Episode 38: Pinterest Marketing Made Easy

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Stephanie Liu: Let's talk about Pinterest and promoted pins, but first off, why of all the social media platforms are you most interested in Pinterest?

Alisa Meredith: Okay well I'm just gonna throw you a curveball from the beginning because that's what I do. It's not a social media network, it's a search and discovery engine and that's how the co-founders have described it from the beginning. If you think about the way Pinterest works, which we can get into, it makes a lot of sense. It gets lumped into social media, so I understand. It's characterized as the number two driver of social media traffic, so that really caught my attention. But the other thing I love about it is that it's a really cool and fun, and challenging mix of artistic and kind of scientific. So you've got the SEO a little bit, which I'm not deep into like Google SEO or anything, you can ask anybody, I'm not. But I do like the idea of trying to make the algorithm happy and also trying to make people happy with beautiful inspiring images and descriptions. So it's just a fun little challenge.

Stephanie Liu: And did you join Pinterest mostly because... I joined Pinterest mostly because I was either planning for my wedding or a girlfriend's wedding, and that's how I came to fall in love with it. But how did you come to discover Pinterest and just decide, "Now I'm going to use this for my blog and for Tailwind as well"?

Alisa Meredith: Well, I started using it instead of using bookmarks on my browser. I found all these marketing articles I wanted to read, but didn't have time in a moment. So rather than saving onto a bookmark, I would organize them into boards that I could reference later. And that's really how I got into it personally, but then because I had a marketing agency, I was curious about the possible marketing use for Pinterest. So I started doing some research and I wrote an e-book, which is really terrible now, but it was kind of my attempt to understand how to use it. From that I started getting clients, who were interested in using it as well, so I had to kind of go beyond just using it for traffic to try to figure out if it could generate leads. And yeah, it can. When I find something that works and something that you can prove works, that's exciting to me. So Pinterest got me, it hooked me. And then when Promoted Pins came out, everything you bring out works really well and I enjoy doing something that not everybody is doing.

Stephanie Liu: Oh I know, right? You definitely want to be the one, where it's like “This is amazing, this is driving all my leads, all my traffic, but I kind of don't want to tell anyone about it.”

Alisa Meredith: But I can't help it, because it's too much fun. So I got into that for my agency and I've blogged for Tailwind for years. All my clients needed to have Tailwind for me to work with them. Then when I came on the team in May of this year, it was just a perfect match because I just love Pinterest and I've always loved Tailwind, so it worked out.

Stephanie Liu: So for Pinterest, yes, I've definitely been using Pinterest for quite some time now. But I feel like I've never gotten the true hang of it. Aside from making sure that my website was Pinterest verified, creating boards, making sure that I had at least five pins in there so that the board actually looked pretty… What are some other tips, pincredible tips, that we could go ahead and share with the audience that way they know how they can start upping their game on the platform?

Alisa Meredith: Okay, so it's important to realize that the most common action on Pinterest is search. Some people get really into the way that their boards look, the way they're arranged, and having board covers, and the order of their boards, and that really doesn't matter so much anymore because people are finding through search. It’s a similar thing as far as counting your followers, like everybody likes to have more followers, but that's not necessarily gonna get you the click-throughs anymore. It's more about making search happy, so put some of those things aside. But I think the biggest issue is the mindset. We talked a little bit about how Pinterest is not a social network. If you think about Instagram or Facebook, we use that so that we can project an image of ourselves that we want others to see. It's kind of a filtered image of our lives, the best of our lives most of time, whereas Pinterest is more about ourselves and about what we see for our future, and what we want to become. So we're not on Pinterest to impress anybody or even necessarily to share, we're there to collect and plan, and be inspired, and do, which is why it's a great platform for purchasing.

Stephanie Liu: Which is really interesting, because when I was putting the copy together for this, I discovered on the Pinterest business analytics that one out of two people who view a promoted pin are most likely going to make a purchase. I was like, “Wait a second, that is insane!”

Alisa Meredith: I know! You sent me that, and I was like, “Where did you get that?!” Because I hadn't seen that either.

Stephanie Liu: I know, I was like, “Well, if she doesn't know…”

Alisa Meredith: There’s a statistic also that if they see your promoted pin, they're twelve percent more likely to buy.

Stephanie Liu: Okay, so for now shifting away from just making boards, looking pretty and color schemes, and all that stuff, and now that we're catering to those individuals that are on there to search, because it’s a search and discovery platform, what are some things that we should be mindful of?

Alisa Meredith: I think one of the most common newbie mistakes, and people really just smack themselves in the head when they realize they've done it, it feels terrible to have to say, but when you upload an image to Pinterest, it's got to link somewhere, you need to link it back to your website, and I can't tell you how often I'll see a pin and I'll click on it to see where is this and it was uploaded by user, there's no link.

