Pinterest is the ultimate visual playground for inspiration and motivation; and it’s not only a discovery tool for you to find and save things you love on the internet but it’s also a great place to promote yourself or your business.

There’s no denying the power of Pinterest: by the end of 2019, for example, the social media platform had grown to 335 million monthly users, growing by 70 million in the twelve months preceding that. Not only that, but Pinterest images have the longest lifespan of any social media platform: for example, a tweet has a lifespan of about twenty minutes while a Facebook post is lucky to survive the newsfeed for two hours. A pin, however, can have traffic for days, weeks, even years.

For this reason, it’s crucial that marketers harness how to get more Pinterest followers and optimize the potential for the platform to act as a primary platform to build brand interest and draw relevant traffic back to your relevant channels. Here are a few tips and tricks to gaining more Pinterest followers for your platform.

Understand your audience

Like any well-rounded marketing strategy, it’s crucial to understand who the end-user is that you’re marketing to. It’s important to understand who uses Pinterest more generally and later, who your audience is specifically.

“Exploring interests is a huge part of how people use Pinterest,” explains Kevin Knight, Head of Creative and Brand Strategy at Pinterest. Interests generally fall into five categories, he continues:

  • a passion that’s a core part of who you are, like music, photography or sports
  • a vocation that’s part of your training, like a teacher using Pinterest to find lesson plan ideas or an architect sharing design ideas with a client
  • a hobby that you do for fun, like running or fishing
  • a project that has an end goal, like a wedding or redecorating your living room
  • a preference that can change, like your taste in colors or types of shoes

Whom are you targeting with your pins? What’s the average age demographic of your audience? Getting a well-rounded idea of whom you’re trying to attract will improve the accuracy of your strategies.

Optimize your Pinterest images

Image by Charles Deluvio via Unsplash. 

Pinterest revolves around visual content and is rich with relevant images. As such, it pays to spend time optimizing the very core of the platform and of your following: your images. There are a few tips and tricks you need to know in order to do so.

Pinterest has a few tips for their users on creating great content in this guide to great pinning. Compelling images have a few commonalities: they’re high res and great quality, they’re more likely to be streamlined and sleek lifestyle shots than static product shots, they’re typically vertically orientated for ease of viewing on mobile (85% of users are on mobile) and stick to the ideal aspect ratios of 2:3, or 600 x 900 pixels.

It’s not just an image itself that does the hard work on Pinterest, however: there’s a lot more to optimize. Don’t forget to add a description of no more than 200 words to the image that encompasses relevant keywords to boost internal search and add a link to your website within it. Track down relevant keywords by searching for something similar in the Pinterest search bar: it will show you similar terms that others have searched in the past and give you a good indication of popular search terms. Try not to name your boards anything too obscure, as these can optimize search as well.

Relevancy also matters here: because of the extended lifespan of a pin, it’s best not to mention time-sensitive issues there. Try and keep both the image and copy as timeless as possible.

Don’t risk losing your audience by posting any old image. Try posting one of the free and premium images from Canva’s image library—there are millions to choose from. Something like Bread on Round Black Plate Near White Ceramic Cup is perfect for food bloggers, while Round Yellow and Red Fruits could work for any lifestyle influencer.

Image via Canva

Image via Canva

Show your audience where to find you

One easily overlooked way to get your audience to seek you out on Pinterest? Adding the Pinterest button to your media. Many businesses add the Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter icon to their websites and accompanying media such as business cards but forget Pinterest—why wouldn’t you want to try and tap into a potential audience of 300 million-plus monthly users? Consider also adding the ‘save’ button to images on your website to help your users save your content to their Pinterest.

You can also connect your Pinterest account with other social media accounts to help migrate already engaged audiences over. Consider tweeting your pins to show your Twitter followers you’re active on Pinterest too or share your activity on Pinterest to your Facebook feed.

Maintain your branding

As with every other asset you’ve painstakingly created for your brand, Pinterest should reflect your brand and company mission visually. Make sure each and every Pinterest graphic includes familiar branding that harks back to you so your users know it’s you—this includes specific brand colors, logos, and visual style so that people become more familiar with your visual message. Continuity is key in maintaining a following on any social media platform and Pinterest is no exception.

When creating custom images, taking the time to create them in line with your branding. To help with continuity, consider using a template that keeps every image on-brand—this will guarantee that all posts are created with your style in mind.

Canva has endless templates for creating clickable, pinnable, and sharable Pinterest images: Perfect Blend Coffee Photo Pinterest Graphic and Whitesmoke Hair Beauty Pinterest Graphic are just two examples. 

Build a genuine network

Building a network on Pinterest is a lot like building a network in real life: you have to be genuine in your interactions and when representing yourself. Pinterest favors users who interact with others in a genuine way—commenting on posts with more than one-word answers, for example or the re-pinning of great content on your board. All these interactions cement the legitimacy of your profile with your network and with the platform, so try and interact regularly and authentically, follow accounts that are similar to you, and of interest and join relevant group boards and begin contributing.

Use promoted pins

Image by Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash.

Promoted Pins are available on a cost-per-click basis and are a do-it-yourself tool for businesses of any size to promote their pins with the goal of reaching more people and getting more website traffic. The first step for Promoted Pins is to have a Pinterest for Business account. Then verify your website and enable rich pins. Metadata added to each rich pin stays with repins and cannot be changed like a pin description. In the image below, red rectangles around text indicate rich pins, and the red circles indicate descriptions only.

Tap into seasonal content

Popular for inspiration, Pinterest is also primarily a planning tool for everything from home renovations to holiday season cooking ideas. Content that’s seasonally relevant is some of Pinterest’s most popular content, so try and find a way to make your pins fit an event or season some months before the event. Pinterest recommends pinning such relevant content around 45 days before the event to capture the Pinterest planners. Popular examples include Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day and New Year, with everything from decor, decorations, and recipes doing the rounds.

Get your pins ready ahead of time with one of Canva’s many Pinterest templates, easily customizable to your branding needs. There are clean, pretty, and informative templates such as  White and Blue Asian Skincare Beauty Pinterest Graphic or adventurous, call-to-action-style templates such as Simple Photo Development Course Pinterest Graphic.

Create rich pins

An example of a Rich Recipe Pin via Pinterest

The more searchable you make your images, the more likely they are to serve the needs of pinners, or even those browsing similar content through generic search engines like Google. A rich pin, or an enriched pin that features an extended amount of metadata within the pin. This additional information could be anything from the hosting URL, ingredients list, or prices, depending on the type of rich pin it is. Rich pins come in four types: app, article, recipe, and product and each of these types can give your audience a more detailed glimpse into the pin without having to click on it.

An example of a Rich Article Pin via Pinterest. 

Rich pins are more likely to surface in searches because they’re more easily matched thanks to their specifics. Additionally, Pinterest often ‘amplifies’ rich pins over standard ones, giving yours a better opportunity to surface.

An example of a Rich Product Pin via Pinterest

If you want to set up rich pins:

  1. Know what metadata you should add to your pin by familiarizing yourself with the article, product, and recipe rich pins to prepare the metadata.
  2. Verify your rich pins. Choose any page that you’ve added this metadata to, then type in your chosen URL to the Pinterest validator and select ‘validate’.
  3. Check all the metadata is correct
  4. Click ‘apply’

For more information on rich pins, visit Pinterest.

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