» 4 Simple Ways to Outsmart Pinterest’s Smart Feed

Most couples (about 96%, actually) use photo sharing sites like Pinterest in the ‘dreaming’ phase of wedding planning. That means all those couples are using Pinterest for wedding inspiration, ideas, and planning. However, Pinterest is not a social networking site. It is a search engine. Pinterest users do not use the platform to interact with peers. They use the platform as a tool to plan purchases, find inspiration, and view tutorials.

Since Pinterest is a search engine, they have an algorithm called the Smart Feed, which determines what pins show up in a user’s feed at any given time. In order to succeed with Pinterest, you will have to show the Smart Feed that your account shares quality content that Pinterest users will love. Here’s how to do it:

Makeover your profile 

Start by sprucing up your profile. You want couples to land on your profile, fall in love with it, and take action by following you or clicking on your website. Here are a few key elements to update:

  • Ditch your logo, and use a headshot or staff photo as your profile picture. Pinterest users are more interested in content from people, not companies, so this will appeal to them more.
  • Make sure you include keywords like your service category, your location and your style in your display name, bio, board descriptions, and pin descriptions. This will help you get found in search results.
  • Delete old pins that have few repins and/or favorites. You may love your content, but the Smart Feed will lower your ‘quality score’ if they see lots of pins that no one is taking action on. Removing them will help future pins get seen.

 

Use board covers to make your profile stand out 

Board covers are used to visually label each of your boards. It helps your profile appearance match your branding, and makes you stand out when couples click to see your profile. Make 800×800 pixel board covers (you can use a site like Canva if you aren’t Photoshop proficient), then upload each cover to the corresponding board. Click to edit each board and select your uploaded image to set it as the board cover.

Pinterest Board Covers Example

 

Pin 15+ times per day

This may sound super overwhelming, but the Smart Feed favors users who pin frequently and consistently. Once you start pinning at least 15 times per day, you will start to see growth in followers, repins, and favorites. Plus, the more your pins are seen, the more clicks to your website you will get! Use an application like BoardBooster to automate all of your curated pins, then manually add 5-10 original pins per week, each with a link to your website.

 

Optimize your pins

When you post your own original content, follow these guidelines:

  • Always post vertical photos, not horizontal. In fact, the taller your photo is, the better. 735×1102 pixels is the recommended photo size, but my pins sized at 735x1305p pixels perform best.
  • Use bright, high-quality images. Do not post them if they are grainy or blurry.
  • Include a keyword rich description for every pin. Never pin without a description.
  • Pin each photo to one board, then repin each to all other boards with topics that it relates to in order to increase your quality ranking in the Smart Feed.

Take all of these steps to start sending Pinterest couples to your website and dramatically increase your Pinterest statistics. It will take some time for Pinterest to start showing your pins in couples’ feeds more, but it will be worth it in the long run. Happy pinning!

» The Force of the Social Media Four

It can be challenging to stay on top of the latest social media sites and trends — especially while you are busy running a successful wedding business. But there’s no need to feel overwhelmed. Social media doesn’t have to require lots of time to make a big impact on your client reach!

This infographic shares the four key social media sites where you will make the greatest impact with your target audience of engaged and pre-engaged couples today. Review these tips from WeddingWire CMO Sonny Ganguly to learn how to leverage the social media four: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat.

The-force-of-social-four

» Like, Love or Dislike It: Social Media Matters

social-media-matters-webinarWebinar recap!

It’s challenging to stay on top of the latest social media sites and trends — especially while you are busy running a successful business. However, social media doesn’t need to require lots of time to make a big impact on your client reach.

During this month’s webinar hosted by WeddingWire Chief Marketing Officer Sonny Ganguly, we discussed the ‘big four’ social media sites your clients are loving — and where you need to be active this engagement season. Plus, Sonny shared expert tips to effectively leverage each top social media site to your business advantage.

Here are some of the webinar highlights:

  • Visual sharing on social sites is key. This is part of the reason that Instagram and Snapchat have risen to popularity so quickly! Overall, 3.3 billion photos are shared on top social sites daily. Don’t miss an opportunity to show off your work on a regular basis!
  • Your clients love social media. The majority of today’s engaged couples are Millennials in their twenties and early thirties. 89% consider themselves active on social media and 56% report that they would only consider booking pros they can find on social media.
  • How do they use social while planning their wedding? First, they turn to virtual pinboard site Pinterest to get inspired. Next, they move to Facebook to learn more about vendors they are interested in, and also turn to Instagram to see your aesthetic.
  • They follow the wedding pros they’re interested in. 61% of couples ‘follow’ or ‘like’ the professionals they want to learn more about. Why? Most commonly to get inspiration for their wedding, to see the quality of your work and to get more info about your business.
  • Where should you invest the most of your time? The top four sites to invest your time and connect with your clients today are: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. You can cut back on time on Twitter, Google+ and Tumblr due to a lack of interaction with your clients or general sharing traffic on those sites this year.

For more great social media tips, stats and information about connecting with couples on top social sites, watch the full webinar! Don’t forget that past webinars are available within Premium member’s accounts to view anytime.

» 4 Simple Steps for Wedding Vendors to Get More Traffic From Pinterest

Pro to Pro Insights

Christopher Lin, Lin & Jirsa PhotographyThis post was written by Christopher Lin. Chris is the co-founder of Lin and Jirsa, an award-winning Los Angeles wedding photography and cinematography studio founded in 2006. Chris has used his marketing, SEO and business expertise to help build Lin and Jirsa into a company that shoots over 300 weddings annually serviced by over 30 talented creatives. Along the way, Chris and his two business partners also created SLR Lounge, where an international team of writers and photographers share their education with the community.

Pinterest and weddings are a perfect marriage; brides and grooms need a place to gather and share ideas and Pinterest provides that perfect, pretty, organized platform.

But as wedding professionals, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that. Whether you’re a photographer, florist, planner, or any other wedding vendor, you’ve probably all had clients send you links, saying, “I want something that looks like this,” with a link to a board they created. So how do you take advantage of this situation to drive traffic to your website? For our photography studio, Lin and Jirsa, we receive around 12% of our traffic from Pinterest, as you can see in the screenshot of our Google Analytics below:

Lin and Jirsa Pinterest analytics

Here are the 4 simple steps to getting more traffic from Pinterest (modified from our book, Photography SEO and Web Marketing):

Step 1:  Upload Images to Your Blog or Website

Pinterest can drive a ton of traffic to your site because the images on Pinterest are linked directly to the site from which it is originally pinned. So, the first step is to upload images featuring your work on to your blog or website. Do not upload images directly to Pinterest, because then you lose the link value.  

Step 2: Add The Ability to “Pin” Directly On Your Website  

If your website is on WordPress, there are plugins like Pinterest Pin It Button. If you’re on Squarespace, follow these instructions here. Every content management system should have an easy solution.  If you can’t figure it out, hire an expert – this is an investment worth making. Continue reading

» Social Media Trends: 2015 Year in Review

What's Next in Social Media

Social Media Trends: 2015 Year in ReviewIf you’re just now deciding whether or not to start a new social media marketing strategy, make sure you catch up on the latest social media news and updates before you start planning for the New Year. Check out our 2015 year in review to see the overarching social media trends that defined the year!

Video

2015 was a big year for video. With live streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope launching early in the year, other networks worked hard to integrate those capabilities or create their own version (see Facebook’s Live product for public figures). In late June, Facebook announced that it will take into account video actions such as turning on sound or playing the video in full screen to prioritize videos in the News Feed. Pinterest even took steps to join the video game, though not quite as far as Facebook; user testing showed that Pinterest users found auto-play ads interruptive, so instead they released animated Cinematic Pins to take advantage of the full-motion trend.

What this means for you: Make it a priority to create more video in 2016. Statistics show that 73% of all U.S. adults are more likely to purchase a product or service after watching an online video. Don’t let your wedding business fall behind – use our infographic to learn the six keys to video marketing success from our video partner, Animoto, so your business can start creating and sharing more videos.

Personalization

After releasing a few minor updates to the balance of friends and pages in April, Facebook announced in July that would be giving users more control over their News Feeds by allowing users to select friends and pages they’d like to see first. By allowing users to self-select what they’re most interested in, Facebook can serve up more personal and relevant content. In an effort to get more men using the female-dominated social network, Pinterest followed suit on personalization by updating its internal search feature to display personalized results based on users’ gender selections.

When Twitter launched audience insights in May of this year, advertisers gained access to additional targeting methods for reaching demographic groups. In July, the network began to allow businesses to apply those demographics to their ad campaigns and tailored audiences. A new persona targeting feature was also added to enable brands to target shorthand categories of audiences, including Millennials and small businesses.

What this means for you: Social media is getting closer and closer to becoming a one-to-one channel, where your business can deliver the right message to the right person at the right time in their decision-making process. Think about how you can segment your audience to start taking advantage of these new features. Perhaps you know that couples tend to book you within the same time frame during the planning process, or that certain regions/cities tend to book one of your services over others. Use whatever data you have to deliver more personalization marketing messages!

Continue reading

» What’s Next in Social Media: November 2015

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from November 2015:

Instagram Now Testing Support For Account Switching, No Log Out Required

Image via TechCrunch

Instagram finally tests multiple accounts

Instagram is rumored to be beta testing an account switching feature that would allow users to enter in another set of login credentials to their current account. A new selector feature allows you to switch between multiple accounts, and a banner notification makes it clear when you’ve switched accounts. The initial test appeared on the Android version of the social network, and it’s unclear when and how this feature will be rolled out.

