Do you need to pivot your Pinterest strategy? Yes!
This new episode with Jennifer Priest, from Smart Creative Social, is about aligning yourself with Pinterest so Pinterest continues to drive traffic to your site.
We talk about why things that worked on Pinterest previously, might not work now. We talk about where Pinterest is focused, so you can focus your Pinterest strategy on the same things. And we discuss why it’s so important to be looking for new and novel ideas to create content about.
If Pinterest is important to your business, please don’t miss this episode. I think it will be very clarifying and give you real action steps as you move forward.
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Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:11
Hello, my friends. Welcome back to the show. I’m your host, Jillian Leslie, I am a serial entrepreneur. I am a business coach and a business translator. I take what is working in blogging and online business and break it down so you can use these strategies yourself.
Before I get started with today’s episode, I wanted to share how excited I am about the new product, David, my husband and partner and I are building called MiloTree Easy Payments.
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We just make it easy for you to run your business, run your membership, however you like. If this sounds interesting, head to MiloTree Easy Payments Beta Tester and I will reach out to you right away.
We’ll get on a call, hear about what you’re building, and I will help you do it. Again, head to milotree.com/betatester. Get in on the ground floor. No tech to learn, no platforms to learn. Build it the way you want to. And I really think this could change your life.
For today’s episode, I have my good friend Jennifer Priest from Smart Creative Social back on the show. And we are talking about our favorite topic, Pinterest.
If you’ve listened to my previous episodes with Jennifer, and they will be in the show notes. You know, she’s got a lot of opinions. She’s got opinions on the direction Pinterest is going, and the direction you should be going to have success on the platform.
So, without further delay, please enjoy my interview with Jennifer Priest.
Jennifer, welcome back to the show.
Jennifer Priest 2:38
Thanks for having me. Always good to talk to you about Pinterest and blogging stuff.
Jillian Leslie 2:43
I love that. I like checking in with you because you always have very up-to-date information.
And you have very good tactics, which we’re going to talk about in terms of figuring out what your goal is for using Pinterest, and then how to put the pieces in place to get there.
Jennifer Priest 3:04
Yes. Definitely. And thanks for saying that.
Jillian Leslie 3:09
Truly, I think that that is your special sauce.
Why You Need a Pinterest Strategy
Jennifer Priest 3:12
Oh, thank you. I think a lot of times with Pinterest what we’re looking for, in fact, I had somebody say this to me. I was giving a presentation in an online conference this week, an online summit.
And I was talking about what we don’t want is we don’t want somebody just to give us the steps to follow like to say, “Hey, these are the steps I followed, give me your steps, and I’ll just follow them.”
What we want is an actual strategy that works for our business. It fits our business that’s tailored to our business, because Pinterest is always changing. And our business is always changing. Like, my business is totally different than it was a couple years ago.
And so, we want something that’s dynamic and can evolve. And this lady in the comments was like, “No, no, no, I just want the steps.” And I was like, “The steps expire.” But it’s this thing of like, “Oh, I don’t want to think hard.”
And it’s like a muscle. You kind of exercise it and you get used to it. And if you’re not using it, it’s hard. I bought a bicycle actually, a couple months ago. And I hadn’t really ridden a bicycle in like, probably 20 years.
And I rode it and my whole body hurt. I remembered how to ride it but it was like I hurt. And so, it’s kind of that same thing. You’ve got to exercise and practice and then at some point it becomes just how you do things. It becomes a skill.
That ability of looking at, okay, this is the strategy I’m employing to reach my larger goal. And then what do I got to adjust now that I’m not getting the results I want or Pinterest came out with some new guidelines.
Whereas if you have some of these static steps to follow those will work, you will get some results. You may get better results than that person, but they’re going to expire, as your business changes, as Pinterest changes, at some point they will stop working.
And then you’re going to be exactly where you were today when you started with that, you’re back to square one. I don’t know anybody who’s like I’m volunteering for that. I want to start over.
Jillian Leslie 5:25
Absolutely. What’s funny, we have a coaching group. And the thing that I am always saying is do the hard thinking, we don’t want to do this. We want the steps.
And we want to say, “Okay, I know from my business, I need to grow followers, I need to grow Pinterest followers, I need to grow Instagram followers.” And I say, “Why?”
How Does Social Media Grow Your Business?
What is the point of it, you can’t stop there, you’ve got to go all the way to the point at which you know that you are working toward a goal that will grow your business.
Because then people come to me and go, “I’m growing my Instagram followers, but I’m not making any money.” So I say, “How can you make money? How could Instagram possibly fit into that strategy?”
But most of us are on the internet, growing businesses, hearing what other people are doing, and we’re kind of like, “Oh, this is the way to do it.” But I haven’t really thought about, for my goal, this is how I will make money.
This is what my audience is wanting from me. This is the product I could sell to them. It’s like that is hard and hurts our brains.
