How do you use Pinterest to gain new business online? Arnie Kuenn asks Mat Siltala with Dream Systems Media, Miranda Miller with Search Engine Watch, Janet Thaeler with PinnableBusiness.com and Kaila Strong with Vertical Measures. Each give their tips and insider info in this Google+ Hangout. This is a must watch for anyone interested in marketing their business on Pinterest!
Arnie: All right. It appears we’re live and on the air. I’m Arnie Kuenn, President of Vertical Measures based in Phoenix, Arizona. I want to welcome anyone who’s following us right now to a live broadcast that we’re doing about Pinterest. We’re titling it, “Using Pinterest to Gain New Business Online.”
I’ve got four great guest speakers with me today. I’ll let each of them introduce themselves and we’ll go from there. Janet, would you like to start?
Janet: Sure. I’m Janet Thaeler. I’m known as Newspaper Girl. I’m writing a book about using Pinterest for business and marketing. I own PinnableBusiness.com where you can find that information.
We’re really big on tools for Pinterest. Our first tool is coming out soon called PinAlerts. It’s like Google alerts for Pinterest. You can get an alert anytime someone pins something from your website or any website. So that’s where we’re we starting. We do Pinterest consulting and use it for my own clients, too.
Arnie: Great. Kaila?
Kaila: My name is Kaila. I work at Vertical Measures. I’m an account manager here. I help with clients from all ranges and backgrounds, e-commerce all the way to education providers as well. We look and strive to create measurable types of campaigns to help clients with many of their goals, ranging from lead generation all the way to increasing ranking. We’re using Google+ and we’re also using Pinterest right now. We’re experimenting with it with some of our clients and to help with their initiatives.
Arnie: Great. Matt?
Matt: Yes, my name is Matt Siltala. I’m owner of Dream Systems Media. We basically grow businesses online. We pretty much do everything to help businesses grow online. I’d say the key areas of expertise with what we do is definitely the social marketing side of it, which is why I’m excited to talk about Pinterest and the social nature of it. It’s also a need for the e-commerce side of things too. It’s going to be fun. I’ve pretty much been doing SEO and all of this for a long time. That pretty much sums up what I do.
Arnie: Great. Thanks, Matt. Miranda?
Miranda: Hi, I’m Miranda Miller. I’m the lead writer at Search Engine Watch. I’m @MirandaM_Ecomm on Twitter. I write about search marketing and social news. I also teach some social marketing classes locally.
Arnie: Great. Again, thank you guys for joining. I think we’ll circle back and start with Janet and see if you can just give us an example or two or a success story using Pinterest to help one of your clients or yourselves grow your business?
Janet: Our most successful thing is our Pinfographic. That’s what we call an infographic that’s optimized for Pinterest. I did it with Matt at Dream Systems. It got into Mashable and we had over 1,000 pins, and that’s gotten a ton of traffic for our business.
My other business is an online radio station … clients. We have 20,000 or more listeners. I haven’t been able to extract exactly how we got those listeners, but right about the time we started pinning and starting our own boards, we noticed a lot of people pinning an image from our website that says “Listen now” to the station. Like I said, we have a steady 20,000 or more people listening every month. So that’s huge for us.
Arnie: Wow, that is. Super. All right, Kaila. Any tips, tricks or success stories?
Kaila: Sure. I write on Search Engine Watch, as well as Miranda. A post I did a few months ago went pretty viral. It was just talking about some creative ideas that you can use Pinterest for. So just writing even about Pinterest can help in the industry.
Something that we execute here at Vertical Measures for one of our clients, a golf school. So you can get your Associates degree or your Bachelors degree in golf management. With this particular school, we have created really great customized images, some kind of meme type images that are really optimized for Pinterest but also for Facebook and for other social platforms. What we’ve done is create a really great following on Pinterest with this demographic that isn’t traditionally on Pinterest but are slowing migrating over. We’re also attracting a more female base as well, which is a little hard to find within that golf space.
Arnie: Great. Matt, how about you? Janet probably stole yours, but…
Matt: Oh, no. That’s an excellent one, and I’m glad she mentioned it. We had fun with that one. It goes along with what was just talked about with the optimized images. Basically, that infographic has every bit of information that one would need on how to optimize and perfectly use it for Pinterest.
