Pinterest is growing rapidly and I decided I wanted in.
I have a lot of content that I could be promoting on Pinterest.
But then the questions started in my head - How do I get followers? How do I get noticed by Pinterest influencers?And what the heck is "repinning"?
So I figured I'd go to the bloggers that were already using Pinterest and ask them directly!
Here is their best advice:
Do not just repin from Pinterest. Go out and find new posts and images to post. I try to find at least 5 new things to post to Pinterest every day (be sure the images are Pinterest-worthy.) I find my repins are higher on the days I post something new rather than always repinning others.
Pin with your target market in mind. Not just the things that you personally write about, but also lateral content they're also interested in. This applies not just to what you pin, but how you craft your pin descriptions, board descriptions, and profile. Think of your target market every time you sit down to pin, and you'll have much greater results than if you only pin according to your own tastes.
My best tip is make your images vertical and add text to your images. Vertical images are more eye-catching as people scroll through their feed. The text on the images lets them know as they are scrolling exactly what to expect from that pin.
I think the best thing I've done with my Pinterest account is to create one board for my blog, named after my blog. And every time I write a post, I immediately post to that board first, and then when I share or repin, I always do it from that original pin.
It serves a few purposes, but what I like best is that if someone comes to my page, that's the first board at the top, and if they want to know who I am, everything about me is pinned to that board.
I check their Blog, Pinterest for Business page, and Pinterest for Developers page frequently. I'm not a programmer, so sometimes I need help with the technical language. I love listening to Cynthia Sanchez's Oh So Pinteresting podcast for assistance in this area. She interviews interesting and knowledgeable individuals who keep me current! I appreciate her tips too. The action steps she suggests are achievable and make a difference in my Pinning!
Create highly pinnable graphics - "long and lean" as I call them. Some of my simplest projects have become very popular on Pinterest because I created highly pinnable collages that show multiple images from the same project. Pinterest loves vertical images, so every post should have a pinnable vertical image that includes a high-quality image, the title of the post, and your blog name or URL in a watermark. It's worth the bit of extra time it takes to create these images for the return on investment - increased blog traffic!
You’re always going to find the standard tips you read everywhere: use high-quality images; focus on a long vertical with bright colors; craft a killer headline. But the most surprising piece of advice I have received is to practice skillful social listening on Pinterest. Find the people who have pinned your content by going to Pinterest.com/Source/[YourURL]
My best Pinterest tip is to pin like your followers. Your followers do not pin from just 10:00-10:30 am every single weekday. Sure, you can schedule your pins out, but remember that your perfect follower (and possible blog reader) sleeps, eats, works, takes care of children, has doctor's appointments, etc. They don't have a schedule of when they pin, they pin when they can. Since I've started using Pinterest as just a regular person vs. blogger trying to drive traffic, I've seen my number of followers increase quickly. Of course, my tip may not work for everyone, but it doesn't hurt to play with your pinning strategy to gauge results. Take a strategy and try it for 2 weeks, analyze, tweak, and happy pinning!
My best Pinterest tip is to join community boards! You can search for them and message the hosts for an invite. Community boards give you a lot more exposure for any pins you post there, as well as providing more inspiration for yourself!
I guess it would be to set aside a few minutes once or twice a day to look at all the boards you are following and pin things that grab you--the Pinterest iPhone app makes much shorter work of this than opening up Pinterest on your computer.
Breathe new life into old posts by going back and creating pin-able images with keyword-heavy descriptions and re-pinning them. While you may feel these posts have run their course on other social media outlets, Pinterest can be a great platform to showcase them and extend their value to your site.
My best Pinterest tip would be to join group boards, especially if you haven't built up a large Pinterest following yet. (I just wrote a blog post on building your blog with Pinterest)
Some group boards have thousands of followers and the group board can be found among every pinner's personal boards. It's a fairly easy way to get the greatest exposure with least effort.
You can ask for an invitation to group boards you like (the guidelines are often listed in the board description) or find a Pinterest directory.
My best Pinterest tip is to be focused. Once I identified WHY I use Pinterest, I was able to focus my boards and pins on what really matters - growing my Pinterest following, and attracting other bloggers and prospective clients. Each time I click to pin or repin I ask myself, "Is this pin of value to my target audience?" If the answer isn't yes, I don't pin it.
To dive a little deeper. Pinterest group boards are boards where there are multiple pinners, with a single owner (either you or someone else). So you can create one, and invite people to pin - which alleviates the pinning workload, but comes with some responsibility. The easier version is getting on someone else's board. A great tool for this is Pin Groupie which can help you find relevant and active boards. This way you can spread your pins (and others, don't just pin your own) even wider, by leveraging audiences you had no access to before. Cool huh!
If you want even more tips and info on using and leveraging group boards, I wrote a lengthy post on this to help you out. Get busy finding some great boards to join today. You won't regret it.
It's hard to choose just one, but I think my best Pinterest tip would be to take the time to really understand how Pinterest works. Just like any form of social media, you'll see best results if you understand what Pinterest is and how to best use it for YOUR brand. Do your research, experiment with different ideas, pay attention to the analytics, tweak your strategy, and above all have fun with it!
Do you use Google Plus to create mini-blog posts? Get more exposure from those posts, by including a photo and then pinning the Google Plus post link to your Pinterest boards. You can do this for your other social media platforms, and it creates great cross-platform exposure.
When I write my Pin descriptions that mimic the language that pinners use when writing notes to themselves, I can increase the engagement on that particular Pin. "LOVE this baked chicken recipe! Pinning for meal planning, healthy eating" is much more inviting than "Check out this baked chicken recipe on my blog! #healthyeating #mealplanning #chickenrecipes.
Know what keywords your customers use when searching for your product(s) or service(s). Create many different Pinterest boards that each target specific keywords used by your customers when they search for pins related to what your business does. (Check out my recent post on Pinterest Strategy).
The number one Pinterest tip I can give you is to be true to your brand in your Pinnable images. Create a certain recognizable style. Always use the same font, logo or watermark, and other elements when you add an image to a blog post. Over time people will start to recognize you for your pictures on Pinterest. Those pictures give them an incentive to take a look on your blog to see if you've updated lately. That means more traffic for you, all by simply being true to your brand.
If I had to give you only one tip for using Pinterest it would be this: Pin regularly from actual websites instead of just repinning pins on Pinterest. The majority of content on Pinterest are repins from other people's boards, this presents a great opportunity for you to up your game and improve the visibility of your pins in the smart feed.
Pinning from websites means you're adding fresh content into the mix. This kind of rings a bell within the Pinterest hamster cage and says "Woah, hold on a sec, here's someone providing something new. We like them!". If the images you're pinning are high quality, look amazing and link to a valuable source, Pinterest will in turn see you as a valuable user.
I've done some thinking this past week, and I really don't have much of a Pinterest strategy 🙂 But I do think what has worked for me, and would be my best tip, is that almost all my pins are things I truly like and that fit in my niche of homemade and DIY projects. People who choose to follow me on Pinterest know that they will find pins and more ideas on the same subjects that brought them to my blog. And if they found me on Pinterest first and have then come over to my blog, they will again find lots of info on the same subject as the type of pins they found interesting. I think this gives some continuity to my brand and continues to give me an authentic voice on my subject.
My tip is to pin things in your niche (my blogging pins did best in analytic’s) – they did get more re-pins and clicks than other pins. Also sharing to Facebook, pinning on Saturdays and pinning several times per week work wonders too.
Scheduling whole boards with BoardBooster! This has made my traffic grow so much! I love to load up all Group Boards and then schedule my Blog Board to feed pins to all the group boards, every day without me doing anything!
Pinterest is constantly tweaking their algorithm and what worked marvelously in 2014 is passé in 2015. You might notice that your Pinterest home page now features pins that are "picked for you". What I noticed about those pins is there's nothing exceptional about them in terms of the dimensions or their descriptions but they typically have one thing in common and that is recency. Those picked for your pins are typically only 2 or 3 hours old. That's why I think a critical Pinterest tip for 2015 is that we absolutely must use a tool to schedule our pins! My favorite is Tailwind but I'm using checking out Viraltag and Ahalogy. My new motto for 2015 - Always Be Pinning!
My best Pinterest tip (or tips) would be (and this is what has worked very well for me) is to pin a lot, but also make sure every pin is top quality; obviously the image is everything, make sure its a great image no-less, complete with summary and the original URL (i.e. not simply linking to Google image search!).
I go out of my way to find the original source of the image, which sometimes take a bit more effort but its worth it. Also, if I find a great blog piece without a nice image I'll fire up my image editor and make one.
I've seen articles advising on the best times to Pin as well, but I generally take these with a pinch of salt as the content I pin spreads across International time zones. Also, you'll find that a good pin will have a MUCH longer shelf-life than something on Twitter or Facebook. People are still pinning my old stuff months later - that simply doesn't happen on most other social networks!
That's one of the reasons why I'm not a big fan of the approach "the best idea/product/whatever". Most of the time there's no such thing. However, I'll try to drastically limit the number of tips. But I'll use a trick...
My best Pinterest tip includes one sub-tip and another one disguised as a warning:
- Join as many large community boards as possible. Niche boards related to your pins, not generic boards like "Share your very best pins!"
- "A picture is worth a thousand words," they say. That's right, but I would add... For various reasons, some pictures shared on Pinterest are worthless. Wrong dimensions, etc. Beware!
My latest Pinterest tip is to create a "Pins I've Clicked Through Board." I fully believe that you are your best researcher for your audience. After all, if you are interested enough to write and research about it you should be your best audience. For many of us, Pinterest is a huge traffic driver for our blogs and websites. Honestly, when I want to know something I will generally search it on Pinterest before I go to Google.
There is a ton of advice out there for what makes a good pinnable image but what you are wanting is for people to click-through that image and not just pin it. Experiencing why you click-through to an article is better than just knowing by reading the research. If you would click the image than your audience probably will too! So when I do a search on Pinterest, and I actually click-through to the website to read the article, I will then pin the image to my "Click Through Pins" board. I then can go back and analyze what made me click-through the pins to the site and can apply the personalized research to my brand.
As each one of these helpful tips were sent to me, I started using each one. And I've been able to drive reliable, stable traffic from Pinterest to my site in just a few short weeks. Not only that, I created a community group board and have all these great bloggers, as well as others, as pinners on that board! You can check out our board here.
Let me know in the comments - are you on Pinterest? What's your best Pinterest tip?