While those tools are great for growing your Pinterest account, they’re just that: tools. And if you aren’t using your tools correctly you might as well not be using them at all. You can make critical changes to your Pinterest strategy in order to grow your account and increase traffic. Through these strategies, you’ll be able to get as many repins, followers, and click throughs in a week as you may have been getting in a month.
What’s even more is that you don’t need to spend hours every day on Pinterest. You can build massive growth by making small tweaks in your strategy that add up to no more than twenty minutes of work a day.
But before we get into that, let’s make sure we have the basics covered.
Setting up your Pinterest account
Your display name
If you notice our display name, you’ll see that it’s not just “Teachable.” Instead, we’ve added a short snippet of what our business offers. This also helps to make the account more searchable.
By putting what you specialize in directly on your display name, you can show up in the search results when somebody is searching for someone just like you.
Whether you’re a business blogger or a cake maker, it’s crucial to have your title within your display name. For example, our writer, Morgan Timm, is a business blogger. Rightfully so, her display name is Morgan Timm, Business Blogger.
If you don’t have your specialty listed, it’s going to be a lot more difficult for people to find you. In that case, you are relying on your “about me” section and the content you’re pinning, while missing out on a powerful (and easy to implement!) strategy.
Your profile image
In Teachable’s profile, we have a clear picture of our logo that is also used on all of our platforms so we’re easily recognizable. If you’re an entrepreneur, we recommend using an image of yourself on Pinterest so your target audience can easily connect with the person behind the platform.
Even if you’re in business with a partner, consider using a picture of both of you, or choosing someone to represent your social media and use a picture of them. Furthermore, make sure that the image is clear, high quality, and embodies an element of your brand that you want people to connect with.
The eye is drawn to colors that stand out, search for the term you’re adding to your display name and see what color palette is the most common. If you can, choose an image that will stand out from the other users so people are more drawn to you and likely to click!
Back in the Myspace days your about me might have covered what your favorite TV shows and sports teams were, but in the days of using social media as an entrepreneur, you need to cover what benefits you’re going to provide your audience and a call to action.
Your featured boards
These are the boards that your audience is going to see first and the ones that they are the most likely to click.
You are given the opportunity to hand select what your audience sees first on your profile, so we are going to make sure you’re choosing boards that:
Bring your traffic
Get your product in front of your audience
Represent your brand
You can do this by creating a board that only features your own content. What to consider here is your brand, and where else you share the majority of your own content.
Using other platforms
If you post a lot about Instagram, consider setting up an Instagram specific board as one of your featured ones. In Morgan’s case, she has an Instagram board, as well as a blogging and entrepreneurial goals board.
If you’re a healthy food blogger, for example, you’ll feature a board with only your own content, and then four boards that you pin your recipes often.
The key is to make sure that the chances that people will see your content and click over to your site are high.
Most people use Pinterest to get fashion inspiration, recipes, and wedding planning advice. As an online entrepreneurs, though, you’ll need to be a bit more focused.
Utilize Pinterest’s private board feature and make any boards that aren’t on brand private. If you’re a food blogger, you don’t need your audience to see your fashion boards or extensive collection of memes.
Ok, so what next?
The basics are covered, and maybe you’re getting a little board. No worries, this is where the real strategy starts coming into play. We could just pin sporadically to targeted boards and hope for the best, but we’ll be better off being strategic.
Good strategy = greater reward in less time. Yes, please.
This is going to be the most time-consuming part of this entire process, you need a solid foundation to go on before you can start making your Pinterest run itself.
The quality of your pins will directly impact how much engagement and clicks they get. With this in mind, you could outsource to a graphic designer or learn online how to create simple, effective designs. Online programs such as Canva make it easy to create graphics that stand out.
You may have heard these tips before, but here are a few things to consider when creating your pins:
You want long vertical images like this
Images with text do better than images without text
Use high-quality photos – either yours or free stock photos
Only brand it a little – a tiny logo is great, a big text block claiming copyright isn’t
Utilize padding and white space, more on that here
The meta description of your image matters for SEO purposes, more on that here
Your pin description
Pinterest has a SmartFeed meaning that people will see the best pins above the newest. This also means that it’s important for Pinterest to think your pins are great.
That means they should link to a reputable site (aka yours) and have a detailed description that includes:
Keywords that your audience is searching for
Several sentences to stand out, entice, and be found more easily in the search
A call to action, such “click through to read the full post!”
You can increase your SEO in your board descriptions by using the words your audience is searching for.
Creating & populating your boards
Before anything else, you’re going to need boards with content. Create anywhere from 5-15 on brand boards (try not to use “cutesy” names – be straightforward for SEO purposes) and pin at least twenty high-quality pins to each.