As far as some stories that I wanted to share and some uses that I have found pretty successful for us, it may not be on the viral side of it, but actually a business owner using it for real purposes if you will. I have a couple of different examples. We have an e-commerce site, where often there are a lot of pictures that people want to see, like if you do a lot of custom products or whatnot. I’ll give several different examples, but it’s much easier in the form that Pinterest has.
You can send someone to your Pinterest account and tell them, “Hey look, here’s a video that you can watch. It answers this, this, and this. But also, here’s this page and it has 50 other videos that you might be interested in.” It’s really good for the images as well because they can see everything laid out super easy.
A perfect example, the other day someone wanted to hire us for infographics. I don’t really have a page put together or anything on our website with it. We have information talking about it, but not really any kind of feature pages because the infographics are so big. It’s like how do you really put together a page that does justice? And then boom, the light wenton and I’m like, “Hey, I’m going to send him to my Pinterest page where I share all these inforgraphics.” It just made sense and it’s easy. You’re integrating it, and the more that you share that with people, then I noticed that this is a good use of Pinterest. There’s this person that’s linking to it, there’s that person that’s linking to it, and all of a sudden it’s getting you some form of, I don’t know if I want to say “SEO value” yet, because that’s to be determined, but it’s actually driving business, helping make sales, helping with doing your day-to-day business.
One of our e-commerce sites that we run has hundreds of different images. It’s hard to go through and tell people to
click on this page or do this or that. But if you have a gallery and you’re sharing it on Pinterest, it’s really easy for them to go through and see it, and it makes it pretty easy.
Those are a couple of uses. I want to try to do this screen share and if I kill us all, Arnie, now I want to try to do this screen share. If I kill us all, I apologize, Arnie. This is test one. I’m going to do this and just show you something. Let’s see what this does now. It even lets you pick which window you want to share. Awesome. I don’t know if that’s coming up or not yet.
Arnie: I can see it.
Matt: This is one that I put together. How fun can a Pinterest board be about Dream Systems Media? I don’t want to say it but it’s kind of boring. I put this together because I thought it would be pretty fun. Of course, I’m in there. It was just something I started and I’ve seen other people do Bald SEO ones. Anyway, it’s just one of those ideas that you can do to have fun and get people talking about it and linking about, and all that good stuff. Hopefully, that gives you some ideas. Just have fun with it. Use it for all its intents and purposes. There are lots of uses.
Arnie: All right. Good job. Miranda, how about you?
Miranda: I was really kind of a skeptic at first, and I was maybe even a bit resistant to another thing that I was going to have to manage. I kept getting these invitations and kind of ignoring them. Finally, in about January I joined.
At the beginning of February I went on the SEO Dojo Regulator Show. We were talking about Pinterest and I said, “I think it’s a fun toy. I don’t think it’s going to have much marketing value.” One of the hosts there, Steve Gerencser, said, “I would really love to prove you wrong right now,” and he shared with me a couple of client stories. He was actually using it for the majority of his clients already at that point.
Between February 1st and 20th, from one of his fitness sites they had driven 73,000 visits to this fitness sites and 95% of those were unique. They were converting at about 1%. He made a believer out of me.
I knew that he was doing really well with jewelry clients. You would almost expect that given the demographics on Pinterest. It was a fitness site that I thought was different and inventive.
He shared some tips with me. This is a longer established site as well, so he had historical data to compare to other channels. But it was driving more traffic than all of their other refers combined. He said when they put price tags, if they had a banner with a price on it, that didn’t do very well at all. Watermarked images didn’t do very well so he said not to do that. Also, they seemed to do better using account names that were human names. He said unless you were a big brand, use your own name. That’s just the type of site it is. It’s more personal.
Those are the tips that I got out of that with Steve. He’s still using it and having a lot of success for his clients with it.
Arnie: Excellent. There are some great tips there. I was going to ask, Janet, have you had time to think about any tips or tricks that you’ve used or that you’d like to pass on, and whatever might be showing up in your book that you’re working on?