So, I keep saying to my group, do that thinking, don’t just go, “Oh, I need to grow an email list. I need to grow this. I need to create blog posts.” You can be so busy building a business that doesn’t turn into a business.
Jennifer Priest 6:55
Right. There’s this online coach Brooke Castillo and she talks a lot about that. And I think she calls it a jobbie. It’s like a hobby that you work like a job.
What Is Working on Pinterest Right Now?
Jillian Leslie 7:06
So, let’s talk about Pinterest. Overall, what are you seeing working today to drive business sales traffic?
Jennifer Priest 7:19
So, there’s a few things happening on Pinterest. I don’t know if you’d let me talk about this. But I have a new roadmap that I worked all this into.
Especially, for a lot of us that have been using Pinterest for quite some time. We’re like, “Wait, what all change?” I don’t know exactly what’s different. So, I think there’s five things I line up in there about what changed.
So, one is to focus on the creator. So, Pinterest is launching all these creator tools. They’re doing creator events, they had that summit back in October of 2020. They have a forum and they have all these different things where they’re trying to push their creator.
What About Idea Pins?
And in line with that our Idea Pins, which used to be called Story Pins, but they rolled it out of beta. And now they’re calling it Idea Pins, which I think is more of an appropriate name for them because they want it to be a self-contained idea.
That someone can fully consume and fully take action on within the ecosystem of Pinterest. So, that means there’s no link, they need to be able to take action on it without having to go to your site or go somewhere else.
Jillian Leslie 8:29
Evergreen, it’s not like they’re disappearing
Jennifer Priest 8:33
They don’t expire. It’s not like on Instagram, where you’re literally telling a story for six pins. And it’s not like that. And so, I think it was smart of them to change the name. So, there’s the whole creator focus, then there’s the shop focus.
Where they’ve made it a lot easier for people to import all their products if they have like a Shopify store or WooCommerce or Etsy or whatever. Merchants can become verified, so they get a special checkmark on their profile to show that they’re trusted.
What About Shopping on Pinterest?
And that unlocks a whole other set of tools for merchants. So, there’s all of the shopping, Pinterest is like okay, we know that people are looking for ideas on here. So, we’re going to make that easier.
We’re going to allow brands to tag their products on pins. We’re going to allow all these different things to facilitate the shopping experience.
I don’t know if you’ve tried it. I did. I tried to buy some stuff from Target and made me want to pull my hair out. It was really hard.
Jillian Leslie 9:29
Jennifer Priest 9:30
Yes. It was really hard. I don’t know if they were doing some kind of pilot thing because it just felt like it wasn’t working right. And I have a lot of trouble doing stuff within the Pinterest app on my phone.
I don’t know if that’s an Android thing or what. I use Pinterest on desktop and 83% of people are using it on mobile. They’re still working out some glitches I think on the user experience side.
What About the Search Engine Side?
And then there’s the search engine traffic side. The side that we all as bloggers really know and love and have benefitted from with Pinterest. And I think that’s where we have to adjust our expectation a lot.
Pinterest now, has these other two facets of what they offer and where they’re focused. We used to be able, and I think this is kind of like, we’ve got to get rid of the nostalgia for the good old days.
We used to be able to put a pin up and get traffic like that, you sit there, look at your stats, you’re like, “Oh, my God, look at all these people coming over from Pinterest. It’s amazing.” And now Pinterest is a lot more like Google.
Pinterest is a Lot Like Google Now
And it’s so funny because people don’t expect to write a blog post, if they are experienced. If they’re brand new beginner, they expect it to go viral.
But people that have some experience, write a blog post, and they don’t expect to go to Google tomorrow, and see it at the number one spot. They’re like, “Oh, it’s going to be good for 8, 24 months.
Jillian Leslie 10:55
Yeah, I was going to say, on average, usually 12 months, until you really start ranking for something.
Jennifer Priest 11:03
And we’ve been able to move there with Google, because in the good old days, you could rank really fast, you can have terrible content and really fast because you’re the only article on the internet about that thing.
Jillian Leslie 11:16
Jennifer Priest 11:17
And Google has algorithms to write. And that’s one of my pet peeves is I see a lot of SEO people and a lot of bloggers too get upset. And they’ll say, “Oh, Pinterest sucks. It’s not giving me results. I’m just going to do SEO, because that’s not affected by algorithm changes.”
I’m like, “What are you talking about? Go Google, algorithm changes.”
Jillian Leslie 11:40
Wait. There’s a brand new one rolling out this summer.
Jennifer Priest 11:43
With the Core Web Vitals. And we’re already seeing I don’t know what you’re seeing but in my ad network that I’m in that Facebook group, there’s already people who are like, Oh, my gosh, my traffic is taking over all of a sudden.
And I’m like, “Oh, my gosh.” We’re not immune. And so, I think we’ve got to move Pinterest over from the column of Instagram, Facebook, it has some of those features.
