With Pinterest continuing to rapidly grow into one of the most popular and powerful search engines available today, many businesses are quickly discovering that this is the social media platform they absolutely cannot afford to overlook in their marketing strategy.
The resulting new drive by corporations to populate strong profiles and get more followers on Pinterest has produced a multitude of services touting overnight Pinterest success with little to no effort.
The “RIGHT” followers vs. the “MOST” followers
Where many companies fall short in their quest to get more Pinterest followers is failing to consider the “right” Pinterest followers for their brand. In the frenzy to shirk “newbie” status and qualify their account with a large following, it’s incredibly tempting to purchase followers to fluff up the fast track to perceived popularity.
However, best practices across all social media strongly suggest that purchasing followers is a wasted effort, because social media dictates just that – a requirement to actively engage and be intentionally social – in order to achieve long-term success. Pinterest operates no differently!
Ask yourself this question. Do I want 1 million followers where only 2,000 actively engage and market my brand or do I want 2,000 followers where all 2,000 are actively engaged on a consistent basis?
Your goal should not be “to get more followers on Pinterest.” Your S.M.A.R.T. goal should be “to get more followers that consistently engage with your business.”
Simply put, you want the “right” followers. You need the right followers.
Garbage in, garbage out
Consistent, quality growth on any social media platform depends on a combination of strategies that work together seamlessly to engage your audience at the right time. Your specific action plan should sit on a pivotal foundation that supports the whole growth campaign. Authenticity. Without a commitment to authenticity, it doesn’t matter how hard you work to grow your following, your perceived success will be short-lived.
In order to develop a powerful, committed network of followers on Pinterest that come back time and time again, you must consistently and authentically engage with your audience on a regular basis. After all, isn’t that what you’re ultimately asking them to do? You would like your followers to have an authentic interest in your business that motivates them to share your company within their personal networks regularly.
This type of mutually beneficial trust is only built when your followers feel valued by your authentic interest in their needs. You can’t “phone it in” or just go through the motions. They’ll see you coming from a mile away and run for the hills. You must secure their loyalty by giving them yours.
Simple tips to get more of the “right” followers on Pinterest
Once you have developed your authentic message and rules of engagement, there are some simple tips and tricks that will assist in your campaign to get more followers on Pinterest. And not just any followers, but the “right” followers.
Cross promote on other social media networks
The one pitfall of Pinterest that plagues many business owners is that many pinners add items to their boards on the fly and then forget to come back to them later. One way to combat this is to constantly engage pinners beyond your first pin of a particular bit of information.
Use Twitter and Facebook to share a “pin of the day” to engage followers daily. This is a great way to reshare old content and can even be automated with appropriate applications.
Use Twitter and Facebook to remind your followers of the different boards you have available for them to peruse. Introduce new boards and point their eyes in the direction of new content.
Embed pins in blog posts
Dangle similar content to readers by embedding useful pins right in your blog posts. With Pinterest being a visual medium, you can spark interest by strategically placing portals to your pins in high traffic areas of your website.
Leave a trail of breadcrumbs to your Pinterest resources with an “If you liked this post, you might like this one!” hook on each of your blog posts.
Use your sidebar layout to include an invite to follow a particular board. Rotate this board out frequently so that return visitors are always stumbling on the opportunity to follow new content.
Leverage group boards
Group boards provide a unique opportunity to pool similar content into a larger audience. Explore high traffic group boards that consistently repin similar content and actively comment to engage and support each other.
Network with other board members and create authentic relationships that foster mutually supportive sharing. Develop a trust and understanding that you’re both committed to the other’s success.
Don’t rely on numbers to trigger the ripple effect on Pinterest. Rely on engagement. A great group board has lots of activity, comments and shares, and the members consistently contribute relevant and compelling content. Poor content kills a group board almost instantaneously.
Avoid paying for repins or other spam offers in poorly managed group boards. Check out repin groups on Facebook that are grounded in ethical standards with an appropriate set of rules.
Share consistently and appropriately
Make sure your Pinterest account is set up for your business and isn’t a personal account. This is a new feature that has become a huge asset for business, both small and large. It’s time to separate out your personal pins that you want to reference later from your professional pins that you want others to find and share.
Pay careful attention to your Pinterest analytics and other data that can give you insight as to high periods of activity on your account and what types of pins have your highest repin rates.
Develop a pinning schedule and create similar content to maximize your results by following the lead of your readers. Being attentive to their selections can cue you to the appropriate niche market for your brand.
Use relevant hashtags and keywords
The pin description has become a powerful tool in and of itself. Make sure all of your pins have clear, concise descriptions that focus on relevant keywords and highly searchable hashtags.
Make sure all of your individual boards have keyword rich descriptions. Boards are taken into account in organic searches too!
Go back through old pins and update descriptions to be keyword rich to boost organic searches.
Regularly repin your content with new descriptions and hashtags.
NOTE: Pinterest used to rely on time and follower count when creating your personal feed. This has recently changed to be more dynamic for the user. Instead of purely relying on the number of followers and when they pin, Pinterest now relies on the personal interest of users and the most relevant keyword descriptions that complement a user’s organic search. This has evened the playing field, making sure smaller accounts are just as likely to be shared as our larger accounts, and may even be shared more in the resulting feed if their SEO and keyword descriptions are superior.
Always use pinnable images
A strong visual is the first step to engaging a new follower. Poor images will cause followers to overlook otherwise great content.
Create compelling graphics with professional photographs that are both eye-catching and relevant.
Compel your reader to click through to your post or to repin for later by creating graphics that give a sneak peek into your content and how it can help them.
A properly exposed, sharp image with a clear message exhibits and validates your company as professional and attentive. Poor graphics can lead potential followers to think you don’t value their user experience on the platform or that your business practices in general are sloppy.
Actively engage others with comments
Don’t just be on Pinterest, be IN Pinterest!
Always reply to anyone who actively comments on your pin.
Regularly comment on the pins of others to continue to build mutually beneficial relationships.
Go get the “right” followers
Keeping the needs of your audience in mind, and subsequently curating relevant, useful content that authentically meets those needs is the key to getting more followers on Pinterest.
With a little elbow grease and diligent strategy, you’ll soon build a tribe of Pinterest followers that will serve as your personal online cheerleaders, sharing and growing your business at every turn.
Approaching the growth of your Pinterest following strategically and authentically within a realistic time frame will be exponentially more successful than seeking the fast track to growth that fizzles quickly and chokes forward progress.