to me, kind of in your face. So it really depends on your industry what's going to work. But what I suggest you do is do a search for how you'd want to be found and see what kind of trends you see and what appeals to you.

So yeah, that's a really good point. Like you said, if you're in an industry that is, A, highly competitive on Pinterest which are a lot of feminine or kind of lifestyle-y type pins aren't they, and that's still the case isn't it?

Oh yeah.

Then obviously you've got to work really hard to get your pins seen. But actually if it fits with your brand which is always the case everywhere, if that fits with what you'd expect to see for that brand then that's going to be okay. You know like you said with the teachers, and then the other example you gave. So is there any industries that you would go, do you know what? Or is there particular industries that you'd go, do you know what? Pinterest is not for you. Or do you see that there is a way for everybody?

I sometimes will ask people, okay, throw it at me and I'll try to make it fit on Pinterest. And they gave me a funeral home and I thought, “Oh okay, you win.”

You know what? That's so funny because there's a funeral home that keeps coming up in my Instagram feed. I think someone's trying to tell me something. But they're on Instagram and I looked at them and I looked at their engagement and I have to say it really wasn't great. But fair play to them, they're trying really hard.

Maybe on Instagram, maybe it's still kind of a sensitive subject for Instagram. So Pinterest, no. The other things that can be very tricky is if you only have a very local business where it's only available where people could walk into your store. That's hard because you're going to get so much traffic from people who are completely unqualified. So the best thing to do in that situation is probably to use Pinterest for promoted pins, where you can target people who live in your area. But it'd be a lot of work to make it really work just for your local area.

Yeah, okay. So do you know what? There's just so much we could talk about and I could talk all night. And obviously-

I could too.

 

Using Promoted Pins On Pinterest

 

I don't know how long people can listen for but one thing I want to ask before we finish is, you've touched on the promoted pins, now I've talked on the podcast many of times that I am a huge advocate of Facebook advertising and although Facebook has seen a fairly strong decline in people liking it very much at the moment, still for me, from an advertising point of view, it's up there, it's huge and one I will always kind of push. I have never done Pinterest advertising. Not even looked at it, not even seen it to even pay huge amounts of attention to it. So tell me a little bit about Pinterest advertising. Tell me, is it worth it basically?

Okay it certainly can be. So this is kind of my favourite topic and I even wrote a blog post about Pinterest advertising for Facebook advertisers.

Oh, like it.

Because like you, I have talked to so many people like you who are into Facebook and then they go on Pinterest to advertise and they just are completely lost. Which blows my mind because Facebook is so much more complicated.

Yeah, there's a lot to Facebook, yeah.

There really is. So Pinterest is pretty simple, you can target by things like gender, device which can make a huge difference in both your cost per click and also your conversion rate, you can target by a visitor list of people who've gone to your website or a certain page or a certain section of pages, you can target people that you've uploaded so your customer list, you can also target people who have engaged with any pin that goes to your website. So this is something I don't think Facebook or anybody else can do but if you start pinning your content to your blog.

When I start, yeah.

When you start, and then I see your pin and I save it and then my friend sees that pin that I saved and clicks on that pin and goes to your website, or even just saves your pin, you can now target my friend.

Okay.

Because they had an interest in your content.

Yeah.

So what you're doing is you're basically taking advantage of my audience.

Yeah, yeah.

Right?

That's awesome.

Which is great because they're a little bit warm, they wanted your content. So you can re-target that way. And then when you find an audience like that that works, you can create an Actalike audience which is like Facebook Lookalike only it's not based on demographics, it's based on behaviour and interest.

Okay.

So that's a powerful way to target people.

So is there's something particular you would advertise or not advertise? So for instance, again, some of the things I say is … well one I don't want to spend money unless it's going to take them somewhere and do something. So often on Facebook and the main ads that I run personally are lead magnet ads, so they're an ad offering some free content, obviously they're going to go to a landing page, on the landing page they'll then put in their details. And I guess with that ad I'm not concerned they're not going to my website. Do I think the same way or do I think differently? Do I need to be thinking, I want them at my website?

I would say it's a little bit different. So people from Pinterest because of that slightly different mindset, they're motivated to do something right then. So if you take them right to a landing page where there's nothing on it but a sign-up form they may be more likely to bounce.

Okay.

Because they want something, they want something right away so I would make the landing page a little bit meatier for a Pinterest visitor. Yeah, I would do that a little different. The other thing is if you had, say, a course launch or an event or in some cases a sale, be really conscious about that because your promoted pin, once you start [inaudible 00:47:12] your promoted pin, that pin is still out there, right? So it's not just your version of the pin, it's everything everyone else has saved which is wonderful, but you can get a whole bunch of basically free traffic because of your promoted pin. So I think now they're saying it's about … you get about 20% more action on your promoted pin that you pay for because of that downstream effect of people saving your promoted pin.

