Pinterest isn’t just for moms who share recipes anymore. Nowadays, digital marketers have recognized the value of Pinterest as a medium to increase their online reach.
If you haven’t taken Pinterest marketing seriously yet, now is the time to do so.
However, if you want to be effective at promoting your brand on Pinterest, you’re going to need a following. Otherwise, you’re limiting your reach.
Here are 25 ways to blow up your following on Pinterest, accompanied by one big mistake to avoid.
Add the Pinterest “Follow” Button to Your Blog
You already have a blog, right? Why not add the Pinterest “Follow” button to your blog?
Pinterest offers you a “Follow” button free of charge and it takes up limited digital real estate on the screen. There’s really no reason not to use it.
That’s especially true if your blog already attracts thousands of visitors regularly. You’ll make it easy for your blog fans to find you on a social media channel that they might use regularly.
Ask People to Follow You on Pinterest
A very simple and time-tested principle of marketing works well here. If you want people to do something, ask them to do it.
In this case, if you want people to follow you on Pinterest, ask them to follow you.
Start by determining where you reach the greatest number of people right now. Then, use that medium to ask them to follow you on Pinterest.
For example, if you have thousands of followers on Twitter but only a few dozen followers on Pinterest, go on Twitter and tweet out something like the following: “Hey, I’m also on Pinterest if you like great infographics.” Include a link to your Pinterest account.
Use a Profile Widget on Your Blog
A Pinterest profile widget is similar to a “Follow” button except that it takes up quite a bit more space and can display your latest pins.
The advantage of a profile widget is that it gives people a glimpse of the content that you post on Pinterest. If you’ve got some great stuff on Pinterest, you’ll likely do a better job at tempting people to follow you by showing off your pins than by just displaying a “Follow” button on the page.
Of course, there’s no reason you can’t include a profile widget and a “Follow” button.
When you share other people’s pins, Pinterest users will see that you shared the pin. That gives your brand a little bit more exposure without doing much of anything except clicking a button.
There are lots of great images, infographics, and memes out there that you can pin. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that other digital marketers are pinning that same content.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Why? Because when other people pin an image that you’ve already pinned, Pinterest will show a pop-up that lists the other boards where that image was pinned to. If one of your boards is in that list, you might gain another follower.
The more you pin, the more likely your board will appear in that pop-up.
Comment on Pins
Pinterest determines the popularity of pins by the number of repins, likes, and comments. The most popular pins end up in a section that’s unsurprisingly called “Popular.”
If you post comments on popular pins, you’re increasing the likelihood that people will notice you, click on your profile, and maybe even follow you.
Mention Other Users
Did you know that you can “tag” other Pinterest users just like you tag people in Facebook?
When you’re sharing a pin that involves somebody else’s work, be sure to mention that person in the comment. That way, the other user will take notice and may even follow you.
Connect Your Pinterest Account to Other Social Media Accounts
Once you’ve connected your Facebook or Twitter account to Pinterest, you can post something on Pinterest and it will automatically be shared to the other accounts.
Find Friends/Followers From Other Social Networks
If you’ve already got a healthy following on other social networks, you might be able to find them on Pinterest.
Once again, Pinterest makes it easy for you to find friends from other networks and connect with them.
Segment Your Market
Remember: unlike Twitter or Facebook, you’re not limited to one content stream on Pinterest. You can create any number of subject-specific boards.
For example, if you’re an SEO professional, you might have one board on content marketing, another on keyword research, and another about on-site SEO.
That’s important because there are some people who might not be interested in following your entire profile (i.e., all of your boards) but they love what you’re sharing on the content marketing board. If you segment your market on Pinterest, it’s more likely that you’ll increase your reach.
Put Your Popular Boards in the Top Row
When someone does click on your profile, you want to leave a great first impression. To do that, arrange all your most popular boards on the top row. That’s also a good way to demonstrate social proof.
Create Public Boards
When you create a board on Pinterest, you’re the only one allowed to post pins on it by default. Usually, that’s exactly what you want.
However, if you’re interested in building a community (and, by extension, a following), you can create a public board and invite other people to post pins on it. That’s a way to give your brand more exposure by letting other people do the work.
Also, when you invite others to post on your board, they might return the favor and give you permission to post on some of their boards. That gives you an even greater opportunity to increase your reach.
Follow People Who Share Your Passion
Shhhhh… you’re about read the super-secret trick to gaining followers on social media.
Here it is: follow people who share your passion.
