Welcome to the Blogger Genius Podcast, brought to you by MiloTree. Here’s your host, Jillian Leslie.
Jillian Leslie 0:13
Hello everyone! Welcome back to The Blogger Genius. This is Episode 60. Today, my guest is my dear friend Kate Ahl, founder of Simple Pin Media. If you use Pinterest for your business, then you know probably who Kate is. If you don’t, check out her podcast, check out her Facebook group.
She and her team are I just think they are so at the cutting edge of everything. Pinterest. This is her third time coming on the show. I am always super happy because she keeps all of us up-to-date. So without further ado, I bring you my interview with Kate Ahl. Kate, welcome back to the show.
Kate Ahl 1:00
Thanks so much for having me back.
Jillian Leslie 1:02
I love having you back. So fun.
I feel like you get to answer all of my Pinterest questions. And because Pinterest is always changing, I feel like we need to do this every so often so that I can stay up-to-date.
Kate Ahl 1:14
Yes. Oh, I know. And actually, I’m writing a post about 2019 updates. And I’m thinking like, “Oh, man.” It’s taking me a while to compile. There’s been a lot.
Jillian Leslie 1:23
Yes. Now before we launch in, I have to ask you this question, which is: Given that Pinterest is always rolling out changes and it feels like whiplash. Is it really whiplash?
Like, if you do Pinterest best practices, if you are focused on keywords and playing well with the platform and getting your, you know, creating content that your audience wants to see that people are searching for, like if you covered say 80% of it?
Kate Ahl 1:53
Yeah. You’re talking about like covering all the changes, the 80%?
Jillian Leslie 1:56
Yeah. Like, in terms of success on Pinterest?
Kate Ahl 1:59
Yes. I would say Pinterest, it’s kind of Pinterest really stays the same. And that’s what I love about it compared to like Facebook or Instagram, is I feel like Facebook changes every week or Instagram changes their hashtags. So it feels to me, and this is just me from the outside in, that those are so complicated.
Whereas Pinterest has made it very clear that there’s foundational elements that really don’t change. And so all this other stuff is just kind of like peripheral. Pay attention to it but, like, take it with a grain of salt sometimes.
Jillian Leslie 2:34
Right. So as long as you are treating Pinterest like a search engine, meaning your stuff is SEO-friendly, that you’re adding keywords. that you are kind of solving people’s problems with your content and making it look good.
That that’s where you should double down. That’s what you should double down on.
Kate Ahl 2:58
Always, always, always. I mean, I think the best way for people always to think about it is that it’s always like Google. I mean, Google doesn’t have these massive shifts, right? But they always value really, really great content. That is the same with Pinterest.
Jillian Leslie 3:11
Yes, yes. In fact, Google over the years has gotten even better at delivering good content. Meaning I was taking an SEO course and the piece of advice that kept coming out was create great content. Don’t try to game the system because Google’s really smart.
Kate Ahl 3:33
Yeah, exactly. And I think Pinterest will go that way as well. And what I love about Google and Pinterest, like Google, you search with a different type of intent. But with Pinterest, you’re searching in order to plan for the future.
Like I saw this great infographic when I was meeting with Pinterest and they showed this intent or planning for a trip. And then they go to Google and they search out what are the best hiking boots for my trip about two weeks before I leave.
And then Instagram, they post about their trip. And so we have kind of this great ecosystem between social media and search. And Pinterest is really the beginning of that discovery.
Jillian Leslie 4:15
Interesting. That makes a lot of sense. I do that. We’re in the process of redoing our bathrooms and I go to Pinterest to look at inspiration. And then if I want to dig in on a certain kind of tile or something, then I’ll go to Google. But I do because I want to look at pretty pictures of bathrooms.
Kate Ahl 4:35
Yeah, I know I we did that too. We updated our bathroom this September. And I gathered a ton of stuff. And I actually think I ended up purchasing some of the lights that we needed after I found them on Pinterest.
And I even did that this weekend. We were snowed in and I needed new drawer poles. And so I looked up some dribbles, and then I went to the site.
And so Pinterest definitely informs our decisions and then we take action when we’re ready, maybe on another platform, but we’re still potentially going back to that company.
Jillian Leslie 5:05
Right, right. And I’ve discovered companies on Pinterest. And then I will actually go to Google and like Google them. Or later like I’ll go, “Oh, I remember that title company, Tile Bar.” And then when I’m searching for stuff more intently, then I’ll be on Google and be like, I remember that.
So it’s not a direct line, meaning my process. I need to first ideate and then I can, you know, maybe a week later dig in a little more, or who knows.
Kate Ahl 5:35
Jillian Leslie 5:36
So I love that, okay.
