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TJ2 – Pinterest Marketing Power Up With Jason Miles

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The fastest growing social media platform ever; Pinterest has taken over the field and changed the way things work for social media marketing. In the second episode of Traffic Jam,  Jason Miles of Marketing On Pinterest joins James Reynolds.

Jason is the author of the best-selling book titled Pinterest Power: The Definitive Pinterest Marketing Guide.

EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS

  • The power of Pinterest as a marketing medium for business
  • Pinterest’s astronomical growth
  • The dynamics of Pinterest demographics
  • Pinterest’s impact on e-commerce
  • Why Jason thinks Pinterest search is unique and better than Google’s
  • How you can get started on Pinterest
  • What makes a good Pinterest image
  • Did you know you can post this media to Pinterest?
  • The correct way to set up your profile
  • Original content VS Repins
  • How to increase your Pinterest following
  • Converting your followers to customer
  • Measuring Pinterest success

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Welcome back to Traffic Jam, the show that mixes interviews with internet traffic experts together with funky musical jams. I’m your host James Reynolds and this is Traffic Jam episode #2.

In today’s show, my feature interview is with Jason Miles, the Amazon bestselling author of Pinterest Power, The Definitive Pinterest Marketing Guide. Jason has been getting astonishing results for his e-commerce business, Liberty Jane Clothing using Pinterest. Not only has Liberty Jane’s Pinterest page’s got an exceptionally high following and level of engagement, but Pinterest has become the number one source of referral traffic to the Liberty Jane website. The online store has over 200,000 digital downloads to date, many of which Jason has been able to attribute directly to Pinterest traffic, if you’re ready to tap into the hidden power of Pinterest, then stay tuned for the interview with Jason coming right up.

Later in the show, we’ve got the regular segments, this week’s news in traffic, plus the one minute traffic tip, where I’ll be sharing a strategy that’s working particularly well for me right now. You want to make sure you stick around right ‘til the end because I’ve got a very special giveaway courtesy of my guest today, Jason Miles. All of that before we close out the show with a classic Traffic Jam Jam.

A big thank you to everyone who listened in to and shared the first episode of Traffic Jam, thanks to you all, we’ve entered the iTunes rankings at #4 in the new and noteworthy business section which I think is pretty cool. Thanks for your support, and continue listening.

Ok, so let’s jump in to today’s feature interview with Pinterest traffic specialist, Jason Miles.

James: Welcome to the Traffic Jam podcast Jason, glad you’ve been able to make it on the call today. Why don’t you start off by giving a little bit of background on who you are and your real interest in Pinterest?

Jason: Sure, thanks so much- happy to be here. My name is Jason Miles; I’m the Vice- President of Advancement in the Northwestern University in Seattle, WA. Advancement for our university includes Marketing, Social Media, Fund Raising, and Human Resources. So I’m responsible for the Corporate Brand, Social Media Strategy, and those types of elements. I also started a company of my wife around her skill set called Liberty Jane Clothing, and it’s a thriving six-figure business, it’s growing incredibly fast- last year’s revenue has doubled, and before that revenue tripled. This year we think we’re on track to double revenue again, and so it’s completely on fire, and it’s really from Liberty Clothing’s experiences that we got into Pinterest and got very, very excited about it. I serve as the Chief Marketer for that company and although I only work evenings and weekends on it – that’s how I help her and her team. So Pinterest became a very, very big deal to us about a year and a half ago now, almost 2 years, and I can describe to you why it’s a big deal to us, what it does for us, and the ways in which we use it. A book came out of that effort, which is published by McGraw-Hill this last fall. That’s been very, very fun, it’s a best seller and we’re excited about that.

James: So obviously you’re a big believer in Pinterest Jason, you’ve got a lot of success with it, but why Pinterest, what’s the real attraction to it really as a marketing medium for businesses?

