Follower Count is Bullshit

By , On June 23rd, 2014. In Industry Insights.

Like most marketers (myself included), I’d guess that you’ve invested significant time and money in social media over the last few years, in search of “social media success.” But what is social media success? Lots of retweets? A legion of followers? A viral dance video? It was with this challenge in mind that I quickly favorited a tweet from one of my favorite marketing follows, DJ Waldow, that pointed to a presentation created by a social media expert named Mackenzie (Mack) Fogelson, Founder and CEO of Mack Web. The presentation, startlingly titled, “Why Follower Count is Bullshit,” pulled me right in. In it, Mack details her journey on social media and what she’s learned about measuring the impact of the resource investment on the different platforms.

I was inspired to learn more:

I enjoyed it so much that I reached out to Mack directly. It turns out this presentation had taken on a life of its own, having been viewed nearly 20,000 times as of this posting. It’s clear that this is something many marketers are dealing with, and I was thrilled when she agreed to share the presentation, along with her stories and experiences behind it, with our audience (you!) in a webinar format.

How to take part:

So join us! We’ve put an hour on the calendar on July 24th at 11am PT/2pm ET for Mack to walk us through her story and to take questions.  If proving the value of social to your team is something you’re interested in, you won’t want to miss it!

Pinterest Trends Webinar Q+A

By , On June 18th, 2014. In Pinterest, Pinterest Analytics, Pinterest Best Practices, Piqora Features, Piqora How To.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 3.27.43 PM

It was my pleasure last week to deliver a webinar on our new Pinterest Trends product with our Head of Customer Success, Tom Logan. We received a great deal of questions, many of which we answered on the call, but others that we weren’t able to get to. Below you’ll find a full response to the questions that followed the presentation. Thanks again to those who attended, and if you didn’t, it isn’t too late!


Q: What is the male/female breakdown of users on Pinterest?
A: 86% Women, 14% Men logging in on a monthly basis.

Q: Do you have info on the average number of followers for the average american Pinterest user?
A: A recent study showed that the average user had 67 followers.

Q: Do you know what percentage of Pinterest users utilize the app?
A: According to Sarah Perez of TechCrunch, Pinterest “is seeing more than 75% of its usage come through mobile applications.” Pinterest has declined to comment on this statistic, however.

Q: How are companies tracking sales conversions from Pinterest? Google Analytics?
A: You can connect your GA or other analytics solution to Piqora to link up revenue with your Pinterest data.

Q: You say that Pinterest is somewhat of an extension of a brand’s product page…is that really beneficial for the brand if the traffic isn’t being led back to their website?
A: Traffic is typically driven back to the website, which brings the obvious value, but it also functions as an online catalog for potential customers.

Q: Question: Can you recommend a good ratio of brand pins on a brand board, to repins from others/influencers/etc.?
A: Each case is unique, but in general it’s smart to do A/B testing to determine what works best for your audience. Feel free to contact our CSM team to discuss specifics.

Q: Can I use Piqora to manage multiple brands?
A: Absolutely! You can add separate brand domains and toggle between each brand at the top of the page. It’s a very easy process.

Q: What’s the rule of thumb regarding the number of boards you have – less is more or the sky’s the limit?
A: Test, test, test! It’s a good practice to create new boards when you have new lines or categories, but the key is to pin consistently.

Q: Will the new API allow us to analyze our followers demo, geo, and time on the site similar to FB Insights?
A: Much still remains to be seen but more data should be available as we go forward.


Q: Can you explain the differences between Piqora and Curalate?
Q: What are the general prices to have access to analytics?
Q: How does your pricing work for this new platform?
Q: what are the price options for your services?
Q: Can you give us a live demo of the dashboard that editors and content providers would see?
Q: Can you talk about differences in pricing based on which networks we’d want to use piqora for? We don’t use Tumblr. If we only wanted Pinterest insights, is that available as a stand-alone? Thanks!
A: Please contact our sales team to discuss pricing, product comparisons and other subscription information.

