Pinterest In the Making Conference
Pinterest Conference 2018
Pinterest sure knows how to throw a party. Of course, they would they are the biggest platform for party inspiration! I was equal parts impressed and intrigued throughout the day during their first ever In the Making Conference.
In the Making is a conference put on by Pinterest themselves and is an exclusive event. The conference was held in San Francisco, California. The In the Making Conference was for content creators, bloggers, and business owners from all over the United States and even a few people from other countries. We all came together to learn from Pinterest themselves and how to create content for one of the largest social media platforms available.
I was thrilled to be invited to the exclusive conference and left extremely excited to grow my following and create a killer Pinterest strategy. Before I left I shared I was going and asked some fellow bloggers if they had any questions they wanted me to ask. I arrived with my list in hand and by the end of the day I had all of the questions answered. If you want to read about the itinerary and info on the conference click here.
This article is long but trust me you will learn so much and leave much more confident on how to utilize Pinterest the best way moving forward. This post is full of Pinterest tips for business or blog.
The event was held at a college in San Francisco and it ended up being a great day. I able to mingle with other bloggers and industry professionals. We were served food for breakfast and lunch with snacks in between. The day was very well planned, my sister Michelle and I had a great time. Seeing faces in the same room as you that your recognize from social media is pretty cool. We also got to chat with Pinterest employees. They encouraged us to ask tons of questions throughout the day.
Content Creators Conference June 2018
The day was broken up into sessions, each one concentrating on certain areas of Pinterest. Each session had Pinterest employees which included managers and even their co-founders and CEO. Other sessions were filled with industry professionals and seasoned bloggers.
Some of those bloggers included Joy Cho, Brit Morin, and Camille Styles, all big-time bloggers in my mind. The first speaker of the day was Eric Sharp, the co-founder of Pinterest. His introduction to the event was inspiring and very uplifting. His excitement and dedication to the social media platform was very contagious. He showed us an interview and videos of a young real girl who uses Pinterest. The video was showing how she dresses and does her hair all from ideas from Pinterest. That without the platform she would be lost for style in her small town.
After his introduction, we headed off to our first of two-morning sessions. I chose to go to the Show and Tell: Search and Communities session. It was hosted by Pinterest's Mason Churchill, engineer Jeffery Harris, product manager, and Austin Louden, production manager.
The session was focused on visual searches, lens, and their new platform Pinterest communities. This session was probably my favorite one because I learned so much. Each session only lasted 45 minutes and was jam-packed with good information. I had some of my questions answered and jotted down notes as fast as I could.
They allowed for questions throughout these sessions which were even more informative. Now going forward, I know what's right and wrong according to Pinterest themselves. All of these items I share here are confirmed from Pinterest employees themselves.
How to Add Pins?
Pin new content from your website at least once a week. To pin new content you can either manually pin or use a scheduler like Tailwind. Daily is preferred by Pinterest because they like consistency and new content just like regular SEO.
Multiple people asked how many pins are ideal. They all answered with there is no magic number but there is no such thing as too many pins. Again they confirmed you may pin as many pins a day as you want. They even encourage doing a lot of pinning and staying consistent. Which is where the schedulers like Tailwind come in handy.
Pinterest Business Profile
To receive analytics you must have a business profile all bloggers and businesses should convert to business profiles immediately if you have not done so yet. Later in the day I attended a whole session on analytics and found out they are launching a whole new set up and platform for analytics. I will share more on that in a bit.
Pinterest also says you must confirm your website to find out more about that click here. If you want Pinterest to show your pins in Pinner’s feeds they want to know you are from a trusted website and not a spammer. Confirming your site will show them that you are genuine and not a bot.
Pinterest has been really cracking down on spam lately. I would recommend keeping to the rules and follow their best practices suggestions which can be found by clicking here. If you want to see the full list of approved apps you may click here. There has been speculation over whether Board Booster is okay to use. It is not because it is not on the list. *UPDATE Board Booster is now shut down do not use them
New Commenting Options on Pins
Pinterest is launching a new and approved way to comment on pins which include:
- You can now like comments left on your pins
- You can reply to all comments
- @ mentions work with an auto-complete feature
- Pinner gets a push notification when you mention them (which is huge because it puts your pin back in front of them)
- Comments will roll over for all pins with the same exact photo and link. For example, if you pin new pins from your website (which is what they recommend) the comments will come up on all pins with the same photo/graphic and link
- Hashtags work in comments and will show up in searches
- Available on mobile and desktop
Visual Pinterest Searches
Pinterest is seeing a huge increase in visual searches and even went far enough to say they think soon visual searches will outrank text searches soon. Making this something we all need to consider in our Pinterest strategies moving forward.