I think we need to move it more over in the column of Google and YouTube as a search engine, and start tempering our expectations to that to go, okay, we’re going to put a pin up.
What Happens When You Pin a Pin
And a lot of you have probably seen this, you put a pin up, it gets a couple thousand impressions, a couple clicks, and then it’s dead. And you’re like, what happened, all my pins are going over? No, that’s not what it is. What does those numbers actually mean?
Pinterest is showing it to a few people. It’s looking at what they do with it. It’s gathering data. And then it’s kind of tucking it in its back pocket until it needs to show it to more people.
So, it’s still collecting data. This is what I want people to think about when you put a pin on Pinterest. There’s this old saying with gardeners, if you ask a gardener, when is the best time to plant a tree? They will tell you five years ago.
When is the next best time to plant a tree today? So, the minute you put a pin on Pinterest, it starts gathering data. It crawls your website and says, oh, where’s the destination link? Does that match what’s on the pin?
It looks at the board, it looks at the content of the pin, it looks at your overall account, then it says okay, we think these labels are what this thing is about. So, we’re going to put these labels on it, and then we’re going to match it to other people with the same labels.
So, if this pin has the labels, taco, and vegan and 30-minute meal, then it’s going to show it to people who are interested in those things. Then it’s going to look at how did they interact with that? How was it received?
Did they take action? Did they engage? Did they make it look bigger? What happened? This is what every single platform does, it tests and then it gathers data.
And then it says, oh, you know what, none of the vegan people clicked on that but the taco people did, and a couple 30-minute meal people did so we’re going to adjust and we might show it to a few other different people who fit the labels a little bit differently.
Your Pinterest Analytics Aren’t Always Reliable
And so, it’s always going to be gathering data. And then it seems like the pins kind of go dormant. And here’s the thing. I had this discussion with Alisa Meredith from Tailwind because when people do this in my program, it drives me crazy.
Because I feel like they’re trying to drive themselves crazy. People watch the pin stats. It’s like watching cookies bake. You know, it’s only going to take eight minutes, but you’re looking in the oven and it feels like forever and it’s never going to bake.
Or watching a plant try to sprout, it’s madness. You’re going to go crazy. Well add on top of that, the stats on individual pins are really volatile. If you really watch them, you’ll be like, okay, I put it on Monday. On Friday, it said that it had 3,000 impressions.
Then I checked it two weeks from Friday. So, it has not even been 30 days. So, it still shows me all of the activities. And it says it only has 100 impressions.
If that doesn’t show to you that they’re not dependable and volatile on individual pin, I don’t know what else you need to see. But like, over and over and over and over, and no, people are like, “Oh, it’s because they pinned it with Tailwind. It didn’t work.”
Or it’s because all these erroneous correlations happening. So, stop looking at something that’s not dependable. It’s like that friend that you have that’s like, Oh, yeah, I’ll be there.
And then they’re never there, you’re not going to ask that friend to go pick you up at the airport unless you want to have to Uber home.
We’re expecting behavior, that’s not going to happen. So, stop looking at individual pins. And this is what I ask people, “What decision would you make if you had that data? If it was dependable?”
They’re like, “I might make more pins like that.” I said, “Okay, well, is it sending you traffic?” What’s the end goal? Right back to what you’re saying. What’s the end goal?
So usually, there isn’t any decision that they would make, they’re just going through this crazy making process of watching individual pins. And getting really stressed out about it.
And on the flip side of that going, the only pins that are getting any traction are really old. Pinterest just wants old stuff. It’s like what? No, if you think about it, I look at that as such a huge opportunity.
How to Find Opportunities on Pinterest
I’m like, “Why is Pinterest scraping the bottom of the barrel with my terrible pin from 2016. And now showing it to people and it’s taking off.” I’m like, “Oh, that means they have a deficit of content for that topic.”
Hello, opportunity is like ding, ding, ding, sometimes I get exhausted just thinking about like, oh my God, I got to make all these posts because these old posts, they came up and there’s so much stuff that I could do with this.
And instead people are like bemoaning like, only my old pins are doing well. It’s like, make more of that.
Thoughts from a Happy MiloTree Customer
Jillian Leslie 17:16
Instead of me talking about MiloTree. I thought I would share what one of our happy customers Nicole Carr from “Take It From Nicole”, had to say.
Nicole Carr 17:27
I absolutely love the MiloTree app, I think it’s really cool. It was so easy to install for me. Someone who’s not a tech person. It was click, copy, paste, boom. And it was on my WordPress blog.
I have it set up for Pinterest. But you could use it for email signups or Instagram. It’s a great way to build your audience really inexpensively. And under $10 a month, I set it and forget it. And I just see Pinterest followers growing.
So, people that I’m sending from Pinterest to my site are then becoming followers and seeing more of my content. So, it’s a great way to take something that you’re already driving traffic to and to build social followings or email lists.
Jillian Leslie 18:05
Thank you, Nicole for that awesome testimonial. And remember, MiloTree will not slow down your site one bit.
