The Art of Social Media Marketing and using Pinterest for Business
Is social media marketing an art? The word analytics kind of screams math to me, and as far as I'm concerned, math and art don't exactly go hand in hand.
Analytics can sometimes seem overwhelming.
Business owners know they should be measuring their data, but how do you know exactly what metrics to look at to get the best ROI? And what if it's not working they way you expected it to?
To gain some perspective, we need to first gain some perspective and address the state of digital marketing…and the paid traffic correction that we're currently in the midst of.
Let's start with the obvious.
Unless you're using a very specific retargeting and custom audience strategy, don't expect Facebook ads to work the way they did in 2014. You can read more about that here, but in this article, I'm specifically talking about why the age of interruption is over and how you can leverage the power of Pinterest to help you implement a sustainable online business model.
You likely already know that Pinterest is a search and discovery platform…just like Google.
Search engines are completely different from other social media channels, so you have to understand the nuances of SEO (search engine optimization) in order to leverage all that Pinterest has to offer.
But don't let those three letters (SEO) scare you. It's really not that hard, and anyone can learn how to do it.
Using Pinterest for business allows you to reach your audience at a specific moment…the moment when they're visually attracted to whatever beautiful idea they see on Pinterest.
That's what makes Pinterest different from other social media channels.
Banner ads and low quality content just won’t do well on Pinterest, and that's what I love. No shitty looking clickbait sales pages, around here yo!
Remember when anyone with a sexy headline and a Clickfunnels account could turn a profit in their online business? Well folks, those days of money-hungry, funnel hacking, sleazy business are over (thank goodness!). I still use Clickfunnels, actually, but lets not get side-tracked with my sarcasm.
Here's how this fit's into the big picture of Pinterest.
Russell Brunson, the founder of Clickfunnels, created a truly amazing software tool that has made it very simple for millions of people all over the world to create online businesses using the funnel system.
But the key is, to actually be successful, you first need to clearly understand how to make it all come together, and that begins with understanding the online business model and the proper strategy first.
Not all online businesses are created equal.
In order to really harness the power of Pinterest for business, you have to get deep inside your Pinterest user's mindset, because the right combination of words and pictures can motivate action! And that my friend is how you make money.
The Storytelling Approach to Attraction Marketing
Telling a relevant story at the right time to the right person in a way that allows that person to realize they need your product or service is the real art behind social media marketing…And telling that story in a picture is what Pinterest is all about.
It's not about posting a really long rant on Facebook, pushing the ad to cheap countries to bulk up your “likes” and posting aggressive ad copy.
Lets talk about the psychology of behavior because this will explain why the aforementioned strategy does not work anymore.
People typically make a purchase decision based on whether they think you understand their problem, and whether they think you have the knowledge, resources and commitment to solve their problem.
Social media marketing is simply an extension of the age-old technique of getting to know your customer and then meeting their needs.
The “REAL” strategy is: Measuring brand awareness and harnessing the customer journey using attraction marketing
Not funnel “hacking”.
Not “smashing” the funnel.
(By the way…If you don't quote know what a funnel is yet or understand how to use it to grow your online business, then please take a moment to click here.)
What most of this sub-culture of fake digital marketers neglect to tell you about successful digital marketing is that the online business model is still based on traditional sales, and you can't make it work using the same shitty, high pressure sales techniques that never worked before.
“Hello, Mr. McDigital…1999 is calling…you left your pitch-heavy, automated webinar that's disguised as a masterclass over there, next to your friend who's Facebook Ad looks exactly the same as yours.
If you don’t like sales and you want to start a blog or an online business, you better learn to like sales…you just have to figure out the right way to attract your audience.
(Hint: It's not from any mentors who drank from the dirty pond.)
What's the dirty pond? It's the fact that nearly everyone “sneezed out an online business” lately and they all think they are giving out good advice, but really the only thing they are doing is telling the same story in a different way.
The reality is, nobody can tell you how to grow your online business, you have to let your own statistics guide your decision making.
For businesses, marketing has entered a new era, the Age of the Consumer. It takes a focused and forward-thinking business owner to embrace the ever-changing media landscape without sacrificing strategy and measurable results.
