Friday, June 3, 2016
Pinterest Tools - a review of Copublish, a free management tool
I don't enjoy social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.), so anything that makes interacting with those platforms easier is a real boon. There's a lot to debate about the usefulness of these tools, too. Having that video or image that goes "viral," attracting ridiculous amounts of attention and praise... well, who can argue against the success of that? But if it's not a phenomenon you can consistently replicate-- or that even has a solid set of guideposts for increasing your chances-- then it's not exactly a "business activity." That isn't to suggest social media tools aren't of value. If you run an Etsy or online shop-- a venue that opens you up to national and international customers-- these tools have a necessary place in your marketing outreach. Especially a tool like Pinterest which puts your product in front of people with an interest. Connecting people with common interests is Pinterest's strength, and the network is global.
As a photographer and videographer (who is geographically limited), Pinterest is less practical; I don't benefit from admirers in Australia, or even Alabama. But I do believe it has a small place in my toolbox. My goal is for someone local to see my "product" and reach out.
Having a "small" place in my toolbox means I want it to take a "small" amount of time (and a small amount of cost), so I started looking for free tools to manage my posts. Like all social media tools, regular posting is important. I wanted a tool I could use to schedule a week's worth of posts and then ignore. And I wanted it to be free. There are some paid options (like https://www.viraltag.com/), but few in the free category. In fact, I found only one: Copublish (http://copublish.in).
So does it work?
Copublish lets you schedule your pins in advance, describe and tag them, and track their analytics (though I don't think they do this any better than Pinterest). The interface is simple and attractive, though I found it a bit buggy. After I set up my account, I added a new board to Pinterest. Copublish couldn't "see" the new board. So I un-linked my Pinterest account from Copublish and tried linking it again, but it wouldn't. I'd give it permission to post to my Pinterest account and it would keep telling me I didn't have any accounts linked to Copublish. I emailed tech support and they responded really quickly (like five minutes later), asking a question. But then they didn't respond after I gave them the answer. I suspected that the problem has related to how Copublish "refreshes" its data, so I waited and day and sure enough it was working again. Since then I've scheduled two weeks of posts to two different boards. On the whole, I'd rate Copublish a B-. It's working well now, but I worry about what will happen if I add a new board. If it can handle that, I'd upgrade it to a B+.
Ultimately, of course, the most successful Pinterest campaigns are run by people who love Pinterest, post regularly by hand, and are interacting with other users. If Pinterest is an important tool for your business, I wouldn't skimp on your time investment. For those of us who are social media introverts, Copublish is a handy tool.