25 Do’s ’n’ Don’t Pinterest Marketing to Grow Your Account in 2020

Pinterest Marketing tips

25 do’s ‘n’ don’t Pinterest marketing tips you need to know to succeed on Pinterest in 2020.

You may consider yourself a savvy social media marketer. In that case, I bet you’ve mastered Facebook and maxed out Instagram. I can imagine that you’re up to snuff on LinkedIn and are tweeting like a champ. Blogging on WordPress, too? Wow, look at you go! 

But…what about Pinterest?

If you’re only hearing crickets in response to that question, we need to talk. You’re leaving money on the table if you don’t have Pinterest driving traffic your way, every day. Check out these stats:

  • Pins shared on Pinterest travel 100x farther than a single tweet! (Retweets happen only 1.4% of the time.)
  • The half-life of a single pin is 1,600x longer than its FB post counterpart!
  • Blog traffic generated from Pinterest can bring in $1,000 PER DAY, on a single blog!

Have I gotten your attention, now? 

Yes, Pinterest is hard to beat when it comes to Return On Investment (ROI) potential. And as the social media maven, you are, you know that spending your time wisely is a skill set that can be learned. There are only so many hours in a day, after all.

Before we get into it, I’m going to share with you just how I became acquainted with the wonders of Pinterest. Ready for a little storytime? 

Once upon a time, 7 years ago, I was just starting out in the blogging world. There I was, super excited to launch my first blog—fitwirr.com—and…nothing. That’s right, I had no traffic. Zip, zilch, nada. I scoured the internet, trying this and that to no avail. Nothing was proving to actually work, despite it seems to work for everyone else. That is, nothing except for…Pinterest.

Even though I was seeing an uptick in traffic, I was still mostly using a system of trial and error. In other words, wasting a lot of time. But, I kept at it, finally devising a series of tried and true methods that work. Every. Single. Time. 

In fact, check out two of my latest projects! They both started as little, baby ideas which then grew into self-sufficient brands. Quickly.

Now I’m excited to share all that I know about this awesome platform with YOU! But, before we get right into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a quick minute to review just what Pinterest is (and isn’t).

What exactly is Pinterest?

What is Pinterest?
Pinterest…

Here’s how Pinterest introduces itself…

“Pinterest is a visual discovery engine for finding ideas like recipes, home and style inspiration, and more. With billions of Pins on Pinterest, you’ll always find ideas to spark inspiration. When you discover Pins you love, save them to boards to keep your ideas organized and easy to find.”

Sounds kinda…solitary, right?

Here’s what they’re leaving out—THIS IS A GIANT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM!

Let’s say you need to plan your one-year-old’s very first birthday. You have no idea where to begin, so you hop on Pinterest, searching those terms. A bunch of pictures pops up. Whenever you scroll across an image that inspires birthday cheer, you save (pin) it… maybe to your board entitled, “Baby’s First Birthday.” 

So, basically, Pinterest is a giant search engine. And like the other giant search engines (Google, Bing, etc.), it functions based on keywords. This makes ‘keyword optimization” a very lucrative strategy here. 

If you’re marketing your business, products, or blog, you want to make sure your pins are in the mix. Or better yet, you want to make sure your pins arrive at the top of the pack. 

But, I’m getting ahead of myself. 

Now we understand what the user’s experience of Pinterest is, correct? In that case, let’s take a dive behind the scenes in terms of marketing towards them. I’ve outlined my tips into a series of steps, with several cautionary points to conclude this tutorial. Of course, you don’t have to follow these steps to use the platform. But, if you’re after a stampede of interest, you may want to pay close attention…

1. Make a business account

Create Pinterest Business Account
Create a Pinterest Business Account

Pinterest has options when it comes to creating your accounts. You may already have a personal account, in fact. For marketing purposes, however, I definitely recommend making a Business Account. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • It’s free! 
  • Your account will display your business name. (Which is always more professional-appearing over your personal name.)
  • Your website will be verified—check mark and all—showcasing its validity
  • This account will unlock all the business perks available on the site. This includes Rich and Promoted Pins
  • Analytics are provided on your pins, boards, and traffic. This valuable info allows you to modify your strategy accordingly.

2. Create your business profile

This is the most influential step to jumpstarting the success of your account! And, if you get it right the first time, your profile will keep working for you, with no added input needed. Can you say “residual income?”

