Social Through a Visual Lens: Understanding Pinterest, Instagram & Tumblr at #SMX Social


Welcome back to more AIMCLEAR coverage of SMX Social! In the How to Dominate Pinterest session, Matt Siltala, President at Avalaunch Media, discussed how to master Pinterest.

As Pinterest’s advertising model continues to trend toward supporting business goals, it’s important to understand just how popular the channel has become.

The Power of Pinterest

  • 62% of brands have Pin It buttons
  • 59% of brands have Like buttons
  • 61% of brands have Tweet buttons
  • 42% of brands have Google+ buttons

As the stats above show, Pinterest’s ‘Pin It’ button has a strong presence on brands’ product pages, comparable to Facebook’s ‘Like’ button and Twitter’s ‘Tweet’ button.

Did you know?

  • 6 billion photos are uploaded to Pinterest each month.
  • Photos and images get 50% more interaction, 10x more shares and 7x more likes than other content.
  • Posts with visuals receive 94% more page visits and engagement than those without.
  • 60% of consumers are more likely to click on a business whose images appear in search results.

The impressive power of visual content is clear. Here are some Pinterest features that marketers should know about (and implement) now!

  • Suggested pins: After users pin an image, Pinterest suggests related pins that might also be of interest. Marketers, cross your fingers! Eventually we might be able to sponsor a suggested pin.
  • Location pins: Pin images to a geographical location to reach a local audience. This is especially useful for hotel, real estate, festivals and event companies.
  • Follow buttons & landing pages: Invite people to follow you on Pinterest directly from your site. Businesses can add Pinterest’s ‘Follow’ button on their website to direct users to a landing page.
  • Gift categories: This category is a visual shopping engine, listing items only available for sale.
  • Featured categories & pin picks: Featured categories immediately grab the attention of pinners by showing up on the top of the list of categories.

Pump up Pinterest with these tools:

  • Create a collage of your best images to pin again or post on your other sites. Recycle those gorgeous, popular images!
  • PinGroupie and Use these tools to find group boards within your specific niche. Pin your most popular pins to group boards that have a strong following.
  • PinAlerts: Discover what’s being pinned directly from your website (not just what’s popular on Pinterest)!

Additional tips to dominate Pinterest:

  • Don’t just repin, find new material that expresses your brand personality. Take a peek at newsletters, slideshows, magazines and other websites/blogs.
  • Find new ways to promote your best-performing pins. Matt suggests looking at your Pinterest analytics tab to see the most recent, repinned and clicked pins to comment on or acknowledge.
  • Display your best performing images on your brand’s other social networks.
  • Disperse third-party content throughout your boards. You will run out of content if you fill your boards with content from your own website. (And, you might send potential customers running away!)

Last, enjoy the following case studies on brands that totally know how to rock Pinterest, courtesy of Matt:




Next up, Danielle Wiley, CEO at Sway Group, shared Eight Tips For Insta-Success.

Danielle first offered the following Instagram insights:

  • Two-thirds of Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 44, and are mostly women.
  • Engagement on Instagram is roughly 60% higher than on Facebook.
  • During the third quarter of 2014, 86% of top brands incorporated Instagram into their marketing strategies, which represented a 15% year-over-year increase.
  • User-generated content (UGC) is 20% more influential when it comes to purchasing and 35% more memorable than other types of media.

In order to implement a successful Instagram strategy, Danielle recommends:

  1. Encourage participation from your community. This is an easy way to get people talking about your brand!


  1. Engage influencers to post on your behalf. The influencers work hard to build up the audience’s trust and engagement over time.
  1. Focus on post tagging and caption content. People search Instagram through hashtags, so this tactic can greatly increase your brand’s engagement and followers.
  1. Use meme or trending tags to expose your content to more viewers. NBC nailed it by using #WCW (this hashtag is also known as “Women Crush Wednesday”) to promote their evening television show.


  1. Balance fun with business. This super cute image incorporates entertaining content while maintaining the brand voice. A+ to Anthropologie!


  1. Get 56% higher engagement with posts that include another user handle in the caption. Danielle provided an example in which a mom created a fort for her children using Ikea furniture. Ikea later reposted the image on the company’s Instagram page, proving that your audience can generate stunning content. Be sure, however, that your brand has approval to share that image, especially if children are featured in the image.
  1. Reward followers with Instagram-only promotions. This simple and brilliant tactic rewards those who follow your brand.
  1. Never forget that Instagram is a VISUAL application. Play around with photo-editing apps to enhance your photos. Danielle suggests AfterLight, InstaSize, Pic Play Post, LINE Camera and Moldiv.

Kevin Shively, Senior Content Marketing Manager at Simply Measured, wrapped up the session with Tuning Into Tumblr: Don’t Sleep on This Social Powerhouse. Don’t overlook the marketing potential of Tumblr: the platform has 209.9 million blogs and 95.3 billion posts. Tumblr users spend an average of 14 minutes on the network per visit, longer than any other major social network.

As a marketer, why should you care about Tumblr? Kevin explains that users love brands, as long as the brands are being creative. The average post on Tumblr gets re-blogged 14 times. You can also personalize your Tumblr site from hundreds of predesigned themes, or from scratch. Kevin leaves us with 10 best practices for Tumblr:

  1. Be creative
  2. Know your audience
  3. Use the tools
  4. Learn from experts
  5. Enable discovery
  6. Don’t sell!
  7. Focus on amplification
  8. Take risks
  9. Be consistent with your brand
  10. Leverage your audiences on other networks

We hope you enjoyed our coverage of SMX Social! As always, the conference was a complete blast, and we are looking forward to next year. Thank you for following along!

Image copyright: Aleksandar Mijatovic

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