Jason: It’s a good question, I guess just to sort of verify why it’s an interest to us – we are pretty involved in social media strategy for Liberty Jane Clothing. We’ve actually started on YouTube – right when we started our business five years ago, we started leveraging on YouTube as our social media platform; we’ve got about 9,600 followers in our YouTube channel now, about 1.7 million video views, so we know YouTube really well. And then we added Facebook, and it right at 25 or 26,000 Facebook fans for our page now- so we know Facebook really, really well, and we know what the numbers look like out of those two sites, in terms of referral traffic from them to our e-commerce site, our primary e-commerce site is LibertyJanePatterns.com you can we get like, last month we had over half a million page views, somewhere around 85,000 visits, around 45 to 50,000 unique visits. So YouTube and Facebook were big deal to us, but in the summer of 2011, we started to see Pinterest come up in our analytics actually for our site traffic, just with some amount of visits, not very much. We did not know what it was, we did not know a thing about it, had not heard about it, it was kind of a fore that hit everybody’s radar and so we just sort of ignored it for a month or two. As it got into August – September 2011, the traffic started really to double or triple every month and started to get serious, and so we looked into it, we figured out what was happening, as it turns out, all of our fans and followers, or a lot of them, were joining this new site Pinterest and they were pinning items from our website and sharing them on their pinboard collections and driving a good amount of traffic to our website. We could see sort of the handwriting on the wall and realized that within a few months this thing was going to surpass the traffic we were getting from YouTube and then surpass traffic we were getting from Facebook and for that to occur without us even being in Pinterest was just crazy- I mean we were on a sugar high, realizing how much traffic was going to come out of this thing and so we started to figure out how to jump into it. So that was the journey.

James: On Pinterest, I mean the growth of that site on its own, I mean I think I even heard you mention that the numbers have exceeded any other website previously in existence in terms of increasing subscriber rates and traffic volume, do you really kind of manage to hit the top of the wave here and jump into Pinterest while you are sort of peaking and take advantage of it for your own business?

Jason: Yeah, we did and the truth is, our business, our e-commerce site was just set up properly to sort of take advantage, or have our customers take advantage of Pinterest. So in that regard, we got kind of lucky, and then obviously we’re in a visual space, and in that regard we got kind of lucky. So, there’s no doubt that we sort of got the stars aligned for us for our business, and that’s what really peaked our interest initially. But in December of 2011 we’ve decided to set up our own Pinterest profile for the business and really jumped into it, we’ve created a marketing plan, and I’ve published the marketing plan, and I have decided to start blogging publicly as well about our work in Pinterest, and I have blogged on and off before, and we have a group of people who use our patterns, we produce patterns, and they use it as a basis when they’re sewing from home and they sell it on Etsy or on e-bay. And so I decided to blog for them and decide what was occurring with our work in Pinterest- and that was really the basis for the marketing side of this where I decided to write the book and the blog and started stuff like this interview. That month that we launched our Pinterest profile, our traffic doubled out of Pinterest, it was from just December 2011 to January of 2012.

James: Wow! You said that you got lucky Jason with the fact that your business extremely visual being one thing, also an e-commerce business which – I could be dumb in saying this but I think e-commerce suits Pinterest quite well, what about the female demographic? Because I think that your product at Liberty Jane is obviously aligned very much to the female market and some people do say that Pinterest is sort of kind of like female dominated knowing the stats are that around 70% of people on Pinterest are women, would you also have that as a consideration to why you managed to do well with Pinterest early on?

Jason: Certainly! Yeah! And that is a fact, the way in which they describe what’s occurring in Pinterest is that- Ben Silbermann, the founder- described it as, being initially accepted or adopted by Midwestern moms and Mormons. In Iowa, a Midwestern city he grew up in, and it’s where it kind of caught on. It was adopted almost in a city-by-city way, almost a viral wave like that. He has said that at the very beginning it was growing like a 40% month over month growth, in fact, Fortune Magazine and Tech Crunches described it as the fastest growing site, from 50,000 users to 17 million. That happened in over a year ago now and so it’s certainly the case that it’s a female seen centric site but the way I describe it to people is that it’s like saying that Facebook, a year and a half into it, was a college scene centric site. That’s true because that’s the initial user community, but as it scales, and it’s already becoming more and more true, the gender mix on Pinterest will go to basically what it is for Facebook which is like 58% female. It has to, if it’s going to continue to scale. So it was an initial issue, but I think more and more as it grows, men are finding a place on it.

