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Strategy Saturday – Owning Pinterest

This week #StrategySaturday is all about Pinterest.

Not about how to set up an account, or how to plod along with your current status quo.

This week it’s about owning Pinterest!

 

A key questions to ask yourself when it comes to Pinterest is this: What do you want? 

It may sound like a simple question, but actually it’s your answer that will shape the best way to develop your strategy.

Is your primary drive to establish your presence on Pinterest, in order to expand your general reach/ influence? To increasing the number of people following your account; a statistic to be added to your social media package?

Are you primarily interested in actively promoting your own posts/ products on Pinterest?

Is the ultimate purpose of your Pinterest presence to drive traffic to your site?

Maybe you don’t have a Pinterest account at the moment, in which case your current attention is more about consistently producing ‘Pinterest friendly’ post/ product images for your readers to pin?

 

Wow, that was quite a question dump! But bare with me, here lays the basis of your personalized Pinterest strategy. 

If you don’t already have one, grab a coffee and let’s dig in!

 

Owning Pinterest

Now I know that each and every one of you will have answered the questions above differently. But I’m going to make a presumption here:

I’m presuming that one of the main goals is making sure that strategically we’re doing all that we can, to utilize all social media channels as effectively and appropriately as possible in promoting ourselves, our posts and our products.

This post will therefore focus on best Pinterest practices, irrespective of current following, and let following increase as a result of changed praxis – one of them being regular pinning.

 

#StrategySaturday – Owning Pinterest in 15 minutes a day

 

Owning Pinterest - Social Media Strategy Development in no more than 15 minutes/ day - StrategySaturday - The text under your images is as much a 'selling' opportunity on Pinterest, as the image itself.

Day 1: There are two features ‘selling’ your pins on Pinterest. The image AND the text.

Go to your favorite blog/ product post/ page. Select your favorite image and read what the ‘alt text’ (or alt title) is for that image. If you are SEO (search engine optimization) savvy, somewhere in that ‘alt text’ will be the key focus words for your post – if they’re not, now’s a good time to add them, it helps your post/ page ranking in google searches. But let’s take it a step further than that: The ‘alt text’ is also the text that automatically appears below your image in Pinterest when someone pins it.

A savvy ‘pinner’ will always take a look at the text that appears under a pin and edit it as necessary before pinning. Generally however people rarely do, so whatever is written in ‘alt text’ is going to be the ‘sales pitch’ below your post.

 

Imagine two of the most delicious chocolate foodporn images possible. Under one it reads: ‘recipe brownie chocolate dark’; under the other ‘Melt in your mouth, chocolate heaven – Luxurious dark chocolate brownie recipe based on the New York Times ultimate brownie’

…Which are you going to pin?

Imagine identical children’s bikes. Under one it reads: ‘kids bike’; under the other ‘Award winning kids bike. 5 Steps to choosing the best bike model for your child’

…Which do you pin?

The descriptions both contained the selected focus words needed for SEO, one of them stops there, the other is prepped to ‘sell’.

 

The latest on Pinterest strategy at BufferSocial is that 200-310 character long descriptions are optimal and that adding advice, instructions and how-tos whenever relevant increase engagement by up to 30%.

 

Day 2: What stands out to you on Pinterest.

Grab a pen and paper and take a look at one of the following boards:

The purpose is to glance through the images on your chosen board and to stop and take note every time a pin stands out to you …Why does it stand out? What is it about the image or the text that pulled you in? What are the image proportions? The colours? How bright or dark is the image? How saturated are the colours? How much of the image is background/ foreground? Is there any text on the image?

Every time an image stands out to you, figure out what it is about it that’s so great.

Stay focused! If you like the board, follow it, but keep try to keep these 15 minutes free of pinning – ‘like’ the images if you must, that way you can look back over them later too.

The reason I’m saying don’t pin is this, we humans are not always so complex as we like to believe we are. As soon as you see like an image and re-pin it, you get that positive affirmation that you’ve ‘done something’ with the information, your brain happily puts it all aside and 3 minutes later you have no recollection of what you’ve even been looking at. That’s not what we want. When you stop and assess the information and make a conscious effort to draw some conclusions from it, you’ve put your brain to work and there’s a much better chance you’ll not only remember what you’ve been looking at, you’re learn from it.

Choose a board:

COFFEE Spaces 

DIY… Presents 

Food… Sweet Treats

Home… Organising

If none of these catch your fancy, gaze around the homepage Pinterest.com, or look through one of your own boards full of the pins you’ve already singled out.

