‘How can I get more people to see my Pinterest pins?’ ‘What size should I use for my pin?’ ‘Should I pin once a day or 100 times a day?’ These some very common questions I hear from bloggers who are trying to grow their blogs and increase traffic to their sites. Luckily, the head of Product Marketing at Pinterest, Sarah Hoople Shere, sat down with Tailwind’s Alisa Meredith to answer many of our burning questions about Pinterest. In this post, I want to share with you some of the Pinterest marketing tips from that interview and show you how to implement these into the Pinterest systems that I’ve already shown you (for example, how it works into my game-changing BoardBooster system).
Pinterest Marketing Tip #1: Consistency Matters Over Frequency
We often hear conflicting messages on how often to pin to Pinterest. I’ve mentioned before that many bloggers even pin up 200 times a day! Shere helped to clarify what is actually working right now on Pinterest in 2018. She indicated that what is far more important to Pinterest in 2018 is that you are pinning consistently. If you pin 100 a day, but then go radio silent for a week, that’s not as great as pinning 5 times a day.
Pinterest Marketing Tip #2: The First 5 Pins that You Pin Each Day (Starting at 12am UTC) Should Be The Content of Yours That You Want Seen the Most
There’s been a bit of buzz and confusion about the “first 5 pins a day” trend going on. I am so happy that Shere was able to clarify what Pinterest is doing here.
Pinterest shares with each Pinterest user the first 5 pins that were pinned that day by the different people the user follows. This is awesome for Pinterest users because it means that when they log into Pinterest, they aren’t seeing 100+ pins all pinned from one person at 10am that day (don’t you love when a friend is researching a LEGO-themed birthday party and suddenly you get a crud-ton of lego party pins?!). Instead, users get a variety.
Pinterest will share the first 5 pins that were pinned that day by one person you follow, then the first 5 pins of the next person you follow, and so on. It loops back around and shows the next 5 pins after it goes through the people you follow.
Therefore, as a blogger, the first 5 pins a day that you post are crucial.
Understanding this helped me understand my Pinterest analytics so much more because I couldn’t figure out why my stats had such a HUGE spike during a particular time each day (it turns out it spikes at the time Pinterest declares it a “new day” and shares my first 5 pins!).
This is also how Pinterest determines how many more users they want to show your pin to outside of your followers. Let me explain what that means. First, they distribute your content JUST to your followers (for example, the first 5 pins we discussed earlier). They then examine how many repins that content got, which helps them determine whether they want to share that content with non-followers (for example, in the “Explore” feed & people’s home feed). The better success you had with those first 5 pins, the farther reach those pins get.
How to Strategically Customize the First 5 Pins Using BoardBooster
I’ve shared with you before my BoardBooster system that boosted my traffic significantly. I wanted to show you how you could apply this strategy to the BoardBooster system:
Step 1: Figure Out What Time 12am UTC Is In Your Time Zone
The Pinterest clocks reset each day at 12am UTC, so the first step is to figure out what time that is in your time zone (I’m in California, so it’s 5pm here).
Step 2: Set up Your BoardBooster to Publish YOUR Most Important Content At That Time
If you haven’t implemented my BoardBooster system, I highly recommend it! Seriously, it’s a game-changer. I personally have it to where my blog content (not pins I’m pinning from other people’s blogs) goes up as the first 5 a day (for me, that’s 5pm PST). These are my latest blog posts (or whatever I’m promoting), so if you use my system, it’s the campaign we created called “Latest Blog Posts”. Each pin is scheduled to go up at 5pm:
This doesn’t HAVE to be your latest blog post, you could also use this with your best performing blog post and/or a product you are promoting. Whatever is your #1 focus right now.
Step 3: Set up BoardBooster to Schedule the Rest of Your Content
With how the last step was set up, that may not equate to 5 pins a day (that depends on the frequency of your posts or how often you put items on that board that you want pinned). So next, you’ll want to make sure BoardBooster will next prioritize other content from your blog (not your repins of other people’s content). To do this, go to the My Blog Posts campaign in BoardBooster (this is based on the BoardBooster system I help you set up here). Reset the timing for these posts to be 5 minutes later than when Pinterest clocks restart. I had mine go from 5:10pm-7:00pm
Step 4: Schedule All Other Content…But Do It Strategically
Next, you’ll want to schedule all remaining content. But do this strategically: first, figure out the second best time to pin (besides when the Pinterest clock restarts). BoardBooster gives me these analytics when I go to Reports and select Best Time to Pin
A bar graph will show you all of your traffic. Next, go to all other BoardBooster campaigns (the ones pinning other people’s content), and schedule your content to go up during that 2nd highest pinning time (for me, that’s definitely from 10am – 2pm PST).
