When it comes to online promotion strategies, many small business owners, marketers and solopreneurs are missing the mark.
They fail to see that there’s another search engine in town – and we’re not talking about Bing or Yahoo.
A lot of people consider Pinterest to be a social networking site. But, when you think about it, social networking isn’t really its most prominent feature. Pinterest is more of a social bookmarking site or more specifically, a visual search engine – considered by some as the second largest search engine behind Google.
And the vast amounts of highly targeted traffic available on Pinterest can rival or exceed a high ranking on Google – especially if you are in certain industries like food, fashion, home and shopping.
But, even if you’re not in a similar niche, Pinterest is still a tremendously valuable source of traffic for businesses of all kinds. There are approximately 100 million active users interacting with the platform daily, and many of them use Pinterest for product research and purchases.
According to Pinterest for Business, 40% of pinners discovered a new product and saved it on the platform while 30% made a purchase after discovering a fashion or home product. And nearly 25% of pinners have discovered and purchased health, fitness, or entertainment products.
What’s even more is that Pinterest can revive your business and help you drive traffic and sales.
DaWanda – an online marketplace for unique handmade products – increased their Pinterest referral traffic by nearly 100%. They generated more sales from Pinterest than with any other social media platforms.
Undoubtedly, there is value to be found in dominating Pinterest. Here are six things you need to know when formulating your killer Pinterest strategy.
1. Understanding the Smart Feed
Prior to the algorithmic change in the Pinterest feed (early fall, 2014) your Pinterest home screen would show the newest pins from people that you followed, first. Simply put, pins were sorted by date from newest to oldest. But, when Pinterest rolled out the new Smart Feed, that all changed. Nowadays, users see their pins sorted based on 3 factors:
- The highest quality pins from people you follow
- Related pins based on what you pin
- Interests you’re following
What does this mean for your Pinterest strategy?
It means that even if you have over 100,000 followers on Pinterest, if your pins aren’t (in Pinterest’s eyes) high quality, aren’t highly targeted, and don’t have high engagement, fewer people will see them. With Smart Feed in place, people are often more likely to find your pins based on a search rather than your pins showing up in their feed.
How do you optimize your pins to ensure all your followers see them?
The best tips are:
- Provide helpful pins – use “how to” in your pin title to tell people you are helping them solve a problem.
- Use beautiful images – Pinterest is a visual search engine and a big factor in people actually pinning your pins is how they appear visually. Make each pin the same size – taller than wider and with at least a 2:3 ratio – and avoid using faces and dark colors (we’ll cover this later).
- Repin popular pins – Pinterest likes to see your boards filled with other popular pins, not just your own pins. These are pins with a high amount of repins.
2. Create High-Quality Pins
We just touched briefly on how to optimize your pins. Now, let’s look at how to create high-quality pins.
For Pinterest to consider your pin to be high quality, it should include:
- Valuable content
- High engagement
- A good pin description
Just having valuable content alone is not enough. Your pin needs a high-quality image that will catch people’s eyes and then a really good description that makes them want to click on it. Once someone has clicked on your pin to visit your site, they need to be rewarded with valuable content – valuable enough to make them want to repin, like, or comment.
Do you want to know what the perfect pin looks like?
An excellent example is Paula Deen’s pin for her cucumber, onion and tomato salad.
Why is this considered the perfect pin?
- There aren’t any faces – pins not having a face in them receive 23% more repins. Pinners like seeing things more than they like seeing faces.
- Contextual background – simple white background images only receive a quarter of the repins. For more repins, choose a background with some contextual elements like the wooden table in Paula’s pin.
- Light and bright – pins that are light perform 20 times better than darker images.
So, if your pins are not ranking well with your followers, does that mean no one will ever see them?
The answer is no. People actually have a high chance of finding your pin by doing a search on Pinterest – or Google. This means you should always use some best-practice SEO techniques when creating your pins.
Follow these tips:
Use Descriptive Words in Your Image Filename
You don’t want to save your images with a filename of random letters and numbers. Instead, use descriptive words that Pinterest and other search engines can understand. For example, save your image as “easy-strawberry-smoothie-recipe.jpg” rather than a generic “IMG_0002.jpg” when uploading it to your website. Descriptive filenames will help Pinterest find your pin when someone searches for it.
Use Relevant Keywords in Your Pin Descriptions
Pinterest looks for keywords in the pin’s description. “Yummy!” might describe your pin, but it doesn’t give Pinterest any information about your pin and therefore, it’s unlikely to help you show up in a search.
Instead, focus on using relevant keywords when describing your pins. An easy way to find these keywords is to use the suggestions when using Pinterest’s own search bar.
