When I first discovered Pinterest, I viewed it as a digital inspiration board. It became a hodge podge of wish lists for fashion, food, travel, and house decoration. I never invested all that much time into it, at least intentionally. I wouldn’t go on for days or even weeks at a time, and then spend hours pinning my life away when I finally logged back in. It became a bit of a creative outlet for me.
I originally viewed it as a fun, creative, and inspiring platform, most suited to those who might be planning a wedding, looking for recipe inspiration, daydreaming about vacations, or simply procrastinating. But over the last year, I’ve found that Pinterest is so much more than that; it is an important marketing and branding tool, if used correctly. Just like most social media platforms, making the most out of Pinterest takes a little bit of thought and organization.
Looking at examples like Pinterest goddess Melyssa Griffin, who has used the platform to double traffic to her website and grow her email list really got me thinking about how I could be using Pinterest more effectively. And as I started to dig deeper into the platform, I discovered that it’s truly a gold-mine of opportunity. In fact, there are 100 million people using Pinterest, which is a huge audience just waiting for you and your message.
Want to take better advantage of Pinterest but not sure where to start? Check out my tips below for making the most out of your pins!
Strong, informative profile
Recently, we discussed creating an Instagram grid that reflects you, your brand, and your message; we discussed treating your grid like your homepage, and including informative and cohesive branding and messaging.
If you view your Pinterest page in the same way, you will also reap the benefits. To be successful on Pinterest, you need to create a profile that is geared towards your target audience. Just like on Instagram, it should include an informative bio that tells potential followers who you are and what you can do for them, an on-brand and approachable profile photo, and relevant keywords in your profile name so that you appear in keyword searches.
Takeaway: Treat your Pinterest page more like a homepage.
Pro tip: Your Pinterest page should strongly reflect your brand, your message, and your mission – write a compelling bio and include a strong profile photo.
Curation is not just for Instagram
My new Pinterest motto: pin intentionally, not mindlessly. When choosing what to pin, select the best, most clear images that will really stand out on your board and of course, work with your brand!
As a rule of thumb, to organize content in a meaningful way that adds value for your audience, pinning only one image from each article or post at a time per board is a good best practice. For instance, as I’ve been on a mission to organize and uplevel our current Sweat Pink Pinterest page, I’ve noticed that we have multiple pictures, side by side, that look roughly the same, which looks messy and cluttered.
If a post includes a Pinterest-specific image, like the “Game Day” image on the left and the “Breakfast Tacos” on the right, use those! I’ll get into more on why below…
Note: If you’re repinning regularly, you will inevitably have duplicate content on your page. But spreading that out over cycles of weeks or months will prevent that duplicate content from appearing next to each other.
One expert says to view your board like a window display: seek to appeal to your viewers by showing off specific items or cultivating a vibe. Again, don’t just pin to pin or pin what’s popular. Share what’s on brand for you while still featuring a wide array of topics.
Takeaway: Successful Pinterest boards areorganized and look good!
Pro tip: Get in the habit of pinning the single best image per article, blog post, or page at a time to keep your content fresh, inspiring and meaningful for your audience.
Getting your content pinned is just as important as pinning content yourself. Pins are ranked by how many times they are repinned, so the more your content gets pinned, the higher in search results your content will appear. To drive more traffic to your blog, website or brand, it’s important to include a pinnable image in all of your blog posts. While all of the images in your post can be pinned, creating a Pinterest-specific image and including it down towards the bottom of your post with a call-to-action to your readers will help your content perform better.
In fact, tall, vertical images perform better on Pinterest, meaning more people repin those images and even click through to the original article. The reason for this might have something to do with the fact that 75% of Pinterest users are engaging on their phones and tablets, making these tall, vertical images easier to see and more appealing to the eye on a smaller screen. When creating pinnable images, you should at the very least ensure that at least one of your images is tall and vertical for your pinning readers, and then from there, perhaps you can getget creative and include a title and your blog logo on the image as well.
While it might sound like a daunting task, creating pinnable images is a pretty quick and easy additional step. I use Canva, a free online design website, and select the Pinterest template to get the correct shape, and then just add my favorite image and any links or text, as appropriate. I find the best pinnable images feature a high-quality image from the post and then a fun title that entices you to click, pin, and save for later.
Check out Beth’s example:
This is one image from her post.
And this is the Pinterest-specific image.
The image of the bowl is beautiful, no doubt. But including a title gives readers an idea of what to expect by clicking on the image. The horizontal image is much better suited for Instagram or Facebook where it can be paired with a caption.
