Learn about Neal Schaffer's Pinterest experiment - and the data which backs up why you shouldn't be ignoring Pinterest anymore.
[00:49] Why Pinterest Is A Fascinating Network
[02:41] What Fascinates Me About Pinterest
[04:33] Pinterest Statistics
[05:58] The Quality Traffic You Can Get From Pinterest
[06:52] What I Ended Up Doing In Pinterest
[07:29] Creating Pinterest Boards
[08:18] Pinterest As A Social Bookmarking Site
[08:59] How Can You Begin Using Pinterest
[10:23] One Thing I Did After Creating Pinterest Board
- Pinterest is a fascinating social network because it is a relatively small social network.
- But Pinterest is something that demands our attention. And it's not just the website traffic that a generates. It's also a demographic that we know has been documented is primarily female.
- And I sort of want to share that experiment with you all to get you thinking outside of the box about Pinterest, because we all know, and I've talked about this many times that social networks evolve, and the people who use them and how we use them is always changing and the same as Pinterest.
- But the other thing is, it's generating a lot of website traffic, but it's the quality of the traffic that people that are going from Pinterest to another site.
- So Pinterest originally and one of the reasons why StumbleUpon I believe has sort of decreased in popularity is that Pinterest at the heart of it. It's a social bookmarking site. It's a social bookmarking site for visuals that you know what Pinterest is, it's that pin board visuals that you see on the internet that you want to pin to a virtual board.
- So you begin to see that there are different ways of using it. And at a minimum if you as an experiment, if you're not a Pinterest user, I recommend you take a look at some of those boards I've created and consider you need to use it yourself to get it right.
- And at the end of the day, for businesses that want to generate traffic from Pinterest, you need to have pinnable images on your own website.
- There's a lot of buzz and everybody likes to look at the new shiny thing and what have you. But I think at this point, with that data showing just the the incredible referral traffic that Pinterest is generating, it behooves me if you're not thinking about how to use Pinterest as part of your social media marketing, if you haven't been already, I'm hoping that this podcast sparks some ideas.
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Welcome to another edition of social business unplugged practical advice on how to best leverage social media for your business. Now, the host of social business unplugged, author of the forthcoming book, maximize your social published by Wiley and founder of maximize social business. Neal Schaffer. Greetings, everybody this is Neal Schaffer and welcome to another edition of social business unplugged. My sincere apologies. By the time you hear this podcast, you'll have noticed that there was a few week blank there. And I was hoping to record this one in Japan. But as circumstances have it, I'm back now in Southern California, actually presenting tomorrow in San Diego, California. But today I'm coming at you from beautiful Orange County. And today I want to talk about the subject of Pinterest. Pinterest is a fascinating social network because it is a relatively small social network. I've yet to see any statistic or any data that shows that there are more than 100 million users on the site. Yet it is generating enough referral traffic to other websites that right now according to a few reports, it is second only to Facebook. Now, for those of you that have been involved in social media marketing for a few years, you will remember that StumbleUpon was very, very similar. In fact, StumbleUpon used to be number one, in referral website traffic from social media to other websites until it was overtaken by Facebook some time ago, I still think StumbleUpon. And in fact, I think this statistic StumbleUpon. Right now is number three behind Pinterest. And you'll notice that on maximize social business, all of our blog posts do have StumbleUpon buttons, we welcome your stumble. And it can also be a great source of website traffic. But Pinterest is something that demands our attention. And it's not just the website traffic that a generates. It's also a demographic that we know has been documented is primarily female. Now, assuming that you have a product or a service that is targeting females, you obviously want to be on Pinterest. But even if you don't, I mean, let's face it, women are 50% of our population. So even though I am not selling any product or service that is specifically targeted towards females, I have been trying to experiment myself with finding ways to make the site work better to generate more and more relevant website traffic and maximize social business. And I sort of want to share that experiment with you all to get you thinking outside of the box about Pinterest, because we all know, and I've talked about this many times that social networks evolve, and the people who use them and how we use them is always changing and the same as Pinterest. But what fascinates me about Pinterest is whenever I speak on social media nationally, and I say nationally, because Pinterest is still very much a domestic phenomenon. Yes, there are users in the UK and