Raise your hand if you have a Pinterest account, but never use it?
Now raise your hand if you’ve known Pinterest is a strong visual marketing tool to drive traffic to your site, yet fail to use it for your business?
Yes, that was me. I have a Pinterest account and when I started freelance writing, I never associated the two together. I built up my social media presence on where I thought businesses were on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkeIn and Google Plus.
I never thought to include Pinterest in my social media marketing efforts.
Why? Because I only thought Pinterest was for hobbyists. I mean, I used it to flag dinner recipes, find quiet toddler activities and collect hairstyle images.
But, while marketing my freelance writing business, I started reading about how powerful Pinterest is for small businesses.
Here are just a few stats about how Pinterest is becoming one of the strongest players in content marketing for small businesses:
- Each pin drives 2 page visits and 6 pageviews
- Men are the fastest growing demographic in 2014, accounting for 20% of Pinterest users
- Pinterest is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing social media platforms for Millennials (this may be surprising when Instagram is currently growing at an alarming rate)
There’s no denying the power of Pinterest. It’s time for you to reap the rewards.
Maybe you think because you’re a freelance blogger or writer, you won’t make headway on Pinterest. I mean, we deal with content, not images, so how can we attract Pinterest users to our writing website? Well, I’m going to show you!
With a little tweaking to your pinning strategy, you can drastically expand your audience and become one of the popular Pinterest pinners.
Ready to get started? Here are 5 tactics to maximize your marketing efforts on Pinterest.
1. Sign Up for a Business Account
Already have a personal account? No problem.
You can easily upgrade to a business account for free. If you go to Pinterest for Business, you have the option to create a business account or to convert your personal account into a business one.
What’s great about having a business account on Pinterest is having analytical tools handy for referencing your marketing efforts.
Here are some metrics you can view with Pinterest analytics:
- Impressions: The number of times your pins appeared in home feeds, category feeds and search. You can view a snapshot of the last 30 days, which shows the pins with the most impressions.
- Repins: View how many times your pins were saved on boards and shared on Pinterest. You also get a view of the most repinned images, indicating what content your audience likes and shares.
- Clicks: Clicks are when people click on your pin to visit your website. This is handy for small businesses because you can see what content people want to learn more about, helping you with your content reach marketing strategy. And for freelance writers? You can start to tailor your blog to what the people are interested in.
2. Write Like a Copywriter in Your Description
When it comes to describing your pin, you don’t just want to slap on the title of for your blog post. What you want to do is include elements that will cause a viewer who is casually scrolling, to stop and take action.
Basically, this is prime real-estate for a catchy headline that will attract viewers to check out your pin, and ultimately click through to your website.
How do you do this in a sentence or two?
Pinterest looked at over 10,000 pins and learned what made a great pin. They found out pins with more engagement had descriptions that were:
- Helpful: Include keywords in your description so that it’s easy for pinners to find your content.
- Detailed: Provide just enough detail to get a pinner wanting to click your pin to read more.
- Interesting: Include positive sentiments in your description. Using sensory and emotional words will tempt a pinner to click through.
- Actionable: Include a CTA, or call to action, in your pin description. People often follow a CTA and if you include, “Click to find out,” or “Check out…” they might feel compelled to click through.
3. Pin Often, But Don’t Pin Too Much
I find this a hard one to do, since I’m busy writing and having to monitor all my other social media accounts.
But, if you want to tap into a unique cohort of users, you need to help them discover your pins by being in the Pinterest feed often. Some bloggers, who rely mostly on Pinterest for their traffic, will pin every 30 minutes.
For other solopreneuers, this isn’t necessary. Pinning two or three times a day (one or two pins at a time) is enough to generate more followers, likes, repins and pageviews.
Since I began focusing on Pinterest, that’s exactly what I did. I would hop on Pinterest up to three times a day and pin or repin 2-3 images. Within a few days I had new followers that were pinning my images.
4. Optimize Your Images for Pinterest
As you probably can tell, Pinterest likes vertical images. Since most of its users view Pinterest on their mobile devices, high-res vertical images make more visual sense.
For me, I found creating high-resolution vertical images harder than it sounds. You would think, just crop your image or find a vertical image, but there’s more to it.
I personally can’t find many free vertical images that relate to my blog. I can find, though, great horizontal images and that’s what I primarily use.
So, what’s the best optimized size for Pinterest images? It varies, but to start, opt for 736pixels wide by 2000 pixels high.
If you’ve noticed my blog images, I have converted to vertical images in order to reach more people on Pinterest. With a bit of strategic cropping and extending the image’s canvas in Photoshop, I can make my images taller.
What else can you do to make your pin stand out?