Stephanie Liu: That happened to me, I was looking for a new hairstyle and I was like, “Oh I want to see the rest of this hairstyle,” that was it. I was like, “Oh no!”

Alisa Meredith: Isn’t that disappointing? Right, so they lost traffic. The other thing is when people see that they can report that there's no link and that will eventually get that pin pushed down, and the algorithm may affect your account as well. So you've got to link to something good from your pins. You also want to use rich pins. Just Google “rich pins” and it will walk you through how to do it. What that does is it pulls information from your website and adds it to each pin, so for article rich pins it will pull in the blog title, which really makes your pins more eye-catching in the feed and helps people find you easier. So that would be two things, but I think beyond that, just trying to get inside the mind of the Pinner, so if you're not using Pinterest for yourself try it. Even if you think you won't like it, just pick one topic that you can get really into and just start pinning like crazy. Pay attention to “Why was I attracted to that pin? How did I characterize it? Why did I want to save it?” so that you can understand the different mindset. I think that's hugely important.

Stephanie Liu: So we've talked about getting into the user’s mindset, what are the characteristics of a pin that would get them to go ahead and click, making sure that we actually have a link that goes somewhere (because otherwise we have eyeballs, but no action after that). One of the questions that we have so far is from Shelley and she said, “Well, what about hashtags? Should we be using hashtags in pins?”

Alisa Meredith: Yes, and this is new as of this fall, so there are two different ways to search on Pinterest now. There's the way we talked about, which has to do a lot with the keyword searches and the way Pinterest ranks you and the algorithm that determines how you're going to be found. But a hashtag search is a completely different way. What hashtag search does is you can either type in a hashtag search, which I'm not sure if anyone's really doing that other than just to play with it, or if you see a hashtag in a description of a pin you like you can click on that hashtag and see more pins with that hashtag in the description. You should definitely be using them. But something I've seen people do is go back to old pins and add hashtags. Don't do that, because Pinterest is looking at their freshest pins that have hashtags. So if you do a hashtag search, at least last week or so they were still showing when that was pinned, which they don't do on all pins, just hashtag search. And it would start with like “2 minutes ago,” “an hour ago,” “2 days ago”… It's in order, basically. Not completely, but it's their very recent pins and also it does not work on re-pins. It's just fresh pins from your site.

Stephanie Liu: So then would you say that if you had a successful pin and I was getting some traffic, but then you realized, “Oh I didn't have a hashtag.” Is that something where you say to yourself, “I should go ahead and create a new pin with the hashtag or just let it go”? How important is the hashtag?

Alisa Meredith: Create a new pin with that hashtag. So go back to your website and pin it again, and add a hashtag in the description.

Stephanie Liu: How do you know which of your pins are actually performing the best?

Alisa Meredith: For that I use Pinterest Analytics and also Tailwind. So Tailwind is a Pinterest and Instagram scheduling and analytics tool and the Pinterest platform, you just can't beat it for the analytics. You can go to pin inspector and it will show you every pin that you've ever pinned and it will show you how many re-pins are on it. They call them Saves now, but we all still call it re-pin. Then in Pinterest Analytics you can see which ones are bringing in all the clicks, it's super helpful.

Stephanie Liu: But then we've also been talking just a little bit about Tailwind and this is really the part where I feel like if you really want to be serious about driving more website and leads, is Tailwind one of those things that you have to have?

Alisa Meredith: Yeah, in fact recently someone asked me to do a presentation about creating a Pinterest strategy without mentioning Tailwind and I said, “I'm sorry,” I said, “even before I started working, long before I started working with Tailwind every client I brought on had to have Tailwind and it was an integral part of my strategy. So I can't do it.” I said, “I won't be giving the best information if I can't mention Tailwind and I know it sounds like I'm making it up, but I'm not.

Stephanie Liu: No, I think it makes a lot of sense because let's say if you're going to be doing Google AdWords you need the Google Keyword Planner, you need to do your keyword search discovery, all of that stuff to understand how many impressions you're going to get. And I imagine that with Tailwind you get so many more powerful analytics that you don't get on the regular dashboard itself, so what are some of the features that Tailwind users enjoy and get to use all the time?

Alisa Meredith: Well, it kind of goes back to some of the things you need to be doing on Pinterest and I think some people are shy about sharing their own content, they feel like, “I already shared that blog post once. I think it would be wrong to do it again.” No, keep sharing it. When you are creating your Pinterest strategy, you want to have more than one board of your own that it will fit on. You want to try to join group boards that it will fit on and you pin it more than just once. So if you want to give it even more mileage, a really great thing to do, especially if you are newer bloggers and you don't have that many blog posts, is to create multiple images for the same blog post. This is something Pinterest recommends on their “Getting Started” page. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and everything right with that. So I highly suggest you do that.