How to Think About Fresh Pins and Tailwind SmartLoop
I want to talk about Fresh Pins. And I want to talk about SmartLoop. Okay, so let’s start with Fresh Pins.
Jennifer Priest 18:27
So, people are doing them wrong.
Jillian Leslie 18:31
I love a statement like that.
Jennifer Priest 18:34
I’m like you’re doing fresh pins wrong. So, there’s one of my favorite people. I think I should change his name. Let’s call him Jimmy. Okay. So Jimmy was all up in the Facebook groups last year in 2020.
Jimmy was all up in the Facebook groups going like, “What’s wrong with my Pinterest account? I’m doing everything. I’m doing all the things.” Guys I’ve said this myself too back in 2015, 2016. You could probably find some posts from me saying these things.
He’s like, “I’m doing all the things. I’m giving Pinterest all the fresh pins. I’m making 50 pins a day” I’m just making up numbers, but you know, “An insane amount of pins a day. I’m pinning like crazy.”
And he’s like, “Everything that used to work before none of my pins are working anymore. And they used to get amazing traffic but they’re not getting traffic now. And I’m making more and more and more I even made video pins with the animated GIFs.”
Probably a lot of us have said this thing. What I did with Jimmy is like, let’s zoom out and you’ll probably hear me say this a lot on my Facebook Lives is like zoom out. Let’s go back to the basic basic basics.
Two things with any platform, but let’s keep it to Pinterest, but I’m giving you guys a hint, you can use this stuff for any platform. What’s their mission? And how are they monetized?
And so, with Pinterest they change the words all the time and we can go deep on like, what’s the intention is behind the words they chose. Because I think there’s something special there. But basically they want to help people find new ideas.
Get Aligned With Pinterest’s Goals
So, then how are they monetize? They’re monetize with ads. How does somebody that’s monetize with ads make money? They need people do come back over and over and over and over again.
So, if they’re showing people ideas, they can’t show them the same ideas over and over again, because they’ll get bored, they won’t come back. They’ll be like, oh, I needed this idea. Where am I going to go?
Oh, not Pinterest, because I’m going to see the same stuff I already saw.
Jillian Leslie 20:34
Jennifer Priest 20:35
This is why they came out with fresh pins. This was the user experience in 2016 and 2017. And any of you that remembers the user, you’re remembering, the same pin would be up. The upper left corner of my screen was the same pin for two years of my home feed.
And you’re like, “There’s no new ideas on here.” And we bloggers know there’s ton of new ideas, because I’m putting them on there.
And so, Pinterest came up with this fresh pin idea, because they needed people to be like, “Oh, where’s my inspiration place?” Pinterest, that’s where I’m going to go?
Jillian Leslie 21:12
Absolutely. So, therefore, for Jimmy, who was making pins that looked like his original pins with probably the same headline, slightly different font, maybe another photo that looked almost exactly like the first photo, but it was different. Kind of.
They were different.
Okay, but what did you say to Jimmy? Why was this the wrong strategy?
Jennifer Priest 21:44
Because Pinterest is run by an AI. They use matching to suggest to you similar things, and to make sure they’re not suggesting to you the same thing. And so, a way to see this in action is the “more like this” area.
So, you open up a pin. And as soon as you scroll down from that pin, you see “more like this”. Pinterest also does it in your home feed, they do it in the search feeds, they will match you to things that you’ve dwelled on, there’s all kinds of factors.
They’re calculating and adding scores too and that determines what you see. But an easy place to see this in action is “more like this.” So, if you open up a macaroni and cheese recipe, and you scroll down, you’re going to see similar macaroni and cheese recipes.
You’ll also see similar pins from the same person. And you’ll see some of their other pins and Pinterest is going to be matching that. And sometimes when you scroll down, Pinterest gets it really wrong.
And you’re like, I was looking at macaroni and cheese, and now it’s showing me pool noodles, you’re like, “What?” So, it’s an AI. So it’s matching. And it’s really good at matching on the level of like, a two year old.
So, in some places, it’s really sophisticated. And you’re like, “Wow, it knows me.” But in other ways, it’s not sophisticated.
So, imagine a two-year-old playing a matching card game where they have all the cards turn facedown, and they pull one over, and that’s a crocodile. And then they pull another one over. And it’s a dinosaur. And then it’s like, match crocodile and dinosaur.
How to Use Templates Correctly on Pinterest
They’re both green. They both have scales. It’s like, same thing. But we know it’s not the same thing. That’s what Pinterest is doing with your pins. And this is why I tell people don’t use templates.
Don’t use templates fresh out the box. Because people will sign up for these programs where they’re like, “I get 15 fresh pin templates every month.” And I’m like, I can go to Pinterest and be like that’s so and so’s template.
That’s a template for my program that’s so and so’s free template like I can tell people templates. You have to customize them because Pinterest again is matching them and going Jennifer’s pin.
