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Woman typing on an open laptop with title "Working Your Pinterest Strategy" and May Virtual Assists logo

 

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It's time for the third and final post of this series on getting started on Pinterest! Today we are focusing on your Pinterest strategy. These steps will help you create a sustainable Pinterest strategy and grow your business. 

If you need a review on the steps to getting started on Pinterest, you can read my post on setting up your Pinterest profile here and my post on optimizing your profile here. You can also subscribe in the sidebar to get my free checklist to use as you go through the process.

As a reminder, these tips are things that I do as part of my own pinning habits. I cannot guarantee that you will experience the same success, but I hope you can use them as you develop a Pinterest strategy that works for you.

My Top Tip for Your Pinterest Strategy

Since Pinterest is a visual search engine, I firmly believe the top tip is create quality visuals! There are several things that should be considered when creating these quality images. Here are visual-creation best practices:

  • Pins should have a 2:3 ratio. They should be longer than they are wide. The default Pinterest graphic on Canva.com is 735 px: 1102 px. You can make longer pins, but there is the possibilty that the whole pin will not show up in the feed. If you are not familiar with Canva,  it is a free app that has templates you can use to create your own pins. Another great resource that lets you have complete control over your pin design and image editing is Photoshop Elements (affiliate link). I love that Elements gives many of the features of Photoshop without the monthly cost of the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription!
  • Use clear, quality images. If you are not a photographer (which I'm not!), you can use stock images. When you use these images, make sure that you have permission to use them for your purposes and you give credit, if it required. The safest images to use are ones that are either public domain images or ones that you have a commercial license to use. My favorite free images are from either Unsplash or Pixabay. There are also many stock shops that offer a few free images each month, or they have a wider assortment available for purchase. If you want to buy stock images, be prepared to pay quite a bit for professional images. 
  • If you want to include text on the image, make sure it is easy to read. The best fonts to use are print, not handwriting. You should also make sure it's a readable color and size and stick to one or two fonts only.
  • Pins do better with warmer colors and faceless people. Yellows, oranges, reds, and pinks tend to perform better than greens, blues, blacks, and purples. Also, images without faces, like ones showing people's backs or hands, allow people to imagine themselves in the situation. They are more likely to click, save, or buy if they can do that.
  • Add your logo or website to ALL your pins. Unfortunately, there are people out there who will steal your pins and add them to spam websites. It's much easier to prove they are your pins, and people can also trace the pins back to you if they want to read the actual blog.

An example pin with Pin Design Tips

Pinning Consistently in Your Pinterest Strategy

In this Facebook Live with Buffer or the recap here, Pinterest executives stated that they reward content creators who pin regularly to their boards. As the algorithm sees you contributing frequently, it will make those pins more visible to your followers and in the Smart Feed. Even if it is only a few pins every day, pinning regularly will result in more visibility for your business. 

There are two different parts to pinning consistently that I have as part of my Pinterest strategy. I do scheduled pinning for the bulk of my pinning, but I also believe that manual pinning should be part of a successful pinning strategy, as well.

Scheduled Pinning

For my Pinterest scheduler, I use Tailwind. Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduler that lets you block schedule your pins, but then it automatically pins the pins at set times each day. I schedule between 20 and 30 pins each day. They are a mix of my own content and relevant content from other creators. I love that Tailwind will give recommendations of times where my audience is more likely to be on Pinterest, so my content is more visible to them. I also like that I can set intervals to pin the same pins to all my relevant boards without spamming my feed or having to remember where I've already pinned the pin. Plus, the Tailwind analytics is very helpful in telling when you last pinned a pin, what boards are especially active, and how people are interacting with your pins.

If you aren't already using Tailwind and would like to give it a try, you can check it out for free! If you use any of the links in this post to sign up, you will get $15 credit. That can either be a free month of Tailwind Plus ($15/month) or $15 off your annual purchase ($119/year). They also have a generous referral plan. For every person who signs up with my link, I will get $15 in Tailwind credit. It's a win for everyone.

Manual Pinning

Manual pinning is a great place to start with Pinterest! What this means is you go in regularly (daily, if you don't use a scheduler) and pin content to your boards. For manual pinning, I go in first thing in the morning and pin a few pins from the Smart Feed to the appropriate boards. I usually go in a few more times throughout the day to add a few more pins to various boards.

Because I don't want to be conscious of my followers' feeds, I try not to pin more than five pins at a time, and I try to mix up the boards I pin to. No one wants 20 pins in a row about SEO appearing in their feeds!

