This two-part series was written by our guest, Faith Marcus – the talented artisan behind Faith Marcus Designs. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter @FMdesigns and, of course, Pinterest!
Thank you for sharing these tips with Craftsyble readers, Faith! Your Guide to Pinterest has inspired us to work on Craftsyble’s Pinterest boards.
I hope you will find these tips helpful in building a following on Pinterest, and driving people to your site! There are many marketers and bloggers now offering tips for brands, some of these may be covered in what I will share. This is primarily to help you build a following and to give you the basics on how to create a dynamic Pinterest profile.
I had heard about Pinterest when it was first in Beta, and thought it was silly. I joined in March of this year, and decided to pin just for fun. When I signed up, I had 19 followers. At the beginning of April, I crossed the 100 follower mark, and in mid July, I reached my first initial goal of 1,000. I now have (as of August 5) close to 1700 followers, with an average of 50 new followers daily, and continual visits to my website (which I track on google analytics), and sales! I hope my tips will help you to achieve the same results!
If you are new to Pinterest, and don’t have a good grasp on the basics, I highly recommend you go to “BootCamp”. This is a very insightful video series that will cover all you need to know to get started. Also, follow Jason Miles (search by this name and click on ‘People’ on Pinterest), he provides a lot of good marketing tips for brands. The initial video series was free, but this offer has ended. It is excellent, and highly worthwhile, if you are just getting started, and don’t know where to begin! There is also plenty of great free info on the site for brand marketing, if you don’t want to purchase the program.
“Because storytelling, and visual storytelling, was put in the hands of everybody, and we have all now become storytellers.” — Levar Burton
● Unlike FaceBook and Twitter, where you can shout it out, and communicate with words and images, one of the most important things to understand, is that Pinterest is a site that people (the majority being women) go to be inspired, and to collect images that they enjoy. Your “job” is not to bombard your page with your products, but to tell your own story through images. This will, hopefully, lead people to your page, to follow you, and to find out what it is you do sell, and then will click on your links and visit your site.
● If your boards are all about you, or your brand, you will likely be considered “spammy” and not very interesting, nor Pin “worthy”, so be inspirational (and patient)!
● If you are just getting started, create about 12 – 14 boards. The boards should be varied, with depth! What are you passionate about? Photography, design, cooking, nature, travel, fashion? The possibilities are endless, but think about what you do sell, and try to build your boards from this “core”, before developing boards that do not relate to your product. So, for example, if you are a jewelry artist, you might want to consider well – known jewelry that you find inspiring, period jewelry, gemstones, etc. If you are a photographer, boards on nature, people, places. Where do you come from? Boards about places are great, and add some identity ! Consider each board a “magazine”, remember you want people to repin your pins, and to follow you! Be a visual curator ! This is the number one golden rule of Pinterest! Beautiful images get repinned! People who post exciting, beautiful content get followed — it’s really as simple as that!
● If you have a business name, use it! You will gain much more recognition as a brand with your business name, than your personal name.
Like Twitter, the more people you follow, the greater your chances are to be followed! Need some ideas for developing boards and finding people to follow? Let’s say, for example. you love the color blue, and would like to create a “Blue Board”. Go to the main search bar and type in blue, and see what comes up. Or use the category search to find what you are looking for. If you find a page that is interesting, and fits your style, repin and make sure you follow that person! If you have a follower, and they have pinned something you like, hover over the person they pinned from, and visit that page! Another way to ‘pick up” interesting people to follow. SEARCH is to the left of the Pinterest logo.
● Pinterest has its own set of etiquette, so do not repin more than 3 images from another page and not follow! Be considerate!
● Want to gain the attention of a cool or influential pinner? Then “like”, repin and comment! People who have tons of followers will not always see the comment, as the stream (on the left hand side is a bit time delayed, and only gives you a handful of recent updates), so do not be discouraged! Commenting and liking are not as “popular” as repinning, so this is one way to get noticed and stand out! Do not ask for people to come check out your page — be genuine! Check in with the people who do follow you, and see who they follow or repin from. This is to the right of your profile page. Or, scroll through the list of a popular pinner, and see who follows them. Another way to connect with like minded followers. If you are following someone with hundreds of thousands of followers, chances are they will not notice you, so stick with pinners whose boards and style relate to yours and go from there! Broaden your following list on a regular basis, as the more diverse your circle gets, the more interesting the content pool will be generated.
● Make sure your boards have “interesting names”, don’t just name a board, ‘cookies’, or ‘soap’ or ‘fashion’ or ‘things for my house’, try to come up with something a little more creative.
