Pinterest released some new numbers recently and no surprise, they’re growing. AND they are ranked as one of America’s Top Brands. We discuss this and also some breaking Instagram news on Shoppable Posts for Stories in this episode.
I know it’s been like forever since I released a new podcast episode. Between sending my son off to college and launching some new shows over on Social Media Examiner, things have been crazy over here at the man cave. but I’m turning over a new leaf. It’s fall and its the perfect time for turning over leaves or at least raking them up. Anyways. Here’s the first of some new content that will be coming your way.
In this show, we’ll be talking about some news on Pinterest and Instagram.
Pinterest released some new numbers recently and no surprise there, they’re growing. I recently went on Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing Talk Show to discuss that news. Here’s part of that conversation.
Jeff Sieh: But, Pinterest. We love Pinterest. So yeah, Pinterest came out with new numbers. They have over a quarter of a billion users worldwide and it’s at 25% increase. 80% of the new signups come from outside of the U.S., but one of the cool things is Pinterest is kind of … You’ve got the big boys like Facebook and Instagram and then you got on the other side is Twitter and Linkedin and then Pinterest kind of just shoots right in the middle. But, they’re really on track to do some cool things.
Jeff Sieh: They’re on track to top 700 million in revenue this year, a 50% increase over last year and it’s speculated that they’re probably gonna go public in 2019. But, anyway, there are more than 250 million people who use Pinterest each month and they say it’s, “Well, it’s more than the population of Brazil.” But, you know, whatever. But, it’s a lot of people are using Pinterest and they’re actually saying that, according to a Nielsen study, 98% of Pinners, they go out and try ideas that they find on Pinterest. And that’s way more than 71% of the other social media platforms.
Jeff Sieh: The other apps and social platforms are all about connecting with friends and inviting more people to join. Pinterest they say, is the place to reconnect with yourself. And one of the reasons I like Pinterest, it’s not really a social media platform, it’s designed for sharing and collecting ideas more than catching up with what Erik’s doing. There’s no fake news.
Erik Fisher: There’s not-
Jeff Sieh: There are no political posts. And I love Facebook for friends, but some live videos, I really, I’m sorry, but your kid isn’t that talented to stream their live dance recital. I’m sorry. Unless that’s my cousin or something, I don’t need to see that. So, Pinterest is refreshing in that way, that you don’t have that kind of stuff.
Erik Fisher: Alright.
Jeff Sieh: And they want to be that way. And they have 175 billion Pins now on Pinterest and that’s up from 75%. So, it’s growing. If you’re not on there, especially if you have a product or you’re trying to drive traffic to your site, once again I always preach this, you need to be on Pinterest because they’ve been adding new features, they have the Pinterest Lens, they got new ways to organize stuff. Now you can pin video. We’re actually doing that with The Journey. We’re seeing-
Erik Fisher: Yes, that’s cool.
Jeff Sieh: Some traffic that way. So, it’s very, very cool. So, get on Pinterest.
Erik Fisher: Yeah. So, then-
Kim Reynolds: And email.
Erik Fisher: We’re saying all this Pinterest jazz to marketers, but-
Jeff Sieh: Jazz.
Erik Fisher: Yeah, Pinterest jazz. I won’t even try to come up with a joke.
Erik Fisher: Pinterest is launching an influencer marketing API. I’m like, “Well, wait. But, if you’re not a social network,” … I guess it still makes sense though because of how many people are driving traffic.
Jeff Sieh: Yeah, and they’re really going for creators because so many creators put their stuff on Pinterest to get traffic back to their site. And there’re already Pinterest influencers out there where people are getting deals to pin so much, they’ll work with Target and Pinterest together to do stuff. We’ve had Holly Homer on the show and I know she’s done deals with people with Pinterest. Peg Fitzpatrick I know has done some cool stuff, has an influencer part of the package. They’ll do so much stuff for them on Pinterest.
Jeff Sieh: And so, this is a new API which is open up to third-party influencer marketing platforms and those platforms are like Open Influence, HyperClear, AspireIQ, we’ve got a whole list in their thing. But, it’s for those companies that are working with influencers and what it does, is it gives companies who are looking for influencers like, visibility with their key stats, monthly views, followers, impressions, click-throughs, saves, something they need to do to make a decision to partner with those influencers. And so, it’s a great way that they’re really reaching out.
Jeff Sieh: Pinterest had a big gathering in their corporate headquarters where they got a bunch of these creators together and talked with them. They do a really good job and they’re really trying to get more people … Getting involved and listening to and helping out the creators. Helping them to make money by putting their products on Pinterest. And so, I think it’s a good thing.
