Goodbye Pinterest, The Journey, Episode 18, Season 2

Goodbye Pinterest, The Journey, Episode 18, Season 2

ERIK FISHER: So, as of today,
we are not posting anymore on Pinterest. MICHAEL STELZNER: A real-life story
on how to master marketing. Join us on The Journey. JEN BALLARD : One of those things
that came up that we haven’t really done much with yet is YouTube. MICHAEL STELZNER: What are your thoughts? MITCHELL DONG: Well, I think
it’s a longer term play. MICHAEL STELZNER: Our tribe
really doesn’t like YouTube. To get them over to watch the videos on YouTube
has been not easy. I interviewed Melissa Cassera on my podcast,
who’s a screenwriter, and she basically taught me how to use story
in your communications. I decided I’m gonna go ahead
and promote last week’s episode of The Journey, and I’m gonna use this story frame
like she taught me. JEN BALLARD: So I came into the office
this morning, and checked my email, and I’m like, “What is this one?
I didn’t send this!” And Mike had sent this surprise email. He must have woken up at 4am in the morning, and had a crazy idea. MICHAEL STELZNER: I got up really early
this morning, and I had a crazy idea. I decided to email 350,000 people
this morning, linking to The Journey. JEN BALLARD: “‘Name’. A few weeks ago,
I was crushed. My world was rocked
by the smallest of details…” “Watch what went down
behind the scenes when I decided to cancel
three Facebook shows.” MICHAEL STELZNER: And sure enough,
it worked like gangbusters. Yeah, if we look at the analytics… JEN BALLARD: Oh my gosh.
Look at that spike. MICHAEL STELZNER: Just huge, huge spike
since we sent this thing. It does take work to get your tribe.
which is entrenched in Facebook, to actually come over
and to watch it on YouTube. And surprisingly, here we are,
less than two weeks ’til Christmas, and they’re watching this. JEN BALLARD: Super busy time of the year, yeah. MICHAEL STELZNER: But they’re watching this. JEN BALLARD: Wow, that’s fantastic.
MICHAEL STELZNER: Pretty cool huh? ROB MALICKI: Riding and talking to a camera is probably not advisable – whoa, hey! Jerk! I wanted to say to the whole team
at Social Media Examiner… Holy moly, guys. You’ve just absolutely rocked the house
with this conference. It’s blown my mind. Seriously, like, the content has been
absolutely unbelievable, and every little detail, from walking in,
and getting high fived, through to, like, a live band
introducing every session. It’s just been an unbelievable couple of days here
in San Diego. JEN BALLARD: After the conference is finished, we get lots of feedback
from all different people, all different mechanisms, but one person that really stood out was a gentleman named Rob
in Australia. ROB MALICKI: I go to a lot of conferences
all around the world, and this is the number one conference
that I’m gonna be at next year. I’m gonna bring my team,
and more than that, I’m gonna tell everybody I know
they need to be here. JEN BALLARD: We really were excited to find out what he’d done with
what he learned at the conference, and he was a great interview subject. Yay! Woo!
(LAUGHTER) SAIDAH MURPHY: So, we’re just gonna jump in. We have a bunch of questions. Let me hear your story. MICHAEL STELZNER: Over the last couple of days, I’ve been doing some deep analysis on whether or not the things
that we’ve always done are the things we should continue to do. And one of those things that came up for question
was Pinterest. Let’s call Erik. ERIK FISHER: Hey, what’s up? MICHAEL STELZNER: Over the last year, we have put all of our kind of hope
on Pinterest. ERIK FISHER: Pinterest is good at driving traffic. MICHAEL STELZNER: But then when we looked at
the analytics, the behavior of the people
coming from Pinterest was very different than the people coming from
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. ERIK FISHER: We always felt like, oh, Pinterest. Traffic equals good,
but it’s not about ‘traffic equals good’, it’s about the right kind of traffic. MICHAEL STELZNER: What this says is that while we get a lot more traffic from Pinterest
than we do Instagram, they don’t stick around,
and they don’t become customers. Over an entire year,
we only got $200 in revenue from all that traffic
that came from Pinterest. We’ve been doing this for years. We never really analyzed, “Is that traffic resulting in
the desired outcome”? ERIK FISHER: Things we have to consider here is
we’ve been creating unique graphics optimized for Pinterest this whole time. MICHAEL STELZNER: It’s a big investment, you know, because it’s a special platform, and it requires special content. Unlike Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn, which have almost identical content because it just pulls the open graph data. ERIK FISHER: So as of today,
we are not posting anymore on Pinterest. MICHAEL STELZNER: We’re not gonna shut it down, but we’re not gonna do anything
to keep it alive. ERIK FISHER: To borrow a phrase,
I don’t know who it was, but it was one of our speakers. They said, “Essentially, we’re marketers,
marketing marketing to marketers,” and that’s just not the audience
that’s on Pinterest for us. MICHAEL STELZNER: The good news about
this company, and you guys know this about me, is that I don’t hesitate to make change, and I feel like that’s scary sometimes but it’s necessary. If we’re not willing to let go of things then we’re not gonna be able to
embrace new things. You may be investing in a contractor
or an employee, or you may be investing a lot of your own time into something that you assume works, but put those assumptions to the test. And you might actually discover
it’s time to stop. ERIK FISHER: I don’t think anybody anticipated,
maybe, talking about this today. MICHAEL STELZNER: Here is the situation. First of all it’s a brand new year,
and it’s a time for change, and one of the changes… (DRUMMING MUSIC) JEN BALLARD: Hi!
SAIDAH MURPHY: Can you hear us? Mm-mm.
We’ll call you. VOICEMAIL: The person who
you’re trying to reach is currently unavailable. (LAUGHTER) MICHAEL STELZNER: Please join me on The Journey. Subscribe now
and be sure to hit the bells, so you don’t miss any of our future episodes. (DRUMMING MUSIC)


