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Connect With Your Customers on Social Media

Lesson 7 of 11

Maximize Your Pins To Create Traffic


Connect With Your Customers on Social Media

Lesson 7 of 11

Maximize Your Pins To Create Traffic


Lesson Info

Maximize Your Pins To Create Traffic

So now I'm gonna talk a little bit about more nitty gritty things to know about Pinterest. If you guys are on there, you might be familiar with some of these concepts already. But Pinterest is where really my bread and butter for how I get a lot of engagement back to my web shop. This is place where you can really get people excited about what you're doing in a big way, and see that direct traffic that leads to sales. You're gonna see people who are encountering your work here, seeing it in a broader context, getting excited about it, and then following through to make a purchase. And I'm gonna show you some of the ways that you can build that up a little bit bigger, get people a little bit more engaged, and maximize that cross traffic. One of the things that we're gonna do to really maximize our impact on Pinterest is have a variety of pin boards. And I suggest 12 to start, but you can go way beyond that. I see a lot of really consistent pinners who are pinning on 60 to 80 pin boards,...

which that's a lot. Don't feel like you need to start there. That's quite a few. I suggest 12 because what happens is, here's an example of my profile, you can see that having 12 or so helps to get you below the fold of a browser. It helps you to look like you have a little bit more content for them to engage with. If you only have one or two boards, the impression is a little bit thin. You get to their profile page, and you think, oh, they're only pinning on two concepts. They really only have a very select amount of things for me to be interested in. I don't think I'm gonna click follow. But when you have a lot of different topics, or a lot of pins on sort of a variety of themes, that can help people feel like there's gonna be enough for them to look at, or that you're showing up. You're invoking that element of trust again. By showing that you have a broad point of view, and that you're showing up and putting these pins up there, putting this visual content out, they're gonna trust that they're gonna come back to you and see fresh things all the time. And they're more likely to click follow. So the other reason to have a variety of pin boards is that you have a lot of different ways of talking about your work. If you're a visual artist, it goes beyond just, where do I hang this painting, or where am I gonna put this print in my house? It has to do with your visual inspiration, some of the things that are inspiring you to create this work. You can be sharing a lot of that background here as well. You can see that I have pin boards. This is just the top few rows of my Pinterest account. But you can see that beyond just sharing my products, as I do on my Cotton & Flax board, I also share home decor inspiration. I have a board for just living rooms, and just bedrooms, and just studio spaces. But I also plug in some inspirational imagery of other text styles. These aren't necessarily people who are competing with me, but they complement my work, and they also share my passion for this industry. I think that that can be another really great reason to share similar work to yours, or other people who are creating work, because it shows that you're not just interested in yourself, and making money, and feeling salesy. When you promote the work of others and share more of what's going on in your industry as a whole, it shows your passion, and it shows that you're excited about the work that you're invested in. And so, there's a couple of other themes that are on here, but kind of having that fuller view helps your customers to trust that you have very great stylistic perspective that they can turn to for inspiration, and to inform their own buying decisions. So let's head back to tagboard. Let's talk about what are some pinning topics that we can use to engage our audience. We know that we wanna have at least one board where we're gonna be able to pin our products or the services that we have to offer, but we also wanna create some pin boards that are gonna engage our audience in different ways. So I'd love to hear from you guys about what you might be able to share on Pinterest that could activate some of that engagement with your fans and followers. What do they wanna see that you could have to offer them there? Erin, I think we've got a couple more to go over here. Great. One is, where is my head at posted, rethinking my brand feeling enlightened with Erin's teachings in Creative Live. Oh my gosh. I love that. Oh, I'm so ready to have a bite of that cake. That looks so good. (laughing) This is what's so interesting too. I love the diverse range of people who are tuning into these Creative Live talks because creativity means so many different things. I love that this person shared this image because it shows that we can bring creativity and creative thought into so many different industries. You don't have to be an artist. You don't have to be a print maker like me. You don't have to be making something that you're selling in an online shop. You could be a baker, or somebody who's bringing that creative energy into a different type of field. And there's so much for you to learn and be able to apply to your business whether or not you're making actual physical artworks. I think that this is, that cake looks like a piece of artwork to me. (laughing) So that's amazing. And then one more image to look at. Ela Design Studio says, Yvonne earrings in the making. Open-hand sparkles. These earrings are the perfect pair for the beach look. Palm tree, sunny, made in the DR. That's so cool, wow. Yeah, and this is the type of behind the scenes shop that I think is really great, because just seeing a glimpse of her hands reminds you that a person put this together. Someone had all of these elements out on their desk, took the time to think about what pairs well with the other elements, and really that thought, and care, and love went into this. And that, in and of itself, is a selling point. We know that people really value the hand-made, because they know that you put that care and that effort in. And having her hands in there just reminds us that there's a person behind this work. I love it. Yeah. I just wanted to ask, do you manage your pin boards so that your shop stays in the first position all the time? Yes. And let's definitely go back to that slide so I can share a little bit more about how I orient these boards. So generally, this is something that's true of internet content in a general way. People tend to look in an F pattern when they're examining any website. So they're starting at the left, at least maybe