So I reached out to you because of this new feature on Tailwind called Smart Loop. Is it loop or loops?
Kate Ahl 5:46
It’s loop. No “S”.
Jillian Leslie 5:47
No “S”. Loop. Okay. Because again, for Catch My Party, like Pinterest is huge for us. It drives most of our traffic. And therefore Tailwind is really important for us because we schedule all of our pins through Tailwind and we were really excited for Smart Loop to come out. And can you explain what it does?
Kate Ahl 6:09
Yeah. So basically what it is, it is a feature for you to set your pins to go out to particular boards on a schedule. So you’re not going into the traditional smart queue and schedule and manually putting each one in.
But you’re saying, I would like this particular piece of content to be dripped out to different boards over a period of time and then looped back around and maybe started, again a certain amount of time later.
And what we like about this is that especially for you at Catch My Party, you have so much content that this allows somebody to make sure that this content kind of gets pinned in the background, especially the seasonal stuff.
So that you’re not forgetting it and you can really also focus back on trying to get your new stuff out by using the traditional scheduling side of Tailwind.
Jillian Leslie 7:02
Definitely. There are a couple of things for us that were game changers.
The first is that Pinterest got rid of the maximum pin number for each account. It used to be 200,000 packs. And that I would always keep in the back of my mind going, “Oh, God.” I would literally like measure it out. Like, okay, we’ve got two more years of pinning the number of pins we’re pinning before we hit that hard stop.
And what I had heard is, if you did hit that, you would have to go back and delete pins in order to stay below that 200,000. And then Pinterest got rid of that, so it enabled me to stop worrying about how many pins I was pinning.
Kate Ahl 7:52
Yes. And a lot of people really were worried about that especially because we’re coming upon Pinterest being 10 years old. And there’s been these active pinners, very loyal people who have been pinning for 10 years. You’re going to accumulate a lot of pins. So lifting that threshold – super smart.
Jillian Leslie 8:30
Yes. So what we started with in terms of creating these smart loops, in Smart Loop, was to start with our seasonal content, because we have a ton of Valentine’s Day pins that we’ve been in business now close to 10 years.
And we have stuff from the way beginning that did really well back in the day but we’ve kind of forgotten about it.
And to put it in a smart loop, which was actually very easy to do, and then to drip those pins out, I think we started that, dripping our Valentine’s Day pins, gosh, in like December, or even November, but then we could put a stop on it, which is we want this number pins to go out but we want to end it on February 14 or February 13.
Kate Ahl 9:07
You don’t forget, I mean, I love that because I’m constantly having to set calendar reminders for myself. But with this, you can choose your date range.
Jillian Leslie 9:15
Exactly. So next year, it will start all over again.
Kate Ahl 9:19
Mm-hmm. And you can put all the seasonal content that you accumulated from this year into that as well.
Jillian Leslie 9:24
Yes. So that’s the one thing that we have to also make sure to do, which is we’ve put in, let’s say, all of our Valentine’s Day. Let’s say we set up this smart loop in November and then we’ve accumulated Valentine’s Day content from November to February of this year.
And so we need to then just go back and refresh that, add those pins to that loop.
Kate Ahl 9:48
Yeah, exactly. You want to put a reminder in there to do that.
And I think also evaluate those pins as well. So don’t just put in a bunch of pins in there and they’re all Valentine’s Day, right? But really look at them and make sure some of those pins are interlinking on your site or they have the right Amazon affiliate links.
Take the opportunity when you are, I guess, organizing this or revisiting it to make sure the content is still good. I see so many people more focused on like, get it on to Pinterest, get it on to Pinterest.
Well, guess what, when those people click and they come off of Pinterest, they have to engage with your site in an understandable way or in a meaningful way so that they can get on your email list, they can buy the product through the affiliate link or buy your product.
So just make sure that you are breezing through the post. It looks exactly the way you want it up to your standards, all right, it’s one to keep in the loop.
Jillian Leslie 10:46
Yes. It’s like, clean up as you go. You know, make sure that the experience for the pinner is a good experience. That that affiliate link isn’t broken.
Kate Ahl 10:57
Jillian Leslie 10:59
You know, that that product isn’t sold out or whatever. But this is the secret that I wanted to share with you, which is… so we were pinning back in the day when we were concerned with hitting this cap, we were pinning probably 60 pins a day. And that was considered a lot. And again, I was nervous.
Here’s the thing that I would say. I was nervous because of the cap. I wasn’t nervous because our content wasn’t good. And I didn’t feel spamming because we have so much content.
But now that we’ve put these smart loops into play, we are pinning maybe 120 pins a day.
