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5 Ways To Grow Your Business with Pinterest’s Flashlight


Discover 5 ways to use the new visual discovery tool within Pinterest to grow your business. Back in February of 2015, Pinterest announced ata conference that they were working on a tool called “Flashlight.” A tool that I labeled as “visual discovery on steroids. ” This feature will revolutionize the way that visual search is conducted online.

Flashlight is a feature on Pinterest that allows you to highlight a particular part of a pin, and Pinterest will then show you pins that are visually similar. It’s not exactly perfect right now, but it’s definitely an exciting work in progress.

As a side note, Pinterest never called the new visual discovery feature as Flashlight when it officially launched, but that was the name it was given when it was in the testing phases.

Visual Search Tool - GIF

Flashlight is being rolled out globally to the public starting November 9th to users of the desktop, Android and IOS versions of Pinterest.

Why This is a Game Changer for Online Retailers

This is a big deal because it will save people time in discovering where to buy a product that they accidentally discovered on Pinterest.

Here’s a scenario that happens a lot. Someone sees a pin that takes place in a living room. She clicks on it and it leads to a blog post about how to save space in an apartment, but she wasn’t interested in the topic, instead she was interested in the speakers that were featured in the pin.

Since she doesn’t know what the brand the speakers is, nor does she have the patience to try to search through the results on Google, she gives up on trying to find those speakers.

With the new visual discovery feature on Pinterest, she can go back to the pin, highlight the speakers and find visually similar results with the hopes that one of the results will lead to a retail site that sells the product (or something similar to it.)Orb Audio Recommendations 2

Even if she doesn’t buy now, chances are she’s going to save a pin from the side, as a reminder to take a closer look at the product later.

Pinterest also tries to help you narrow down your search by providing words that are related to your visual search. As you can see on the right-hand side, there are suggested word tiles such as speakers, audio, audio engine, and front load washer (the last one made me laugh because I could never imagine those as front end washers). You can tap on those word tiles to help provide more relevant and personal results.

Now before you get all excited, you also have to realize that it’s not a perfect system. When I highlighted the speakers in the background, these are the results I got.  As you can tell for the word tiles,  Pinterest didn’t recognize that they were Orb Audio speakers. The visual recognition engine believes that they’re door knobs.

Orb Recommendations

Which Businesses Will Benefit Most from Flashlight for Pinterest

Here are some fun stats about Pinterest users.

  •  52% out of 1,500 active pinners surveyed agreed that Pinterest helps them find items they want to buy.
  • 79% said that Pinterest helped them with purchases involving food and ingredients.
  • 60% said that Pinterest them with purchases involving home decor.
  • 53% for clothing and accessories.

Most likely, Flashlight won’t increase the food and ingredients category, but it most likely will increase the numbers for home decor and clothing and accessories.

With 100 million active users on Pinterest, if even just 2% of people use the feature on a daily basis, you can imagine how much more potential business can flow to online retailers.

Here’s the Downside of Flashlight for Business

For businesses, this can also be bad news because people may actually discover your competitors. The goal of Flashlight isn’t to show you the exact same image up close, it’s to be able to show you visually similar results.

If you happen to be the owner of an e-commerce space, and you source your products from the same wholesaler as someone else, then this can provide some pretty stiff competition.

A potential customer may click through to your product pin and go to the page, find out what the price of your product is and then go back to Pinterest and then select the another pin to see what your competitors are charging.

If you’re not the exclusive retailer of a product, you could be at the losing end of Flashlight.

How to Make the Most of Flashlight for Pinterest

1. Load Up On Close-up Shots

Load up on pins with product close-ups. That’s my advice if you haven’t done so yet. The reason for this is because if your product is featured on a variety of different pins but you don’t own those pins, then when someone highlights your product, he is more likely to see visually similar results of a competitor.

If Pinterest can only recommend pins that are in their system, and your pins are not in the system, then they can’t recommend them. It’s that simple.

The goal is to have your pins show up in the “visually similar results” as much as possible, not someone else who’s potentially taking your business away.

2. Load up on Environmental Product Shots

You’ve also got to do the opposite. If you have a product that fits naturally into a specific type of environment, ensure that your products stand out in the picture but make them fit naturally into the environment.

A lamp standing in the middle of a white background isn’t very sexy, but if you have the lamp placed next to a nice comfy couch, it makes the lamp sexier. People can now imagine how that lamp fits into their own home.

As more people become familiar with using Flashlight with Pinterest, they will start highlighting products featured inside your pins.

The one thing I learned is that if your products are in an environmental shot, they should clearly be recognizable visible on a mobile device. In the first picture featuring Orb Speakers, you can see them clearly. However, the speakers are hard to identify on a smartphone screen, making it hard for Flashlight to recognize the object.

Objects that are too small in your environmental shots are bad. 

Ensure that your products are nice and visible on a mobile screen.

3. Take Photos of Your Products in Different Colors and Angles

Pinterest needs your help to identify products with Flashlight. In order to do this, it needs visual data points that will tell them what an object most likely is. And if there aren’t a lot of your products on Pinterest, you need to help Pinterest out and provide those visual data points.

This means that if you have a variety of products that come in different colors, make sure you upload those photos onto Pinterest and write good descriptions about what those products are.

Upload photos of your products taken from different angles to help Pinterest identify your products from different angles. Again, provide great keyword descriptions that will help Pinterest what the product is.

If your product comes in a variety of colors, then you need to upload dozens of pins featuring your product with that color. If you don’t, Pinterest may mistaken your product as something else (similar to the bronze Orb Speakers being misinterpreted as door knobs).

4. Exchange Product Placements

If you have a unique product, you should consider doing joint product placement partnership with another vendor who also sells a unique product but is not in your competitive space.

Feature each others’ products in a pin and then share them with each others’ Pinterest audience.



5. Showroom Multiple Products in One Pin

IKEA is the leader when it comes to showrooming their products within the same space. They never try to sell you a bed, they try to sell you a closet, a table, a chair, a knick knack that nobody ever seems to be able to pronounce except someone Sweedish.


You can do the same thing with your pins. Place several different products that you sell in your pins, but make sure that they are visible enough to see on a mobile device. This way someone can select the products within the pin.


The new visual discovery tool by Pinterest is a game changer in the world of search. Flashlight is relatively new and will continue to improve over time as billions of more visual data points are added to their system. 

As a business, I highly encourage you to start uploading your product photos on Pinterest. Too many people discover products by accident, and you will never know who’s going to discover yours.

For more tips on Pinterest, make sure you sign up for my newsletter.

Does Uploading Pins Hurt Their Reach on Pinterest?

Does uploading your pins hurt their reach on Pinterest? Here's a small case study that suggests it might. Article by @mcngmarketing.

Malorie Luchich, one of the members of the PR team at Pinterest presented at BlogHer 2015. I wasn’t at the conference, but Peg Fitzpatrick, author of the Art of Social Media, was there and she shared Malorie’s presentation.  And in the presentation it may have answered one of my most pressing questions.

“Does uploading an image on Pinterest hurt the pin’s overall visibility and reach compared to those pinned from a website?”

Does Uploading a Pin Affect Its Visibility and Reach on Pinterest?

For me, and no doubt for you, this is an important question. And though I don’t have any solid evidence that it does, I’m going to trust my gut instinct and say that, yes, uploading a picture onto Pinterest and then having it linked back to a website does generally hurt a pin’s reach on Pinterest.

Why I Think Uploading Pins Hurts Their Reach on Pinterest

Reason 1: Pinterest Suggests Not Uploading Photos Without a Source

Malorie Luchich from Pinterest gave out some great Pinterest tips in her presentation. On the second to last slide of her presentation, she summarizes her presentation with 10 helpful tips.

Presentation Slide at BlogHer2015 by Malorie Luchich from Pinterest offering 10 tips for better Pinterest marketing.

Tip 4 is “don’t upload photos.” Here’s what Malorie advises when it comes to uploading pictures to Pinterest in regards to comment that was left on the blog.

“Kristie is right — the presentation was referring to photos that are uploaded without a source, and not bloggers and website owners who upload high quality images and then add a source.

The key is to ensure that Pins always link back to more information (a source), for the best Pinner experience. If images are uploaded, be sure to write a detailed description and add the source so the Pin links back to your website, and you’ll be good to go.

More info on our business site —— and in this creative guide —

Hope that helps!”

Reason 2: My Case Study Hints It Does

I started to pin to a group board on Pinterest that had about 100,000 followers.

I noticed something that was quite interesting. It seemed that pins that came from a website were outperforming, in terms of repins, pins that were originally uploaded. Even though the uploaded pins were longer and taking up more Pinterest real estate than the pins pinned from a site.

I looked at a small subset of the top 15 of the best performing pins, in terms of repins, for two groups. The first group were pins that were pinned from a website, and the second group were pins that were uploaded and had their website url direction inserted. (For the second group, in some cases, I couldn’t confirm for sure that they were uploaded. I just know that the images used were not picked up by the official pin it button for Chrome browser.)

All the pins were pins that I had pinned onto the group board over a 3 month period.

The majority of the top performing pins (with the exception of one) were pinned between the hours of 5 pm and 8:30 pm (PST). I was trying to maintain some consistency.

The top 15 pins from group one, the pins coming from a website, resulted in an average of 103.3 repins per pin.

The top 15 pins from  group two, pins that were uploaded, resulted in an average of 51.6 repins per pin.

It seems that pins that had their images uploaded received half as many repins as those that were pinned from websites.

Don’t Jump to Conclusions Yet…

You have to keep in mind that this is a small sample set and shouldn’t be considered significant.  It would require a larger data set with thousands of pins before we can jump to any solid conclusions.

Since I only used the top 15 best performing pins, this could have also skewed the results. Factors such as the cumulative number of repins a pin receives on Pinterest, and how many times a pin’s image is linked to a specific url are also factors in how many repins they get and may have skewed results.

For example, the top performing pin for group one had a total of 265 repins in the group board but has approximately 37,000 cumulative repins on Pinterest. That image on Pinterest has been used since January of 2014.

While another image, one that was much longer that was uploaded to Pinterest but redirected to the same url was created on February of 2015. So the long image doesn’t have the same type of “weight” in terms of cumulative repins compared to the original image that was created therefore potentially showing up less in Pinterest’s smartfeed and reducing the number of repins.

My Suggestions Regarding Uploaded Pins

I still think you should upload pins and redirect them to a specific url, especially if you have a lot of product shots that you can’t use. But if you are running a blog post, I strongly suggest that you actually pin directly from your own website instead of uploading the image and then editing the website it links to. 

If you want to keep a shorter image, but then have one that’s designed for Pinterest and recognized by the Pinterest backend, then you can try use this method I outlined in this blog post about how to get readers to pin a specific image from your blog. 

What are you thoughts? Do you think pinning from your own site gives it more exposure on Pinterest?

If you want more great Pinterest tips and insights, make sure you sign up for my free e-mail newsletter.

Flashlight for Pinterest – Visual Discovery on Steroids

Flashlight for Pinterest. This tool is visual search and discovery on steroids. Find out what the pros and cons are of using it for your business. Article by Vincent Ng of

This is truly exciting! When I heard what Pinterest was working on, I ran up to my wife and showed her. She thought it was the coolest thing to hit the world of Pinterest. This is how I felt when I discovered the new tool, Flashlight by Pinterest.


Back in February of 2015, Pinterest quietly announced at a conference that they were working on a new visual discovery tool called Flashlight, which I believe is still in the alpha stages of testing.

In my opinion this will change the way that Pinterest works and the world of visual search discovery.

What is Flashlight for Pinterest? 