Erik Fisher: Yeah, it sounds like one of the missing pieces as far as what marketers needed in order to really have some success on Pinterest. Which again, is one of those networks that’s being rediscovered all the time. I’m telling you, in the past few weeks, I’ve seen people say, “Oh, people are still using Pinterest?” And then others respond, “Yes, it’s my biggest driver of traffic!”
Jeff Sieh: Right. So, since Facebook kind of put the kibosh on a lot of the traffic, for a lot of publishers and even bloggers and other influencers, publishers have seen this resurgence in traffic from Pinterest because of the new Facebook news feed. Buzzfeed actually, I was reading a report, they actually go and use Pinterest to see, as a barometer, how good a post is and some of their activity that they even do more on Pinterest, is driven … what people are sharing to Pinterest. Like somebody will see something funny on the web from Buzzfeed and they’ll pin it to Pinterest. Well, that’s a signal to Buzzfeed that that’s good content and they put more oomph behind it, they share it out to different places, they may retweet it or do whatever. And so, they’re using Pinterest as kind of a barometer to see what’s working. So-
Erik Fisher: ‘Cause a pin is almost more permanent in a sense. It’s I curated this, I collected this.
Jeff Sieh: That’s a good point. And the other thing is, is publishers and advertisers on Pinterest, they’re not competing with friend content on Pinterest. So-
Kim Reynolds: Good point.
Jeff Sieh: On Facebook, you’re competing against, like I said, the dance recital or whatever of your friends. On Pinterest, you don’t have that. You’re not competing. You’re competing with other content or a pretty image, a better-looking image. That’s kind of what you’re competing against. You’re not competing against that whole family and friends things because people are going to Pinterest to dream and to plan and to think outside of the box and discover new things. And that’s the cool thing about this influencer API, is a Pinterest creator’s influences extend farther than just the number of people who follow them. So, because of the way the Pinterest algorithm works, if I pin something about how Pinterest and Shopify work together, just not my followers are gonna see it. People who are interested in Shopify will see it and people who are interested in Pinterest will see it and it’ll show up in their algorithm depending on how many people are repinning it. And so, when they look at that number, it’s just not that number of your followers. It’s exponentially larger than that because of the way Pinterest works.
After this show, there was even more news that came out.
Brand consultancy Prophet has published a list of America’s top brands based on a survey of more than 12,000 U.S. consumers who were asked about 299 brands in 37 different industries. Brand scores were based on four criteria that add up to what Prophet calls brand relevance: “customer-obsessed” to deliver what consumers want; “pervasively innovative” to find new ways and new products to deliver what consumers want; “ruthlessly pragmatic” to make sure their products are available to consumers at the time they are needed; and “distinctively inspired” to drive an emotional connection to the brand.
Pinterest came up number three behind Apple and Amazon. That was really surprising to me for them to be ranked that high.
The only social media company to make the top 10 was Pinterest, which respondents said “makes me feel inspired” and “engages with me in new and creative ways.”
Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat did not even make the top 100. In fact, Facebook dropped 102 places on the list to rank 205th in the survey. Instagram dropped 72 places to rank 131st, Snapchat dropped 87 places to 197th and Starbucks dropped 93 places to rank 153rd.
So what’s the biggest takeaway from all this Pinterest news? Here are my top three takeaways.
- Pinterest is around to stay. It’s different enough from all the other networks. It’s developed a rabid fan base. It’s useful. Its more of a search engine than social network. People enjoy using Pinterest because it’s all about discovery for them. No political posts, no fake news. Just photos and links for them save and dream about and do.
- Pinterest has always been about traffic for brands and companies. With the new video pins, new ways to run promoted pin ads, and Pinterest themselves reaching out to creators, Pinterest traffic will continue to grow as people put effort into it. So is it too late for you if you’ve never tried Pinterest before? Of course not! It’s still growing it’s not hard to get started and most people notice a traffic increase once they start really developing a Pinterest strategy.
- If you have a product. Pinterest is a no-brainer. People BUY off of Pinterest. 98% of Pinners go out and try ideas that they find on Pinterest. The part of Pinterest that includes items to buy is the fastest growing part of the platform, up 115 percent in the last year. You definitely want to put your product up there. But I’d also argue that if you have any sort of downloadable, like an ebook, workbook or free giveaway in exchange for leads, then Pinterest is something you need to take a hard look at.
Since we are talking about e-commerce so much, I need to also talk about what’s been happing with Instagram’s Shoppable Posts. Now you can actually have shoppable posts in Stories. Once again I break it down on the Social Media Examiner Talk Show.
Erik Fisher: We’re gonna talk about Instagram Shopping which I think is becoming a recurring topic, because every time we talk about Instagram and shopping, we have this question of, “Well, are you buying stuff off Instagram?” And the answer to me is, “Yes!” Even though I’m not a “shopper”, I see things on Instagram and I buy them, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about new stuff, brand new stuff. So, clue us in. I think this is gonna be huge for a lot of people.