James: I want to just read out some stats to you that I found while I was kind of researching for today’s interview. This is kind of around the topic of Pinterest being suited to e-commerce business. I was just flabbergasted by some of these numbers, I think I read somewhere that Pinterest users get inspiration for what they’re going to buy by looking at Pinterest and that 70% of people go to Pinterest to get inspired on what to buy and 47% of US online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from Pinterest. Those numbers to me, as a non Pinterest user is pretty amazing. One more stat that I would like to read also is that conversion rate are deemed to be 50% higher than most of the traffic source, I think that was socialmediatoday.com that said that. Why do you think Pinterest is so good for e-commerce and driving sales?

Jason: Yeah, what those stats say to us marketers or social media professionals is that social discovery as a concept, is taking over, or is now competing strongly against search- based discovery. It is the case that users now are preferring to look on Pinterest for something and searching Pinterest for something because they know they can see an image of it, they know that it will be their social circle that would be documenting it, or curating it as an object or as a topic. And then they know that that link will drive back to an e-commerce site or a store location where you can buy the item. Now just think that 2 years or 3 years ago, if you wanted to find something that you heard about, you would go to Google and text based search for it, right? And then if you clicked on the images result in Google, you would see a hodge-podge of sure crap, and the Google search function for images just doesn’t work! And the reason that it doesn’t work is because it’s thought based, it’s algorithm based. It’s not being curated by human beings – and as soon as you get in Pinterest, and as soon as you start figuring out that all your friends, connections and people you like in the industry or following are curating things that are really, really cool, they have great image, they have a great link to trusted websites, and there’s a reasonably good search function – you can search for in that way, that just makes Google search looks stupid.

James: I guess it makes Facebook look stupid as well from that angle, I mean, Facebook has the social elements and the recommendations but you can’t use it currently as a search engine, you can’t use it to find information or services really because the search sucks so would you say that’s one of the hooks that Pinterest does as something that really works for e-commerce: search married up with social?

Jason: Yeah, for sure, and the visual nature of it.

James: Cool, well let’s talk a little bit about how to get things set up right with Pinterest. What’s the first place to start- are we really just looking at the profile and what to fill in there or is there something that precedes that Jason before we get started on Pinterest?

Jason: Yeah, it’s always a great question and my answer always surprises people. If you want to do things right on Pinterest with your audience and crowd, you actually don’t want to get started on Pinterest. You’d want to start on your own website, and what you need to do is audit your website to make sure that your site is set up to work well for Pinterest users. So, you know, and this is sort of a different part about Pinterest from Facebook or YouTube. With Facebook, you can pretty much guarantee as a marketer, if you don’t go in there and start pumping out content, finding people and getting fans, nothing’s ever going to happen- and that’s true of Twitter, YouTube, and all that. With Pinterest, it’s not actually that way. What occurs with Pinterest is that your fans and followers will do the work for you- they really will, if you set up your website properly to support them. And so what you need to do is look at your website and ask a couple of primary questions: the first one is- on every page or post, is there an image that’s unique, that references that page/post/ topic? And so for e-commerce sellers that’s very easy because generally what you would have is you have your catalogue of products and each page generally would have that unique image for that unique product and then Pinterest users can hit your site and start pinning things from it. For content marketers, it’s a bigger challenge and content marketers have to think through this. It’s not difficult though. Basically what people are doing now is creating what almost looks like a little display ad that is almost like a small infographic that describes the content on the page in a visual way and it’s very easy to make those in Photoshop elements. So if you have an article about using 10 tips for using Pinterest, you don’t just have some picture of some lady because that has nothing to do with ten tips for using Pinterest. So what you want to do is go and just Photoshop elements, make a simple little graphics that says literally “10 Tips for Using Pinterest” and you embed that to the post, and then when someone comes to your site who’s in to Pinterest and uses Pinterest they will have the tool in their browser called the Pin Marklet Tool, they will click that and they will pin that for you, and it will make sense in Pinterest immediately when someone sees it. And sometimes for content marketers, they stumble to that and they cannot get this right. Even huge socially media sites right now are screwing this up and I told a couple of them, they need to change to do this and they don’t seem to want to change their process. So the first place to start is your own website.