  1. Post
    Dave Hayes

    This is a very interesting video, and your thoughts echo my own findings in terms of social media and traffic generation. I have accounts on most of the channels, but for this year, my prime marketing channel is going to be YouTube. I have a Pinterest account, but do very little with it for the same reasons you have mentioned.

    I enjoy the journey very much and always look forward to you dose of awessome

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    Online Entrepreneur Gains

    Wow, This Case reminds us once again how diverse audiences do all these social platforms have and how different kind of user beaviours do all those audiences got!!!

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    Kate Dillon

    I think the changes you're making are a great example for businesses. I know I examine my presence and effectiveness on different platforms on a regular basis. However, the one question I have for you–as Social Media Examiner–how will you continue to be an authority on all of these Social Media platforms if you decide not to use some of them anymore?

    We all have different audiences and some platforms are more effective than others. For instance, my audience is on Facebook. My videos on there outperform and convert 10-100x higher than the same videos on YouTube. Facebook doesn't work for you, so you will no longer have firsthand information about what is and isn't effective with Facebook video.

    I will also be curious to see how ditching these platforms will affect your SEO. Organic search is still my highest traffic source and a key component of doing well in search has been the volume of content I've created for the various social media platforms.

    I enjoy watching The Journey. Thanks so much for taking us behind the scenes.

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    Matt Gebresilassie

    Great episode. Marketing requires the ability to adapt to change and as you said being able to "let go" of some things to better know and serve your audience. Loved this!

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    Gary Stockton

    Great story about the 4 a.m. email. Some of the best ideas are those one that have you sitting upright in the middle of the night. I am constantly evaluating different platforms usefulness. Some were abandoned quickly, like Snapchat, and others took time studying the analytics. Nice to see a copy of Mark Schaefer’s “Marketing Rebellion” on your desk. The first chapter had me sitting upright at 4am thinking about working in another industry.

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    Glo Gianos

    Awesome analyses here. Some SM platforms are geared towards certain types of businesses and finding out what those are with monitoring stats is key.