Q: Can you speak to the success your clients have had with rich pins vs. traditional pins?
A: I can’t speak directly to this, but in general I’d encourage individuals pinning on behalf of a brand to include lots of details in the description. One fun fact about rich pins that include pricing information is that individuals who’ve pinned a particular item in the past are alerted when that pinned item goes on sale. This essentially acts as a mass announcement for your sale items.

Q: Does Piqora have an editorial scheduling tool?
A: Yes! Our Smart Scheduler automatically posts for you at the times that your audience is most engaged.

Q: is there more tailored advice available for Piqora customers? Are you our marketing partner?
A: Absolutely! Our CSM team is dedicated specifically for this purpose. They’re available as your social media strategists and are focused on helping you maximize your investment on your social channels.

Q: Does Piqora provide insights on specific “Pinfluencers” a brand should be engaging vs. just data on which posts are optimal?
A: Yes, there is a great deal of insight on “Pinfluencers” in the tool.

Q: Did you say this product also has pinterest analytics like how many repins per pin, pins from website, etc.?
A: Yes! Feel free to reach out to our team directly for more info about these metrics.

Pinterest Trends

Q: How do I create a bucket?
Q: How do you create these buckets?
Q: How do I access buckets?
A: Click add bucket in the Piqora dashboard, add applicable profiles (it will map automatically) and continue to add them until you have a fully populated bucket.

Q: When you create a “new” bucket, will it mine historical data, or just data available from the time it’s created and forward?
A: The data starts being collected when you create the bucket.

Q: To what extent does this integrate with Google Analytics?

A: The Pinterest Trends product itself is designed to enable brands to benchmark their Pinterest presences vs. a bucket designed specifically by that brand. We can’t track website traffic comparatively because we’d need to connect the actual GA ID’s in order to do this, and this is private information. Our dashboard, however, enables you to connect your brand’s GA account to closely monitor website traffic from Pinterest along with last-click attributed revenue from the site.

Q: How do you see Piqora trends benefiting brands that don’t have a consumer product to offer. I know you used examples such as GE and Sharpie, but do you see this also being helpful for travel and tourism brands such as destinations.
A: Absolutely, travel and tourism is a great fit for Pinterest as the visual aspect of travel plays extremely well on the platform.

Q: Does the list of companies that I want to add to the bucket need to be a customer with Piqora?
A: No, you can measure any company with a Pinterest account.

Q: Can this tool provide demographic information on users that have pinned?
A: Nope, it cannot. This is not information that Pinterest has opened up access to as of now.

Best Practices

Q: Can Bluetooth Technology companies utilize Pinterest effectively?
Q: What are some of the top publishers on Pinterest?  Any similarities between the leaders in that industry?
Q: Who within the food marketing space is utilizing pinterest well?
Q: How can businesses that are service based utilize Pinterest for Marketing?
Q: Is there a key to difference in successfully utilizing Pinterest as B2B as opposed to B2C?
A: When it comes to nontraditional Pinterest usage, companies can expose the people within your organization to your users, find uses for their products or services that are visually appealing or simply share interesting facts. Test!

Q: When you talk about key influencers, do you value activity over audience size? what’s the best way to know who to get behind your brand?
A: We value both. It’s going to be different for every brand but you can’t go wrong targeting users that are both highly active and have large audiences.

Q: Do you suggest including price on the pin image of a product?
A: We’ve seen brands who’ve had great success with this but have also seen some users put off by it. Test it with your audience and compare the metrics!

Q: Do you typically recommend adding the majority of your product catalog to pinterest, or is that considered spammy? That is, what’s a good ratio to aim for in terms of how much a company adds itself vs. how much users pin from our site themselves?
A: Good question. I wouldn’t say it’s considered spammy at all if you’re pinning these items over a certain duration of time. Everything on your website in one day? Very spammy. Lots of product pins mixed with complimentary content that’s interesting to your demographic over time? Not spammy at all! Don’t worry about duplicate pins from users vs. a brand. There’s no downside, and we dedupe these images within Piqora’s dashboard for ease of tracking.

