You know you need a strong Pinterest strategy. But, how do you create one?
If you run a quick search on Google, you’ll see countless posts. However, most of them mention the same things over and over again. You are told you need to have strong images and good descriptions, pin to the right boards and set up schedulers or a regular routing to pin consistently.
I agree with them. You absolutely need all of those things.
But, what you also need is a strategy. You have to figure out what to pin, when to pin it and even where you should put your pin.
MY PINNING STRATEGY
Several months ago, I was using Boardbooster for all of my pins. I thought that was the best way to do it, as I did not have to babysit Pinterest. It was a set-it-and-forget-it method.
But, that was not working.
Well, it seemed to work for a while, but then, traffic to my site began to decrease. At first, I chalked it up to the time of the year. But then, I decided to analyze it a bit more.
I noticed others were not experiencing the same downswing as me. That is when I realized that maybe it was not just seasonal or changes with the Pinterest algorithm, but rather, something within my own account.
Turns out, I was right. It was all my own doing.
WHAT I WAS DOING WRONG
Turns out, that I had done a few things wrong.
Problem #1: First of all, I was not using Pinterest. At all. I literally never opened the app. That was my first mistake.
Problem #2: I also had images that were not fresh. They were boring and quite frankly, not engaging.
Problem #3: Pinning the wrong content at the wrong time – and to the wrong boards!. I was missing out on seasonal opportunities and trending topics.
Problem #4: The scheduler I was using was holding me back from being more strategic in my pining strategy.
Problem #5: The number of daily pins was crazy excessive (more than 100).
Once I determined the issues, I then figured out what I needed to do fix them. It took a lot of time, research and energy, but it was worth it. I’ll share my traffic results below….so read on!!
CHANGE YOUR PINTEREST STRATEGY
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. This is very true. Especially with Pinterest.
If you identify with any of the problems I shared above, you may wonder what you should do to make a change. Rather than you spend the time doing all that I did, I’ll share my tips to help you up your pinning game.
STEP 1: ENGAGE ON PINTEREST – DAILY
One of the biggest issues was that I was not using Pinterest. I did not open the app on my phone or desktop on a regular basis. Or, the few times I did, it was simply to check analytics or follower counts.
That wasn’t helping me.
One of the first changes I made to my Pinterest strategy was to use Pinterest. Every morning and evening, I scroll through the SmartFeed and pin new items that catch my eye. I’ll search for new ideas to fill some of my boards. I’ll even manually pin 3 – 4 items from my site.
Now, I use Pinterest and engage the platform on a daily basis. I’m not spending hours doing so. Just 5 – 10 minutes each morning after the kids leave for school or after dinner in the evening is all it takes.
I now use Pinterest as it was intended, and that seems to make it happy (for now).
STEP 2: UPDATE YOUR IMAGES
It’s easy to get caught up in pinning the same images time and time again. No one wants to continually make new images over and over again to increase interest. However, sometimes a new image can turn an old post new again.
I’ve been blogging for years and have more than 8 year’s worth of content to pin. The problem is that because I’ve pinned for so long, my images started to look the same. The font and colors were boring and not drawing people in.
You might be wondering how I even figured this out. Honestly, I started looking at the pins of people whom I admired. It was the pinners who were using the platform in the right way. I knew I could learn from them.
A few scrolls onto their pins and I noticed that what I saw that drew me in was not what I noticed in my own feed. Not even close. I made note of the types of colors and fonts that caught my eye and grabbed cues from buzz words and titles they used to lure me in. Finally, I looked at the image itself and if it made me feel happy or not.
When I compared what they did to what I was doing, I realized that my images…well…they sucked. They needed some serious TLC.
I worked hard a finding images that were brighter (even on dark topics). I found new text colors and fonts to use to overlay on the images. Then, I got more creative with my titles! I wanted them to be something that readers just had to click!!
Your pins should include buzz words that make them stand out. Some of these include amazing, brilliant, clever. Look at these two titles as an example:
50 Ways to Organize Your Closet
50 Clever Ways to Get Your Closet Organized
“But, shouldn’t the title be the same as your blog post?” Nope. There is no reason why they have to be exactly the same. As long as your your title is not misleading and is helpful, your readers will click because they can’t help but do it to read more.