Kate Ahl 11:38
Jillian Leslie 11:39
Wait, and our traffic has gone up.
Kate Ahl 11:41
Jillian Leslie 11:44
Now again, as we talked about, yes, Pinterest stays the same but it also changes. So I am appreciating this boost in traffic now. And I recognize that at some point, it might not work in our favor. But I wanted to share that it is working in our favor right now.
Kate Ahl 12:02
Right. And that’s a very, very good thing to say. And always when I hear people with their numbers, what I always tell people is like, test it for yourself because we have people who do 50 drop down to 30, and they even get better traffic for some reason.
So it’s like, test it and see if it works for you. But one of the things we’ve heard is when you have quite a bit of loops happening, and maybe you can tell me about this, is sometimes the system seems to slow down a little bit when you’re trying to schedule other things. Have you noticed that or no?
Jillian Leslie 12:33
With Tailwind you mean?
Kate Ahl 12:34
Jillian Leslie 12:36
Yes. So I have a VA and she does all of my Pinterest pinning. And she has said that if there is one thing that she wishes… that sometimes, yes, Tailwind will get sluggish.
Kate Ahl 12:52
Yeah, yeah. So that’s just something to note that if your listeners are listening, just that it happens. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just part of kind of I think the growing pains of a new system.
Jillian Leslie 13:03
Absolutely. And what’s cool is that we could then… so let’s say now our Easter stuff is going live but so is our smart loop of baby shower ideas which are evergreen. So, we can have these loops that loop for a very specific amount of time but then we can have these other loops that are looping constantly,
Kate Ahl 13:29
Right. Yes, I love that because we do have a lot of evergreen content that works well, especially if that’s what’s popping up in Google.
Jillian Leslie 13:36
Yeah. My husband, David and I, we had coffee with Danny Maloney, who I’m hoping to have on the show, he’s the CEO of Tailwind. ad we told him, you know, what we were seeing on our end.
And he was really pleased and said, “Yeah, that can definitely happen, where you end up getting more traffic by pinning more high-quality pins.”
Kate Ahl 13:59
Yes. Key high quality, right?
Jillian Leslie 14:01
High quality, yes.
Kate Ahl 14:02
Be smart and strategic
Jillian Leslie 14:02
Yes. And make sure again, that you’re playing by Pinterest rules, that you’re growing your followers with something like MiloTree.
Kate Ahl 14:02
Put it up there. Don’t pin your Valentine’s Day stuff right in the middle of 4th of July.
Jillian Leslie 14:19
And again, I want to ask you this, but from what I understand, and this is why I think MiloTree is really helpful, is MiloTree grows your followers. Your newest pins are shown to your followers first. So you want high-quality followers.
Because if those people start interacting with your pins, it signals to Pinterest, “hey, this is high-quality content. Show it to more people.”
Kate Ahl 14:45
Yeah, exactly. Pinterest wants relevant content. They want things that their pinners are interested in. And they want new fresh content because they know that their pinners are always discovering new things all the time. So if we have really quality content, it gives the platform more value to the user.
Jillian Leslie 15:06
Yes, yes. Yeah, to always put on the glass… like trying to see the world through Pinterest eyes, which for Pinterest means the user coming to Pinterest has a good experience, finds what they’re looking for and wants to come back.
Kate Ahl 15:21
Yeah, exactly. And one of the things to note too as marketers is that pinners don’t go to the platform as often as they go to something like Facebook and Instagram. They might revisit it once a day or every couple of days, or even once a week.
But when they do go to the platform, they spend a considerable amount of time browsing and searching for what they want.
Jillian Leslie 15:45
interesting. I hadn’t even thought about that.
Kate Ahl 15:47
Yeah, it’s really different.
Jillian Leslie 15:49
It is, it is. And that is always the thing that… and I have to say, as an introvert, I love Pinterest.
Kate Ahl 15:56
Oh, me too. It’s one of my favorites.
Jillian Leslie 15:57
It’s like, I can just go and I can browse, or our stuff works really well on Pinterest and it’s less about how cool we are and how, I don’t know, it’s just like we’re just trying to put good content out.
Kate Ahl 16:12
Well, and I was just reading a bunch of articles because I’m actually doing a podcast about all the Pinterest updates. And I was reading the Engineering blog and they said 97% of 1000 of the most popular searches are non-branded, basically meaning people start with basic searches like shoes, couch.
So they were like, brands of all sizes have the opportunity to reach people who are in that shopping mindset.
Jillian Leslie 16:38
I think that’s so interesting. So if you are some sort of influencer, you know, like, you can compete and you can then put your affiliate links in and you can make money and stuff like that because people are liking your pins.
