How To Use The Pinterest Visual Search Tool

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Good morning, Internet fans, Ryan Perry here, Simple Biz Support. Today is Wednesday, November 18th, therefore, it’s Social Media Wednesday. As usual, I have the beautiful and talented Sarah Giometti with Provaro Marketing. Good morning, Sarah.

Sarah Giometti: Good morning, Ryan. How are you?

RP: I’m doing good. You’re looking quite well. I understand you’re not feeling too good today, so I appreciate you still being able to come on the show and talk about some fun social media stuff, seeing how it is Wednesday.

SG: Yeah. Not a problem. Yeah, I’m a little under the weather, but I think I should be able to get through the 15 minutes.

RP: All right. We’ll do our best to make it a fast 15 minutes. Specifically, we’re gong to talk about Pinterest, and they have a visual search tool that I didn’t even know it exists, but I guess it makes sense, ’cause it’s Pinterest, and that’s what you do on Pinterest, you look at pictures. So, wouldn’t it be cool if you could actually search by a picture? I guess the big question becomes, A, is there much difference between Google, ’cause Google has had that capability for sometime, and then, why would we use it, and how does it affect business owners?

SG: So, the difference between… Google …click on an image, you can find that exact image where it originated from, so …if, make sure you’re not plagiarizing copyrighted photos, things like that. On Pinterest, the difference is, you can pinpoint an item within the photo. So, say you’re on Pinterest and you see this picture of this cool living room, or dining room, and you wanted the chandelier that’s in the picture, and clicking on the picture and going through to the blog article does not bring you to where that specific chandelier is. And so, with the Pinterest search, you can pinpoint and narrow down to that chandelier, and it will give you similar results, it will hopefully help you find where to buy that chandelier.

RP: Yeah. Is this available on mobile devices and desktop devices?

SG: Yeah. It’s available both places.

RP: Okay. And then from a… I can see from and end user point of view, look if I just want to find, maybe it’s an IKEA picture or something, I don’t know, it’s just a picture like we were talking about earlier, of a house or an office, being able to actually specifically narrow in on a lamp or a chandelier, or whatever it might be, is very cool from an end user point of view, but as a business owner, what’s the real benefit for me?

SG: It will help you get found as well, especially if you have a similar… We’ll stick with the chandelier. If you have a similar chandelier item, and you’ve put it up there with proper tags, proper hashtags, proper description, then Pinterest will… Well, hopefully the goal is to add your chandelier into the list of results for that end user, so it’s helping you as a business owner get found better on Pinterest. And that’s… And get found through other people’s photos. So it doesn’t even have to be your photo of the dining room with the chandelier, but if yours is similar, and you’ve hashtagged it properly, then you can come up in the similar results that are offered up to the end user as options to buy.

RP: Okay. Perfect. And do you know if you have to… I guess if you’re looking for a specific item, then like you said, it doesn’t… You don’t have to have… I’m trying to think of how to word this correctly. I guess, the image itself that’s on your account, on your Pinterest account, would need to be the individual object, because that’s what we’re looking for, versus the overall picture of the office, as… Or the house, I guess, since we’re talking about chandeliers.

SG: Right. So you can… You would want to do both. So, you’d want to have the overall picture showing it in use, so that if that’s what comes up when they’re using a search, but then you also have the individual products, so it’s really easy for them to click through, see all the information about it, how much it cost, that kind of stuff. So that… This is going to be really useful for e-commerce, or brick and mortar stores that have a product to sell, this is going to be really useful.

RP: Okay. And I’m thinking right now, if I’m one of those people, going, “Oh, okay. So I need to have the big image.” And not necessarily just from a search point of view, but simply because from a sales point of view, people are gong to want to see what the product’s gong to look like in a setting. It’s kind of like a dress on a… That’s just hanging on a hanger, it looks very much different when it’s just hanging on a hanger, versus when you actually put it on and it’s hanging on you. You could take a beautiful dress and go, “Eh.” Or the opposite, you’re like, “Well, I’m not crazy, but I’ll try it on.” And then it looks great.

SG: Right. And it… Yeah. And the same goes with any product. When you show it in use, it helps trigger the buyers’ idea of how they could use our product, versus if they see just the plain product, they’re like, “Oh, that’s a neat product, but I have no idea what I’m gong to do with it.” Whereas if you show it in use, they go, “Oh, that’s what I could do with it. That’s a really cool idea. Let me go buy it.” And so, that’s why you want to show it in use, but then you also want to have it as individual, so then they can just… They know that’s the product they want and they can go buy it.

RP: And then, what about, we talked earlier before the actual episode started, about search. So as business owners, you can kind of use this as a reverse search tool.

SG: Right. So, you can use it for your own research. So, if you’re trying to figure out what… Maybe what hashtags or keywords to use, as you’re adding your products on Pinterest or as you’re pinning… You should pin from your website into Pinterest, so that it tracks back to your website. But you can use it to check and see what other people are saying and using and like what interaction are they getting, are they getting a lot of shares, and likes, and repins? So you can actually use it for your own research to improve your Pinterest strategy, as you’re trying to grow your business and sell your products online.

