After publishing my first Pinterest blog post Pinterest: Social Media Scrapbooking with Style for dbmei.com on Saturday, March 17, 2012, I had more questions than I had answers. So I found it necessary to dig further. I am a social media anthropologist always seeking to learn more about the effects social media has on people and vice versa. I can hold my own as a geek-girl and am a somewhat savvy, social media maven. As such, something about Pinterest just did not sit right with me. So out came my shovel and on went my digging hat.
The most burning questions for me were:
• How had this innocent online scrapbooking/social bookmarking platform achieved such remarkable results? It had out ranked practically every other social media venue in traffic referrals.
• If the population responsible for this was 83% women, did that mean that women have become very savvy with social media?
• Or were most of these Pinterest gals just using it as an online scrapbook or social bookmark not realizing the power it had as a social media skyrocket?
• How have some Pinterest players been able to pin tens and hundreds of thousands of images? That’s right, five and six figures! I can’t even begin to calculate how much time that would take. I am guessing years or not one person but a whole community of pinners.
• I wondered, how could my stats be so low when I was pouring my heart and soul into Pinterest, not to mention hours into building my boards, using good etiquette and sound social media guidelines?
• Lastly, I wondered what ‘social media’ value there was in re-pining other people’s images since they would need to be credited with URL links going to their origin rather than to the person attempting to extend their own reach. Or was there more value to Pinterest than my technical analysis of it?
THE FIRST CLUE
I had listed 18 research articles as sources for my original post. But reading all of them had still not given me the answers I was seeking. Then I got the most amazing comment from a woman named, Ammrita at company called, Pinpuff:
This comment left me with these thoughts:
• I began to get a hint at some of the answers to my questions.
• I had to accept my novice status as a Pinterest player since I had just signed up on January 28, 2012.
• On the other hand, I was excelling at researching and writing about it. Perhaps my writing could be a way to ‘read, write and share’, part of the dbmei mission, to help me learn more about Pinterest.
THE MAJOR CLUE
I was extremely flattered and paid careful attention as I analyzed Ammrita’s comments. She said:
• You have a good following (I do?)
• All you need is a bit of optimization of your boards (A ‘bit’ of optimization?)
There was that word, OPTIMIZATION. Right away the red flag went up. Optimization means social media, keywords and all that programming sort of stuff. So Pinterest is not just an online scrapbooking pastime. It is also another way to establish a significant online presence. What did she have in mind for ‘optimization’. I continued to read:
• Make sure you have assigned categories to all your boards
• Give a thought to content you submit along with every pin
• (Hint: simple SEO kind of steps or points to be kept in mind)
This led me to some additional questions and concerns after beginning to implement these suggestions. I e-mailed the Pinpuff staff directly:
I wrote, “I have been working so hard on my Pinterest boards yet my score has not improved. I am wondering
• Should I be using hashtags with key words?
• Is it better to have more boards with a few image or more images on fewer boards?
• What else can I do?
• Where can I learn how to improve my Pinterest reach?
Your company even acknowledged a blog post I wrote about Pinterest. So my ability to write about Pinterest is remarkable but my activity on Pinterest is pathetic. I want to both to be remarkable. Here is the post:
Please suggest to me what I can do. I am working so hard, reading everything I can, going on one of the LinkedIn groups. Please help point me in a direction so that I can see what I should or could be doing better. Thank you.”
THE REMARKABLE RESPONSE
And then came this ‘remarkable’ response:
Thanks for writing in all your queries. I am Gaurav, Co-Founder, Pinpuff and would love to answer all your questions here.
1. No need of using hashtags. Use simple Keywords, Include proper nouns where ever applicable for example : Awesome Car is very general but Awesome Ford Car is more effective.
2. There is no correct answer to this because after all you are using Pinterest to store all your discoveries as pins on your boards. But it is preferred to have less boards with more pins. Why? Because, once a pinterest user enters your board – he/she will have so many options on single board and will spend more time on it – hence more chances of getting repins and likes.
3. & 4. All you have to do is to concentrate on pinning best of the best content in your boards. Repin less, add more & more of unique content from your end. Use good keywords in your pins descriptions. To get more people to follow you, first, content will help and then, use your brilliant blogging skills to write simple tips about Pinterest (Hint: Use any point from this reply and write a short blog post, give a link to your Pinterest profile). Also, you may put a link to your pinterest profile in your email signature.
Please don’t be stressed about your Pinfluence. Enjoy pinning, teach others about Pinterest – thats it! You will see your Pinfluence grow auto-magically
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other queries.
I think I am finally beginning to get the hang of it. But I still have more questions. So there will certainly be more digging and delving to come. Let me know if you need an invitation and/or have any questions, too. I’d love to share Pinterest and what I’ve learned so far with you. This video, made by Kotex.com, was passed on to the members of our blogging group by the founder, Basil Puglisi. It clearly illustrates the soul and the reason for Pinterest’s reach. It is Sharing!
THE PROOF IS IN THE VIDEO
I received many other wonderful comments and responses to my first Pinterest Blog Post. I had written to every one of my sources to let them know they were included in my post. Many responded and so did others with compliments, likes and mentions in their blog posts. You can read a few of these at the end of the original blog post. Even though this post focuses on Pinpuff, I want to thank everyone who contributed to the comments to my first Pinterest blog post.
Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz. Located on Long Island, New York, MARKETING BYTES serves clients virtually everywhere.
Their boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by transitioning from traditional advertising to online marketing. Contact MARKETING BYTES at email@example.com or call 516-665-9034 ET
SOURCES AND RESOURCES
- Pinterest: Social Media Scrapbooking with Style (my first Pinterest Blog Post)
- Pinterest Goodies
- Pinterest Home
- Pinpuff (you need to be a Pinterest user to get your scores from Pinpuff)
- Huffington Post, Pinterest Apps and Tools to Enhance Your Pinning Experience
- Media Tapper, Don’t Let Your Pinterest become an Ad Factory
About Alison Gilbert
Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.