for left to right reading cultures. They're starting on the left, and they're moving this way. And then they go down, and they move this way. But generally, progressively, they're looking from the left to the right, and they're interest is gonna go here first. So if you have a pin board that you wanna create for your brand or your products, I would absolutely suggest having it in that upper left most quadrant. And you can have more than one. This is the other thing that I don't always tell people because if you just have one offering, if you're selling one product, one board is probably fine. But if you have a collection, or you have work that's coming on a regular basis, you can have Fall/Winter form Cotton & Flax, or you can have Cotton & Flax Summer collection, or just napkins, or just pillows, or break it down in whatever way that you want. But yeah, definitely think about putting the thing that you're most interested in your fans engaging with up in that top left corner, and then kind of expand out with a range and a variety. I like to have sort of a bunch of different types of themes along this top row because I know that's what people are scanning to decide if they like my style, and they wanna follow. So maybe making sure that it wouldn't be Cotton & Flax, Cotton & Flax, Cotton & Flax, Cotton & Flax all the way across the top. Peppering in some of that lifestyle content. I reference my love of text styles, some interior design, my color inspiration, things that I'm thinking about when I'm designing, making sure that they understand that range of the point of views that I'm gonna be bringing to the table at first glance. That's a good question. Thanks for asking. Logistically, when it comes to pinning, a lot of people ask me, when should I be pinning? How often should I be pinning? And this is a really complicated topic. So I'm just gonna give you some basic guidelines, and then you can kind of, I'm gonna give you some tools at the end of this talk that are really gonna let you figure out the perfect setup for your brand, and what's gonna be maximizing your engagement for you. Because it's gonna be different for every type of business because all of your fans are gonna be a little bit different. What works for one company doesn't work for another. On the whole, we wanna think about pinning early, and pinning often. And I'll explain what I mean by that. By pinning early, I mean thinking about what value am I trying to bring with this individual image, especially if it's seasonal or might relate to something that someone's doing at a certain time of year. You wanna plan ahead for what people are gonna be doing during the time that you're pinning, and make sure that you're giving them that value, giving them that information a little bit early. So an example of this might be, if you have your Fall collection debuting soon, you don't wanna wait til Fall to start pinning that imagery. You wanna start in the Summer, share a little bit of that, and then be sharing more of it as you get closer to that season when its seasonally appropriate. You don't really wanna be pinning Christmas imagery in January because by then the people have moved on. So you wanna make sure that you're getting there a little bit before. And then making sure that you're pinning often enough that you're reaching people every time. When I say pin often, I don't necessarily mean pin the same image over and over again because that can feel repetitive. But what I would like you guys to think about is contributing imagery to those individual pin boards on a regular basis so that you're keeping the conversation moving forward in an organic way. We don't want to do what I call like a visual dump, or sort of an information drop of 40 or 50 images just on one theme, and then don't come back for a week. We wanna make sure that we're kind of adding things a little bit over time in a sort of steady stream of content so that we're keeping people engaged, and that we're keeping conversation moving forward as we're expanding and developing the range of things that we're sharing with our customers. In terms of timing, I think it's important to think about when are people really gonna have time to engage on social media? So even though we might wait until the very end of the day to start thinking about, oh, I never posted today. Oh, I better do that now. It doesn't really serve your brands to wait until two in the morning when maybe your core demographic is already asleep. You wanna think about how to share your content at times that will be appropriate for your audience. So if folks are checking their phones at lunch, maybe that's when you wanna do an Instagram post. If you think that maybe your target demographic is gonna spend some time looking at Pinterest on the weekend looking for craft inspiration, or maybe doing a little bit of shopping, that's the time to post. So keep your target demographic, your ideal customer in mind. And think about when are they gonna wanna be engaging with this type of content. I think that's a really helpful guide. And I'm gonna introduce you to some tools a little later on that we're really gonna get into the nitty gritty of what that looks like. Pinterest is really unique in terms of the way you're feed looks, because you're getting a lot of visual information. And it can be a little bit, oh my gosh, there's so much here. It's really easy for your pins to get lost in the feed. I want you guys to think about vertical imagery as being a great way to highlight your products on Pinterest. Part of this is, excuse me, part of this is because the width of our photos on Pinterest is fixed. All photos are displayed at a certain width. And the only variability is height. And so, if you wanna take up a little more space in someone's feed and really make that stronger impact, you wanna use taller photos, photos that are a little bit taller than they are wide so that they're adding that little bit of height, they're taking up a little bit more space, and you're more likely to catch someone's eye. Of course, all of your photos are going to be beautiful, so that will help. Sharing beautiful content really helps because Pinterest is a place that people go looking for inspiration, and to kind of get ideas for how they can better their lives, how they can bring these concepts, or these products, or ideas in and really live the type of life that they wanna live. And so, making sure that you're giving yourself the best chance to be discovered by using these taller images means that you're more likely to catch someone's eye, and you're more likely to be found as people are scrolling through. Have you guys ever used sort of the different variations? I know a lot of people tend to take photos in that sort of landscape style because I think that's how we all think about photography, is just doing this motion can