 

Day 3: Your images/ infographics.

Go back to your favorite, most visited posts/ pages. Do you have images on them that you consider pin-worthy?

The point here is that you may literally have the best post/ page/ blog/ website in the World… But it’s certainly not going to be discovered via Pinterest if you don’t have images to pin from it that stand out from the crowd.

What stood out to you yesterday? How do your images/ infographics look in comparison?

One word: Canva.

– You don’t need to be a graphic designer; you don’t need to be an award winning photographer. If you haven’t already registered for a free account, pop on over and check it out. Select the ‘Social Media Posts – Pinterest Graphic’ and you’re ready to go. You’ve got the optimal size, a vast array of layouts, and if we were to add in just a few other well established tips, check out this fantastic infographic from Curalate about the kind of colours, proportions and backgrounds on images that get the most repins.

Owning Pinterest - Social Media Strategy Development in no more than 15 minutes/ day - StrategySaturday

 

Day 4: Get pinning.

Now you’ve got your images and your text optimized for others to pin your posts/ pages, but the ball is always still in your court.

Of the 75 bloggers and entrepreneurs who answered the Social Media Strategy Success Survey 43% responded that they sometimes/ never pin their posts/ pages during the first 7 days following publication; 26% pin them once.

Come on guys, that’s crazy!

100% of the bloggers/ entrepreneurs who’ve had an overwhelming response on Pinterest, pin a new post at least 5 times during the first 7 days after publication, some up to 25 times (How Bloggers and Entrepreneurs Use Pinterest).

 

Sell, sell, sell. Promotion, promotion, promotion 🙂

So, select a few of your posts and pin the images.

Optimal pinning time is between 8pm-11pm (in your followers local timezone), and especially on Saturdays – but any day of the week during these times is great.

Try to stick to this time if you can, otherwise between 2pm-4pm. Of course there’s variation here depending on your following. If you Pinterest account is almost exclusively geared to breastfeeding mums for example, they’re going to be on Pinterest sporadically at almost any time of the day or night, so you can pin around the clock! If the majority of your followers are parents with school aged children, they won’t be online at all during school pick-up/ drop-off. What do you think would be the optimal times for you?

If you like organization and excel sheets, this is a great point to open a new one. List the posts/ products/ pages that you’ve pinned today, down column A. Along the top, on row 1, list the names of the boards you pinned to. Then fill in the month and year. You’re about to pin, re-pin, re-pin, and re-pin, an overview of your activity may be helpful.

 

Day 5: Pin again!

Those same pins you pinned yesterday, pin them again today. Not on the same board of course, or you’re just going to have a pile of repeated images, re-pin to a different board.

Do you have another board with an overlapping content profile, where you could pin again?

This is where ‘shared’ boards come in handy. If you take a look at my Pinterest profile you’ll notice that a number of the boards have the symbol market out below. These are shared boards. Boards that the owner has invited multiple people to pin on. The advantage of shared boards, if you join them is that it’s not only will your followers that will see the pins you share there, the hosts followers will see them too.

Owning Pinterest - Social Media Strategy Development in no more than 15 minutes/ day - StrategySaturday

 

All of the shared boards I contribute to have clear information in the header about how to request an invitation to pin on them, so if any of them appeal to you follow the instructions and give the owners a shout!

I’ve also created a #StrategySaturday Community Board, where you’re welcome to pin all your great content, just give me a shout if you want to be added as a contributor to that, and voila, it’s that easy!

 

Day 6: Scheduling pins

Hot off the press: Pinterest has been revolutionized! That’s right, Pinterest is collaborating with Buffer and for the first time you are actually able to schedule pins, in the same way you’re able to schedule tweets, Facebook and Google+ posts. There’s a 7 day free trial of this service available; otherwise only available with a paid account.

Now that you’ve experienced pinning, re-pinning, and re-pinning some more, this might be something you want to look into. Scheduling pins allows you to maintain consistent activity on Pinterest during peak hours, even for multiple timezones. Buffer Pinterest allows you to select the image you want to use, the board you want to pin to as well as modify the text you want to be pinned.

Pinterest has been revolutionized! - HOW TO Schedule Pins - Owning Pinterest - Social Media Strategy Development - StrategySaturday

…Those same pins you’ve already been pinning, pin them again today.