Stephanie Liu: So when you see that it kind of makes me think that Pinterest is the Twitter newsfeed, where sometimes if you tweet once it gets buried so fast, so you have the opportunity to go ahead and tweet multiple times. But in Pinterest you could create the multiple boards, you could split test different images, different hashtags, but as long as you still have a tracking link in the destination URL you still know that it's coming from Pinterest, right?

Alisa Meredith: Well you don't use a tracking link in a Pinterest URL typically. But you'll be able to see in your Google Analytics what's coming from Pinterest, right? There are some dashboards that you can use that will show you which pins are bringing in the most traffic, which is pretty cool. I can share the link for that when we get off because that's really helpful. But one of the things that I use Tailwind for when setting up a strategy is to look at the existing boards. It's called Board Insights and it will show you which of the boards are the strongest performing. Because a lot of people are saying that group boards don't work anymore. So a group board is where several people belong to one board, there's one owner and a bunch of contributors, and then your pins when you add them show up in the home feed of people who follow anyone in the group board. So it can help you get some extra exposure, but what's kind of happened to some of them is that they're overrun with too many contributors, the owner can't keep up with it so it gets filled with spam. That’s not the case with all of them by any means, so when I look at a new account I will often see that the best-performing boards are group boards. But you need to know that, because if you have a group forward that is bad neighborhood you need to get out. So that's one of the biggest things I use Tailwind analytics for in the beginning, it's to figure out if the group boards are doing any good.

Stephanie Liu: Oh interesting, because if you're a part of a group board that let's say is pretty spammy, will that go ahead and impact your overall account just by association?

Alisa Meredith: Absolutely, guilt by association. I want to go back to you about pinning to multiple boards. Something that Pinterest just started talking about this fall was that if you pin to this board over here about social media and you pin to this board over here about Twitter that's helpful, it's teaching Pinterest machine learning that social media and Twitter is what your blog post is about. It kind of figures out that these two pins are related. So if you can pin two related boards with that one piece of content it teaches Pinterest how to categorize it and you'll get shown more. So don't be shy, put it wherever it belongs, but one of the biggest things, and this is new to Tailwind, and this is Tailwind Tribes…

Stephanie Liu: I’ve heard so much about this…

Alisa Meredith: Tell me what you've heard!

Stephanie Liu: Just the fact that you could join a kind of like engagement pods, or if I were to liken it to something else, but like pods by specific topics and everyone can choose from pins related to that specific topic. So if it was like all about live-streaming then you could go ahead and hang out there, but I mean, you're the pro so you tell me what else.

Alisa Meredith: You got it. What it is is you create an always updated feed of relevant content that you can pin from and of course you add your own content as well and other people can from that. I wanted to convince one of my friends like, “You should be using this” but now he was too busy to look at it, so I did a kind of a little stealth project and I joined a tribe specifically to share his client’s content only. Sneaky-sneaky, right? So like twice a day I would add in a blog post from his client that fit that tribe and after about three weeks I showed him the numbers, there were like an additional four million potential reaches on those pins. He said, “Okay! Sign me off, you convinced me.” So if you get into a good tribe it's just like anything else - good rewards, good tribes. You will get a huge benefit and I think that the traffic is slower to come than the shares, because that's just how Pinterest works. It's not like Facebook where it's there and it disappears or like Twitter. Your pin will last forever. So my first client ever, we pin for him for a couple years and I still can see his Google Analytics throughout their (Hi, Tony!) and I know he hasn't pinned in about three years, but I can still see that he gets more traffic from Pinterest than he does from every other source combined. So it's one of those things that the work you put in now is gonna pay off for months and years to come, even if you were to stop, which you shouldn’t. It's hugely powerful, so I would say do it. The other thing I love about Tribes is it saved me so much time, I used to go into like Weebly and look at all the blogs and just take from there, right? And that's still great, but these are people I know and I trust, and I know I can share their stuff without having to read it most of the time. So it just stays in - schedule, schedule, schedule - and that's another thing. You schedule, you don't need to do live pinning because if you use a Pinterest approved partner tool it's the same effect. So remember that whole debate about Facebook. If you use a third-party tool, will it decrease your reach? I don't even know where that ended up now, I think our reach is so low organically it doesn't really matter, but it doesn't on Pinterest.

Stephanie Liu: Well, we do have one question from Lori White, now that we're talking about scheduling pins. But Lori's question is basically that she's gotten a lot of different messages and advice when it comes to scheduling her pins so her question is how many pins a day should she be scheduling?

Alisa Meredith: I would say as many as you have time for that are relevant. I know it's a horrible answer, but you can get some results with five to ten pins a day. Some people have found that 30 or so is better. If you go past 50, it may have some diminishing returns as Pinterest is like “woah, slow down” and then narrow the funnel on you a bit.

