According to Wikipedia, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann summarises the company as a “catalog of ideas,” rather than as a social network, that inspires users to “go out and do that thing”. That’s probably a good analogy. Pinners don’t really “chat” together on pins, although there is a comment box, they seem to migrate to Facebook to discuss general Pinterest themes.
Founded in 2010, Pinterest’s first “pin” was a photo of a paper cut-out of a couple kissing on a bicycle, pinned by Pinterest co-founder, Ben Silberman. (Source). Initially it didn’t do as well as they expected, but this changed after the launch of an iPhone app in early March 2011. There are now over 150 million active users per month.
Pinterest lets users organise and share things of interest that they find on the web. You can browse boards created by others or pin your own content. You can either have a personal account or a business account, or you can have both. If you choose to have just one account, but you want to pin both business and personal pins, then you can create secret boards, which are visible only to yourself.
Useful Terminology for Pinterest
- Pin – an image added pinterest
- Repin – sharing a pin with your followers
- Boards – a set of pins that you’ve organised into themes
- Rich Pins – Enable extra information about the author, product description and links back to your website
- Secret Board – Board only visible to yourself
- Group Board – Board that someone sets up, that multiple pinners contribute to
- Promotional Pins – Pins that a business has paid to appear when the audience is most likely to notice it, based on your interests and things you do on Pinterest.
- Buyable Pins – Where you see a Pin with a blue price, it identifies that the product is for sale and can be bought directly from Pinterest
Pinning & repining good practice means that you don’t pin the same pin to a number of different boards at the same time as it can be seen as spam. Its best to leave a couple of hours in between each and for every pin of your own, do 3-5 of other peoples. This shows fellow pinners that it’s not just about self-promotion, plus also gives them a notification that you’ve pinned their stuff, which means they may also check you out.
So, to increase traffic:
- Make your blog Pinterest ready
- Pin and re-pin strategically
- Pin other people’s stuff
- Create boards which reflect who you are
Who uses Pinterest
Currently 80% of users are female and most of them come from the US, but recent statistics show that the number of men signing up has increased, with 40% of people joining being male, which is 70% more than this time 2016.
The median age of a Pinner is 40;
- 36% of users being between 18-29,
- 34% between 30-49 and
- 28% between 50-64 (Source).
Reasons to use Pinterest
Most people join Pinterest due to a major lifetime event or purchase. More than a third of them use Pinterest rather than Search Engines to look for options, two thirds of all Pins are from a business website and Pinners spend twice as much as users referred by Facebook (Source). According to the 2016 annual report by Mary Meeker, an American venture capitalist specialising in the internet and new technologies, 55% of Pinterest users were there to search for products whereas on other social media platforms it was only 12% (Source) so it is a great platform for getting your products in front of other people and converting into sales.
The lifetime of a Facebook page is quite short, where most engagement with a post happens within the first few hours, then drops off considerably. A tweet lasts for circa 18 minutes, but according to socialmarketingwriting.com a Pin is still being pinned 3.5 months later, and perhaps even up to two years later, so the potential for your information to continue to reach its target audience is significantly greater with Pinterest, than these other two popular social media platforms.
You can join Group boards to share content with diverse audiences and increase your chance of being noticed. You can either get invited or ask to join. Make sure they align with your brand, check their virality score and number of followers, to ensure you are only joining popular boards. Anything pinned can be seen by your fellow contributors thereby extending your reach.
And it’s not just products that do well on Pinterest, Bloggers also do well. By pinning their blog posts, it helps publicise their posts and drives traffic back to their website.
What to Post
According to this article from Buffer, different topics do best on different days:
- Monday is all about Fitness, perhaps after a more relaxed attitude over the weekend!
- Tuesday is gadgets, don’t ask me why
- Wednesday is inspirational quotes, maybe because its hump day and perhaps the toughest day of the week for some
- Thursday is fashion, getting ready for the weekend!
- Friday is funny gifs, winding down?
- Saturday is travel, when you have time to dream about that next weekend away or planning that annual break in the sun
- Sunday is food and crafts. You’ve fully relaxed and want something to take your mind off the coming week!!
Scheduling your Pins
There are a number of ways to post your content. You can post real time or you can schedule your posts through one of the following:
- Board Booster
- Traffic Wonker
Popular times to post
According to this article from Hubspot, the best times to pin are between 2am and 4am, plus evenings. 5pm on a Friday and between 8-11pm on Saturdays. Whereas Social Media Examiner says that between 2pm and 4pm and 8pm to 1am is best. I would say that you need to think about your target audience and when they are likely to be online. Think about your demographics, do you want to reach a global audience, or is it more local? Are you after new customers, or repeat buyers and are you providing useful content or driving them to your website? and you need to post between 15 and 30 pins per day to be most successful.
Only business Pinterest accounts have access to analytics. You first need to validate your website and then click on Analytics on the top right of the page which shows you statistics for the following:
- Impressions: number of times a pin shows up in a home feed, search results and category feeds
- Re-pins: Number of times someone saves your pin to one of their boards
- Clicks: Number of clicks from your pins to your website
These are the data points that will provide the analysis of your account and indicate how well you are doing against your competitors or people in similar industries. The outlooks that the analytics show are:
- Top pins for last 30 days, showing the top 50 highest performing pins
- Top boards for last 30 days
- All-time report based on all data from when you opened your account. All time most re-pinned pins, best in search results and power pins so you can analyse trending behaviours throughout the lifetime of your account.
While Pinterest may still be largely a female orientated platform, many men are now recognising the capabilities of the app. Your pins have a longer life than those of other social media platforms and people looking at your pins are more likely to buy from you, especially if you make it easy for them by having buyable pins on your products.
For bloggers, it’s another method of communication. As long as you make your featured image Pinterest friendly, you can share your posts with other Pinners in Pinterest and drive traffic back to your website.
It’s a great visual tool, which has proved to be popular on all platforms, so if you are selling a product or service, Pinterest gives you a great vehicle for increasing exposure. Why wouldn’t you be a part of that?
And just as a little extra, here are some tips to get yourself started!
- Make sure you upload a profile photo
- Add keywords to your business name
- Make sure you stay on brand with your Pinterest name (i.e. same/similar to Twitter, Facebook etc.)
- Fill out your profile description
- Add in your website URL and add your Pinterest account to your website
- Validate your website
- Add the Pinterest button onto your website, if you haven’t already done so
- Use the image hover Pinterest button to encourage people to pin from your site
- Make sure your mobile site is Pinterest friendly
- Make sure your description clearly identifies the value you add to your clients/customers
- Organise your boards, so the most important ones come first
- For branding purposes, give your boards a consistent theme
- Create a vertical layout for the featured images
- Use a variety of images
- Pin great images
- Make pin descriptions SEO keyword rich
- Make sure your ALT tag on images from your website have a clear description of your post
- Don’t forget to add links to your website
- Share quality content
- Use Rich Pins
- Look for and respond to trends
- Be seasonal if it’s appropriate to your brand
- Know your target market
- Pin for Your Ideal Audience
- Create pins that make your audience want to click through
- Make it easy for people to pin from your website, so you don’t miss the chance to let others pin your content
- Be active on a daily basis
- Join Groups with lots of popular pins
- Ask your followers on other social media platforms to follow you on Pinterest
- Participate in Pinterest promotion threads on Facebook
- Engage others by commenting on, sharing and liking their pins
- Avoid spamming by not pinning everything at the same time
- Use scheduling tools for sharing your products and information
- Use your analytics to see what pins are resonating with your followers & who’s sharing your content
- Repin Evergreen pins so they move to the top of your board