What’s Inside: A simple step-by-step guide to improve your Pinterest strategy, and why you should!
I’ll come right out and admit it: for a long time I just didn’t “get Pinterest.” Why would people want to scroll through row after row of pictures? Much of my career (pre-SAHM days) was focused on social media marketing for the hospitality industry. In this field, where you’re looking to attract local clientele, the key networks were Facebook, and to some degree Twitter.
However, I quickly learned that an online business or blog requires a very unique strategy. Pinterest is an amazing way to drive traffic to your site and connect to both fellow bloggers and potential readers. There’s no way around it — if you have a blog, you NEED to be active on Pinterest.
When I first decided to “get serious” about my neglected Pinterest, I was enthusiastic and optimistic about this “new” medium to master. I had years of experience in social media…how hard could it be? All you had to do was pin things that seemed interesting as well as add posts from your own site to the mix…right? Group boards had hundreds and even thousands of members…they would surely be welcoming to all comers who wanted to legitimately participate and learn…right?
A few weeks in, my boards and posts still languished in obscurity. Invite requests to collaborative boards went ignored. What was I doing wrong? I didn’t want to give up, but it was pretty disappointing.
Rather than dwell on the lack of movement at that moment, I decided to do a little research. Like other social media platforms, there had to be a formula for success.
I searched the web for articles and sites dedicated to the subject of Pinterest strategy. I browsed pins and pinners that offered advice to Pinterest newbies. There were a few key tips that appeared just about everywhere I looked, and implementing them immediately had a hugely positive impact on my experience.
5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Pinterest Strategy
- Create visually beautiful and informative pins. You can’t just stick any old photograph up and expect people to click through — your pin has to be appealing and stand out among the crowd! I’ve noticed that many successful pins have simple or even all-white backgrounds. Fun, and “handwritten” fonts for photo headers are popular. (TIP: Make sure you check that a font is 100% free, unless you plan to pay or link as requested by the author.)
- Go Long! While most websites, blogs, and other platforms look best with horizontal images, Pinterest actually is better suited for vertical images. This might be obvious if you’ve paid close attention to other pins, but I didn’t know this at first and there’s no shame if you didn’t either. I simply went back and took new photos or edited the ones I already had specifically for the purpose of creating pins.
- Network! Comment on pins that you’ve repinned or liked to let the creator know you appreciate their work. Take this opportunity to connect with your fellow bloggers and those that might be interested in what you have to say. As in blogging in general, commenting is an excellent way to get your name out there and build goodwill in the community.
- Politely request to join group boards. Group boards are still the best way to expose your pins to a wider audience. Make sure to only request boards to which you feel like your content is a fit and that your pins are on par in quality with the others on the board. And be sure to thank the board moderators for inviting you! Don’t be discouraged if your request is ignored or you are turned down. It still happens to me! Some people are protective of their boards or perhaps only want to include friends and/or top pinners. There are plenty of other group boards out there that would love to have you, so keep trying!
- Repin your own pins! If there are no “nibbles” the first time, try again at a different time of day. Think about when you are normally able to jump on the computer — chances are, that is when others do too. Afternoons and evenings are prime pinning opportunities. Be mindful not to post the same thing over and over to group boards — give it some time and always follow the rules of the board. You can do as you please on your own personal boards, but you don’t want to be seen as spammy on a group board. (You might get kicked out!)
Pinterest is very much a system of trial and error. If your pins aren’t getting much attention, re-evaluate, make changes, and try again.
With just a few basic tweaks to my strategy, I’ve seen amazing results! In the first year of blogging alone, I grew my account from 100 to 21,000 Pinterest followers!
I’ll always have lots to learn, as Pinterest is continually changing. That’s the beauty about the internet and social networks — they are constantly evolving, so we all have to keep learning! That means you can get in there and make your mark!
Feel free to share any ideas or techniques that have worked for you! Happy pinning!
More blogging tips for beginners:
- Starting a Blog: 5 Things I Wish I’d Known
- How to Set Up a WordPress Blog
- How to Start Making Money Blogging
- The First Step of Starting a Blog and Why I Chose Bluehost