Pinterest Goes All In on New Ad Messaging

Pinterest’s opportunity for paid media has been apparent ever since numbers of sales originating from pins on the site started to circulate.

Why is Pinterest so good at conversion compared to the more mature, larger networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram?

Pinterest’s head of operations, Don Faul, gives his two cents to the WSJ (and they’re good ones):

“Pinterest is not a traditional user-generated content platform, it’s a place where people are coming to discover new businesses, new brands and new products… Our users are expressing their future intent. It’s not the shoes they bought last week, or where they went on vacation six months ago.”

It’s that last part that really shows you the “why” in the explanation of Pinterest’s paid media opportunity – relevancy not just to users’ interests, but actually being at the right point in a user’s purchase journey.

Think about it – how often do you go to Twitter with the intent to buy something? You might be thinking about buying something and head to Twitter to ask friends (and complete strangers) for their input. Likewise with Facebook, you’re not going on Facebook to buy something – or to make a final decision.

However, with Pinterest, users are often collecting and narrowing choices between products (via their pins or those of others) they actually intend to buy (or want to at least).

Additionally, the fact that you can actually see an pin, click it, and be adding that item to your shopping card within seconds puts Pinterest ahead of the other image-laden social network out there vying for ad dollars – Instagram.

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The embargo has been lifted and we can all preview President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address before he’s even done. I’m taking a little bit of an analytical look at his speech – as it was written (not necessarily delivered). The word cloud above represents the text of the address. Here are the numbers:

6,503 words

36,355 characters

340 sentences

20 words per sentence (avg.)

104 paragraphs

11th-12th grade reading level

Top Words (by keyword density):

America (35)

Years (25)

Time (21)

People (20)

Work (20)

Need (19)

Americans (19)

Jobs (19)

Country (19)

Tools used:

Word cloud –

Text analysis – and


Why Taco Bell’s 1 Million App Downloads Could Be More Important Than Their 10 Million Facebook Fans

I’ll admit it, I might be out of Snapchats target demo. I don’t use the app that much, but whenever I do open it I check out the latest snap from Taco Bell.

Today’s was especially interesting:




That means Taco Bell now has a direct line between their marketing efforts and the thing people have in their hands most during the day.

Yes, they have had great success pushing messaging out via Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, and every other channel, but those instances are a bit removed from purchase when you realize people can actually ORDER freaking tacos from Taco Bell using their new app.

Not only that, the engagement (I’m talking more than just likes, comments, and shares here) Taco Bell gets via their mobile app is directly tied to end actions (or lack thereof).

The media guy in me is salivating at the possibilities provided by the combo of App, Social (you can register with Facebook), location, and POS data. It’s a digital media dude’s dream.

BRB, ordering a customized Crunchwrap Supreme…


Biz Stone’s Super: The App Users Deserve, But (Maybe) Not the One They Need Right Now

When you’ve done great things before, it’s only natural for people to look at every thing after that and compare new ventures to those previously-successful ones. When you’re Biz Stone, a founder of Twitter, those are some big expectations to live up to… but he doesn’t seem like he’s trying to meet or exceed everyone’s expectations – and that’s just fine.

Stone’s latest app Super (iOSAndroid), from his seven-person team at Jelly joins their app with the same name. Jelly allows users to post questions with images and solicit feedback from the masses.

This time around, the team created a platform for sharing interesting content all built around a set list of prompts. The prompts, when paired with user-shot photos or stock artsy images are then fed into a feed where other users can “Love” them or respond via their own post.

I’ve decided not to come up with some slick and pithy marketing description for Super. I’m also not going to proclaim that it’s the most innovative thing ever or that it’s going to save the world. It’s not, it’s just fun.
– Biz Stone writing about Super

There’s actually something to be said for the way Stone seems to be approaching life after Twitter. He’s out there creating fun, entertaining experiences focused on user interaction and enjoyment. He’s not heads-down focused on creating “The Next ______ ” or “The _________ Killer.”

I recently read Stone’s Things a Little Bird Told Me and I keep going back to a part in the book where he talks about how he and Ev Williams used to take new Twitter employees and tell them how and why the company came to be and went over their “six assumptions:”

Assumptions for Twitter Employees
1) We don’t always know what’s going to happen.
2) There are more smart people out there than in here.
3) We will win if we do the right thing for our users.
4) The only deal worth doing is a win-win deal.
5) Our coworkers are smart and they have good intentions.
6) We can build a business, change the world, and have fun.