Kate Ahl 16:53
Well, we work actually with a tile company. She’s going to be on the podcast sharing her story, but they made custom handmade tile. I mean, think about it.
She’s competing with the big box stores like Home Depot or Lowes but she’s providing a very curated different type of product. But advertising dollars, I mean, obviously, she doesn’t have as much as Home Depot has,.
But the great thing is, is that people are searching for handmade title or unique bathroom tile. And they’re finding her instead of finding something at Home Depot, and so they’re getting so much great traffic from Pinterest and orders and people getting samples from them. It’s really cool to see.
Jillian Leslie 17:33
I could so see that — that success and that her pin is going to show up right next to the Home Depot pin and hers is going to look more unique.
Kate Ahl 17:44
Oh, yeah, absolutely. And I think people want to support small businesses, too. And so seeing something that’s very different or helps them stand out or be unique in their bathroom design, they’re going to go with her.
Jillian Leslie 17:56
Yeah. Oh, I have to find her name. You have to tell me afterward.
Kate Ahl 17:59
Yeah, she’s fantastic. Yeah.
Jillian Leslie 18:00
Okay. Let’s talk about this idea of if you use Smart Loop, is there the possibility that your account could be deemed a spam account because you are repinning content? So there’s a lot of rumors going around about, Oh no, if I keep repinning same stuff, will that hurt me?
Kate Ahl 18:23
No, it will not. Using Tailwind Smart Loop will not get you marked as spam.
Jillian Leslie 18:28
Okay. And so people were concerned though that if I’m just, you know, running these smart loops and my stuff is being repaired that somehow, you know, that’s not playing well on the platform.
Kate Ahl 18:39
Right, yes, we did hear that too. And we’ve gone back to Tailwind and we’ve gone back to Pinterest, and we’ve confirmed that it will not get you marked as spam.
The thing that you do need to think about though, is if you are, let’s say you have a post and it’s about Valentine’s Day, and you’re sending it out in your loops three times a day. And it’s the same pin, the same description like nothing’s fresh about it, there’s a few things that are going to be kind of troublesome for you because it’s not a good user experience.
And that’s what Pinterest has said like, you don’t want somebody to come on to your profile and see that it’s like slammed with the same Valentine’s Day pin 150 times. That’s not a good user experience.
But peppering here and there on different boards — totally fine. That’s not going to get you marked as spam.
Jillian Leslie 19:27
But Pinterest, though, even if it’s not marked as spam, Pinterest knows that this pin is going out multiple multiple times and probably will not be showing it as often as you would like,
Kate Ahl 19:39
I can’t so much speak directly to that. Like I’m talking with Pinterest and hoping to get solid answers on that.
But I think if you do, what I like about that method is changing up some words in the description, changing up and doing a different image for that particular URL.
Those are good strategies too. If you want more eyes on a particular post, change up those elements so it doesn’t look like the same pin over and over.
And one thing to note too is that Pinterest has said when a user interacts with a pin, it gives them data on what they’re interested in.
So if it’s about women’s fashion, they’re going to end up showing that pinner more pins from the particular board that it was on or other pins related to women’s fashion or keywords that are in that pin description.
So that’s why we want to be real careful about the pin descriptions that we’re using and make sure that they have keywords in them. Because the whole goal again, is to serve up the pinner what they’re interested in.
Jillian Leslie 20:40
I think that’s such good advice. Such good advice. So let’s talk about some of these other things that have changed or that Pinterest has rolled out or that Pinterest is standing behind. And I asked you this last time we did our interview, which is video.
Kate Ahl 20:57
Video. Okay, so I cant remember when our interview was but let’s just say it’s sometime last year.
So video was rolled out first to promoted pin advertisers, the big ones that had a huge budget. And the goal with video was just to try to build awareness.
Well then, slowly, last May, I was actually at a conference and I discovered that you didn’t have to just use the promoted pins platform to get your video out there. You could actually upload your video organically.
And it was like, “Oh, my gosh!” And what we now know about video is that short form is better.
Jillian Leslie 21:41
Short form. Okay. How long is that?
Kate Ahl 21:43
Less than a minute, one-to-one ratio, so a square. And it has to be catchy enough to make them want to link back to your site.
So if it’s a DIY project, it’s very much a highlight of the DIY and then they can find out more by visiting your site. So that when you upload the video, you’re going to add a title, the link where you want it to go to in the description. The description exactly like you would a pin description, and then upload it to a board.
And I always tell people to upload it to a board that matches the topic, not just a board that’s like simple pinned videos, but something that might be like Pinterest marketing videos.