RP: Right. And the other thing I can think of, if you’re selling a product that’s a commodity that a lot of other people are selling is, why not do a search for that individual product and see who your competitors are online, and then also who’s doing a good job? Because a lot of time… I’m not a big fan of reinventing the wheel, so if I can find somebody who’s doing a good job in my space, check them out, see what they’re doing, and trying to mimic their marketing tactics with my own style. So we’re not copying, but there’s a lot of good information out there that people are using currently, go check it out, pull the stuff that you like out of it, try it yourself, and see how that helps with gaining marketshare online.

SG: Yeah absolutely. You should always be watching what your competition is doing online, and be careful not to copy a failing strategy though. You definitely want to look and see how it’s… Like you said, you’re not copying it but you’re looking to see what’s working, what’s not working and coming up with your own strategy based on what you’re seeing. So you definitely want to look and see what your competition is doing, how successful they are, and what are some of the things that you can identify that are making it successful for them. So if you are a product based business Pinterest could…

SG: And especially if women are your target market, Pinterest could be really powerful for you, especially as we lead into the holidays. People are buying things, they’re buying decorations for the holidays, they’re buying… They’re looking for ideas for table settings, they’re buying products for their family, so… Or presents for their family. So this is definitely a great opportunity to look and see what your competition is doing and emulate it with your own spin so that you have more success online as well.

RP: Okay, perfect, so I think that pretty much covers how to use the Pinterest visual tool, I think the really cool thing is… I don’t know how many people are familiar with it, so it’s something to go check out and it is available both on mobile and online, is there anything else that we need to add to this?

SG: It is really new, it rolled out about a week, week and a half ago. The only thing is, it’s a little tricky to find how to do it, but… So we can walk you through like real quick, give you a minute screen share to show you where to find the tool. And that way you can use it as your research. And then you have an idea you can direct people to do it as well.

RP: Okay, perfect. Since we’re doing screen share it’s gong to be on the desktop version then, so, on the desktop version this is how you’re gong to go in and find it. On the mobile side if it’s not an option right now you may need to do an update since it’s so new.

SG: Yeah, it’s pretty new but you should… Yeah your app should update if it hasn’t already, or have an update in there waiting for it. So let’s switch over to… Share… There we go. So I’ve done a search for table settings because holidays are coming up, and we’ll just randomly pick this one here and I click on it to bring it up so it’s a bigger pin. And then right here in the upper right corner of the picture has the little search. So now, you click on that little search bar, and I can drag this around and shrink this little box, and so I can say “I want just this camera, or this candle idea” and now it’s popped up a whole bunch of candle ideas with some greenery around it.

RP: That’s pretty cool. And what I love about it, it’s instant, you don’t have to sit there, resize it, click send or something and then go back and recharge. So it’s working on the fly which is really cool.

SG: Yeah and so I can sit here and move it over here to this glass, and so you can just keep moving around a picture and it just instantly readjusts your search.

RP: Mmh. That is very cool. Actually, seeing it in use I’m actually more impressed with it now, seeing it in use.

SG: So, for the end user this could be, this is gong to be really cool, really fun if you’re looking for like, “I love that glass” Here are similar glass items. Or, whatever it is. But for the business owner you can do the same thing to your own pictures and see what else pops up, what else is coming up with similar to that, is… Are you coming up? There’s a lot of ways for a business owner. You can use this for your own research to improve your strategy, and then… You can also see up here is tags. So based on that glass that I picked up here are keywords where I can refine, I can click “champagne glasses” and I now gong to refine the results that I was given. So…

RP: And if you’re looking for… You’re a little confused, you’re not sure what type of tags you should be associating with your own product, you can just look at that bar too then.

SG: Yup, absolutely. And this helps you figure out what to do with your own strategy and to see what other people are doing and what is coming up. Maybe you’re trying to… Doing a photo shoot, trying to figure out how to stylize your products, this is a great way to get some ideas on how to do the photoshoot to give your products the most appeal to the end users and the buyers. There’s a lot of ways that you can utilize this as a business owner, just think outside the box is really what the key is here.

RP: All right, very cool. That is a cool little tool, I’m actually gong to check it out myself, because I like cool new tools just like that. Anything else then?

SG: I don’t think so. Just play around with it and see how you can utilize it for your business to get more traffic to your website and grow your business and online store, or brick and mortar. Get people to walk through the door.

RP: Right, definitely. All right, well that’s it, that’s the cool… The cool new tool from Pinterest, it is their visual search tool, check it out, it is definitely… Looks like it’s pretty powerful, it’ll be interesting, seeing how it just rolled out, how it’s going to take off down the road. I think as people get used to it, it’s gong to get used quite a bit.

RP: Sarah, as always, I appreciate your time and the energy that you put into the show. I hope you start feeling better. If you need to borrow my juicer, just let me know.

SG: I do have my own, you know.

RP: That’s right. You just gotta start using it then.

SG: I know. I need to start using it so maybe I can get rid of this.

RP: Yeah. All right, everybody, that’s it for this week’s episode of Social Media Wednesday. We will be back next Wednesday, just before Thanksgiving. Maybe we’ll talk about turkeys and something. I don’t know. But it’ll be social, I promise you. Take care, everybody and hope you have a great week.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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