Stephanie Liu: Okay, because now I'm thinking about my old blog posts. Usually for the live streams I'll go ahead and do the recap blog post with the transcript and then I'll make the Pinterest image, but I'm only making one image. So if you're posting let's say five to ten times a day, how many versions of the pin would you recommend?

Alisa Meredith: I think you should have time to do two or three, that would be fabulous. If you don't though, and here's another thing is that you need to be sharing other people's content, which I know is kind of a hard concept. Like why would I want to be building up a competitor or even someone in my own industry? But Pinterest really is a good place for collaboration and that's where tribe really shines, is to help you support other people. But there's also selfish reason for it as well, because when you're sharing quality content on quality domain Pinterest knows how to take that into account in the algorithm. So let's say I'm pinning from a domain that has ten times the authority that mine does. When I share those pins it's like for Pinterest’s idea of my reputation goes up. So when I put my pin in that will also be lifted up because of the way I pin.

Stephanie Liu: So it's the whole association thing again. I got it, it’s basically like high school all over again.

Alisa Meredith: It is much more friendly.

Stephanie Liu: On Wednesdays we pin pink things, okay guys? Don’t get banned. So Bonnie’s question is, “What scheduler do you use?” And so what we've been talking about is Tailwind and you kind of dropped this a little earlier, but you said it's important for you to use Pinterest approved partners. So I'm assuming that means that Tailwind is definitely one of those?

Alisa Meredith: Yes. it is. There are a few and if you Google Pinterest approved partners you'll see a list of them. But there are also a lot that are not, so whether or not that hurts you now or could get you banned now I don't really know. But I wouldn't risk my clients.

Stephanie Liu: I know, I get that a lot too because even in my last episode we were talking about Instagram marketing and there's so many different schedulers out there. But it really boils down to how risky do you feel like today, right?

Alisa Meredith: Especially if you're doing it on behalf of somebody else.

Stephanie Liu: For all of you that are small business owners and entrepreneurs, if you're doing something else for a client, especially in terms of social media, it's most likely that you have business insurance, especially errors and omissions insurance, and if for any reason you get your client locked out, banned or whatever, they all most likely come back to you. So let's avoid that.

Alisa Meredith: Definitely. The other cool thing about Tailwind besides tribes, which I think is a complete game-changer, and it saves me so much time. is the smart scheduler. So tailwind will look at what you pin and it looks at your follower activity, it knows when your followers are most likely to engage and it suggests those time slots for you. So if you wanted to try to figure this out yourself, you couldn’t. You’d have to post every minute every day for six years to figure out when's the best time. So then the question kinda comes up, “Well if the algorithm is about authority and association, and quality, and engagement then why does it matter when you pin?” When I started at Tailwind that was one of my first questions. I said, “I love Tailwind and I will recommend it forever, but why do we still need this?” And the answer is because if you can get your pin into the home feed of people when they're on and likely to engage. When your pin first comes out and Pinterest sees that people are engaging with it right away, that tells Pinterest, “Okay, push it out faster to more people.” So those little signals at the right time can help you in the long run, even though yeah there is an algorithm. But you could train Pinterest that way.

Stephanie Liu: So how do you know what people are interested on Pinterest and if it's related to your business?

Alisa Meredith: Well, would you like me to show you?

Stephanie Liu: Yeah! I want to see if we're gonna be able to do this because again, we're using Zoom.

Alisa Meredith: I can tell you if that’s easier.

Stephanie Liu: Try it!

Alisa Meredith: So go into your Pinterest account, and I may have to do this even though you can't see…

Stephanie Liu: Well see if you could share your screen, I’ll see if on my in on OBS if I could just duplicate the screen, remove me, and then maximize your window. Again, you guys, we are totally doing this on the fly. Thank you OBS for being super awesome.

Alisa Meredith: Okay, can you see my screen?

Stephanie Liu: I can see your screen, let me go ahead and see if I can make it appear on OBS. So one second, I want to make myself go away and then I'm gonna make… yeah, I'm totally doing it, this is cool. Yay, OBS! All right, go for it. We are now seeing the screen, go for it.

Alisa Meredith: This is an interesting combination of content we have here, so what Pinterest really wants to do is to figure out what I want before I know I want it. Ao they're trying to figure it out. It used to be that they would label all these pins in your feed to say, ‘Okay this one's showing because you follow, this one's showing because we think it goes well with this particular board you have, this one’s promoted.” Now it doesn't tell you why you're seeing it, but we can assume that it's a probably pretty similar mix. It's just interesting to see how they're thinking. I have some workout boards obviously, a lot of blogging…

Stephanie Liu: You know what, I am not judging! It’s a new year, new you. I probably got like a bunch of instant pot/crock-pot recipes on mine.

Alisa Meredith: So little reveal into my brain. So to answer your question how to tell what people are interested in related to your niche. We’re gonna go into our analytics and you have to have a business account to have this. If you're using Pinterest for business you need to have one anyway for Terms of Service, but you want to because you want these analytics. So I'm gonna go to the people that I reach and I'm gonna look the last 30 days.

