Today’s post is a little bit different to my usual content but I hope you find it interesting and/or useful. I’m going to tell you all of my tips for gaining more followers on Pinterest and also introduce you to an incredible little tool called Tailwind which can help you to really boost your Pinterest following.
If you are just a casual user of Pinterest then getting to your next follower milestone may not be a huge concern, but if you’re a blogger or a business then your following and engagement are of the utmost importance. Hopefully the tips and advice in this post will give you all the information you need to start building more followers on Pinterest. This information is partly formed from my own experiences, and partly from attending training provided by Pinterest.
So why should you use Pinterest?
- If you are sharing your content on the internet (whether that’s a blog post, artwork, or selling your hand-whittled aardvark figurines) then Pinterest is a fantastic way to share it and get you noticed. It’s a beautiful site that combines the most inspirational, fantastical images (Impossibly clean homes! Impossibly clean children!) with the most down to earth, relatable tutorials and tips.
- It’s great for inspiration: whether that’s fashion, home decor, make up, blog tips… you will find it all here. Interestingly, Pinterest do not see themselves as a social media site – they class themselves as a search engine. If I’m looking for a recipe or tutorial or inspiration I will always search on Pinterest before Google, which is a pretty interesting shift when you think about how much Google used to dominate internet search.
- Finally, the best thing about Pinterest is that it’s ridiculously fun! If you love Pinterest as much as me, you can follow me HERE.
Here are my tips on how to maximise your Pinterest content and use:
- Don’t just spam your own content. Pinterest really likes diverse content sources, so if you only post your own blog/business content they essentially see you as a spammer and will treat you accordingly. The 80:20 rule is a good one to go by when it comes to Pinterest: your pinned content should be 80% content from other people and 20% from you.
- Name your boards intelligently. When I started out on Pinterest, I tried to think of hilariously clever, pun-filled names for my boards. But when you think about the way that people search for content, no one will ever be searching for ‘N A I L E D I T’, they’ll be searching for ‘easy nail art’. You can still have fun with your titles, but just think about what people will be searching for.
- The above tip also applies for the description box. This is your chance to kill many birds with one stone. For example, if you have a selfie of you in a great lipstick, your description box should name the lipstick and brand. But it should also cover anything else that might appeal to people looking at that picture: blunt fringe, checked shirt, pearl earrings, neon pink lipstick, freckles… think about every way that that photo could be described and be relevant to others. Think of it as Pinterest SEO. But remember that RELEVANCE is key – no one likes a keyword stuffer!
- You can have as many boards as you like. Unlike many other content sharing sites, it’s rare that someone comes to your profile and decides to follow you based on that (compare that to Instagram, where your feed and profile are very important). So don’t worry if you have a lot of boards that aren’t cohesive and aren’t well laid out… it really doesn’t matter.
- That last tip is also linked with this one: Split up some of your bigger, more generic boards. I have seen better results since I split boards into smaller, more niche ones. For example, I had a huge board called ‘street style’ which I have now split into ‘spring/summer’ and ‘autumn/winter’.
- A board should have a minimum of 40 images on it in order for Pinterest to see it as a ‘real/worthwhile’ board. I get around this by making my boards private until I have 40+ pins and then I publish it once it’s ready.
- Keep an eye on emerging trends. In the past, certain trends have spread like wildfire mainly down to Pinterest (mermaid hair, flower walls, watercolour tattoos) so keep your eyes open and your ears to the ground to get a board up quickly and ride that popularity wave!
- Lastly, you should be pinning regularly. It’s like with any content sharing site: your content can’t be seen by potential followers if you’re not posting the content…
…And this is where Tailwind comes in. Since I started using Tailwind, at the end of the last year, I have gained over 6,000 Pinterest followers – almost doubling the number of followers I had when I started! But more importantly, the traffic to my blog has drastically increased. In fact, Pinterest is now consistently listed as my second biggest traffic source (just after Google) which is incredible! Read on to hear how Tailwind helped me to get more followers on Pinterest.