One new technology they offer on visual searches when using photos with people is their skin tone and options to highlight a certain area of an image to see more pins that are similar.
For example, say you see a photo with a gal with makeup on that you love and want more ideas or info to purchase the items used. You use the little square deal and highlight the face. Pinterest will come up with a new set of search results focused on similar items highlighted. If you highlight the whole face it will show you similar photos but you can even shrink the box to just one part like the mouth. It will pop up with more search results that are the same color as the lips and face you highlighted.
As you can see on the photo to the right if you were to just search makeup now you can narrow down your results by skin color. Select your skin tone color by clicking on each color on the top left of the page. Genius!! This only works on desktop currently not on mobile.
Alt text and Descriptions
Alt text is not a huge factor in their search algorithm according to Pinterest. They talked about how you don’t need to spend time editing that if you do not want to. I do suggest always editing your alt text though for SEO reasons for other platforms like Google when adding the images to your blog or website. They say it just is not a huge factor in their algorithm.
When pinning from your website the alt text is usually the item grabbed and automatically added to the pin description. Pinterest says hands down the pin description is the most important part, to not just leave the alt text there.
They suggest changing every single pin description to make the pin SEO friendly. Use sentences with hashtags included. Pinterest also suggests using all 500 characters. And just like SEO for your website you need to keep in mind SEO basics like keywords. Keywords will be how pinners find you in search results.
To find the best keywords for your descriptions use their search bar.. Something, of course, I've heard of but do not do on a regular basis. This will now be a key in my new Pinterest strategy.
Group Discussion with Seasoned Bloggers
After the morning session, we chose to sit down in the group discussion with some seasoned bloggers. These bloggers have all be successful on their websites and on Pinterest. It was such a great way to learn what works and does not for certain bloggers. After years of using the platform they have tried it all.
The discussion was led by Pinterest’s Nikki Bazzani, Creators Operation Lead. The speakers were Ali Martin of Gimme Some Oven, Joy Cho of Oh Joy!, and Caroline Preuss of Madmoisell. Since Pinterest’s launch, these gals have been some of the most successful creators.
During this open group discussion, we learned what works for the bloggers in regards to pinning and group boards. They also gave great insight on what to think about when creating and repinning pins.
They all were very clear that your pins to stay on brand. Every single pin needs to scream your brand. For example, if your style is light and airy with greens and neutral tones all of your pins need to have this vibe.
To not add in neon or bold colors with your brand colors if they are more neutral. Caroline Preuss even joked that she wore a bright yellow top and pink pants that day because it was on brand. Always stay on brand!
Recommended Pin Size
We have all been wondering what size our pins need to be. Nikki, Pinterest’s Creators Operation lead says that they need to be 2:3 ratio. When creating them in any of the platforms to use the size 600 x 900 pixels.
Each blogger in the panel said they use Photoshop but they also recommend trying Canva or Picmonkey. If you want to learn more about creating pins check out this post here.
Another interesting fact they talked about is that they have noticed over the years cropped or zoomed in photos do really well on Pinterest. As well as lifestyle shots. They suggest keeping in mind different angles and depths when taking photos. Flat lays are better for Instagram but not so much on Pinterest.
How Many Pins Per Blog Post
Each blog post should have at least 5 pins. The recommendations were at least five and each one of them different. Use one with text overlay and one without. They were also pretty clear that lifestyle shots do really well. Which makes sense for profiles like Oh Joy! And Madmoisell. As a stock photographer and business niche blogger that is a tad bit harder.
Someone even asked what they might consider lifestyle for a food blogger. Some examples are styled photos of the items finished not just in the dish or a pan. Or a styled table with the food and drinks.
Pinterest Group Boards
This part of the discussion was very interesting to me. I have always read how well group boards do for pinners and other websites. To my surprise, all three of these bloggers do not use group boards.
