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What Marcus Sheridan Taught Me at the Alaska Inbound Marketing Summit

Here are nine lessons I learned from Marcus Sheridan (aka The Sales Lion) at the Alaska Inbound Marketing Conference. Discover what it takes to make inbound marketing truly successful for your organization.

I had the pleasure and the honor to be a presenter at the first Alaska Inbound Marketing Summit in Anchorage, Alaska. This was Alaska’s first ever inbound marketing conference and it featured  Marcus Sheridan, the Sales Lion, Andrea Vahl ,(aka Grandma Mary) author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies,  Viveka Von Rosken of Linked Into Business, and Corrisa St. Laurent from Constsant Contact.

I can tell you that Marcus is an extremely passionate and energetic speaker. I couldn’t believe that he flew in the night before from Sweeden to present in Anchorage. He definitely knows his stuff about inbound marketing.

Being a Pinterest marketer myself, I truly believe that the foundation of a great Pinterest account is the ability to create great blog posts and articles that draw people into your business. While pretty pictures and visual headlines are good, it’s helpful and useful content that get people to stay on your site.

Nine Lessons About Inbound Marketing from Marcus Sheridan

Here are the 9 lessons I learned from Marcus Sheridan about inbound and content at the Alaska Inbound Marketing Summit.

Why companies fail at inbound. Right on @marcussheridan1! #alaskainbound

A photo posted by Corissa St. Laurent (@corissastl) on


1) Inbound Marketing is About Being the Most Helpful and Best Teacher

It’s inspiring to hear that Marcus would go on the road for 12 hours trying to sell pools and still have the energy to write blog posts at the end of the day for Riverside Pools and Spa. I’m personally not that type of road warrior and don’t always have that type of energy.

When you are creating content, you have to have a passion to be the most helpful to your customers and to be the best teacher possible. Without that passion, I don’t know if it is possible to continue to produce great content.

You have to be willing to provide answers that no one else wants to answer, and you need to create content that is in the best interest of your customers.

2) Start with “Why?”

This is a great question to ask on so many levels. But it’s important to understand why what you write is important to your customers, why your WHOLE organization needs to be behind inbound marketing. If people don’t understand why something is happening, it can be hard for them to jump on board.

You have to get people to buy into the process that creating content is important to an organization and its bottom line.

3) Host an Inbound Workshop and Ongoing Training

Marcus says that in order for an organization to have a truly successful content and inbound marketing strategy, everybody needs to understand what inbound marketing is, the benefits of using inbound marketing, and how everybody has to be on the same page.

If you can’t get everybody at the company at your first inbound marketing workshop to understand what is going on, then you’re not going to get effective results. Everybody should be there, and point number 5 is going to explain why this is vital.

I don’t think this just applies to inbound marketing and content creation, but I truly believe that ongoing training also needs to be provided in the social media sphere. Your company needs to know what type of social media messages can help drive company profit and positive public relations, and the type of social messages that could be extremely costly.

4) Who is THE content manager?

Marcus says you’ve got to have someone in charge of content. Who in your company is going to be the Content Manager? This should be, ideally, someone who is dedicated to this role full time.

You can’t three different people managing content as this can spread people to thin and at the end of the day it can be hard to move in one direction.

5) Insource (Engage Employees)

This is something that I wish more companies would do with their content marketing. It’s leveraging your employees to help you produce wonderful content. Inbound content can come in many forms including e-books, video, audio and webinars.

The goal is not just to have you and your content marketing team produce content for your customers, but to get the whole company involved. Marcus says that there are four types of people in your company right now that can help you produce great inbound content.

1) Writers

2) Actors

3) Talkers (these may be technical people who are extremely good at explaining details).

4) Questioners (usually people who do customer service and answer questions all day)

Let’s be honest, not everybody is born a writer. Some people HATE writing, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t passionate about what they do, or are shy in front of the camera. There are tons of people, within your company right now, who can jabber on like a monkey about a product or service with hot burning passion in a camera or audio interview.

And by the way if you have a small team and you don’t feel you have enough time or resources to produce great content, Marcus suggests that you suck it up and get it done anyway.

6) It’s about Sales Tools Not Marketing Tools

The way you word things is so important, and Marcus stressed this a lot during his presentation. If you want to get sales people to jump aboard the inbound marketing train you have to impress upon them that inbound marketing is a tool that helps drives sales, not marketing.

