I have a confession. I am a Pinaholic. I have been pinning for over five years now, and it’s been, ooh, at least 15 minutes since my last pin.
My first experience of Pinterest was on the recommendation of another pin pusher who had been introduced to this addictive platform, by none other than the dealer of all things social media, Julia Doherty. Back then, it was all very secretive, and you could only get it if you were introduced by another user. I was hooked immediately and haven’t been able to give it up ever since!
At first, my habit was bad for my health. I couldn’t stop pinning! I pinned night and day and even in the ladies room (very unhygienic!). I sometimes forgot to eat or talk to my family.
After a while, I managed to get my habit under control and discovered that it was actually healthy for my burgeoning craft business. People started pinning my products, and I got sales via the links from Pinterest. Now, I am a Pinterest dealer and show owners of small business how to use it safely and successfully.
So, how do you get your business or products noticed by a pinaholic like me?
Well, let me start by explaining what happens when I go to my Pinterest account.
When I log in, I am shown my Pinterest feed. These are images that might be of interest to me, either from pinners or boards that I have subscribed to (followed) or ones that Pinterest think I will be interested in, based on the categories I have chosen to follow, my pinning history and their popularity. This is where I spend most of my time re-pinning.
Tip 1: Make a note of your target audience
Make a note of your target audience and the popular subjects they are likely to follow.
Are they young or old? Planning a wedding? Decorating a house? What hobbies do they have? Are they interested in art, sport, travel or healthy eating? What magazines are they likely to read? Which brands or celebrities are they likely to follow? Are they business owners looking for tips and content?
Use this information to plan your Pinterest strategy and content.
Next, I want to be nosey. I just can’t help myself.
I take a look at my News feed. This shows me the activity of the Pinners I follow. They may have found a pin I don’t already have or have started following a really cool board or person.
Tip 2: Pin cool stuff
Pin cool stuff that your audience will find interesting and will re-pin too.
Then, it seems a bit vain, but I want to know about the activity that’s happening on my own account (the You tab).
This shows me new people that have followed me or one of my boards. I might go and check them out to see if they’ve got an interesting account or useful pins.
I tend to follow quality brands and people who are active in my industry.
I’ll also see which of my pins have been pinned on to other boards; which have been ‘liked’, and also if anyone has commented on one of pins, so that I can leave a reply.
Tip 3: Get your account noticed by liking, following, repinning and commenting regularly
I'll also be notified about any direct messages. These are pretty rare; Pinterest is not a true ‘social’ media after all; more of a media resource.
But occasionally I get invited to join group boards (Pinterest’s best kept secret) and friends will share interesting pins with me.
Tip 4: Invite people to collaborate on group boards.
This gives you access to the followers of other board collaborators.
I often use Pinterest to search for information. I use it instead of search engines to find recipes, interesting quotes (everyone should have an Inspiring Quotes board by the way!) or articles and images on specific topics. I also use the mobile app, so I can pin morning, noon and night!
Tip 5: Pin new stuff regularly
Pin new stuff regularly (but not too much – see below) and make sure the links are working and up to date so I can get to the original source quickly.
I am drawn to images that ‘pop’ (not dark and dingy) with a catchy title that draws me in. I do have a short attention span, after all!
Tip 6: Make sure your pins’ description is clear and concise for maximum impact.
Even when I’m not on Pinterest, but still browsing the interweb and see something of interest, I use the ‘Pin-It’ button browser app to add images to my Pinterest account directly from the website. It’s handy for creating gift lists, saving recipes, keeping blogs to read later and ideas for home improvements!
Some websites also have ‘Pin-It’ buttons active on their images, so I don’t even have to go to the trouble of moving the mouse very far!
Tip 7: Get your website verified with Pinterest and add a Pin It button
Finally, a word of caution. Here are a few things that will turn me off your pinning habit:
- Pinning a gazillion images in a short space of time (I don’t respect people who overdose)
- Automatically linking your pinning habit to other platforms (it looks lazy)
- If you are a ‘pin-head’ (no profile pic) and don’t have any information about your account (how do I know if you are real?)
- If you invite me to a group board without any prior explanation or introduction (you might be a stalker – actually, that’s not so bad, but it’s best to be polite!)
- Pinning inappropriate or stolen content. I will report you! (Check your sources first)
- ‘Pin it to win it’ campaigns. To be honest, I’m not a fan; some of them are click bait to get new followers, and I’m only a pin addict, not a gambler. But if you do want to give it a try, make sure that you link to the rules and include an end date. There’s nothing worse than finding out you pinned only to miss out on a great prize because the deadline has passed and looking foolish when your followers point it out!
If I haven’t put you off, and you still want to give it a try, then come along to my Pinterest Training Workshop, which I am running on behalf of Green Umbrella Social Media Marketing on 6th July 2016.
I’ll show you how to set up your account for business and create and manage your first few boards and pins. You’ll learn how to invite people to group boards; how to add missing web links and edit image descriptions. I’ll share some useful tools for creating appealing images and show you how to share your pins to and from other platforms. Promoted Pin have just been launched in the UK, and we will also take a look at how best to take advantage of this new feature. Interested? Sign up here.
Happy (& safe) Pinning!
Polymer Clay Artist • Tutorials • Creative Workshops • Addicted to Social Media • Peddler of Peace Pebbles™