James: Got it! I think they need to read a copy of your book, perhaps pop one in the site through them. So what makes a good Pinterest image? You’ve mentioned sort of summarizing if you like the content of the page on which the image is displayed. What about getting into about types of images, are you best to stick with just a photographical picture, or perhaps should we use those images with text and quotes laid over them, is there a right or wrong way to do it or an effective and ineffective way to do it- what have you found with images?

Jason: Yeah, there’s two camps. One camp is the physical products sellers and I’ll describe that -so physical product sellers you really just want to focus on your very best photography and making sure that your photography is fully dialed in very, very legitimate and you’ve got multiple images – two or three, in every post, in every page of your website that can then choose from when they’re going in. For content marketers, there are some tricks that work very well. Infographics work really well, so if you have an article and you make an infographic embedded into that article, that’s fantastic. How To’s work very well where you actually build the image that has the 1,2,3,4,5 steps on it. I did a very fascinating study one time with a photographer who had Photoshop actions that she was trying to write about and she had a picture that was brilliant- her photo was beautiful and her tagline was like Photoshop actions to make any picture beautiful. And it got repined through her customer, her followers in Pinterest are relatively well. I took her picture and then I looked in her article and she had the original before image and I just put them next to each other, side by side, and then the thing said the same thing 5 Steps to make any picture beautiful. And then in Pinterest, you can see an ugly picture and then that same image really look amazing and that got repined like wildfire. So you just have to just think about the visual nature of Pinterest, you have to give people a reason to stop and click through. You have to think of it like a display marketer, a billboard marketer almost.

James: Got it. And what about best format or shape? I think read on your blog about your long form Pinatorial, I think – these massive long king tutorials of infographic that literally when three miles long down. I was blown away by the fact that that would actually upload to Pinterest. I guess I’m answering my own question here. You can work on literally any format, can you or can you not, on Pinterest?

Jason: Well, not exactly. That’s the interesting part. The way it works, if you’re not used to seeing this in Pinterest, the way it works is there is no horizontal constraint. You can make an infographic, or what I call an Pinatorial, which is like an advertorial, old school thing where you have, make it 20 inches long and you just write paragraphs, tags or images, or step-by-step guides, and in Pinterest, there is no vertical constraint, so you can make a very tall rectangular image and pin it. Lengthwise, you can have a very tall rectangular image, you cannot have a very wide rectangular image. So you can format elements in Photoshop elements to be extremely tall rectangulars like infographics generally are, and they go right into Pinterest no problem at all. So that’s really the format constraint.

James: One other thing that I was surprised about – because I am kind of like a Pinterest novice Jason, I use it a little bit but clearly don’t use it to the full extent of which it can be used, I understand that you can actually pin a little bit more than images, Is there some sort of file types that can be added to Pinterest? What are they?

Jason: That’s right. Pinterest started with photos and video, now there’s actually four- I guess you can call them modalities, or four types of objects that you can pin. Obviously photos, and YouTube videos, and the tech guys will know there is a difference between YouTube videos and other platform videos; so YouTube works but other platforms like vimeo don’t. It has something to do with the type of encoding. And then the third type of object you can pin is slideshow, a slideshare slide, and they play very well in Pinterest. So you can have a whole presentation on slideshare and put it into Pinterest and it will play straight in. And then the fourth type is soundcloud audio recording. And so any mp3 can be put into soundcloud and then shared on Pinterest and it will play right in Pinterest, it won’t drive people out of it to work. It will just play straight in. A lot of marketers have the opportunity to use different modalities.

