Optimize your presence on Pinterest group boards using these easy-to-follow tips. Refresh, track, interact and experiment to achieve success!
Pinterest group boards offer a fast, efficient way to get seen on Pinterest while you’re waiting for your own account to accumulate followers and generate traffic. In another blog post, I’ve talked about finding Pinterest group boards. Once you’ve selected a few, here are some tips on how to use them.
Get into a regular routine of pinning to your group boards. Followers who like your items will start looking for each day’s new additions.
Different Boards, Different Pins
Pin different items to different boards. Watch for notifications about which pins are being repinned and “tried” so you can start identifying the boards that are getting the most attention for your items. Adjust your activity accordingly.
Not getting much action? Look around for other boards to try. Think outside the box for types of boards that might accept your items but aren’t an exact match. For example, there are hundreds of jewelry group boards that work very well for jewelry. But there are also some general fashion boards that accept jewelry. Those fashion boards can help jewelry sellers, too.
In your store, use whatever analytics are available to determine how effective your Pinterest group boards have been. Do you get more sales on days when there’s more traffic from Pinterest? Did you notice that Jane Doe, who repinned one of your pins yesterday, just purchased an item from your store today? Which board did she repin from?
Maintain Your Own Account
You still want to build up the visibility and strength of your own Pinterest account. For one thing, you want to be able to direct potential customers there to view your items. You also want to have an excellent display to show anyone who decides to click through to your account after spotting something of yours on a group board. Ultimately, you would like your brand’s account to have a life of its own, apart from the group boards.
Interact With Others
Spend a little time each week showing some love for other people on the group boards that you use. “Try” their items, comment thoughtfully on their pins, and repin to appropriate boards in your own account. This is a social networking activity, not a sales activity, but it can lead to more repinning of your items. If it isn’t working on a particular board, you can stop and try elsewhere.
Improve Your Photos
Pinterest is all about beautiful, compelling images. Medium-quality photos rarely get attention. If you plan to use Pinterest as a primary social media outlet, invest in superb photography. Otherwise your time might be wasted.
Start Your Own Group Board?
Having a group board of your own is a great way to drive visibility. But it takes a lot of work. If you’re willing to put in the time, it might be worth it. Don’t expect a lot of followers without a lot of effort.
Have Pinterest group boards worked for you in the past? Any tips you would like to pass on? Feel free to comment. And check the blog for more tips on social media, copywriting, marketing and SEO.
Marketing isn't a "one size fits all" proposition. Tailor your marketing program to match your specific goals, dreams, and lifestyle.
Are you driven by goals and aspirations that color your entire existence, and cause your personal life to take second place? Or are you an ordinary person with a few big dreams and a love of art that you pursue in your spare time? Are you all-consumed by your artisan life, or do you also have a strong need for family and other pursuits?
The answers to questions like these are essential in determining the right kind of marketing for your business.
What are your business goals? And what are your personal goals? Only after pinning down the answers to these questions can effective planning begin about how to sell your products.
What's Right For You?
Imagine this scenario. You enter an upscale boutique looking for a yellow summer dress for a specialty theme party being given by a friend. You tell the salesperson what you’re looking for, and she responds with, “Oh, but yellow isn’t on trend right now! And with your coloring, you should wear red! Here, try on a few of these gorgeous red dresses. Trust me, red is the way to go this year!"
Sounds very persuasive, but is it actually helpful? Even if you decided that you did, in fact, look better in red, and ended up buying a red dress, what then? You’d be no farther along in your original goal to get a yellow dress for your friend's party. Or you would show up in the wrong clothing.
Why is that salesperson trying to sell you a red dress rather than a yellow one? Maybe the store doesn’t have any yellow dresses right now, or a new batch of red dresses just came in. Possibly the yellow dresses they do have are lower priced, and she's hoping for a bigger sale. Even if she truly believes that red is your best choice, she certainly hasn't factored in your requirements.
Screen Your Consultants
In the same way, it doesn't make sense to accept marketing and sales advice from consultants who are selling “one size fits all” marketing services, or telling you that you need different goals, or asking you to engage in activities that don’t match up with your preferred lifestyle.
Why do many providers try to fit you into a single marketing model, with a fixed program supposedly right for everyone? The answer is: Because it’s easier, it will work for a few people who will be happy with the results,, and—this is the most important point—they might not understand enough about the underlying principles of marketing to be able to tailor programs for individual clients.
It's also possible that services like these are only intended for certain types of businesses that have been identified as the provider's most profitable target market. Which means that you might be seen as a "fringe" client who isn't necessarily expected to benefit.
When looking for help for your business, listen carefully. Has the provider asked you about your goals, your life, your needs and then adjusted accordingly? If yes, that’s a very good first sign that you’ll be getting advice that will be customized for your particular circumstances.
It’s also important to look into the background of the provider to determine if they’re giving you advice based on one experience with a single business, or if they have had experience across a wide range of different kinds of businesses, markets, sellers, and customer types. Do they know for certain which activities in each case led to success, or are they only guessing? Carefully screen in order to get the right help for your business and your life.
