Did you know that global scrapbook website Pinterest can significantly benefit your business? With over a million visitors a day, the third largest social network can be a great way to drive traffic, connect with your target audience, improve SEO, reinforce your brand, and create visibility.
I’m a Pinterest fanatic with over 418,000 followers and almost 16 million pin views in 2016. Here we’re sharing my top tips for follower growth on Pinterest.
Set up a Pinterest for Business account
You might already have a Pinterest account and you might be an avid personal user. But let’s take it up a notch for your business with an account that provides you with statistics about pins from your site, key demographics, how people are interacting with your pins, and access to promote pins/paid promotion.
And it’s all free. You can even convert an existing personal account to a business one if you don’t feel like starting out again. By using these analytics, you can understand your audience and how to reach them much better – perfect for building up your audience and creating relevant content. You can also link it to your website so that the two promotional channels are working together in harmony.
Set up some key boards for items that relate to your business – it might be showcasing products, collating inspiration, or even jumping on popular trends on Pinterest – but make sure your boards are very specific (niche is fine) and have logical titles that will come up when people search that topic.
As a side note – descriptions matter on Pinterest, especially if you’re sharing your own product images. Descriptions and keywords matter, so spend some time getting these descriptions right without spamming (don’t be tempted to change links to popular images, it’s likely you’ll get found out and/or reported).
Although the site is image based, the search function on Pinterest uses text so without this your images won’t display in results. You don’t need to use hashtags or anything, but you can if it makes it easier for you to categorize activity (like if you ran a competition).
Interaction Is a Must
Like most social media channels, to gain followers you usually have to be one too. Follow accounts you like, accounts that appeal to your demographic, people who follow you, and influential pinners. You could even try to join some group boards to capitalize on the popularity of other accounts too. Remember to comment on pins you like too, and reply to comments and messages that you get – this is a seriously under-utilized tool on Pinterest and one you can seriously benefit from.
Don’t expect to be able to throw a few pins down at first and then spiral in popularity. You need to be engaged and show off your Pinterest prowess. Little and often is usually best – people don’t want to see a thousand of your pins clogging up their feed because you’ve been on a pinning spree that day – so a handful of evenly spaced pins should do it. You can even set up scheduled pins using third party apps such as TailWind so that you don’t have to be logged on to be building up your following.
Make sure your prospective customers know about your account – link to it on your website, include it on your business cards, share it on your other social media accounts if you’ve built up a following on there – and encourage them to follow you on there. If people don’t know how to find your Pinterest presence then they can’t follow. As mentioned earlier, you can also try promoting your pins/accounts to other people with a Pinterest for Business account to grow your account or drive engagement. Remember, you will need to pay to do this, so ensure that this is in your budget!
By using a really straightforward piece of HTML (that Pinterest creates for you as part of their Pinterest for Business offering) you can embed your boards onto your website or board as a really good visual aid for what type of content to expect with your boards. This can be a great way to entice people in and engage them in a much better way than a link to your board.
You can also promote your Pinterest elsewhere too – sites such as Pin n Tell want to hear stories from pinners who have utilized their presence on the site or have a success story to share. This gets your Pinterest account out there! Pinterest’s own blog is also a good one to submit any inspirational story of using Pinterest to for a big boost in traffic.
Test Different Types of Content
Try different types of content on your Pinterest account to see how they fare. Don’t have a traditionally visual service that translates well to using images? Try top tip lists, customer photos, or even run a competition to grow your follower numbers. Remember that you can use video, GIF, how-to’s and recipes (using rich pins) and even design your own social media images using a free/low cost service such as Canva – perfect if you don’t have the Photoshop skills but have great ideas to share your content.
When you create web content, think about the images you use and how these are optimized for Pinterest, and remember to include social media sharing buttons on your site so that your pages can be easily shared!
Content is really evergreen on Pinterest, so something you posted a while ago (and maybe forgot about) could suddenly pop back into popularity a little while later. That being said, there’s no harm in cross-promoting content across channels or even reposting the same content pieces with updated images. It’s all about figuring out what works for you.
Keep up to date
Keep up to date with the latest on Pinterest to ensure that your content is cutting edge and that you’re taking advantage of key features that are being developed all the time. Following the Pinterest blog is a great way to keep up to date! Keeping an eye on the competition is important too.
Nobody wants to be outshone by another brand. Monitoring your traffic from Pinterest to your website is a good idea too, so that you can work out how beneficial Pinterest is for your business and what content really works.
You can follow Lucy on Pinterest here