James: So do you just take the embed code for each of those modalities and then just plug it in to the URL option where you put your pin in option to upload or select to URL is that where those embed codes would go?

Jason: Yup, pretty straightforward.

James: got it, simpler than I thought. There you go. Well let’s jump back to getting these things set up correctly. We’ve talked about website element. I’m a search guy so I’d be particularly interested in setting your profile up to benefit from potential search traffic within Pinterest. What are some of your tips for getting your profile set up in term of keyword placement and really tapping into that available traffic inside Pinterest?

Jason: Sure, there are two parts of it. One would be search within Pinterest, and one would be Google organic search. The primary question is what the profile name is going to be, whether you have a business name, a corporate name you are going to use, or you have your own personal account. What we did for Liberty Jane Clothing was, my wife’s name is fairly distinct – her name is Cinnamon and so her profile name in Pinterest is pinterest.com/cinnamonmiles. But then, once you set that as your profile, you can actually change the name of your account and so on hers on the name we said Cinnamon Miles @ Liberty Jane Clothing so when you search for Liberty Clothing at Pinterest you’ll see Cinnamon Miles pop up so the names that you choose matters. The other thing that matters is Google organic search. I have noticed for my own profile, I did the same construct, my profile is Pinterest.com/jasonmiles then I did for my username Marketing on Pinterest with Jason Miles, and this is fascinating for a search guy maybe, my first pinboard in Pinterest is Marketing on Pinterest and the description of it is all about using Pinterest for marketing blah, blah, blah. Now when I had that pinboard, that first one be that topic, my search results in Google are stronger for that keyword Marketing on Pinterest. Then if I move that Pinboard somewhere else, I am not a search wizard or anything like that, but I do know that those elements matter in your search results for Google organics, so those are the questions, you want to have your username that have a description, you want to have a description that makes sense to people who might find you when you’re all about podcasts for example and you obviously want to say who you are and what you do, have a great headshot, people are following people, I always think that a personal profile is stronger than a corporate profile, I always think that a person’s picture is stronger than a corporate brand or logo, then the real trick is – what do you curate or collect? That’s where you need to think through a strategy: how do you put together content that will be exciting to your prospective followers?

James: I guess from a content standpoint, your own content is surely going to be the most valuable, what value is there of repining other people’s content on your own pinboards?

Jason: I think there is value in it, I think the fundamental mindset that you want to bring to Pinterest is that you want to act as a curator of content for people in your niche, industry or possibly your product line. If your niche or industry is podcasting, I’m just choosing that for fun, then you could curate the world’s best podcast recordings. Yours would be front and center, but you would also have podcast from other well-known people, those that are really great, the best of the best, so that if someone says, hey I’m looking for somebody who’s really helping me understand the best of the best in terms of podcasting, they stumble into you and they feel like they hit a gold mine of content. That’s the fundamental mindset you want to bring into this. You want to serve your prospective followers and curate content that they will find extremely valuable. And the world is just so fragmented and there’s so much content, so much value of information that if you really, really laser beam focused and serve a niche market you can do really, really well in terms of getting people interested in following you. And obviously for Liberty Jane Clothing, my wife’s business that revolves around sewing and fabric and patterns, obviously for my own work on Pinterest that revolves around marketing on Pinterest, and marketing in general. And that’s why people would find me and follow me.

James: Got it, that makes perfect sense, looking at it as a curation exercise and understanding what’s going to draw your audience in and then try to transfer them into your own products and services and putting your own content out there front center makes sense to make conversion strategy, I guess. And I’m really interested into looking deep into some traffic tips because obviously this show is all about traffic. If my understanding is right, I guess we have to look at Pinterest from two angles in terms of traffic; one would be to increase your audience on Pinterest so that you’ve got more people following you, also that using it as a referral engine and then moving people from Pinterest to your own products and services and website. Let’s talk about that first part – first of all, what are some good strategies to increase your following and getting more people to find your Pinterest profile?