Australia, you know what have you but looking at the data on alexa.com, which is not perfect, but it's still my source. When I go looking for website traffic data. Pinterest is still primarily an American phenomenon. It's not like Facebook, which is truly a global phenomenon, Twitter global phenomenon. Even LinkedIn is a bigger global phenomenon at this point than Pinterest is. But talking about Pinterest. It's funny, because when I present nationally, you know, and I'm sure if you've been to other social media events, you always hear the speakers say put your hand up. If you're on Facebook, put your hand up if you're on Twitter or LinkedIn. So the funny thing is, most people raise their hand when I talk about Facebook, the number definitely goes down. When I talk about LinkedIn. The number goes down even more when I asked about Twitter, despite the fact that I know there's data from Pew Internet research or what have you that, you know, 20% of Americans are on Twitter questionable just based on the average feel that I get when I present. But then want to ask about Pinterest. There's always an emphatic group of women that raise their hands smiles on their face, like this is our network. This is our community. We love it, we can't get enough of it. It's that look on their face. And it's a number that's usually greater than Twitter, believe it or not. So there is a community on Pinterest and they use it those that are active users on it, obviously are using a heck of a lot. And they're generating a lot of referral traffic. The other fascinating thing, and I'm just throwing out some data about Pinterest, which is why I'm so interested in why I think you should be interested in it. And by the way, I recently did my first Pinterest for business webinar and 90 minute webinar covering all this, which I hope to do again in the near future. So I did a lot of homework and really organized all my ideas which is going into this podcast that you're hearing right now, one of the other interesting things is that 80% of pins this is according to one study, one piece of data one data point, but 80% of pins are re pins. It's almost like saying 80% of tweets or retweets. 80% of Facebook posts are shares. It is probably the most viral platform where YouTube is awesome. Extremely viral that we all know. But in terms of just that repin number that is extremely viral that 80% Number, have seen a figure that Twitter retweets were like 32%. I think the number right now is a lot lower. But anyone has used Pinterest, and who knows how things get displayed very, very prominently. And how you tend to see something that inspires you and you repin it. And then you see the same thing over and over, you get the feeling as to why that number is the way it is. It's just the way that Pinterest was created the way that pins are shown visually on the screen. And if you have the mobile version of Pinterest, and I use it on my Samsung Galaxy S four on an Android device, you see only two columns instead of the maybe five columns you see on the website, which means that things seem to get repin even more, because you're seeing fewer images at a time. And thus the images that you see are much more prominent. So Pinterest, very viral platform. But the other thing is, it's generating a lot of website traffic, but it's the quality of the traffic that people that are going from Pinterest to another site. Specifically ecommerce sites are spending more per purchase than they do when they come from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or even Google Plus. And that is another fascinating piece of data. So Pinterest is a fascinating site. And at this point, I'd say regardless of what you do, even b2b companies are trying to figure out Pinterest. And to be honest with you. My Pinterest experiment started a long time ago when I was just sharing blog posts on Pinterest. And guess what? When you share blog posts on Pinterest, you're displaying images that are pulled in from blog posts, and a lot of the images that I use in maximize social business are sort of stock photo ish. And they're not very engaging in all honesty. And I know there's other people that do it and they feel the need to share on Pinterest like they share on Facebook, Twitter, what have you. I just don't feel comfortable doing it. And I stopped doing it for several months. But what I ended up doing with Pinterest, and if you go to my Pinterest boards, pinterest.com/neal Schaffer, you'll see them activities picked up over the last few weeks. And what I started doing was after the Pinterest for business webinar, I do not give out copies of my presentations. It's you know, as a social media consultant, and speaker, it's sort of part of my IP, right. But what I do like to do is I like to give out a checklist after my webinars have this is like the main data, especially those data points that URLs for like the 80% repin. A lot of people want to get that background data for their own internal use, and I want to help support them. So for the Pinterest for business webinar, after it was done, I said, You know what, I'm going to create a board called Pinterest for business and it's accessible by anyone to public board right there on Pinterest that you should go check out and follow. And every time that I source data for anytime I speak, I am going to put it on that