So…you want to know how to make it all come together? Let's do this!
Pinterest is the best kept secret in online marketing.
Contrary to popular belief…it's not Instagram.
Well, lets talk about who your target audience is for a minute. If your business is targeting people outside of the US, you’re in luck because 80% of the people who use Instagram are from outside the US according to the 2019 State of Social Media Report by Buffer.
But here’s something else to consider…if your business targets upper middle class, college educated women from the US, guess where 80% of your audience hangs out?
Yeah, it’s Pinterest.
More specifically, lets think about what those female head of households are looking at and shopping for…
If your business has anything to do with home decor, jewelry and clothing, makeup and hairstyles, children, weddings, books, travel, or food, and you’re not leveraging the power of Pinterest, you might want to start thinking about it.
So how do you measure ROI (return on investment) and really make sense of Pinterest analytics?
Well the first step is to make sure your Pinterest account is properly set up for business and that you're doing all the things that you should be doing (including SEO) in order to drive traffic to your website.
So before you can actually evaluate your Pinterest Analytics as a small business owner, you need to actually have some numbers to look at. Starting at the beginning? Download my checklist to help get you on track for success with Pinterest.
Using Your Own Pinterest Analytics to Understand Your Target Audience
In terms of using social media to promote selling your product or service: don’t assume someone is ready to have a particular conversation with you just because you’re ready to have the conversation with them.
In other words, just because you put your business out there doesn't mean people will come flocking. The social media fairies don't work that way.
Consumers now have access to more information and have more control over the sales process than ever. With this change, a new way of selling has emerged. This method combines the power of Pinterest's search engine optimization with a business owner's expertise in both design and communication skills in a way that not only brings revenue to the business, but it deepens the value of the overall relationship.
Because social media marketing is an approach to the sales and marketing of your product that is relationship-focused instead of transaction-focused, the immediate goal isn’t necessarily to get a sale as quickly as possible; the immediate goal is to establish a relationship.
So if there is no sale…how do you understand what is working and what isn't working when it comes to your Pinterest analytics?
The key is to know exactly what Pinterest metrics to look at and where to find them.
Here's a quick snapshot.
If you look at Analytics directly from the Pinterest dashboard, be sure you change the drop down to “Link Clicks” as well as change the radio button to only your website to see which of your pins are getting clicked on the most. The default setting is “Impressions” which is a vanity metric that doesn't really give you any concrete information.
Focus on the design of your pins
This may sound obvious, but if you're not a designer by trade, the creative, typography, and color combinations might not come naturally to you. Use quality stock art, and most importantly, do not use free stock. Use Google analytics to review which pins are producing the most traffic, and model your future designs off those pins. Buy a subscription to someplace like PixiStock or IvoryMix.
Here's a example of two different pins that lead to the same blog post. Can you guess which one has more link clicks? It's the one with the prettier design.
If you need some help with templates for Pin design, the easiest way to get started is to create a free account with Canva.com.
The Age of Interruption is Over!
Understand the digital sales process. Instead of interrupting customers with a sales pitch, a product or service is marketed to a consumer when the opportunity presents itself. Aside from the obvious (answering questions and responding to inquiries on your own social channels, and using email nurturing the right way) how exactly can business owners join the social selling conversation?
Here is a short video to show you exactly what Pinterest Analytics to look at and where to find them.
A few other examples of ways to incorporate social selling in your online business:
A potential consumer asks a question that your product or service is uniquely able to handle. How do you find those asking questions? Solution: If you don’t have the budget to invest in monitoring apps (such as Cison.com) simply search an industry specific hashtag to see what thought leaders are conversing about. #DigitalMarketing
Example: A consumer expresses a concern or problem with a competitor’s product or service. Solution: Offer your solution in the comments. Be careful not to force your product or service down someone’s throat. Instead point them to an article your company has produced (such as a blog) or another educational piece that shows that you understand the problem they are faced with and how to resolve it.
Example: A consumer asks for your recommendation by email based on previous content you wrote about or expertise they know you have. Provide a direct link to a piece of content or an offer that provides the answer to what they are looking for.