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    Paradigm Pathways

    Great stuff. I knew I needed to take a different look at what I was
    providing my Clients in 2019. These episodes are helping me question
    what I am doing, along with adding/subtracting current platforms. I
    have for a couple of years viewed Social Media Examiner as my Mentor in
    the cloud. Keep up the good work.

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    Ade Brown

    Why are you saying that your tribe isn’t interested in YouTube, surely as a social media examiner you should be attracting new people, putting different content on different platforms and stories so to attract a different audience?

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    Karen Harrison

    I've started looking at what I'm doing a lot more than I used to. I abandoned Twitter last year, wasn't really getting much at all from it, and it didn't make sense to invest time with no payback. Thank you for sharing your journey, it has definitely provided me with some food for thought, and some new analytics to review!

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    Jim Breitinger

    Nice, provoking video/decision. As leaders in social media marketing, are you aware of sectors where Pinterest does pay off? Is the platform declining?

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    Ruth Papazian

    I abandoned Pinterest a couple of years ago. They gutted the captions to the photos — and I had been using the captions to create stories using rhyme, puns, and other creative writing tricks. I put a lot of effort into writing those captions, and they only showed the first three or four words. I'm done.

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    Barbara van der Walt

    Constant platform investment without measuring the true ROI, a mistake many marketers make. Looking forward to the Social Media Marketing World 2019

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    The Greylock Glass

    An absolutely critical message here — about examining what you're really getting out of a particular SM channel, sure, but even more broadly about the need to examine the return on everything from processes you've been using for years to the employee who'd been given chance after chance to thrive. Congratulations on the discovery.

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    Fresh Creative

    We are officially addicted to this show. Thanks for taking us behind-the-scenes of your operation! It's encouraging, interesting and inspiring.

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    Melanie Downey

    I love this. As a solo brand PR consultant, I'm in a lucky position in that I can analyze results and shift my efforts quickly and as often as I like (no one to answer to or convince!) I found the same with Pinterest, and surprisingly, Twitter consistently brings me my best sales leads. Kudos to you guys for sharing your journey.

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    Becky Huston

    Ok, so if you actually want to get to the topic of this post, go to 3 minutes in — a lot of irrelevant fluff at the beginning.

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    MI Property Solution

    I agree, ditch the ones that don't work. For some of our clients, that's increasingly become Twitter and Facebook. Pinterest does drive traffic (and we're going to do a deep dive to see if it yields the results we want, too) but it could be that Pinterest doesn't do that for our clients either. I envision that very soon we're going to be spending 100% of our time blogging and writing e-mail. Which is where I thought we'd be headed (again) after last year's conference! We're seeing some of the same things across our client industries, from niche software to niche consumer goods, to specialized services. Looking forward to the conference to find out what others are seeing/doing too.

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    Beatrice Chan

    This is great to know – I love what you say about investing into social media activities that bring the desired outcomes versus those that don’t. Thanks for great content! I just subscribed.

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    Terry Stafford

    I've been wondering about all the hype I see and whether or not to build a presence on Pinterest. Thanks for convincing me to wonder no more. See you in March!

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    Kathryn Wood

    Really like this and posted a link on my LinkedIn page…. gave three reasons why I liked this video so much. I hope it helps in some smalll way on your Journey.

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    Thanks for videos, please always ENABLE the subtitles in all your videos. I could read this and will be more traffic for yours.

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    Smead - Organized Life

    Be careful with your premise and assumptions. Is the reason Pinterest not producing paying customers a problem with the platform and those who are on it, or is it your content marketing funnel that drives the traffic from the platform but does not convert because of improper messaging? If you surveyed your customer base and asked them what social platforms they personally use that would be a start to see if your tribe hangs out on that platform. If they do, then consider the messaging and the funnel sequence you are using to drive the traffic and ultimately get them to stay.

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    Jonathan D Linscott

    Ok, in 5+ minutes I heard that you had spent years creating special content for Pinterest and only earned $200 in hard ROI.

