A tool is only useful when you’re using it correctly. Are you using Pinterest to its maximum potential? Or are you losing out on followers and exposure by making these common mistakes? If you are, don’t worry, because they’re easy to fix. Keep reading to find out how.
Mistake #1: Being Self-Centered
There are two main reasons why people use Pinterest: 1) to find interesting content that they like, and 2) to post content hoping that others will like it. In both cases, the focus tends to be on self. “I like this” and “I hope they like what I made.” There’s nothing wrong with that, but it can become problematic when taken too far.
If you only pin things in order to draw attention to your website, your organization, your events, or your products, then others will begin to notice. If you only use Pinterest as a spamming method that’s all about you, you, you, it could come off as selfish, and people will ultimately grow tired of it.
The Fix: Become involved in the Pinterest community. Look at other pinners in your niche, whether that niche is pixel art, interior decorating, knitting, gardening, or whatever else. Don’t just promote yourself. Promote others! Exchange links and dialogue. Build relationships. When you’re active in a community, the community pays attention.
Mistake #2: Not Pinning Original Content
Repinning is one of the most prevalent activities on Pinterest. However, don’t forget that repinning is only possible because original pins exist. If everyone stopped pinning original content, there would be nothing left to repin except the same thing over and over again. Thus, Pinterest would die.
The Fix: Contribute. Even if you think your pins will be overlooked, undervalued, ignored, or neglected, contribute! You have a unique voice and there’s a good chance that someone, somewhere will find your contributions helpful. Pinterest thrives on all forms of original content.
Not sure what kind of original content to post? Check out these unique ways to use Pinterest.
Mistake #3: Improper Use of Hashtags
If there’s one thing that defines the social-media era, it’s the hashtag. Yes, Pinterest does have hashtags, which are great because they’re clickable. Once clicked, the hashtag will search Pinterest for similar pins using the same terms in said hashtag. Sounds useful, right?
Unfortunately, Pinterest’s hashtag functionality is somewhat limited and many pinners use them incorrectly, often resulting in wasted effort.
The Fix: Hashtags only work in pin descriptions. Don’t use them in account descriptions, board descriptions, board titles, profile names, or anywhere else. It’ll just look tacky and out of place if you do. Also, avoid using hashtags that are obscure and/or verbose, and as usual, never use too many in one post.
If you need help choosing a hashtag, there’s a bit of overlap with choosing the right Twitter hashtags. Take a look at those tips as most of them are applicable to Pinterest, too.
Mistake #4: Boring and Low-Quality Images
Pinterest is one of the most visual forms of social media. You’re constantly competing with other pins, so you need to make sure that your images are interesting enough to catch the eye and compel users to click. Neglecting this tip is a surefire way to lose a lot of potential viewers.
The Fix: Always be sure to match the image to the pin title. Pick images that are large, vibrant, and beautiful. Avoid images that are small, blurry, and full of artifacts. And when you use an image that you didn’t create yourself, obey copyright laws and give credit where credit is due.
For more information, check out these tips on getting more Pinterest image shares.
Mistake #5: Posting Too Often
Avoid posting too much content. This might seem like a contradiction of Mistake #2 (not pinning original content), but it’s not. It’s important to keep in mind the frequency of your pins so you don’t scare away followers.
Imagine opening up your Pinterest feed and seeing it flooded with one person’s pins. They might produce interesting content, but you’re also interested in content from everyone else that you follow, right? Most likely than not, you’ll end up unfollowing the frequent poster simply to free up your feed space.
The Fix: Limit yourself. It’s hard to define an exact frequency because different people will tolerate different levels of feed flooding, but to be on the safe side, try not to post more than 5-10 times an hour for a short while in a day, or less frequently if you want to post throughout the day. Trust me, your followers will thank you.
Mistake #6: Poor Board Organization
Organization on Pinterest is key, and the best way to do it is by using the board functionality. By categorizing your pins into different boards, you make it easier for followers to browse your collection and find the pins that most interest them. It also helps when you need to go back and find an older pin.
The problem arises when boards are utilized poorly. If you have too many boards with a handful of pins in each, you’re diluting your collection and making it seem emptier. If you have one or two boards with thousands of pins in each, you’re cluttering the archive.
The Fix: Find the right balance. That’s easier said than done, of course, but here’s a method I find useful. Stick with one board until it reaches 100 pins, then find a good way to split it approximately half and half. When those boards reach 100 pins, try to split them again. This helps keep your collection organized as you go.
Have you been making these mistakes? What other Pinterest mistakes are there that peeve you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Image Credits: Social Network Via Shutterstock, 100% Original Via Shutterstock, Hashtag Via Shutterstock, Blurry Photograph Via Shutterstock, Pinned Spam Via Shutterstock, Organized Corkboard Via Shutterstock