Q: Our brand has several different businesses within it; there isn’t a direct competitor to us. several of our individual units have a couple competitors, but nothing like coke vs. pepsi. any suggestions for filling a bucket?

A: Sure! How about brands within your extended vertical that you’d like insights on? What about top performing brands on Pinterest…what’s their approach?

Q: What’s the best way to get your pins to show up on searches? How do you know which words people are using for searches?
A: The best way to up your “searchability” is to include more details in the descriptions of your pins. I’d recommend staying away from hashtags on Pinterest as they don’t function smoothly. We don’t identify trending searches, but I’d recommend not trying to include search terms that aren’t a natural fit with your brand.

Click here to view the complete recording of the presentation!

B2B Marketing and The Visual Web: Here’s How To Do It

By , On June 3rd, 2014. In Industry Insights, Piqora Features.

B2B marketers are used to incorporating social media into our campaigns. Well, specifically we’re used to incorporating Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn into campaigns. Only a few B2B marketers have started talking about Pinterest, Instagram or Tumblr yet. The reality is that the visual web is the next frontier for B2B marketers, and below is an example of how to do it right.

Remember When Twitter Didn’t Matter for B2B?

Sure, companies like HP, Cisco, Intel, and EMC sell six-figure IT solutions, and the audience for those solutions don’t immediately think about Pinterest or Instagram as the go-to network for researching enterprise solutions. Running an Instagram promotion around, “How To Program a Cloud Service In Your Backyard,” is destined to flop. That’s fair to say. Of course, it’s also fair to mention that Twitter was dismissed by B2B back in 2007 too. Now it’s a crucial lead source for B2B marketers.
So, today almost every big B2B company is on Twitter because just having a voice on that platform is really important. If you’re not present, the reaction from other B2B marketers is like, “Wait, you don’t have a Twitter account?”
Enterprise businesses are using Twitter for support, customers engagement, and product announcements. At the end of the day no matter what size business you are, or what you’re selling, the buyer is still always a person. And people do a lot of research on social networks, and your social profiles (or lack thereof) will affect their buying decisions, one way or another.

What The Visual Web Can Do for B2B

Where do Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr fit in? Well, pinning photos of a million dollar server might not drive traffic. Even taking a photo of cloud storage is a challenge. Here’s what B2B marketers can do: showcase who you are as a company.
Read more »

Social ROI: From Metrics To Revenue

By , On May 27th, 2014. In Instagram Analytics, Pinterest Analytics.

At OMMA Social last week our CEO Sharad Verma spoke on the the topic of Social ROI. Here is what he said:

Social Media Marketing ROI

That’s him on the right, speaking to a rapt IRL audience.

Social Media Marketing vs. Everything Else

The fundamental thing that makes social networks different from other online media destinations is that social networks have the power to amplify your brand’s content. Traditional online media is a dead-end. It’s unshareable. It can be very targeted and drive direct response behavior but it doesn’t cry out. It doesn’t say, “share me”. Social networks on the other hand – if you’ve built the right community – can amplify your brand’s content and multiply it several times. Think several copies of your brand’s message spreading organically through people. It’s word of mouth and it comes packed with trust. That type of content amplification only happens on social networks.
Which is why measuring amplification is the one of the most important things in social.

Amplification is simply – how fast your content spreads and the number of unique people it reaches. For example if you posted a pin on your Pinterest pin board – how many pinners did it potentially reach in a given period of time? Not only do you want your content to reach as many users as possible but you also want that to happen in a short period of time. The longer it is from the time you posted, the less relevant it might be.

Actual Reach is the number of user feeds your content actually appeared in. Only social networks have this data.
Potential Reach is the number of user feeds your content could have appeared in. For example if your pin got 100 repins, it could have potentially reached 100 user feeds. The reason why it’s called potential reach is that those 100 users may not be all unique, they may never see your content if they login days after your content was posted, or they’re not really active users.
Read more »

Piqora Is Participating in Pinterest’s Business Insights API (And Launching “Pinterest Trends” Using It)

By , On May 20th, 2014. In Piqora Features.

Pinterest Marketing

Pinterest Trends” enables marketers to gain insights into performance, and how they stack up against competitors.

The whole Piqora team is extremely excited to announce our participation in the Pinterest Business Insights API program. Piqora is one of only a handful of companies invited by Pinterest to participate in this program. Using Pinterest’s API as the basis for our 50+ reports, metrics, and integration with Google Analytics/Omniture/Coremetrics (to track top pins by clicks and revenue) puts everything on solid footing.

Additionally, we’re announcing the launch of the first product built on top Pinterest’s API:  “Pinterest Trends,” which allows marketers to gather deep industry and category-level insights that benchmark a brand’s performance on Pinterest against the performance of their competitors. Many of our customers have asked for help understanding their category better and learning what types of content pinners like. Now marketers can define and group brands, track popular content, and benchmark their metrics.

Pinterest Trends offers category, competitive, and group-based benchmarking. Our Pinterest Trends dashboard allows a marketer to create groups of brands across verticals to benchmark virality, community growth, engagement and more. The ability to group brands enables Piqora customers to craft well-informed content strategies and make data-driven publishing decisions across the visual web.

With access to data from Pinterest’s API, our customers can expect more reports and segmented analytics in future. Our vision is to be the most actionable visual marketing dashboard and help marketers scale their presence on visual channels. Get in touch with us to learn more.

Stay tuned!

Q&A: Piqora’s Visual Web Analytics

By , On May 16th, 2014. In Pinterest Analytics, Piqora Features.

Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr are growing faster than ever, but these visual social networks are very different that Facebook & Twitter. Marketers and brands joining these networks understandably have a lot of questions about how to grow their communities, and achieve the elusive “social ROI.” The interview below was recently conducted with Piqora co-founder Sharad Verma to help answer some of the questions that marketers ask us everyday.

How does Piqora’s analytics help my brand?

Our analytics product is designed to provide marketers with actionable insights very quickly. The high-level dashboards that our customers use for image and community insights, are built on top of this huge mountain of image data, and are designed to make finding the “gold-nuggets” of actionable data very easy. Our detailed content and community reports provide a deeper view into metrics & trends, plus contain specific recommendations.
We’ve also done a lot of work lately to make report generation faster than ever. Most of our custom-date monthly reports are generated under 10 seconds. For example, Etsy is one of our customers, and they get over 3 million pins a month and we generate a custom-date monthly report for them in under 1 minute!
Social Analytics FAQ
Read more »

Influencers Don’t Matter on Pinterest

By , On May 1st, 2014. In Pinterest, Pinterest Best Practices, Piqora Features.

So, here’s the thing, marketers put a lot of effort into reaching out to “influencers” on social media. The idea, of course, is that people who have a lot of followers can spread messages and content farther than those without a lot of followers. Makes sense. But it’s wrong.

pinterest influencers

From the book “Grouped” by Paul Adams

The challenge is that getting influencers on-board with a campaign can be hard, expensive, or both. Also, the results might not justify the work, expense, or both. Several research studies indicate the existence of a “million follower fallacy.” Popularity does not equal influence.

The Myth of the “Influentials”

While it may seem obvious that spending time reaching out and engaging folks like Joy Cho, who has 13M+ followers on Pinterest, is a worthwhile pursuit, the real ROI might be lower than you think.

Influencer marketing Pinterest

The most popular person on Pinterest.

In fact, according to research by Paul Adams (Ex-Facebook, Google):

Most studies have found little correlation between highly connected people and large degrees of influence. Even when there are influential people and specific situations where they can wield great influence over many others, finding them is so expensive that it becomes a poor investment compared to available strategies.