    I didn't hear any analysis on the bigger picture. For instance, there was no analysis or contemplation of how Pinterest content likely built your brand. I can't help but think it did, and has.

    It would be valuable if, in five minutes, there were more substantiated analysis and advice. Heck, I'd pay for content like that, as well as the chance to interact with thoughtful members of the audience.

    I'm not suggesting you allocate lots of resources doing the same things on Pinterest. But it would be valuable to know what benefits Pinterest does bring, and to whom, and content like that would be worth paying for, Mr. Stelzner.

    My $.02. And I'd have paid 100x that (or more) for a few minutes of some real world analysis on the brand-building impacts of Pinterest!

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    Charles Cousins

    I never comment on videos, but I wanted to make a suggestion. Based on the title of your video, you wasted 3 minutes of my time before you got on topic. I stuck it out just to see when you would actually talk to me about what I had clicked on to see. During that time I subscribed and unsubscribed to your channel because I have been a longtime follower of your website (I get your emails as well), but I just don't to waste time waiting for a video to give me the content that is promised. This is just my observation, but my experience with successful video content delivery is that they get into the promised content almost immediately and leave information about the sell for the end.

    Good luck with the channel! I appreciate your website.

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    Owen Video

    I think your tribe doesn’t know how to use youtube to find content they like. YouTube confuses them so they don’t get involved. I’d love to show them how to use hashtags and search to find smaller channels that teach great stuff!

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    Mike Mitchell

    Wow guys… Pinterest is not the "marketers" market. I only go their for my clients. So, I don't know why you would have thought that Pinterest was a good place to advertise in…DOH! Knowing your target demographic and where they "live" should drive your strategy. Can't believe this wasn't mentioned in this vid.

    Just like when people said FB or Instagram is going to disrupt YouTube…so sorry, I knew that would never happen. Maybe FB/Insta video annoys YouTube, but there was no disruption. The focus of a particular media is what makes it great…deviation from that focus may sound good, and maybe it will work…but usually, it won't. Because we already have a great source providing whatever the media is trying to get into.

    And lastly, NICE COMMERCIAL….I was anticipating a more thoughtful look at Pinterest and advertising. Not a "hey, we didn't know where our target market lives, so we wasted a lot of money and are now changing our strategy." and this was buried inside a commercial….LAME.

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    Molli Nickell

    Great discussion, especially for folks who believe if they just keep doing the same-oh same-oh marketing programs, somehow, magically, everything will change. They won't.

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    Mary Westheimer

    I agree with Becky Huston – if you say your video is about Pinterest, make it about Pinterest. That's what drew my interest.

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    Chris Yunker

    Everything is a crap shoot. How you can crunch numbers for subscribers, followers, likers etc into revenue is tough. I would imagine that Michael would know revenue by how many subscribers pay to attend his conferences. A lot of social media is chasing your tail until the "next new thing". Ugh

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    Adam Stevens

    These are always too short! QOTD: Of course, we were always being told that Instagram is the way to go, yet our audience really responds to Twitter. Not so much Instagram

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    Conchata Hosley

    Wow…the email had me to go to the youtube channel but the content got me to subscribe within 2 minutes. Great concepts everyone! The storyline really got me!

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    Updo and Hairstyle Education

    How I used Pinterest is in my courses so because I can't take their images, I create boards with the images and when I need a visual references because I work in the hairdressing and wedding industry, I create a specific board for my students to go over and look. What do I mean by a boho bride, what do I mean by a princess Bride, what do I mean by a preppy bride. I teach the hairdressers how do understand the bride in their chair. I don't pin on Pinterest much but I use it to teach. I also use YouTube in a similar way when I create a PowerPoint I export it as a video and I save it over in YouTube unlisted and that link is in a course.

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    A Life That Travels

    Oh wow…. I made it into The Journey!!!! #bestdayever 😊😊😊

    And to answer the question – yes, we come back to this stuff regularly. Ever quarter we do an "in-site" (as opposed to an "off-site") to review what is getting traction. Deciding on what metrics to track, then working out how to actually track them, is always challenging though.