Stephanie Liu: And this is just in the Pinterest analytics, right?

Alisa Meredith: Yeah, I haven’t even gotten to Tailwind yet. So this will show you where your audience is coming from and this is all audiences. You can switch to your followers, but because so much happens in search as opposed to your home feed, I'm gonna go with all audiences, because these are the people that Pinterest has said are interested in you and are seeing your pins, or even searching for your pins. So I'm gonna switch over to interests, what your audience is into, I mean how much clearer could you get? To answer your questions. This is my favorite part of Pinterest analytics, because there are ways to tweak these things to fit your niche. Almost every account is gonna come up with either quotes or inspirational quotes. So as a marketer, I should have a board for marketing quotes. And because I need those pins also to drive traffic to my site, I should have those inspirational quotes also on my website in my blog posts.

Stephanie: Okay, so that brought up another question. So when you were saying that when let's say for a recent blog recap I should have at least let's say 3 to 5 images but then are you putting all those images in the blog post?

Alisa Meredith: You can, you can also hide them. My favorite tool, I use it, my clients use it, is called Social Warfare. It's a social sharing plug-in for WordPress, it has some other cool features too. But the thing I love it for most is for social sharing I like to have that nice horizontal image at the top of a blog post… I can show you how it works. That would be easier than trying to explain.

Stephanie Liu: And I love that you’re just as sick as I am, because I hear you and I hear me, and all I hear just like, “Okay, hold your breath, because I was about to sneeze.”

Alisa Meredith: Like how can I wipe my nose inconspicuously.

Stephanie Liu: I’m the same way!

Alisa Meredith: Okay so, how do you use Pinterest for your blogs? So just go to a blog post, these are the Social Warfare sharing buttons and you can tell this little plug-in here. All right, this is my blog header, but I don't want that to be the one people pin. I want this to be the one people pin. So it comes up and Pinterest is now kind of cutting them as squares when you're scheduling, but it is a tall image. I'll actually pin this and I'll pin it to…

Stephanie Liu: Oh, sos weird. As soon as you hit that Pinterest button it didn't show the whole thing, so I don't know if like a new window popped up.

Alisa Meredith: Oh, it did. I should have shared this… I'm gonna stop share and I'm gonna share my desktop, so you're gonna take everything, right? I have nine million things going on. Okay, so can you see now? So it pulled up an image and you can't really tell here, but I'm gonna go through the whole process so you'll see. So it's got the description that I want, it has a little hashtag, I probably should add more, but this was done a little while ago. So I'm gonna pin it to this, if you have Tailwind you can schedule it from here as well which is handy. You can schedule and you can put any of your tribes that way, super helpful. Now I'm gonna see it and this is what it looks like. So it's that whole nice tall vertical that takes up more room in the feed.

Stephanie Liu: What's your recommendation for the size of pins? Because majority of the viewers are probably using like something like canva.com should we follow that?

Alisa Meredith: Yes, I do. So Pinterest, the last suggestion I heard from them was 600x900 pixels, but that’s the same ratio as canva uses with 735x1102 so it's either way is fine.

Stephanie Liu: I just love how you just rambled off those numbers like it was nothing. It's like, “This is my phone number.”

Alisa Meredith: What's interesting is that people are starting to see square square pins in places, like pins that are uploaded vertical kind of being shrunk. So the way I'm dealing with that is I'm not changing, I'm still using the tall pins because I'm not sure where they're gonna land on that. They're testing it it seems like. But I make sure my text on the pin is in the top part because I want that to be seen. And part of the reason for that is that, you'll notice back in the home feed, there's not much of the description showing anymore. Sometimes there is no description at all, so if you don't have text on your images, why would people click, you know? If they don't know what it is, there's not much incentive to click. So this kind of thing here is super popular with image-text-image, that's just classic.

Stephanie Li: How do you know what style for your pin you should use? Because some people are just like, “Well, these are my brand guidelines for the company. I have to stick to this.” But how do you know what's actually working on Pinterest?

Alisa Meredith: Well, your analytics for one thing. Let's go into here again. So you're gonna do tests, right? Because you're gonna do a couple of images per blog post ideally, and I know that's hard, but what you could do is have somebody design three Canva templates for you, or Photoshop, or whatever you like, of three different styles so that you can just swap out the background and the text and see which one works best for your audience. But what the other thing you can do is look at top impressions. These are gonna be your pins, other people's pins, but you can learn a lot from what's working. This is my number one here.

Stephanie Liu: I feel like people are just going to be screenshotting this and just be like, “Oh, I just saw her board!”