sometimes be awkward. Have you guys ever used vertical imagery like this in your product photography? Not really, not really. This is gonna be a fun challenge for you because I think this is my new approach ever since I learned that this works really well. This has been a challenge for me. Every time I'm taking product shots, making sure that. Etsy, I think, is really kind of more on the square or the landscape format. And a lot of online shops kind of tend to prefer that format. But on social this is what works. And so, we wanna make sure that we're taking photos with this in mind, taking our product photos with this in mind. And so, you may need to take a couple of photos that are suited for your web shop, and then rotate that camera, and take a couple that are in this more tall format so that you'll be able to have stuff to share on social media that's gonna get the engagement that you want. So, Erin, Yeah. In relation to this, I know often when I'm on Pinterest, I will see people that take multiple images and do a composite photo where they've gone into Photoshop or some other photo editing program, and just sort of ganged them up to get that verticality. Yes. What are your thoughts on that? Absolutely, and I think that can be really effective, especially with DIY content. I think that anytime you're telling a story, or relating a little bit more than just a single photo, if you can have that sort of story telling aspect that can work really well. I don't know the exact dimensions off hand, but eventually Pinterest will kind of cut you off. You wouldn't be able to string together 40 photos, and just have a long, long stream. But attaching one or two photos together, especially if you're showing a part of your process, maybe going from a blank sketchbook, to a work in progress, to a finished piece, that can be a really amazing way to create that taller content if you only have those landscape photos to kinda plugged together. Yeah, and there are definitely work arounds for this. I think that, you'll see that the smaller photos that I've shown you that are a little bit shorter are still getting engagement, but you wanna think about, is there another way that I can approach my photography with this sort of taller format in mind so that I can get that engagement? Because all of our photos are really adaptable. We can think about different ways to lay these things out so that we're able to get that increased engagement. So the tools that I'm introducing you guys to will help you work smarter. And this is really the key. I don't want you guys to be like, oh, I have all of this extra work. I wanna kinda introduce you to these ideas so that you can have this in mind from the get go. You don't wanna be kind of working in reverse saying, oh, now, I have to crop all my photos differently. The next time you're taking product photos, you'll know to get at least just one extra, and that will take 10 seconds, instead of having to re-shoot everything in your catalog. So moving forward, we're gonna be able to use some of these tools to work smarter. And there's tools and apps that are gonna be able to help you just get this up to the next level as well. Pinterest analytics is available for Pinterest for Business accounts. So if you're on a personalized Pinterest page now, you can upgrade to Pinterest for Business. It's free. It works basically the exact same way, except you have access to analytics. And this will help to show you how much engagement you're getting on your post beyond just the likes, and the favorites, and the re-pins. This is gonna help you get a sense of how much traffic is being driven to your site, or to individual sites, based on what you're sharing. And when you look at these analytics, you're able to get a better sense of what's really working in terms of what you've been pinning already, and what's not. And then once you know kind of what you're getting engagement on, you can try to kind of push in that direction, and share more content that's similar to what you're getting that really good engagement on so that you can kind of boost it all up. (laughs) So Google Analytics works in the same way, but this is more checking who's coming from Pinterest to your site. If you're not familiar with Google Analytics, we could teach a whole class on that, and I'm sure there are resources that that available. But just to give you a sense of what you can use that for here, you can go into Google Analytics and see who is coming from Pinterest to your site and check how that's converting in terms of sales. There's also things that you can do to set up in Pinterest to kind of have that sort of set up where you can actually make purchases on Pinterest. I know Shopify has some integrations for that, where folks can actually purchase on Pinterest, and its got that direct connection through your shop. But not everybody is set up for that. I don't know if square space or some of the other common website building tools that creators tend to use are really set up for that. Shopify is one, and you might wanna check that out. Tailwind, this is like advanced content here. We're gonna use Tailwind to schedule pins to make sure that we're offering that content consistently. This is something that I do to make sure that I'm never going two or three weeks before checking in with Pinterest. I check in there more often anyway because I love it, and it's so much fun to gather inspiration for my own life. But if you're feeling overwhelmed, and you don't know where you're gonna carve out time to do this work of pinning on a regular basis, you can use an app like Tailwind to make sure that you're putting things into your schedule on a regular basis. You can go in and pin 40 things to Tailwind, and that will sort of have a steady stream over multiple weeks. You can batch it in one day, and then just sort of set it and forget it, which is a really nice way to just make sure that you're sharing on a regular basis, having that consistency, building that trust with your audience that you're gonna be showing up. But essentially, you've got it on autopilot and you're focused on making your creative work, which is nice. It's nice to have free time to be focused on the things that you actually wanna be working on. So was there? Yeah, I actually wanted to interject with perhaps some questions. Yeah. One of the great things about Creative Live classes are not only do we have our large studio, or our large online audience, we've got a lovely in-studio audience. And these ladies have been furiously taking notes all morning long because we've been covering so much great content. So I wanted to open it up if you had any specific questions. And if you wanna take a minute to think about that, I'll feed you one question from online just to kind of give you a minute to get your thoughts together. But New Spirit Design says, Creative