You want to give people only what they will find valuable. If your business is a petstore and a potential consumer is interested in puppies, you don’t want to send them an email trying to sell them a fishtank. If you do, it’s likely they will opt-out of your list and you’ll never have the chance to sell anything puppy related to them again.
How does social media marketing work in the context of Pinterest?
Social selling isn’t a straightforward process; it is rather a collection of strategies designed to establish a relationship with your leads and customers.
Unlike traditional selling, social selling allows you to establish longer-lasting relationships with leads and clients by delivering only what your prospect is interested in. In order to do this, you need to understand the nuances of the Pinterest Platform in order to take full advantage of it for marketing your business.
Here are 4 tips to help you take full advantage of your social channels to help you attract real, targeted leads that are stronger and better qualified:
1. Social Listening
Pay close attention to and respond to potential sales opportunities and clients through comments on your blog and on your social channels. Often this technique is overlooked by companies who don’t have a lot of time or recognize the value of customer service.
It’s important to realize that digital media is a powerful way to connect with your audience and if used properly, your brand’s voice will be amplified tenfold by interactions that can be seen and heard by people all over the digital world.
2. Brand Building
Establishing your brand as a subject matter expert and your business as a credible authority within a particular niche is very important in today’s online landscape.
People perform online research more than ever before, so a combination of search engine ranking and detailed content that is relevant to a particular search or need will help position you ahead of your competition. Post a thought leadership article on LinkedIn or a carefully crafted Tweet, but whatever you do, make sure it's thoughtfully aligned with your core values.
Create blogs, videos, white papers, ebooks, or other educational information about your industry that offers insight and value for current and prospective clients. The key is to provide something valuable. Don't be cheap.
Make sure your content is informative and relevant. More content doesn’t necessarily equate to more visits…remember it's always quality over quantity.
Your Pinterest analytics will tell you exactly which pins are gaining the most traction. The best kind of content marketing doesn’t feel like marketing at all; instead it tells a story and appeals to your prospect’s emotions. Consider what problem your product or service solves, and then create content around delivering a compelling story.
Remember when an Excel spreadsheet replaced the old-fashioned rolodex? These days even a smart spreadsheet isn’t going to amplify your prospecting. The gold mine of opportunity that exists with a CRM platform allows you to identify prospects for up-sell or cross-sell, convert existing customers to new products or services, target new marketing, or even track invoices.
Managing your interactions between customers and your business using an automation tool is the best way to monitor, analyze and follow-up upon the metrics delivered by your digital marketing efforts. Different platforms make sense for different size businesses and industries.
For businesses making over $250,000 per year, I highly recommend HubSpot. If your business is making from zero to $250,000, then your best option for marketing automation is ConvertKit.
Last but not least…
Keep in mind that the true art of social media marketing on Pinterest is knowing that it's not about you, your opinions, your point of view or your circumstances.
It’s about helping others by meeting their needs, understanding their concerns, and adding a valuable solution to their path forward. Have a question about Pinterest? Join my FREE Private Facebook Group: Pinterest Marketing
Pinterest for Business: Your Guide to Proper SEO + Keyword Research
Are you using Pinterest for business effectively? Pinterest is a search engine, in other words, it’s a place for research and discovery, just like Google. The difference is that Pinterest is visual…in fact Pinterest is the largest visual search engine in the world!
While most people tend to think Pinterest is a social media network, it's very different from other social networks in that by using proper SEO techniques, pins can be continuously discovered for years! My best performing pin is actually from 2014.
A user of Pinterest could be actively searching for ideas like recipes, DIY, and home decor, or they could be passively searching for dreams, plans, and goals without even realizing it. Unlike other social networks like Facebook or Twitter, your content has the potential to show up in front of people who are not yet “following” you. But in order to get your content seen by the right target audience, you need to add very specific words and phrases in just the right places…and this is called SEO or search engine optimization.
