I don’t typically write about online business themes, but what I have learned about Pinterest in the last month is too good to keep as a secret. I’ve been raving on about it to everyone I know who might benefit from this experience, so for an easy point of reference I’ve decided to put together this post.
Firstly I need to confess, I have never bothered with Pinterest because I thought people wouldn’t be interested in my content as I don’t make teaching resources nor do I have a Teachers Pay Teachers account. Boy, was I wrong.
Until now I have spent most of my time on Instagram, but most of my traffic came from Facebook.
Here’s the game changer.
After my first month on Pinterest (I started the Teachers Thriving Pinterest account on 14 April) I have reached 35K people, resulting in over 900 referrals to my website. As a point of reference, while I got over 900 referrals from Pinterest in the month, Facebook sent 94. That’s right…10 times more referrals from Pinterest. My subscriber list has also grown. I have had nearly as many subscribers join my email list in the last month, as what I had for a whole year before that.
Before I get into what I learned from my first month on Pinterest, here’s what I already had set up…
- The Teachers Thriving website with about 30 blog posts.
- A free eBook, “101 Alternative Jobs for Teachers” available to download for email subscribers.
- An email subscriber list on MailChimp.
OK, Here are my ten critical lessons…
1. Pinterest is not social media, it’s a search platform. It’s different to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and SnapChat. People go to Pinterest searching for “stuff”. When you understand this difference, the rest of what I’m about to share will make sense.
2. Don’t focus on growing your followers, focus on making it easy for your content to be found and shared.
3. Use a business profile on Pinterest. Even though I started a new account, I would recommend converting your personal account to a business one. It doesn’t cost anything to do this. I would especially recommend doing this if you already have pins with relevant content on your current account. Switch any boards on your account that don’t meet the needs of your target audience to ‘Secret’ to hide them. A business account will give you access to Pinterest analytics; also for free.
4. Claim your website. These instructions on Pinterest will step you through the process.
5. Add the save button to your website. It makes it easy for people to pin content from your site. Instruction to do this can be found here.
6. Use keywords so your audience can find you at every level – whether pinners are searching for a profile, boards, or pins.
- On your profile include keywords in your business name and the description about you. The description is limited to 130 characters, so be succinct. I also added a call to action to download my eBook.
- Use obvious titles for your boards, following what your audience would typically type in their search. Similarly, use keywords and broader terms in the board descriptions.
- Use keywords in the pin’s description that match your post’s title and content. I have learnt it is not essential for the image file name to have keywords, so don’t waste time on this.
7. Use Pinterest’s own search function to find the best keywords for your niche. There are two ways to do this.
- Type the start of a phrase into Pinterest search. It will auto-suggest popular searches, much like Google does.
- Type a word into the search bar, hit search and look at the associated coloured word bubbles.
8. Repin other people’s pins. You will be rewarded for sharing other people’s content. I currently work on a 1:4 ratio; one of my pins to four from other people. Pinterest wants to encourage content creators and you will find it will increase your reach. It also provides high quality, easily accessible content and great value for your followers. If someone in your target audience is searching for a topic and discovers you have a board with quality pins dedicated to it, you’ll have a fan and follower. I tried to curate at least a dozen pins on each board before I make it public, so it provides value.
9. Pin consistently, that is a few every day rather than a heap once a week. I now use the Tailwind app to schedule pins and spread them out. When I find pins I want to repin, I send them to Tailwind and let it schedule the pin in the next blank timeslot.
10. The first five pins each day are the most important. The Pinterest algorithm is set to share your first five pins each day with your followers. I ensure one of those pins is one of my own, pinned to the most relevant board. You can read more about this in Best practice for success on Pinterest.
So, that’s the wrap up of the ten most important lessons from my first month on Pinterest. With the results I’ve seen so far I will be continuing to experiment and share pins on the site. Do you use Pinterest and have any other great tips? Please share them in the comments.
If you’d like more Pinterest insider info, here is a video linkup between Sarah Hoople Shere, Pinterest’s Head of Marketing and Alisa Meredith, the Content Marketing Manager at Tailwind. There is some gold here, and some of the tips above will be explained in more detail.