Excerpt From: Stone, Biz. “Things a Little Bird Told Me.” Grand Central Publishing, 2014-04-01.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store:

It would seem to me that Stone (and in turn, Jelly) still heavily believe in number three. It’s also probably fairly certain they’re living by number one as well, since it’s yet to be seeking Super sees a better growth rate than Jelly (which is still alive and kicking).

This app will be compared to Secret and Whisper and probably even Snapchat (what isn’t?), but at its heart it’s about joining everyday conversations in a different, more communal way and giving people a chance to express themselves while doing it.

I, for one, am pretty excited about it. You can follow me at @ronschott.

Here are some screen grabs from Super:

After opening the app, you’re treated to a crazy pic of Bill Murray (yet to be determined if he knows he’s part of this).


The default view is the feed screen:


You can control what you’re seeing in the feed here


Start a post by choosing a prompt


Enter your text and sign it (or stay anon)


You can even add links and locations to your posts (something that could be attractive to brands – a differentiator from Instagram)



Logo Party (and How I Tried Fiverr)

I kept getting ads in my Facebook News Feed for “Fiverr” the online marketplace where you can get pretty much anything done for $5 (or more).

I haven’t really ever had a need for the service, but one of my goals is to get back into blogging more since things here are starting to slow down finally after moving from London, starting a new job, and buying our first home. So, in thinking about writing more, I wondered to myself “Self, why doesn’t this blog have a logo?”

That’s how I ended up finally clicking an app install ad on Facebook.

The process was pretty smooth.

I flipped through a bunch of “logo designers” – most of which were not U.S. based and looked to speak poor English. I’m sure they’re great at what they do, but for my first experience I wanted to have great communication.

After I submitted my order, the artist messaged me with a short questionnaire:


I answered back (and was probably super unhelpful):


Then a day later:


Just like that, four “custom” logos.

I’m not 100% sold on any, but they’re not terrible. Seeing as I paid $5 for them, I guess you get what you pay for.






Audi Uses Snapchat for Latest Social Campaign

It may be filled with selfies and slightly NSFW content, but brands are starting to dip their toes in the Snapchat water… or, in Audi’s case, they’re taking a flying leap off the diving board and doing a cannon ball.

Their latest use of the ephemeral, image-and-video app is called:


Here’s the full snap:

Audi’s use is pretty great. Brands like Taco Bell and Nordstrom are playing with Snapchat, but this is perhaps one of the better campaigns/contests I’ve seen.


Will People Keep Using #AmazonCart? Maybe

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When Amazon announced their #AmazonCart integration with Twitter, the internet nearly tripped over itself in lauding the inevitable coming of age of social shopping. But, what’s really going on?

Our team at Simply Measured looked at the uptake of the #AmazonCart hashtag and did a great job shedding some light on how the program is going thus far:


After all those tweets, the top-discussed item was a romance novel – wow.

Our team spent some time batting ideas back and forth about how we could see how many people were actually completing orders of the items they were #AmazonCart-ing about, but without API access, that would be a bit hard. Users are prompted to Tweet or FB post about the item the ultimately end up buying, but I’m guessing the people choosing to do so aren’t numerous.

If that was the case, you could actually start tracking initiated #AmazonCart transactions and follow them through to completed transactions by matching someone’s initial tweet:

Then you could see when Amazon replied to them:

Then, once they bought, you could see (if they shared) their confirmation of purchase:

But, like I said, not many people seem to be posting their purchases. One problem I encountered was seeing a number of things I wanted to add to my #AmazonCart, but not being able to send a tweet to Amazon because I had already said the same thing to them 5 minutes ealier: Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 4.16.00 PM Not very helpful. The other bit that, I’m guessing, might trip most people up is that you still have to actually venture to Amazon to complete your purchase. With American Express’ Twitter integration, you didn’t have to do much beyond tweet to get the things you wanted, which took the friction out of the equation. If #AmazonCart could take going to the website out of the equation, I’d certainly use the service more. As it stands right now, if I’m looking around the web and see a cool Amazon product, I’ll probably go straight to the site to add it to my cart and buy – heck, got to take advantage of the Prime membership, right? Just for fun, take a cruise through things that people are buying with this Twitter search: