Oh, Alt Summit. You are a genius. Three days of creative entrepreneurs and brands together in one space = magic. This was my third Alt Summit experience and my second one speaking, and it was just as incredible as the events in the past. Each year I have gone to the conference for something different. 2011 was about learning as much as I could about blogging. 2014 was about delivering a successful Pinterest talk. 2015 was about connecting with brands AND delivering a successful Pinterest panel discussion. AirBNB, Honest Co., Overstock, Wayfair, Microsoft, Munchkin, and many more were at this conference, and I definitely was able to have great, long-lasting conversations with each brand. If you want to get practice pitching brand partnerships, go to Alt Summit. It's the only conference I know where brands are genuinely approachable and WANT to be pitched content ideas.
The most important nugget of gold I took home was to be purposeful with each social outlet of your business. Write out your objectives for each one and focus on that. Below, you'll find mine:
Pinterest | a curatorial experience of what A.V.E. Styles enjoys
Instagram | a portfolio, behind the scenes experiences and work philosophies of A.V.E. Styles
Facebook | a place to share latest blog posts
Twitter | an extension of Instagram and Facebook
Now that I have these filters in place I think it will be a lot easier to hone in on growing a genuine and engaged audience.
The Pinterest panel with Rachel Faucett, Kelly Beal and Sara Martineau was a success. It was great hearing the different perspectives of Pinterest, and learning all of the new things Pinterest has in store for their users. Pinterest is truly a company that listens and cares about it's users, and for Pinterest to sit on this panel it was crystal clear that they value the blogging community. If you weren't able to attend the presentation here are 5 things you should know about Pinterest:
1| You NEED to Rich Pin - Okay, well, you don't need to, but if you're a blog or business that is not doing this you are missing out on MAJOR traffic. You see, Pinterest gives priority to Rich Pins and recommends Rich Pins to their users because it's content that is ensured to be good and valuable. How does Pinterest know that? Well, you have to apply to use Rich Pins, and a staff member at Pinterest goes through the applications to make sure you a a legitimate business that is not spamming people. Since using Rich Pins my site traffic and engagement has grown significantly. Go get them now! Run! Don't walk!
2| Get a business account - You might be saying to yourself, "Well, I'm just a blogger. Only big brands need a business account." Wrong! If you care about getting your blog content out there and growing your Pinterest community your business account will be able to give you statistics that will help you measure your Pinterest success. You'll be able to know how much traffic is coming to your blog from Pinterest, which pins are performing best, which users are repinning your pins the most, where in the world your community lives and more. This is all important in building a Pinterest strategy. Plus, it's free! Get one here.
3| Time does not exist within Pinterest - I'm not trying to be philosophical here. Time literally doesn't matter anymore when it comes to your feed. Your Pinterest feed is a smart feed based on the interests you follow, what you are pinning and who you follow. You will still see content from those you follow and your followers will still see yours as well, but it just won't be shared in a chronological format. What does this mean for you? Well, you can go on pinning sprees as not worry about stuffing your followers' feeds. Also, you need to be purposeful about SEO and optimizing those pin descriptions to get your content in front of your audience.
4| SEO matters - Did you know that search engines like Bing and Google pull in your pins now? Awesome, right?! That means it's important to write great pin descriptions that reflect what a user would search. Simply describe what you see in the pin. For example, "ivory sweetheart lace wedding dress by Claire Pettibone."
5| Image matters - Well-styled, illuminated, colorful content that's oriented vertically will out perform a landscape, black and white iphone photo any day of the week. Make sure you are paying close attention to the creation of your pins. If you don't know how to take great pictures, hire a photographer. If you don't know how to style images, hire a stylist!
Want more tips? Follow me on Instagram (@avestyles) where I will share a new tip each Friday, AND I'm starting to plan a webinar. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement. If you are interested in being the first to know, please send me a note firstname.lastname@example.org and I will put you on the notification list.
All images provided by Alt Summit and taken by Brooke Dennis.