Malcom Gladwell’s The Tipping Point was a good read about how a select few people can take an idea mainstream, but it’s less science, and more science fiction.

Here’s Who Has Real Influence

If the most followed, most popular folks don’t make sense to work with, then who does? Well, for every Joy Cho, there are hundreds, maybe thousands of other folks who already love your brand, and would be happy to tell their world about you if given the chance.
Let’s call these folks “Brand Advocates,” because they’re on your side. How do you know that? Well, one of Piqora’s dashboards for Pinterest surfaces the people who’ve pinned the most from your website (it can be sorted by any time slice). In the example screenshot below, there are at least 8 people who pinned more than 10 times from a well-known apparel brand over the last 14 days. Take a second to think about that, some of these folks found a dozen or more images on this brand’s website that they wanted to save, remember, and maybe buy later.
Think about the reach and impressions from your brand advocates – real people with real influence over their friends. 50 pins from an advocate that reaches 500 followers hits those followers 50 times, creating 25,000 impressions. Much better than one pin from a user with 25,000 followers. That means much higher chance of brand discovery and the awareness that comes with repetition.

Pinterest influencer marketing

Here are folks worth reaching out to for this brand.

The takeaway for marketers is that influencers DO matter on Pinterest, they just might be different people than you’d think. And unless you’re a huge brand like Target, building a campaign around already enthusiastic brand advocates will likely deliver better results than sending more emails to the million follower club.

Piqora raises $7.7 million to shape the future of Visual Web

By , On April 23rd, 2014. In Piqora Features.

From a kitchen table office in 2012 and a couple of analytics tabs to 100s of happy customers, billions of images, and a complete visual marketing suite for Pinterest, Instagram & Tumblr, Piqora has come a long way. Our conviction in the emotional power of Visual Web and the opportunity that represents for brands just won some more allies. Investors in Tesla and Box have decided to back Piqora in helping us bring brands and consumers together visually, emotionally and authentically. DFJ Ventures along with Altos, Freestyle, Baseline, Lazerow and Firebolt Ventures has led our $7.7 million series A round. We chose to partner with DFJ given our shared conviction in image driven marketing and a strong chemistry with firm’s partners. To date we have raised more than $11 million in venture capital.

Piqorans at work

The past 12 months have been very exciting. We expanded our Pinterest Marketing Suite to include Instagram and Tumblr, doubled our team to 25, added 100s of customers, made some mistakes and learned along the way. We are a better and larger company as a result. And more committed than ever to serve our customers, educate the market, and expand our product to help brands emotionally connect with today’s visual consumers.

Our customers are our biggest asset. Nothing matters more than them. Our customer success team is an internal champion of our customers, an advocate of their needs, a pervasive voice in every discussion. And the new capital will help us make the lives of customers even easier. Product innovation, expansion to more visual networks, educational content and dedicated customer engagement is our road ahead.

We take pride in the friendly and passionate culture we have created here. Some of it is active engineering but most of it reflects the people we have hired. Piqorans come from top tier companies – Google, Yahoo, Wildfire to name a few. We are a passionate bunch, inspired to achieve and generate results. As we say here “Work Hard, Have Fun, Make History – 2 out of 3 is not an option”. And finally we want to thank the social networks and our data partners without whom we wouldn’t have come this far.

Thank you for your support. We look forward to partnering and working with you.

–Sharad Verma (CEO/Co-founder, Piqora)

Announcing: Instagram Conversation Manager

By , On April 23rd, 2014. In Instagram Marketing.

Instagram Marketing
Instagram is a visual, emotional social network that consumers love. The problem with Instagram, from a social media manager’s perspective, is that monitoring comments and @mentions means hopping around from one photo to next. For brands with multiple profiles it means logging in and out of the app on your phone. But not any more.