Alisa Meredith: Alright, so this is for my new course that came out and apparently it's working. So this kind of image might work for you, but I have like five different images I was testing and none of the other ones are showing up. So apparently that's the winner. This one here always shows up I think just because it's delicious. But like looking at style, usually warmer colors do well on Pinterest. If you know it works on Instagram, do the opposite on Pinterest. Instagram loves your cool colors and faces, and people whereas Pinterest is not big on people.

Stephanie Liu: It is so funny because I feel like the last time I was in an integrated marketing meeting and you have the Facebook person, the Instagram person, the Pinterest person, you have one creative designer, and we're all just like, “No, I need it to do this on Pinterest.”

Alia Meredith: Which is why it's helpful when… Justine does our images for us typically and so she knows what works on each one. What you can do is if you have your brand colors, like for me personally I use a lot of peach and mint green, so what I will sometimes do is make it more prominently green for my Instagram image and more peachy for my Pinterest image. And that really does make a difference. The other thing to do, and Pinterest actually suggests this especially for promoted pins, but I think there's value in all of it, is to brand your images. A little bit, like not like right in your face, but if you look at some of these promoted pins, this one here has a bit of a logo on it.

Stephanie Liu: I looks like people are still into infographics, too.

Alisa Meredith: Yes, I'm glad you brought that up. Because infographics are so tricky, let's see if I have any here. Usually they don't show up in your most… Okay, so top pin impressions. I would expect to see them in my top pin impressions and in my most saved, but I would not expect to see them in my top clicks. So here's one. It’s like why do I need to click, it's all there. So to kind of fix that issue a little bit you just give a little taste, and you give a big strong call-to-action why they should be going to your website. So there's a huge difference between the ones that get the most impressions and the ones that get the most clicks. I think it's worth looking at both. With that, I'm glad I have that infographic and it gets re-pinned all the time, so that helps my engagement, which is great - it brings everything up. What I really want are the clicks and I don't have huge click-through numbers, but it's better than zero. This one got one click, so get all that those impressions, it gets a ton of sees, I know there's a version of it out there with a gazillion saves on it but it brings almost no traffic to my site.

Stephanie Liu: Okay, so one question that we have for you is from Chris and her question is, “Can Pinterest work for real estate?”

Alisa Meredith: Oh I love it for real estate. So it is tricky if you're strictly a local business right because there are 200 million active users on Pinterest, behalf of them are outside of the US. So, how many of them are in inside your area? So that's where it's tricky, but what I like it for is more working with your customers. So you can have a secret group board. So let's do one.

Stephanie Liu: Oh you mean share it with your real estate clients?

Alisa Meredith: Yeah, so you could do like… Let's create a board. Oh wait no, create a board…

Stephanie Liu: See Chris, aren't you happy you asked this question? I just repeat your question and then she does a mini-tutorial for you. This is whyI love Facebook Live.

Alisa Meredith: Yeah, it is fun. Okay so it's a secret board and I'm gonna say “Stephanie's Homes,” and I'm gonna create this. It’s secret. Now I'm going to add a collaborator, so… Can I add without freaking them out? That's my mom, she’ll forgive me. So I could add a section now, there are board sections, which we should talk about as well, so I'm gonna say, “In school district 12” because you've told your real estate agent that you want to stay in school district 12 if possible. So then I'm gonna add pins here and you're gonna see them as they come in, you'll get a notification “Alisa, your realtor, added a pin to your group board” and you'll see it in here. Let's add one.

Stephanie Liu: That’s so much fun, Chris is like freaking out right now she's like, “Oh, I love this idea.” And then Joyce is asking how do we follow you on Pinterest and Joyce, you should be able to find her information in the post itself. So if you scroll up or down you'll see the description, it has her website and Tailwind as well too. Well, you might as well just say your website for us.

Alisa Meredith: It’s alisameredith.com.

Stephanie Liu: And you know it's funny is that I think I was tagging the wrong Alisa on Twitter for a second because you have the extra “M.”

Alisa Meredith: I know, somebody took the one with only one.

Stephanie Liu: I was like wait a second that's a typo. And then I was like, “Oh wait, no.”

Alisa Meredith: I know I should be consistent everywhere. Okay so let's say that I'm you now and I'm seeing this pin, “Oh this house looks great.” Not a house, but you know what I mean. So you're gonna say, “Oh I like this, but there's too much carpets.” So now you're giving your real estate agent feedback and then if you go see the house, you could take a picture of it and then say, “We really liked this, but the yard is small.”

Stephanie Liu: Oh wow, so you could try it quote-unquote try in the pin and I just kind of like adds extra info to it?

Alisa Meredith: Yes, so that's kind of how I would probably use it for real estate. The other thing you could do are promoted pins, which you can then target to your local area.

Stephanie Liu: So let's talk about promoted pins, because you are the ninja of promoted pins, you've got a whole entire course coming out. How does promoted pins differ from let's say Facebook Advertising?