Tricks these pin, match, in matching them when they’re totally not on the same thing because it’s matching it based on like, it looks the same.
So, when you’re using a template or branded pins, and you have this formula worked great for me all these years. You’re just plugging in different images in your collage or plugging in different images in your template.
Pinterest is matching template to template to template to template. So, you have to change the design. Now that’s a mechanic’s thing. And that’s the mistake that I see people making is they focus on mechanics.
What’s the percentage that I need to change the image for it to be a fresh pin? “Okay, well, if that’s the case, Jennifer then I’ll have 50 templates that all look different. And I’ll just plug my images in and spew them out on Pinterest.”
I was like, “No, no.” On top of that, it needed to look different. And it’s so funny because I said this last year on a Tailwind live. You guys can probably go find it if you have a lot of time on your hands.
Find New and Novel Ideas for Pinterest
I said the words it needs to be a “new and novel” presentation of that idea. And I don’t think Pinterest pays attention to me but I love that they use the words new and novel in their communications about fresh pins now.
Because I think that just shows up, I was on the right track. If you think about what are those words mean new and novel, it doesn’t mean you need to make a new blog post every day and only pin it once. That’s not what they mean.
What we’re finding works is looking at what are the different angles to help someone discover this content. And I’m not saying because I went to Tailwind’s blog. I left Tailwind. So, I’m not trying to trash Tailwind.
Tailwind is at the cutting edge of trying to help us for free, learn all the things about Pinterest. And with that their staff is like, going 100 miles an hour trying to update all these free resources they have on their site.
So, I went on their site looking for something I wanted to share. And they had some stuff that I would consider a little out of date at this point. But I don’t want that to sound like a criticism because you guys, it’s free.
They’re giving you world class training for free. But they have some examples of pins on their site in the fresh pins where I feel like that’s even kind of phasing out.
The standard keeps getting raised and raised every month of what we need to do to make the pin look new and novel. So, for example, if we were talking about, how to make an applique pillow. Let me pick something simpler. Give me an idea.
Jillian Leslie 26:28
How to knit a sweater?
Jennifer Priest 26:38
Okay, how to knit a sweater. Good. This is something I don’t really know about. So, we can talk about it as a novice. So, how to knit a sweater. That’s what your blog post is. Maybe it’s how to knit a baby sweater for beginners.
So, there’s going to be a lot of different things in that post that person might be searching for on Pinterest. They might not know yet that they need to knit a baby sweater.
That’s one audience member that’s searching for how to knit a baby sweater. Somebody else might be searching for what’s the best yarn to use to knit baby items.
That’s something you’re probably going to address in your post because you’re going to say use this yarn over this yarn, or I chose this yarn, because XYZ reasons. You’re probably going to address that naturally. And if not, then you probably need to for SEO purposes.
The other thing, what are the best knitting needles to use to make sweaters? Do I need to know special things? What are the essential stitches I need to know to make sweaters?
What’s another question you might have? How do I wash hand knit items so they last longer?
Jillian Leslie 27:41
Best DIY gifts for babies.
Jennifer Priest 27:45
Right. So, there’s so many. How long does it take for me to knit a baby sweater because the baby shower is next week? Can I do this? So, there’s all those different things.
Create Pins that Answer Different Questions Answered in Your Blog Posts
So now, just in those ideas, there’s probably eight different pins you can create to address those different things that someone searching for.
They might not be searching for how to knit a baby sweater, they might be searching for DIY baby gift that I can do in a month or whatever, you’ll have to do the keyword research to find out what those things are.
But within any blog post, we have so many different questions, we’re answering so many different problems, we’re solving so many different ways that we can package it. So, it’s not just how to knit a baby sweater.
Jillian Leslie 28:32
Done once with a collage, once with a picture of the finished product, once with like a picture of a baby wearing the sweater. Exactly. That’s not different enough.
But here’s what I would say too this is really helpful for Google because you’re going to make these, let’s say you’ve got this, knitting baby sweater, DIY, and you go, I got eight pins.
Well, now you go back into that post, and you make sure that you are answering what you’ve now pinned, like what that thing is like you can’t do a bait and switch.
You can’t be like, I just mentioned buy these knitting needles, in one little sentence and then do a pin about it because you’re going to piss off the people who click through for the right knitting needles.
So, in that post, you need to address that. The post doesn’t have to be about only knitting needles. But now one, that post is much more robust, which Google will love.
And now somebody coming to you for, let’s say, the knitting needles, but now they’re going to learn like what is the best yarn that won’t shrink if I wash this sweater.
Like you’re just making their experience even better, but in that post, though, you need to make sure somebody can easily find the solution that that pin is talking about.
Advantages of this Strategy: SEO and Affiliates
Jennifer Priest 30:07
Yeah. And there’s more opportunities for affiliate, it’s going to perform better on Google, these are the things that I’m teaching in my program, they’re not really Pinterest.
Because it’s like Pinterest job is just to show people your stuff, to show people ideas they want. So, if your stuff happens to be ideas they want, not just showing your stuff, but it has to be stuff they want.
And then as soon as somebody clicks off Pinterest and goes to your site, then Pinterest job is over. There’s no responsibility of Pinterest at that point. It’s all on you.
And so, one of the places that I see people having a hard time with Pinterest is they may have beautiful photography, they may have great looking pins. But then people get over to their site. And they’re like, “What is this experience?”
And so, there’s those but even with shopping, we have one member in our program that he and I were doing a q&a call. And he’s like, “Yeah, my pins, they’re getting a lot of saves. And they’re getting some clicks, but my sales are down.”
And we figured out something happened on his website, and all his links were broken.
Make Sure the Pin and Post Are Coherent
Jillian Leslie 31:17
And there’s a disconnect. It has to be a through line, the through line has to work. Again, it’s that idea like do not false advertise in your Pinterest pin to your blog, make sure that the visuals feel coherent.
Make sure that pin photo is showing up on your blog post or at least some that look like it so that you don’t go, “What?” Because remember, we all are on the internet with like a skeptical eye like, am I clicking on a site? Is this going to be spammy?
Am I going to get a virus like what is this? So, therefore we are more apt to back out than anything else we’re bouncing. And it’s easy to bounce. There’s no cost to it. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are delivering when somebody clicks over.
Deliver on Your Pin’s Promise
Jennifer Priest 32:08
Yeah, then this is what I always say I’m like, are you delivering on the promise of the pin? Your pin is making a promise to that person. This is what you’re going to get if you come on over to my site. And so, are you delivering on that?
And, I always say this in my program. I’m like, what’s good for Pinterest is good for Google. And what’s good for Google is good for Pinterest. Because both of them make money with ads.
They make money off the trust they built with people to come to them over and over so they can show them ads. And there was something else I wanted to say about the fact that Pinterest is monetized with ads.
Because there are people who are like, “It’s pay for play, organic is over. It’s only for shopping.” And I’m like, as long as any platform, okay, not just Pinterest. But as long as any platform has ads, they will always have a need for high quality organic content to put between those ads.
Because if you came to Pinterest, or Facebook or Instagram, and we’ve all had these experiences where the stuffs gone awry, and it’s all ads, you’re like, “I’m out.”
Jillian Leslie 33:20
Totally think of like magazines back in the day, if it was no content and just ad after ad after ad. It’s not a good experience. So, what I’m hearing you say is, don’t compete with yourself.
So, if in fact, you’ve created a pin, and then you’ve created another pin that looks like your first pin, Pinterest is not going to necessarily show both those pins. It’s very true to Google as well.
Do not name your blog post the same thing, do not compete with yourself with Google. So, do not compete with yourself with the pins that you create. Make sure you have value that there is value in what you’re offering in your pin and then deliver on it in your blog.
Jennifer Priest 34:03
Yeah. And they can use the same name on the pin. But this is where we get into the technical stuff I feel like people get hung up on that. They’re like, “Does the exact picture have to be on my blog or can it be a different picture?”
If I change one keyword like I have a post about IKEA craft rooms there’s only so many ways you can say that because it has to have the words IKEA and craft rooms in it.
Look for Different Angles With Your Pins
So, like I’m going to make new pins that say IKEA craft rooms, but there’s going to be a different angle to it like, what am I updating it with now, like what new information am I bringing? What new way am I presenting it?
What new differentiator can I add to that pin? It’s not going to make it different from everyone else, but it’s going to make it different from what I’ve already told them before.
Because we should be updating our content on our destination pages, because the bar on Pinterest is raising, the bar on Google is raising all the time too.
Jillian Leslie 35:03
Absolutely. I always say, create great content, and it will get found. But with smart decision making, you can’t just like a go create great content on something nobody’s searching for.
Again, this is where the hard thinking comes in. The concepts aren’t hard, but thinking it through for your business from I create this piece of content, and I know, ready for it.
How this piece of content is going to make me money? I have connected all of those dots. That’s tricky and hard. Okay, let’s talk about SmartLoop.
Jennifer Priest 35:48
So, SmartLoops, is like so controversial.
How to Use SmartLoop Successfully
Jillian Leslie 35:51
And for those who don’t know, SmartLoop is a feature in Tailwind where you can set up pins. And then Tailwind will pin these pins at intervals into different boards.
And it is very useful for things like seasonal content, your best Valentine’s Day post, chances are should be repinned at Valentine’s Day.
Jennifer Priest 36:19
You’ve nailed it. SmartLoop is a tool. The first mistake I see people make with Tailwind SmartLoop with it being automated is they dump all their pins into it. And they say, “Oh, I turned it on. And then it’s not working”
Or, “I use SmartLoop and now my account got suspended.” It’s only going to do what you tell it to do. And it’s only going to do what you tell it to do with the inputs you put in it.
So, imagine like a mixer. I remember when I was in the military, I would have KP duty and I had to work in the commercial kitchen, the mess hall. And they had these big old mixers like a KitchenAid on steroids.
And if you just turn it on full blast, it would just go nuts. That’s what I think people do with SmartLoop is they just turn it on full blast and it goes nuts, then they’re not even looking at the inputs that they put in.
It’s like they’re putting in ground beef and some eggs and like a couple pieces of bread. And they’re like, “Why didn’t a wedding cake come out?” It’s like, no, it’s going to do what you tell it to do with the inputs you put into it.
That’s what’s going to give you the results. So, really SmartLoop is an automation tool that should be used to automate what is already working for you.
Jillian Leslie 37:42
And I love that.
Jennifer Priest 37:43
It’s a robot. Imagine like, if we were in the Jetsons. And you were like, “I need you to mop my floor.” And it should already do it the way that you tell it to do it. So, that’s where I think people get in trouble with SmartLoop.
So, I looked at my data for SmartLoop, because I knew we were going to be doing this. I’ve been using SmartLoops since November 2018. And I think I told you at one point, I had like 4,000 or 5,000 pins in it.
Up until summer of 2020, I had 2,500 pins in SmartLoop. So, that meant based on a schedule that I programmed it with. That I told it what to do. It was pinning 2,500 pins in rotation.
Jillian Leslie 38:34
In what, in a year? How many pins of SmartLoop were pinning say a day?
Jennifer Priest 38:43
They were all customized.
Jillian Leslie 38:44
Jennifer Priest 38:45
So, I think sometimes we had like 200 pins going out a day. Sometimes 50. Anything that was working, we automated it with SmartLoop. So, then I wasn’t paying someone to pin it because SmartLoop could do that action for me.
Remember, we used to be able to repin things and they would get a lot more traction. And that’s the other thing with fresh pins too is like repinning not that you can’t do it. Just how you do it. How you do it where you do it, why you do it. That’s what changed.
Jillian Leslie 39:17
So, back to SmartLoop. So, you have found that you are setting up the pins that have already done well for you in SmartLoop.
Jennifer Priest 39:27
Jillian Leslie 39:29
Jennifer Priest 39:30
So, for two years, I put, let’s not call it two years, let’s call it a year and a half. I put every single pin that I pinned went into SmartLoop, every single one.
And then I’d go and do an audit of my loops and see what’s performing what’s not performing and we’d clear out anything. So, we had certain thresholds like, we wanted to see a certain number of repins per pin.
It had to have been published a certain number of times before we put on the chopping block, because it was only been published twice through SmartLoop, and it didn’t perform well, we don’t know that it’s going to be bad. So, we’re like, let’s give it a few more tries.
So, there’s factors that when we’re doing the audit we’re looking at. And basically what we’re doing is saying, “Okay, if these are performing well, let’s keep them in the ecosystem. Let’s keep putting them out there.”
Test Your Best Pins with SmartLoop
And there’s reasons that we’re repinning them. Because that’s what SmartLoop is doing is it’s basically putting the same content that’s already been on Pinterest, it’s putting it on there again.
And then anything that was a low performer, we’ve just pulled it out. So, all we did is shifted from using intervals on Tailwind to pin those pins at different intervals to different boards. We just shifted that over to SmartLoop to let SmartLoop do that work.
Jillian Leslie 40:49
What did you discover? Were you getting traffic from this? And do you get traffic from SmartLoop?
Jennifer Priest 40:55
Yes. So, there’s two things that I have going on in the campaigns. One is Tailwind puts their own UTM tracker on anything that comes out through SmartLoop. So, those ones there were over the period of time.
So, I’m going from November 1, 2018. Just looking at the graph, it looks like somewhere in there is where I turned on SmartLoop to today. So, this is 2 1/2 years later, it says there are 330,000 users from SmartLoop.
And there’s more sessions than that, but 330,000 users from SmartLoop. In August of 2020, which is about 10 months ago, I put a new a new UTM tracker on there. And those ones, there’s only 4,900 users, so it went down.
But still, the old ones are still getting a lot of traffic. So, it’s still the SmartLoop pins, these are new. These are brand new pins to Pinterest. They’re not even a year old that I’m tracking with the UTM code from 2020.
Those are about 10% of what the overall Tailwind SmartLoop traffic is. So, it’s still working good. Then I have other UTM codes that I’m using too. So, number one is Tailwind SmartLoop. From there, the old the old pins.
Number two is Tailwind tribes. So, I probably had some big bloggers pin my stuff. And then there’s a couple other ones that aren’t relevant to what we’re talking about.
And then Tailwind Interval is the next one. So, I was tracking and then manual pin. So, I was tracking over the last almost year SmartLoop versus pinning with an interval versus pinning manually. And they’re all pretty neck and neck.
