Should designers spend time posting stuff to Pinterest, yet another social media network? There’s Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Google+, and those are hard enough to keep up with. But I say yes! Here’s why.
When Pinterest first became popular it seemed to mostly be dominated by women pinning recipes, workouts, crafts and pictures of hunks. When I first created my account I didn’t think it was going to be worth my time pinning stuff to my boards. I checked back every once and awhile and noticed more and more designers joining and pinning great stuff. So I decided that I wanted to be an early adopter and start spending 5-10 minutes a day managing my account and seeing if this new social media network could actually drive traffic to our site.
My minimal efforts are now starting to pay off. Although we are still not getting the numbers we see from Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is starting to drive daily traffic.
I’m going to outline the steps I have taken to help build our Pinterest traffic and what has worked for us. If you’re new to Pinterest start by checking out the Pinterest Help Page.
Optimize Your Profile
It is extremely important, like all other social media accounts, to get your “About” bio on your profile right. Use your 200 characters wisely and describe yourself and/or your business strategically. Search engines are now indexing Pinterest pages, so be sure to use strong SEO keywords within your bio.
Although keywords are important, you want to make sure your bio is easy to read and personal. Keeping it personal will help you connect with audience better. Here is what I’ve done with my bio:
Creating Boards That Will Draw Attention
When creating boards, make certain to use titles that are relevant to your industry and that your titles include keywords. Search engines will index boards and also, when someone searches within Pinterest to find boards, having exact match keywords will help your boards be found more often.
I highly recommend NOT styling your board titles just for looks. One trend you see a lot of on Pinterest is people naming their boards with special characters and spacing between letters to make the title appear more attractive. Here’s and example: **W E B S I T E S **
Although when you’re viewing someone’s boards, this may look appealing, it does nothing for you to help you get you and your boards found.
Only Pin High Quality Content
What you pin on your boards is probably the most important task to generating followers and getting more repins and likes. When searching the web and Pinterest for content to pin, be picky. If you pin high quality content, people are much more likely to repin and like this content. The more your content is re-pinned, the more exposure your boards will have and the more followers you will generate.
When re-pinning content, updating the descriptions to be keyword rich will help your pins get found. Many people repin without updating the description and you can really be losing out by doing this. Take a few extra seconds to update the description and you will get more repins.
Pinning Your Content
When you publish a new post on your blog, pin it to your boards. You can pin your content onto more than one board if it is relevant to gain more exposure. As I mentioned above, it is crucial to only pin high quality content. But you wouldn’t create low quality content for you blog would you?
The image you use to pin your content is VERY important. If your post contains an image or video that is relevant, you will be able to pin that item in your post. If your posts don’t include a relevant picture or video, you can create an image to use. Pinterest allows you to upload your own images to pin and you can link these to your posts. Make certain the image you create is eye-catching and is relevant to the content in that article.
Follow Many Other Pinners within Your Target Audience
No matter what industry you are in, there are going to be some high profile and influential pinners that you need to follow. It is important to search these people out first and follow their boards that are relevant to your boards. I was able to find many top influencers simply by searching “Top Designers to follow on Pinterest”. After I did my research, I wrote a list article about designers to follow called “12 Pinterest Boards You Have to Follow and Why”
It also doesn’t hurt to start following many boards that are relevant to content you’re interested in and similar to your boards. This is the one thing that really started to generate a steadier stream of Pinterest traffic for bestpsdfreebies.com. I searched “PSD Freebies”, “Photoshop Tutorials”, “PSD”, “Website Design” and other industry key terms and started following all of the best boards. This brought exposure to my boards as these individuals would have been notified that I was now following them.
Keeping It Personal
Pinterest is a social network and not an advertising platform. Although the goal of this article is to help you drive more traffic with Pinterest, it is key to let your account appear as personal as possible by commenting, liking, and re-pinning other people’s images. This will make your account more engaging.
Optimizing Your Website to Get More Content Pinned
I think it is a no brainer to include “Pin It” buttons on your blog and a Pinterest Icon that links to your account. On our site, we use a superb plugin called Slick Social Share Buttons that allows us to have a Pin it button on every post on our blog.
There are also WordPress Plugins that you can download that will add Pin it buttons to all your images and videos on your site. Here are a few of the top WordPress Pinterest plugins:
- Pinterest Pin It Button for Images
- Pinterest for Galleries
- Pinterest for Lightbox for NextGEN Gallery
- Pinterest Pin Board
When I open up Pinterest I start by viewing the stream of posts from people I follow scanning for pins that really stand out. If there is something really good I repin it right away.
I also browse this stream to see where people are re-pinning from. If I don’t recognize the name and the pin is a good one, I’ll check out the profile of the person it was pinned from to see if they have any boards I should be following. This is a great tactic to find new boards to follow.
At least once a week I search for boards. When you search Pinterest you have the option to search for pins, boards or people. Searching for PSD Freebie boards help me find people interested in free resources like ours and I always follow their boards.
Over the past month bestpsdfreebies.com has averaged almost 10 visitors a day from Pinterest. The total in the last 30 days is 273 and our best day was 40 visitors. Now this might not sound like a lot, but the numbers are improving daily. I think it is important to be an early adopter of new social media as it can help you become established as a leader.
Try it Out
I hope you’ve found this article helpful. I encourage you to go out and try some of the tactics I have outlined above. Spending even 5 minutes a day finding new boards to follow and pinning great content will help you gain more followers and more exposure to the pins from your blog.
I’d love to hear from you. In the comments below, let me know if you have a Pinterest success story or if you’re struggling to find value in Pinterest and have a question for me.