Flashlight is a tool that allows you to drag your mouse over an object or area of  a pin and allow you to find pins that contain a similar object.

You can see the “Search Image ” button at the top. When clicked on, you will be presented with a selection tool as you will see in the picture below. The pictures bit blurry because it was taken off a YouTube video.

You’ll also notice near the bottom of the picture that the flowers have been highlighted. Once you select this area of the pin, real time results will show up on the right hand side of the pin that shows similar pins of that object.

Flashlight for Pinterest. Image and object based

Flashlight for Pinterest. This is visual search and discovery on steroids. Article found on MCNG by Vincent Ng

With Flashlight you’re able to choose the object and then Pinterest will provide similar results on the side so that you’re better able to discover similar or the same product and hopefully find the source of the product.

This Will Change the World of Visual Search and Discovery

Back in August of 2013, I wrote about why Pinterest was a better search engine that Google, and this is what I wrote as my first headline for the article “Pinterest is Grooming to be a Visual Recognition Search Engine.”

I have long advocated in my book that businesses actually need to observe the type of colors, shapes, and objects that are within popular pins of their competitors to help them be found in Pinerest search results and related pins.

With Flashlight quietly being worked on by Pinterest, there’s no doubt that this will change the way that search and discovery is done on Pinterest and the world of social media.

It’s time for businesses to start paying attention, not just to text based SEO (search engine optimization) for the Pinterest search engine, but to VSEO (visual search engine optimization) for their Pinterest marketing. This is why it’s important to ensure that you have a team member that understands how the Pinterest Search Engine works as a whole.

This means that you need to pay attention to creating images that are visually stunning on Pinterest, but also taking visual elements from the most popular pins on Pinterest to help your pins become more easily discovered and if you want to increase your chances of your pins showing up in Pinterest search results.

How this Changes the World of Business

The Good

Let’s say that you happen to see a pin that shows off a living room. You notice that in the living room there are these round little speakers, but you’re not too sure what they are, and they’re not mentioned in the pin description at all.

The worst part is that when you do click on the pin, you go to a website that’s irrelevant. Maybe because it lands on page about TVs.

Orb Audio

With Flahslight you can choose the speakers, and can find similar pins, and hopefully this will help you find the product page you’re looking for.

This can be great for businesses that have unique products that have a specific design that can’t be found anywhere else.

The Bad

For businesses, this can also mean bad news because people may actually discover your competitors. Savvy shoppers may find similar styles, colors of products that they like even better.

If you happen to be the owner of an e-commerce space, and you source your products from the same wholesaler as someone else, then this can provide some pretty stiff competition.

How You Can Prepare for Flashlight for Pinterest

I believe that Flashlight will become a reality. Pinterest rarely announces something to the public if they aren’t serious about it.

To prepare for the launch of Flashlight for your business, especially one that’s object based like electronics, purses, jackets, and cups, you need to start uploading a variety of product shots that are up close, and a variety of product placement shots in different environments.

This way when people do Flashlight your products within envrionments shots, they are able to see the close up object pins on Pinterest.

If you’re interested in learning more about Flashlight, you can check out this video, and make sure you sign up for my newsletter for great tips on Pinterest.


How to Get Readers to Pin A Specific Image from Your Blog

How to Get Readers to Pin a Specific Image from Your Blog Post. A step by step guide by Vincent Ng of

Have you ever wanted to have one featured image for your blog post, but you wanted people to pin a specific image (maybe a very long one)?

For example, here’s the image I have on top of my blog post 4 Pinterest Tips to Make Your Pins More Searchable.

How to create a specific pinnable image for Pinterest for your blog.

But when people use the official Pin it button with their browser, or a generic Pin it button at the top of my blog post, the following image options will show up.

How to Choose A Specific Pinnable Image for Your Blog by @mcngmarketing.

You will notice at the top left hand corner is an image that you won’t find on my blog post. Instead it’s hidden in the “back” and only comes up when people use the Pin it button.

This allows you to create an image for your blog and have a specific pinnable image to be used for Pinterest that people will notice first. (Isn’t that great!)

This is incredibly useful for blogs that find great success with long pins but prefer not to have these images in their blog post.

A great blog that’s making wonderful use of this tactic is You will see that many of their pins have reached the 1 million repin club.

She will have generic photos of all the food she’s cooking up, but when you push on the Pin it button on the top of her blog post, a long, beautiful and pinnable image is shown on the top left.

I truly believe this is why she’s been so successful at getting multiple pins repinned over 1 million times.

The one thing to be aware about is that if you have a Pin it button that hovers over a specific image, then that specific image will still be chosen as the pin.

Encourage Readers to Pin A Specific Image from Your Blog 

Here’s how you can do that with each blog post, regardless of whether you use WordPress or not. 

<img src=””



You can get more details about how this code works on Pinterest’s official business blog.

Let’s break it down line by line:

<img src=”” (This is the image that you want to use on your blog post.)

data-pin-url=”” (This is the url you would like the pin to redirect to. So if you don’t know your blog’s url yet, you can leave this blank and put it in after you have your final url.)

data-pin-media=””/>(This is the preferable image that you would like people to see first at the top left hand corner.)

How to Find the URL of the Pinnable Image

In order to use a specific pinnable image you must upload that image first to your site or blog. If you are using WordPress, you will need to upload it to your media library.

With WordPress, once you upload the image, all you need to do is click on your media library, and click on the image that you want to use as your pinnable image.  Now look at the right hand side. It will contain the url of your specific image.

This is the url you want to use for your pinnable image in the third part of the code.

Replacing a Blog Image with a Pinnable Image

Adding A Custom Description for Your Pinnable Image

You can also prepopulate the Pin’s description as well. The last line in the following code in between the “…” allows you to put in any description that you want. If you don’t, usually Pinterest will take the alt tags of the image as the Pin’s description.

<img src=””



data-pin-description=”Baked Mozzarrella Cheese Sticks”/>

Here’s A Peek At My Pinterest Coding for my Blog Post

<img class=”aligncenter wp-image-2495 size-full” src=”” alt=”Pinterest Marketing Tip: Can’t find your pins on Pinterest? Here’s 4 tips to help your pins be more searchable within Pinterest. ” width=”350″ height=”466″


data-pin-media=”” /></a>

WordPress generated the first part of the code when I aligned the image, and filled in the alt description. The highlighted in red part was then had to manually add the rest to create the pinnable image of choice.

And that’s how you encourage readers to pin a specific image from your blog post. Now go and create those amazing long pinnable images!

I’m not really a coding person, but I’ll do my best to answer any questions you might have. Please feel free to leave them in the comments.

If you’re looking for more tips on how on improving your Pinterest marketing, then make sure you sign up for my newsletter.

Gender Search on Pinterest: How to Market to Men on Pinterest

How How to Market to Men on Pintrest using gender based Pinterest search results @mcngmarketing. You can get more tips about Pinterest marketing at #PintalysisAcademy

Pinterest Search Results Will Differ For Men And Women

Pinterest announced in late January of 2015 that the gender of the user will influence how Pinterest results are shown to him or her. The visual discovery tool that has been used mostly by women is now able to show results to men that are more relevant and less “womanly.

If you’re a woman that types in the search term, movies into Pinterest search, you may see pins related to Titanic, Frozen, or the Notebook. It seems that the theme of romance movies comes up. But with the new search, men may see movie pins related to Gladiator, Guardians of the Galaxy and Fight Club as the top results.

The Number of Men Using Pinterest Doubled in 2014

Pinterest announced that the number of men using Pinterest doubled in 2014, but this still makes up a minority of users. What’s interesting to note is that there are more men that use Pinterest in the U.S. than read Sports Illustrated and GQ combined.

Late in 2013 I made the prediction that in 2014 there would still be problems trying to get men to jump aboard Pinterest. And the main reason for this is because of the irrelevancy of many search results when men use it.

First time and non frequent users of Pinterest don’t go and follow boards – they use the search box.

And over time if search results don’t bring back what you want, you abandon using the search engine. And Pinterest is a search engine, and in many ways is superior to Google.

If users aren’t able to find what they need they’re going to abandon using search engine. For those of you who remember the days before Google, you will remember how horrible it was using search engines like Lycos.

There’s a lesson to be learned in all of that.

You have to give users  what they want. And that means giving men relevant information as soon as possible. New users are only patient up to a point before they abandon a network or any search engine.

Now with a search engine that provides results based on gender, it’s assumed that men are going to get more relevant search results.

This is good news for both users and for businesses. I truly believe that we’re at a point where more men are going to be using Pinterest as a search engine, but it’s still going to take another two years before it becomes mainstream.

The question is, “How to market to men on Pinterest?” Here are three guidelines.

How Your Business Can Market to Men on Pinterest

If Pinterest wants to be incredibly profitable and wants more advertisers to jump on board, they know that they HAVE to grow the amount of active males users.

With Pinterest being serious about growing their male users, you should strongly consider using Pinterest to grow your business. And here’s how to get started on your Pinterest marketing.

1) See If There’s A Hot Bed of Activity Going On For Your Product or Service

The first thing that you want to do is to see if what you’re selling or something related to what you are selling is already on Pinterest.

To get an idea of what’s popular and whether people are interested in what you have to sell, type in your product in the Pinterest search box. If you happen to sell chairs, then you can see what type of chairs that men are paying attention to on Pinterest.

How Your Gender affects Pinterest search results by @mcngmarketing.  You can get more tips about Pinterest marketing at are the first few search results for chairs when using a female user account.

How Your Gender affects Pinterest search results by @mcngmarketing. You can get more tips about Pinterest marketing at

When looking at Pinterest search results, what you’re looking for is the repin activity regarding this product and the type of photos that are being used. Notice if the pins are just product shots, or products in an environment, or if they’re pins with people using the product.  All those details will matter in trying to grow your Pinterest business with male users.

Pinterest’s job is to provide relevant results. And so they are constantly adjusting search results to match what most people are looking for and clicking on.

For example, when you type in glasses, you’ll notice eye glasses pop up versus drinking glasses for the first few results, and that was decided by users’ actions and engagement with pins.

How Your Gender affects Pinterest search results by @mcngmarketing. You can get more tips about Pinterest marketing at

If Pinterest finds that people click through on pins related to eye glasses more than pins about drinking glasses, then that’s how they know that they should show eye glasses more often for the search term “glasses.”

When you’re able to see what pins already exist and are already popular, you can start to create pins around the same themes and with some results you’ll notice the same color themes.

2) Used Guided Search for those Gender Keywords

Guided search is a type of search recommendation tool for Pinterest searchers. The goal of Guided Search is to help you find what you’re looking for, or to help you discover what you’re looking for that you’re not aware of.

In the previous picture, you will have noticed words that are above the pins. The tool that recommends those search terms is known as Guided Search.

With the new gender based search results with Pinterest, Guided Search itself also receives a bit of a gender twist.

What’s great for you, as a business, is that you now know what type of words male and female users are searching for and you can start to add those keywords into your pin descriptions.

Go back to the earlier photo and look at the recommended search terms. Now look at the photo below, and notice the Guided Search terms that show up on the tiles for the search term glasses for a female user.  Some of them are the same, while others are quite different.

How Your Gender affects Pinterest search results by @mcngmarketing. You can get more tips about Pinterest marketing at

In the Pinterest search results for males, you’ll notice that Guided Search recommends the term etching, but with the female search results, it’s not shown in first few results.

If you happen to be targeting males on Pinterest, you now have some insight into the type of search words that they are using to find your products.

3) Use Pinterest Data For Content Creation

What’s I love about this new feature is that Pinterest is giving you a lot of free data. A lot. And you have to take advantage of that, because if you don’t someone else already is. I know, I’ve consulted for some of these businesses that use this technique.

The most popular guided search term associated with glasses, is “For My Shape.” People are genuinely curious to know what type of glasses fit what shape face. And if you run a glass store, and have a blog, then this definitely needs to be one of topics for your blog.

Once that blog has been written, and you’ve created an image for it, post it on Pintrest.

Alisa Meredith and Tina Gammon of Scalable Social Media did this with one of their clients to help him generate hundreds of leads. They created e-books, landing pages, and blog posts based on what was popular on Pinterest to help their client be extremely relevant to his Pinterest audience.

Not Every Search Result is Gender Based on Pinterest

Not every single search is going to bring up results that are different based on your gender. Search terms such as small speakers, and shampoo still show up with the same results.

This doesn’t mean that as a male oriented business that you shouldn’t get started with your products on Pinterest. This is because over time, Pinterest will keep refining their search until they can find that great balance. It never quite ends. The same way that Google will always tweak little things to ensure that search results are more relevant.

If you’re a business owner who sells manly products, I encourage you to go to Pinterest, search up products that you sell and see what’s there, and to at least start a Pinterest account. A good business doesn’t just think about the now, it also thinks about where its future customers are most likely going to be.

Additional Resources About Pinterest Marketing:

4 Tips to Make Your Pins More Searchable on Pinterest

Podcast: Pinterest Search Engine Optimization

The Pinterest SEO Checklist

Podcast: How to Use Pinterest for More Exposure

For more tips to help grow traffic and sales with Pinterest, make sure you subscribe to my newsletter.

7 Tools and Tips to Promote Your Pins on Social Networks (P2P Episode 18)

7 Tips and Tools to Help Promote Your Pins on Social Networks by @mcngmarketing.  To find out more, visit

Welcome to episode 18 of the Pictures to Profits Podcast, where I will be talking about 7 tips and tools on how to promote your Pinterest page and pins onto other social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and Instagram.

7 Tips and Tools for Promoting Your Pins on Social Networks

Tip #1: Hootlet Chrome Extension

Unfortunately Pinterest took out their tweet button on the desktop version of Pinterest. Fortunately if you use Hootsuite, you can schedule your pins with the Hootlet tool.

Once the extension has been installed on Chrome, you’re able to hover over a pin and use the Hootlet tool for scheduling that will appear on the top right hand corner. You can also use it to schedule Flickr images, YouTube videos and more.

Resource: Hootlet Chrome Extension

Tip #2: The Buffer App Chrome Extension

If you’re a fan of Buffer for scheduling your tweets, then you’ll love their Chrome extension.

This extension allows you to share images as tweets, which includes sharing pins as tweets. The main advantage of using Hootlet is that the tweets are filled with the pin’s description.

With the Buffer extension you need to fill in the description yourself, but the tweet comes out as an image on Twitter, which helps it stand out in the Twitter feed.

You will see a blue button on the bottom right corner that reads, “Share as Image” on a pin, and watch the sharing magic happen.

Resource: Buffer Chrome Extension

Tip #3:  Promote Your Pins on Google Plus

Pins make fantastic visuals on Google Plus. All you need to do is upload the pin picture into the Google Plus status update, and then describe what the article is all about.

You can then add a line that says “Read Now at (list the original website)” and then just below that type in “Pin for Later: (url of the pin).” This way people can repin the pin later to catch up with.

Two masters at promoting pins in this fashion are Jeff Sieh of the Manly Pinterest Show and Peg Fitzpatrick of Canva.

You can check out an interview Jeff did of Peg that talks about the power of combining both social media networks here.

Tip #4: Promote on Instagram

If you find that some of your pins are getting a lot of repins, you should consider uploading some of those pins onto Instagram (ensuring that they are cropped properly for Instagram). In the comments of your photo you can let people know to click on your profile and follow you on Pinterest.

All you need to do is change the profile website to  your Pinterest account. This will help you gain more exposure and followers on Pinterest.

Tip# 5: Get a Pinterest Tab for Facebook from

A small and easy way to promote your Pinterest account is by having a Pinterest Tab on you Facebook page. Woobox offers this for free.

When Facebook visitors click on the tab they get to see what your Pinterest page is like, and can click on a Pinterest button that allows redirects them directly to your Pinterest page.

 Resource: Pinterest Tab for Facebook by Woobox

Tip #6: Let Your Facebook Fans Know You have a Pinterest Page

Let your “likers” on Facebook know you have a Pinterest Page. Put that directly in your status update along with one of your most popular pins. Jeep did this with their Facebook page, and was able to gain 1000 followers within days.

Resource: Case Study of Jeep by Tailwind 

Tool #7: IFTTT (If This Then That)

IFTTT, is a tool that helps you take your pins and posts them multiple social media networks. You can schedule pins to go into Buffer, onto Facebook and so much more. These actions are known as recipes.

Hat Tip goes to Peg Fitzpatrick for letting me know about this tool.


Additional Resources and Links:

Stacey Corrin’s 15 Visual Content Tools that Rock

hear us on Stitcher

Pictures to Profits on Itunes

Also, reviews on iTunes are so helpful and much appreciated! Feel free to share your URL there so I can contact you later on and say thanks.

Popular Pictures to Profits Podcast Episodes:

5 Tips For Getting Your Pins Found in Pinterest Search Results
How to use Pinterest to Launch Your Etsy Business
7 Costly Mistakes Businesses Make on Pinterest  

5 Tips For Using Pinterest Messaging for Business

5 Helpful Tips for Growing Your Business with Pinterest Messaging. By @mcngmarketing. Read all about it at

It seems like there’s so many different ways to be in contact with people these days, e-mail, text, Whatsapp, Snapchat, Twitter and the list just goes on and on, so why should you care about Pinterest’s messaging system and why is it important for your business? Read on curious pinner!

What Exactly is Pinterest Messaging?

Pinterest messaging system is a private messaging system that allows for you to send private messages to users who follow you on Pinterest. You do not need to follow them back, as I incorrectly sated in episode 13 of my Pictures to Profits Podcast.

Beyond your followers, you’re also able to message your friends who are on Facebook who have a Pinterest account, as well as people who you follow on Twitter and who follow you back who have their Twitter account connected with their Pinterest account.

Okay…I know that was a mouth full, but now you know the extent of who you can communicate with on Pinterest.

What makes it different from other messaging systems like Twitter’s direct messaging and Facebook’s Messenger, is that the tool is geared towards those who enjoy sharing ideas in a visual manner.  This can help can facilitate complex projects that would be hard to explain through words and is also an excellent tool for those that don’t want to send photo attachments back and forth. Through the messaging system you’re able to share texts, pins, boards, and links.


5 Tips to Improve your Pinterest Marketing with Pinterest Messaging.

This allows for easier back and forth communication. In the past, you would send someone a pin through Pinterest or to their e-mail, however, there was no way to privately communicate in a stream line way that kept track of what was happening in the conversation.

The Pinterest messaging system works across all platforms, so you can message people on iOS, Android and desktop versions of Pinterest.

Pinterest Messaging Allows for Group Communication

Unlike Twitter’s direct messaging system, Pinterest’s private messaging system allows for you to have group conversations with up to ten different Pinterest users at one time. This particular feature can be beneficial for projects that require a lot of visual co-ordination among a team.

For example, if there are several people involved in planning a fundraising event, and one of the members found a great idea on Pinterest she wants to share, she now can, and receive feedback from others involved.

Let’s move on to five tips for how businesses can use the Pinterest messaging system.

5 Tips for Using Pinterest Messaging for  Businesses

1) Help VIP Customers or Clients with their Planning

What makes Pinterest messaging so wonderful is that you’re able to streamline all the conversations in one place. With the new messaging system, you’re able to help your customers plan better projects.

Imagine that you’re a wedding co-ordinator and your helping your client plan out how to decorate her reception on Pinterest. Before you had to send pins one by one.  Now you’re able to send her different pins done at different weddings as well as decorations you planned with your previous wedding clients. Your client can then pick and choose which ones work best for her and put them onto her own secret board.

Or in the case that you have a VIP customer who buys a lot of your products, you can send her a pin of a product that she may be interested in and she can now pin that into one of her collections instead of trying to sort through all the hundreds of e-mails she gets a day.

Here’s a Pinterest Intermission:

You’re only able to share pins and boards that are available to the public. So if you have a pin on a secret board, you’re not able to send nor drag that pin into the Pinterest messaging system.

However, once a pin has been sent to a user, she can choose to put that pin onto one of her secret boards. Let’s get back to our regular programming shall we?

2) Develop Better Relationships with Your Followers

I enjoy commenting on Pinterest, but one of the major challenges is that when I do comment on someone’s pin, and he happens to be using a smartphone, the comment that I’ve left behind is barely noticed. The reason this happens is because the notification looks like any other notification whether someone repins or like one of their pins.

It’s only on the iPad or desktop version do people see a preview of the comment. What this means is that if you are trying to engage with your fans on comments, they’re probably not going to take notice.

However, if you are looking to develop better relationships with one of your followers on Pinterest, the Pinterest messaging system can allow you start that conversation back and forth.

One of the aspects of the Pinterest messaging system I like, is that I can drag a particular pin into the conversation and mention how much I enjoyed this pin he posted. It’s hard to comment on an old tweet from 5 months ago, but you can still message someone about their pin that he posted from five months ago.

Here’s an example of SociallyApt and myself having a conversation on Pinterest messaging. She sent me her compliments about my 31 Days to a Better Pinterest Page board. 

Pinterest Messaging System

This can be especially helpful in starting relationships with influencers who follow your Pinterest account.

3) Create Group Boards with More Ease with the Right People

Inviting other users to group boards was a bit of a hassle, because you may have wanted to invite someone who you thought would make a good contributor, but there was no way to directly message her to explain why you want to invite that person to your group board.

Sending users group invite that shows up at the top of their feed without proper explanation is always a little weird.

Now with the Pinterest messaging system, you’re able to message your followers and tell them, “Hey I noticed we create pins that have the same theme, would you be interested in joining a group board about XYX?”

This way you’re attracting the right people to join your group board and you’re not blind siding them with an unexpected invite.

4) Reward Your Most Engaged Pinterest Followers

One of the best things about the Pinterest messaging system is that you’re able to communicate with engaged loyal followers. Let’s say you have someone that has been pinning a lot of your content, and is responsible for driving quite a bit of traffic to your retail site.

Now, with the new messaging capabilities,  you’re able to message the follower and say , “Hey, thanks so much for always repinning our products. We want to send you a coupon code for your loyalty. Upon check out, use the coupon code within the next two weeks, and you’ll receive 20% off the order. Thanks again for all your support.”

Or if you have the marketing budget, imagine sending them a free gift for those that have truly been engaged with your content. Imagine the word of mouth marketing that could generate.

Let’s be honest, we love brands that appreciate us for what we do! 

5) Get Feedback from Your Pinterest Followers

Chances are it’s going to be difficult to be able to contact many of your Pinterest followers directly through e-mail, however, with the new Pinterest messaging system you’re able to send your followers messages and ask them questions.

Since every social network operates a little bit differently from the others, you’re able to to send surveys or questionnaires to people who specifically are following you and are using the Pinterest platform.

This will help give you insight into how your followers are interacting with your Pinterest page.

Those are five tips on how businesses can use the Pinterest messaging system for their business. If you’ve got a creative idea on how businesses can use the Pinterest messaging app, it would be fantastic to read about it. Drop me a line in the comments section, and share.

Additional Resource:

Curious to know how you can re arrange your pins in a board? That’s what I did for my 31 Days to a Better Pinterest Page board to organize it from day 1 to day 31. Learn how to rearrange your pins within your boards. 

7 Costly Mistakes Businesses Make on Pinterest (P2P Episode 16)

@scalablesocial shares with us 7 costly mistakes that  businesses make on Pinterest, and find out how to use Pinterest to generate more leads quickly.

Welcome to episode 16 of the Pictures to Profits Podcast, in this podcast I’ll be interviewing Alisa Meredith, and she’s going to be sharing with us 7 costly mistakes that business make on Pinterest.

Alisa Meredith is the senior inboud marketer at Scalable Social Media, and is the Pinterest Fanatic at OverGo Studio, and she’s big fan of Canva, and is in love with Pinterest. The podcast is based on her article 10 Reasons You’re Missing the Boat with Pinterest.

Costly Pinterest Mistake # 1: Too Much About Your Business

Making your Pinterest page all about your business. While this might seem like a good idea, it’s important to be able to have a Pinterest page that shares other pinners content. By sharing content that’s a resource to your audience, you’re able to gain more followers and become a valuable resource to your audience.

Costly Pinterest Mistake # 2: Your Business is Getting TOO Personal

Don’t get TOO personal. When you’re a business it’s important to remember that you are a business. You want to ensure you’re not posting pins that may offend your audience, or may confuse about how certain pins are related to the business.

If you are representing a business, and you want to pin more personal topics like recipes and home ideas (and these are not your business) then start a personal account for yourself and go nuts.

Alisa states that if you are a solopreneur, then it’s okay to mix who you are with what your business is about as this can help show off more of your personality.

Costly Pinterest Mistake # 3: Not Taking Care of Basic Housekeeping

It’s important to take care of the basics when it comes to your Pinterest marketing. This means ensuring that you’ve

Costly Pinterest Mistake #4: Overlooking What’s Needed for Your Business Account

Alisa also talks about overlooking the obvious when it comes to Pinterest marketing. This means that you need to verify your account and switching it over to a business account so you’ll have access to the New Pinterest analytics.

This also means taking the time to fill out your Pinterest profile, and to fill in  your board descriptions.

The new analytics from Pinterest provides wonderful data about how your Pinterest profile is doing, what the gender breakdown of your users are, and the top performing pins that are generating traffic to your site.

Also ensure that you fill out your Pinterest profile fully. People want to know who you are.

Costly Pinterest Mistake # 5: Why Won’t You Let me Pin From Your Website?

This is when businesses don’t invite great pinning. A business needs to make it as easy as possible for people to pin from their website, this means having a pin it button on your website, and to ensure that your business also has a pinnable image.

Costly Pinterest Mistake # 6: Ignoring Pinterest for Lead Generation

A big mistake that businesses make is to assume that Pinterest is not good for lead generation. She shares with us how Pinterest became the number one lead generator for her client by doing the following:

  • Used a variety of images as pins to lure leads to a landing page
  • Posting the pins on a variety of relevant boards and different times
  • Using group boards to help raise the exposure of the pins
  • Created different pins that focused on a different topics (eg. If there was a book about 7 smoothie recipes, she would create a different pin for each recipe.

Costly Pinterest Mistake #7: Using Boring Alt Text for Your Images

This mistake can easily be overlooked if you’re not careful and that’s not having a pinnable description in the alt text.

This is because for most pin it buttons, the alt text is used as the default description in the pin. Alisa suggests that you add the following for your alt descriptions

  • A great pinnable description that will make people either share, or click on the pin
  • Your Pinterst username such as @scalablesocial (this is what comes after, and the username is case sensitive).
  • Including your website, or a specific url you want to redirect people to.

Alisa Meredith

Links and Resources

10 Reasons You’re Missing the Boat with Pinterest

Alisa Meredith’s Twitter Account 

Manly Pinterest Tips (To Pin or Not to Pin)

Scalable Social Media

Scalable Social Media On Pinterest

OverGo Studio on Pinterest
hear us on Stitcher

Pictures to Profits on Itunes

Also, reviews on iTunes are so helpful and much appreciated! Feel free to share your URL there so I can contact you later on and say thanks.

Popular Pictures to Profits Podcast Episodes:

5 Tips For Getting Your Pins Found in Pinterest Search Results
How to use Pinterest to Launch Your Etsy Business
How to Gain 28,000 Followers and Drive Traffic with Pinterest

How “Manly Brands” can Market on Pinterest (P2P Episode 11)

David Rubin…you may not know who he is, but if you were like me, you remember the commercials that he did. David Rubin is the branding brains behind the infamous Axe commercials. His marketing with Axe was so successful that it actually ended up backfiring as Axe became a “geek brand” and they had to tone down their overtly sexual advertisements.

How Manly Brands can do Marketing on Pinterest. Episode 11 of the Pictures to Profits Podcast featuring Jeff Sieh.

Pinterest Priority – Get More Men Using the Site

David is now the head of brand at Pinterest, and one of his top priorities is to bring more men to Pinterest. This is where Jeff Sieh kicks in. Jeff is one of the few male social media marketers that believes and uses the power of Pinterest when it comes to marketing. He has over 13,000 followers and growing for his Pinterest account. He enjoys Pinterest so much, he produced an online show called the Manly Pinterest Tips show and will be launching the Manly Pinterest Tips podcast.

Join The Manly Pinterest Revolution Before It’s Too Late

Jeff is one of the few male Pinterest evangelists. In episode 11 of Pictures to Profits Podcast Jeff offers insights on how “manly brands” can use Pinterest for marketing, and he makes a strong case for why more men should be on the network.


If you happen to be going to Podcast Movement in Dallas on August 16th and 17th, he’ll be attending.