Have any of these issues cropped up for you in the past? Feel free to tell us about your experience in a comment. Also check the blog for additional advice, including tips on copywriting, SEO and social media.
From Google: Social media links and activities don't help SEO. Focus social media on marketing, not SEO.
Did you ever wonder if links from Facebook to your e-commerce website improve your Google SEO? The answer is no. The links themselves, and the traffic resulting from them, aren't used at all by Google's algorithm. The same goes for likes, follows, views, and so on. And this also applies to Pinterest, Instagram and all other social media platforms. Even Google+ doesn't rate in Google's algorithm. [Source: Google Webmasters, February 2017]
If you currently engage in like-for-like games where sellers swap visits to each other's sites from Facebook, you might consider re-focusing your time. The only value to that kind of activity is the visibility you'll get among other sellers. Which could conceivably lead to a couple sales. But it won't boost your visibility on Google.
This doesn't mean that you should stop using social media. On the contrary, social media provides many services that search can't. For example, it can help you:
Note that your social media pages have their own SEO ranking, which means that the content that appears on them can sometimes show up in search results. Users might even click through to your social media accounts from Google searches. But this activity doesn't impact the ranking of your website itself.
Organic links from valued websites (not social media) continue to play a top role in Google ranking. So keep working on developing a solid reputation that will motivate other website owners to recommend you to their visitors.
Authorized sources indicate that social media activity isn't tracked by Etsy's search algorithm either. So Etsy shops can approach social media in the same way as independent websites. Use social media in the ways it works best, and for SEO, focus on optimizing your content quality and keyword strategies. Read SEO: It's More Than Just Keywords for additional tips.
Does this change things for you? Will you be acting differently on social media? Feel free to comment or ask a question. And please browse the blog for more on SEO, copywriting and social media.
Jump start your Pinterest account by posting to group boards! Watch the screencast for tips on how to find the right ones.
It's a big challenge on Pinterest to build a following that can directly boost sales for a small online business. Luckily, group boards can make that happen a lot faster. Not only can you get seen immediately by the exact people you want to reach, but with great photos, you can gain thousands of new opportunities for repins and follows. Click on the screencast to learn more!
After watching, feel free to comment with a question or pass along a Pinterest tip of your own. Also see the follow-up post: Using Pinterest Group Boards. And take a moment to browse the blog for more advice on social media, copywriting and SEO.
Want a customer's perspective on your e-commerce site? Instead of asking other sellers, find out what ordinary shoppers think.
Looking for an honest opinion about the sales writing (copy) in your e-commerce store or marketplace shop? The only way to ensure that you're getting a helpful response is to ask everyday people who are similar to your customers, not necessarily similar to you.
What does your site look like to the average person who's searching on Google or clicking through from social media? Are they interested in what you're saying? Do they think you've left something out? Can they find what they're looking for quickly and easily?
The only way to be sure that you're doing it right is to approach people who match your typical customer's lifestyle, personal interests, buying patterns, and so on. Get your friends and relatives involved. Ask in community groups. Find a topic-based Facebook group (not full of sellers) that might be a source of feedback. Set up your own "focus group" with locals who would be willing to read and comment.
Remember that someone else in your line of work will be very interested from the start in your "backstage" details, biography and workshop photos. But what about actual customers? They could feel very differently.
Other sellers might be helpful later in the process, when you need to find out if the writing sounds logical, looks professional and flows smoothly. But as far as the basic content goes, and the messages you're trying to get across to customers, ask a customer!
Have you ever noticed a disconnect between what other sellers told you and what you heard from actual shoppers? Feel free to comment with your experience or questions. And check the blog for other tips on copywriting, social media and SEO.
Etsy sellers! Do you know what your shop title is? Watch the screencast to find out if you've been using it correctly for Google!
Google tells us that one of the most important pieces of keyword information on any site is the title of the main site page. But where is this in an Etsy shop? It's important to make sure that this line of text includes your best SEO keywords. And it turns out that, on Etsy, it's also easy to make a very costly mistake. Watch the screencast to learn more.
If you have questions after watching, please feel free to comment. Also, browse the blog for more tips on SEO, copywriting and social media.
Note: This SEO snapshot was created for The Copywriting Coach on Facebook, specifically for our Office Hours group. This exclusive venue provides personalized, one-on-one coaching in a group setting, a daily schedule of rotating topics, and lots of perks. And it's free! Join The Copywriting Coach to participate!
Set goals with social media instead of posting at random. Proactively choose your audience, methodology, content and schedule.
Do you find yourself selecting posts based on what's caught your attention lately, what seems fun, and what appears to relate to the day's hot topics? For personal accounts, this is perfectly fine. But for business, last-minute decisions won't get you where you want to go.
First, you need to identify your primary and secondary audiences, understand them, and know how they operate on social media. Second, you need to pinpoint your specific business goals in connection with these audiences. Do you want to drive traffic to a particular site? Do you want viewers to contact you directly for information? Are you simply trying to stimulate general interest in your social media accounts? Make up your mind, so that you can create posts that will support your goals.
