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Visual content isn’t the future of content marketing… it’s here now. And Pinterest is currently one of the top social media channels for visual content.
Shareaholic published a study that showed Pinterest as the #2 social media traffic referrer behind only Facebook driving more than 5x as much traffic as many referrers as Twitter.
Pinterest isn’t just for arts & crafts, clothes and recipes. It’s relevant to more niches than most people realize, including niches like real estate and even online marketing.
In fact, the two most shared posts on the Kissmetrics blog get most of their shares from Pinterest. Check it out:
The Art of Color Coordination (46,000+ Pinterest shares)
How do colors affect purchases? (16,000+ Pinterest shares)
Last year, my e-commerce Pinterest account generated over 1.7 million views and I’m getting close to 10,000 followers. My account is also ranked consistently in the top 2 for the competitive term “baby shower” and my boards and pins are also ranked for other related keywords.
The best part is that I typically only spend just a few minutes a day on Pinterest and it’s kind of fun.
Want to know how to grow your presence on Pinterest? Here are some tips.
1. My #1 Tip for Growing Your Pinterest Presence
The easiest thing you can do to grow your presence on Pinterest is to get into the habit of pinning consistently. While this tip may seem simple, it’s where most people fail with social media marketing.
Pinning consistently will allow you to grow your views and followers over time, similar to how blogging consistently will send you more and more long tail SEO traffic over time.
It also keeps your followers engaged and it only takes a few minutes each day.
My Pinterest account outranks a lot of bigger players including established brands like Huggies. The simple reason I was able to outrank them was because my account has a higher level of engagement since I pin regularly.
A couple of other things:
-If you’ve been reading about Pinterest, then you’ve probably heard that the ideal time to pin is in the evening.
However, ideal pinning times are a distant second concern now that Pinterest has implemented Smart Feed algorithm, which displays pins to users long after they have been pinned.
– Although I try to log into Pinterest each day, there have been periods of several days where I didn’t check it.
It’s okay to miss a day ever so often, but pins can now be scheduled with Buffer. If you want to stay active on Pinterest, there’s really no excuse not to.
Consistency is the key to succeeding with so many things and although it seems like common advice, many people that aren’t successful are failing simply because they aren’t consistent. Identify the barriers that are preventing you from being consistent and eliminate them.
2. Follow Other Like-Minded Pinterest Users
Following other Pinterest users is another tactic that can help you grow your own following.
When you follow someone on Pinterest, by default, Pinterest will send an email notification letting them know that they have a new follower. Some people will follow you back if they find you interesting.
You can view these followers by finding similar pinners and then clicking on their followers tab.
You can also use Pinterest search to find people that have created boards and pins pertaining to your topic of interest. In this example, I search for the term “baby shower food” and then click “boards”:
Then I can click on any board that I want to take a closer look at. When viewing the individual board, I can click on “followers” to view the board’s followers and then I can click the “follow” button next to each person I want to follow.
One huge benefit of following a good number of like-minded people is that you can see what visual content is popular in your niche. Finding content to re-pin also becomes easier if you are following other users that pin similar images.
3. Optimize Your Boards and Pins for Search
Another important thing you should spend time on is optimizing your boards and pins for Pinterest search. Users can search for boards, pins and other users using Pinterest’s search bar so ranking well for your keywords can be helpful.
If you’ve done SEO, then you’ll be glad to hear that optimizing for Pinterest is much easier than optimizing for Google. It mostly involves keyword research and incorporating those keywords into your boards and pins.
Google Keyword Planner can be a good starting point, but you should also do keyword research on Pinterest. Here are the steps I take:
Step 1. Start typing your target keywords into Pinterest search
Pinterest will suggest keywords that other people have searched for. These keywords can be good target keywords to include in your boards and pins.
Step 2. Check the search results to see what boards and pins show up
Do the boards that show up have a lot of followers? Are the other boards that are ranking targeting that keyword phrase?
If the answer is yes to these questions, then you may want to create a board for that keyword phrase.
You don’t have to go crazy over keywords for your pins. Rankings for pins can change daily and most of the search traffic from pins will often come from long tail keywords.
Pinterest tries to keep pins fresh based on what is popular and getting re-pinned and favorited. But you should still try to incorporate some keywords from time to time so that your pins have a chance of coming up for pin searches.
Step 3. Engagement is important, so stay active
If people are pinning images from your boards, then Pinterest will rank those boards higher. You don’t have to add new pins to every board every day, but try to pin new images to boards regularly.
4. Focus on Creating a Valuable Resource for Your Target Audience
One common mistake that people make on Pinterest is only pinning their own stuff. Be sure to take the time to follow other pinners and pin images from other people that your audience might be interested in.
Identify your target audience and focus on creating a useful resource for them by creating boards that they will find interesting. Update those boards with regular content.
Taking this approach will allow you to grow your Pinterest following faster than if you only pin your own stuff.
5. Pay Attention to Seasonality & Trends
Be sure to also pay attention to seasonality and trends. If you are active on Pinterest regularly, you may notice people pinning different images based on trends and seasons.
For example, when Halloween approaches, people in the party-planning niche will start pinning Halloween related images.
When I first noticed this trend, I created a Halloween board and started pinning Halloween related recipes and images to it.
You can view your analytics by going to the Pinterest analytics tool or by clicking on the “Analytics” link on the top left in the header area. Here’s a screenshot of the traffic increase to my Pinterest account after I started my Halloween board in 2014:
I noticed that my other competitors didn’t change their pinning activity during the holidays. Don’t make that mistake!
To sum it up, Pinterest is an important social media channel and being active on it consistently is key to growing your Pinterest views and followers, even if it is just a few minutes a day.
Connect with other like-minded users, do your keyword research and pay attention to trends and seasonality. And most importantly, focus on creating a useful resource for your followers.
E-commerce isn’t something I focused on heavily in 2015, but in the future, it makes sense to create more visual content on my e-commerce blog so that more of the traffic from Pinterest will end up going to my website.
I’ve spent much less time on my Pinterest account for Small Business Ideas Blog, but I noticed an uptick in traffic to my account from infographics getting pinned by other Pinterest users.
Here’s a screenshot of my Pinterest analytics for that account:
So what do you think? Is Pinterest an important part of your marketing plan?
About the Author: Brian Lang is the founder of Small Business Ideas Blog, where he shares tips and ideas for business and marketing. Feel free to download his free resource, 50+ Free Tools to Market Your Business and read his content marketing guide.