So one of the cool things we’re seeing on the app especially is that videos are popping up towards the top during a search. And then some of the video pins that take up the whole screen width of your mobile phone, those are paid for. You can only get those bigger, bigger ones with a promoted pin campaign.
And the cost has come down a little bit on the promoted pin side. Your target isn’t clicks, your target is awareness.
So if you have a really amazing branded video, then it might be worth putting a little bit of money behind. But other than that, I would say really play around with uploading organic pins or organic videos to Pinterest.
And I also have another podcast coming out where we’re kind of diving into case studies and what people have seen and if these particular video pins are showing up in Google Analytics because that’s where we want to see if we’re really getting the click.
But so far, I think video, in fact, I would say a year ago I was like, I don’t know if video is going to take off, it feels like a speed bump.
But now I think with video on Pinterest in this native player that they have, it’s starting to feel more natural on the platform and not invasive. So definitely incorporate it as a part of your strategy.
And if YouTube is a big deal for you, then you could link it to YouTube as well for the longer form video. But don’t use Pinterest as long form. Use it as less than a minute, 30 seconds or less is even good.
Jillian Leslie 23:50
Oh, I love that. That’s great. That’s great. That’s what I wanted to know was, how is video different on Pinterest than on Instagram. So it seems more similar to Instagram.
Kate Ahl 24:00
Yeah, just a little bite-sized piece.
Jillian Leslie 24:03
Okay. And now let’s talk hashtags. Now that they’ve rolled them out and they’re in play, what have you seen?
Kate Ahl 24:10
So hashtags have had a couple of iterations and, say, rolled out in August of 2017. And what we’ve seen is that there was a little unfamiliar use of how to use it and then they went into doing 20 hashtags. And now they do just a couple relevant hashtags.
So the key here is relevance. So they want you to see hashtags as a type of search term. So it’s not something where you would do spring fashion, but you wouldn’t do “I love spring clothes”.
So on Instagram, you might do that “I love spring” but you’re not going to do that on Pinterest. As far as studies and their performance, Pinterest hasn’t released anything yet.
So we just hear a little bit from the community that some people love them, they’re finding great success with them. They never ever replace a keyword in a sentence with a hashtag, they always come at the very end.
But I don’t know… there’s its own hashtag feed. We don’t know quite yet again how many users are actually going to a hashtag feed. So that’s always the thing that you want to evaluate, like are marketers using this or are the actual users using it.
Jillian Leslie 25:25
Can you just unpack that a little bit what do you mean by that?
Kate Ahl 25:29
Yeah. So one of the things we see is that as marketers, we see Pinterest through a different lens. So we see it as a way to market our products, to get the greatest reach, and to really hook in whoever our ideal target user customer reader is.
Well, then there’s the users and they just use the platform because they find it super helpful, so they don’t see it through the marketing lens. They see it as how is this going to serve me.
And oftentimes, what we do with new anything, right, is we, as a marketer, go after it as like, this is going to be the new, greatest best thing, or this is going to be the way to get more traffic.
So let’s take hashtags. Let’s say, we all charge in, we’re like, we’re going to use hashtags and we’re going to do it this way, this way, this way.
But yeah, the user over here is like, I don’t care about hashtags. Or it can be the same with followers. We go, I want more followers, which is totally great and that’s why I do love MiloTree because you’re getting the follower at the site.
But some people go on to Pinterest, they’re like, I want more followers within the Pinterest ecosystem. But sometimes what happens is that pinners, when they’re on Pinterest, don’t think about following people.
They might think about it once they discover, “Oh, I came to Simple Pen media, I want to follow them because I now love them.”
But they might not find me on, you know, Pinterest and go pin or whatever say, “I want to follow them” because that’s not their mindset.
Their mindset is, I want to discover the things I want to discover.
Jillian Leslie 26:55
And then leave.
Kate Ahl 26:55
And then leave. Exactly. Like, I don’t care who you are, right?
And in fact, I was in the T-Mobile store last year and they were asking me what I did. And I told them, and they were talking about, like, how they used Pinterest and what they loved about Pinterest.
And I was like, “Well, do you follow people?” and the woman was like, “I don’t know if I know how to follow people.” And I was like, “That’s really interesting.”
And then my niece said the same thing when they used to have the Explore tab, she loved it because she could explore all these new ideas. She was not connected at all with the Follower tab. Like she could kind of care less about that.
Jillian Leslie 27:32
Yeah, I think that is a really good point, which is we get into our own little bubbles and we think everybody uses Pinterest as we use it.
And we’re using it like we are the tiny little tip of the iceberg of people using the platform. You know, they have what, like 400 million people using Pinterest a month, something like that,
Kate Ahl 27:56
Oh, yeah, I think it’s 250 million.