The benefit of the excel sheet, if you’re using one is that you know where you’ve pinned and when. The more group boards you’re contributing to, the easier it is to loose track, and you don’t want to be dumping the same pins on the same boards over and over. That’s likely to get you kicked off them.

 

Day 7: 

Select 2 of your favorite pins from the week, pop over and link them up with the #StrategySaturday Pinterest Linky for some extra love and attention.

 

I hope you’ve found this post useful.

Don’t forget to HAVE FUN 🙂

 

Feel free to copy the badge code below and add it to your site …I’ll send you virtual fudge!

MisplacedBrit #StrategySaturday

 

Linking Owning Pinterest with #SundayStars, #WednesdayBlogHop, #SharewithMe, #MMWBH, #PoCoLo, #TheList

 

Connect with me:

   

…and let’s talk strategy!

 

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53 Comments

    • Thanks Nikki! I’m really glad you found it useful. Sometimes it’s so helpful just to get a quick reminder about little bits that are easy to do, or easy to do just that little bit differently
      …I look forward to hearing FANTASTIC things about your Pinterest account 😀

  1. Seriously, such a good post Steph! I have so much work to do on Pinterest, just need to find the time. I have a lot of old posts that need new photos, that’s probably my #1 Pinterest item right now. That and learning a system to schedule pins.

    • Thanks Tiffany!
      Scheduling pins is going to be a huge breakthrough for many busy bloggers …None of us has unlimited time and regularly pinning makes a huge difference on Pinterest.
      Good luck with your image updates… I have the same task to dig into here! I’m going to be very selective about it though – Which posts have the MOST pinnable content? That will be my start point.

  2. Awesome post huni! I do pin stuff, but alas not much of my own! I am trying to get better, but it is always at the bottom of my list. Must try harder. Thanks so much for linking up to #TheList x

    • You have such fantastic content, I really believe Pinterest would be a perfect platform for you Abs, and if anyone can rock anywhere, it’s you!

  3. Good practical advice, Steph. I’ve not really managed to get my head around Pinterest yet. I know I need to devote a chunk of time to really understand it better, so I’m going to follow your advice and where that takes me. Thanks!

    • I can’t wait to hear how it’s going for you Tim… Am I already following your Pinterest account?? I’ll check up on that right away 😉 …I’ll definitely be sharing some of your posts on the #StrategySaturday board too!
      – Have fun!

  4. Oops, I’m a bit late to the party here – a week late to be exact, hehe – I did mean to comment before but got side-tracked (probably by Pinterest 😉 )

    Some great tips here though. I’ve really been working hard to boost my Pinterest following as it’s actually already my chief source of traffic. I only started blogging in February, so that makes it a pretty big deal!

    It also highlights one of the nicest things about Pinterest – it’s blind to how new you are. If you post a good pin then it just takes ONE other person to pin it to give you the *potential* to drive traffic to your site as it spreads and gets re-pinned.

    It’s also a lot of fun to browse on personally – it’s the one aspect of my social media that doesn’t feel like work 😀

    I really need to work more on the text portion of my pins though. I’ve been experimenting with things like starting with ”Read more about…” so people are immediately aware that there’s an article they can follow through with. But I feel a bit unimaginative still, so have yet to find my voice with that bit.

    #brilliantblogposts

    • Haha! You’re not ‘late’ at all.

      I think most of us end up spending quite a bit of time surfing/ pinning on Pinterest 🙂 …But that in itself isn’t necessary UN-strategic at all, since regular activity is what gets your profile and your pins seen – even if they’re not your own site/ blog pins; and it’s this regular pinning that increases your pinterest following to… So it’s still ‘strategic’ in its own way 😉

      I wrote a post a little while ago – How To Rock Selling Yourself on Social Media …Great thought, if you’re thinking about WHAT you write (incase you fancy a read):
      http://misplacedbrit.com/social-media/strategy-saturday/how-to-rock-selling-yourself-on-social-media/

    • Thanks Sam.
      The truth is, using it regularly, whatever you’re using it for is ‘strategic’ in the sense that it’s definitely increasing your following – which has the potential to do great things with your pins when you do pin them 😉

  5. A fantastic post! One that I will be bookmarking to refer back to. I love Pinterest but have never really got into the nitty gritty details of how it can help you.

    Rachel xx

  6. Have pinned this page Steph! So much information. Thank you! I love Pinterest but am pretty useless at using it properly so this is invaluable. #pocolo

  7. I’m always running late to this party 😉 That is a fantastic post. I appreciate your covering so many bases in one place. I hope you social this like crazy because I sure could’ve used it when I was just starting out in pinterest (even now there are definitely some takeaways). I’ll make sure to get it out too. See you here tomorrow for the next installment!