Jason: Yeah, there are a couple of things that we found that work well, wouldn’t claim that we’re gurus at it, we don’t have any magic, there are certainly people who have done a phenomenal job, there are people who have millions of followers in Pinterest organically – no games, it’s not rigged, it’s not bots, it’s not fake, so it is possible to have a massive following. For Liberty Jane Clothing right now, I think we have around six thousand followers, and we started in December of 2011, and so just 13 months ago, something like that. So we are excited by that, our best suggestion is that it’s kind of counter intuitive. What you want to do, what we recommend that you do is set up a good Pinterest profile, curate content that you think your followers will like – 8 to 10 pinboards with selection of content and then use your other social media or other media channels to invite people- your existing people; your fans, contacts and customers – to follow you on Pinterest. So basically setting up your Pinterest profile and then inviting everybody and have a grand opening and invite them to start following you. Now, here’s what will happen: they’re already on Pinterest and they’ll start following you and then when they repin your content, their friends will be exposed to you, or- if they’re not in Pinterest yet, and you provoke them to joining it, they will like you, as one of the first people that are following, they’ll go and they’ll find all of their friends in Facebook and Twitter and follow them as well, and their friends will find them, your friends will be exposed to their social circle. So either way, setting up a profile and sort of inviting all of your Facebook fans, those kinds of people, to follow you is sort of the very first step, and that will launch your site. If you do that step well, you’ll get a pop at the beginning of followers. And you can obviously continue that over the coming months; continue to inform people about your Pinterest work. So that sort of is Step 1 and then going from there, it is a function of curating content, the more frequently you pin an item or repin someone else’s content, and it’s good content, it’s a good item, the more people will like it, repin it, and will automatically follow you. So there is a certain degree of just time onsite and work onsite that influences your overall followership. But I would say first thing, the most important thing is set it up and then throw that grand opening party.

James: I’d be interested to know Jason, as a kind of a Pinterest- holic, how much time do you spend on Pinterest yourself?

Jason: Not that much. Last year, when I was really learning everything, it was maybe, 20 -30 minutes a day. Now it’s maybe 20 -30 minutes, 3 days a week. It really runs itself. The beautiful part about Pinterest, the amazing part, is that it is not conversation centric. There is very, very little commentary people are throwing on my collection right now that I have to respond to, there’s very little communication – it’s like a social media nirvana, you get tons of traffic out of the site but you don’t have to answer question after question or the drama or the jerks or that kind of thing. So you can be there very quickly and elegantly if you know what you are curating based on what you’re pinning and what you’re looking for, you can do that very effectively.

James: And I guess it’s not too time sensitive either, it’s not like a Facebook or a Twitter that is very instantaneous. You put that post or tweet out there and you ought to be getting a response there and then or you’re not. Pinterest kind of seem a little bit more long term, doesn’t it?

Jason: Yeah, what I describe that as the difference between a real time sharing site and a curation site, in that regards, Pinterest is a lot more like YouTube, where you publish something and they’ll just sit there for years. And people will find value in it for years. Pinterest is more like that, the people at Bentley, the chief scientist there is Hillary Mason, and they’ve done research to describe what they call the half-life of a socially shared item and as you might guess, on Twitter, it’s like a few minutes, and on Facebook it’s not very long, on YouTube it’s much, much longer, and then they haven’t released the full findings yet about their Pinterest data but I would believe that it’s much, much longer than even YouTube. So the half-life of the objects are extremely long. And that phrase means how long does it take to get half of all of the socially shared interactions – comments, like, repin, retweet.