Jeff Sieh: Yes. So, the big thing is now you can shop from Stories. And so, one of the big stats they threw out is, it’s now a daily destination for more than 400 million accounts globally and the cool thing is one-third of those are Stories from businesses. ‘Cause you would think that they’re gonna swipe right through businesses, but no, people are actually watching those stories.
Jeff Sieh: And so, the cool thing now is with Stories, you can use, if you’re a business, you need a business account for this, is they have what are called product stickers and I think we have a screenshot of that up, but they work just like you would use if you’ve been using them in the post, in the feed. Actually having a picture and then having it. So, there’s a little shopping tag and if you pause long enough, there’s a little dot you can click on and it goes to your checkout page for your store. Oh, right here, Kim. This is what it looks like now for Stories, and you can see it says, “A silk button-down cami.” That’s the Instagram shopping stickers. In fact, I look fabulous in that, by the way.
Kim Reynolds: I was thinking how cute it is.
Jeff Sieh: Yeah, just so you know. So, it looks great, it keeps me cool. So-
Erik Fisher: So, on this picture, I got a question. So, there’s a little transparent kind of a piece that comes up off of the sticker.
Jeff Sieh: That’s when you touch it. That’s when you touch the sticker [crosstalk 00:01:48]. Before you touch the sticker that comes up, then the [inaudible 00:01:50] goes up and you tap that.
Erik Fisher: Right. OK.
Jeff Sieh: And it works kind of like an app mention. You can tap it once and it changes to a transparent background like you can do with the other stickers on your screen. But, it works just the same way as the Shoppable Posts in the feed. And the cool thing is, is when this news broke, I went to … ‘Cause some of my clients, we’ve had Shoppable Posts for a long time and we use them almost every day and I had that sticker on my account. So, it worked seamlessly, I didn’t have to enable anything. I just went to the Story and it worked and it was just another option with when you pull up your stickers to add to that to your posts. So, it’s very, very cool. Very, very seamless.
Jeff Sieh: They go to your mobile version to checkout. So, it’s just directing them when you set up the product on your Facebook account or with Shopify, one of the things you have to do is, it goes to your checkout process. So, you have to have a mobile version of your site and it goes right there. Instagram really doesn’t have anything to do with it. It just takes you to that checkout page, but it makes it very, very seamless.
Erik Fisher: Now, is this for products only or, for example, could Kim set this up to where we’d be able to have a social media marketing world sticker, that if people tapped it, would have us see details and it would take them over to those?
Jeff Sieh: It does, it takes them to the actual checkout page. So, it’s like the cart, where it has a description of whatever you’re purchasing and then you finish up by clicking the purchase that way. So, we could, and in fact, I actually emailed Kim this morning saying, “Hey-“
Kim Reynolds: He did!
Jeff Sieh: “We need to do this.” Because even if we make one sale, it’s worth doing.
Erik Fisher: I knew you did it, I was just presenting it as a hypothetical.
Jeff Sieh: Oh, yes that’s right. I did mention it to you. So, [crosstalk 00:03:33]. It would work. I think it’s another thing people say, “Oh big ticket items.” I bought a lot of big-ticket items through my phone. I think it’s getting less and less. With Apple Pay and all that stuff that’s built into your phone, I think people are really getting comfortable, especially the younger generations with paying for stuff with their phone. I mean, I actually got airline flights for my wife on her phone because I was in a restaurant and she had to get back real quick. So, I think people are getting more and more comfortable with spending money on big-ticket items. So this really dives into being able to just make it more useful for businesses.
Erik Fisher: Yeah, but even in recent episodes of The Journey and you can go watch those and you can see that the findings are that it’s not just they either buy or they don’t. It’s that they get exposed to something and then they think about it and get an in-
Jeff Sieh: Right.
Erik Fisher: Not introduced. What’s the word? Exposed to it enough times, over time.
Jeff Sieh: They start playing it.
Erik Fisher: Yeah, even if it’s not that first point of sale, it’s that extended … You get them in on a story as either the first point or even one of the many touch points in between them eventually becoming a purchaser.
Jeff Sieh: Also, they rolled this out as a test at the beginning and so, they had … This is the number that shocked me, was 90 million people already tap at Shopping Tags. So, that is just when they were rolling out the test. This is not since the global rollout that they just announced, so there are a lot of people who are doing this.
Kim Reynolds: Wow.
Jeff Sieh: And the cool thing as a business, you’re able to see the number of taps on the shopping sticker, how many people tap through to the website. It’s really, it’s super easy if you have a Shopify account. Shopify has half a million people who use their platform. That now can just tie in. The cool thing is, it’s you just add it. I added Pinterest, I added Instagram, and now I have all that stuff all on one platform and it’s really, really cool. So, it’s gonna make it really easy for people to use these Shoppable stickers.