My goal is to manually pin about 20 pins a day, but that doesn't always happen. I think manual pinning is a great way to catch fresh content that you might miss if you only go on Pinterest once or twice a week. I also think it's a great way to interact with other creators and followers. When others pin your pins, you can see where they pin it and check out other content they are pinning. It's a great way to find content!

Sharing Quality Content as Your Pinterest Strategy

Sharing quality content is key component of strategy for any search engine or social network! If you want to be known as an authority within your niche, it is necessary that you provide value to your clients and followers. One relatively easy way to do that is make sure your content and any content you share is helpful to them.

There are a few things that you can do to make sure you are sharing quality content. Here are my top tips for making sure your Pinterest account shares quality content:

  • Make sure the links work and go where they're supposed to go. There's nothing quite as annoying as finding something that you're interested in and then realizing the link goes to a different site or doesn't work at all.
  • Choose pins that are easy to read with descriptions that really fit what they're about. If the original description isn't clear, you can change the description when you repin it. *Since the pin description is a place that you can optimize, some people change the descriptions of things they repin, as well. I don't do that most of the time, because I don't see the point of optimizing other people's content. 
  • Focus on things within your niche and pin to the correct boards. People are more likely to follow boards that are focused and organized. 
  • Consider the dates when posts were published. While there are many topics where the publication topic doesn't matter (like recipes), there are others that need to be current. If you need statistics or current best practices, make sure the post was not written too long ago. Current, accurate statistics provide value to your clients.
  • Get a good variety of content on each of your boards. Try to get to the point where each board has at least 25 pins. You can, of course, have more than that, but that's a great place to start.

Where to Find Quality Content

You know that the content you provide to your customer is quality content, but it can be a struggle to find content from other sources. This is especially important at the beginning of your Pinterest account. For example, I just started my business and my blog, so I have very little content of my own. I also know that I want to provide content in certain areas, so I have been focusing on repinning content that would benefit my clients. When I'm looking for quality content, there are a few places that I've found excellent content:

  • Niche leaders - there are certain people that I've followed who I know I can trust their content. Sometimes I'll go to their boards and look for the content that I need. I might find several posts that interest me, and I love how I can spread out pinning them through Tailwind!
  • Facebook groups - I have certain Facebook groups that I adore, and almost all of them have weekly threads to share content. While these threads are great for sharing my own content, they are also invaluable for helping me find quality stuff to pin. I can go to the thread, spend a few minutes looking through the shares, and find posts and articles to share. 
  • Group boards and Tailwind Tribes - Pinterest has said they are changing the way they handle group boards. Many bloggers are very concerned about this, because pinning to lots of group boards has been a well-recognized strategy to grow for quite a while. Some people have stopped pinning to most of their group boards, but I think that group boards are still useful. I have a few group boards that I belong to that are within my niche. I will go to those group boards and find content that would help my audience.  Tailwind Tribes work very similarly, so it is easy to use those, as well. 
  • Pinterest Smart Feed - There's a reason they call it that! I frequently find content to share within the feed. Checking out the Smart Feed for a few minutes a day is an excellent way to find posts that will benefit your audience.
  • Pinterest Search- If there is a topic that I need to add multiple pins to, I will go to the search bar and type in what I'm looking for. I can even get more specific using the recommended searches given below the search bar. If you need further explanation on how to use those recommended searches for identifying long-tail keywords, check out my previous post here. After I've found a bunch of pins on the same topic to save to Tailwind, I love that I can shuffle the queue to make sure the pins are spread out over several days. 

A Final Tip for Your Pinterest Strategy

The last part of your Pinterest strategy is the engage with others within your niche. You can do this by following people that fit with your niche, pinning content that they've pinned or repinned, sharing your thoughts and photos when you try things they've shared, or commenting on pins. Be sure that you are being authentic and don't go overboard. Too many comments can be considered spam, and your account can be suspended for that. A careful balance can lead to a solid reputation in your niche with loyal followers, which is what we all should strive for when growing our business. 

In Summary

To sum it up, there are several parts to a successful Pinterest strategy. Here are the most important parts of mine:

  • Create quality images - People won't repin things that don't look good!
  • Pin consistently - a few pins every day is a great start.
  • Include quality content - it should be a mix of yours and other people's content. You can decide what percentage of each you want to include.
  • Engage with others within your niche - You can follow, pin, or comment, but it's a great way to grow your visibility!

I hope these tips help you develop a Pinterest strategy that works for you. Keep in mind that it takes a while to grow, so have patience. Of course, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments on Pinterest strategy. I can't wait to see your Pinterest grow!

Until next time,

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