James: Got it. That would make perfect sense. Let’s look at the other side of the coin and talk about how we’d move people from Pinterest to our website or products and services. What are some of the strategies that you put in play, perhaps with Liberty Jane to move people from Pinterest to move to the Liberty Jane website?

Jason: This is really to us in terms of marketers, you know, this is really what it’s all about. Are you getting referral traffic and is it converting? And so just the basic stats for us, when I described our founding story on Pinterest and we started to pay attention to it, we would get referral traffic out of YouTube, about 800 visits a month, out of Facebook it was over 1200 to 1600 a month, well Pinterest came along and started to creep up slowly close to that. Now it’s been a year and a half later, and Pinterest drives 5 to 6 times fan page, and it drives at least 10 times more than our YouTube. We still just can’t believe how good a source of referral traffic we found in Pinterest. You know, you work your brains out to try to build up a YouTube account or a Facebook account and we know how long it took us, how hard it was to get traction on those sites, and then have Pinterest come along and just obliterate them, and I want other people to leverage it. It is painful to me when I see people aren’t using Pinterest – seriously it is, like man! So let me describe what’s happening, I mean basically, if you look at it one way it’s really funny, Ben Silbermann was on the display ad team at Google. And he wasn’t and engineer and he felt stymied in his career there – he was there for several years, and so he left to start his own thing. Well what did he start? First he dabbled in apps, but then he got the idea of Pinterest he started Pinterest- he basically built a display ad system that’s free, that drives more traffic than display ads, cause I use Google display ads for marketing, I know exactly how the math works, and on top of it, if I would have said to him when he worked at Google, hey, can I have no horizontal constraint on my display ads?, he’d go, no, like the full length size of a website’s left hand side, you know like, of course you can’t do that! You have the 250×250, your skyscraper. But he basically built a system of display ads that is a social construct that people are just crazy over. So the way the referral traffic works specifically, when you pin an item, you have a URL that’s associated with that item. And when that item is clicked on Pinterest, then it takes you to that URL. So as an e-commerce guy, or as a content marketer, obviously you want to have a unique image for every post or page. So that URL that’s associated with the image, drive back to the specific unique page, you don’t want all your images in Pinterest to be just to your top level domain, you want it to drive to the specific item, whether it’s an article or product, and that’s the mechanism by which traffic is driven, and there aren’t a lot of tricks, you pin in your best stuff and if people are interested in it, they go through it. The top source of traffic going into Pinterest is generally from Etsy. People from Etsy go and look at the stuff in Pinterest. The top source of traffic leaving Pinterest and going to sites- the top sites are Etsy and Amazon. So from the very beginning, it is the case that this is all about e-commerce and so you can ride that wave along with lots of other companies.

James: Nice! And have you been able to track down to conversions, Jason? You know very well that the traffic stats, how much of that traffic converted into sales?

Jason: It’s a good question. We set up our Google Analytics just last year and we’re still learning how to do this exactly but we have some guys help us so that we can track the source of the traffic and then how it converts. We know that Pinterest traffic converts well for us compared to the other social sites. Other companies are claiming that it converts like Sephora. I just saw a thing in LinkedIn I think a couple of days ago and I believe it was Sephora. I believe they made a claim that Pinterest converts at an astronomically higher rate than Facebook. Ours is not crazy like that – it converts but it does not convert like that. But the difference for us, and I keep using Facebook because it’s our biggest social media site that we can compare it to, the problem we have in tracking and compare to Facebook for us is we advertise in Facebook. So we’re deliberately paying to find brand new people who will see us for the first time and then will buy. I think that inflates the conversion stats for our Facebook traffic compared to Pinterest. But Pinterest still wins, in Pinterest when your customers and followers start pinning stuff, those referral links, or you call them backlinks, they’re on hundreds and even thousands of Pinterest accounts. For us, for our business, the last time I looked I think we had over 9,500 – 9,600 referral links in Pinterest pointing to our e-commerce site. If you look at your friends in Facebook, what you’ll on your friends and what we see on ours, is you’ll have just a couple referral links that drive all your traffic and that the reason that that’s of interest is because last August of 2011, Facebook shut our fan page down and they were doing some huge clean up or sweep and thought that our account was, like it was fake. But that traffic from Facebook immediately vaporized. It went to like nothing. And it took us several days to go through the process of authentication and they were cool, and they turned it back on, and there was no foul but it took several days and our traffic was obliterated That literally couldn’t happen on Pinterest unless they block our top level domain but, if someone’s account gets closed, we don’t care. If our account got closed, it wouldn’t be that big a deal because we have 9000 referral links spread across Pinterest pointing back to our e-commerce site.