Live question for Erin, if I use another maker's image on Pinterest, do I link to their item page? What's the protocol on that? Generally, you should. Yeah, I think it's a good idea to think about attribution here. I know it gets complicated. Pinterest is kind of a messy place for this. I think that there's a lot of problems there with things not linking back correctly to people's sites. So if you have the opportunity to make sure that attribution is clear, especially when you're pinning someone else's work, but also when you're pinning your own work, make sure that your images are linking to the place that you wanna send people. Always have that end goal in mind of when someone clicks on this because they loved it, where are you sending them to. And make sure that it's a good place that connects with your brand. Don't be sharing things from websites where they're gonna think, oh, this is actually really spammy. I don't wanna click on this. So make sure there's alignment in all of those things. Sure. Ladies in the studio? We've got a question at the end. Hey. Question. So with Pinterest and with Instagram, how do you, do you have a certain theme for Instagram versus for Pinterest? 'Cause if you have the same followers on both then they're gonna get bored, right? Right, and I think that the images that you're pinning on Pinterest are gonna be a lot more varied, I think, than probably what you're gonna be sharing on Instagram. I personally use Instagram as more of a glimpse to my life as a designer, as a maker. And I don't share as much imagery that isn't created by me. So it's pretty much 90% of the time gonna be work that either I photographed or photographs of my work from other people who are working in support of my brand. Whereas, Pinterest, I have some of that same content, but it's also a wide range of other things. So I think that generally, we're gonna be having some sort of cross contamination. There's gonna be a little bit of spill over from both, but I'm not too worried about the repetition. And I'll tell you why. Essentially, folks who are even following me on all of those platforms, if you're following me on both Instagram, and Pinterest, and Facebook, and like you're really excited about what I'm doing. And I have fans like that. I'm so excited that I have some folks who are so into what I'm doing, they wanna make sure they don't miss a post. I don't worry about them getting bored or feeling like it's repetitive because none of us, none of us have time to be really checking every single post that comes through on Pinterest or Instagram. Unless they were only following me and had no other people that they were interested in, it's pretty much impossible that they're gonna see only my posts repeating themselves over and over again. And I think that generally, we wanna understand that people are busy. They're not spending all of their time on social media. And so, sharing things multiple times, or sharing them again on another platform, it's okay. 'Cause you might be looking at Pinterest one day and looking at Instagram the next. And so, there's a little bit of room for being able to share the same thing multiple times. Did that answer your question? It did, and it actually jarred another question. Sure, sure, yeah. (laughing) Let's get into it. How did you get over the kind of, I'd say in general, artist mindset, the introvert mindset? Sure. How did you get over that and be okay with the sharing? (laughing) In terms of sharing work publicly. Yeah, and it is really intimidating. I think this is really common for creators because our work is personal. And this puts us at somewhat of a disadvantage because we take this risk when we're putting out work out there that it can feel like, oh, people are gonna judge us, or think that we're not good enough. But putting your work out there in this big way is a necessity when you're a business owner. If you don't put your work out there, and share what you're passionate about, and share what you're making, there's no chance that you can make this your livelihood. There's no chance that you can really make your creative work the thing that sustains you day to day. And if you're not interested in making your creative work your business, that's fine too. You can just sort of share as you want. You don't have to be this strategic. But when you're looking to make a business from your creative work, you have to have that strategy in mind. And I totally understand the sort of introvert extrovert (laughing) duality. It does come into play. But that's where some of these tools can really help us because having these tools and these sort of systems in place, it doesn't have that blank page. Oh, what am I gonna share? There's so much risk involved here. We have these sort of guidelines and these templates that are gonna help us push forward, and it's a little bit less, it feels like less of a risk. I hope that you'll find that once you implement some of these strategies, it won't feel like such a stretch. So, yeah. Was there any other? Yeah, please. My question is, so you have your main Pinterest board. Yeah, should we navigate back to, that's okay. Yeah, go for it. Is it okay to, like with my illustration I have, there's a lot of historical stuff. So I have like lots of Victorian boards just to throw some of the stuff I've already pinned. Yeah. Onto those too? Oh, yeah, absolutely. I think that, I'd be so curious to see what you're doing on Pinterest because I love that you have this beautiful, historical influence as well as your own work. So you can see that direct dialog between the inspiration and what you're making. And I think that Pinterest would be a great place to highlight that because you're really gonna see this sort of cross contamination, the ways that history, and these amazing figures that are inspiring you then lead to these finished pieces. Does that? Yeah, so I think Pinterest would be a good place for you to start that? Have you already started pinning there? Yeah, yeah. Okay, yeah, and I think that you can also go beyond just having one board for your work and one board for maybe a historical figure who inspires you, or something that is sort of of interest but not your product. You can kind of have the cross contamination. You can put your finished products onto those inspiration boards and sort of have that link be a little bit more direct. Yeah, I just have like just a few. I don't wanna like throw every. Yeah, no definitely. Like have a writers board. Just from time to time. Yeah. I think that's a great idea. Oh, yeah, absolutely. Does anyone else have questions about Pinterest? Are you guys pinning already? Not yet. It's fun, and it's sort of addictive. This is the nature of this platform. Once you start, yeah, you're gonna get into it, especially as visual creative folks. It's a really fun one to spend time on.