Joy Cho said she never has and neither had Caroline but Ali Martin said she used to a does not really anymore. They all agreed group boards are not what they used to be and come off more spammy now.
I currently have a bunch of group boards but do not get very good traction from them. I have spent so much time repinning (content that I should not because it’s not completely on brand) from groups boards. Moving forward I will not be concentrating on group boards as much. I will still use them but will not fight to get into any more new ones.
Another blogger asked the panel what they believe would help drive traffic and get higher repin rates. The common answer was pin descriptions. I have already touched on this above but after hearing it again it really drives home to change every single pin description. I can’t get lazy and just repin them. Caroline said she has great success using the search board for more keywords and to see what other keywords are trending for certain topics.
Caroline told a story about how one of her top traffic posts was about unicorn money folding. That when she wants new blog post ideas she uses the Pinterest search bar. By just clicking on the search bar there is a section of trending items at the bottom (see photo below). She had seen origami money folding. Also knowing unicorns had been popular in Germany lately she now had a new blog post idea. How to fold an origami unicorn with a dollar bill. Genius!
I took this screen shot a few days ago and have since wrote a quick post on apartment decor. Created some graphics to pin and we will see how the stats are. Head over to this post to read it now.
Save time by creating or buying templates for Pinterest. Besides it saving time when you go to create new graphics it makes your pins look more professional. Designing each pin template can be time-consuming but once it is done you can use them for every post you create. This way you stay on brand and use your fonts and colors as well.
Most of the women on the panel agreed they do not pin or really like the look of pins with text overlays. I have to agree and hardly ever repin other pins that have text. I always repin with text from my own website but typically stay away from others depending on the board I am pinning to.
For instance, if it is a pin of a farmhouse kitchen, I won't post if it has words on it. Look below and you can see my board has typically only styled photos of actual kitchens. No text overlays.
For other boards, I have I do repin pins with text overlay. But I only do that for boards like my blogging and social media tips board. The content I pin there is from other bloggers. Bloggers are the ones known for using text overlays. The bloggers speaking had established brands and bigger followings so they do not always stick to the same strategies of smaller websites.
Below is one of Joy Cho's boards from Oh Joy! As you can see she does not use photos with any text overlays. If she does use one it is because it is straight from her website. Do you notice anything else either? See that even though her business is about party decor she has a board about home decor and their entire thing is on brand. She uses her brand colors and aesthetic throughout.
Pinterest's New Profiles
We have all started seeing the new profile attributes. They include the tiles on the top and even impression counts. If you did not know that you can arrange your boards and change the pins being highlighted at the top of your new profile, you can!
It was suggested to go to your Pinterest analytics page and find out which boards are your most pinned to. Take those boards and add them to top of your profile. Make sure to also add pins to these boards frequently. Pins now have new stat features too. I will cover that in a bit when I share what I learned at the session dedicated to the new statistics features.
The pins featured at the top of your profile can also be changed. I ended up deciding to change them to showcase the most recent pins from my Hudson Farmhouse Blog board. This is the board that I pin every one of my pins to right off the bat. I like having a board with all of my items on my blog in case someone wants to get a good glimpse of my blog and brand.
Your Own Pins and Other Pins - What's the Correct Ratio?
That is one of the questions I was asked probably five times from other bloggers before I headed to the event. It is something I always wondered myself as well. Unfortunately is the only question I had that I did not get a concrete answer for. Here are all of the answers I heard to this question...
1) 90/10 - 90 being your pins to 10% other pins
Are you seeing a trend? Everyone's pins ratios are different. Each one of the successful bloggers do extremely well and they all pin different ratios. So moving forward I would say make sure to take a look at your analytics and play around with the ratio until you see what works best in your niche. I am currently doing 75/25 myself. I have been since I started and haven't felt the need to change it.
During this discussion, they all agreed that this is something that is not very important. Spending time on changing descriptions and staying on brand was the most important thing to these bloggers and business owners.
Whew that is a butt load of information right? At this point, we had only had two of the four sessions and I was already thinking about the amount of stuff I learned and confirmed was gold. This blog post has take a long to write but it is because I am trying to share everything I learned with my readers and want to do it justice.
Pinterest Conference Part Two
At this point in the conference, we broke for lunch. Lunch was supplied and they were the yummiest sandwiches. My sister and I used this time to mingle and take photos of the event. Below is a shot of us at their GORGEOUS flower wall.