● Make sure your boards are categorized properly. This will help in others finding you by proper category. Also, using hashtags (the same as Twitter) in your pin descriptions is helpful. Check out the categories which are below the Pinterest logo. If you are adding a pin description, the source of the image is always best: ie, the name of the brand, photographer, etc. Avoid “cutesie” comments like, my daughter will love this, or anything too personal, that someone else will have to edit before they repin it!
● Rotate your boards so that your page looks cohesive, and make sure your cover photo is set with one of your most visually inspiring and dynamic pins. You can rotate your boards by using the “edit profile” feature (see screenshot — and don’t forget to save!). Freshen your page by changing the cover photo from time to time. If you were a store, you would want to change your window every once and awhile, right?
● Your own board should be in the top row, either in first , second or third position. Do not be discouraged if your own products are not repinned. It takes time for people to discover you, and products are less likely to be repinned, so be patient. Do not pin to your own board each and every day! I pin my own work maximum of three times a week, sometimes less! If you do not have an established following (at least 1,000 followers), I recommend that you have only one board for your work. If you are a photographer and a jewelry artist (or a soap maker and a stationery designer), make one board for each. Include your celebrity gifting and press in one
board (chances are no one is going to repin these, they are more for info and showcasing your brand). Make it the best of the best, and cohesive !
● The top two rows of boards are probably the ones that will have the most attention. Profiles with 100’s of boards can be overwhelming. Remember quality, and depth! To see your most popular boards and pins, check your stats with www.pinpuff.com and www.pinreach.com. Keep your less popular boards, or boards you are developing on the bottom. You can always rotate them at a later date.
● Look at your page with an outsiders’ ‘eye’ : do your boards flow, and look inviting? You want people to discover your board content, so give them a “visual reason” to do so !
● Do not make boards of family, friends, customers. etc, wearing/and or posing with your items. Or your pets, home life, etc. These photos belong in your FaceBook photo albums, not on Pinterest! People will not repin them (unless you want them there for your own personal enjoyment!) . If you create tutorials, then put them in a separate board, along with others that are a good “fit”. Tutorials and DIY are great boards to develop, especially if they relate to your brand.
● Don’t pin “tiny” images or ones that are so long they take up three or four columns. They are generally not repinned ! Try not to pin images with very dark backgrounds, they are difficult to see, and do not ‘pop’ !
● If you are pinning others work a board is fine, but, you can also pin these images to other boards. For example, someone who photographs nature, might work well on a “flower” board. If you have a board dedicated to products you love, or color boards are also a good way to vary who you pin and where. Try it both ways and see which one gets more pins.
● In order to gain followers, you should be pinning daily! Yes, make it a habit! At first it may seem daunting, especially if you are not following a lot of people, so pin outside the box! Use sites such as tumblr, google, twitter, blogs, and major websites to generate your own pins. And make sure pins that you originate have a clickable source. Do not just upload them from your computer (see the Pinterest guidelines for this).
● At the point when you reach several hundred followers, you should be gaining 3-10 followers daily. If not, then you are not active enough on the site. Once you get to 1,000 followers, your daily number of followers should have doubled, and now it gets easier, as, if you are pinning regularly, your following will increase accordingly.
● The best times to pin are morning (I am basing this on PST), between 7 – 9 AM, around lunch hours (12-1 PM) and after 6 PM. Marketing statistics will show you that many pinners are working, successful people, so these are the best times to catch the activity. It varies on Fridays (with a pick up of about 4 PM), and on weekends. There is a bit of a lull mid day, seven days a week, so try to pin during these times, if possible. Try to scatter your pinning time, some in the morning, some in the evening.
● If you have thousands of pins and less than a few hundred followers, it’s time to clean up those old pins and start fresh! Much better to catch followers in a brand new stream of activity. Very difficult to gain followers if you have 50+ boards filled with pins that have no activity!
● To price or not to price, that’s a good question. In my opinion, the price tags are tacky. I think it totally depends on what you are selling. Try it both ways and see what happens. When you do add a price, it goes into the gift section, under categories. 99% of all marketing reports I have read suggest this, but I have found the reverse to be true, so do what works best for you and your brand! Pins with prices may not get you repins, however pins with prices may get you more “clicks” via the gift guide. The best way to gauge your stats is with Google Analytics. (Sorry, I don’t know how this works for Etsy users).
I hope you have found this information useful, and that it will help you gain lots of followers and help you become a Pinterest rock star! I would love your feedback! Thank you and happy pinning!! If you liked this post, check out PART 2!
P.S. Please follow me: www.pinterest.com/fmdtreasures