Pinterest for Business: Monitoring

Eons ago, I wrote on this blog that I’d have a Pinterest for Business series. The problem with being a social media strategist and community manager: you end up writing and working all day on client work, so the things here get put to the back burner. I’m incredibly lucky to have a wonderful arsenal of clients to keep me super busy. That being said, I’m going to try to make a little more time to share some tips here.

Pinterest for Business: A Series

In the last post, we talked about why Pinterest is great for business (and when I say “business” you could also insert “blog” if that’s your angle.) Today, I’ll give a couple quick tips on how to monitor when other people are pinning content from your website that you might not realize.

Why it’s important to monitor Pinterest:

  • Instant snapshot of engaged customers/prospects/fans: You can find active fans/users of your work, who were interested enough to be browsing your site and then share that content with their followers.
  • An extra touchpoint: If you can easily see what others are pinning about your or your business, you can instantly give them a “like” on that pin or respond in a comment. It shows initiative and that you’re listening out for them. It also shows appreciation that they took the time to pin your content.
  • Totally legit eavesdropping: In keeping an eye on what people are pinning, you may gain insight into how they plan on using your product, what they found most useful, and also what images people are drawn to from your site. It’s not enough information to drive a strong product or website strategy, but it’s good qualitative information to pay attention to.

How to monitor Pinterest:

  • Pinterest Source: This is a simple trick. You can use a simple URL that will pull up pins from your site, or any other sites. You can use this to check out what’s being pinned on competitor sites if desired.

The URL is
(obviously changing out the site name)

See who is pinning from your website or blog.

This is an example of monitoring my blog, From here, I’d go through and like the pins (clicking the heart that appears on hovering over a pin) and make sure I’m following those users.

  • PinAlerts: Pinterest tools come and go like crazy, and its inevitable that as soon as I find one I like, it goes away. PinAlerts, however, has been pretty steady and consistent, plus – it’s free! You simply set up an account on and enter the URLs you want to track. For each URL, you can set the alert time – weekly, daily, as it happens, etc. You’ll be emailed only as frequently as you ask for each site. Even though I periodically check Pinterest via source as outlined above, I love getting these daily snapshots for my blog, or for client sites. It instantly reminds me to go and take care of those pins instead of waiting a longer period of time and then scrolling through a lot more pins.

Use PinAlerts to see who is pinning your images

No matter which of these methods you use, you will see the same content. It all comes down to your delivery preference: do you need a little nudge like myself, or would you rather check it on your own schedule? Either way, happy monitoring!

Questions? Let me know in the comments.

Company Social Media Profile: The Open Fire Hydrant

You know the scene: You meet someone at a networking event and you genuinely want to know more about them. After 1 question that is a nicely-phrased “who are you and what do you do,” you quickly realize you’ve made the biggest mistake: you opened up the social fire hydrant. Out comes a steady stream of information that doesn’t leave room for air, much less for you to engage with the person. Your eyes glaze over while hearing about the 5th most awesome thing they did on their 21st birthday.

At this point you could:

  • Break out doing the Macarena
  • Try to interrupt and let them you have hemorrhoids
  • Silently start recalling the sequence of Pi

No matter what you do, their response would be the same: nothing. Their stream of self-promotion is apparently never-ending, and even doing a bad line dance can’t save you.

This is exactly what I think of when I see companies on social media who fail to respond to customer messages, take action on company social mentions, or include any personality in their communications. Instead, they see Twitter, Facebook, and in some cases Pinterest, as a way to just talk about themselves:

  • We are awesome!
  • Look at what we do!
  • Look at our newest brochure!
  • Look at our newest brochure in 140 characters!
  • Look at the picture from our newest brochure!
  • Did you see our new brochure?
  • (If you’re lucky) Look – our newest brochure in Spanish!

Translation to the consumer? La la la la la….
we don’t want to can’t hear you!

There are very few differences between being a good social butterfly and being a good social company. Don’t approach social media channels as another way for you to “advertise” your business. Look at it as an ideal way to connect with your prospects and customers. Listen to what they’re saying, and respond publicly. Social media is to traditional advertising as Toto was to the Wicked Wizard – it removes the curtain. No longer can companies operate by sending out messages and shielding their ears to the responses. You can’t put an automated call system and computerized help systems behind a social media account and achieve the same personal communications expected by someone trying to reach out to you.

Don’t be a social media fire hydrant: if all you do is spew, no one will listen to you.

Want some great examples of interaction on Twitter?

Do you have any good examples of businesses effectively interacting via social media? Or how about some examples of a social open fire hydrant? Share below!

Social Timing

Have you ever gone to a party and scanned the room for people you know? You zoom in on your targets, then approach and try to organically pop into the conversation. After a few seconds of overhearing the conversation, you realize that it was the completely wrong time to join in. Your happy face just interrupted a deep discussion about someone’s family members recent cancer diagnosis. Gah.

Two things with social that I see all the time from both individuals and small businesses:

  1. Poor timing: This includes not responding in a timely manner (an expectation of “timely” is set by your customer), not engaging while your customer is online (instead, only when it is convenient for you to do so), and not posting content when your customers are most likely to see it.
  2. Improper context: This one stretches the gamut of possible oopsies, from misappropriate use of a hashtag to reacting in haste to a negative post without reading the entire background. This causes major foot-in-mouth syndrome.

To fix poor timing:

  • Think about when people are using your product or when they need you. I had an experience with Verizon Wireless this week where I had no email service and it seemed to be a widespread problem. Unfortunately, when the social media team clocked out, all the in-progress help they were giving users went with it.
  • You can utilize services like Crowdbooster so you can see when your followers are most active so your tweets have the most potential for impact.
  • You can also just observe when your followers seem to be most active. When are they responding to your blog or to your Facebook posts? You can also look at research like that in the infographic below from Argyle Social.

To fix improper context:

  • Listen before you pipe in. If you see your name come up, make sure you read the conversation participants past tweets so you can reply with proper context.
  • If you’re unsure of context, just ask. A short “is there something I can help you with?” goes a long way.

Here’s a great infographic that provides data-driven insights into the social media timing.

Data-driven social media marketing from Argyle Social

Do you schedule your social media activities around periods of high engagement? Any tips?