What this means for you: Sick of logging in and out of your personal Instagram account when you need to post on your business account? When the update is live for all users, you’ll be able to switch between accounts easily. This update would also presumably allow you to see notifications across both accounts, making it more efficient to check in on notifications from your followers. Being active on your business Instagram will be much easier for those who are also active on their personal accounts!

Read more on TechCrunch >>

Pinterest app becomes more useful

Pinterest has updated its mobile experience to highlight more recent pins and make your content easier to find. Previously, user’s profile pages were organized by board with the first pin ever added serving as a “billboard” for the collection – making it hard to find recently pinned content and impossible to search. The new profile design highlights the user’s six more recent pins, and it also added the ability to sort pins alphabetically or by topic. With this update, users can easily find their products and projects for later use.

What this means for you: This update encourages users to revisit their pinned content, thereby extending the life of your business’ pins. Once a bride or groom pins your content, they can easily find it again to click through. It also serves as a better reminder when users log on, since seeing that dream wedding dress or beautiful bouquet again jogs the user’s memory so they can continue their research or reach out to your business. Plus, with the ability to sort pins alphabetically or by topic, users can find your content again if they haven’t thought about it recently.

Continue reading

» What’s Next in Social Media: October 2015

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from October 2015:

 Pinterest Place Pins Now Allow Customers To Contact & Find Local Retailers

Image via Marketing Land

Pinterest to add location information to Place Pins

While Pinterest Place Pins are not new, the social network announced its plan to add more and more information to the pins themselves. Location information like a map preview, address, phone number, and hours of operation will now become available on Pinterest, meaning that users operating the network from their phones will be able to take action without switching to a new app (like Google Maps, for instance). Place Pins are currently powered by Foursquare, meaning that the location’s information must be updated there to provide the most accurate information.

What this means for you: In addition to your business reaching potential wedding clients who are looking for inspiration on Pinterest, your business can now connect with those potential clients without them having to leave the site or app. This is especially valuable for wedding venues, since couples can now essentially tour your venue virtually and then call to schedule an appointment in one click. By simplifying the information-gathering process, Pinterest is shortening the time it takes for a potential client to connect with you.

Continue reading on Marketing Land >>

Facebook unveils Instant Articles

Earlier in the month, Facebook rolled out its latest product, Instant Articles. Currently only available for iPhone users, the new feature allows media companies like The New York Times and The Huffington Post to publish articles directly on Facebook instead of driving traffic back to their own properties. Instant Articles provides a smoother and faster experience for readers, making it easier for companies to reach new customers on Facebook.  Continue reading

» What’s Next in Social Media: September 2015

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from September 2015:

Find out about Facebook's plan for business pagesFacebook announces new plan for Pages

In addition to the news that a dislike button is coming soon, Facebook announced this month that the social network will open up two new sections for business pages – shopping and services. These sections allow businesses to feature their products and services directly from their Facebook pages. The original social network expanded these features as part of its plan to help small business owners connect with customers and communicate easily through the platform.

What this means for you: Potential clients can find your business on Facebook, and now they can contact your business or purchase directly through the social network. If your business has already dabbled in Facebook advertising, now is the time to take full advantage so you can start building up your audience in preparation for the upcoming shopping/services section.

Read the rest on Mashable >>

Twitter experiments with polls

This month, Twitter revealed that it has begun experimenting with embeddable polls in tweets. The polls, currently available to those with verified accounts, offer only two responses for users to choose from when answering. After participating in the poll, Twitter users can see results in percentage points to understand how their responses stack up. The new polling feature is anticipated by many brands who would be able to use native polls to survey followers.

What this means for you: Want a quick opinion on which bouquet looks best, which cake flavor is most popular, or which songs wedding guests will be most requesting this season? Twitter’s poll function (when it’s out of testing!) will allow your business to get quick feedback from your clients and followers. Look out for the news from Twitter when they decide whether or not to open up polls for unverified Twitter users.

Continue reading

» 6 Ways to Boost Your Success on Social Media

Tips for achieving more on social mediaRunning your wedding business is a full time job, and it may seem like taking on additional responsibilities would be too much to handle. But with all the talk about social media and other online tactics, it’s important to fully understand how social media marketing contributes to the overall success of your business.

Having a presence on the top social networks is not enough to maximize the effect social media has on your business. Below are six easy ways your business can boost your success on social media and start seeing an impact on your marketing goals!

Always read what you post

If you’re posting a link to an article or website, make sure you read it in its entirety before sharing with your audience. While it may seem innocuous (especially if it’s coming from a reputable source), it’s still imperative that you make sure you agree with all the points and suggestions made. When you post something on behalf of your business, it reflects on your business. Make sure what you’re posting is something that you feel represents your brand.

