How many of us were browsing Pinterest well before we started our Instagram accounts? In fact, for me, it was Pinterest that got me into Instagram in the first place. I was forever searching Pinterest for interior inspiration when we were renovating and the photos often led me towards Instagram and that’s how I found out there was a whole community over there talking cushions. So, how do you get more traffic to your social media accounts through Pinterest?
I realised when I started my blog that although Instagram would help build my traffic, the real key to getting people to read your blog (other than not producing crap content) was to really get to grips with Pinterest. I spent a good few weeks teaching myself how to use it properly and managed to build my Pinterest monthly unique views to just under 4 million in 4 months. I’ve been using it avidly now for 18 months and now have nearly 5.5k followers.
Whilst we’re all living in difficult times and trying to find new ways to reach our customers/listeners/blog readers, Pinterest is probably more important than ever! I’m consistently being asked how to use Pinterest properly and although I find it easy to use, it struck me that a lot of people didn’t even know where to begin so I’ve compiled a quick list to get you started.
But, first of all, how does it work?
Pinterest is like a virtual mood or cork board. It allows its users to collate images and videos of their own and other people’s into multiple mood boards (the Boards of Pinterest) of their own. Although Pinterest is classed as Social Media, it is not really a social space like Instagram or Facebook, it is best looking at it as a search engine for images. You can either upload your own Pins (images) from your blog page or Instagram, you can create pins from images you have seen on other websites or you can search within Pinterest itself and Repin images to your own boards. It’s as simple as that.
What Pinterest has over Instagram is the ability for every image to be able to point you back to a website page and that is invaluable.
Make sure you have a Pinterest Business account
You can either have a personal account or a business account, but a business account gives you so much more and it’s free! With a business account you have access to analytics which show what people are pinning from your profile, a break down of your audience, the ability to verify your website, display your company/blog name in your profile and rich pins (which displays all your information under your image and will not change when other people repin it). I wrote a blog post on how to change your Pinterest personal account to a business here.
Claim your website
Make sure you claim your website within Pinterest as this shows you are a valid business. It also gives you a clickable website address in your profile. I wrote a blog post about how to claim your website here.
Set up your boards
I had a few boards already on Pinterest that were home and interior based before I began to take it more seriously. I started by adding a board for my website and all my blog images, a board for my Instagram images and then created many boards covering my (home decor) niche. I threw in a few other boards of interest like travel, hair and fashion. Make sure that all your boards are named logically and that you give them lots of keywords in the description, a category and a board cover.
Your Pinterest profile is good to go, how do you Pin?
There are so many different ways to Pin, from your phone, tablet or PC and from numerous applications. The best way to do it is to Pin in Pinterest directly so that you can add all the information exactly how you want people to see it. Just try to keep your Pins in portrait mode as they do much better on Pinterest.
To Pin an image from Instagram/Blog/Website on your phone –
• Make sure you have the image you want to Pin in your Photo Album and open up Pinterest
• Select the plus sign at the bottom
• Select Pin
• Select an image from your photos
• Give your pin a Title that quickly describes the photo
• A description that adds lots of keywords (think about what someone would type into the Pinterest search bar for your Pin to appear, the more informative the better)
• To add your destination website for Instagram:
o Select the 3 dots in the top right-hand corner and select copy link. This should save it to your clipboard and when you go back to Pinterest, it should have a pop up asking you if you want to paste.
• To add your destination website for your blog/website:
o Open up your website in a browser and depending on your phone/website host, copy the website address. Go back to Pinterest and it should automatically ask you to paste the address.
• Choose your schedule date.
• Once you have done this, select Next and then choose a board to add it to and you’re done!
If you have the “save” button enabled on your web site, you won’t need to follow these steps. You can just hit the save button and it will automatically open Pinterest and ask you to choose a board. You might, however, need to go back to the post and edit the title and description. You need to refer to your web site host to find out how to install the Save or Pin It button.
To Pin an image from your Instagram/Blog/Website on your Computer –
As you will probably need to upload multiple Pins, I find it far easier to do it on a laptop. I used to set aside 10-20 minutes a day to upload my Pins (before I starting using the scheduler Tailwind).
- To do it on a laptop you have two options. You can either enable the save button for Pinterest within your website (find instructions on how to do this with your website host, e.g. WordPress or Squarespace), which will automatically open the image in Pinterest and ask you to choose a board.
- The other option, and the one I prefer, is to have the image on your computer and upload it within the Pinterest app.
- Open up Pinterest.
- Select the plus sign in the top right-hand corner on your Pinterest home page and choose create Pin
- Choose the image you want to include and then, like above, give it a meaningful title, description and copy the website page into the destination link. If you are doing this for an Instagram post, it is important to get the link right! Open up Instagram on your computer, find the same image and then click on it so it appears in its own window. That is the link you need to copy.
- Select a board in the top right hand corner and then Publish
So, you’ve now started creating your own Pins on Pinterest, what now?
It is so important to keep Pinning other people’s Pins on your boards. You might think why, but to be a successful pinner and Pin regularly, you have to build a cohesive board with lots of varied images and not just your own content. You can Pin other images by either repinning from within Pinterest or using great images from other brands and blogs, but always make sure that you give them full credit.
How often should you Pin?
The advised amount you should be pinning is around 10 – 20 Pins a day, where 80% of those Pins are original images from your website and social media accounts and 20% should point back to other people. I Pin around 25 images a day which a lot of people are quite surprised at when I tell them, but this isn’t necessarily 25 new images each time. Each Pin I upload will be dropped into several boards that they are relevant to and this helps build up the numbers (but make sure you keep the amount of boards per image to under 10).
The magic of a scheduling app for Pinterest
As I mentioned previously, I now use the scheduling app Tailwind to schedule all my Pins for me. This is such an invaluable tool as it recognises when the majority of my Pinterest “audience” is online and will Pin my images then. As Pinterest is heavily used by the US, a lot of my Pins are scheduled for the early hours of the morning and Tailwind will repeat your content to different boards at an interval of your choice. I spend about an hour a week uploading all my images into the scheduling app and leave Tailwind to it. I can’t recommend it enough (there is a small monthly fee) and will write a blog post about it in the next few weeks. You can try out your first 100 Pins for free on Tailwind, this helps you to see the scheduling app and if it will work for you.
Now you know how to do it, start uploading all your blog, Instagram and business images to Pinterest! Success won’t happen overnight, it takes time to build up impressions and an audience. But the great thing about Pinterest, which Instagram and other social media apps can’t give you, is that your Pins will continue to bring you traffic long after you first uploaded them.
I hope this was of help. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments!