Tips to try and pitfalls to watch out for.
Pinterest pins are 100 times more spreadable than a tweet, with the retweet average hitting only 1.4%. And, as for Facebook, the half-life of a pin is 1,6000x longer than a Facebook post. — Neil Patel
Pinterest Marketing is all the rage. There are influencers on Pinterest who derive 80% of their website traffic from Pinterest. Pinterest is an image oriented search engine. Pinterest statistics seem to suggest an audience of sophisticated, technology savvy people with money to spend.
Those statistics are true.
However, there’s always at least two sides to a story.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a mommy blogger.
I love Pinterest.
I thrive on the platform. When I started my blog, I derived my initial traffic mainly from Pinterest. However, as I marketed my weekly blog posts on Pinterest, I started to see some issues that I am learning to watch out for.
This is a compilation of all the lessons I’ve learned on Pinterest: the good, the great and the ugly.
Hopefully, you will find your own way on Pinterest and have fun building a presence for your business.
The key to success on Pinterest is Tailwind
The first thing I learned while reading endless e-books and blog posts about Pinterest was to use a scheduler such as the Tailwind Scheduling Application. Tailwind allows me to automate my daily routine on Pinterest. I am able to schedule all my pins once a week instead of spending time on Pinterest daily.
At the same time, Tailwind offers tribes. Tribes are similar to Pinterest group boards. When you share your pin in tribes, if people like your pin, they will re-share it on Pinterest.
If you sign up for enough Tailwind tribes, you will be instantly exposed to thousands of Pinterest pinners immediately. When they share your pins around Pinterest, you will see exponential growth on the views for your pins.
Monthly views, Monthly engaged metrics are great. But, Click-throughs matter most.
Pinterest has metrics such as monthly views and monthly engaged. These numbers are great to measure your own account’s exposure and engagement in the community of pinners.
However, as a blogger or a business owner, getting people engaging with your pins is only the first step in the process. Ultimately, website click-throughs are the most important.
Tracking click-throughs closely is absolutely essential.
There are a number of ways I track my click throughs to my website:
- Pinterest Analytics — I can see which pins of mine are most popular and which ones have been clicked on.
- Google Analytics — I can group my website traffic by source and see how many page views that I received from my Pinterest account.
People will tell you that they have 300,000 monthly views on their account. Actually, as a parenting blogger, I know that to be a success on Pinterest driving thousands of clicks to your website daily, you need probably a million monthly views or more.
Followers are great. But, you need relevant followers.
When I started on Pinterest, I scrutinized my Pinterest account for followers. Getting to 1,000 followers on a new account is the beginning even though many Pinterest gurus taught this as a measure of success.
I have found that only relevant followers matter.
This means that if you are a mommy blogger, only those mommy bloggers on your follower list will matter as far as click throughs to your website. I wish I can remove followers to clean up my list. But, Pinterest does not have this functionality yet.
Instead, I try to only engage with my relevant audience on my follower list. You can also steer your marketing campaign towards your audience easily by using Pinterest’s new analytics tool.
Affiliate marketing vs brand building
One of the first things that you must decide when you start a Pinterest account is whether to do Affiliate Marketing on your account or not. Personally, I would use a dedicated Pinterest account for Affiliate Marketing.
This is due to the fact that Affiliate Marketing pins are tagged and flagged on Pinterest. In an effort to combat fraud, Pinterest’s algorithm will recognize Affiliate Marketing pins and decrease exposure of your account in general if you have too many Affiliate Marketing pins.
If you have an account that you have used to painstakingly build up your brand, the last thing you want to do is ruin your exposure by doing Affiliate Marketing.
Ask yourself, are you using your account to build a brand and drive your click throughs to your own website or are you using the account to do Affiliate Marketing and drive click throughs to other people’s websites?
The shady business of Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest
On Pinterest, one of the main features of Pinterest is that anyone can duplicate your pin and spread it around in the Pinterest community.
This is great for anyone who wants to gain massive appeal via viral pins.
However, anyone can also duplicate your pin, then change the link on your pin. Many affiliate marketers change the links on people’s pins to link to an Affiliate Marketing website.
I have read several popular Affiliate Marketing e-books and blogs that name this strategy as the most effective affiliate marketing strategy.