But like you said, unlike Facebook ads, when I'm … I literally have the same lead magnet that I turn on and off and on and off depending on what I'm doing and what I'm leading into and that sort of thing. But like you said, that won't be the case for Pinterest because it's out there and it's being re-pinned and, again, unlike Twitter where … and I don't do a huge amount of Twitter for advertising purely because I've tried it and it just didn't do a lot for me, I didn't think it was worth the money, but unlike Twitter it disappears because it's down that feed, so even though it still exists somewhere-

No-ones going to find it.

… it can be considerably, like, a long way a way. Whereas with Pinterest and the way that Pinterest works, it can keep being found because people can keep pinning it. So a great point, if I was doing an open cart scenario and it was going into closed cart, I may not want to use that tactical, or use that to advertise, I might want to use it for an ongoing brand awareness, building my profile and even lead magnet if it's a long term open lead magnet I guess. But I've got to be aware that that's on Pinterest and it's staying open.

Absolutely. And I see that as a bonus. And I like a bargain, right? So that's kind of a bargain. But the other thing to know is that you can run a promoted pin that is recovery movable.

Oh okay.

So it's a gated feature I think, so you have to ask to have it turned on but basically it means that once you start [inaudible 00:49:04] that promoted pin it's gone and also there's no save button on it so people can't save it. But I don't want to do that because I want my bonus. So what you could do is if you had an open cart thing or a limited time sale's probably a better example. When that sale ends, you just make sure you update that URL so that when people get to it, because they will, they have somewhere else to go. So if the item is out of stock you're going to say, “Oh man, sorry you missed it but here's … you're going to like this instead.” Or, you know, if the sale is over just make sure you mention that or just make it so that it doesn't feel like it's expired. That's the last thing you want is someone's first experience on your website to be, “Oh, I can't get what I want.”

But there is a lot of value in just sending traffic to your website, right? Just to warm them up so that you can re-target them on Pinterest, you can also re-target them on Facebook.

On Facebook, yeah.

Right? So sometimes it's just worth it to pay for clicks when you can get them cheap which sometimes you can.

And just give me an idea of like, is there a minimum budget? What do you have to pay to kind of start advertising?

So the minimum cost per click bid that you can make is 10 cents a click.

Okay.

In some industries you pay less than that which is amazing to me, in some it's a lot more. When you get in there and you start going to set your bid it's going to give you a suggestion for what would be a really strong bid and sometimes it's crazy high. At least in my opinion. Like $4.50 a click.

I don't want to pay that.

No, but you don't have to to get results. If it says it's too low sometimes your ad just won't serve. If it says it's low your ad will probably serve, you may not get all the impressions you want but your not going to have to pay too much money. So that's kind of where I try to start. Every once in a while you get some kind of mysterious, “This is a strong bid” and it's 25 cents or something and you're like, that's wonderful. But as far as per day I never go below $5 per ad group 'cause I think when you do that it's going to take you so long to figure out if that ad group is working that you're wasting money. So just do it until you figure out what's working, tweak it.

You probably do this in Facebook ads too much I'll run a campaign for a certain piece of content usually and then inside that campaign I have different ad groups with a different targeting. So I might start them all off at $5 a day and then adjust it as it goes so … especially when you're starting out new, make sure you have enough budget to test things against each other.

Absolutely. And then, like you said, it only has to run for, I guess, a few days, 48 hours I would suggest in Facebook but I'm assuming something similar-

Well-

Oh no, hang on.

It's a little different with Pinterest as everything is, a little different. For one thing you want to start way early. So if you feel like it's good practise to start 30 days before a season or an event on Facebook you probably want to start 60 days ahead on Pinterest because people start planning early. The other thing is that, if you're tracking conversions on Pinterest, that is generally about twice as long as it is on Facebook too. So if you need to run an ad for two days on Facebook to see if it's going to convert, you're going to need to run it at least four on Pinterest, probably more.

The other thing I've noticed recently too is that it can take three to five days for it kind of to find it's spot in the feed. So it doesn't spend your whole budget the first, second, third, fourth day and like … It seems like by the fifth day maybe it seems to level out. So give it a little time.

It sounds really similar to Google ads, it sounds like, yeah, the way you're talking and kind of the bidding strategy and the … because although Facebook has the select it for cost per click or conversion or whatever or you set your daily budget, it does sound a little bit different because it will spend your budget. So if you set Facebook ads at £5 a day, it's spending £5 a day. Whereas Google AdWords wouldn't necessarily do that, it would … sometimes you'll set up a budget and it'll go, “We just haven't had chance to spend it 'cause no-one's searched” so that's where I guess it differs, doesn't it?

Yes, and I would say that that's probably the biggest challenge from running Pinterest ads is actually getting the budget to spend. So it's that balance between, okay, want to use phrase match keywords because I know they convert better but I'm only getting 500 impressions a day, it's going to take me forever to spend my budget. Whereas I know if I target broad match it's not going to convert as well but I'm going to get the impressions. Well my compromise for that might be to … there's a little option in Pinterest where you can expand targeting, it's just a little box under the keyword which is always checked on which people don't always notice, but what that means is that Pinterest is going to look at your pin and the description and figure out where it thinks it should show your pin.