For example, here’s what’s suggested when I type blog post.
Another way to find keywords is to use Ubersuggest. You receive a comprehensive list – in alphabetical order – of related keywords.
Don’t Overuse Hashtags
Pinterest hasn’t given any official numbers yet, but according to Pinterest for Business, too many hashtags in your pin descriptions may negatively affect your pin’s ranking. Plus, hashtags on Pinterest don’t have the same integration or popularity as they do on places like Twitter, so it might be wise to avoid them entirely.
3. Appeal to Users’ Interests
One of the best ways to increase engagement on your Pinterest account is by appealing to users’ interests.
Pinterest has their own analytics for business accounts that lets you view your audiences’ demographics as well as their interests. As a business owner, you can start looking at your Pinterest analytics to find out which pins have the most engagement.
From there you can start to build your Pinterest strategy around those top pins that your audience enjoys.
Lowe’s Pinterest account shows that the company understands their customer’s interests. They know their customers aren’t only interested in high-powered drills – they’re also interested in other things like different recipes for grilling food.
Lowe’s even went as far as creating seasonal boards like, Stress Less: Holiday Tips, and Tailgating Fun as a way to reach a broader audience of DIYers and crafty people. And their approach is working – they have 3.4 million followers.
4. Audit Your Pinterest Boards
Periodically audit your boards to see which pins aren’t performing well, and delete them.
This can help with your overall presence on Pinterest since Pinterest will view you as someone with high-quality pins, who receives a lot of repins.
Part of your audit should also include removing entire boards. If they don’t fit with your overall brand, then consider deleting them altogether.
However, you still want to humanize your brand, and having a board or two that shows another side of your brand is something to consider.
Social media strategist Rebekah Radice has many boards around blogging and social media.
But she also has some lifestyle boards like I Love Coffee.
When auditing your pins, also make sure your pins have correct links and that they link back to high-quality content. Having pins link to dead links or expired pages can hurt your raking.
Finally, look at your descriptions, add relevant keywords, and remove hashtags if you notice there are too many.
5. Add A Save (Pin It) Button
Pinterest has recently announced that they are changing their famous “Pin It” button to now be known as the “Save” button – likely in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience.
So, instead of adding a Pin It button, you’ll be adding a Save button.
You can also use a social sharing plugin like SumoMe to create a Save button over images on your blog.
To encourage even more social sharing on Pinterest you can “Pintify” your site. Visit the Pinterest Widget Builder for some ideas.
6. Use Tailwind to Automate
As a busy business owner, having the time to pin and share on social media isn’t always a top priority.
With social sharing automation tools you don’t have to cut back on your marketing strategy. In the case of Pinterest, you can automate your pins with Tailwind.
Tailwind can automatically create a weekly pinning schedule for you based on when people are engaging with your pins. It will offer suggestions on the optimum times to pin, but you can also manually create times as well.
To begin, start pinning 20-30 pins a day and include a mix of your own pins and other people’s pins.
Tailwind also comes with a browser extension. If you’re browsing the web and come across something you want to repin, you can easily add the image to your Tailwind schedule.
If you need analytics, Tailwind provides information on how many new followers you’ve gained and it lets you know how well your pins are engaging your audience – giving you more insight into your Pinterest strategy.
Wrapping It Up
Pinterest has proven itself over the years as a valuable source for generating traffic and sales. But, without a solid strategy, your target audience won’t be exposed to the majority of your pins, especially when taking the Smart Feed into account.
You can help boost the visibility of your Pinterest account by repining often and optimizing your pins. This means creating high-quality images, pinning valuable content, and using relevant keywords in your description.
These measures will increase the quality and relevance of your pins, and can help them show up in other people’s feeds. To further enhance your exposure on Pinterest, implement some best-practice SEO techniques to improve your pins’ search ranking on both Pinterest and Google.
Next, since part of your Pinterest strategy relies on appealing to your audience’s interests, create different Pinterest boards and humanize your brand. Audit your boards at least once a month; make sure all the links are working properly and that your pins are being repined often – a signal of high engagement.
Finally, invest in a social media automation tool to automate the process so you can focus on the more important aspects of running a business.
By following these simple steps, you’re well on your way to Pinterest domination.
Over to you – have you started using Pinterest for your business yet? If not, what are you waiting for?
If you’ve been looking for something simple and effective to kickstart your Pinterest social media marketing, take a look at Pindrill. This is a brand new, artificial intelligence style software for automated social media profits that will do wonders for your Pinterest strategy.
Take a look and get started today!
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