- Have vibrant colors in your pin. Images with red in them are repinned more than images containing blue.
- Light images are repinned 20x more than dark looking images.
- Pins with 30% less background are repinned 23% more often.
- Use text on your image. If you check out the popular feed on Pinterest, you’ll notice a lot of pins have a text message on their image. This makes it pin-friendly for passerbys who are browsing to find relevant information quick.
- Brand your image. When you spend the time to optimize your photo for Pinterest, it’s a good idea to give yourself or your business credit. Placing a watermark or submark on your image helps expose your brand to a bigger audience.
5. Optimize Your Pinterest Boards
When I was using Pinterest for my personal use, I placed “My Style,” “Craft/DIY” and “For The Home” as my first three boards. So, when people came to my Pinterest board, they automatically saw fashion, DIY and home decor as what I enjoyed the most.
But, after setting up my business account and focusing on attracting clients as well as a new audience, I put my business topics ahead of my personal hobbies.
Currently, if you go to my Pinterest board, you will see my top three boards are:
- WAHM Freelance Writing – I pin my blog posts here as well as anything that relates to blogging and freelance writing.
- FreelancerFAQ’s Resource for Writers – This is a new board that I created. I’m a contributor at FreelancerFAQ’s and want to promote this awesome blog as much as I can. Side note: Alicia Rades, who owns FreelancerFAQ’s, and I co-wrote an eBook called, “11 Rookie Mistakes You’re Making on Your Writer Website (That’s Costing You Clients).” If you sign up to her newsletter, you get this 30+ page eBook for free!
- Freelance Writing – This is a group board that I belong to. Gina Horkey, a freelance writer friend of mine, created this board and it has great pins on freelance writing.
My next few boards are small business marketing, blogging or social media marketing niches. It’s a good idea, as a solopreneur, to have business-focused boards above the fold (the area you see before you scroll).
And this has data to back it up. According to EyeTrackShop, users scan the first two rows of your Pinterest board, so make it worth their while by putting your best and most interesting boards there.
What are some other ways to get the most out of your Pinterest board?
Fill Out Your About Section
You have 160 characters to tell your Pinterest audience why you (your business) should be pin worthy. This is a good space to use industry related keywords, but make sure it doesn’t sound like you are over-stuffing your blurb with SEO keywords.
When writing your about section, try to answer these questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you do? (i.e. your industry)
- What value do you bring to Pinterest users?
- What credibility or authority do you have? (for business accounts, you can verify your website, helping you establish credibility, build brand awareness and attract a following)
Use Descriptive Words in Your Board Names
Each board should have a keyword to make it easy for users to find your board. Many users follow boards, rather than individuals or brands, so it’s important to name your board with the right descriptive words.
In the freelance and blogging word, most boards will have blogging, freelance writing, blogging tips, small business etc… in their name since it’s a popular search term. Popular boards with highly descriptive names often rank on the first page of Google.
As an example, in Google I typed in, “Beauty how-tos” and Sephora’s Pinterest board came up as the third result.
Join Group Boards
In all honesty, I had no idea what group boards even were until very recently. This is how much I didn’t pay attention to Pinterest as a marketing tool.
It was only when Gina Horkey invited me to her group board, that I became aware of them.
So, what is a group board?
A community Pinterest group board is a board where multiple users can pin their images or other images on the board. You know a board is a community board when you see the little multiple people icon on the upper right hand corner of a Pinterest board.
How do you create a Pinterest group board?
It’s easy. You create a board like you normally do, and Pinterest will ask you if you want to invite another pinner.
If you know their Pinterest account, you can message them on Pinterest. Or, you can type in their email that’s associated with Pinterest, to add them to your board.
You can also request to be in a group board. Usually the description in the group board will have specific details on how to join the board.
So, why should solopreneurs join group boards? The biggest reason is to maximize your content reach. You want your brand and content to reach as many people as possible and joining a popular group board will help you achieve this.
Now, if you join a small group board, this may not yield many repins, but it will expose your content to some new viewers.
Become a Pinterest Pinning Maven
Are you ready to start pinning and sharing? These are only a few tips that can rev up your popularity on Pinterest. As always, Pinterest is a social media platform, so remember to Like pins and leave comments on pins.
Other social-friendly things to do are:
- Re-pin images you find inspiring or want to learn more about
- Follow boards/people that have pinned your images (Pinterest will tell you what boards contain your pin when you pin your image).
- Connect your pins to Twitter and Facebook. This publishes content on your social media accounts and expands your marketing reach.
Are you ready to give Pinterest a chance? Let me know in the comments what you are doing to reach more people on Pinterest.
And help this freelance writer out by pinning this post and following me on Pinterest!