Our best advice is to follow a handful of leaders in your niche so that your home feed will be populated with high-quality pins.
Once each board has twenty pins, advertise your Pinterest account on your other social media. A quick tweet saying, “You think I’m fun here, come check me out on Pinterest!” with a link and a Facebook post linking to your profile will help initiate the flow of followers.
From there pin regularly every day until you’ve got 50-75 pins on each board, and then we’ll make the magic happen.
What should you pin?
When you’re initially populating your boards make sure that you’re pinning a healthy mix of your own content and content from other sources.
You’ll want to make sure every single pin that makes it onto your boards is beautiful and leads to high-quality content. Anything less and people may unfollow your account and you’re losing out on your target audience.
People have all sorts of ratios they swear by as far as how many other peoples’ pins you should pin for every pin of yours, but we don’t recommend wasting time over-thinking that so long as you’re not only posting your own content or not only posting other people’s content.
Now you need to make sure that you’re getting fresh content onto your boards to keep things interesting.
There are four ways you can go about doing this:
Schedule time every week to pin to your boards. You can spend 15 or 20 minutes adding new posts onto your boards to keep things interesting.
Pin every (good!) article you read. Every time we read a great blog post (or write one myself) we’ll pin it to relevant Pinterest boards.
Open your boards up to contributors. Group boards are a great way to get your Pinterest running itself.
Hire a Pinterest manager. This isn’t a thrifty option, but if you truly want your Pinterest account to run itself, this one is for you. You can check VA groups on Pinterest, but be warned that this can get pricey.
…or use a combination of a few of these.
Opening group boards
If you’re looking for massive growth quickly this is the option for you. Open up your popular boards as group boards and they’ll populate themselves with a ton of great content and you won’t have to think about them.
To open them up as group boards, first invite biz friends who you know will only pin quality content. Then you can edit the board description with group rules and how to apply. Include your email and instruct people to make the subject line “Pinterest Group Board Request.”
From there don’t open your board up to just anyone who asks. Make sure that you check out their account and their own boards first to see what type of content they are pinning. If the content isn’t great, don’t assume they’ll make an exception for your boards.
For the people who do post great content and you decide to invite, send them a quick email outlining the rules. Maybe you only want people pinning five pins a day so they don’t spam, or you have a very specific board and only want them pinning relevant content. Make them aware of that and let them know people who don’t follow the rules will be removed.
From there? Watch your boards populate themselves with great content. Do a sweep about once a month to make sure everyone is following the rules and remove anyone who isn’t.
You can open up as many or as few boards as you’d like, but the more you open the quicker your account will grow.
It’s fun to grow, but it’s even more fun to know how much your growing so you can pinpoint exactly what is working for you and your business.
Use this to experiment—make two pins for one post or product and see which one is performing better. Then ask yourself why. Once you start understanding what works for you, your brand, and your audience you’ll be able to more effectively predict success.
Other things to consider
Pinterest is the #2 traffic source for Shopify and it can work as a top-funnel way to pull people into your email sequences and you don’t have to spend money as you might with Facebook ads.
Think about it, if someone likes your pin, it could lead them directly to your sales page or lead magnet where they’ll enter their email address.
As Melyssa says, “Pinterest is crazy effective at capturing new subscribers and putting them into your automatic sequence.”
Leverage Group Boards
We talked about opening your boards up as group boards, but consider joining other group boards, too. This will help put you in front of an entirely new audience while still targeting your niche. That’s powerful.
Using keywords, you can search for boards that are relevant to you. You’ll be able to tell it’s a group board by the two-person icon. There will be directions for joining or you can email the board creator.
As you start to build your Pinterest following, make sure to track how your boards are performing. As in content marketing, it’s equally important to be data driven on Pinterest. Don’t be afraid to leave boards that aren’t producing results. Your time is better spent elsewhere.
Consider Promoted Pins
You can pay to promote pins on Pinterest and it turns out to be much cheaper than Facebook ads.
Pinterest is a search engine, so you’re targeting keywords that people are searching for, not just someone’s assumed interests (like Facebook ads).
These pins work as highly effective top funnel email gatherers.
Watch your business grow
The beauty of Pinterest is that once you’ve got your systems into place and your account running you’ll automatically start seeing more qualified traffic being sent to your website.
The worst trap to fall into, though, is to set up BoardBooster and never touch your account again. Make sure you’re pinning all of your new content and every now and then adding fresh outside content to your boards to best leverage Pinterest’s power.
Regardless of what stage your business is in, we have a plan already in place for you and your business—for free. Join our Free Plan today to take your entrepreneurship to new heights. No credit card required.