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12 more tweaks Pinterest should make in 2012

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Pinterest could be even better

We introduced you to Pinterest last fall, not only showing how the sharing network functions but how it can be used in business, and recently we offered invitations to the private network as well as solid ideas for boards that professionals can create to earn influence on Pinterest, we have also named the company one of the 60 Genius Brands to watch in 2012, so we are closely watching the growth explosion right before our eyes.

Last week, we suggested 30 improvements that visual bookmarking site, Pinterest could make, rather than rehashing why the site is so amazing and addictive. We took a look at the network from a more critical perspective in hopes that these suggestions help the growing site to continue improving so as not to lose steam. The suggestions for improvements are broken down by category and described in detail – we invite you to share additional suggestions in the comments below.

  1. It would be great if my comment response could be another picture embedded in comments like tumblr. I find that sometimes I respond to emails or tweets with a simple picture of a meme like Hipster Kitty, All The Things or Conspiracy Keanu. Please let me be more clever, Pinterest, I promise to make your site more fun!
  2. Perhaps Facebook has made us all lazy, but could we pretty please have a “like” button for comments? I feel compelled to craft a response to every comment left on anything I repin and I just don’t have the mental fortitude. Again, blame Facebook.
  3. Could you please allow us to see our relationship histories? I would like to see that William Carlos Williams is mostly interested in my housing stories, as he has repinned most of them, liked several of them and commented on two of them. I would like to know that AGBeat readers are drawn more to one board than another. This goes back to my original request for metrics – show me what my relationships look like when I go to that user’s profile.
  4. I have had three emails from separate people asking me to set up a board and curate it so they can see it. One person asked me to set up a board about preppy fashion because he’s ditching his current look, another asked for a board about cat humor specifically, and another about sustainable interior design separate from my main decor board. Pinterest, could you please add a “request board from user” or “suggest board ideas to other users” feature?
  5. When a new user signs up, please don’t follow in Twitter’s footsteps and push them into following your power users. It’s offensive, let me find my own users, and don’t play favorites. New users can connect with others on the main page and build from there.
  6. On the invitation email you send out on my behalf, could you please make it less about me? “Come check out my stuff” is not exactly how I would talk, rather I would invite a new person to come share with me. It just feels icky.
  7. Could we please get a dislike or an “eww” button? It’s not a report, it’s just telling our friends that their pictures of hangnails or velvet pants suits are not awesome.
  8. Let’s add a legitimate repin history to Pinterest. Google+ has done it and it is possible to track the origin and history of a link. I would even settle for just knowing the origin of the repin, where a link appeared first in the ecosystem.
  9. Pinterest, could I please just search pins and boards from my friends? Someone pinned a gluten-free cupcake recipe the other day, but I cannot find it because I have to shuffle through all one bajillion users’ pins.
  10. When I enter a board and I click to see one specific pin, I would love to have a “next” arrow so that I don’t have to click on the tiny pictures on the board or go back out to the main board. I’d like to start at the beginning, because some people are using the site as a form of storytelling which is difficult to navigate.
  11. In our list of 30 suggestions, Kim Hollenshead commented that she would like stability on the iPhone, a complaint we have heard a lot about.
  12. Also, Stephanie Crawford suggested that users be offered an embed code for a board or a pin to be copied and pasted on to another website. Houzz.com has accomplished this, so we assume Pinterest could easily implement as well.

This concludes our love letter to Pinterest. We are suggesting improvements so that our favorite new network can thrive and grow. Tell us in the comments what changes you would like to see.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Deidre

    January 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Love this and love Pinterest. Number 12 is a big one for me, I want to be able to embed boards onto blogs or individual blog posts.

  2. jenna

    January 27, 2012 at 2:33 am

    As far as #11 is concerned, they could follow in Juxtapost's footsteps. Juxtapost has an instant preview that pops up while your scrolling through. That way i don't lose my place and see it zoomed it.

    I ended up going with juxtapost also because i can do private postboards. surely pinterest knows not everything has to be shared.

  3. Julia

    January 27, 2012 at 8:14 am

    More sophisticated search, even if just a little, e.g. search by keyword PLUS board type. If I have some old books that no one wants, I know someone out there has some pretty cool crafts out there to make from them. But if I search for "book" or "book craft" guess what I get?

    If they encouraged (i.e. provided an intuitive way to do it) people to pin with "ingredient" tags then you could search that way as well, whether it be items needed to make a craft, a recipe, a room, etc.

  4. psfcondo

    January 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I think having a list of pinners who are the best in each category would be great, We made a great list of fashion, lifestyle and brand pinterest users to follow at https://www.pinnerstofollow.com/, hopefully it is useful!"