Okay.

That can actually work really well to get you the impressions you want and it can convert really well too so it doesn't always work but it's worth a try.

Yeah. Do you know what? Honestly I feel like I've had brain blown a bit but it sounds-

Oh, sorry.

No, but in such a good way because I just … the thing is, like I said, I work in social media, I've done it, I'm on Pinterest as a person and I kind of thought I knew how to turn that in … and I knew I should be posting more from a business strategic point of view and kind of getting my stuff out there and I hadn't been, and I had downloaded some freebie things before, in fact I did go on and download some of yours yesterday just to have a look, but the stuff I'd done previously, do you know what? I've gone through, like, a little mini-course with someone and what you've just told me about has completely made me go, that makes perfect sense and I didn't know that before. So honestly I'm so grateful because that was amazing.

I'm so glad and I can't take credit for it because I work at Tailwind and we're a Pinterest partner we get to, every once in a while, talk to Pinterest. So in April I got to interview the product marketing manager.

Wow.

Live on Facebook for an hour and a half and she answered every question that I could possibly find from everyone I knew and it really helped clarify so many things. And I just want to give you, here's a little unsolicited advice, because you have never used your accounts to market your own business, you're going to need to start a new account.

Oh no, because I was really excited that I'd got 2000 followers.

No.

You know what?

Here's the problem.

They're following me for my dinner party pictures.

Yes. That's the problem. That is why if you did that now your engagement rate would be terrible, right? Because they do not care about social media, they care about your recipes or whatever you're saving.

Oh man.

And I know it's bad news but I'm sorry, it's going to be much more effective if you start over.

Start again, okay.

And you know what you could do? This is what I do. I've gone back and forth with that and mines a mess, I admit it, because I've used it to experiment so many times. But whatever it's alright, but I learned a lot. Mine was personal, then it was business, then it was personal, then it was a mix. Now it's business. My engagement's horrible. But what I have done is I don't want to maintain two accounts. If I see something for my house I don't want to switch accounts. So what I do is I have all of my personal boards are secret.

Oh okay.

Right? So you can have all your recipes and if you don't care if anyone else sees them just keep them secret. If you want to share them with your friends you can add them to that board. But that way it's not going to be attracting people who don't care about your social media and you don't have to switch accounts.

‘Cause I have got some social media boards and some marketing boards, just not my own stuff. And then I've got some personal boards that are, like, proper personal as in, you know, clothes, shoes, houses, that sort of thing.

Sure.

So yeah, I'm going to have a look at that and I might be dropping you an email to say, let me know whether I should or not. But honestly thank you so much, I have enjoyed this episode so much and I feel like I must … once I get underway I must get you back on and you can tell me some of the more amazing details, it would be amazing.

Okay.

Thank you so much for being on the podcast.

Thank you.

Oh wow, I really enjoyed that one. It was so funny honestly. Like I said I've gone back and listened to it because I'm recording this a few weeks after I recorded the original interview, so I always go back and listen to it so obviously I can remind myself of everything we talked about. And I just can't stop smiling throughout the whole thing because we have so much energy and it's so fun and I literally am like, “What's this? What's this? How do you do this? How does this work?” And it's so cool because I love it when I learn stuff, I really, really do. And I feel like I give you guys a better episode because I'm asking the questions that maybe as a listener you're sat there thinking, “Oh no, what I really need to know is this Teresa” or, “Can you find out that.” So I loved that.

I loved the stuff she talked about and she actually blew my mind in terms of the psychology behind Pinterest and how we use it compared to other things like how we use Instagram or something. And how she talked about that you need to maintain a positive aspect when you're posting … not posting. Posting or pinning, let's say pinning. So you need to maintain a kind of positive spin on it when you're putting your pins up. And also that she talked about the user hashtags and the user consistency. So I just thought that was an amazing episode. I really enjoyed it, it's definitely one that I know is going to make a difference to me because I'm going to be able to put some of this stuff in place.

So you can come and find my Pinterest board, but I can assure you at the moment it's probably still full of recipes and Christmas stuff so I will definitely put on my other social medias when I am using that platform with gusto. Because you know me, I don't do anything unless I'm going to do it really well. So anyway that is it for this week, if you've enjoyed today's episode I would love it so very much if you would think about doing a five star review on iTunes for me, I would be so grateful, really do appreciate. I love reading the comments, I love receiving the DMs and I just love hearing from you.

Also if there's ever a question that you've sat there and thought, “Yeah great episode but what about this one thing?” Then by all means ask me. I'm here for you. I genuinely mean that. I'm not doing this just to talk to myself every week, I'm here for you, I want to help you. Tell me what you need and I will make sure I get the best person and we tell you the answers. So anyway have an awesome week and I look forward to seeing you again next week. Take care.