Jillian Leslie 27:58
Okay. So 250. Like we are as creators, as marketers and stuff, we are the tiny, tiny percentage of those people. So my question is, let’s say I put 10 hashtags in a description. I wouldn’t want to do that because doesn’t it look spammy?
Kate Ahl 28:19
No. Well, it’s not so much that it looks spammy but really sticking with like, one to two helps more than 10. And there’s been some people who have reported really great results as they switch them up.
So like, let’s say today, I’m going to pin this thing about cleaning up Pinterest boards and it’s going to be hashtag Pinterest marketing.
And then in a few days, I’m going to do it again and I might do hashtag social media marketing. So I’m kind of trying to optimize a little bit at a time without like a all at once.
And also, Pinterest said, don’t go back and update any hashtags, it doesn’t matter. It won’t show up in the hashtag feed because that’s a chronological feed. That as pins into the platform, they go into that.
But I think the challenge too that I would extend to your listeners, is if you have people in your life that are not marketers or digital marketers online space, ask them how they use Pinterest and you’ll learn a lot about user behavior just by asking them how they use it.
And even when I did that with my friends, I’ve said like, “Well, how do you use Pinterest?” and they’re like, “Well, all day.” Like, I look at it all the time for all my ideas, or all week, because it has this place where I can visually engage with something.
And through that visual decide am I going to save this for later, do I find this valuable enough to save for later?
Jillian Leslie 29:44
Absolutely. It’s funny, again, as we’re doing these bathroom redesigns, I do go to Pinterest in a totally different way. I see it almost as a separate platform than the platform I’m on all the time for our business.
Kate Ahl 29:59
Yes, me too. And I love that feeling because you actually get to enjoy it for how it was created. I think to you know, one of the things that I also love about Pinterest is when you are a business user, you can have a lot of secret boards.
So I don’t know about you but I have a ton of secret boards that I keep a lot of my plans on because they’re not directly related to me as a marketer, so I kind of feel like I have these two accounts.
Jillian Leslie 30:28
Oh, exactly. Like my bathroom board. My bathroom board lives as a secret board on Catch My Party so my assistant can see what I’m thinking about.
But other than that, like, yes, totally. I absolutely do that. I know exactly what you’re talking about. It’s like I am of two split personalities on Pinterest.
Kate Ahl 30:47
Totally. Exactly. I don’t know if I told the story in the podcast yet. I don’t think I have.
But we have another account that’s called Kate Ahl Pinterest Marketing and my daughter was using it on her phone. And I thought she had all these secret boards, which she did, you know, we you use this account for training, basically. So it’s kind of just out there.
Well, I go on to the notifications and I find that she is commenting as me on all these Harry Potter pins. And I was like, “Oh, my gosh.” I was like, “What are you doing?” and she was like, “Well, I just was commenting.”
And you know what’s really interesting is there’s so much conversation on these pins. And that was one of the things that the Creators Conference back in June of 2018, that Pinterest said is that pins with lots of comments do rank higher.
And so as a marketer, that’s one thing for you to be thinking about is that the users are giving feedback on your pins and when you make something the next time you open up the app, it slides up from the bottom and says, “Hey, did you make this? Do you want to comment?”
So Pinterest is encouraging that and people are leaving pictures of what they’re doing. This is a great opportunity to comment back or tell them, “Yeah, go to my site. There are more chicken recipes.”
In my case, it was a lot of Harry Potter conversation over a Harry Potter meme. But I ended up deleting all of them.
Jillian Leslie 32:09
That is really interesting because I wouldn’t know that. Like, I am going to go look at that and see what people are commenting on our top pins.
Kate Ahl 32:18
Look at your top ones in Google Analytics. And then one thing was interesting is I noticed that I was getting a lot of her followers as she was commenting, because people found a connected interest because of interacting with them.
And they’re like, “Oh, now I’m going to go follow you. You seem like a cool person. And I want to see what you’re doing.”
So yes, go to your pins, look at the Google Analytics one. Click on comments and see what people are saying. And then what you’ll end up discovering is that some of those people are not followers. They just were interested in your particular pin.
Jillian Leslie 32:49
That’s so interesting. That’s great. Oh, my God, I always learn from you.
If Pinterest is driving a lot of traffic to your blog or your site, I recommend adding the MiloTree Pinterest pop-up to your site. Because what it will do is when somebody comes from Pinterest to your site, they’ll see the pop-up and they’re already warmed up.
They already know they like your content on Pinterest, they know because they just came from Pinterest, and therefore they are more apt to follow you. It’s this easy way to grow your followers.