James: Yeah, and again for an SEO guy that I am, that’s some nice levels of social signals that you have. That beautiful backlink diversity, that’s the sort of stuff that get me as an SEO geek, so it’s definitely unique in that regard. Jason, I think we should kind of wrap things up there. You’ve been extremely generous with your information there. I’ve learned quite a bit as a Pinterest novice. Where can our listeners go to find out more about you?

Jason: Sure, a couple of things: marketingonpinterest.com is the blog, and I’m not as active as I was last year to be honest because I’m writing a new book on Instagram and it will be coming out later this year- Instagram is the new craze for us, so that’s fun. Maybe we can do a session on Instagram sometime in the future, but marketingonpinterest.com is where I blog, and the book that’s out now is Pinterest Power, it’s a best seller, it’s on Amazon, and in paper bookstores, in paperback in Kindle. I have another book in Amazon; the number 1 best seller called Craft Business Power and it’s really designed for home-based businesses because it’s on Google, craft based, fabric stuff and jewelry stuff, those kinds of people. But you know, you can find my profile in Amazon, and my book’s there, and that’s about it.

James: Awesome, well, I’ll make sure that the links are on the show notes wherever this episode appears. Yeah perhaps we can get you back on sometime in the future when we can do an episode again concerning Instagram. It will be a lot of fun!

Jason: There you go, sounds great man!

James: Excellent Jason thanks so much and I’ll catch you soon!

Jason: Alright James, take care.

Okay, so this week’s news in traffic, the big news coming out of Google in the past 10 days or so is the official announcement by video of their forthcoming release of Google Glass, and these are the kind of cool, augmented reality glasses. I reported about this over on my SEO news videos at SEOSherpa.com and these glasses are really kind of a mix of I guess like Apple Siri voice activated technology along with Google search and everything that comes with that. Now it really is a big move for Google further into the technology space, and the technology as we can see it is absolutely amazing. Everything is activated by the command Okay Glass, and the technology includes video, photo, video conferencing, directions, Google search, all of this appear on the tiny little screen on the inside of the glasses, now it really does bring Google search and all of the functionality that comes along with that right into our everyday lives. And more importantly, it moves Google further in this information engine that started out as few years back to becoming just kind of knowledge engine that really does integrate into our everyday lives. It’s making Google search much more accessible and that really is interesting if you’re an SEO marketer or a Google ads marketer, I’m sure there’s going to be some great advertising spin offs forthcoming that really will tie in to Google glass so keep your eyes peeled for developments: release is planned for later in the year, 2013.

In other news, well, you might have heart about it first here on Traffic Jam and my interview here with Victoria Gibson, Facebook are really starting to push their Graph Search facility is in beta, people are getting access to it right now, this is the integrated search engine that’s inside of Facebook. Facebook have published a promotional video all about Graph search and because it’s in beta, you can request access if you’re lucky enough to be in the United States, so if you are, go and check it out and tell us about the functionality of graph search.

I’ve got a shout out on the web and it’s a big holler to Ernesto who mentioned us on Facebook and he said “Traffic Jam Cast, wow! I really recommend you listen to the show, the content is killer!” I would have to agree with you Ernesto, just kidding! Thank you my friend and again, please keep listening.

If you have a comment or even a question for me you would like me to answer on the show, head on over to TrafficJamCast.com<%2

 

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