Tools such as Hubspot or Marketo are not marketing tools, they are sales tools.

When you position that inbound marketing is about sales, and that it helps contribute to sales, then this makes it easier for the organization as a whole to stand behind inbound marketing.

(Disclosure: I’m currently a investor in Hubspot.)

7) Make it Required For Marketing and Sales to Meet

Marketing and sales departments often work independently of each other creating silos of silence. Marcus suggests that it should be mandatory for sales and marketing departments to meet up at least once a month for an hour.

70% of the buying decision is already made before a person talks to a sales person face to face. By working together with sales, inbound marketers and content creators can create content that deals with everyday objections that salespeople receive, and make it easier for salespeople to close the sale.

Marcus shares one example of how one couple read over 800 pages content about swimming pools on the River Pools and Spas site! The articles were doing so much of the education and selling for Marcus, that by the time he went to the couple’s house, the deal was pretty much done. All he needed was their signature.

8) Master the Tool

Doing content marketing is great, but having a tool that allows you to show you ROI is important. This is where Marcus suggests that you receive some inbound certification that allows you to measure the results of your inbound marketing, not just in clicks, but in money and data intelligence.

For example, Marcus found out through his data analytics, that people who read at least 30 pages from Riverside Pool and Spas would have a sales closing rate of 80%, compared to those who read less than 30 pages which had an average closing of 20%.

Using inbound marketing, and data, you can use that information to help close more sales, reduce the amount of time that the sales team needs to be on the phone or in person.

9) The CEO Really Needs to Care about Inbound Marketing

I think this was probably the most interesting tidbit of all, which is the CEO has to really care about inbound marketing and needs to understand and be on board of the whole process. Marcus says that no truly successful inbound marketing and sales occurs without 100% support from the CEO.

He says it simply does not work. And that it won’t be effective.

Behind the Scenes at Alaska Inbound Marketing:

I had a blast being a presenter at the Alaska Inbound Marketing Summit, and wanted to share some great tweets and photos that were taken by people at the event. Enjoy!

Ariane Aramburo in the middle was one of our emcees throughout the event. She’s the morning anchor at NBC Channel 2. I couldn’t believe she had been up since 2:30 am that morning AND was 8 months pregnant. Big thanks also to Jason Martin who is on the left for his gracious hospitality and amazing emcee skills.

Love talking with #Pinterest expert @vincentkcng at #alaskainbound!

A photo posted by Corissa St. Laurent (@corissastl) on

Getting ready to kick it off at 1:15 in the Yukon Room! Come learn all about inbound email. #alaskainbound

A photo posted by Corissa St. Laurent (@corissastl) on

My bosses, Jen and Adrienne, rocking the stage at the #alaskainbound event! Go Beacon!

A photo posted by Courtney Moses (@907g.courtney) on

And a big thank you to Jennifer Christensen and Adrienne Wilkerson from Beacon Media and Marketing for hosting Alaska’s first ever inbound marketing conference! You two are serious visionaries. Keep rocking on!

Rock on, AIMS #attitude #badass #eventdesign #rocks #toastofthetown #alaskainbound #afterparty @hrcanchorage

A photo posted by Toast of the Town Events (@toastofthetownak) on

And big thank you to Toast of the Town’s team, Carrie Shepphard and Cyrstal Swartzlander

Carrie from Toast of the Town and Grandma Mary, Facebook Expert selfiying

And the best picture for the entire conference goes to Viveka Von Rosen and Corissa St. Laurent. Those ladies know how to rock it!

We brought the house down at the #alaskainbound after party! #reallynotreally

A photo posted by Corissa St. Laurent (@corissastl) on

Most awesome picture definitely goes to Corissa St.Laurent from Constant Contact and Viveka Von Rosen the @LinkedinExpert.  Seriously, these gals know how to mingle and have fun.

Also if you happen to be looking for an alternative to a taxi while in Anchorage, Alaska and you’re planning to do some activities in advance, you can contact Beth who operates, Allow Me to Pick You Up, you can call her up at 208 631 1952. She was my driver to and from the airport and was extremely pleasant to chat with.

For more great marketing content and Pinterest tips, 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.


Buffer Versus Tailwind – Which is Better for Pinterest Scheduling?

Buffer versus Pinterest. Which Pinterest scheduling tool is better for your business? Which one has better features and benefits and provides more bang for your buck? Find out in this detailed analysis.
Please note that this blog post contains affiliate links but is not a sponsored post.

Are you a small business owner looking for the best way to schedule your pins? I’m going to compare two popular Pinterest scheduling tools that are official marketing developer partners with Pinterest, Tailwind and Buffer.

While each tool has their unique features, I’m going to cover what I believe are the most important features and benefits for small business owners and solopreneurs. Some of the features covered will include pricing, scheduled pin limits, and customer service and much more.

I compare the Awesome plan by Buffer, and the Tailwind Plus package which are similar in price. I’ve used both packages for clients and myself before so I’m coming from the perspective as a paid user.

Tailwind versus Buffer – Let’s Compare…

Scheduling Pins and Repins from Within Pinterest 

Tailwind and Buffer have browser extensions that allow you to schedule pins and repins directly from within the desktop version of Pinterest. This means that when you’re scanning through pins on your Pinterest feed you can schedule them within the Pinterest platform.

With Buffer and Tailwind, you can schedule pins directly from the Pinterest feed with their browser extensions.

With Buffer and Tailwind, you can schedule pins directly from the Pinterest feed with their browser extensions.

While both have the ability to schedule pins and repins within Pinterest, it’s Tailwind’s ability to quickly save a pin in draft mode that I really love. Instead of choosing a schedule, a board, and filling in all the pin’s descriptions for a pin right then and there, I can save it a draft and deal with small details later.

You can use Tailwind to help save pins into a draft mode and deal with the small details such as the pin's description and choosing a board later.

I’ll often save 30-40 draft pins at one time. I find this hunt for great looking pins keeps my mind focussed  on a singular task for a period of time instead of having my brains go from collecting a picture, focusing on keywords in the pin’s description, and choosing the right board and repeating that for each and every pin.

This saves a lot of time and allows for a better workflow.

Buffer does allow you to save pins for a queue but it requires that you fill in the pin’s description, choose the board, and schedule the pin for each and every single pin. You can’t amass pins for later use and deal with the pin’s description and board at later time.

The one key difference that I like about Buffer is that they will automatically add the source of the url within the Pinterest pin description. Since urls are clickable on the pin descriptions on the desktop version of Pinterest this can help with driving additional traffic to your site. That’s definitely a nice touch!

Buffer allows you to schedule pins and adds the pin's original url into the pin description.

Winner: Tailwind. Both have the ability to schedule within Pinterest, but Tailwind’s “set it and take care of small details later” draft mode is a huge time saver. This can also allow for one person to curate the right images and board and have another person deal with the pin descriptions later.

Scheduling Pins from a Website

When you use the browser extension to pin directly from a website it’s a breeze for both Tailwind and Buffer, The button for Tailwind sits on the bottom left corner saying “Schedule”, and for Buffer it sits on the bottom right that states “Share Image.”

Share buttons for both the Buffer and Tailwind browser extension.

When you click on the buttons it will load up the scheduling tools for their respective platforms.

With Taliwnd’s button, it’s a breeze to pin all vertical and pinnable images.

Unfortunately this is where Buffer seems to have dropped the ball. It’s able share some images but not others. I experienced this problem on my own site, and also on a friend’s as well.

Knowing Buffer, they will most likely fix this issue ASAP.

Buffer Share as Image Missing

Winner: Tailwind. It works with all vertical images I’ve tested so far.

Number of Scheduled Pins Allowed Per Month

Buffer doesn’t set a limit on how many pins you can pin throughout the month with their Awesome plan which is nice. There is no limit on how many pins you can pin in a month. But there is a catch to it, and that’s what I’m going to cover in the next section.

Tailwind’s Plus plan, if you pay month by month, allows you to schedule up to 400 pins per month. If you upgrade to the yearly plan, you can schedule unlimited amount of pins.

Winner: Buffer. If you’re paying a month by month basis then Buffer technically allows you to schedule up to 100 pins in their queue, there’s no monthly limit. For the yearly plans, Tailwind is the winner since there’s no limit on how many scheduled pins you can queue.

Freedom of Scheduling Pins 

Tailwind will allow you to schedule as many pins as the limit allows, so the month by month Plus plan allows you to schedule up to 400 per month, with the annual plan you can schedule as many as you like.

This means, if you really want to, you can set and forget it, if you decide to schedule pins for a month with ten pins a day.  So there’s more time flexibility as an owner or a social media manager when you decide to go on vacation.

The Awesome plan with Buffer allows you to schedule up to 100 posts at one time. This means that if you schedule 100 posts, and then 20 go out, you can then add another 20 to max it at 100.

Since it’s only limited to 100 at a time and let’s say you schedule ten pins a day you can only schedule for 10 days in advance. Keep in mind that Buffer also allows you to schedule tweets, Facebook posts, which can reduce the number of pins you’re allowed to queue.

Winner: Tailwind. It allows up to 400 a month and you can take off on a three week trip (which I’ve done before) and not worry too much about the account when you schedule ten pins each day. I wouldn’t be able to do that with Buffer’s awesome plan.

Customization of Pinning Schedule with Your Pins

Buffer allows you to customize the times you want your pins to go out with their Awesome plan. You also can send out pins for a specific time and date.

Buffer Scheduling for your Pins

Tailwind allows you to customize when you want to post your pins as well.

Tailwind Scheduling

The one thing I LOVE about Tailwind is that they will recommend times for you to pin based on the engagement levels of your pins with their Plus plan. This means that as you start pinning more often, they will recommend more and more times that you should pin.

Winner: Tailwind. They give recommended times on when you should pin. How great is that?

Pinterest Analytics

Since Tailwind almost exclusively focuses on Pinterest it offers some amazing analytics. You can find out how your last 5000 pins have performed in terms of engagement.

You’re able to find out which pins are being pinned from your domain and from what device, which pins have had a high repin activity and also which boards are getting the most repins. You can also track your follower growth for a 7 day period.

The Awesome Buffer plan can tell you which pins had repins, comments and likes and you can organize them into the best performing ones.

Buffer does provide analytics like follower growth and board engagement as well but that’s not included in the Awesome plan, but their Business plan provides these analytics at $50 per month.

Winner: Tailwind. They just offer such detailed analytics for the price point that’s just missing from Buffer. Wouldn’t you love to know how your last 5000 pins have done?

Re scheduling within Tailwind and Buffer

The great thing for both Tailwind and Buffer is that you can actually reschedule pins that are performing well within each platform. So if you find an older pin is performing well you can schedule that again within Tailwind’s platform.

With Tailwind you can get a break down of how well pins have performed on certain boards. You can discover what pins have the most repins from a group board, and then you may decide to schedule that onto one of your individual boards.

Tailwind Repinning

You can also reschedule pins in Buffer known as re Buffering a tweet. So when you check the analytics on Buffer for your old posts, you can re pin them for later. You can organize your pin posts in categories of most popular based on repins.

The downfall is that you’re not able to find out which pins have the most repins for a specific board with the Awesome plan.

Buffer Re Buffer

Winner: Tailwind. Allows you to reschedule pins within their platform but also organize pins according to how popular they are for a specific board, not just the whole account. This way you can repin some of your boards most popular pins with ease.

Bulk Uploading of Images

Tailwind is amazing in the sense that you can bulk upload images from your computer and have them saved in draft mode to schedule for later. This can save you an incredible amount of time, especially if you have an e-commerce site with a lot of your own product photos.

With Buffer you can upload images that can be used for Pinterest but there’s no bulk upload feature and that means you’re uploading images one at a time, making it tough if you’re an e-commerce site with 30 different products shots to upload.

Winner: Tailwind. Upload a lot of images all at once. Great for e-commerce sites on Pinterest.

Number of Contributors

The Awesome Buffer plan allows for one registered user to post tweets or contribute to scheduling pins. However, with the Buffer business plan at $50 a month you can have 5 team members.

The Plus Plan on Tailwind allows you up to 3 different contributors to your Pinterest account. As a business owner you can have your own Tailwind account but share the tool with your social media co-ordinator and another member of your team.

Winner: Tailwind. The Pinterest Plus plan allows three different contributors at one time versus one for Buffer’s Awesome plan.

Customer Service

I’ve never had to file any type of complaints to either company, but I have left feedback for how they can improve their scheduling system. When I usually leave feedback, I don’t expect to get a response from customer service since it’s really just feedback.

Tailwind, which can get a bit annoying at times, has a feedback popup that comes up regularly which distracts me from my workflow. I did leave some feedback (about something else) and within 2 hours they offered a helpful suggestion and a workaround.

I left some feedback for Buffer regarding their Pinterest scheduling but didn’t hear back from them after 12 hours.  I did have a billing issue with Buffer one time and they got back to me within less than an hour, which was nice! Buffer has tiered customer service requests, so if it’s something that’s urgent, you can let them know.

Winner: Buffer. This is a bit tricky for sure but to get a response in under an hour is amazing, and I like that Buffer has a tiered system when it comes to what type of customer service emergency or issue you have.

Added Perks

What’s really great about the Buffer Awesome plan is that if you’re not planning to do a lot of scheduling with Pinterest then you can use it to schedule tweets, Facebook posts, pins for up to 10 different social profiles from a variety of networks. I’ve used the Awesome plan for scheduling tweets with a client and loved the simplicity of it all.

Buffer also came out with Pablo which allows you to create amazing tweetable images, and no doubt it will just get even better.

Pablo for Buffer

Tailwind is currently working on a content discovery engine that makes pin recommendations based on what you’ve pinned before, so if you pin a dessert related pin, they will try to show you a dessert related pin from their content providers. It’s not exactly perfect, as I’ve seen recommended pins pop up that have nothing to do with the pin I just scheduled.  This feature is in beta.

Another bonus is that you can pin Instagram pics onto Pinterest with ease. This is also in beta, but another great feature that saves so much time on cross promoting onto different platforms.

Winner: Buffer and Tailwind. Different perks for different people.

Costs and Value

If you go by a month by month plan with Tailwind its $15 USD or $119 per year for their Plus plan.

Buffer costs $10 per month for month by month or $102 a year for their Awesome plan.

Winner: Buffer and Tailwind. Buffer is technically cheaper, but doesn’t have as detailed analytics as Tailwind. It will really depend on what your marketing and social media goals are and what you feel is important to measure.

Buffer Versus Pinterest – The Winner is…

I have used both paid plans, and if I had to come from the perspective of exclusively focusing on Pinterest scheduling analytics, and their bulk uploading and ability to save drafts of pins are massive time savers in the long run.

For me Tailwind is the clear winner for the price and for what you get.

If you’re a small business and you want to add Pinterest to your marketing mix, but don’t use it a lot, but if you do use Twitter and Facebook more, then having the Buffer Awesome plan is probably the plan for you.

To check out the Plus Plan for Tailwind you can visit them at

You can also check out Buffer’s Awesome plan at

How about yourself, which tool do you like to use more for your Pinterest scheduling? Buffer or Tailwind.  Share your thoughts in the comment below and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter.

How to Easily Post a Pinterest Pin onto a Facebook Page

The Easiest Way to Post Pinterest Pins onto Your Facebook Page. More Pinterest marketing tips and tutorials found on

This blog post will go over how you can easily post your Pinterest pins onto a Facebook page or group from within the Pinterest platform.

Anna Vanlandingham, from Pinterest Pro, for sharing this with me. It’s greatly appreciated.

Connect Your Pinterest with Your Facebook Account

Now before you can post directly to any Facebook page or Facebook group from Pinterest you have to connect your personal Facebook account with Pinterest.

You can easily do this by going to the desktop version of Pinterest and going to your account settings and scrolling down to the section about logging in with your social networks. Make sure you connect your Facebook account.

Now you’re ready for the next step.

Connecting to Your Facebook Account

How to Post Pinterest Pins Onto Facebook Pages 

In order for you to post onto a particular Facebook page or group, click on your desired pin until it expands.

How to Easily Post Pinterest Pins on to Facebook Pages

Once it does, you will see a Facebook share button at the top right hand corner.  Click on it and a drop down menu will now appear. The drop down menu allows you to post Pinterest pins onto your personal Facebook timeline, a friend’s timeline, Facebook pages and groups and through private messages.

How to Easily Post PInterest Pins on Facebook by @mcngmarketing.

It also shows a preview of what the pin will look like on Facebook.

If you happen to be a social media marketer this means that you can now post pins onto any particular Facebook page that you manage.

A Word of Caution…

This has nothing to do with actually posting as so much about the fact that when you do connect your Facebook you are still using your personal account. And Pinterest will put your personal Facebook url in the header.

Rebekah Raddice on Pinterest


This means people can check out your personal Facebook page, so ensure you have them on the proper privacy settings.

A popular question I get asked is whether we can replace that personal Facebook url with a Facebook business page url. At the time of the writing you can’t, but if that does change I’ll make sure to update this blog post.