After my initial success on Pinterest, everytime I saw people change the links to my pins, I reported them. I also flagged those pins by putting a comment on those pins. I made a spreadsheet listing those pins.
Pinterest technical support team is great at answering my queries. I have emailed them about technical issues. But, I have also heard big time Pinterest users receiving attention when they needed help to bulk query and manage information from their account.
If you bump into shady business on Pinterest, it’s helpful to email all the information to the Pinterest team so that those accounts can be flagged.
Pinterest Marketing is not passive. It is active.
Most people are under the impression that Pinterest Marketing is a passive process. You schedule your pins on Pinterest and share them on group boards and tribes, then you are good to go.
It it not. It requires active management.
In order to have a “good” Pinterest account that will actually give you the click-throughs that you will need, it’s essential to manage your account to select the best pins, delete pins that don’t work and repin pins that do work.
It’s also essential to develop multiple versions of pins for your blog posts. On top of that, you need a solid “campaign” to target your boards, pins and your blog posts toward your audience on Pinterest. Otherwise, you will just have an account with a lot of pins and no traffic to your website.
Be selective on Pinterest
Pinterest is literally a candy store. In that candy store, you are exposed to “too much” information.
Be selective in your process of adding pins, followers and boards to your account.
I know this seems to be extra work that you do not want to do. But, it’s probably the only strategy to gain millions of views on your account.
You need to target your audience with boards that will help them. This means that you need to vet your pins, check your pins and manage your pins. It also means that you need to create only enough boards so that you can manage the boards well.
Don’t create 50 boards just for the sake of creating 50 boards. Once you can’t manage your boards anymore, then it will adversely afffect the views on your account.
Pinterest group boards can be dumping grounds for Affiliate Marketing pins. Choose your Pinterest group boards wisely. Stop using group boards that have too many affiliate marketing pins on them.
Pinterest strategies come in all varieties. Take Pinterest advice from respectable professionals. If a Pinterest strategy seems a bit off to you, it probably is. Good strategies begets good business. Bad strategies not only hurts your account, it can hurt your entire business.
Take a break from Pinterest
I have read this from many blogger’s websites. Right now, I am in fact on a Pinterest break myself. At the 6 months mark, you will feel a bit burned out by managing your Pinterest account.
It is time to take a break. I took a one month break. Now, I can see with clear eyes what I need to do when I go back to managing my account daily.
I can see clearly how I should manage my account, run new campaigns and reach new audience. During this break, my exposure decreased significantly to 2/3 of what it was before I took my break. But, thankfully my engagement on my boards went down only 20%. I’m not worried. With new strategies in place, I am pretty sure my views will increase again with more click throughs directly to my website.
Pinterest SEO is all about Pinterest keywords
This is probably the best lesson I learned from seasoned Pinterest professionals. Pinterest SEO is used to come up with title and descriptions for your pins. A good title and description will move your pin from the bottom of the search list to the top. Like Google, only pins that sit at the top of the search pins will guarantee click throughs.
Therefore, it’s helpful to make a list of keywords to put into your title and description.
You can also use hashtags on Pinterest. You can use hashtags in your descriptions on top of your keywords. It’s helpful to do both. My description from all my pins are extremely important. For every description, I have a good balance of 10 keywords and 4 hashtags after my summary paragraph of my pin.
When you are on Pinterest, be cautious. I have seen people duplicate the entire layout of popular account’s pins and use them as their own. Pinterest is a part of the internet. There are bound to be shady business.
Safe guard your own Pinterest account:
- Report shady business when you see it.
- Call out people who do your account harm.
- Join Pinterest social groups, group boards, tribes and socialize.
- Prepare to overhaul your Pinterest account at any time.
- Stick to good online behavior yourself.
- Change your password every few months.
Pinterest is an exciting marketing platform. It can only grow from here on. Learn to use it well. Customize it for your own needs. Figure out all the ins and outs about running a good Pinterest account. Learn and apply these strategies every day on the platform. Like any social media platform, it takes a few months to gain followers, views and click throughs. Once you build up your account, you will see floods of traffic. Until then, have fun and manage your account wisely.
About the Author
Jun Wu is a Content Writer for Technology, AI, Data Science, Psychology, and Parenting. She has a background in programming and statistics. On her spare time, she writes poetry and blogs on her website.