The afternoon started out with guest speakers Jericho Mandybur, Brit Morin and was hosted by Pinterest's Candance Morgan. The session was all about the anti-burnout lifestyle. The discussion was about how important self-care is and utilizing your time and energy properly. The discussion was a bit of an eye-opener for me because this is something I do not consider important. Honestly, as a mom and business owner self-care is the last thing on my to-do list.
I am going to try and take the time now because I was hearing them talk about once they put themselves first their businesses did better. Not being burned out all the time was actually helping them more.
Show and Tell: Analytics and Your Profile
Pinterest's Tiffany Black, Lead Product Manager, and Nidini Sapra, Product Marketing Manager lead the next presentation I attended. The presentation was about analytics and new features being rolled out in the next few months.
These Pinterest employees were very forthcoming with information and answering everyone's questions. One of the first questions asked in this session was why they started showing the monthly impressions.
First, they clarified that the number is unique impressions. That they only count each viewer once. Not sessions or returning users.
Some of the bloggers did not like this feature. I love this feature because it showcases the power of Pinterest. I currently have 2 million viewers per month. That is crazy how many people see my pins. 2 million!
The reason they show your monthly impressions on your profile is for the big brands and advertising. They want to offer brands insights into influencers and content creators reach. Brands want to see that if they are investing in you or certain blogs and influencers they will be seen by a large audience.
I do not know about you but I do not reach anywhere near 2 million views on Instagram in one month. I have always put so much effort into Instagram but have not been as much lately. Pinterest is where it is at and brands are starting to realize it.
If you are not utilizing this platform or only spending only an hour or two a week on it, I urge you to change that. If you want your brand and website to grow this is the best free way to do it. If you want a quick refresh on how to create killer graphics to pin click here.
New and Improved Pin Stats
No more having to go to the analytics tab to see your pin stats. Pinterest is rolling out new stat feature over the next couple months. Just like the new profiles, some people will get them quicker than others. I am lucky enough to already have this.
To see that stats on the pin it has to be added originally by you. It can be added from your website or any other website as long as you add it, you can see stats. Another reason to create new content (remember they really like new content). If you want to add a certain picture from another site and see if it does better than yours by comparing stats you now can.
To see the stats your website must be claimed. Again, if you want Pinterest to trust your site you need to claim it anyways.
The pin stats will have 30 day, 7 day, and 24 hour options. And eventually lifetime stats. The stats will show empressions, close ups, saves and clicks. Please see image below for reference.
If you want to dive even further into the stats you can click on the see more stats button (the grey one above) and a new screen will pop up like the one below.
Very detailed stats that you can find easily for every pin. If you have any photos or tries they will show up here as well.
As you can see above another cool thing is that they show what boards the pins are being saved to. I have been doing a lot of research seeing which of pins are getting pinned to which boards. I noticed that a lot of my pins are being pinned into DIY boards. So now I try to add more DIY pins in my schedule and I beefed up my own DIY home decor board.
According to their marketing managers, video searches are skyrocketing and they even said one day they might outrank text searches. Making this something I need to learn about more and definitely add to my Pinterest strategy.
Videos need to be at least 10 seconds long and suggested length is 10 seconds to around 3 minutes. Some longer ones are ok but no more than 30 minutes. Right now you can only add a video if you promote it. So if you want to try one it would have to be promoted.
This is something that is very detailed and I am going to write another post on the subject soon and create a video to promote as well. For now read about how they say to utilize videos here.
End of Pinterest In the Making Conference
I could not believe everything I learned and left with after the conference. I hope that I was able to help you learn as well as be more confident with your Pinterest strategy. All of the things I learned or confirmed while here will help me grow my account any further. Which means more traffic to my blog which in turns means more income!
I would love to follow your Pinterest and see how you implement what you learned after reading this post. Please comment below with the link to your profile nad I will follow. Follow along on my Pinterest too by clickign hte profile below. Also, if you are wondering how to embed your profile like this check out this post.
Photos from In the Making Conference
Below I shared photos from the event. Including the balloon walk outside and all of the cool decor. There are also photo included of the candle making booth and other booths. Please let me know if you were in attendence or want to check it out next year by commenting below.