Marketing with Pinterest at the MIAR Convention, Mt. Pleasant, MI

I was invited to teach Marketing with Pinterest to REALTORS attending the 2013 MIAR convention at the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, MI.  The course focused much more on MARKETING than Pinterest, and then also with a focus on real estate.  Changed over all of the examples in the presentation.

We set a prerequisite that attendees have a personal Pinterest account with 10 boards and 10 pins each board.

Had a range of real estate focus represented in the attendees, from brokers-in-charge of franchises with 70+ agents, to solos, to smaller offices who sent several agents.  Many VERY lucrative account names were still available, it turns out, and I was impressed that the people in the class recognized the need to claim account names in real time, rather than waiting till they got back to the office.  (Quick check indicates that some of those accounts are already being populated, and the convention didn’t end till Friday evening.)

Good in-class discussion of pinning from the MLS (one picture, full-house, only), tracing images that have been pinned from REALTORS’ websites to see who likes your homes, and pinning at the level of the agency vs. agent accounts.


My travel schedule was such that I flew up late Tuesday, and then had to drive an hour north from Lansing to Mt. Pleasant.  Very nice surprise to find I had a luxury room with fireplace and soaking tub.  Taught the class over lunch break, and then drove south again to be in Lansing for a 6 am departure on Thursday morning because I was teaching again at Wake Tech on Thursday evening.

I’d never seen a wind farm that close.  One of my magazines had a story about a new style of wind turbine; it showed three models that looked just like the ones in the picture but I didn’t have any way to judge height so I don’t know who made these.  I think this is the farm in Gratiot County, near Ithaca, along Highway 127.


Spoliation and Social Media

IANAL, but I am a bit of a junky and can follow a certain amount of legal argument.  I found this story today:

Think Before You Facebook: Emerging Social Media Spoliation Sanctions

Actually, it should be titled, “think before you (delete) Facebook.”

If you can’t bear to read legal argument, here’s the layperson’s (IANAL) understanding:

If you delete ANY social media CONTENT, or ACCOUNTS, once it becomes possible that the content or account is “evidence,” you can be charged with spoliation.



A spoliator of evidence in a legal action is an individual who neglects to produce evidence that is in her possession or control. In such a situation, any inferences that might be drawn against the party are permitted, and the withholding of the evidence is attributed to the person’s presumed knowledge that it would have served to operate against her.

It is possible that lay people can claim ignorance of the law. It is known that lawyers cannot. I would bet that professional social media managers fall closer to lawyers on this point than they do to lay people.

Plan A:

  • Don’t pin or post anything that can be used against your clients. (Duh.)
  • Make sure your clients are not pinning or posting anything that could be used against them. This should be addressed in the Social Media Policy for the account.
  • Make sure your clients know not to delete content or accounts if they get letters from lawyers. Again, this should be addressed in the Social Media Policy.

Plan B:

If something on an account (Facebook is the most commonly cited, but the law doesn’t care about platform) could ever be used against a client, take it down now, before there is any hint or suggestion of a lawsuit.

Once the lawyers have sent their letters, leave it alone.

Social Media for Business: the Book

Full disclosure: I’m a contributor, a friend of both co-authors, and business associate of most of the other contributors. I am a touch biased. On the other hand, I am also a prolific reviewer–you can see what I think about a range of books by clicking on the “see all my reviews” link. Didn’t just duck in here to promote one book.

Social Media for Business is written for the solopreneur and micro-business market, where you (mostly) are doing most of everything yourself. I teach classes on social media in the local Chambers and Community College system, as does Martin Brossman. If you’re likely to take those classes but can’t get to one, this is a good book for you.

Social Media for Business steps you through the theory of what’s happening in this space–primarily LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter–and then provides you with specific activities you can do, in a reasonable amount of time, to promote your business. The book touches on Mobile (phone apps for smart phones); GooglePlus did not make it into the printed copy but we anticipate online updates at the website, accessible to people who buy the book through QR codes and a password.

I’ve read some other books about social media marketing that open with, “Start with a small test budget of no more than $200,000.00.” Brossman & McGaha will not take you down that path. If you’re overwhelmed by all the online marketing you are being told you should be doing (especially by people who want you to pay them to do it for you) and need to get an understanding of the whole field before you start spending marketing money, Social Media for Business is a good place to start.


Linking Pinterest and Facebook without a Website

One of my clients asked if it was possible to link her business Facebook page to her Pinterest account without having to set up a website. She’s doing very well in Facebook and doesn’t want the hassle of paying for and maintaining a website as well. At the time, I didn’t have a good answer.

I thought about the Pinterest / FB account connection last night and realized there is a useful solution: The WooBox Pinterest app for FB. It’s free, but you have to create an account on WooBox to get it.

Be logged in to your business Facebook page.

Go to and create an account.

Create account.

Click on “get started for free”

Woobox sign up menu.

Click on “get started for free” and create and account.

Then you’ll see a list of apps for your FB page:

A list of applications available from Woobox. Most have a cost; the one for Pinterest is free.

A list of applications available from Woobox. Most have a cost; the one for Pinterest is free.

Click on the Pinterest selection. This one is free to use.

I think that WooBox will know which FB page you want if you’re logged in at the time, and then you have to give it the name (URL) of your Pinterest business page.

You’ll get a big red P on your business page tabs:

Woobox's Pinterest app installed on Affordable Chic's Facebook page.

Woobox’s Pinterest app installed on Affordable Chic’s Facebook page.

When your visitors click on the P, they’ll see your Pins and boards.

Make sure you link your FB account to your Pinterest account so your customers can find your FB page from inside Pinterest. (Account / Settings)

(BTW, if you want to rearrange the tabs on your page, click on the pencil that appears on a hover over the tab, upper right corner of the tab.  You’ll see a list of places you can move that tab.)

The story behind Instagram

The June 2013 issue of Vanity Fair included a story about the start up and sale of Instagram, The Money Shot, by Kara Swisher, pages 76-82.  If you like business stories, read the whole thing.  Instagram was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Kreiger, and sold to Facebook for $1B. If you simply don’t understand Instagram, here are the two turning points that answered my question about why people use it:

“Instead of doing a check in that has an optional photo, why don’t we do a photo that has an optional check in?”


On a beach walk one day, Nicole (GF) told him (Systrom) that she would be reluctant to use the app he was working on because her pictures would never be as good as the ones a mutual friend took.  I (Systrom) said, “Well, you know what he does to those photos, right?”  She’s like, “no, he just takes good photos.”  I’m like, “No, no, he puts them through filter apps.”  She’s like, “well, you guys should probably have filters too, right, then?”  I was like, “Huh.”

How can I use Pinterest? Q&A

Dear Karen,
Thank you for the invitation and information you are offering. I write, and edit.

According to Marketing on Pinterest, Pinterest’s prime users are 25-34 years old and mostly use it in the areas of fashion and crafts sharing.

I am not a Pinterest expert, but I wonder how it could be a marketing tool for me?

All best,

Specifics from your profile below the numbered bit.

I suspect you’ll be pretty good at seeing how your trade can be mapped into Pinterest.

I can show you how the various elements of the Pinterest application can be used to drive traffic to whatever website you point the pin at.

While the bulk of the American users may be younger women, that is only the core. Long tail rules apply. I haven’t worked on the published numbers enough to understand what the 80/20 rule means to the rest of us. More men use it in Europe.

Fast Company, last month, put Ben Silberman on the cover (CEO of Pinterest). They described Pinterest as being the first new form of search since Goggle, and a radically different way TO search. Google can’t solve for “mother’s day gift.” I suspect Pinterest is going to put a huge hole in traditional SEO work.

I have myself seen a Pinterest board in the #2 SERP position for a term I want to own. Not sure how much attention you pay to SEO and so far, I haven’t heard any understanding or acceptance from the professional SEO people I know.

Specifics for your situation:

Re-write and update of Warm Heart Worldwide website, photographs and narrative to build public relations collateral and fundraising materials.

  • Every picture on that site could be on Pinterest, adding a bit of SEO to the captions. The fundraising plea could be on every board, without being too pushy.
  • See Using Pinterest to Raise $
  • Better yet, search on “charities in Pinterest” and follow whatever results look most interesting to you.

Non-fiction and fiction writing for general and academic readers. Blog writer.

  • I have a story that I haven’t used in the class yet about a fiction writer who is sharing / tracking / developing her next book through / using Pinterest boards; increasing engagement with her fan club.
  • Suspect the same would work for non-fiction.

Ongoing research to adapt writing to the social media environment.

  • QED.

Coaching professionals in a variety of fields in ESL.

  • Search for ESL in Pinterest
  • Your board could be one more on that set, and possibly better or more helpful or at least different. I don’t know enough about teaching ESL to know if those boards are useful. (I do know enough about children’s clowning to recognize that most of the “clown” pins were not young-child friendly, and that indicated a wide-open market.)

My “Free Spirit, Tough Mind” tutoring approach engages both right brain (intuitive) and left brain (logical) learning styles.

  • Couldn’t find anything about this and suspect it’s proprietary to you.

Consultant on French Renaissance literary research.

  • Looks like this topic’s pretty bare in Pinterest, which means an interesting board would be a goldmine.

Pinterest for Realtors

My Realtor-client Gerry Fiks, of Real Estate Services NC, and I attended the Tech Tools for Realtors conference at the Raleigh Realtors Association yesterday.  I was disappointed, to say the least, that Pinterest got almost NO attention.  The speakers focused on smart phone apps and Facebook.

I expect I’ll be working with Gerry more in Evernote and DropBox, both great ways to share information and files without sneaker net.  However, both of those applications require protection.  You can’t share with “everyone.”  I came home and pinned my notes.  Now, I can share what I learned about technology in real estate marketing with Gerry, as we decide what apps he will start using. He can add additional pins to services he learned about in the classes that were scheduled into the same time slot.