Alisa Meredith: It’s becoming more similar, but it doesn't have quite as many options as Facebook, but in a way they're a little different. Facebook has you're look-alike audiences, Pinterest has act-like because they want to see not what pages you're following, what people you're interested in, what your job title is. They want to know what pins do you actually engage with, what board do you create, what is it you click on. All the different ways you can target are kind of amazing. You can target your email list, you can target visitors to your website, you can target people who have engaged with your pins.

Stephanie Liu: And do you need a Pinterest verification to retarget people on your website?Because i know Facebook has its own pixel.

Alisa Meredith: Yeah, so you're gonna go into ads conversion tracking. And do this today, even if you think, “I'm never gonna do this.” Do it because then it can start collecting the data for you.

Stephanie Liu: Yes, do it today so Alisa can tell you five years later, “Aha, I told you so.”

Alisa Meredith: That’s right, you’re gonna be happy. So just put it in the head tag of any page on your site and it will start collecting information for you. And then you can create an audience. We're gonna create one here. Visitors who went to your site, so if you do this you can do… Let’s see. This one. When, it's in the past six days, including past traffic. And then I'm gonna do “If the URL contains promoted.” So that's going to limit it to people who've been to any page on my site where the URL contains the word “promoted.”

Stephanie Liu: Why would you do that? Because you’re already identifying that specific post is going to be promoted?

Alisa Meredith: No, just because… I could also do Twitter. If I want to just target people who'd been to any blog posts with the word “Twitter” in the URL… So it's kind of a way of separating it with segmenting people. This would only get people who are interested in my Twitter articles, which I don't have, but just for example. The other thing you can do, customers is pretty basic, but engagement they give you some interesting things you can do here. So you could do this, adding filters here. The way this works is not just what you pin, it's anytime someone pins any pin that goes to your website.

Stephanie Liu: Oh wait, say that one more time. I know, trust me, I've done that too. It's hard because like your camera isn't showing.

Alisa Meredith: I had to mute so I could cough. I know, this one I usually have to say a couple times because it's a little confusing. You can target people who acted on any pin on Pinterest that goes to your website. So if I pinned your latest blog post pin and Pepe, my dog, clicked on it, if he then clicks on my pin you can now target Pepe with your ad.

Stephanie Liu: Oh interesting, so it's kind of like this viral effect that happens from it?

Alisa Meredith: Then you can do like, I only wanted to target people who go to a particular page on my site from a pin, or you could do action types, which is really neat. So I want to target people who have clicked on a pin or I want to do people who've saved, or done a close up, which is like a cooler kind of action, right? It's not as intense an action as clicking, so you can kind of create a funnel where you target first people who do a close up and a save, try to get them to click, and then once they click you can target them with something a little further down the funnel.

Stephanie Lie: Oh interesting, and I think I actually just saw this on your website. It's like your second to the most recent blog post, wasn't it?

Alisa Meredith: Oh yes, that was kind of a cool challenge somebody gave me. I think audiences are tricky on Pinterest because if you have fewer than a hundred thousand matches, it's difficult to scale the way you want to. So that's when act-like comes in, so I will usually start with straight audiences and then as I see one that works I'm gonna add in an act-alike. But if you have a really tiny audience, like some of mine are so small. I have one that's a forty and that won't even work. But if I try to do an act-alike on forty people it's not gonna…

Stephanie Liu: Oh yeah, I was gonna ask if I have to have a minimum of at least like a hundred.

Alisa Meredith: You have to have a hundred, but even if you had a hundred that still doesn't give Pinterest much to go on. You can't really expect that great a match. So what I would do on top of that is add in some keyword targeting or interest targeting, which is also… I mean we could talk about this for… There's just there's so much you can do, but as far as Tailwind goes, you need to have it. Tribes are very cool and I got this test account here that doesn't have any tribes yet. So if you join up and you go to this little tribes thing it's gonna let you pick different categories.

Stephanie Liu: If you guys are interested in checking out Tailwind, just go to tailwindapp.com. Does it cost anything to join the tribes?

Alisa Meredith: No, actually. You can use tribes for free. You also get a month free, I have a link that I was gonna share with you and where did it go, but I will put that in the comments.

Stephanie Liu: And then once you add it there I'll go ahead and update the description too. If you guys are still tuning in with us, I know that we've dropped like a ton of information here and let me just tell you that Alisa is also going to be speaking at the Social Media Online Summit, right?

Alisa Meredith: I mean, Social Media Marketing World.

Stephanie Liu: But aren't you speaking at Social Media Online Summit too? With Chrys Tan?

Alisa Meredith: Oh yes, I forget.

Stephanie Liu: You guys, I am actually a really good stalker. I'm trying to laugh, but I'm trying not to cough at the same time. Also if you guys are still watching, if you wanted to be notified anytime Lights, Camera, Live goes live just go ahead and leave the comment “subscribe” and you'll get a notification.