Start by asking yourself what you’re passionate about. Are you a fan of a hit TV show or movie? Are you dedicated to a social cause? Are you a fitness freak?
Once you’ve established what you’re passionate about, start posting content on social media that reflects your passion. Then, follow other people who share that very same passion. They’ll likely follow you back once they see that you’re like-minded.
Run a Contest
People like the chance to get stuff for free. You can give them the opportunity to do that and increase your following at the same time by running a contest on Pinterest.
One of the best ways to build your following with a contest is to require entrants to follow you on Pinterest. You can also use a tool like Rafflecopter that gives bonus points to people who follow you when they enter the contest.
Don’t Flood Content All at Once
If you have a lot of great images you’d like to share, it might be tempting to share them all at once. Resist that temptation.
As a rule of thumb, your followers won’t like being bombarded with a bunch of images all at the same time. Instead, post your pins over time.
Use Keywords in Your Descriptions
Remember: there are people searching for pins on Pinterest. They’re looking for something witty, content for their blog, or information about a particular subject.
Make it easy for people to find your pins by using relevant keywords in your descriptions.
Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter. You can use them on Pinterest and Facebook as well.
Include popular (and relevant) hashtags in your pins so that people who search for pins based on those hashtags will find your content.
Effective social media marketing requires consistency. If you just post pins every now and then or whenever you feel like it instead of making a conscious effort at posting on a regular basis, you’re not doing your brand any favors.
Schedule some time to pin regularly.
Follow Boards of Your Competitor’s Followers
People on Pinterest who follow your competitors are also likely to be interested in what you’re offering. Get their attention by following them. They might just return the favor.
Pay Attention to Your Analytics
As with any other aspect of digital marketing, it’s important to pay attention to your analytics when you’re promoting your brand on Pinterest.
Why? Because that’s how you’ll know which types of pins resonate with your followers and which ones don’t. Then, you can create more pins that are likely to result in engagement.
Keep in mind that you’ll need a Pinterest business account to have access to analytics.
Check the Pinterest “Popular” page frequently to see which types of pins are getting the most engagement. You might find some intersection between your own niche and a particular style of pin or meme that people love. Post those types of pins to one of your own boards and you’ll likely grow your audience.
Use Holidays and Special Events to Promote Your Brand
Pinterest marketing is more about marketing than Pinterest. Smart marketers know how to use popular events and holidays to promote their brand.
Think about all of the major holidays and in the year. Then, brainstorm about how you can use those holidays for marketing purposes. Create holiday-themed imagery that people will love and pin it to one of your boards.
Do the same with popular events such as the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards ceremony.
Market to Women
Sure, it may seem sexist to tell you to use Pinterest to market to women. However, it’s also good advice.
According to the most recent estimates, 85% of Pinterest users are women.
That means you should find a way to promote your brand so that it appeals to women. Full stop.
Of course, you can also use Pinterest to market to the other 15% of the user community. Just keep your focus on the primary demographic that you’ll find on Pinterest: women.
Confirm Your Website
When you confirm your website with Pinterest, then people will see your profile picture with any pins that came from your site. It’s another great way to boost your brand.
To confirm your site, go to your profile page and edit your profile. About 2/3 of the way down in the pop-up window that appears you should see an option to confirm your website. You’ll need to post an HTML snippet on to your site’s <head> section to finish the confirmation process. If you don’t know how to do that, contact a developer.
Use Rich Pins
Stand head-and-shoulders above the crowd by using rich pins to boost your brand.
What are rich pins? They’re pins that contain additional information in the pin itself. As of this writing, there are six types of rich pins: app pins, place pins, article pins, product pins, recipe pins, and movie pins.
It’s likely that you’ll be most interested in article pins and product pins. If you’re a local marketer, you might find place pins attractive. If you have an app, you definitely want to use app pins.
One Big Mistake to Avoid
As promised, there’s also one big mistake to avoid on Pinterest.
Here it is: don’t over-promote your brand.
Pinterest is a social media channel just like any other in this way: you should use it to offer valuable content that creates engagement.
You should not come across as a sales rep trying to make a quick buck.
Work on building a following with amazing, original pins. Become part of the Pinterest community by repining and commenting. That’s how you’ll build brand-name recognition.
When people know more about your brand and what you’re offering, they’re more likely to become your customers.
Pinterest is a long-term investment, not a quick win.
Blow Up Your Pinterest Now
There are more than 100 million active users on Pinterest. It’s almost certainly the case that people in your target market are using the platform to share images and links. If you haven’t already done so, start promoting your brand on Pinterest today.