Over the last few months, I’ve been able to up my game on social media. 3 hourly feeds throughout the day and night give good opportunities to share a post, to follow some Twitter accounts or to upload an Instagram photo. I’ve gradually started to become a tiny bit more strategic, and I’ve seen my likes, my followers and my re-tweets increasing.
One form of social media that I was being fairly passive about was Pinterest. If I saw something interesting, especially if I wanted to refer back to it later, I’d pin it to one of my boards. But I was definitely not being strategic, or in any way proactive, about it.
The thing is, I loved Pinterest a few years ago. I was fairly early user of it, back in early 2012, and I loved it. The ideas, the recipes, the life hacks (before I even knew what a life-hack was). I spent hours looking for nursery designs, and wondering why it was essential to make your own box-mix cake rather than making a normal sponge. Of all the social networks, Pinterest was my happy place.
But around a year ago, something changed. My feed became less about what my friends had pinned and more about what Pinterest thought I’d like. I was clicking through to websites where the pins seemed to promise something brilliant, but the blog post didn’t deliver. Rather than new or interesting ideas, I was seeing more adverts, more sponsored posts, more meaningless content. I fell out of love with Pinterest.
But last week, at Blog On MSI, I heard Elizabeth Sellers give a talk on Pinterest Advanced.
Elizabeth is a Pinterest UK ambassador, so she really knows her stuff about Pinterest. She blogs at Rosalilium, and I had come across her on Twitter before. She’s a really successful blogger, so I admit to having a bit of a thrill when I realised she was the speaker.
As I said before, I used to love Pinterest. But what I really liked about her talk was that she was staying true to what I liked about Pinterest: the ideas, the tutorials, the journey of discovering an amazing blog when you’ve got no idea how you got there.
10 Techniques for Advanced Pinning
- 1. Pinterest isn’t about networking
Instead, it’s about visual discovery, taste and aesthetics. It’s not about who you know, but about what you know, and how you present it.
Pinners almost use Pinterest before Google. They look for ideas way before they know what they really want. Pinterest helps them to work out what they want. I know I definitely do this: I’ve searched for ‘Boys Bedroom’ many times before narrowing down the colour scheme, the theme and then the products that I want to buy.
2. Pinterest is about celebrating, educating and inspiring
Pinners use Pinterest for these reasons: to celebrate something, for example, a baby shower. They then educate themselves: their essentials for newborns. Pinterest also inspires them, with ideas for decorating the nursery. Pins need to be celebrating, educating or inspiring.
3. You need to consider your Pinterest boards like you do your brand
I’ve been working on this. So now, all my Pinterest boards have a better thought-out title. I’ve reorganised a random board I had entitled ‘Hints and Tips’ into three, much more useful, boards:
Hopefully, these will be helpful in getting my readers organised too!
4. Pinners start early
Pinterest sees activity months before an actual event. So Christmas pins start becoming popular in December. Halloween is becoming a huge event in the UK, and Pinterest sees massive spikes in Halloween related searches during September and October. We need to make sure our pins are relevant.
The key events in the UK calendar are Mother’s Day, Glastonbury (I was surprised about that one), Back to School, Halloween and Christmas.
5. Busy boards do well
Pinterest algorithms like boards with more than 45 pins. Using secret boards is a good way to get around this – if you’re pinning something onto a new board, keep it secret. Then, when it reaches 45 pins, make it public.
6. Make your pins helpful
Pins with detailed descriptions, step by step instructions and how-tos will do well. Lists are also very successful.
7. Convert to a Business Account if you’re a blogger
I knew I had to do this to get Rich Pins. However, I thought it would be a real pain. I did it early last week and it literally took me one click. That’s it. You can convert your account here.
8. Use Rich Pins
This is on my to-do list for this week. Elizabeth has a tutorial which I will be using here.
9. Promote your Pinterest presence
I would really love it if you followed me on Pinterest. I pin lots of things which are interesting, useful and inspiring. – There you go, presence promoted!
10. Use Pinterest Analytics
Once you’re set up as a business account, you can see who is pinning what from your site. This is brilliant! Ultimately, it will help you tailor your pins – and your posts – to suit your audience even more.
Since Elizabeth’s talk, I’ve completely reorganised my Pinterest boards. I’m back pinning the things I love, things which inspire me and things which are helpful. I’d love it if you came to follow me over on Pinterest.