Here’s an example:
If I type in a phrase such as “chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing” I would expect each different photo that appears in the search results to lead to a website with a recipe for chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing when I click on it. It doesn’t matter if the pin was posted in 2014 or yesterday, if the picture and the words match what I’m searching for, then Pinterest is smart enough to know that and return the results when someone is searching. Pinterest is so smart, in fact, that it can even discern what the picture is even if there isn’t any text to accompany the picture.
Smart and savvy businesses can use the power of Pinterest search to get discovered. Niche businesses with target customers who match the primary users of the platform tend to do quite well. The reason is because the nature of a search engine is to return the results with the closest match to what the user is searching for. It’s a great way to ensure the right people find your content. This translates into something called attraction marketing, in other words, hyper-qualified leads that are actually searching for what your business has to offer. When you are consciously specific and strategic with your choice of keywords and long tail keyword phrases, you have a good chance of attracting your target audience.
What is a keyword and a long tail keyword phrase in the context of Pinterest?
Lets look at the example of the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes. Think about what a user would search for when you would expect this to match their results. Perhaps they are searching for a recipe, so the keyword would be: “chocolate peanut butter cupcakes” while a long tail keyword phrase might be something like: “gluten-free chocolate peanut butter cupcakes recipe.” It’s better to be more specific.
If you only use the keyword “cupcakes” then the search engine isn’t sure what kinds of results to provide, but if you use that long tail keyword phrase, there is no question about what you’re looking for. As a business, the more specific you can be, the better. Notice how this Pin pulls in the keyword description directly from the blog post as well as a pin description with appropriate keywords and hashtags:
How to Ensure Your Pinterest Business Account is Set Up Properly
Every board, board description and pin description should be completely filled in with hyper relevant keywords and phrases that sound natural. Some people make it a practice to “keyword stuff” their descriptions, and this is definitely the wrong way to go about Pinterest optimization. An example of a description with “keyword stuffing” would be:
This board is about cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, vanilla cupcakes, peanut butter cupcakes and all things cupcake. Need a cupcake recipe? Here you’ll find cupcake recipes and gluten-free cupcake recipes. Are you hungry for cupcakes? Try one of our cupcake recipes.
As you can see, this paragraph isn’t easily “readable” because it’s too stuffed with the word cupcake. Instead a better board description would be:
This board contains recipes for the best gluten-free cupcakes. You’ll find recipes for all different flavors, each accompanied by a gluten-free recipe option.
The algorithm on Pinterest knows how to categorize your content and share it with those who may not follow you but are interested in the topic; however if you stuff a bunch of words that are either too broad or not hyper-relevant, the algorithm recognizes that and penalizes you by not showing your content to your intended target audience.
Want to learn more about how to get your Pinterest Business account set up for success? Download my FREE Pinterest for Business Getting Started Checklist!
Pinterest SEO for Business
The first step to proper Pinterest SEO is to make sure people are actually searching for what you think they’re searching for. Sometimes we tend to think people are searching for our product or services, but in reality they are using a completely different keyword phrase. For example, when I worked for a digital agency, I was optimizing a website for a client who sold a digital product that helped connect sales and marketing teams.
Initially, I made the assumption that potential customers were searching for the term “sales and marketing alignment” which has a search volume of almost 600 searches each month. In reality, only a fraction of the people searching for the product actually used those exact words. Instead, they used the words “sales enablement” which had 8,900 searches per month. So while proper SEO includes using simple words that fit into your niche, it’s important to research the words and phrases to ensure you are using words that are both relevant as well as highly searched for.
It’s best to keep your descriptions brief and straight to the point. You can use up to 500 characters in your pin description and that also includes hashtags. However, I would recommend keeping your hashtags limited to 3 hyper-relevant tags.
For example, #cupcakes is not super relevant and would be difficult to rank for unless you are a very large and well established account. Instead, you might use a hashtag like #chocolatepeanutbuttercupcakes
Keep in mind Pinterest users are mainly looking at the picture. Pins that are sized at 2 to 3 are the best performers. Most of the time, people won’t click on a rectangular pin because its much smaller and harder to see. If a picture gives someone all the information they need, they will either pin, scroll, or click. Most of the time, people overlook the title and description, but those are important so that Pinterest can properly find and categorize your pins properly. The titles and descriptions don’t need fancy, but they do need to be informative.
