I enrolled for Melyssa Griffin's 7 day "Triple Your Traffic Challenge" email course, the aim of which is increase your Pinterest traffic through practical changes to your account. As a prolific Pinterester (is that a word?) that's where I find a lot of inspiration for crafty DIY projects. And although I've been aware it can be useful for business, I haven't been super clued up about how exactly to do that.
Her short email course has really helped set me on the right path, so I thought I'd share 10 things I learned about Pinterest in the hopes that it might help you too.
1. Convert to a Business Account
Even if you're not a business, having a Pinterest business account allows you access to analytics which in turn helps you to measure how your pins are doing, who is viewing your profile, what reach you have, and which of your boards are making the greatest impact.
2. Use Pinterest is a Search Engine, not a Social Media Platform
This was probably my biggest take away from the information she shared. Thinking about it now, it makes total sense. Melyssa's observation:
"I mean, when was the last time you were “social” on Pinterest?"
Exactly. It's where people go to look for stuff, not to engage with other users. And so we need to use it accordingly - pin great images, keep your branding consistent, and make use of SEO worthy descriptions.
3. Rock Your Profile
Use key words in your business name [blogger, entrepreneur, designer etc], post a quality profile pic, and include a description of how you help people in your bio. For example, "I help "x" do/become/learn "y". Don't forget a call to action, link to your website, and a place where people can sign up for your newsletter.
4. Make Sure Your Boards Appeal to Your Ideal Reader
I suppose this seems quite self-explanatory, but I haven't been practising this at all. Firstly I haven't had enough boards, and secondly, they've been too narrowly defined. I used my fabric gift wrap business Furoshiki Dreaming as my guinea pig here.
Melyssa suggests you brainstorm 15-20 categories that you feel will interest your ideal customer, and then create boards around those themes. Or, if you've already populated your Pinterest account with a lot of images and boards, then you need to clean up, rename, and reorganise your pins according to those categories.
I went back to my initial editorial brainstorm for Furoshiki Dreaming, and came up with these Pinterest categories:
- Africa/South Africa: inspiring images, photography, landscapes and portraits
- Furoshiki: the art and skill of wrapping with fabric, tutorials, how-to's etc
- Wabi Sabi: a Japanese lifestyle aesthetic, inspirational, clean, minimalist
- Alternative gifting ideas: weddings, conferencing, special occasions
- Zero Waste: beautiful sustainable zero waste living
- African Print: in fashion, decor and lifestyle
- Sustainable packaging: reusable, green packaging
- Sustainable storage: innovative and green storage ideas
- Japan inspired: Japanese lifestyle inspiration
- Contemporary African design: emerging African creatives
- Birthdays/special occasions: celebrations and gift giving
I might need to give this a little more thought, but those are some ideas I have for now based on my target segment.
5. Prioritise Your Images
Because Pinterest is a search engine, and because the searches are visual, the quality of your images is absolutely critical. Melyssa recommends using: vertical images (more 'real estate' in the Pinterest layout) of around 800 x1200 px; consistent fonts and colours, big enticing headlines.
Because I was thinking about my online shop when it comes to Pinterest, I wasn't entirely sure how this would apply to me. But, the point that I can take away from this is that inspiring, beautiful, high-quality visuals are a win.
6. Make Sure Your Blog Titles are Clear
Rather than cutesy, vague or ambiguous titles on your Pinterest images, you need to keep your message really clear and to the point. Make sure the reader knows what they're going to get out of clicking on this link - whether it be a recipe, a new way to style their leather jacket or green living tips.
I am definitely guilty of being vague with my blog titles, and I feel challenged to go back and rename a number of my blog titles so that the reader can know at a glance what the blog post is about, and what they're going to gain from reading it. Ouch.
7. Use SEO in Your Descriptions
You know the spot under the image on Pinterest that has room for descriptions (which you never use because you are typically reposting from here, there and everywhere)? Yes, those. Those are important! How will people find your pins unless you use descriptions? Well, according to Melyssa, they won't. So keep your descriptions conversational as opposed to technical, work key words into the text, and include a call to action. Super helpful.
8. Reblog, Repost and Repurpose
Something I haven't done that I now feel equipped to do, is to repurpose my blog material. Melyssa recommends visiting your google analytics page, and making a note of your top 5 most read blog posts, then creating a new graphic for them and reposting to Pinterest. That way, you allow the lifecycle of your blog post to increase. Apparently, unlike Facebook and Instagram, the life span of your posts is much longer on Pinterest - so it is worth the effort of 'rebranding' posts in order to get the most mileage out of them. Good point.