Getting more followers on Pinterest is all about understanding the platform and how it works. Do hashtags matter? What’s really working these days? How do you find your audience?
Luckily, there are a few straightforward tweaks to your Pinterest strategy that can help you grow your followers, your reach, and your ecommerce business. That’s what we’re tackling today on Ask Shopify.
I’m already on Pinterest because I heard it’s a good place to promote my store, and that people on Pinterest are more likely to buy, but I’m not sure how to grow my audience there. What are the best ways to organically get more followers on Pinterest?
There’s a lot of work that goes into building a successful profile on any social media platform, and Pinterest is no different. However, the nice thing about putting work into your Pinterest account is that the lifespan of a pin is much longer than your average tweet or Instagram story.
With a bit of work upfront, you can set Pinterest up to generate traffic and sales for the long-term, and get your products in front of new people while you’re at it. We spoke with Nicholas Quinn, a community moderator here at Shopify, to get his advice on growing your Pinterest presence.
Pinterest Marketing 101
The tactics in this article are specific to growth, but if you’re looking for an in-depth primer on Pinterest marketing, we’ve got you covered.Get started with marketing on Pinterest
Treat Pinterest like a search engine
One of the things that makes Pinterest so different from most social media platforms is that people often use it like a search engine. For example, they’ll have a regular feed with pins from accounts they follow, but they’ll also go straight to the search bar when they’re looking for “easy vegetarian recipes.”
That’s why keywords matter everywhere on Pinterest, from your board titles, to your profile description, to your pin descriptions. You can build a list of relevant keywords for your brand right on Pinterest.
Let’s say you sell decor for nurseries. To start your list of keywords, search for “nursery” on Pinterest.
For your main “nursery” keyword, you can see a list of potential two-word keywords that get a lot of search traffic. Those keyword combinations can give you ideas for your pin descriptions, board titles, or even ideas about the kind of content you could be creating for your store.
Join or create group boards
Search isn’t the only way you can reach new audiences on Pinterest.
Group boards, where you collaborate with other Pinterest users and you all have permission to add pins to a shared board, can help your pins show up to your collaborators’ followers.
Here’s how it works.
- When someone follows you, they follow all of your boards.
- They’ll see pins from your boards and your group boards in their feed.
- When you add pins to the group boards, your pins will show up to your followers and your collaborators’ followers.
Before you dive in and join any group board that will have you, however, it’s important to consider how your group boards will work with your overall aesthetic, and how they fit with your existing followers.
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That’s why this strategy can be best when you team up with brands who have similar audiences and aesthetics. For example, The Little Market teamed up with other LA-based brands to build a group board curating holiday gifts, and the result is a coherent and on-brand collaboration featuring all of their products.
Shopify’s social media team also runs a group board just for Shopify store owners. Nicholas runs the board, and he has some tips to keep in mind when you’re approaching any group board with a request.
- Consider how it fits with your brand. If your pins are completely different than the ones on the board, or your products don’t align with the board, it may not be the right fit for your company.
- Tailor your email. When you send a note asking to join a group board, try to personalize the email with specifics about why you want to join the board, and how your business would be a good match for the board.
- Make sure you fit the criteria. If the group board has any specifics for new members, make sure your business hits them all before sending over a request to join.
Schedule your pins
Since Pinterest is different from most other social media platforms, your posting schedule will be different, too.
You can pin more frequently than you’d post to your other platforms without annoying your followers, but that doesn’t mean you need to be spending hours a day pinning to multiple different boards. You can also rely on scheduling software to plan your pins in advance.
One of the most popular tools is Tailwind, which helps you schedule pins based on defined time slots, similar to how you’d schedule your posts for Facebook or Twitter. You can also join Tailwind Tribes to share your pins with other people who are looking for relevant content to post to their boards.
Keep an eye on your analytics
When growth is your goal, numbers are your friend. There are a few ways you can identify new ways to grow your account using Pinterest’s analytics.
Pinterest will show you which of your pins are performing best over a specific period of time, on three different core metrics: impressions, saves, and clicks. These three numbers can help you figure out which pin styles and types of content are performing the best with your existing audience.
- Pins with high impressions are getting seen by a lot of people, but if the other two numbers are low, it’s not driving them to take action.
- Pins with high saves are getting repinned by your audience, but if the number of clicks is low, it’s not driving anyone to your website, where you can convert them.
- Pins with high clicks are delivering the goods. They’re getting people to your website, but if they’re not getting impressions, you’re missing out on web traffic.
Here’s an example.
There are two pins you’d want to examine further here.
The first one is the pin with over 1,000 impressions, but only 10 clicks. You could try optimizing the image and the description to increase traffic to your website, and you can look at which boards it’s on to figure out why it’s getting so many impressions.
The second is the pin that got 28 clicks. Take a look at the image, the description, and the headline. This pin is clearly resonating well with your existing audience—how can you make more like this one, or get more impressions for this pin?
Beyond just Pinterest’s tools, you can also make sure that your pins use UTM tagged links, so you can track their performance in your Google Analytics account.
Adjust as needed
These growth tactics are a good place to start if you’re looking to grow your Pinterest account, but your mileage with each one may vary based on your content and your brand. As with any new marketing tactic, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the results, and use what you’re learning to optimize your efforts.