Episode 47 :
This week I talk to Jeff Sieh, an awesome man with a beard, general nice guy and Pinterest expert. He’s the host of the Manly Pinterest Tips Podcast and manages the Pinterest and Instagram pages for Social Media Examiner, arguably the most influential Social Media Marketing blog in the world.
What is Pinterest and how does it differ from other social media networks?
It is a digital pin-board, made up of a set of boards which you create, usually based on a set of your interests. It is more of a visual discovery tool than a social media network. While it has social features it is more commonly used for search.
What strengths does Pinterest have compared to the other social networks (for example Twitter and Facebook)?
It is not about sharing with friends but saving ideas for the future. Jeff got into the platform as he found it was brilliant for sending traffic to his blog. Compared to other networks, the shelf life of Pins on Pinterest lasts for months or years as opposed to seconds for tweets on Twitter and hours for posts on Facebook.
If someone isn’t artistic or good at taking photos is it still a platform they can use?
Jeff says that when he started his images were pretty poor, but even so drove traffic to his website. He said that the introduction of tools like canva.com have made it really easy to produce really good quick pinnable images. He suggests using portrait-shaped images (that is taller than they are wide) as that is what Pinterest favours.
If you just place some text over a logo is that enough?
Jeff suggests maybe doing a bit more than this, making the image relevant to the article. He says pick a relevant image and then pick a nice readable font and then use that for the text above it.
What approach is working best for people hoping to promote products on Pinterest at the moment?
Jeff says that Pinterest has now stripped out all affiliate links from the site, but that they have introduced in the U.S the concept of ‘Buyable’ Pins where you can buy products directly on the platform. For books, Jeff would create an article about a book on his website and then create great pins to that article and get sales that way. Jeff says that if you use multiple pins to the same content then you can multiply the traffic to your site and hence, hopefully, the sales.
How much time should people spend on Pinterest a day?
In Jeff’s opinion, it is one of the lowest time-consumers of the social media networks. 80% of the pins are repins of other people’s content. Jeff pins in the morning and evening but he knows people who post a lot more. Post anywhere from 15-25 pins a day. Jeff suggests just following those individual boards of people who you are interested in. Don’t follow for follow.
Jeff also mentions that Pinterest has now introduced a graphical search tool where you can search for pins with a particular image in them.
Obviously on Google there are SEO tricks you can use to increase the chances of people finding your pins in search. Are there similar things you can do on Pinterest?
Firstly Jeff says that actually Google really likes Pinterest boards and they do rank on Google, so many of the SEO tricks for Google are also relevant for Pinterest indirectly.
One tip is to make sure you have really good titles for your Pinterest boards that are things people search for like “Books about Fantasy” rather than “My stuff”. For the pins themselves, make sure you write good descriptions and use good titles as well.
Can you repost the same content again on Pinterest or is that a bad idea?
Jeff suggests firstly posting to multiple boards with a few days delay. For the same board, do it in a month or so. Another strategy is to create brand new pinnable images for these old blog post articles, so you can post more frequently.
What is the biggest mistake you see new people making on Pinterest?
Uploading an image with no link attached is the biggest mistake. Rich pins are a way to working around this. The other big issue Jeff raises is where people don’t check the links for pins that they repin on their boards. However pretty a pin it is, if it goes to old out-of-date links or a spam address you shouldn’t pin it.
What would you say to people who are already on Instagram, how is it different from Pinterest?
For a start Instagram prefers square images as opposed to the portrait images on Pinterest. Jeff says that images with faces don’t do well on Pinterest, unlike on Instagram where selfies rule. Also due to the board nature on Pinterest you can actually post more if you want to as long as you pick different boards.
The other great difference is hashtags – it is not a good idea to use these on Pinterest, while on Instagram you want to use as many as possible.
What has been your experience with Promoted Pins?
Jeff was hesitant to use them to begin with, but now he likes them. They give a lot of bang for your buck as you are only paying for the initial pin. If someone re-pins it from a board where your original promoted pin was pinned then you don’t pay for that.
Where can you find out about Jeff?
Jeff’s website is manlypinteresttips.com. He is also host of the Manly Pinterest Tips podcast that you can find on iTunes.
If you liked this show then you might also like Book Publicity with Janet Murray (Episode 26), Building up a Twitter Following Fast or Paid Online Advertising (Episode 38).
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