Erik Fisher: OK, so what do we need to do to get in on this? Who can do it? Is it available to everybody?
Jeff Sieh: For me, for the big account that has this Shoppable stickers, I didn’t have a Shopify account. I was able to add it as through the Facebook catalog. You can have your catalog on Facebook-
Erik Fisher: Gotcha.
Jeff Sieh: You can do it that way and it transfers right to your Instagram store. So, that’s how I did it. Now, you can also do it and I’ve done it for stuff like mainly plunder and stuff, one of my T-shirts that I test stuff on. I’ve been able to add Pinterest and Instagram to that as well and that’s a Shopify site. So, that’s really, really seamless.
Jeff Sieh: So, those are kind of the ways to add it to your site. But, once you have it on Facebook where you can sell, you should be able to just go right to Instagram and once you upload something to Facebook, it automatically adds to your catalog and you can see it and it’s on Instagram and you can tag it that way. And you just tag it like a normal post.
Erik Fisher: Alright, cool. Alright, well we’re gonna have to look into this.
Jeff Sieh: Yes.
Kim Reynolds: Yeah, we can do that.
Jeff Sieh: Well, one of the things I do want to say, people ask the question, “What about IGTV, their newest thing?” Well, they mention in this breaking news that, they’re not really thinking about adding it right now. They may do it in the future, but they don’t have any plans to make Shopping tools to the live video part of it.
Jeff Sieh: And the other thing, I think TechCrunch brought this up, is don’t just build your platform. That way, everybody’s like, “Oh, we can sell stuff on Instagram!” Remember what happened with Facebook, back in the day when all the publishers were able to put their stories on Facebook, and then all of a sudden, Facebook cut the firehose pretty much and everything dried up and a lot of people were scrambling to figure out how to get traffic and their products out and all that stuff.
Jeff Sieh: So, use this as one of your channels, but don’t go all in and say, “I’m just gonna sell on Instagram ’cause that’s where all my people are.” You still want to get them on your newsletter, bring them to your website, because this is brand new and we all know how Facebook does when they have something brand new. They do a really, really easy for people to get in and get really sucked into the platform and it’s really cheap and the ads are cheap and everything’s cheap. And then, they start going, “Hey, you guys all like this, so we’re gonna start charging.” And then you’re kind of up the creek without a poodle.
Erik Fisher: I have never had that happen, but … So, speaking of other places that people do shop, Pinterest, which is also in your wheelhouse, has had some really major updates as well.
Jeff Sieh: Yeah, I want to back up real quick ’cause we forgot one thing. They are doing Explorer. If you have a product, they’re actually starting to roll out and this is testing. This is still in testing. I don’t have it, I checked all my accounts. But, in the Explorer section of Instagram, there’s going to be a new Shopping section. So, if you’re just in the mood to shop, it’s an algorithm based on stuff that you like and that have Shoppable tags to them. There’ll be a section where you can just go and that’s all you see in your feed is stuff that you can shop and buy. And so, that is just testing right now, but it’s a great way for businesses to maybe get discovered and not just from your own followers, but it’s a discovery place right there in Instagram.
Kim Reynolds: Yeah.
Erik Fisher: Very cool.
Kim Reynolds: I love that.
I’m excited to see where Instagram is going with their ability to have post and stories be shoppable. I’ve had shoppable post on a couple of my client for a while now and they work really well. One client has seen double the website traffic since we started using them.
I still don’t think the posts have as much reach as what a normal Instagram post does, but if it’s sending traffic that converts to sales, I really don’t think that matters. It will be really interesting to see how this will work with Stories. Since Stories seems to be a more intimate type of post. Will this help sales? Or will people like those sort of calls to action in Stories?
Another takeaway is that the shopping channel that they are testing in explore will be a great way for companies to be discovered. Remember though that it is still a test and that just throwing a quick post or story that has a product linked to it won’t cut it. You’ll need to use creative storytelling to have that post feel organic and not like you’re pitching to your audience. Brands that are able to do this consistently will have a greater chance to be featured in the Explore section.
The last takeaway I’d like to mention is that while shoppable post are a great new feature, I would be hesitant to place all my bets on selling on Instagram. I know some who have built their entire sales channel on certain platforms, only to see that entire sales channel dry up when that platform changed its algorithm. Use Instagram, milk all the money you can out it if you’re getting sales there, but always have a backup plan and don’t neglect your other channels for the new and shiny features a social platform may offer you. Build relationships with your customers and fans, get them to visit your website and sign up for your newsletter. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
That’s it for this weeks edition of the Manly Pinterest tips podcast, thanks for being patient on waiting for new episodes and if you’d like to ask me a question, share some news, or just like to chat, feel free to email me at [email protected]. Have a great week everyone.