5 Places to Put Keywords on Pinterest
1. Your Website First
First and most importantly, optimize your website. When you write a blog post, you should include keywords and long tail keyword phrases into the title and meta-description of the Pinterest image that is attached to that blog post. Alt-text inside the image on your website is specifically meant to describe what the image is showing, it’s not the same as the image description. Alt-text is meant for the visually impaired.
There are two ways to accomplish this. One is by using the Tasty Pins plugin (if you have a WordPress site). The other way is to add the description manually by using the data-pin-description tag inside the code editor.
Why do SEO on your website first?
If your Pinterest account is connected to your website properly, it will pull the meta-data directly from the blog post. In other words, when someone pins your pin directly from your website, the specific information included inside your blog post optimization carries over to the pin.
2. Pin Descriptions
If you’ve already optimized your website, the Pinterest description will carry over and you won’t have to do anything when you pin. The best way to create a brand new pin on Pinterest is by pinning it directly from your website. When the pin image matches the blog post featured image and all the meta-data matches up, Pinterest recognized your pin as high quality. However, there are times when you will want to upload a pin image directly to the platform. The only time I upload a pin image directly is when I direct it to one of my YouTube videos. In that situation, I add a title and description to the pin, and then edit the URL to video or landing page.
Your profile is a great place to add keywords and it’s one that is often overlooked. There are two places you can add them. First, your business name. Include your business name and a brief description of what you do. Pinterest limits the amount of characters in your title, but you can add more inside the profile description.
Use this section to let prospective customers know how you’re going to serve them with the type of content or niche you are in. You can repeat keywords that you used in your business name.
4. Board Titles
In this section, it’s important to consider who your target customer is. Be specific in the types of titles you use. Use hyper-targeted and descriptive keywords and phrases. For example, it’s better to create a board called “cupcakes” and pin cupcake recipes to it rather than creating a more generic board such as “desserts”. While regular people (i.e.: your potential customers) use Pinterest for pleasure and may not care whether their pins get shown to other people, as a business, you want your pins to get shown to people when they are searching for “cupcakes” so your pins have a much better chance of being seen when they are pinned to a “cupcake” board rather than a “dessert” board.
5. Board Descriptions
This is the place where you will tell the user what you pin on the board. Write complete sentences in a natural way. Add a few hyper-relevant sentences about what kind of pins go on the board, and repeat the keyword and long tail keyword phrases.
Know Your Pinterest Audience
Last but not least, the goal with Pinterest SEO is to target your intended audience. Think about it this way: you want to attract the kind of people who will want to consume your content and share it with their friends. If you’re stuck on which keywords to use, my advice is to start with a simple list of 10-15 words or short phrases that you believe people would type into a search to find your content. In the world of marketing and advertising, we create something called a “persona” or an “avatar”. This is your “ideal” customer. Each pin (or piece of advertising) is intended to attract your ideal customer.
Once you get your target audience clicking on your pins and landing on your website or product page, make sure you are using something like the Milotree app to help convert them into Pinterest followers. If they find your content interesting enough to click over from Pinterest, it’s important to wow them with a reason to stick around and follow you for more!
Want to know the most efficient Pinning Strategy inside Tailwind to get all your pins scheduled for the week in 20 minutes or less?
Please note that some of the links included in this article are affiliate partner links. For more information, click here.
Here's the thing…if you're not using Tailwind in the right way, you can waste hours of time trying to make your way through tribe content to get your pins scheduled for the week.
If you landed on this blog post, you probably already know that using Tailwind can up your Pinterest marketing game and send heaps of targeted traffic to your website. But what most professional bloggers leave out is exactly how to accomplish this.
How to Up Your Pinterest Marketing Game
First things first, there are a few pre-requisites before you will completely understand some of the language used in this article because it’s hyper-relevant to Pinterest Marketing.
I’m going to do my best to give you some real, actionable tips that you can start using immediately.