If you’re interested in doing the reverse, and want to post Facebook posts onto Pinterests, that’s not as easy. This blog post will explain how. 

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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.

8 Tips For Marketing Your App on Pinterest

8 Tips for Marketing Your App on Pinterest by @mcngmarketing. I reveal how you can get more downloads for your app within Pinterest.

Pinterest announced a partnership with Apple that allows pinners to directly install iOS apps from pins within the Pinterest app from their iPad or iPhone. These new type of pins, referred to as app Pins, will only show up on iOS Pinterest apps. The app pins will have a blue “install” button next to the Pin it button on the top right hand corner as seen in the embedded tweet below.

Will Pinterest Change the Way People Discover and Search For Apps?

One of the biggest challenges that app developers face is having their apps discovered among the millions of apps that are available. There have been a few startups and sites that have tried to make app discovery by search much easier, but it seems that there isn’t a dominant go to tool for that.

When you think of doing a search on the Internet, you most likely think of using Google. But if I asked ten different people to name me the number one app search engine, they probably would have trouble.

With Pinterest that could all change. Users may be able to discover apps while scanning or searching Pinterest. Over time (I would say in a period of 2-3 years) people will start to type in search terms such as “Health App” in the Pinterest search box to help them discover new and amazing apps.

This is exciting news for apps and startups who are looking to expand their reach and grab a whole new audience, especially if you don’t have millions of dollars to spend on marketing and advertising. This means that Pinterest has the potential to be the go to place to discover apps.

This means apps and mobile games need to be ready to use Pinterest as part of their marketing. So how do you market your app on Pinterest? Here are 8 tips to help you out.

How to Market and Get Your App Discovered on Pinterest

1) Create Beautiful and Pinnable Images

Melissa Megginson, the Marketing Manager at Tailwind, a Pinterest analytics company, offers this advice:

“If I were to give just one piece of advice to app developers, it would be to invest in crafting beautiful, pinnable images to boost with promoted pins.

“You can pour as much time and money as you’d like into Pinterest, but if your images aren’t eye-catching enough you won’t gain any traction.

“There are great free tools like Canva and Unsplash (an amazing free stock photo site) that can help make even the most design-challenged a pin creating machine.”

Creating a pinnable image means creating a pin that people want to click through and repin. This is the first step to getting your app pin to go viral.

Pinterest now allows you to directly download apps within their Pinterest app on iPhone and iPad.

2) Use Promoted Pins

As mentioned earlier by Melissa, you should strongly consider using promoted pins to advertise your app.

Promoted pins is one of the ways that you can advertise on Pinterest.  You choose a particular pin you want to promote, choose the keywords that you want the promote pin to show up for, and then choose how much you want to spend for the campaign.

Promoted pins charge based ont he number of clikc throughs to your website, and repins are free of charge.

You can decide the maximum price you want to pay for each click, and the daily budget set for the advertising campaign.

Let’s say you an app like the one from, which is all about finding the best deals and coupons.

hip2save coupon

You can create a pin, have it promoted for search terms like coupon app, or couponing. With promoted pins you can also target users who are exclusively on the iPad and iPhone ensuring that the people who see your app pins are the only ones that will have the option to directly download your app. .

In order to have promoted pins for your Pinterest account you need to have a business account and apply for promoted pins. For the moment, only U.S. based businesses are allowed to use promoted pins.

(You can’t see me right now, but I have my sad face on because I’m Canadian, so I can’t use promoted pins for my own business. I have in other countries who feel the same way.)

Here’s a video by Ileane Smith from that goes into detail about promoted pins.

3) Don’t Just Pin Your App. Create a Lifestyle Around It.

Kelly Lieberman, the host of #PinChat, that takes place on Twitter on Wednesdays at 6pm (PT), offers this advice for app startups:
“Pin images and content that relate to the overall lifestyle associated with using the app. Inspire, inform, and be helpful.

“Here is an example of an app that is doing all of this MyFitnessPal.

If you’re hoping that your app is going to skyrocket just because you pinned it, guess again. Creating a Pinterest account means being a resource to your followers and pinning what’s interesting, educational and entertaining for them. It’s not just all about your app.

If your followers feel that you’re helping them then they will be more interested in downloading your app.

4) Hire an Influencer to Curate a Board For You About Your App

One of the ways to get your app out in the open on Pinterest is to hire a Pinterest influencer to help curate a Pinterest board.

