My Online Dating Life
I remember the days before I got engaged, and online dating was still a taboo. Nobody ever wanted to admit that they found a date online, because it meant that you had trouble getting a date in real life and that you were desperate. My first successful date that came from an online service back when I was in my early twenties.
A beautiful, tall girl, who did modelling part time and I met up at a cafe. We had a good first date and I was definitely interested. Except, what I found out after our date wasn’t so great, she was still dating her boyfriend at the time.
They had gone through a rough patch, and she was looking for a way out but wasn’t too sure she was going to leave her relationship.
I really liked her, and it was a hard lesson in reality that taught me not to date people who were not emotionally available. And you shouldn’t either if you’re single.
Fast forward to ten years later, and it’s amazing to see how far online dating has come. It’s part of our mainstream culture, and some of my closest friends and relatives have met their significant others online.
And a big part of why online dating culture is becoming more acceptable, it’s because websites like eHarmony who is showing how their dating and relationship site has resulted in over 600,000 marriages to date.
But that’s not what this article is about, it’s about how successful is the marriage between eHarmony and Pinterest. This is a detailed case study of how the two are getting along.
eHarmony’s Social Media Statistics
The company boasts 31.5 thousand followers on Twitter, 228,000 likes on Facebook, and 2964 followers on Google Plus, so the question is why Pinterest has 1206 followers.
Pinterest tends to have the least amount of followers compared to most of their social networks, after all, Pinterest is still relatively young compared to Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
Let’s take a look at what eHarmony is doing well, and then I’ll discuss what marketing tactics and strategies would help improve their website traffic and user sign up.
What does eHarmony Do Well With Their Pinterest Page?
1) They verified their website.
This is vitally important because this offers a sense of legitimacy and authority. Without having your website verified, another user on Pinterest could put down your site, and pretend to be you, and redirect their pins to a scrupulous website that scams people.
And as a matter of fact, at the time of this blog post, there actually IS a fake eHarmony site, that lists eharmony.com as its website.
2) They connected their Twitter account.
It’s always good to connect your other social networks to help reach more people. Often times people may not consider joining your other social networks until they’re aware of them.
To do that, all you need to do is go to the desktop version of Pinterest, and click on your profile in the top right hand corner, and choose “Settings.” From there scroll down half way and you’ll see the ability to connect your Twitter account.
3) Boards Related to their Themes
eHarmony’s positioning is about using personal data and characteristics to help you find your right partner.
A brand like eHarmony wants to evoke feelings of hope, love and romance, and so they do a good job of having a few board titles that focus on such topics such as their boards “Great Date Ideas,” which is wonderf for search engine friendliness on Pinterest, Wedding Wishes, eHarmony Couples, and Silverscreen Romance to get you thinking about marriage and relationships.
4) They Share Other People’s Content
I understand their may be some legal obligations and restrictions regarding pinning other people’s content on Pinterest, but if you want to be a part of a community on Pinterest, you need to share other people’s content.
eHarmony does pin interesting content from Etsy, and that’s a good way of getting the attention of other Pinterest users.
Let’s take a look at what steps can be taken to help improve their Pinterest marketing.
How eHarmony Can Skyrocket Their Pinterest Marketing
1) Consistent Pinning
This is one of the best ways that eHarmony can grow followers. At the time of this writing, their last Pin onto Pinterest was two weeks ago.
Yes, you can get away with pinning every two weeks, but the content would have to be amazing, but marketing isn’t about leaving things to chance. It’s about taking initiative to get people to be interested in your services.
In this case, I would recommend that eHarmony pin more frequently to gain more followers and to reach more single men and single women.
2) Choose Board Covers That are Relevant to Board Names
The tile of their board Love, Love, Love is a great one, because their target users are all about finding love. And making it the first board, is a smart move.
However, my suggestion is to change the board cover so that it reflects more on the theme of love. A cover image of what appears to be a doughnut and coffee are not explanatory of what the board is about, and doesn’t evoke enough curiosity and emotion to make me want to click on it.
It’s important to have a cover image that makes people want to explore your first board. The first board cover and title are prime real estate, and can be seen on every device and app that use Pinterest without the need to scroll down.
I would suggest using a cover photo of a couple kissing each other on their wedding day, or just two couples kissing each other. Since the majority of users on Pinterest in the U.S. are women, this type of picture would be appealing and would have a higher click through rate onto the board than a picture of a doughnut and coffee.
3) Choose Pins that Correspond to the Theme of the Board
Going back to the Love, Love, Love board. The theme of the board is about love, however, one of the deterring factors from getting people to follow that specific board is the lack of a consistent theme for their pins for that board.
I see pins of blueberries, different foods, pets, flowers, flamingos, childhood sisters, and as you’ll see in the bottom this creepy eye pin from Flickr! What does that eyeball have to do with LOVE?????
Get that eye AWAY from me….AHHHh!!! It’s like something from an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
Pins from boards need to have a consistent theme so that people don’t get confused about what the eHarmony brand is about, nor confused about what the board is about.
4) eHarmony Needs to Move their Most Important Boards to the First Four Positions
Part of the reason why eharmony has such few followers in relation to their other social networks is because many of their first few boards are focused on the wrong themes for the wrong audience.
Board number two and board number three focus on women’s and men’s fashion respectively, but it’s not about what to wear on a date.
The reasoning for keeping your most important boards on top is simple. Most people on Pinterest don’t scroll down to see your other boards. They will look at the first few and make a snap judgement to see if what you have is of any interest, before scrolling down more.
While the desktop version of Pinterest does shows quite a few boards, it’s also important to keep in mind that for a smartphone device the number of boards shown are extremely limited, for example on the Android smartphone, only the first four are shown before scrolling is required and usually the first two are the ones people scan.
For eHarmony, they should move their boards that are related to dating and weddings to the top positions that are relevant to their audience, and move the ones that are least relevant to their audience further down.
Their primary target audience is single, interested in finding love, and being involved in a relationship, it’s not about “Dare to Wear.” While fashion is hot on Pinterest, it’s not the right type of board for this type of company.
These types of boards should be renamed and become a resource of how to dress on a date.
5) Have Your Boards Be a Resource to Your Core Audience
The Dare to Wear (Women) and Dare to Wear (Men) boards should be renamed to What to Wear on Dates. The boards focus on daring clothing to wear on dates, but some of the pins are highly impractical for most people to wear or put on for a first or second date.
Some of the clothes they recommend are great, but suggesting that people “dare” themselves to wear this type of makeup on a date seems extreme, and outside the branding of what eHarmony is about.
I would imagine that most data (which is what e Harmony bases their compatibility tests on) would suggest that most single men wouldn’t be impressed with a woman with this type of make up on any date.
Instead, having a core focus on what women can wear on dates to help boost their attractiveness is vital. Images similar to this one should be the dominant theme.
The goal for the board should be to repin resources that are going to be helpful in helping people dress for their dates. This also means using the descriptions in pins to explain why a dress or particular style of clothing may help dress to impress.
The board also contains pins of furniture, which have no relationship to dressing. It’s important to ensure that pins are pinned onto the correct board, and that every month a company like eHarmony check out their main Pinterest boards to ensure that pins that are unrelated are taken out.
6) Avoid Using Horizontal Pins
The Deals and Steals board is a great idea. It’s the board that eHarmony uses to promote special deals and free trials.
What’s great about their pins is that they have a lot color, text is wonderful, and I like the wording “Real Couple” inside their ads. They are bright vibrant and have very clear text that would be visible on the desktop version of Pinterest.
However, horizontal pins are extremely tiny and get lost in the sea of pins when put next to competitors who have optimized for vertical images.
By using horizontal images, they also lose click throughs to their pins. It’s vital to remember that there many users that use the Pinterest mobile app. For my own audience, 50% of clicks come from a mobile device, which means that I need to ensure my pins are visible on smartphones and tablets. eHarmony also needs to ensure that their pins are optimized for mobile.
Horizontal images can make people squint their eyes, and ignore the pin altogether on smarthphones. Pins need to be vertical to get the best click through rates and to be able to have a chance to grab users’ attention on the Pinterest feed.
7) Don’t Use (uncustomized) Url Shorteners
Another big no no would be not to use url generic shorteners. Unfortunately eHarmony used goo.gl to help measure the effectiveness of their Pinterest marketing campaign for driving traffic to their site. However, using shorteners like goo.gl or bit.ly, when they are clicked on is labelled as spam by Pinterest. It will not lead back to the intended website.
A solution to this problem would be to use their full address like the pin on the right hand side in the above pictures. To keep track of the success of the pin a UTM tracking code can be used.
UTM’s were not allowed in the past, but are now allowed on Pinterest. Making it much easier to know the success of a specific Pinterest markeitng campaign.
What does work are customized url shorteners. Those can be put in a pin’s description and will not be flagged as spam. So if your website has one like this ehr.mn/12iAbf8! which is for eHarmony, then it would be clickable in the pin’s description on the desktop version, but would not be labelled as spam.
8) Link Your Uploaded Pins Back to The Site
In the two images above, eHarmony relied on people to click on the pin url in the pin description to help them go back to the website.
However, urls typed in a pin descriptions are not clickable on the mobile apps of Pinterest. And this means that the best way to go to the website is to click on the pins. However with the two pins that were shown, both of them didn’t have a “source url” for their images.
Meaning that there was no way for people who are using the Pintereset mobiles apps to directly visit the site without typing it into their mobile browser. This would result in lost potential traffic.
Always ensure that your uploaded pins have a “source url.” To find out how to do this you can watch the instructional video below.
9 ) eHarmony’s Hashtags on Pinterest Should Change
I would also suggest that eHarmony use a new hashtag for their Pinterest account. This is because the eHarmony hashtag when clicked on leads to some….well interesting results for their first few pins. Those pins were designed to be more humorous in nature than to promote relationships and eHarmony.
The problem with hashtags is that when they are clicked on, is that they can lead people to different and unwanted results. For example, when I clicked on the hashtag, this pin
The other marketing tactic that e-harmony should avoid is the use of generic hashtags such as #Love. This will take away people who are looking at their Pinterest page on the internet version of Pinterest away from their Pinterest page.
eHarmony should consider creating a new hashtag such as #eHarmonyLove for Pinterest so that it can maintain its brand integrity and maintain its strong positioning.
10) Use Pinnable Images for Featured Blog Post Pictures
We’re living in the age of the visual social media, and having blog post with generic stock photos with text are no longer enough to help a blog post stand out.
A blog post needs a strong headline, along with a great visual that lures a reader into the blog post. Using images like the one in this blog post by eHarmony are nice, but it’s not as powerful as the example image that you’ll see after.
By creating a vertical style image that contains great headlines, you can help encourage Pinterest traffic back to your site. Here’s an image that’s about dating. Notice the magazine style cover. This individual pin has been repinned 2,150 times since June of 2014.
You can read about about the article here.
eHarmony has great content library that helps people have better dates, create better relationships, and be better people.
By taking the extra 10 or 15 minutes to create a customizable and pinnable images for their blog posts, it could potentially drive hundreds of thousands of more new visitors to their site and thousands of more signs up.
The wonderful aspect of eHarmony, is that they have a library of content that appeals to the masses. All that’s needed is for a great pinnable image to give the content even more social media spark.
Conclusion and Final Recommendations for eHarmony
By making those small improvements, I’m sure that eHarmony would get more followers, get more targeted traffic and get more sign ups. And there’s no doubt that there’s a lot of people that would find their service helpful, as many of us feel a call to be with someone truly special in our lives.
I’m lucky to be with a woman who loves me so much that it makes my heart explode. And eHarmony is helping people find that special someone.
However, the main question they need to address is, “How do we use Pinterest to attract our ideal customer?” Once that question is answered, then the boards and the other marketing tactics suggested will fall into place to complete a great marriage between Pinterest and eHarmony.
Here’s one last note. Their sister company eHarmony UK, did an excellent job with their Pinterest page.