    • Pinterest really is a fantastic platform for your blog Karen… I’ll be looking for your pins to re-pin them 🙂

  8. Fantastic tips, I have loved pinterest forever just trying to get more people involved in mine lately and have been organizing it more. I think it really is just about using it as much as you want someone to come to yours and repin. I love seeing so many creative things on there and being inspired. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  9. These are all great tips! Pinterest has really made a huge difference to my traffic since I started focusing on it about a year ago. #PoCoLo

  10. This was so helpful, thank you! I am new to blogging and even though I’ve used Pinterest for a long time for myself, it’s a totally different world using it for my blog. These tips will definitely help though, thanks for sharing!

  11. Your tips are helpful!

    I made a few small changes for Pinterest a few weeks ago and I was shocked how much it helped!! I still have more changes to make, but it was a start! I love making images more ”pinnable”. As time allows I have been going back into old posts and changing a few (terrible!!) images for Pinterest. I shutter at what they looked like before. 🙂

  12. Another great strategy post – really useful. I do love pinterest but never find enough time for it these days.

    • The future of Pinterest is going to be a lot of scheduling, imagine your products being regularly pinned to multiple boards at peak times for your chosen customer, all fixed in a 15 minute slot once a week! The future is definitely bright for strategic business 🙂
      Your boards by the way are gorgeous!

      A closer look at your pinterest profile & my mind is whirring with possibilities …A clean business profile like yours won’t necessarily want a cluster of shared boards tagged on at the end; what you might need are some strategic partnerships behind the scenes …Hmm, I’ll be pondering this too much to sleep tonight I think! 😉

  13. Thanks so much for this, I spent the evening redoing some photos and pinning them and have already noticed a lot more traffic coming via Pinterest. Fantastic advice! #sharewithme

    • WOW, fantastic!
      You just got a new follow from me too & a few re-pins to the #StrategySaturday board – You’ll have to take a look and see if it was the images you just tweaked …I picked my favorites 🙂

  14. This is amazing! Thank you so much for such a helpful post. I’m actually going to print it out as otherwise I will just lose it!

    • Haha! Thanks Morna… You just gave me a fantastic idea for a new Pinterest board – Posts I CANNOT lose! 🙂
      Have a lovely week!

  15. Great post, I love Pinterest and could lose hours on there. The photos are so perfect!! I need to practice better pictures and take on board all your tips too 🙂

    Thanks for sharing, pinning 😉

    • Thanks Claire …You have TONES of fantastic photos!
      One little trick I love is using the Canva ‘pinterest’ frame to drag any great horizontal image into and playing around with how I could get a fantastic vertical image out of it too 🙂

  16. These are fabulous tips – thank you so much for sharing. I use Pinterest but still feel very much like I really have no idea what I’m doing with it so have pinned this and will be adding this to my social media strategy. Thank you again 🙂

    • Thanks Louise. HAVE FUN!
      Well you just got a new like from me too & a post share on the #StrategySaturday board 🙂

    • Thanks x
      Just been over and checked your website 🙂 …What a FANTASTIC project! So interested to keep following your journey with this. WELL DONE. You wanted to give something back and that’s exactly what you’re doing – you’re making a difference <3

  17. Excellent! You made it sound straightforward and simple. Saving this and coming back — I have much to learn, and DO! Thank you, Steph!

  18. Another fabulous strategy post – thank you! I’ll bookmark this and read it again this evening and then again tomorrow I expect. Really good tips. More posts like this and your others please 🙂

  19. Thank you for such a briliiant and informative post – I have been totally in the dark about Pinterest until very recently just doing my thing and only just got a professional account so that I can now see exactly what’s going on via the analytics.

    • Ooh you’re going to have so much fun Camilla 😀
      Stick to your own thing and everything you love. You’re boards are going to be brilliant!
      I’ve really tried to put a different swing on this post than a lot of the other information summaries that I’ve read, take a glance at my BlOGGING & Social Media board if you like, there are so many fantastic Pinterest info graphics saved there with loads of different angles.

  20. I’m really just dabbling with Pinterest at the moment, so this is really helpful for me! Gonna be working through your tips really soon. Bookmarked!

    • Haha! I’m afraid the ‘secret’ at the moment has just been very little sleep!
      Not the most sustainable solution 😉

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