I don’t know if you guys will find this useful or interesting at all, but today I wanted to share a little bit of what works for me on Pinterest. It’s by far my favorite form of social media, and I’m on it a lot--my husband would probably say too much! I love it for personal use, of course (finding inspiration, cataloging ideas for the future, etc.), but also, Pinterest has been really helpful for me in growing this blog. I get more traffic through Pinterest than Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram combined! These are my top 10 tips for using Pinterest. They may sound obvious to some of you, and they may sound silly and obsessed to others, but I’m hoping they’ll be helpful to at least a few of you!
1. Don’t just pin your own stuff. Whether you're a blogger or a business owner, make sure you mix your own content with other pins that your truly love. You’ll get a lot more followers and interaction if you're posting inspiration from a variety of sources. It’s also a good idea to mix your stuff in with the rest of the pins, rather than keeping them separate. I do have a board for At Home in Love, but I also pin my DIY projects to my DIY board, and my own living room to my Living Room board, etc. If you run a shop, you could set up boards for different trends, colors, or styles, then intermingle inspirational photos with your own products. For example, Trumpet & Horn is a site that sells vintage engagement rings, antique jewelry, and classic watches. I’m not in the market for an engagement ring or expensive jewelry, so if they had a board that was solely for that, I wouldn’t follow it. But they do a great job of mixing their stuff in with “style guide” boards for different personas. They’ll occasionally pin chunky, vintage rings to their Vintage Eclectic Style Guide board (see below). Since I really like the type of photos they pin to this board, I keep following it. And who know? Maybe one day I’ll see a ring on there that I absolutely fall in love with.
2. Set your board covers. If you create a new board and don't set your cover, it will default to the most recently pinned photo in that category--which may be awkwardly cropped, etc. Taking the time to set your cover photos really does make a difference. You can make sure that they all look cohesive together and that they truly represent your style. As an extra step, you could re-set them every so often so they look fresh and seasonally appropriate. I just went through and changed most of mine to be more wintery. I know that might seem a bit obsessive-compulsive, but I like how it makes everything look pretty together!
3. Arrange your boards so they’re in an order that makes sense. You can rearrange your boards by dragging them around. It’s really easy, and that way you can make sure that all your similar boards stay together. For example, I have boards for the different rooms of the house, which I keep all together. I also have boards for Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer--so those are all in a row together. Not only does this look nice, but it makes it easier for people to browse your boards and find what it is they’re looking for.
4. Add categories & descriptions to your boards. Choosing the appropriate category will make sure that people can find your pins when they're browsing that category on Pinterest. Adding a description makes your board more searchable, so it won’t just come up if someone searches “shoes,” for example, but also under “ankle boots."
5. Don’t just repin. When you’re reading blogs, researching a DIY project, or looking up a recipe for dinner, if you see something that catches your eye--pin it! If you haven’t already installed the Pin it button on your browser, do it now. Pinterest can start to seem stale when you see the same images recirculating over and over again. It’s okay to mostly repin things, but try to sometimes add something new and fresh to the mix.
6. Find pinners with similar taste by checking out the “Also on these boards” section. The next time you pin something you really like, scroll down and check out the other boards that image has been pinned to. Chances are, you might find someone new to follow! This kitchen I pinned is totally my style, and if I scroll down to that section, some of the boards do look like ones I’d be interested in. I’ve found some of my favorite pinners this way.
7. Add searchable descriptions to your pins. I’m definitely guilty of leaving descriptions that are, well, not very descriptive. But I’m trying to be better at this, so if someone searches for, say, a chai shortbread cookie, my pin will come up. This is also so I can search my own pins! There have been countless times that I’ve tried to find something I know I pinned, but I can’t find it for the life of me, even though I know just what the photo looks like. Pinterest now has a function where you can search “just my pins” so adding a quality description will really help you to find those elusive photos.
8. Get the app on your phone. I didn’t think I would like using Pinterest on my phone, but I was wrong! It’s really convenient to be able to pin here and there throughout the day. It also really enables you to pin at all different times, not just when you’re at home on your laptop. Which brings me to my next point...
9. Pin at different times of the day. Especially if you’re pinning similar looking photos from your own blog post, it’s good to spread them out instead of pinning them all at the same time and overwhelming your followers. In looking back at my own pins, I feel like I pinned too many images in a row from Friday’s post on “radiant orchid.” It looks so much better to have one image mixed in with a other “regular” pins. Pinning at different times of the day will also help you hit a wider audience. I’ve seen articles on when the most people are active on Pinterest, but I figure if I pin a little in the morning, a little on my lunch break, and a little when I get home from work, I’m covering my bases.
10. Check out your website’s “source” page. If you own your own website, did you know you can see what other people are pinning from it? Just type in http://www.pinterest.com/source/yourwebsite.com (replace yourwebsite with whatever your website is, of course). It’s really fun and addicting, but also useful to see what people are engaging with, and what photos are most “pinnable.” You can also find readers who are pinning your content and interact with them. You can see mine below--the free font post I did last week looks like it’s been popular.
I actually have even more tips I could share on using Pinterest, but this post already took me awhile to write, so I’ll save those for another time! If you have any tips you’d like to share, I’d love to hear them. And of course, I’d love for you to follow me on Pinterest too!
What do you guys think of this type of post? Is it helpful? Or not all that relevant to you?