Pinboard showing Tech Tools for Realtors.

Tech Tools for Realtors. Geeky Girls lower left.

Both he and I will also be able to share the list of tools with other Realtors.  He can use the list to collaborate, so that both sides of a transaction are using the same tools.  I can use the list to educate my own clients, and show Realtors who come to me for ideas about using Pinterest in their Real Estate Marketing how to highlight their expertise.

If you know about more tools that belong on this board, let me know in the comments below, or @mention the account:  @Gerry Fiks (You have to be following the board for Pinterest to show you the name).

Outrun the Bear

Two hikers on a trail came around the bend to find a great big mama bear with a cub up the trail. Mama Bear sees them and starts moving toward them. One hiker sits down, yanks off his boots, and puts on his running shoes.

European brown bear and cub by Peter Cairns (Northshots)) on
European brown bear and cub by Peter Cairns

The other hiker says, “What are you doing? You can’t outrun the bear!”

The first hiker says, “I don’t have to outrun the bear…”

If you’re in a trade with a lot of sophistication about graphic design and photography (weddings), yes, you have to outrun the bear and your Pinterest account will need to be stunning.

If you’re in a trade that hasn’t adopted high-end graphic design and formal product portraits (most heavy industry, agriculture, most services except dentistry and spa/appearance), home improvement, business advising), you simply need a bigger and marginally better footprint than everyone else.

Board Ideas for an Artist’s Business Account

Pinterest is a perfect tool for marketing art of all kinds. Many creatives take to it like ducks to water, but a few of my friends have a bit of trouble understanding what else they can pin besides their own work.

The point is to share yourself and your view of the world as an artist. You can share images that inspire you, tools you use, places you go to refresh your idea bank. Feel free to share parts of your personal life, and/but be aware that your art account represents you as an artist. For example, some potters do very well sharing recipes and food information. However, if you’re a painter but not a foodie, you may not want to dip your chip into the great flow of food ideas.

No-one will notice what you don’t pin; they may notice if you pin images that don’t strike them as artistic or representative of who you are.

So here is a list of board ideas for those people who get a little stuck understanding how Pinterest can work:

  • Your art
  • Painting a day
  • Color (a board for each; a board for different types of combinations)(A search on boards about “red,” for example, will show you that artists think about “red” differently than non-artists.)
  • Texture
  • Line
  • Tools
  • Other people’s art
  • Rooms decorated with art (particularly for the functional artists)
  • Gardens / garden art
  • Dogs and/or cats, in images that reflect you as an artist (some consistency recommended)
  • Humor that reflects you as an artist (lots of stuff is funny in Pinterest and I don’t want to share that I think it’s funny with my buying public)
  • How-tos (Videos can be pinned from YouTube and Vimeo)
  • Books that reflect some element of you as an artist (I leave my taste in murder mysteries off this list)
  • Gadgets and technology
  • Local places you get inspired
  • Quotations that inspire you as an artist

Pick 10 ideas from the above list, add 10 pins to each board, and see if you don’t start to understand how Pinterest can present your art to your friends and fans a little differently from Facebook or Twitter.
For more ideas, search Pinterest Accounts for accounts about “Art.” (Purple arrow points to search box in upper left, pick the “pinners” option for search.)



Moving Pins Between Accounts

Now that Pinterest offers business accounts, some of my clients wonder how to move their more “business” pins from their personal accounts to their new business accounts.  These are pinners who are happy to have two accounts and don’t want to share all of their personal boards, full of everything they’ve pinned over the past year,  with the people they know through business.

Moving pins is easy.

Another word for “moving pins” is “repin.”  It’s just that it happens between accounts you own.

  1. Log in to your new business account.
  2. Search on your personal account, using the search box in the upper left and the “pinners” option.  You can also type the URL of your personal account in a new tab.  Pinterest “holds” the last log in, so you will open that account but not be able to change anything in it as long as you are logged in to your business account.
  3. Find the pin you want to “move.”
  4. Repin it to a board on your new business account.

That’s all there is to it!

If you no longer want that pin on your personal account, you can delete it the next time you are in your personal account.

If you discover that you find a lot of interesting pins that belong in the account you’re not logged into, create a board called “moving pins” or something that works for you, and pin to that board.  Then go over to the other account, repin from that board, and delete the pin from the “moving pins” board.

Make this a “group” board so that you can pin to it from both accounts. To do this, go into the Board Settings and enter your “other” email in the “invite pinners” field. The next time you open that other account, you’ll see an invitation in the upper left corner of your pin flow. Accept it, and you’ll be able to pin to the board from both your business and your personal accounts. (You can only delete pins from the account that pinned them, however, so you may still have some account switching to do.)

If you don’t leave pins on the “moving pins” board for long, your business followers may never see that you’ve pinned some really cool shoes you wouldn’t wear in the office…