board. Right. So Pinterest originally and one of the reasons why StumbleUpon I believe has sort of decreased in popularity is that Pinterest at the heart of it. It's a social bookmarking site. It's a social bookmarking site for visuals that you know what Pinterest is, it's that pin board visuals that you see on the internet that you want to pin to a virtual board. It is a type of social bookmarking that is generated around visuals but with every visual unless you're uploading a pin from a picture you took, it's attached to a link. So I'm using Pinterest as a social bookmarking site. And guess what I love it. I love using it that way I've created in addition to the Pinterest for business board, I've created some other similar types of boards, social media tools, Facebook for business, I'm putting together Google Plus for business. I have a social media stats board, and just a great way to organize my bookmarks in a visual way that makes it engaging for others. It makes it public for others, I can share that knowledge with others. It also makes it easy for me to remember because guess what, I have a visual memory. I actually was an art history major. Originally in college, I went to liberal arts colleges name Amherst College, I have a very visual memory. So for me Pinterest works very well. So you begin to see that there are different ways of using it. And at a minimum if you as an experiment, if you're not a Pinterest user, I recommend you take a look at some of those boards I've created and consider you need to use it yourself to get it right. So consider using it as a social bookmarking site to begin with, to get a feel for it. But then when I realized as Wow, one of the things that does very, very well on Pinterest, we all know infographics and infographics get featured very prominently because they are long vertically right. And if you've been on Pinterest, you'll see that the stock photos that are 300 Why 200 height, they get the minimal visual display videos get minimal visual display, but when you have an infographic or a long image, they get featured prominently just like you feature photos on Facebook posts on Google Plus posts, infographics are like magnets for eyes on Pinterest. Now, not everybody is on Pinterest to check out infographics. I know that we all know that but people do want to be inspired and there's enough People out there enough Pinterest users that also are social media users. And some of them use it for their business. There's a lot of people that are selling their goods on Etsy, what have you that also are using Pinterest as part of their social media marketing. So intrinsically, there is a crowd out there that is potentially interested in what I have to say what my blog has to say. So one thing that I started doing is after I set up those boards, the Pinterest for business for social bookmarking is I started curating infographics. And there were some infographics that I had from previous social media presentations, and what have you, that I pin so that I can access them very easily in the future. But the other thing that I did was, I started engaging. And just like on Twitter, I prefer to share content from those that support me and support maximize social business, we're M social business on Twitter, by the way, and those that retweet and you know, favor my content, I prefer to curate content from them and support those that support me it's sort of a central philosophy I have. And if you listen to my last podcast, on becoming your own social media influencer, you'll you'll see the common thread here. So I started basically curating infographics from people that I follow and increasing engagement. And in fact, not only was I curating those infographics, but I was also sending them traffic because I was buffering those pins, which were infographics and sharing them on the Neal Schaffer and the M social business Twitter account. So it helped me create content from social media, I could have shared it in the other sites as well. It helped me curate content for my own board. It also served as a way of engaging with other users on Pinterest. So it serves a lot of different forms. But it also once again gives you a feel because once you engage with others in social media, it opens up these magical doors, and a lot of special things start to happen. But I didn't stop there. And at the end of the day, for businesses that want to generate traffic from Pinterest, you need to have pinnable images on your own website. Now, one of the first posts on maximize social business, remember, it was windmill networking.com, when I moved it over to maximize social business, one of the first posts was my first infographic now, for those of you that know a lot about infographics, and this was my top 25 Twitter clients, as chosen by the top 50, social media power influencers based on some data that I call it an analyzed, for those of you that no infographics, it was not a true infographic and sort of the traditional definition of the word. But it was a visual and it was a graph. And it was made vertical because I tried to tell the story about what the data was about as best as I could. So it was more than just a graph, it was presented as if it was an infographic and it created a pinnable image, it created an image that when shown on Pinterest would attract others, right. And therefore, whenever they clicked on it, they're gonna come back to my website. It's also an embeddable piece of content, like a SlideShare presentation, like a YouTube video that no others can pin to their sites, right. And I am the source of that. So when they pin to the site, it's ideally creating a backlink unless they've saved that image, which I hope they didn't do, which would sort of be a violation of copyright. But anyway, I'm going somewhere else with that. But also, when people are re pinning on Pinterest, it's just spreading the love of my contents to other Pinterest users. So I'm leveraging that virality that Pinterest has. Now I'm looking at creating more infographics. But then I'm thinking, Well, whenever I create a blog post, shouldn't I have a pinnable image? And instead of using these boring stock photo images, why can't I do something else? So one of the things that you'll notice on Pinterest, and it's the same on Instagram is that quotes, these images with quotes, these memes are very popular. So I created something that was really targeting my target audience and Pinterest, my most recent blog posts, which I just published today, when you hear this podcast, obviously that will have transpired by a week or so. But it was about a new free Facebook page analytics tool called Komfo. And if you look at the policy, look at the image, I basically created a text quote, similar like what you'd create for Pinterest, it was actually using a Pinterest tool. And you'll see the name of the Pinterest two on the bottom right hand side. But it was basically is your content viral on Facebook? How viral is your content and sort of trying to make it in a way so that if it shows up on Pinterest, it'll really catch the eye? And once again, it's an experiment, I don't know how well it's gonna do or what have you. And I need to create more of these images. In fact, I'm almost thinking and if any of you have heard of see me speak about blogging or hear me speak about blogging, I say really, if you can embed a YouTube video in every blog post, why not it creates more stickier content, you're adding more resource people ideally stay on your site longer. Google will see that and you know, see that your content is offering more value. Well, you could do the same with infographics cuz there's tons of infographics out there and And these people would love if you share them on your blog post providing a backlink. But then you're creating a pinnable image, which will lead people back to your blog, or your website, right. And that's something that I look at doing in the future in clear transparency to everybody listening. So the net net of this experiment now it's still early, I've only been doing it for the last month, but I will say, compared to the previous month, that's in terms of the rank of Pinterest has been a refer to my website, it's gone up from number 17. And number 15, I've definitely increased my Pinterest following by I don't know 30 40% have used some other tools to help me in that. And that goes beyond the scope of this podcast. The people though come in from Pinterest, it's not just the numbers that have grown, I'm seeing a bounce rate, which is, I don't know five to 10% lower than my overall average bounce rate. And people are spending longer on average on the site than my global average that I saw from the previous one month. So not only am I getting more traffic, and by the way, the traffic is gone up about 50% Number 17. And number 15, it's still not in top 10. But then again, I really don't have a lot of pinnable images to get into the top 10. So this has been my experiment. I hope you find it of interest. There's a lot of buzz and everybody likes to look at the new shiny thing and what have you. But I think at this point, with that data showing just the the incredible referral traffic that Pinterest is generating, it behooves me if you're not thinking about how to use Pinterest as part of your social media marketing, if you haven't been already, I'm hoping that this podcast sparks some ideas. If it doesn't, or if you have other ideas or questions, please contact me. In fact, if there's something you want me to cover in the podcast, you want me to go into more details contact me, let me know. I always appreciate the feedback. Always appreciate the love that you're giving social business unplugged on iTunes with the five star ratings. The comments really appreciate that everyone means a lot to me. That's it for today. I really hope you enjoyed listening to this podcast as much as I enjoyed talking about Pinterest because it is really my passion right now and social media, which changes week to week, but right now it's been pinches for the last few weeks. And that's it for today. Make it a great day wherever you are in the world. Hope to be speaking with you again. Bye bye, everybody. Thanks for listening to another edition of social business unplugged. We appreciate your subscribing to our podcast and adding your rating and comments in iTunes. If you would like to appear on this podcast or have content that you would like covered, please contact Neal Schaffer Neal at maximize social business.com for additional social media for business advice. Please make sure to check out your new social media for business resource at maximize social business.com Thanks again and make it a great day.