I believe in transparency and authenticity in business, and my goal is to provide real value…always! Cracking the code to Pinterest marketing is like any new tactic, when you’re learning for the first time, you just want to become a sponge and soak up as much information as you can so that you can start making it work for you…as quick as possible!
Although I’m a veteran of digital marketing (I worked in agency and corporate for 14 years) in the grand scheme of things, Pinterest Marketing in particular was fairly new on my radar from about 2014 to 2016 and to be honest, at the time most corporations who were hiring digital agencies to handle their online marketing campaigns were not looking to use Pinterest.
As I did research and read more about Tailwind, I kept coming across people who would have a killer headline on their pin and blog post (about pinning), and then I’d get to the article and they weren’t actually share any real tips.
Instead of offering value in the blog post, they would ramble on and on about a Pinterest Course they took, then they would share their affiliate link to the course. #ANNOYING
Using Pinterest for Business
If you are still rather new to Pinterest, then I would recommend checking out my Getting Started Checklist before you try to implement the suggestions inside this article.
The Checklist covers the basics of Pinterest for Business, such as making sure your business profile has a good description, creating beautiful and engaging pins, board covers and hyper-relevant descriptions that are loaded with long tail keyword phrases. In addition, joining Group Boards helps with the amplification tactics.
When I first converted my Pinterest account over to a business account, I didn’t think I needed to use Tailwind to see the results. I wasn’t about to pay for yet another tool just because everyone was talking about it.
Without Tailwind, and with some vigorous manual pinning on a daily basis, I was able to get my Pinterest daily views to about 100,000 per month. To break that down, that translated to only about 50 blog page views per day from Pinterest, which isn’t much.
Nobody can make a passive income on 50 website page views a day. Just as a basic frame of reference, to actually start seeing some passive income (i.e.: affiliate commissions) coming in, your website views need to be at least 1,000 per day.
After about 2 months of killing myself, spending time in different Facebook Group threads and manually pinning for 2-3 hours per day (I’m including time to reciprocate in that as well) I was already getting burned out and frustrated with Pinterest. The strategy I keep hearing about wasn’t working, and I was starting to believe that all the digital agencies were right.
I was barely approaching those 50 website visitors per day, and when I wasn’t participating in a group thread, the views were down to 20. Not to mention, those visitors were likely just visiting to reciprocate with support and share my content, not actually because they were interested.
I was desperate to make it work. But two months into using Tailwind, I still wasn’t seeing the results I thought I would. What could I possibly be doing wrong?
I was sharing the Tribe content like crazy. I was spending time in the tribes reciprocating to make sure that I shared pins from everyone who shared mine.
It was taking hours.
What’s up with this 20-minute per week that everyone was talking about?
Finally…the revelation. After some experimenting, and digging deeper, I finally realized what I was missing. Although I was using Tribes, I was not pinning my own content in the right way, and I wasn’t using my Group Boards the right way either!
The Tailwind Secret
There are actually a few secrets:
1. Know exactly how to pin efficiently (view the video below)
2. Ensure that your beautiful pins are not using stock photos (because the algorithm reads the photo)
3. Pin your own content to group boards and other people's content to your own boards
Here’s a short video to illustrate the most efficient way to pin and leverage your Group boards using Tailwind.
So in a nutshell, the Tailwind process looks like this:
Join Relevant Group Boards
Create Board Lists inside Tailwind
Batch Scheduling: In other words, Pin with the Chrome Browser Extension to one hyper-relevant topic at a time (see above video for illustration of how to do this)
In the Draft section, schedule all pins to your Board Lists
Shuffle your queue
PRO-TIP: INTERVAL PINNING
If you don’t currently use a scheduling tool, it’s likely that when your blog post goes live, you pin it to every group board you are a part of. In theory, it seems like a good idea, but for your followers, it comes across as spammy and reduces the number of people who will actually see your pin.
Not only that, Pinterest will ban you for “spamming” even though you're not doing it intentionally.
Instead, click the interval button (it appears when you add more than one board inside the scheduler).
There's enough room for all of us to thrive online without being stingy about it! My philosophy: GirlBosses Helping GirlBosses = #Vogue
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