Like almost exactly the same except the UTM code that Tailwind is putting on to the pins that is like it’s literally 10 times more than all the other ones.
Jillian Leslie 43:43
Your recommendation for people is if they have Tailwind or maybe get Tailwind, use SmartLoop and use it intentionally. So, you’re not just spamming Pinterest, but that you are strategically thinking about which pins to put in there.
And then looking at the data, pulling out the pins that aren’t necessarily working. trying new pins, new intervals, see how it works for you. But you think SmartLoop is a great way to get traffic on autopilot.
Jennifer Priest 44:22
Yeah. So, there’s some things I have to share. I don’t know how much I can share. But in my program, it’s so funny because people will join in, they’re like, “I want this SmartLoop training right now.” And I’m like, “No, no, no, you’re not ready.”
They’re like, “What?” I don’t let anyone get into the SmartLoop training until they have a strategy in place that works. Because the only reason that they need SmartLoop is to automate what they are already doing.
And that’s where I think people get in trouble, is they’re like, “Oh, I’m just going to put all my stuff in SmartLoop.” And they don’t have a strategy that works. All SmartLoop, all Tailwind is a tool to help you execute what you already know works.
Use SmartLoop to Automate a Strategy That’s Already Working
And so, I really want to caution people before they just go and say, “Oh, I’m going to put all my pins in SmartLoop and I took, copious notes.” SmartLoop is not the magic, it’s that you’re using it to automate.
So, the reason that I think my SmartLoop traffic is better than everything else is because I’m the most inconsistent marketer on the planet. That’s why I don’t have a job. I don’t want to show up at a job at a regular time.
I don’t even want to have appointments. I don’t even show up to my regular appointments that I make. My massage, I’m just like, “Oh, God, I have an appointment.”
So, for me to show up and be consistent on social media and be pinning all the time. It’s like, yeah, that’s never going to happen. So, SmartLoop is executing and being consistent in ways that I’m not.
So, I think that’s part of why it’s so successful is because it’s showing up whether or not I show up to work. It’s showing up and executing on my plan that I know gets results consistently day and month and year after year.
So, it’s not the magic, that it’s doing what I already know, works. And it’s amplifying it way more than I would do personally because if I put a calendar reminder to go pin something, I’ll be like, “Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.”
Literally, I had three calendar reminders this morning that I was like, “Oh, I’ll move those to next week, I’ll take care of that later.” If that was my Pinterest, I would never do it. So, that’s where I want to caution people.
The other thing is that with Pinterest, Pinterest, communications about what they want us pinning. I don’t know if we can still get SmartLoop through Tailwind or not, if you already have it, you have it. But I don’t know if that’s going to change or not.
I would say don’t become overly dependent on a tool, executing your strategy. Make sure that you know what it’s doing. You’ve programmed it to do what you know works.
So, if and when that tool goes away, you can still get the results that you are looking for. You know how to execute on that strategy.
Jillian Leslie 47:22
And I feel like this is a great way to tie in to the beginning of this interview, which is everything changes. So, it is all about staying nimble, staying open, be willing to pivot.
Taking advantage of what’s working now, because chances are in six months, it won’t work, or it will evolve into something else. I believe as online entrepreneurs; we hold on for the ride because the ride can be crazy.
Jennifer Priest 48:02
If it was easy, we’d get so bored.
Jillian Leslie 48:04
And everybody would be doing it. So no, the fact that you’re in this is a testament to you. So, Jennifer, if people want to reach out to you to learn about what you offer, in your group, all of that, what is the best way?
Jennifer Priest 48:25
I think the best way would be for you guys. You can go to my site smartcreativesocial. com. And at the top, there’s a button to get the roadmap. You can join my free group. All the information is on there.
And from there, we can start a conversation if you want. Or you can go on my group, you can consume all my free resources. I got YouTube and all that, it’s all linked in that one spot.
Jillian Leslie 48:49
Well, Jennifer, I have to say, thank you so much for coming on the show and you are coming back.
Jennifer Priest 48:57
Thank you for having me. And it’s always a pleasure to speak to you. I love that you are a fellow supporter of data-backed decision making.
Jillian Leslie 49:07
I hope you guys like this episode. I always find Jennifer to be really fun, really honest. Yes, use data to guide you dig into your analytics. Don’t just go with your gut. Also align yourself with Pinterest goals. Think about that top of mind.
If you are building out a membership or subscription to serve your audience, I want to help you get paid. So, please come be a beta tester head to milotree.com/betatester. You can try out MiloTree Easy Payments. It is a game changer.
Can you tell I’m excited about this? I really am and I will keep you posted on our product as we continue to build it out and I will be back here next week with another cool episode. See you then.
Other Blogger Genius Podcast episodes with Jennifer Priest to listen to:
- How to Be Effective on Pinterest Today with Jennifer Priest
- How To Get More Pinterest Traffic by Crushing the Pinterest Algorithm with Jennifer Priest
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