Takeaway: Pinterest loves tall, vertical images. Include one in every blog post you publish!
About 80% of the content shared on Pinterest are actually repins. So take the time to create an image that your audience and potential followers on Pinterest will want to repin and share!
Pro tip: For every piece of your own content you share, repin 4 pins from others.
Organization and Traffic
It can be beneficial to view Pinterest as more of a search engine than a social media platform. If you view Pinterest as a place for your audience to find your content, it might be easier to see how you can use it to your advantage to grow your traffic and online presence.
Here are a few strategies for organizing your page and posting that will help optimize traffic to your page and your site.
Identify the goals for your page
What is the purpose of your Pinterest page? Deciding what you want for your page as a whole can determine your pinning strategy.
- Do you want to drive people to your blog? Post mostly your own content and then 20-50% from other sources.
- Do you want to be a resource for your clients and audience? Post whatever tickles your fancy, what you decide would be beneficial to them.
- Do you want to grow your Pinterest traffic? Posting content from outside sources is incredibly important, along with your own unique content.
The minute I said “optimize” I know you probably thought of SEO. The fact is that SEO does exist for Pinterest just like it does for Google and other search engines! You can optimize your content on Pinterest so that it not only gets ranked by the Pinterest algorithm, but that it hopefully gets ranked pretty high. The higher the ranking, the more click-throughs and repins your post will get.
Creation and organization of your boards are key! Think of them as topic categories, like you would for your blog, and remember the target audience you’re trying to reach.
One Pinterest pro recommends having at least 20 boards. That may sound like a lot. But if you start getting creative and more niche with your categories, they can add up and it can help you be way more organized. Think about a catch-all “foodie” category. If you pin everything food related into this one board, it can become overwhelming and hard to find anything again. Create sub categories that will diversify your content, making it more user-friendly for your audience, and yourself!
When reorganizing, I kept our “#SweatPink Foodies” board, but also created additional food related niche boards to the mix:
- Best Oatmeal Recipes
- Avocado <3’s
- Put An Egg On It
- Taco ‘Bout Awesome
- Cheese Please!
- Coffee is Life
- Sweet Treats
- Bread Cleanse
Dedicated boards just for tacos and cheese? YES!
Creating boards isn’t too dissimilar to choosing hashtags on Instagram – by getting more specific with your Pinterest boards, you’re simply narrowing your focus and attracting the right followers (aka the ones that will stay).
Note: If you delete a board, it will also delete followers of just that board. Keep that in mind when cleaning up and organizing your page. You can also mark a board as “secret,” keeping your followers but hiding it from your public page.
Since Pinterest boards alone can be ranked by Google and users can sort by boards when searching for content on Pinterest, it’s important to add relevant keywords to your board descriptions! By adding keywords to your board descriptions, you’re increasing your SEO, and the likelihood that your Pinterest board will appear via a Google or Pinterest search.
Do this with your pins, too. Specifically the ones you’re sharing from your own website. Write out a good description (about 100 words) full of keywords for each of these images you pin. It’s up to you whether you do this for every image you pin from all sources, but most pros think it’s definitely necessary for your own content.
What’s a keyword? Think of it like a hashtag on Instagram. It’s a category that your pin will fall under. When Pinterest users are searching for something, they’ll search using keywords. And hopefully find your image.
Similar to Instagram’s hashtag system, you don’t want to choose something too general. With Pinterest keywords, you can utilize simple phrases made up of 2-3 words. These are called “long tail keywords.” Use about 3-4 of these for each pin’s description. Think about your target audience when selecting keywords for boards and pins.
Long tail keyword example:
- Blog post title: 10 Ways to Relieve Stress
- Keywords that are too general: stress, relaxation
- Long tail keywords: stress relief techniques, anxiety relief, self care
Takeaway: Add keywords to pins, boards, and even your page to increase SEO.
Link back and cross promote
For each pin you share, don’t forget to add in the source of the image and information, especially when it’s your own website and content.
And don’t forget to share your pins and boards on other channels to drive traffic back to your Pinterest page. You can also join group boards, which allow you to pin to collaborative boards and share pins with new audiences. Tools like PinGroupie can help you identify group boards to join.
Want to learn more? Check out this Pinterest e-course from our very own Snacking in Sneakers!
What have you found to be most helpful when developing your Pinterest page? Or when reorganizing an old, outdated page to update to your new aesthetic?