  5. Robin Barr

    March 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I prefer the previous format from the change a week or so ago. Longer board names are cut off, often the last pinned item which becomes the top larger pic, is cut off too. More, it’s more natural to view the boards going down, not across. This is still dis-orienting me a little. Intensely dislike the change.

  6. kc

    April 20, 2012 at 2:17 am

    Amen to needing a more sophisticated search…I would expect at the very least to be able to limit a search to individual board/user/category/originating site.

    And I’ve complained bitterly to PInterest already about the tediousness of making changes. Have you tried breaking out a board into smaller categories. Excruciating!

    In my dream pinterest universe, I shoudl be able to search my recipe board for all my Quinoa recipes, then click of little boxes next to the ones I want to move to a new “Quinoa Recipes” board, then jsut say “move checked items” and done. This is the normal expectation almost everywhere!

  7. elijoh

    April 27, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    I’d really like a bulk move option. As I pin more things, I often find I’d like to separate a board into two but it would just take way too long to move each pin one at a time.

  8. luckylou

    July 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I’d love to have a Hide button that would remove or minimize pins in my feed I don’t want to see. Too many people pin things I don’t want to see but occasionally pin a good one. I don’t want my feed cluttered with crap, just things I like to see. A Hide button would enable a much prettier stream.

  9. Payday loan in Colorado

    November 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to discuss this,would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

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This non-judgmental app can help you switch to a plant-based diet

(SOCIAL MEDIA) There are many reasons people choose plant-based diets. If you’re looking to try it out, this app helps you stay on track.

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No Meat Today, a judgement-free plant-based diet tracking app.

The interest in plant-based proteins continues to grow. Healthline suggests that Americans are shifting toward plant-based meat substitutes because of shortages in the grocery store due to the pandemic, but there are many reasons to make the switch.

Plant-based proteins are considered more sustainable than traditional meat. Nutritionally, plant-based meat alternatives are often healthier. Regardless of the reason, if you’re one of the many Americans who are changing your diet, there’s a new app that can help you stay on track without making you feel judged if or when you do eat meat.

Your companion to eating less meat

No Meat Today is an app available in the App Store. You can get on a waitlist in Google Play. It’s a fun app that asks you, “Did you eat meat today?” You can even define what meat means to you, red meat, fish and seafood, poultry, eggs and/or dairy. As you eat less meat, your “planet” attracts cows. The design is simple, “don’t eat meat, get a cow.” If you eat too much meat, your cows go away. There’s no judgement if you lose a cow.

The creator, Arnaud Joubay says, “I’m not here to tell anyone what they should do, only to offer a friendly app to those who want to do the same.” It’s recommended to look back at your history to decide whether you want to eat meat or not.

Reviews

The app was just released earlier this year. Most of its features are free, but you can pay $4.99 for all the features for one year. There have been some very cute cows released for special days. In the App Store, reviews are positive, but the caveat is that the creator asks you to contact him first if you if your review isn’t 5-stars. It’s a cute app that can motivate you to eat less meat.

Here’s the link to the product page.

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Twitter insights to engage more customers this holiday season

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter wants to help you prep your marketing for the first COVID holiday season by sharing findings on what customers care about.

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Man on laptop open to Twitter, considering his holiday shopping with Christmas tree behind him.

The year 2020 has been a year like no other. None of us expected to be confined to the inside of our homes, but here we are. And now, more than ever, the holiday season is something most of us are looking forward to, even if we have to spend it apart. And social media like Twitter will be a key part of that.

So, to get a sense of what consumers expect this holiday season, Twitter UK has shared some insights to help brands better strategize on their holiday campaigns. Twitter’s official partner, Brandwatch, analyzed tweets from March to September to find out “people’s opinions and biggest concerns.” Here are Twitter’s findings.

Compared to previous years, people have already started asking for and have begun giving gift ideas and recommendations to each other. According to the data, mentions of Christmas started to increase in March. Between March 1 and September 30, there was a 10% increase in mentions compared to last year. So, brands should definitely start kicking off their marketing campaigns sooner than later.

The pandemic has undoubtedly influenced how we spend our money and has altered how we are able to have family time. According to the Brandwatch Twitter data, 59k people are discussing how family gatherings will be impacted by it. So, brands should be mindful of this, and incorporate messaging that reaches out to everyone. Messaging that makes family and friends feel connected, even if they are spending the holidays alone.

Another thing to consider is combining your efforts with local businesses. Making purchases from small and independent businesses is something that has been heavily highlighted since the beginning of the pandemic. With Christmas drawing near, this couldn’t be more important in people’s minds. Twitter has seen a substantial jump in people saying they will be holiday shopping locally. By partnering with a local business, both small and large companies can benefit from sales.

Also, health and safety were and still are at the top of everyone’s minds. A lot of people on Twitter are saying they will do all their shopping early. This will help them avoid the large crowds of last-minute shoppers.