And remember your followers on Pinterest see your content first. If they like it and interact with it, those pins get shown to more and more people.
So build those followers that already like your site, that have already seen it, that are already aligned with what you’re doing. And now back to the show.
One last thing. Communities.
Kate Ahl 33:51
Okay. That’s my response. I mean, yeah, we tried them. And I did a podcast about that. Jennifer Priest, my guest, made a really great point.
She said, “You know, my users are so in the Facebook group ecosystem. And we’ve been trained very much how to use that. To move over to another platform that does not already feel communal, is very labor intensive to a business owner, to try to get those people to leap.”
And then the other point is that you now have to manage another group. I did it, I have one. I haven’t looked at it since.
Jillian Leslie 34:32
Yep. Okay. That’s the same thing, by the way. I did the same land grab of like getting my community. And then I kind of went, What do I do with this?
Kate Ahl 34:42
Yeah, it’s like, Oh, this is one more thing. And you know what, if your user is not using it, in fact, I’ll ask my friends this weekend, if they even know what Communities are because I’m pretty sure they don’t.
Jillian Leslie 34:54
Yeah, right. Again, it’s that thing where I think that you would know this better than me, but that Pinterest will roll stuff out and go, Hey, like, let’s try out communities and see what people do with them.
Because a lot of times, as we all know, you’re co-creating with your users and so is Pinterest.
So Pinterest is like, you know, what, we don’t know, we think that this could work, we’re going to kind of throw it against the wall and see if people like it, and people use it, and possibly in ways that we couldn’t have imagined.
Kate Ahl 35:23
Yeah, and that brings up a great point. Because when Pinterest does create new things, they don’t create it for the marketer. So sometimes what I hear in my group is that people are like, Oh, my gosh, why does Pinterest keep changing?
They keep changing because they’re serving their user. They’re a business just like you’re a business, their job is not to serve you as a creator. Yes, you are a very important part of the ecosystem as a creator. And I think Pinterest can really work to make that better.
But when they come out with things like board sections, or communities or video, they are doing that because they want a better user experience because they don’t want them to lose interest in the platform. So look through that lens always like, okay, how are communities going to benefit users?
Jillian Leslie 36:08
Right. And if you think about it, as we talked about people, you know, I have an idea in my world, in my life, I go to Pinterest to explore that. And if Pinterest can come up with ways to make it stickier, so then as I said, we come to Pinterest and then we leave Pinterest.
It’s not that same thing where once you’ve satisfied your need for looking at, say, floor tile, Okay, I’m done. But Pinterest is going, No, no, we want to, you know, how else can we draw you in? Not in an evil way, but in a way of how can our platform become more valuable to you.
Kate Ahl 36:44
Yes. And their platform, they’re very good at tracking like I think you pin our habits too like down the line especially if you do a promoted pin campaign. They’re going to look at conversions and how they happen even far out.
So if it happens through Google, if it happens through direct to the site, I need to double-check on the conversion and attribution but oftentimes, they’ll attribute that conversion to them because that was the first point of contact even though the last point of contact didn’t…
Jillian Leslie 37:16
Didn’t make the sale. Yes. Okay, talk to me about your course because we haven’t even discussed it.
Kate Ahl 37:25
Oh, yeah. So we created the Smart Loop Course. And it’s called Tailwind Smart Loop Simplified.
And we also sent everything over to Tailwind as well because we wanted to make sure that they approved it as well. And they did. So they give us the stamp of approval.
But one of the things that we are passionate about here at Simple Pin is we want to make sure that business owners are not wasting their time. So that’s why all the information I give out is always going to be vetted, it’s always going to be accurate, it’s going to be something that we’ve tested.
Because I know that each business owner has dreams or goals or things they want to achieve with their business. So that being said, I also know courses that people sell can feel like they’re not worth the investment.
So we looked at this, and we said, Tailwind Smart Loop seems to be causing confusion. People either don’t know how to set it up, don’t know how to use it properly, or they have done those two things and they don’t know if they’re doing it effectively.
So we created a course that hit three of those pain points. But we did it in a way that we walked people through in a very systematic approach to where they could get up and running and set up within an hour and a half.
And so far, people are finding great success with it and we’ve taken the confusion out of how to use it effectively for your business.
We go into the seasonal loops, we go into the evergreen loops, we go into how to evaluate your loops, what things to put into it, and how to find the information in your Google Analytics.
And then what to do quarterly to really dust off your loops and pay attention to how it’s working. And then we really tackle not just… you know, a lot of people think of looping with group boards. It’s like the first thing that they go to.
