My friend Ralph Rivera and his wife Carol Lynn have seen that Pinterest brings a significant amount of traffic to their website but hadn’t been able to incorporate it into their marketing system, until now. With systems, tools and Pinterest automation they are now strategically growing their Pinterest account and bringing even more traffic to their website.
In this week’s episode
Ralph is one of Oh So Pinteresting technical advisors he’s also a cohost of the Web Search Social Podcast with his wife Carol Lynn. This dynamic duo produces not only multiple podcast episodes per week but also multiple blog articles that help businesses with their marketing and productivity.
The Back Story
Like other businesses Web Search Social wants to become more efficient, cut costs and increase revenue. One way to do this is to improve the methods for how they promote their content online. But like many other businesses there’s just too much to do in the day and Pinterest took back seat even though it was bringing them traffic.
Now, they’re ready to take the leap and dive into Pinterest. They want create an account that will appeal to and be meaningful to the small and big medium-size businesses they work with. Ralph was ready to go nuclear with his existing unorganized account and delete the whole thing! I strongly advised against this.
This wouldn’t be a good option for them because their existing pins are already indexed by Pinterest. If they deleted everything, they would lose what’s been indexed on their account and could cost them traffic and exposure through Pinterest searches in the future.
Instead of completely wiping out the account, a better approach would be to rename the boards with relevant searchable titles and descriptions. Instead of deleting all the pins they should move them to a more appropriate board.
Ralph and Carol Lynn have also struggled with creating Pinterest specific images. They have devised an easy to modify template for creating graphics for Pinterest that helps streamline the process. They’ve also changed the social sharing buttons on their website that encourages visitors to share their Pinterest specific image. Over the years they have discovered that there is a lot of trial and error when it comes to marketing. There is no one right way to approach it.
While developing his new Pinterest strategy Ralph decided to listen to my Lynda.com Pinterest course. He noticed that in the course I revealed the step-by-step processes for doing things on Pinterest but I also put a lot of emphasis on the mindset and the shifts in perspective that are needed to successfully use Pinterest as a marketing tool. Ralph said he found this helpful to zero in on how he wants to use Pinterest for marketing Web Search Social.
Why Reinvent the Wheel? Use Automation
Over the years Ralph and Carol Lynn have accumulated over 700 pieces of content on their website. They knew that in their library there was content that needed to be promoted again.
Ralph, being the web genius that he is, created a SQL script (Structured query Language). The script gives him an organized list of all of the content on his website. This helps him automate some of the social media promotion and capitalize on their past work. (Here’s a link to the script Ralph mentioned. Instructions are in the comments)
With the list that has been filtered down to the best stuff he uses calendars (available for free in Web Search Social’s Marketing Game Changer Kit) of when each piece of content should be shared across their social media channels. Ralph knew they needed a process for deciding where they’re going to post each piece of content and what tool they’ll be using to make it easier to plan ahead.
Because it’s one of the biggest drivers of traffic for them, Pinterest will become the hub for Web Search Social. From Pinterest they will adjust the content to fit other networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
They will automate some of the process were Pinterest will “feed” certain other social networks. Ralph explained that some of this could be done with a tool called IFTTT (If This Then That). It helps you create recipes that monitor for triggers and then produces an action. For example you can set up a recipe that will Pin images you like on Instagram automatically.
Ralph found that another tool, called Zapier could take to process a bit further. It allows you to connect multiple accounts within the same system. For example, you can connect it with your personal Facebook profile and any of the business pages that you managed too. This can’t be done with IFTTT.
Here’s a letter and a handy infogaphic straight from Ralph that explains how easy it can be done:
Hi Oh So Pinteresting readers,
Here are my thoughts for automating a Pinterest workflow using Zapier.
First, define a desired outcome:
“When I post to Pinterest, I want that pin to automatically go to my Facebook business page, but only if the hashtag #wssup is included.”
Now you can create your Zap. A Zap consists of a trigger (when I post to Pinterest) and an action (pin to Facebook business page). You can apply a filter to narrow your action such as “but only if a specific hashtag appears.”
Once you understand your goal, the set up won’t take more than a few minutes.
Step One: Log into your Zapier account and click on Make a Zap.
Step Two: Click “Choose a Trigger App” and scroll to the app you want to start with. You can also start typing to filter the list. Typing “pin” will show Pinterest.
Step Three: Select a trigger. All apps have different triggers. Pinterest has two: “New pin by user” or “New pin on board.” You can check the Zapier docs for more details.
Step Four: Click “Choose an Action App.” Select your destination app (Facebook in our example).
Step Five: Select an action.
Step Six: When you click continue, you may be asked to authenticate your accounts (Steps 2 and 3 within Zapier).
Step Seven: Set conditions under which your zap will fire. In the screenshot, I’ve indicated to fire on any pin published by RalphMRivera.
Step Eight: Define how you want your Zap to look when it gets published. In my example, I’ve included the picture description and a “pin for later” line so that people on Facebook can be driven back to the pin.
Step Nine: You can then test your Zap and save it.
Easy peasy. Hit me up if you have any questions.
Ralph points out that Pinterest is actually very similar to a blog in that each account and board has its own RSS feed. With the RSS feed you can set up a system in Zapier where each time you pin to a particular board, it will also automatically post somewhere else like Facebook. You can also add additional rules that can be customized for each platform the pin is sent to.
I here’s a Zapier zap example Ralph shares in our conversation: A pin will be automatically shared to his Facebook page along with the pins description he can also include additional text such as “Pin it for later” and a link back to the original pin. A system like this can help increase his repins and exposure on Pinterest automatically!
Automation like this helps you spend less time on the “grunt work” of social media marketing and focus more on the things that will help your business grow.
Along with all the great information that Ralph shares with us in this episode he also shares a mind blowing away the businesses can you Zapier and Pinterest as a monitoring and market research tool. Be sure to click the play button above and listen to the podcast around the 37-minute mark for all of the details.
Connect with Ralph:
Marketing Game Changer Kit (Get it, it’s FREE!)
BIG thanks to Ralph for sharing his expertise with us 🙂
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Cynthia Sanchez is a Pinterest marketing consultant and expert. Cynthia created OhSoPinteresting.com, one of the early leaders in Pinterest education for businesses. Contact Cynthia on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cynthiasanchezrnbsn