Pinterest Marketing Tip #3: Do Not Delete Underperforming Pins
There has been quite a bit of speculation on whether or not to delete underperforming pins. Some worry that these poor-performing pins might make Pinterest think their content isn’t relevant and will therefore result in Pinterest limiting the reach of their other pins. Shere delivered some great news on this: we are not penalized for having under-performing pins. YAY!!!! She further clarifies this by stating that,
“[One] dud pin, for example, might have a hard time itself, but that’s not going to bring the rest of your pins down.” – Sarah Hoople Shere, Head of Product Marketing at Pinterest
That means that we don’t need to spend time going back through our account and removing the weak content. Instead, we can focus our efforts on optimizing the content that is doing well and creating some amazing, fresh new content.
Pinterest Marketing Tip #4: “Lean In” To Your Most Successful Content
Shere recommends that you “lean In” to your most successful content. In other words, pay attention to what your followers are re-pinning of yours and try to include more content like that. For example, when I recently looked at the analytics for my own post, I found that my most successful pins are those about growing a blog using Instagram. This tells me that I should pin more content related to this topic (and that I should be creating blog content focused on that as well!).
How to View Your Most Successful Pins Using BoardBooster
You can find your most successful content in Pinterest Analytics (I’ll show you in a second), but I prefer doing it in BoardBooster. To do this, go to BoardBooster and click Reports and then Pinning History
You can then click on the column with the thumbtack to see the highest performing pins:
Everything is listed right there for you!
How to View Your Most Successful Pins Using Pinterest Analytics
You can do this by accessing your Pinterest analytics. In the top left of Pinterest (from your computer browser), click Analytics and then Overview.
Then, where it says Your Pinterest Profile click More >
Then click Show More
You’ll then see a list of how the pins are performing and the ones with the highest numbers.
Pinterest Marketing Tip #5: Spend Time on SEO Optimization
Shere emphasized more than anything else how incredibly important it is to optimize your pins for SEO. I loved this statement she made:
So what does this mean? This means that it is incredibly important that you create some keyword-rich descriptions in your pin descriptions so that people can find you more easily when they are searching for something.
The pin description is the small blurb that you see below the pin title:
You want to focus not only on the specific keyword that is related to your post, but that you incorporate any themes into your post. Shere gives the example,
“This grilled asparagus recipe is great for a quick weeknight dinner, but also special enough to be a dinner party side vegetable.”
What’s awesome about this is people aren’t just getting to the pin by searching “grilled asparagus recipe” (her main keyword), but also as someone searches for “quick weeknight dinner” or “dinner party side vegetable”, he/she will get to the pin as well.
One word of warning on this: make your description sound natural. Don’t just list out a bunch of keywords (“asparagus, weeknight dinner, party side vegetable”). Instead, write a sentence that includes these terms.
But how do you find the keyword? First off, write the main item in the search bar on Pinterest (for example, “grilled asparagus”). Pinterest will then offer some suggestions on how to narrow that search. You’ll see those words written just below the search bar:
For example, in the photo above, you will see words such as “recipes”, “keto”, “oven”, “healthy”, etc. Include any of these keywords in your description to reach a larger audience. However, you don’t want to throw in words that don’t apply. If you aren’t grilling the asparagus in foil, then don’t include “in foil” as one of the words in your description.
Not only do you want to include various keywords in your pins, but you also want to make sure that you also optimize your Board Titles, Board Descriptions, and Profile description. Let’s pick on me for a second so that I can show you what not to do. If you look at my Pinterest for Bloggers board, my description looks like this:
All I have in my description is “Grow Blog Traffic with Pinterest.” Sure, I have “Pinterest” in there and “Grow Blog Traffic,” but I bet I could put a little more TLC into this description and incorporate several more keywords that could reach a larger audience. Looks like I have some work to do!!!
Pinterest Marketing Tip #6: If You Are Pinning the Same Pin to Multiple Boards, Pin to the Most Relevant Board First
If you are pinning the same pin to multiple boards, pin to the most relevant board first. This pin will get distribution priority and as it gets pinned to other boards, it will bring all the data from the board you pinned it to first (so you definitely want it to bring the most relevant data with it!). For example, perhaps you wrote an article on traveling with teenage kids. You might feel that it is most relevant to your “Travel” board. However, you also feel that it is relevant to your “Parenting” board. First, pin to the most relevant board (Travel) and then pin to the other boards (such as the Parenting board).
Pinterest Marketing Tip #7: Don’t Be Afraid to Use a Scheduling Tool
I know there are some social media platforms that limit your post’s reach if you use a scheduling tool. Fortunately, Pinterest currently does not penalize you for using a scheduling tool. This is fantastic news! I personally use BoardBooster and hardly have to touch my Pinterest profile, and yet it is one of my primary sources of traffic and increases dramatically each month (you can see my specific system for using BoardBooster here).
Pinterest Marketing Tip #8: If You Pin the Same Image to the Same Board, Change the Description
If you want to re-pin the same image to the same board, you want to be a little strategic on this. Shere recommends that you include a different description. You also want to space them apart so that the reader isn’t staring at a board with a bunch of obvious duplicate content.
Pinterest Marketing Tip #9: Care More About Views than Followers
With new changes in Pinterest (especially with the addition of the “Follow” feature), most of your reach is actually beyond just your followers (again, this is why optimizing those pin descriptions to make them search-friendly is so important!).
It’s also important to have a highly-engaged audience versus a high number of followers. You can have a more engaged audience by doing some of the following:
- In newsletters, Facebook posts, blog posts, etc encourage people to follow your Pinterest page
- If applicable, ask your viewers to try your pin (for example, try your recipe) and share on Pinterest how it was (Pinterest offers you this option in the comments section of each pin)
- Have a “Follow” button somewhere on your blog (I show how I do this in setting up a sidebar…you can also get a plugin for this)
Pinterest Marketing Tip #10: Use Hashtags in Your Pin Descriptions
Pinterest has now opened it up to where we can now add hashtags to our pins. You can add up to 20 relevant hashtags to a relevant pin. But quality is more important than quantity here. One way to do this is to just stick with the “themes” that you used when identifying what keywords to put in your pin description (see tip #5).
Using hashtags makes the MOST difference for content you are pinning THAT DAY. Shere indicates that,
“What we’ve seen is that hashtagged pins do get significantly more distribution the first day that they are saved to Pinterest.” – Sarah Hoople Shere, Head of Product Marketing at Pinterest
This means that it will not help you to go back and add hashtags to all old pins, but it wouldn’t hurt to include a few hashtags in any new content you put out from this point forward (until Pinterest possibly changes how this works).
Pinterest Marketing Tip #11: 600px X 900px Image Size is Currently Performing Best
We’ve seen Pinterest images get bigger and bigger and bigger, right? Now everyone has these infographic-size graphics in hopes of catching more eyes! Shere clarifies that as of right now, the optimal size is 600px X 900px (this is a 2:3 ratio). If you go much taller, then you will see less distribution of pins
I recommend that you create a Pinterest template to make it easy on you.
Pinterest Marketing Tip #12: Have Consistent Branding
Establish your branding in some way on your pins so that as your pins get shared, you begin to establish a greater online presence. It doesn’t mean Pinterest shares your content more, but it is simply just good business practice. I recommend that you establish your Brand Color Palette if you haven’t already.
You can also include a logo on your images, but try to avoid having it in the very corners of your posts because sometimes Pinterest has a small viewfinder that blocks the corners. I find that creating a Pinterest template is one easy way I’m able to tweak my graphics to pertain to my blog posts, while still making my pins consistent with my brand.
Pinterest Marketing Tip #13: Have a Strong Call to Action
People often ask how to increase the number of click to their website from Pinterest. They may have pins that get re-pinned very well, but pinners are less prone to actually click on the pin to go to the site. One way to increase the likelihood of getting re-pinned is to have a strong call to action. Try to give your reader a sense of what MORE they could get if they click through. I’ve shown in my Pinterest Template tutorial how you can have a freebie that they could get (that is connected to the pin topic).
But you don’t need to offer a freebie. Let’s say your pin shares one parenting tip on potty training toddlers…you could say something like “Click to Read About Some More Successful Potty Training Tips.” That would indicate to your reader that there is more content that he/she could get besides what’s just on the pin.
Pinterest Marketing Tip #14: Fulfill Pinterest’s Criteria to be “Shareable”
In order for Pinterest to suggest your page and boards to readers who are pinning similar content, you need to make sure you do the following:
- Make sure you are saving pins regularly (BoardBooster would work)
- Have a Pinterest for Business Account (here’s a tutorial on creating a Pinterest for Business account)
- Make sure you claim your website (I show you a simple way to do that here)
Remember that now MOST of the views you get on Pinterest will NOT be from your followers, so making sure that your profile is shareable (by meeting these 3 criteria) will make a huge impact on how much traffic you get.
And that is it!!! These are currently the top tasks to prioritize for your Pinterest profile in 2018!!! I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have so much more direction on how to post to Pinterest. I wish we got this much clarity from other social media outlets! *cough cough Facebook*
I’d love to hear some of your thoughts and comments on this news. Surprised by anything? Excited? Comment below and let’s chat!
In this Pinterest Checklist, I break down everything that you need to do to maximize your reach on Pinterest & boost blog traffic.