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While Facebook is the biggest driver of traffic among social media networks, Pinterest is a close second. With that kind of traffic, Pinterest is a social network bloggers, brands, and more can’t afford to ignore. And while there’s no magic formula, these tips and tricks will bring you one step closer to a huge Pinterest following.
1. Find Your Niche
One of the main keys to building a strong Pinterest following is to find your niche. More often than not, people follow boards rather than entire accounts, so while there’s no limit to the number of boards you can create, think about two or three boards that matter to you and give them a lot of attention. Like with any social network, you could be seen as an authority on that topic and are likely to gain followers as a result. Make sure that you pin to those boards on a daily basis.
2. Keep Your Boards Organized
In addition to finding your niche boards, you should also keep all of your boards organized, and don’t make them ultra-specific. You might be interested in thank you cards in particular, but rather than create a board just for thank you cards, why not create a board for greeting cards in general. That way you’re likely to find more people interested in the topic who will follow that board.
You can rearrange your boards to place your most popular and niche boards at the top of your profile page, and edit your board covers after they’ve been created, choosing which image will be used as the featured one. This way you can ensure that the image representing that board is one that will get people’s attention. To do this, go to the board, click ‘Edit Board’ to make that change.
3. Use Group Boards
A recent algorithm change has apparently resulted in group boards driving less traffic to websites, but they’re still a good way to get noticed on Pinterest. If you want to find interesting group boards to follow, check out PinGroupie. The site gives you good insight into how many members and pins a group has, and other key details that will help you decide if the board is active enough to make it worth your time to join. Taking a look at group board members is also a good way to find other pinners with mutual interests who are likely to follow you or your boards.
To join a group board, you’ll have to be invited. If the group board description doesn’t include details on how to get an invite, you can reach out to the creator of the board and request one. You can tell who the creator is by looking at the list of members — they’ll always be listed at the top.
Additionally, you can be the trendsetter and create a group board yourself. Reach out to some people you know on Pinterest and see if they’re interested in joining your group board. Also be sure to include in the description how others can join.
4. Pay Attention to Descriptions and Links
Whether you’re creating new pins or repinning content that other users have shared, always pay attention to the descriptions and links. If you’re repinning content, double-check the link to make sure it’s still working. In some cases, it doesn’t matter, but if the image promises a tutorial or guide of some sort, you’ll want to make sure the pin delivers.
When it comes to descriptions, HubSpot’s Dan Zarrella says around 200 characters is the sweet spot for getting repinned.
Also think about what kind of useful information can be included with the pin such as price or location, or you can include a call-to-action that’s likely to get users more interested in your content.
On the other hand, hashtags don’t serve much of a purpose on Pinterest. They’re clickable in descriptions but, when you actually click on a hashtag, it will include pins with the hashtag, or just with that keyword, or even with pins where the word is in the URL, photo name, or website. Hashtags won’t make your pins more searchable.
5. Pin Often and on a Daily Basis
Unlike other social media networks, Pinterest is one where sharing content a lot can have a positive effect. You should share content around 15 to 20 times a day. If you’re scheduling your posts, don’t be afraid to experiment with posting more than 20 times.
The best times to post are from 2 pm to 4 pm and from 5 pm to 11 pm. Peak sharing time on Pinterest tends to be around 9 pm. Friday and Saturday tend to be the best days to post on Pinterest, but be sure to post consistently on a daily basis.
So you don’t flood your followers by pinning your daily content in one go, you can schedule your pins using a scheduling tool. If you have a paid Buffer account, you can use it to queue up your pins.
There aren’t many free options out there, but one with some limited options is Everypost. With Everypost, you can access the service for free if you promote it with a tweet. The free version is also limited to 10 scheduled posts, and comes with several major caveats. You can only schedule pins for one board, and as Everypost warns, Pinterest scheduling is not guaranteed to function as expected because Pinterest doesn’t offer a public API.
Tailwind is another paid option and is among the few that offers a free trial.
6. Post, Curate, and Repin
Just like on Twitter, you should share a combination of your own original content and curated content you’ve found elsewhere, including on Pinterest. Sharing original content will make it more likely that you’re noticed. According to RJ Metrics, over 80% of pins on Pinterest are repins, so sharing original will help you stand out.
It’s also good to repin other users’ content as it’s one of the forms of interaction Pinterest offers. Don’t forget, there are lots of ways you can mine Pinterest for interesting content. Just be sure to find a healthy balance that combines posting original and curated content from your and other people’s websites, and repinning content already on Pinterest.
7. Optimize Images for Pinterest
If you’re pinning original content, make sure your images stand out from the rest. You can optimize images for Pinterest, with the best size around 730 pixels wide and 1100 pixels high. The basic rule to remember is that the key to a successful Pinterest image is height — tall images work best.
If you’re pinning a tutorial or guide (which are very popular on Pinterest), take advantage of the image height and use multiple images in one, and add some descriptive text to the image. Also be sure to think about how the image will look on Pinterest’s mobile apps — last March Pinterest revealed that 80 percent of its traffic comes from mobile devices.
8. Connect with Others
It should go without saying that Pinterest is a social network so you should connect with others. Check if your friends from other social networks are on Pinterest. Either use this link or go to your profile, click on the gear icon, and choose ‘Find your friends.’ You can see which of your Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Outlook contacts are on Pinterest.
You can also mention other users in your descriptions, just like on Twitter. This is a feature you should use sparingly but if you’re sharing content from a website that has a Pinterest account, mentioning them in the description can be a good way to get noticed.
9. Use Analytics
Converting your Pinterest account to a business account gives you free access to analytics. You can keep track of your daily and monthly impressions and views, and can see which of your pins are getting the most repins and clicks.
This is a good way to see what content is doing well with your followers, and share more content of that kind. If you connect your own website, the analytics can also give you insight into the traffic Pinterest is sending to your site.
10. Track What’s Popular
Since hashtags don’t serve much of a purpose on Pinterest, an easy way to make sure you’re part of the conversation is to keep an eye on what’s popular. This will give you a sense of what Pinterest users are interested in, and you can tailor some of your original content and repins accordingly.
Do you have any tips or tricks for gaining followers on Pinterest? Let us know in the comments.