Balance your post types

Do you ever get tired of seeing the same old posts over and over from the accounts you follow? Your clients do, too. If you’re constantly posting links back to your website, try something new! Post a photo of a recent event, or a link to an article you have a particular point of view on that would be of interest to your audience. Ask questions or take polls to find out how your followers feel about new trends or styles you’ve been seeing. You can also work your personality into your social presence with a few personal posts – just remember to keep your tone professional.

Proofread your posts

Proofreading is so important, and not just for blog posts! Your social posts and tweets need a second glance, as well. Read it a second (and even third!) time and think about how you could improve your post or add to it. Look out for grammatical mistakes and typos as these are easy to make when posting from a smartphone or in a hurry. Double-check any tags or mentions you include to ensure you’re tagging the right people. You’ll be surprised by all the little tweaks you end up making!

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» What’s Next in Social Media: July 2015

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from July 2015:

New Facebook News Feed controls

Image via Facebook Newsroom

Facebook updates News Feed controls

In an update following the initial News Feed control tools announcement in November 2014, Facebook has released additional ways for users to personalize their News Feed. In addition to quickly unfollowing or hiding certain posts or people, Facebook has added controls to allow users to select friends and pages they’d like to see first. Facebook has also taken a page out of Instagram’s book and made it easier to discover new pages based on the types of pages users (and their friends) have liked in the past.

See the details in the Facebook newsroom >>

Twitter introduces persona targeting

When Twitter launched audience insights in May of this year, advertisers gained access to additional targeting methods for reaching demographic groups. This month’s update allows businesses to apply those demographics to their ad campaigns and tailored audiences. Furthermore, the new persona targeting feature enables brands to target shorthand categories of audiences, including Millennials and small businesses. Additional targeting can be applied, but persona targeting offers a great starting point for businesses to reach their target audiences.

Continue reading on Marketing Land >>

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» What’s Next in Social Media: June 2015

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from June 2015:

Facebook mobile appFacebook favors video

In late June, Facebook announced that it has made yet another News Feed tweak – this time to take more video engagement into account. Previously, Facebook tracked whether you watch a video and for how long. This new update takes into account even more video actions, such as turning on sound or playing the video in full screen. These actions taken on videos affect the prioritization of videos in your News Feed, so the more you interact with videos, the more videos you’ll see.

Continue reading on Forbes >>

Pinterest unveils Buyable Pins

Though the social network has been building towards more integrated e-commerce for a while, Pinterest has finally unveiled a new type of Rich Pin that allows users to purchase things directly from Pinterest partner retailers like Macy’s or Nordstrom. Pinterest users will be able to see prices, select details about the product (like color), and purchase with one tap of a button with a credit card or though Apple Pay. Buyable Pins will also show up in Pinterest recommendations and search.

Find out more from TechCrunch >>

Twitter adds Product Pages

Twitter has taken a page out of Pinterest’s book with new Product Pages and Collections. These new features include multiple tweets from a brand, but they also have basic product information and the ability to actually purchase those products. Collections look like normal tweets with multiple images, but when a user opens it they get more information and more images which all link to actual product pages. Twitter plans to extend this initial test to provide more personalized and relevant information to users.

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» What’s Next in Social Media: May 2015

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from May 2015:

What’s Next in Social Media: May 2015

Image via Mashable

Twitter and Google make tweets searchable

Twitter has teamed up with Google to allow tweets to be surfaced within search results. Before this collaboration between Twitter and Google, the only way to search for a Twitter username or specific tweet or hashtag was to search internally on Twitter. Now, for example, searching “WeddingWire twitter account” on Google will pull up results that include WeddingWire’s handle, WeddingWireEDU’s handle, and WeddingWire Support’s handle. This update will go into effect the week of May 26 in the U.S. and will apply to both mobile and desktop Google searches.

Read the full article on Mashable >>

Facebook releases Instant Articles

Earlier this month, Facebook announced its release of a new product for publishers: Instant Articles. Like LinkedIn’s Pulse, Instant Articles gives publishers the opportunity to create and publish long-form articles to share directly on the social network. Instant Articles provides a great alternative for those businesses who do not have a website or blog but have content to provide for potential customers and other industry experts. The articles are interactive and mobile-friendly.

Learn more from Facebook’s Media room >>

Pinterest introduces Cinematic Pins

Pinterest is implementing the use of Cinematic Pins, which are animated ads that show up on users’ feeds. The preview ad released by Pinterest is similar to a .gif because it doesn’t contain audio, and it only moves when the user is scrolling down. In addition to the rest of the Pinterest Advertising suite (including Promoted Pins), the network also plans to add new forms of audience targeting. These new products are being rolled out with a few brand partners to start before becoming available to all brands.

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