But we really talk about how to loop it with your personal boards and rely on those as well to get more extended reach and not just be thinking in this group board. The piece, which I think is some old thought that people have had for a long time.
Jillian Leslie 39:31
And what is the old thought?
Kate Ahl 39:33
I think the old that was like, get as much as your content on to group boards because that will increase your reach.
And I think there’s been this hard separation that’s had to happen with group boards. And we’ve seen Pinterest has said, you know, maybe they weren’t used in our intended use.
And then we see just a bunch of junky group boards. I think there are ones that do work well, but it’s not the mad dash like there was in the past where you joined every single group board under the sun, because that would extend your reach.
What we found is that when people did that, they put their personal boards to sleep, basically. They were no longer active.
So we want to revive the personal boards again and make sure that not only your popular pins but your seasonal content and your new content are really getting out there to those boards.
Because of what I said about, you know, the woman who pins the women’s fashion pin. Well, I don’t want her to pin from a group board and then Pinterest suggests somebody else’s pin from that group board.
I want them to suggest from my personal board because maybe I have other things that talk about women’s fashion and I want Pinterest to suggest that to her so that we can continue to create touch points.
Jillian Leslie 40:50
Ooh, okay. Debunk this for me or tell me whether this is true. Initially, the idea was Pinterest wanted you to pin your stuff, but really be an active community member and be pinning other people’s content.
Kate Ahl 41:07
Jillian Leslie 41:08
And then I have heard that that isn’t necessarily true, that it’s all about the quality of the content. And if you create good content, go pin your own stuff.
Kate Ahl 41:17
Yeah. So basically, what happened back in like, 2014, there was like a Google document or something that Pinterest had released that had a line in there, that didn’t expressly say you need to pin other people’s stuff, and you’ll be favored in the algorithm.
But it was something very ambiguous. It was like, you share other people’s content to be a part of the reciprocity of the platform. And somehow, you know, you’ll be rewarded or something like that, it was very fuzzy.
Well, we all took that as like, gospel truth. And then last spring, when Sarah did an interview with Tailwind, she was head of marketing, about this, she was very clear to say, let your audience repin your stuff. You share your stuff on the platform.
And don’t worry about certain ratios or making sure that you’re good quality pinner. I mean, you need to be a good quality pinner but like you don’t need other people’s stuff to show that the algorithm will favor you.
So when we heard that, we were kind of relieved, like, Okay, we can pin our stuff, especially you with like thousands and thousands of pieces of content, you have the opportunity to do it.
And audience sharing, and we’re finding this a ton within our data, is that when your audience shares for you, that also sends a signal to Pinterest that it’s relevant content, and they’re looking for relevant pins.
And so I always tell people call to action your audience, tell them to follow you on Pinterest, tell them to pin this pin for later, tell them to follow a board. And we often forget those things even though they take, you know, five seconds.
But it’s really important that we do this because that helps your content on paper interest. So allow your audience to share your stuff for you, share other stuff, just pin way your stuff.
Jillian Leslie 43:07
And the one thing I would say is to take the time that you were spending pinning other people’s content and create more pins for your one blog post. Because then people go “Well, I don’t have enough content.”
And I’m thinking, well, even if you’ve got 100 blog posts, you could be making five pins for each blog post.
Kate Ahl 43:29
Well, an interesting thing that we’ve learned to especially as we work with more e-commerce clients is that e-commerce clients are not bloggers first. They’re creators first of their product.
And so they don’t have a lot of blog content, they have product listings, but maybe they don’t have a ton of products. So we have to utilize this system of creating as many images as possible to a category page.
For our tile client that I was talking about, we might create one pin to her subway tile page that talks about how to choose the right subway tile or gray subway tile options, or glossy vs matte. Like we could extend the life of one page with 10 different images. So that’s a really good strategy to implement.
Jillian Leslie 44:16
Yes, okay. I have to say I always learn from you. You’re such in this world, you are good people.
Kate Ahl 44:25
Jillian Leslie 44:26
You really are. I always just enjoy you, I do. So talk about how people can find you, find your course, all that good stuff.
Kate Ahl 44:34
You can go to. SimplePinMedia.com and that’s where you’ll find the podcast and the newsletter. It’s right at the top. I would highly suggest you sign up for that because that’s where we give you the most updated information.
If you want the course, you can go to Simplepincourses.com and you will see the Tailwind Smart Loop simplified course there.
Jillian Leslie 44:54
Awesome. And it’ll be in my show notes and everything, all of the links too, Kate, so you can find her.
Well Kate, thank you once again for being on the show.
Kate Ahl 45:03
You’re so welcome.
Jillian Leslie 45:05
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