Why bother with Pinterest? To put it simply, it's a dynamite driver of traffic. It has the potential to bring hundreds (or even thousands!) of new visitors to your website every single day.
So here's my top 20 tips for packing a Pinterest punch.
1. Stay focused
With Pinterest, it's really easy to get excited by content that inspires you personally, but your business account should have a business focus.
Make yourself look professional by verifying your website - it will give followers more confidence in your knowledge and experience.
2. Boost your Pinterest SEO
Your Pinterest profile should contain your business name, your website URL and a brief description of how your business solves a specific problem for clients.
And don't forget to add a category to each board - this will help you appear in more search results.
3. Keep it all on brand
Keep your boards on brand by only pinning content that will interest that dream client of yours.
Your first eight boards are the most visible - make sure they focus on your business' areas of expertise. You could take it a step further and create branded board covers too.
4. Keep your secrets SECRET
If you're tempted to pin things you enjoy personally, create a secret board for it. This prevents your messaging becoming confused, whilst still letting you engage with the things that inspire you.
5. Use Pinterest like the search engine it is
Secret boards are also a fantastic place to collate research that you don't want to publicise. This is really useful for collating resources, for an article say, or looking for behind-the-scenes business advice.
You can also add contributors to your secret boards, making it much easier to share content with your team.
6. Make sure your pin descriptions are on point
Writing a relevant and well thought out description every time you pin a post can be extremely time-consuming - but there's a super simple hack that can help you out with this.
Just highlight a fragment of text from the post before hitting the Pin button, and that text will be automatically transferred to the description.
When writing descriptions for your own posts, you want to make sure you're using those keywords in a natural-sounding way.
7. Use rich pins to add more information to each post
There are five types of rich pin:
- article pins - these include the headline, author, story description and link;
- product pins - these include real-time pricing, availability and where to buy;
- recipe pins - these include ingredients, cooking times and serving info;
- movie pins - these include ratings, cast members and reviews;
- place pins - these include an address, phone number and map.
To start using, you'll need to validate your site. To do this, click "edit profile", and then "confirm website". Copy the meta tag provided.
Now install the Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress site, then click on the SEO tab in your sidebar. Click "social", and then select the Pinterest tab. Paste in the meta tag and hit "save".
To apply for rich pins, enter your URL into the Pinterest Validator, and follow the steps provided.
8. Attract new followers with a contest
Pinterest contests can be a fantastic way to engage with current followers AND attract new ones. However, there are very specific rules that have to be followed.
- remember that Pinterest is all about people discovering things that can inspire them;
- reward quality over quantity;
- make it easy to get involved with clear and simple instructions;
- read the anti-spam measures to keep your contest fun and useful.
- suggest that Pinterest sponsors or endorses you or the contest;
- require people to add pins from a selection - let them add what they like;
- make people pin your contest rules - you will become notorious by doing it;
- run a sweepstake where each pin, board, like or follow represents an entry;
- encourage spammy behaviour, such as asking participants to comment;
- ask people to vote with pins, boards, or likes;
- require a minimum number of pins - one is plenty;
- call your contest a "pin it to win it" contest;
- overdo it - contests can get old fast.
9. Collaborate with other Pinterest users
Contributing to group boards can be an effective way to connect with a wider audience, particularly if you're sharing top quality content. Use PinGroupie to identify popular group boards by niche.
Just remember, if you pick a board that has thousands and thousands of contributors, you'll have to be consistently active to stand out from the masses.
10. Find out who's pinning your content (and WHAT they're pinning)
Type the following into your internet browser:
You'll see a screen filled with the latest content pinned from your site. This is a great way to see which pieces of content are really hitting the spot with your audience. That knowledge will help you refine your approach going forward.
11. Take advantage of trending content
Pinterest's trending content may not always be relevant for your audience - but it's a good idea to review the "Popular" page every now and then. It gives you a better idea of what appeals to users.
Think about how these trends and themes can be incorporated into your strategy.
12. Make sure you keep pinning your stuff
I would advise having a board exclusively for all of YOUR content. This is where you will pin every blog post, every video, every podcast, every freebie. I'd also recommend having a board just for freebies, and keeping both of these boards at the top of your profile.
I would advise periodically re-pinning every piece of your content to all your relevant boards (including any collaborative ones).
13. Be wise with your link space
One great thing about Pinterest descriptions is that they allow you to share links - just don't be tempted to use a link shortener.
If a Pinterest user clicks on a shortened link, they receive an automatic spam alert (even if your pin isn't spammy at all). This will instantly discourage followers from continuing on to your site.
14. Experiment with Pinterest advertising
Promoted pins look pretty much the same as normal pins, but they function as ads, allowing brands to show off content for a price. There's also such a thing as "promoted app pins" which enable users to purchase apps directly through the pin, without leaving the platform.
Targetting options include:
- your website visitors;
- your own uploaded list of customers or subscribers;
- users who have engaged with pins from your site;
- users who have behaved similarly to any of the above.
Just bear in mind that you can only use these functions once you've confirmed your domain.
15. Connect Pinterest to your other digital platforms
Add Pinterest follow and share buttons to your website.
To tweet your pins, click on the image you would like to share, click "send", then hit the Twitter icon.
Show your Pinterest feed on your Facebook page with Woobox.
16. Make it easy for people to pin your content
Make it easy for your readers to pin your content by creating a "pin for later" link.
After you hit "publish", pin an image from the blog post. Open up Pinterest, and copy the URL of that pin. Go back to your blog post and add the words "pin this post for later", hyperlinking with the pin's URL. Don't forget to hit save!
17. Streamline your Pinterest workflow with IFTTT
Use free web service If This Then That (IFTTT) to create Pinterest workflows and streamline your approach. Here are a few ideas to get you going:
- pin a new blog post;
- pin Instagram images;
- pin Youtube videos;
- pin Facebook photos;
- track your pins in a Google spreadsheet.
18. Find your pinned posts with ease
If you're looking for a specific piece of content you pinned some time ago, you might be scrolling for a while. Especially if you have contributors adding things to your boards too.
To view the content that only YOU have pinned, go to your profile, and type whatever you're looking for in the search bar, then hit "your pins".
19. Repin content from other users
Think of Pinterest as your opportunity to give your followers a tasting tray of helpful things - some will be created by you, some by other experts.
Pinning other people's infographics is particularly effective, as they act as a kind of follower magnet, bring people back to your profile for more.
20. Schedule your pins in advance for the work-smart win
Finding success on Pinterest is all about showing up consistently… but that's pretty time consuming. Luckily, I have the perfect tool to help you out.
Tailwind allows you to bulk schedule Pinterest content across your different boards so that you're making an appearance regularly, in a non-spammy way. You're welcome.
With thanks to Gemma Went. Gemma is a digital marketing strategist and small business mentor.
Gemma has more than 16 years' experience in the digital world and worked for a variety of clients and agencies before setting up her own award-winning business.