  • First, embed your domain link on your profile. This prompts the oh-so-important Pinterest verification of your account. And trust me, you want that check mark! You’ll enjoy greater exposure in searches from this single step alone. 
  • Next, create a profile name using a keyword that people might search to find you. The more you can target your audience from your name, the more likely it is that they’ll be curious to know more.
  • Which leads to…crafting the perfect business bio. Again, you’ll want to include keywords here to direct search traffic your way. You only get 160 characters, so make them count! In your description, make sure people get what it is you’re about, and how they can reach you. 
  • Finally, upload your company logo as your profile picture. If you don’t have one, chose something that represents your brand well.
  • Want to check out a great example of a Pinterest Business Profile? In my opinion, @Skinny Ms. gets it right! They naturally incorporate keywords in such a way that it doesn’t feel manipulative. Plus, you get a clear sense of what they’re all about. 

3. Start with 5-10 boards

Creating boards is the perfect way to showcase your content through pins. Your audience will have access to all that you have to offer in a way that’s organized and pleasing to the eye. 

The catch is, you want to control where your boards show up, and how they are viewed. 

To optimize your boards, put yourself in your targeted audience’s shoes. What inquires are they entering that would direct them your way? Make board names when you’re clear on the keywords that best describe your content. 

Aim for at crafting at least 5-10 boards, with at least 10 pins per board. You want your boards to appear active, and engage your audience to find out more about you!

After you’ve crafted the perfect boards, you’ll need to choose their category. This will ensure that they appear in the most relevant spaces on Pinterest. To further your knowledge on this subject, check out this tutorial!

4. Let’s talk cover photos

First impressions matter in business. And in the world of Pinterest, your cover photo takes on this role. Think about what it is you want your page to say.

In addition, every board you make is customized with a cover photo, chosen from the pins you have on each. The best cover photos are bright, eye-catching, and clear.

5. Crafting pins that beckon attention

A picture speaks a thousand words, and on Pinterest, there’s a virtual feast for the eyes. You’ll want to make sure that your pins stand out for this reason.

First off, make sure your pins follow the guidelines set by Pinterest so that they post well. To do this, approach images from a vertical viewpoint. On Pinterest, all images are longer than they are tall. This means using graphics with a 2:3 ratio. Having the correct size accomplishes more than the pins looking better. It ensures that they load correctly in people’s feeds, thus capturing their attention.

Many people use apps to create their images. One that does a great job is called Canva. Avoid generic pictures and instead focus on actual photos of your product. Always be thinking about what your brand specifically represents. Then, give people a visual on how or why this relates to them, including how they would use your services.

Add logos to all your photos! We recommend avoiding the lower right corner where Pinterest graphics will overlap. Consider adding a text overlay to your image. Be concise if you do this—remember people use their phones to view pins. Do you happen to the market in multiple countries? If so, be sure to create pins independently of the text overlay to allow for multiple translations. 

Lastly, always remember the power of a compelling image! Create curiosity, and always be thinking of inviting your audience on to your page.

6. Keywords are key

At this point, you’ve created your pins and organized them onto boards. Next, you’ll want to add keywords to each to optimize their placement in your audience’s search. Think more in terms of titles, rather than long captions. You want to be clear about what the pin represents, in the hopes that it will get discovered easily.

Google gives preferences to web titles with popular keywords, and so does Pinterest. Try to place your keywords at the beginning of your description. This will make it more likely for that pin to pop up in searches first. 

Here’s an example from a pin of mine to illustrate the point:

“Looking for some easy and delicious low-carb breakfast recipes for the keto diet? Look no further, these delicious keto breakfast recipes will make your morning easier.”

Keywords here are ‘easy,’ ‘delicious,’ ‘low-carb,’ ‘breakfast recipes,’ and ‘keto diet.’ People entering these as search terms would be more likely to see my Pin as a result.

Before you begin, brainstorm all the possible attributes and descriptors of your brand. This list will give you a great place to grab those words from your craft descriptions.

One word of advice—make your descriptions readable! No “keyword stuffing!” People can tell when you’re trying to be search-friendly, rather than providing value.

7. Stuck on keywords? Try this trick!

As you begin to strategize your content, a great tool available on Pinterest can help you. It allows you to see keywords already in popular searches, thus giving you some insight! 

To find this tool, click on “Ads” on the Pinterest navigation menu. Then click, “Create Ad.” After clicking to continue, locate the “keywords” section, 4th down on the dropbox menu. You’ll then want to “extend your reach” by typing in any relevant keyword in the search bar. Any and every keyword or phrase related to it will then magically appear! Complete with its own search metrics, which will show you how popular it is on the site! 

This can save you so much time, plus provide you with valuable research for optimizing your pins! For example, if you were to search “decor,” suggestions for ‘DIY decor,’ ‘luxury decor,’ ‘budget decor,’ ‘kids room decor,’ may pop up. 

Doing this before you create pins can steer your creative process from the get-go. By knowing exactly what people are already looking for, you can then provide them with those topics exactly!

Have the confidence to go for big keywords when you can. This allows your pins the opportunity to spread far and wide, covering a bigger search field!

In sales, they say it’s best to know your audience, and this tool does exactly that!

8. Keep your enemies closer…

Okay, so maybe that’s a tad dramatic. But assessing your competition is a wise strategy for any business person. 

Following your competitors does two things. First, they may follow you back—hooray! More exposure and goodwill towards your fellow Pinterest-ers will grow your following, too! Secondly—and maybe more importantly—you can learn from their methods.

9. Be a team player

Collaborations are a hot buzzword in social media. On Pinterest, you can field collaborative efforts a couple of ways. 

Group boards are controlled by a single account who has the discretion to add other contributors to it. After researching a bit to find a suitable board in your market space, request to join it. This positions you as an expert in your field.

The other option is to create a group board of your own, enticing others to join YOU. Always be looking to see what others are adding. This valuable intel can spark new topics for you to cover, as well.

Stick to boards with limited participants. This keeps the content from getting overly diluted. You don’t want to stray from that coveted target audience, after all. 

Also, make sure that the boards you request to join are active. Look for lots of engagement and movement within the group. Otherwise, those pins you worked so hard to craft will be playing to an empty room.

10. Keep it moving

Pinning regularly and keeping a consistent presence should go without saying. But, I’m saying it anyways, because of how important it is. 

On Pinterest, your aim is to grow your following and thus, reach a larger audience. Full stop. To do this, you’ll need to add 5-10 pins per day. But, for those that want to grow quickly, adding as many as 25 pins per day can definitely accelerate your growth.

Whatever your cadence, be consistent! Add pins one-by-one, rather than a mass dump, so that your audience doesn’t get overloaded. Sephora does a great job with this balance, in my opinion. 

If the time management aspect worries you, try using a posting app to schedule posts. Tailwind is a good one for this. This app can also give you feedback metrics as to how your pins are performing. 

11. Allow people to pin your content from anywhere!

Engaging your audience within Pinterest is only half of the equation. You’ll also want to make sure your followers can pin your content back to Pinterest from outside the site. 

To do this, Pinterest gives you buttons that you can add to your website or blog. You can also utilize social media plugins to do this for you, like “AddThis.” 

Finally, be sure that your “pinnable” content has relevant information within a description attached. By practicing this, you’ll keep Pinterest working for you on both ends!

12. You’re gonna be rich!

Well, you’re going to want to use Rich Pins, that is. These are pins that are super-loaded with even more useful info for your audience. 

These types of pins are proven to increase visitor traffic to your sites off of Pinterest. For instance, if you use WordPress, Yoast makes an SEO plugin that does exactly this. 

13. It’s a numbers game

I’m talking analytics, your secret spy gear for Pinterest. There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to peek behind the scenes to see your ideas come to life. 

Pinterest analytics is such a valuable tool. They allow you the ability to curate your content that’s working and ditch the stuff that’s not. Take the time to understand exactly how your growth is happening. Once familiar with the info that Pinterest supplies, you also can use other social media services to expand on this, too.

14. Experiment with a variety of images for one link

One of the great ways to test your audience’s preferences is to link multiple pins back to one source. This will allow you to see what does and doesn’t fly with your target customers. 

Even content that doesn’t have a dedicated image can be linked to Pinterest. Simply click the “+” on your Pinterest page which will then give you the option to “upload a pin.” Try using a variety of images to test their effectiveness, and revive older content again!

15. Be cautious about your pin image source

Now that we’ve covered the best practices for Pinterest, it’s time to review some of the “don’ts.” Starting with this one: pirating images!

Just because you find an image on the web, doesn’t mean it’s free game. Using it naively can get your account flagged—or worse—suspended! Stock photos are fine to use, but make sure to grab them from reputable sources. Also, experiment with changing them up a bit so that they stand out from the crowd (who are likely using them, too)!

A term to be on the lookout for is Creative Common Public Domains Dedication License. Which is the legal way to say, “this photo’s cool to share at your discretion.” Pay attention to where a photographer must be given credit…that can be easier to do on a website than on a Pinterest pin. 

16. Use pins only once

A tactic that people used to use on Pinterest involved recycling pins. By changing only the description, people found they could get more mileage from a single pin image. 

While it may get you more reach initially, visually you’ll be caught. This will happen the moment someone heads to your profile. Seeing multiples of the same pin is not a good look, and makes it more likely for them to dismiss you. 

17. Give love to your Group Board

Remember that group board we advised you to join? Make sure you’re visiting it regularly. It’s worth its weight in gold if 

  • it’s curated well
  • has a large number of active users
  • the moderators are quick to remove people violating rules

18. Be about more than yourself

Yes, you joined Pinterest to promote your business. But it’s also important to avoid being an infomercial. Remember, people are on Pinterest to be inspired and entertained. By all means, that involves your ideas. 

But…

You’ll also do well to position yourself as a curator of relevant information. For example, post an idea board for items similar to those that you sell. Include a few of yours in there, too, of course. 

When people come to know and trust you based on the content you share, they’ll be more likely to buy into your brand, too.

19. Be. Consistent! (BE, BE CONSISTENT)

Yes, I am cheering this statement on, in its own slot even, because of how important it is! 

To review—aim to post daily, change up the topics, and stay on a schedule. Above all else, this will grow your account the fastest! 

20. Be easy to find

Going back to those all-important keywords, again. 

Performing regular reviews of your pin descriptions are what we’re after here. Remember, you want to be in the mind of your audience, and keeping their search terms front and center!

21. Shh, it’s a secret

Incomplete profiles or boards sparsely pinned are not a good look. Marketing is all about appearances and appeal, after all.

If you’re working to build a new board, consider making it “secret” or visible only to you while in progress. Take the time necessary to be intentional and complete it to your satisfaction! Then, and only then, share away!

22. Review opportunities for Pin It Buttons on your other sites

Creating a nice, looped web of link-backs between your various sites means you’ve reached pro status. Although we mentioned this above, I’m stressing it again here… make sure you give your audience the ability to work for and with you! 

Others sharing your content at will is a great way to add validity and reach untapped audiences. Think of the Pin It Button like an automatic referral generator. Used in this way, your content itself will be creating new opportunities for you!

23. #LetsTalkHashTags

Hashtags are another way to make your pins searchable. By attaching a hashtag to your pin’s description, it will automatically be added to a pool of the same. Someone searching #LowCarbRecipes will then see all the pins with that exact hashtag.

Best of all, the newest pins lead the pack. Similar to keywords, stick to hashtags that are specific and relevant to your content. This allows you to sneak a couple more search terms onto your pin. But not so many that it overcomplicates the description. 

One word of warning, limit yourself to 20 hashtags on any one pin. Searchability=good, spamming=bad.

24. Make Marie Kondo proud

Clutter can exist anywhere, even your Pinterest boards. Don’t make the mistake of adding any old pin to your board that strikes your fancy. Or worse, it has only passing relevance to your brand. Steer away from redundancy!

You can assure yourself of this by constantly reviewing your boards objectively. Messy, disjointed boards require too much concentration to find the good stuff. And you certainly don’t want your hard-won audience’s attention span short-circuited. 

Instead, always be assessing how easy it is to find out exactly what your brand stands for. That’s what your audience will be judging you on.

25. More boards with less pins > more pins on fewer boards

The organization of your content is key! As we were just discussing, make your content user-friendly. 

If you’re a diet-guru, keep nutritional info on one board, recipes on another. Or better yet, break the recipes apart on different boards depending on the type. 

Your goal is always for your potential customers to find what they are looking for EASILY. 

Pinning=Winning

Well, there you have it! I believe whole-heartedly that anyone who follows these guidelines will conquer Pinterest! 

Remember, all the hard work you put in on the front-end will pay off at the back-end. 

I’d love to hear about your experiences using my tips and tricks! And of course, be sure to share anything that you think would be helpful too! 

I’ll be looking for you over on the group boards…

Misato Alexandre

Co-founder

Misato Alexandre is a mom, wife, blogger, and a big saver living in Hawaii. She holds B.A. in Finance and formerly worked at Nomura on Wall Street in NYC.

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