In episode 11 of the Pictures to Profits Podcast, the always entertaining and insightful Jeff Sieh is going to be sharing his thoughts about:

  • How “Manly Brands” can use Pinterest for marketing.
  • Why Pinterest is not just for women.
  • How he grew his Pinterest account to have 13,000 followers.
  • Discusses his new video and audio podcast, the Manly Pinterest Show.

Links and Resources:

Jeff Sieh’s Pinterest Account

Jeff’s Beard story about excellent customer service

Mike Alton’s Social Media Hat Blog

Wade Harman

The Manly Pinterest Tips Show

Buzz Feed’s Second Highest Social Referral is Pinterest

Peg Fitzpatrick 

You can find Jeff on his website at:

Jeff’s Website – His Design

Jeff Sieh on Google Plus


Pictures to Profits on Itunes

hear us on Stitcher

Also, reviews on iTunes are so helpful and much appreciated! Feel free to share your URL there so I can contact you later on and say thanks.

4 Tools for Pinterest Marketing with E-commerce

4 Pinterest Tools for E-commerce by Vincent Ng of MCNG Marketing. #PIntalysis

Recently Shopify and Pinterest announced that Rich Pins would be available for all products that were sold on the Shopify e-commerce platform.

That’s great news for people using Shopify, but there are other e-commerce platforms such as Magento, Opencart, and then there’s also WooCommerce for WordPress.  There are also other platforms such as Etsy, e-bay and Amazon.

You Should Know, I’m Not an E-Commerce Expert

Before I begin, I should make it clear that I’m not an e-commerce expert. There are a lot of different types of platforms, and I have worked with clients in the past with their e-commerce sites and Pinterest, but given that there are so many different types of platforms it can be hard to be an expert in each and every one of them.

However, I still wanted to provide resources that may be of use to different e-commerce owners. I wasn’t able to find too many blog posts on the topic so I wanted to be able to provide a resource that was a starting point. If you’ve used any of the tools mentioned, please feel leave a comment after the blog post to let me know what you think of the tools.

Here are 3 Tools for E-commerce Sites to help with Your E-commece Marketing

Tool 1: Social Beacon for Etsy, Amazon, and e-bay Sellers

Social Beacon is made by Page Mage and is currently in beta. This program allows you to schedule products that you sell on e-bay, Etsy, and Amazon and to post them onto networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Social Beacon has a scheduling feature for Twitter and Facebook, but doesn’t have one for Pinterest. Social Beacon is able to tell you the number of repins, likes and clicks that a pin has received.

What I like about social beacon is that the metrics are side by side, making it easy to compare repins to the number of clicks. This way you know what type of products are spreading around Pinterest, but you also know if people are actually clicking through to your product page. This can give you some insight on what some of your most popular items that are being sold on e-bay, Amazon.

The great thing is that Social Beacon is free at this moment, so if you happen to be a fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) seller, or run an Etsy shop and want to promote on all three networks, then this is a great tool to try.

Unfortunately, if you’re like me and you sell Kindle books on Amazon, then Social Beacon won’t be able to help you there. This is designed for stores that carry a variety of physical inventory.

Tool 2: Tailwind for Pinterest Analytics

Tailwind isn’t exclusively an analytics platform for e-commerce, but it can give some amazing data in terms of what’s popular, who your most influential pinners are, and has a nice sidebar notifying you of comments left on your pins, as well as which boards are getting the most repins.

Tailwind is a great tool for Pinterest Analytics.

When you upgrade with Tailwind, you’re also able to get competitor insights and see how your competitors are doing on Pinterest. Tailwind is free to use for their starter features, and even the starter features are quite amazing.  If you are seeing a lot of activity from you e-commerce site you can get detailed analytics starting at $149/month from them.

Fun Pinterest Tip:

If you want to know if people are pinning from your e-commerce site, type in You will need a Pinterest account to get this information. But it will show you if people are already pinning products from your site.

Pintalysis Advertisement

Tool 3: Magento Rich Snippets Suite

Magento is one of the world’s most popular e-commerce platforms, powering over 200,000 sites worldwide, however, unlike Shopify, Magento doesn’t offer automatic rich pins. But no need to worry, if you’re using the platform, Magento has an extention to help create Rich Pins for the product site.

For those that may not be familiar with rich pins for products, they are pins on Pinterest that include the price, availability and they have the ability to show up in the Gifts category on Pinterest. Non rich pins will no longer show up in the gifts category.

When Target first added rich pins to their Pinterest page, they noticed a 70% increase in their website traffic that came from Pinterest, so rich pins can be quite powerful.

The Rich Snippets Suite works on both the community and enterprise editions of Magento. The cost of the extension is 55 pounds.

Rich Snippets Suite for Rich Pins on Magento Sites

Based on the website that had 13 reviews, it received a 4.9 star rating. And based on the Magento Commerce site, it received 4.9 stars for 27 reviews.

Tool 4: OpenCart Pinterest Extension

If you have an OpenCart shop and are looking to install rich pins for your products, then the Pinterest Rich Pin Plugin extension for OpenCart may be the solution for you. Based on what I’ve been able to see, the support staff are very responsive to trouble shooting issues, and the team responsible for creating the plugin updates it regularly.

Based on three reviews it received five stars.

From what I could find, it seems like there isn’t too many extensions available for OpenCart e-commerce platforms.

Advantages of Having Rich Pins for E-commerce Products

The advantage of having rich pins are the bolded titles, the extra “favicon” and the pricing listed. None of this information can be changed by Pinterest users, only the developer of your website would be able to change it, which can help build consumer trust and credibility.

As a bonus of having rich pins for products, if the price drops by 10%, then Pinterest users may receive an e-mail notification letting them know that a product they have pinned has dropped in price. Isn’t that awesome? Pinterest is doing e-mail marketing for you, all you have to do is ensure you make a great pinnable image to get people to pin your content.


If you want to learn how to increase profits with Pinterest for your e-commerce products, and learn how to get more repins, then take a sneak peak at the Pintalysis Academy.