Ah, Pinterest. I remember the first time I was introduced to this beautiful and beguiling site 😂 It was 2012 and my schoolmate told me about this online idea board that allowed you to save and browse pictures from across the web. Back then, we used it to browse and save funny memes, fill our fantasy closets, plan our imaginary weddings, and decorate our dream homes.
Now we use it for. . .erm. . .well, I guess not much has changed. 😆
Except, a lot really has changed on Pinterest. While it is still the perfect— and arguably most addictive— place to save and generate new ideas, it has become much harder to get YOUR content noticed without investing in promoted pins.
Before Pinterest’s “new” algorithm was implemented (I say new, but it’s been used since 2017), I was one of the recommended people to follow when you first create your account. Apparently my bull crap and fantasies were something of note? 💁♀ Anyway, when I learned this, I started taking my pinning VERY seriously. And when I say seriously, I mean more Harry Potter memes, more DIY projects I would never do, more links to free downloads, more, more, more pins 😂
I was a monster. An insatiable monster, devouring every pretty pin the internet had to offer. And now, 116 boards, 26,000 pins, and 48.3k monthly viewers, I have
gotten my pinning under control decided to share what I have learned about the new algorithm:
Before you start pinning:
- Switch to a business profile. This will give you access to invaluable analytics to help you see what content your audience is most interested in. Click here to learn how to make the switch.
NOTE: I do not recommend switching your PERSONAL account to a business one. Keep your personal profile for those interests you have that aren’t exactly on brand and create a new account to implement what I am about to tell you. This can be quite liberating for those of you who have been enjoying Pinterest for years.
- Make a punchy bio. You only have so many words at your disposal. Make ’em count! Show off your personality and look into those all-too-important SEO words relating to your brand. Now would be a good time for me to mention adding a clean, high quality profile photo that shows your face. If you’re sure your audience recognizes you better from your logo, use that. And please for the love of Zeus, don’t forget a link to your website!
- Choose an aesthetic, or overall vibe for your boards. Your pins should be high quality images with similar shades and hues. For example, our novel Dawn of Endings has a stormy feel throughout the story, so we choose pins with gray, moody undertones. This makes the entire account look intentional and visually appealing.
- Create boards not directly related to your product. One of the biggest mistakes new brands make is taking the “marketing” in social media marketing way too seriously. We are bombarded with ads and *ahem* all of our friends and their grandmas have their own business on Facebook (guilty 🤣), so we have trained ourselves to ignore these promotional posts. You will do well to stop calling it “social media marketing” and start saying “social media connecting” instead. A good rule of thumb across social media is 1/3 of posts should be self-promotion. That other 2/3 is meant to attract and relate to your target audience.
Do’s and Don’ts of Pinning:
Do pin directly from websites. Pinterest is a personal inspiration board— one that LOVES fresh content. When you read a good blog article, share it directly from the website so the author gets the exposure they deserve for such rockin’ content.
Don’t pin just anything. Okay, I’ll admit I could be better about this one. It is taking me a while to get out of the seven year habit I have developed of mindlessly pinning things without checking the link or while ignoring the poor quality of the image. But broken or misleading links and blurry photos make your boards come across as messy and unreliable. Also, it’s important to remember that your pins are a reflection of your brand. That includes link content. So if you’re a mommy blogger and you share a pin with an attractive title but its content goes against your parenting philosophy, then you are promoting conflicting information. If you don’t have time to read the article or check the link, make sure to write “pin now, read later” in the caption of your pin.
Do create your own captions. Why are you saving this pin? Be concise and write it as you would in the search engine if you were looking for this particular pin. Here is an example from one of my pins:
A few ideas on how to give your characters a little more personality | #writing #writingadvice #writingtips #amwriting #character #characterinspiration
Notice how I used hashtags? Pinterest hashtags work just like on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (does anyone really use hashtags on Facebook? Tell me in the comments!). Including a few related hashtags will categorize your pin, making it easier for other Pinners to find.
Don’t be a recluse. Just like any other social media outlet, you need to show up! Even if you only spend 10 minutes on Pinterest a day, pin what catches your eye and interact with intent. Show people you are a valuable source of content by leaving thoughtful comments and sharing relatable information.
Put thought into every pin. Make sure you aren’t sharing anything with broken or spammy links, and double check the link’s content to ensure it is on brand. Use SEO and hashtags in your captions to attract your target audience.
Are you on Pinterest? Do you have a question or a nugget of wisdom you would like to share about using it as a platform? Let us know in the comments and be sure to follow us on Pinterest 😀