As a result, companies should start preparing themselves to receive early shoppers. Part of preparing is making sure all health and safety measures are in place. Brands should follow all CDC guidelines and make sure they continue to be transparent with customers. Sending out a simple safety message through social media or email will go a long way.

These insights from Twitter are specific to the UK, but should still be considered. No one knew we’d still be where we are now. However, the holiday season is still something people are excited about. And, brands can take these insights to help maximize sales.

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10 Snapchat Ad tips to increase engagement for holiday shopping season

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As holiday shopping draws near, Snapchat offers helpful tips to help business owners make use of their advertising and branding tools.

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Woman holding phone open to Snapchat chat window, casually dressed with journal and coffee nearby.

The holidays are basically here, and Snapchat wants to make sure you get the most out of your Snap promotions. The company recently released its “Snapchat Ads Best Practices: 10 Tips to Help Increase Ad Engagement” post. With these pointers and advertising best practices, Snap hopes to help companies “build visually appealing ads that drive quality engagement and high return on investment for your business.”

So, let’s get into the tips!

1. Choose the right ad format for your goals
With a lot of advertising options, Snap says you need to select the right ad type that will better align with and help you meet your business goals.

2. Showcase your product front and center in your ad creative
Displaying a fullscreen video or image of your product will encourage a viewer to want to engage more. As a result, it is good to include a ‘hero’ message at the beginning that has all relevant information, such as offers and specials.

For eCommerce purposes, products should be featured “front and center to drive purchase intent.” For apps and games, include the app’s UI, features, and benefits in the ad. Meanwhile, local businesses should highlight the services or products their business specializes in.

And, always remember to make sure your creative meets Snapchat’s ad specs so your ad can be displayed flawlessly.

3. Make your ads feel native to Snapchat
No one likes intrusive ads that scream at your face telling you to buy a certain product or service. To prevent this from happening, Snap says your ads should “mirror the bite-sized and linear storytelling of Snaps” already on the platform. These non-intrusive ads should be kept short at around 5-6 seconds. And, Snap says these more “conversational ads” get viewed more fully than polished ads do.

4. Drive urgency with relevant messaging
Don’t overcomplicate the message. This will just get people to swipe away. Instead, make sure relevant information is at the beginning and is easy to understand. Placing your messaging within the first 2 seconds is preferable.

5. Design for sound on
Despite what you might think, silence isn’t better. Snap says that about 64% of Snapchat ads have the sound turned on. And, an effective way of including sound in your creative is by using a customer testimonial. Spoken testimonials help viewers understand and better relate to the brand or product.

6. Link your ads properly
Make sure users are being directed to where you want them to go. You don’t want them clicking on a broken link. Or worse, someone else’s content. The right link is crucial for impressions and conversions. Here are Snap’s recommended “attachment types depending on advertiser goal.”

  • Drive online sales by using Web View Attachments. These pages instantly load for the user and are available in Snap Ads, Story Ads, and Lenses.
  • Drive app installs by using App Install Attachments. Snapchatters will be able to swipe and download your app. Using ‘Install Now’ or ‘Download’ as a CTA, Snap says you will have strong conversion rates.
  • Drive app engagement/app visits by using Deep Links. These links will bring existing users back to your app. At the same time, any new users will be directed to the app store to install the app. Deep Links can be added to Single Image or Video ads, Story Ads, and Lenses.

7. Test ad creative and try new ad formats
Testing something is a pretty good idea when it comes to anything. Snap emphasizes this, and says testing can give you “insight into what content resonates most with your target audience.” They recommended testing your ad creative for about 2-4 weeks using different formats. After you’ve gathered enough information, you can determine the winning format that is best for you.

8. Use goal-based bidding to bid towards your desired action

  • Goal-based bidding “allows you to optimize towards a specific action that a Snapchatter is most likely to take, such as installing your app, watching a video, or completing a purchase.”
  • Snap has several bidding strategies, and it recommends using Target Cost Bidding.

9. Broaden your targeting
After you’ve been running your ads for at least a couple of weeks, Snap says to consider broadening your target audience. Snapchat has several different targeting options. Some of the categories you can expand on are geo, gender, age ranges, and languages. Expanding your audience will allow you to get more impressions.

10. Understand your audience reach to optimize
Finally, make use of Snap’s Audience Insights. These insights provide Snapchat with data like demographics, interests, locations, and devices overview. By knowing this information, you can better understand your audience and create content that is tailored to them. Content that will ultimately maximize your advertising efforts.

Overall, Snapchat understands that “mobile advertising is a key component to any digital marketing strategy.” By offering us these tips, they are reminding us of some things we already know, and telling us how they can help us achieve our advertising goals.

With the holidays around the corner, Snapchat says they can help you reach a large and engaged audience for just $5 a day with their offerings. So, what do you think of Snapchat’s tips?

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