For example if you happen to launching an educational mobile game that’s for children, you may want to pair up with an influential pinner in the parenting or educational space. The influencer can create the board and add educational pins to the board and include app pins for download.

However, Pinterest’s terms of service dictates that people cannot be paid to pin specific pins. So make sure you play nice with Pinterest.

5) Link Your App Pin Back to App Store

When you create your app pin, ensure that you have it linked back to your app download page.

To do that, go to the desktop version of Pinterest and click on the pencil icon when you hover over a pin.

A box will pop up, and there’s a place near the bottom that reads “Source.” In that box you can add your download link for your app.

How to Edit The Source of a Pin on Pinterest

With any pin that you've pinned on Pinterest, you're able to change the source url.

6) Create a Lot of Different Images for Your App

One of the most beautiful aspects about Pinterest is that you can create many different visuals for your app. Think of all the images that would relate to your app and have some of them link back to your download page on iTunes.

The more images that you can create around your app, the more chances of it being discovered by a user.

7) Use Reviews and Testimonials

Do you have some great reviews for your app on iTunes? Why not create pins that show off those wonderful testimonials and have those link back to your iTunes download page.

Here’s a pin that’s a testimonial for the book The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick. You can do the same for your app. As a matter of fact, Peg has a whole board that’s dedicated to awesome reviews for the book she co-authored. I would suggest you do the same for your mobile app or game.

Add testomials about your app to your Pinterest account.

8) Use Keywords

If you want your app to be discovered, you have to put keywords in your pin descriptions.  To get an idea of what keywords your potential app users are search for, go to the Pinterest search bar on the desktop version of Pinterest and start typing in keywords you believe people are searching for. When you start typing, you will start to see auto suggestions that could be of help.

A little bit of information can go a long way. By adding keywords into a client’s pin description I was able to get the pin 4500 repins and over 200,000 monthly impressions. My little secret – I made sure that the pin contained more than one keyword, and so it ended up showing on the top of the results for two words.

Search Box on Pinterest1

Another way to find out what type of words your audience is searching for on Pinterest is to use Guided Search. Guided Search terms are suggestions that show up on tiles just below the main search box after you’ve typed in a search term.  This will tell you words that people are typing that are associated with your search term.

Let’s say you have an app that’s focused on the city of Vancouver. Other terms that are also associated with it include, Island, BC, and Canucks. These are keywords you may want to include in your pin descriptions assuming they are relevant.

Guided Search on Pinterest

Good Advice…

And as a final word, here’s some helpful advice from Azure Collier from Constant Contact that’s good advice, not just for apps, but for all businesses using Pinterest.

“If you want to use Pinterest for marketing, make sure that the content you share connects to a business goal and helps to increase branding and awareness.

“Pin content that makes it easy for people to purchase your product and drive business. But don’t just sell on Pinterest. Become an information hub of created and curated content.

“Share your expertise by pinning tips, facts, stats, your blog posts, your infographics, helpful information from your website, and your videos. Curate content from other sources that’s useful for your followers and reflects their lifestyle in relation to your brand. When you strike the right balance of content, you’ll grow your Pinterest followers and your business.”

A big thank you to our contributors fort their advice:

Melissa Megginson:

Melissa Megginson is the Marketing Manager at Tailwind, a platform that helps you schedule pins and provides Pinterest analytics.

If you happen to be heading to Social Media Marketing World 2015, make sure you drop by and say hi to her. Tell her Vincent sent you!

Feel free to test out their scheduling tool for free at

Kelly Lieberman:

Kelly Lieberman is the host of #PinChat on Twitter, a Twitter chat that covers a different Pinterest topic every week on Wednesdays at 6 PM (PT) and 9 PM (ET). You’ll often run into other Pinterest enthusiasts in the chat such as Jeff Sieh of the Manly Pinterest Tips Show or Kim Vij from the Educator’s Spin on it.

Kelly also runs the BEST DAMN Facebook group, PinChat, but you should join one of her #PinChats on Twitter before joining the Facebook group.

You can find Kelly on Twitter @Tribe2point0.

Azure Collier:

Azure Collier Azure Collier is a Social Media Content Manager at Constant Contact, where she develops content for the company’s Pinterest and Instagram channels, creates and presents webinars on social media and email marketing best practices, and writes for the Constant Contact blog. Follow her on Twitter at @azurecollier.

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

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