Finally, I updated the descriptions on my pins. I made sure they had strong, keyword rich descriptions so when pinned, that is what would pull onto Pinterest (this is where the Social Warfare plugin helps immensely).
To find the right keywords and phrases, just use Pinterest! The information you need is right there, at your finger tips (for free). Just use the search bar to get key word ideas to use on your pins. You can do this in a couple of ways:
- Type the word and see the other items that come up. For instance, when you type the word banana bread, you will see terms that come up about this topic. As you can see here, I now have different key words I will want to include when creating the description for my pin.
- Type the word into the search box and hit enter. Once again, type the word banana bread, but this time, hit enter. Once you do, additional keywords will populate below the phrase. These are words you will want to include in your description.
In this case, you would use phrases such as easy banana bread recipe | healthy banana bread | moist and simple banana bread recipe (for example).
Don’t be afraid to create a few images and descriptions for the same pin and test them against one another. You can pin all of them the same day (since they are different, they will look differently in the feed). Alternatively, space them out and try a new one every other day for a few days. Make sure you pin to the same boards to you have a way to measure them against one another.
Once a couple of weeks past, look at the stats and see which one is not only getting the most engagement or repins, but which is the one that leads to more clicks. Clicks is what you want after all.
Now, you’ll have a good idea as to the style to use for your image going forward.
STEP 3: PINNING AT THE WRONG TIME
I used Boardbooster for more than a year. I loved that I did not have to do much to schedule, but I also learned that this was not pinning what I needed nor where I needed. I missed both the right types of seasonal content and even trending searches.
When I visit Pinterest to pin, I don’t just pin random things from my site. I pin the content that is trending at that time. I can’t confirm that this really “helps”, but having seen some of the same topics trend time and time again, getting my items pinned will help it be more easily discovered when the trend happens again. In addition to pinning, I always update the description to also include that specific trending search term as well.
If you don’t know how to find what is trending, it is really easy. Just click in the search bar on Pinterest (do not type anything). You’ll see them right there under your recent search terms! Isn’t that easy?
As you can see here, some of the trending topics include easy dinner recipes and fall outfits. If I have any of that content on my site, I should pin it now. Chances are, if it has trended once, it will trend again. This way, the content will be pinned and be ready when the topic trends again.
I also make sure that I am now pinning the right content at the right time of the year. You need to pin ahead of time so that at the moment people start searching for you, Pinterest can return the post to them. It takes time for your content to get discovered, so pinning early increases your chances of being found at the time it is needed.
For instance, if you have Halloween content, don’t want until October to pin. You should start pinning that content by early August. In October, your followers are searching for Halloween treats, so if you did not pin your treat sooner, there is a good chance they will not see it.
Finally, and this is the most important one of all, pin the right content your readers want. You can look through your analytics and see what your readers like to pin. Click on Pinterest Profile from your analytics menu and then over to clicks.
This tells you what people who see your pins will click on. It is right there, in black and white, telling you want you should pin. The more you can do this, but more your content will get engagement, resulting in more traffic.
You want to be an expert on Pinterest. People will follow and engage with your content because you provide them what it is they are looking for. You are their go-to pinner when they are looking for new ideas.
STEP 4: PINNING TO THE WRONG BOARDS
I always thought that my content should go only to group boards and that other people’s pins should be pinned to mine. Boy, was I wrong!
It is important to pin a good ratio of pins to both your own and to group boards on a daily basis. The only caveat to this is to pin only to the group boards that work for you. Pinning to the wrong boards is pinning with no purpose and can even hurt you.
So, how did I figure this out? To be honest, this is the one area that took me the longest to work through. I hope you are ready to do the same!
For starters, I realized my own boards should be filled with the best content out there. That means a mix of my own as well as others. For this reason, it is important that I regularly pin my own content to them.
Now, since I did not want to pin too many times a day.
I’m not saying that every single strategy will work for you. As we know, Pinterest differs for every single account. That means, what works for you may or may not work for someone else.
I make no guarantees that what I’ve done will work for you. I can’t.
But, what I can promise is that if you try something new, you may learn something you didn’t before. You’ll discover what works and what does not. That will allow you to make the necessary changes so you can experience the growth you would like on your Pinterest account.