The world’s catalog of ideas.
How do you see Pinterest? Many people I speak with either love it, dislike it, or wonder how best to use it. Pinterest describes itself as the “world’s catalog of ideas”. It has come a long way since founded in 2010 by Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra. Do you recall the mad scramble to get an invite to join when it first went live? It took me a few days but I got my invite and started with my first board which still is my most successful; “Social Media? Give Me A Break”. Today, how is Pinterest viewed? Is it a social network like Facebook?
Pinterest as a discovery tool.
Forrester Research recently issued a *brief towards B2C marketing professionals urging them to reconsider how they should view and use Pinterest.
The brief states that Pinterest is not a social network, and should be considered as a discovery tool. The brief stats that it is better for B2C marketing professionals to view it as a discovery tool based on these three points:
- Marketers can’t attract as many followers on Pinterest.
- Brands don’t have the same interactions with customers as on social networks.
- Customers use Pinterest to find products — not talk to each other or brands.
I agree with the authors of the brief to a large degree. There are many brands not getting any or very little engagement in Pinterest. I run regular benchmarking reports on the top social media platforms including Pinterest so I see this trend. Let’s assume that we need to shift from treating it as a social network to have interactions with our customers to a location of discovery. What type of program could be useful to help us get the most out of Pinterest?
Pinterest discovered with Viraltag
There are many programs that can be used to get the most out of Pinterest based on the assumption that it is used for discovery related to core products or services for businesses or as a way to highlight key elements of a personal page. I am going to give you a short introduction to one of these programs, Viraltag.
Viraltag can be used with more platforms than just Pinterest. It can also be used with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and LinkedIn. I strongly recommend following the Viraltag blog for the latest updates.
I pin something every week so I like making heavy use of the Viraltag browser extension for ease of use.
Optimize and edit.
Viraltag has a built-in editor
Analytics is always key.
Linking up objectives and goals to click data generated from visual content is crucial to assess the ROI of Pinterest. While setting up Viraltag I took advantage of the option to link up my Google analytics account so now in the reporting section I can view how all my social media platforms are performing towards my goals. I can still see the context of the Pinterest performance compared to my other platforms.
The scheduler recommends the best slots to post based on your traffic data. I recently proposed the exact same approach to finding the best times to post on social media. Once you have discovered the high engagement moments they can be selected as your preferred posting slots.
It is possible to schedule to all the supported platforms at the same time.
Viraltag has an “Evergreen content” section where content will be stored and automatically posted to selected accounts when there is an empty slot in the posting schedule. It is possible to input restrictions on the posting frequency.
Curated and User Generated Content (UGC).
A selection can be made from curated as well as user-generated content related to your brand, and keep track of the requested and approved permission requests.
It is also possible to create galleries of images that can be used to link to a shop or used in Ads.
In Conclusion – Engage vs. Discovery
Strategic decisions have to be made if you intend to change your use of Pinterest to a discovery platform from an engagement one. One of those decisions will be about the tools that will be employed and how the analytics will be tracked. Tools like Viraltag can be used with many platforms and allow Google analytics and Pinterest data to be analyzed. Viraltag allows you to integrate your posting schedule with curated and user-generated content, and edit and optimize the content. The most optimum posting moments can be discovered and then posting schedules created from them. Lastly, and most importantly, data can be imported to allow you to evaluate how you are performing on your social media objectives, which will keep you out of social media jail. We have enough folks in there as it is 😉
*Forrester Research Brief: “Stop Treating Pinterest Like A Social Network, Pinterest Is Actually A Discovery Tool”
By Jessica Liu and Collin Colburn (September 13, 2016)