Before we get into the nitty gritty of Tailwind, if you click THIS LINK*, you can get a free month of Tailwind and – full disclosure – I get a small credit on my account for referring you. So it’s a win-win! This is not a sponsored post: I have used Tailwind since November ’16, I pay for it myself, and I genuinely love it.
I’ve put some screenshots below from my Pinterest analytics, showing how my average monthly views/engagement (left) and my website visits (right) have increased drastically since I started using Tailwind. I don’t like to toot my own horn but a 313% increase of average monthly views of my pins and a 650% increase of daily clicks is seriously impressive! So, toot toot!
Between November ’16 and March ’17, I was pinning ~20 images a day. Then at the beginning of March I bumped it up to ~40 pins a day. And you can clearly see the jump in the graphs above. I might do an experiment and go up to 60 pins a day and see if there’s another bump. I’ll update this post if I decide to do that. Now that you’ve heard about the results, let’s backtrack for a minute…
What on earth is Tailwind?
It’s a website that connects to your Pinterest account and allows you to schedule pins – it’s as simple as that! It suggests time slots that fit with your audience and even suggests similar pins to the ones you’re posting.
How do you schedule pins?
I downloaded the Tailwind Chrome browser extension which means that any time I’m on a blog/website/article, I can click the little button in the bottom left corner (left hand image below). When you’re on Pinterest, a little Tailwind bird appears in the top corner of each image (as you can see in the screenshot on the right, below). Once you click those buttons a box pops up, allowing you to schedule that image into your timeline. Both of these additions make it really easy for you to schedule on the go. But more about scheduling later…
(BTW that beautiful palette photo above is taken from Hayley’s blog)
Tailwind’s free account lets you schedule up to 100 pins a month, so you can try it out to see if you like it without parting with any money. I used the free account for about a month or so before upgrading to the ‘Plus’ plan, which is $9.99 a month (if you pay yearly).
My tips for scheduling
I would recommend starting by scheduling ~5 pins a day to see how you get on and then build up if you want to! At the moment, Tailwind pins 40 images a day for me and it happens automatically at evenly spaced time periods so that I can just forget about it. I’ve put an image below that shows my current schedule: the opaque green slots are my existing ones, and the white, dotted-line ones are further slots being suggested by Tailwind to best fit with my audience. This is so helpful as a large number of my audience are based in the US, and obviously I can’t be awake all night pinning in order to target them!
It should go without saying that you still need to actually spend the time scheduling to fill your slots. I probably spend about an hour a week setting up my pins for the following week – but as I love using Pinterest I don’t really mind it. Plus, having a schedule means that Tailwind can be pinning for you while you’re on holiday or if you have a really busy period coming up.
Posting 40 pins a day may seem excessive, but when you consider the 80:20 rule that’s eight pins of my own content per day… which is the content from an average blog post for me! Plus, I’ll often pin one image to several boards – e.g. a single image could fit on my Dream Handbags board, my neon make up board, and my spring/summer fashion board – so your schedule often fills up a lot quicker than you’d expect.
Other benefits of Tailwind
Another thing I have found really helpful about Tailwind is that it also offers much better analytics than the Pinterest back-end. The analytics are a great way to tweak and target my content better and therefore grow my following. Knowing your audience is key to gaining more followers on Pinterest and so you should be checking your analytics at least once a month to make sure you are on track.
Lastly – in case you heard the same horror stories as me and were wondering – Tailwind is approved by Pinterest so you don’t have to worry about your account being suspended for using it!
*Breaaaaathe* And that’s how I got more followers on Pinterest! I hope you have found this post helpful, and I hope you try out Tailwind and love it as much as me. Please leave me your Pinterest links in the comments – I always love finding fresh blood for my timeline! Don’t forget that if you sig up using THIS LINK* you can get a free month of Tailwind to see if you like it (and I also get a referral credit) so we both get a treat!
*As mentioned above, this is not a sponsored post. I paid for my own Tailwind subscription and will continue to do so. However, if you sign up using my affiliate link, we both get a bonus so yay!
== PIN ME!! ==