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    Smart Fun DIY

    As a Pinterest marketer, of course I don't want to hear somebody not using Pinterest anymore. But you make a valid point. Marketers aren't on Pinterest looking for marketing advice. Bloggers are. But in my experience the vast majority of bloggers aren't going to want to spend over $1,000 to attend the conference, even if it is absolutely amazing. Some of us understand the investment and we're making it and we're there but it wasn't because of your Pinterest marketing. Honestly I connect with you guys the most on Facebook. So I think this is a good decision even though it's like a little bit of a pain in my heart.

    I think we do have to be a lot more Discerning about where our customers are and realistic about it. And also look at the numbers. I was just at a conference for the craft industry and a lot of companies are talking about being on Twitter. Our customers are not on Twitter. It makes no sense for us to be on Twitter. So it's kind of a similar thing …

  40. Post
    Meredith Marsh - VidProMom

    You could be using YouTube to attract a whole new audience vs trying to get your existing audience over to YouTube, as you mentioned. That’s what I teach my clients!

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    John Kremer

    You were using the wrong kind of content for Pinterest. I'm not surprised that you didn't get great buying traffic. I see the same kinds of pins from so many people. The pins you used won't get you the kind of traffic you really want.

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    Benjamin Bogle - Pursuing Progress

    This was an excellent episode, and the first one that I watched! Keep up the great work! Love it!

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    Ivory Mix

    First, let me apologize for this verbose response but Ouch. That's probably because you're not optimized for how Pinterest traffic converts. Pinterest users are open to ideas for improvement and ideas for the future. They're planning and hoarding those ideas. Which means it may take multiple interactions and some time for conversion to take place because plans take time. And if you're not sending them to the right converting content, then, of course, it's going to fail. You'd be better off figuring out what piece(s) of content do convert and just creating funnels of content around those specific pillars to help them with those plans and ideas.

    I market to the same audience of social media marketers and have found that landing pages or articles to how-to's convert very well if they're going to help people achieve their plans.

    I focus on getting people into my email funnel. It looks like this: (Step 1) article of ideas (Step 2) free step-by-step guide *with email for implementing the ideas (Step 2.1) retargeted ad to free guide (Step 3) one-time offer (step 4) upsell/downsell (step 5) email funnel nurturing & follow up.

    It's a mistake not to optimize every article you pin on Pinterest for capturing email subscribers based on the specific idea that the article or page is about and/or retargeting them again. The industry report is a nice offer, but if the article was specifically about video creation, it would be far better if the opt-in was video creation related. You could then literally build email funnels for those who would fit in your video creation track at the conference.

    This is also why the smart feed on Pinterest is so great. It already plans to retarget interested pinners who have clicked on your article about video creation with more of your content and similar content.That's why building more content around that idea is great for nurturing those leads and that traffic that hasn't converted yet.

    Okay, off my soap box 🙂 I just felt not enough was said about this topic and to a new marketer who watches your journey videos, this might discourage them from using it.

  44. Post
    Masai Williams

    I’ve followed Social Media Examiner with various degrees of interest, necessity and closeness now in my Tenth Year I believe – a New Job in New Media was the reason.

    I was employed in a Team conducting Online Reputation/Brand Monitoring.

    Adapt Or Die.

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    Emir Mustafa Isler

    I find twitter a lot confusing. It just feels like, if I don't write anything about current trends, I won't get any followers or likes. So far I've posted a lot, but most of my posts are with zero likes and I just have a handful of followers. I wonder if I should just stop writing about my own stuff and start tweeting tons of trending things so people actually start to notice me?? Or just stop twitter altogether :S

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    Leisl Bailey

    I may be a total newb, but just because the traffic coming from Pinterest doesn't result in sales immediately doesn't mean it's not a good way to introduce your brand to a wider audience. What if those people found you on Pinterest, followed you on FB, IG, and Twitter, and then bought later? Who am I kidding, I'm sure you can track the customer journey by the IP address, and you probably already did that, just putting it out there for others who may be going to Marie Kondo their marketing platforms…

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    Rapolas Nutautas

    I liked your video and the way you presented everything. Although the whole idea could fit into 3 minutes video I believe. However, the key here was not a pinterest, but TESTING, ANALYSIS and OPTIMIZATION. It exists in every piece of Digital Marketing. I appreciate your contribution to others.