Class Description

The prospect of having to find time to maintain your social media accounts and continuously create content can be overwhelming for some creative entrepreneurs. Deciding what to post and how to engage your audience can paralyze you before you even begin. Connecting with Your Customers on Social Media with Erin Dollar will give you all the tools needed to create an authentic social media presence so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to open your business to a new base of customers.

Incorporating social media into your business doesn’t have to be an all-consuming experience. Join Erin Dollar for this class, and you’ll learn:

  • How to create a visual story on Instagram and Pinterest
  • Content creation strategies that use your design process
  • Ideas for memorable promotional posts that build your brand online
  • Proven techniques for enhancing your Pinterest boards and Instagram posts

Follow Erin behind the scenes of her own business Cotton and Flax, where you’ll learn actionable tips and tricks that allow you to stay engaged on multiple social channels, without losing time to run the rest of your business. Take it from her: learning to use social media in an engaging and effective way is a must-have skill for any budding entrepreneur - and it can actually be fun!

Take the first step in gaining long-time and repeat customers and catapult your business with to the next level with stand-out social media.  



I really enjoyed Erin class. I'm pretty new to social media so it was a little hard to keep up with all her great ideas. Don't get me wrong I don't think she moved too fast it's just my brain works a little slower. I took lots of notes and can't wait to implement them in my business. This is only the second time I've watched Creative Live . The first one was close to my heart and I loved it loved that one also. Thank you for offering free courses, it's a great way to get us interested in the other ones. I look forward to watching again. Thanks, Candace Romano

Anna Campolo

Great class, Eric was super clear and helpful..and so inspiring! Thank you Erin and thank you Creativelive! A pleasure to follow you!

a Creativelive Student

This course was great! I am so excited to try some of the tricks Erin suggested. Erin was super helpful and encouraging to her students. Thanks for letting me be part of the audience!