Janet: Sure. The kinds of images that do really well are the how-to’s, even for a service. For instance, we’re going to make a Pinfographic for how to use PinAlerts. We hope that will be used in posts about it, and also that people will pin that rather than our logo. We could put something about what it does, but if we show people how to use our alerts, then at the same time it’s actually informing.
We found that a lot of people will do side-by-side graphics, before and after, if they’re an organizer or a home stager in the real estate industry. It works better to do longer graphics. There’s a certain optimal height which I have in my Pinfographic about that. I think it’s around 600 high, because you want to take up more real estate vertically. That makes it stand out more.
Matt: If they want to find that graphic, make sure and tell them they can look on Mashable. Just do a search for Mashable and Pinterest optimization. We want to make sure people know.
Janet: Yes, and also on Pinnable businesses, Pinterest Biz on Pinterest, so Pinterest.com/pinterestbiz. We have it in there. Also, the instructographic gives instructions on how to actually make something or do something step-by-step. Those that are really giving information related to your business, I think, have performed really well.
The last thing, and this is probably an obvious one for most of you, but visual quotes that relate to your industry. An online school had a bunch of quotes about education and they’re beautiful and really well done. They put them on their blog and had a Pin It button. Those were shared and that gave them visibility.
I’m really curious about the watermarks part of it. I think you can put your branding on your images and sometimes it works. Someecards.com, they put someecards.com on some e-cards and those are super viral on Pinterest.
It probably matters what industry you’re in or how it’s presenting. We’re always experimenting with those kinds of things, too. Of course, that Pinfographic will go over more of my tips, but off the top of my head, those are really helpful.
Arnie: Great. Super. I don’t want to run this too long so I’ll just open it up to all four of you to see if you have any other suggestions, tips, comments, fun things you’ve done with Pinterest, anything else to kind of wrap it up.
Kaila: I have a good example, if I could. I had noticed there’s a really great nonprofit organization on Pinterest and they use their Pinterest boards sort of like their website. The very first board they have introduces the user to it. They introduce you to what their Pinterest page is and what it’s all about. Then additional boards will show more information, and they will have calls to action on some of their boards and descriptions. I thought that was very interesting because their overall goals are a little bit different, normally, than some of the other brands are, and using it as a tool to potentially draw visitors in and then tell them what the calls to action are, what additional steps that they can use for the Pinterest page.
Arnie: All right. Matt or Miranda, anything to wrap it up?
Matt: I think a couple of them already touched on this, but honestly, I would just say experiment. There are times where I’ve pinned something at 5:00 in the morning, which they say is the optimal time to pin, and it will do really well. It will get me 70 or 80 re-pins, and then it’s dead. I’ll go in there and get someone with another good account to go in and re-pin it or make a comment or something, and then boom, I get a flood of 100 more pins or something.
It’s just playing with it and experimenting, and seeing what will work and what won’t. I know that they’re changing their algorithm constantly; how many times you can pin, when it shows up in the categories, if it just shows up to your followers. I still think that Pinterest is so young that they’re trying to figure out what’s working, how to get rid of a lot of spam and how to make it better, so I think the only thing we can do at this point is just experiment with it and have fun and see how we can use it to our benefit and our clients’ benefit, and use it to drive traffic. That’s the overall bottom line, to get traffic to them and make sales and convert or get leads. So have fun with it. That’s all I have to say.
Miranda: Just to build on what Matt said there, I totally agree. You just have to get in there and try it out. Monetate has put out a really interesting infographic when they discovered that Pinterest is actually now driving more traffic than Google+. Do a Google search for that infographic. It has some interesting steps. For example, the unique visitors to Pinterest increased by 329% from September to December so it’s growing massively. It’s been my experience that it is working for people, so I think it’s worth putting a bit of time into it just to see if it would work for your specific business.
Arnie: You’re not a skeptic anymore.
Miranda: I’m not, no.
Matt: She’s a convert.
Arnie: All right. That will wrap it. I want to thank all four of you again for taking time out of your day. I know we’re all real busy. I really appreciate it, and we’ll go from there. Thanks, everyone.