  53. Post
    Lori Parniak

    I use Pintereset both as a consumer and as a platform for showing product (no paid ads to date) but agree completely. It's not the platform to send customers (paying customers) to me, but what a site to find a broccoli recipe!! LOL . My present fave is google ads. Nothing in depth- I just see results when using the correct targeted keywords. Just subscribed! Keep up the great info. From a tiny little diningroom based side hustle bizz in Canada. Thanks!

  54. Post
    Krista Liebmann

    Very timely video for me! I just started a new job and am considering Pinterest, and is it worth it for more than blog traffic. My new company does not have a strong e-commerce side, so there's really not a direct tie to sales.

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    Swingpointmedia inc

    Always comes back to being able to analyze the data. When the data shows ROI from the efforts dropping or non existent, using the correct KPI’s then its time to switch. We had a similar thing happen. We were doing tons of FB lives with the results at first looking attractive…but as we analyzed our audience, it was not attracting our ideal client, but more digital marketers wanting to learn. So we switched our use of FB Lives to interviews and almost immediately the results turned North! Great reminder to keep you eyes on the “why am I doing this” and am what I doing delivering ROI. Thanks team for another great episode.

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    Lisa Giesler

    This is so good, needed to hear this! Still need to figure out the direction I need. Doing a slight rebrand. 3rd book coming out. Any thoughts?

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    J.G. Ramos

    Yes. I question it everyday. I also plan to focus on growing my Pinterest following, probably in March. Any suggestions from you guys?

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    Tormod Sperstad

    Totally true: "The right kind of traffic equals good". It might not lead directly to sales for your business. However, Pinterest can drive a relevant traffic and be a part of your SEO strategy.

  61. Post
    Rhona Bronson

    My issues is almost the exact opposite. My team has never had Pinterest fans yet the audience matches (on paper) our audience. We're in the travel and tourism business. Their feeling is that Pinterest is strictly for DIYers and most consultants are also DIYers. I've decided to invest some of my personal time in working the platform. The followers are increasing and it not our largest web traffic driver (that's FB), but it's equal and sometimes above TripAdvisor. Meanwhile, it's clear we haven't hit a tipping point, so I don't want to abandon the platform until it's gotten a fair test. So what would be helpful is more discussion on checking the Pinterest/Web analytics, and what might be a good tipping point to look at the analytics with enough data for the findings to be viable.

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    Once again, I enjoyed your episode. To answer your question, I question everything all the time. I don't hesitate to pitch something that isn't working. I'm constantly assessing everything. Yes, there has to be a balance. The questioning (skepticism) must be healthy, not negative or destructive. Actually, it's not hard to do.

  63. Post
    The Happy Wanderer - Karen Purves

    I like you trying out new formats. After all, this is the journey. I am surprised by the comments of other marketers as I think they are missing the point. This is a learning show based upon the experiments of SME. I think the show format will be the one to practice and it has pricked my creativity to see how I can do this. I’d love to know whether you are segmenting your market by early adopter, early majority, late majority and laggards. I think that early adopters are already on youtube and are not consuming so much content on FB. This could be the reason behind ‘people are on FB’ I’ve found a ton of really good content on youtube to help me navigate the changing landscape of doing business on SM. Why am I looking? Because I am fed up with my feed being jammed up with adverts for webinars via webinarjam where the person/company is going from cold to a $2000 sale in 40 minutes without being live. Who is teaching this strategy? It sucks. Rant over!

    Please make sure your show notes are on here as well as FB as I really don’t want to go hunting for the links referred to in the show.

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