Alisa Meredith: I hope I answered most of the basics, I feel like we jumped around a lot. But basically use Pinterest to promote your blog post content and it does work well for generating leads, and it can bring in so much traffic depending on how much love you get it. You could find it overtaking a lot of your other traffic sources.

Stephanie Liu: It’s so funny, Alisa, because in OBS I was able to move this screen so that way it doesn't show you and I coughing and dying. It’s just showing my shared screen. I had hives last week, but I still got that friggin cough. All right you guys, this has been absolutely amazing. Thank you so much. I know I'm super interested now in trying to figure out how I could go ahead and push Pinterest to the limit, see how I could integrate it into my strategy this year. So if you guys are really interested in learning how you can leverage Pinterest for your business, then there are so many different ways that you could get a hold of Alisa. Social Media Online Summit, the link is in the description. She's also going to be speaking at Social Media Marketing World this year. She's like one of four speakers, which is pretty awesome, right?

Alisa Meredith: Yeah, for Pinterest! We’re a small group, we all know each other. It's gonna be fun.

Stephanie Liu: You guys are probably all collaborative and nice, you have like that the super awesome Tailwind tribe.

Alisa Meredith: You know it's like you and me talking here and geeking out about Pinterest. It’s easy to do for as long as we want.

Stephanie Liu: Okay, so we do have one question from Tayeba. So Tayeba is asking, “Alisa, what categories would you recommend joining for tribes to target potential life coaching clients?”

Alisa Meredith: Oh, life coaching clients, that would probably be like entrepreneur groups or solopreneur. Those are words that you can search in tribes and then you can do a preview so you can see what content is in there. Because I think your biggest concern is gonna be will your content fit well in there, will it be shared? Sometimes I feel like when I get a request to join and sometimes it's good content, but I feel like it's not gonna do well on this tribe, it's not gonna share. I feel, oh decline, I feel terrible because I want everyone who comes in to succeed so think about it that way like is there a place for your content? And when you do a preview on your tribe you're gonna see some of the pins in there already, think about does that fit you? Ao I would just go in there and start searching by keyword and look and see where you think you'd fit. The other thing to do is start your own tribe.

Stephanie Liu: That’s exactly what I was going to ask, it's like can I start my own tribe?

Alisa Meredith: Yes, you should. Yes, with people that you know, start building it up, and then ask those people to invite people they know who are good, who create content that you would want to share. This is something I love about tribes is that I'm finding all these great bloggers I've never heard of before and it's like who knows where this could go. We could end up working on a project together, we might meet in person sometime… It's just that tribe, I guess that's a good name for it.

Stephanie Liu: Well didn't you guys have a Tailwind meet-up at Social Media Marketing World last year? Are you going to have another one this year?

Alisa Meredith: No, but you can find me and I'm pretty sure David, our Director of Growth is gonna be there as well. I just got my speaking time - Friday morning, better than Friday afternoon, which is what I had last time and I had to bring chocolate-covered espresso beans because I was ready to fall asleep on me.

Stephanie Liu: You get espresso beans! You get espresso beans!

Alisa Meredith: Because it’s nap time.

Stephanie Liu: Well if there are any other questions, now is the time to go ahead and drop them in the comments because both Alisa and I are gonna have a little sippy-sip. Because poor her, I've actually had her talking for like thirty minutes straight and I would put myself on mute.

Alisa Meredith: I was sneaking little sips there.

Stephanie Liu: All right, so Tayeba says thank you. And Chris, thanks so much for asking about the real estate question because that's something I feel is super important. I'm gonna be geeking out on the Pinterest boards, I'm gonna be checking out Tailwind and the tribes. Tayeba, maybe we'll make our own little clique until we could get accepted into the Wednesday-wear-pink tribe.

Alisa Meredith: And hit me up in the comments below, I'll be checking those out and I'll give you that link with the free month so you can try it.

Stephanie Liu: Oh sweet, cheers to that.

Alisa Meredith: Thank you, it was so nice to meet you! Thanks everybody.

Stephanie Liu: Thank you so much and take care everyone. I'm gonna go ahead and play our little outro song and we'll go from there. Bye! [Music]


Psssttt… want to learn how to get more traffic to your site? 

Did you know that Pinterest has 200 MILLION active monthly users? 

Or that 1 out of 2 Pinterest users make a purchase after viewing a Promoted Pin?

Get ready to pin your way into the hearts, minds—and even the wallets—of your audience by learning how to build a powerful Pinterest marketing strategy for your business. 


Alisa Meredith is the Content Marketing Manager at Tailwind, an intuitive scheduling platform for serious Pinterest users, and will be joining the show to share her pinteresting secrets with you!


  • How Pinterest Can Drive More Leads
  • 3 Quick Tips to Drive Pincredible Results
  • How And Why You Should Be Using Tailwind





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