A Tweetdeck for Instagram

Piqora has just launched Instagram Conversation Manager, to enable marketers to easily monitor and respond to user comments and brand @mentions. Just like Tweetdeck, Instagram Conversation Manager aggregates all the comments and @mentions in multiple columns that auto-update allowing social marketers to monitor and participate in conversations from their desktop, which hopefully has a full-size keyboard if not a nice big monitor and comfy chair.

What Instagram Conversation Manager Does

Instagram is a photo sharing network and Piqora’s image-based-conversation interface makes it easy to reply (and track responses to those replies). Before today there was no way for social marketers to keep track of which comments they have responded to and track post-response conversation threads or see historical comments beyond 50 on Instagram. Instagram Conversation Manager shows you all the comments including historical comments from your profile.

Here’s the specifics on what Instagram Conversation Manager enables you to do:

1. See all comments and @mentions from multiple profiles
2. Add or delete profiles for monitoring
3. Respond to comments or @mentions
4. A separate feed for conversations already participated in
5. All responses are posted to Instagram in real-time
6. All historical comments and @mentions are pre-populated, so you can start responding right away.
Community Management Instagram
Instagram is just going to keep growing, and for brands managing communities of 10,000 people or more, it’s just not sustainable to do that from a mobile device with limited options. Instagram Conversation Manager is the tool was built for social media teams to get to 1,000,000 followers.

From “Support” to “Success,” Why We’re Going All-in on Customer Success

By , On April 17th, 2014. In Piqora Features.

Piqora Customer Success

Photo by Pinterest user Calista Susa

When we see things that can be improved here at Piqora we take swift action to improve it. The brands we serve and the social networks we support move fast, so we do too.

One of the most obvious and impactful recent changes is increasing our Customer Success team by 500% over the last three months. As a result, we’re fundamentally changing the way we work with brands and agencies that are Piqora customers.

What This Means for Piqora Customers

Our CEO, Sharad Verma, said recently that, “The Customer Success team’s mission is to obsess about overall customer success, help customers along their journey, and ensure that our customers get real value from our solution.”

Our Customer Success Managers (CSMs) were chosen with a great deal of scrutiny with the clear goal in mind to create the best Customer Success team in the space. Anything less wouldn’t be acceptable. That’s why we hired folks from top technology companies like Google and leading agencies like Wieden+Kennedy. Being the best includes (but isn’t limited to) obsessive attention to detail, proactive and meaningful outreach and keeping customers up to speed on best practices throughout the visual web as it evolves. It also varies from brand to brand, and it’s our goal to make the brand:CSM relationship as individualized as possible.

Speaking tangibly, this shift will enable us to act as extensions of your brand’s marketing team. It will include a robust onboarding process, custom launch plans that are built with your specific goals in mind and quarterly/mid-year reviews that are designed to show VPs and CMOs the goals that have been achieved. We’re going all-in on customer success with the goal of ensuring that your brand sees great value from our partnership.
Piqora Customer Success Team
We’re incredibly excited about this change, and we want you to share that excitement by viewing your Customer Success Manager as an extensions of your marketing team. To achieve that CSMs will now be actively involved in helping you with:

  • Marketing Strategy for The Visual Web
  • Data Analysis and Insight
  • Subject Matter Expertise for Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr

We’ll still be here for any technical or support questions that you might have, but the focus is now significantly larger than that.
Piqora Customer Success
Why was this Decision Made?

The visual web as a whole is a complicated, often daunting landscape. Brands understand the massive potential in these channels, but face challenges in developing coherent strategies for them (in these still early days). As a result, sometimes brands can feel more frustrated in the space than they do optimistic. Piqora’s Customer Success Managers are here to alleviate that problem. Along with our industry-leading marketing suite for the visual web, your CSM is now in a position to design and execute fully-thought-through strategies, help set clear KPIs, and guide you on a journey to overwhelming success.

We’ve made the shift from simply supporting you, to supporting your success.