Next, figure out the kinds of content that will appeal to your target audiences and will also direct people to the actions or behavior you're trying to encourage. Finally, set up a posting routine that will reach your audiences at optimum times, and that you feel you can manage successfully based on your available time, energy and finances. If you can't reach everyone on all platforms within your existing budget and personal schedule, set priorities and be clear about where you want to focus your resources.
If you create and follow a smart plan for your social media activities, they're much more likely to deliver results.
Have you already discovered a social media schedule that works for you? Or, alternatively, have you had to discard a posting method that wasn't working? Feel free to comment below. And check the blog for other tips on social media, copywriting and SEO.
You can't lose by communicating authentically, and speaking your truth. Even in business, heart matters, and heart works.
Every day we're flooded with advice about how to write for business. It definitely can be overwhelming. It's like having someone constantly watching over our shoulders to make sure we don't break the rules. That's a lot of pressure!
You're a creative person. Don't let the rules stifle your creativity. In another blog post, we talk about how important it is to just get started. Put it down and fix it later. But we can enhance these initial efforts—and make them a lot easier—by focusing on direct personal expression, words and concepts that match our true feelings.
We can get a lot of inspiration from what others write. That's a great source of ideas. But when it comes to the moment of writing, just let it all go, and be yourself. Talk to your audience from within your own mind and spirit. It might be difficult to know exactly what to say, but if you start from within, and connect with the audience you imagine in your mind, it will be simpler, less intimidating. And the output will be much more appealing.
Say what you really mean. Don't try to "game" the buyer. Deliver your information with genuine enthusiasm, authentic belief, and an honest desire to engage with other people. Your sincerity shows. And it helps you connect with customers.
What do you think about this approach to copywriting? Has it worked for you? Feel free to comment. And browse the blog for more tips on copywriting, social media and SEO.
Of course, keywords are important. But the exact order of the words in a keyword phrase, maybe not so much. Find out what Google advises.
Google consistently states that one of the main goals of its algorithm is to properly balance relevance (how well your page or site matches up with users' search terms) and quality (how effectively your page or site delivers the information promised). Which means that if you focus solely on keyword strategy, you're missing out on half the equation. And if you run a small business, you might be missing out altogether.
In situations where there are a lot of choices, Google will always show larger, more high-quality sites first, even without an exact keyword match or matching keyword phrases. Google might even give preference to pages using synonyms!
The first step is relevance, the match-up. The next step is ranking, the quality. So even if you're first in the door with an exact match, you'll probably be left behind if there are a lot of well-established, high-quality sites competing with you.
Note that if a person who's searching puts quotes around a phrase, the quotes cause Google to look for that exact phrase. Example: "red prom dress." Per Google, "Without the quotes, Google is just looking for pages with those words, but in any order, and not necessarily adjacent." (Google Webmasters, February 2017) This is important, since the vast majority of ordinary customers search without quotes.
If you have a smaller, newer site, or a site with lots of competition, spend less time on keywords, and more time on other methods of driving traffic to your site. Some Google-authorized experts even state outright that very small sites that are subdomains in marketplaces like Etsy or eBay won't rank at all in Google search. So if that's true, extensive keyword research—from the Google search point of view—might not be the best use of your time, at least while you're still growing.
Google itself recommends alternatives such as advertising, social media marketing, and other strategies that can help build your reputation and motivate people to link to your site. Google also strongly urges newer and smaller sites to incorporate quality content that's as unique as possible.
Side note for Etsy sellers: Etsy search (inside Etsy itself) works a little differently. Etsy does give preference to exact keyword matches when buyers use the Etsy search bar. This type of search doesn't have any connection with Google searches.
Feel free to comment. And browse the blog for more on SEO, copywriting and social media.
For best results, use social media for more than just advertising. Think relationships not transactions.
Social media platforms have become increasingly inundated with sales posts, to the point where browsing never takes place without seeing constant sales pitches. Aggressive sellers are justifiably happy to leverage new opportunities, but it certainly can go too far. And in fact, a sales strategy that neglects the buyer-seller relationship is usually headed toward a dead end.
Customers are human beings. They're emotional, they have preferences, they're impulsive, and they're temperamental. Some big businesses attempt to manipulate these human characteristics. But most smaller businesses are better off learning and respecting how customers think and behave in order to connect authentically, engage, and build trust.
Display your products, run ads, talk about sales. But in between, provide glimpses into human experience that will mean something to your customers. Are you attracting nature lovers to a site where you sell pet supplies? Make sure to alternate your product photos with fabulous outdoor shots such as seasonal landscapes, macro beauties, and, of course, animals. If you make hand-knit baby clothes, pull out those infant pics!
Start a conversation about lifestyle, values, hobbies, everyday concerns, and anything else that matters to your customers. You would like their response to be, "Wow, this person 'gets' me."
Do you sell wall art? There are thousands of sites selling flowery water color paintings. Be the seller that customers remember as someone who—like them—adores color, flowers and the transient quality of nature. They'll think of you first when they're ready to buy.
What sorts of non-sales posts do you enjoy sharing with customers on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or elsewhere? Feel free to comment below. And check the blog for other tips on social media, copywriting and SEO.
Barbara Clavan provides copywriting, coaching and consulting services to high-growth businesses, high-profile individuals and creative entrepreneurs.
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