So you’ve tried Pinterest for your business. And you’ve failed – or you’ve not had results as great as you’d hoped. No worries, you are in illustrious company – some of the biggest brands in the world have abandoned their Pinterest accounts, too.
But why have so many businesses failed and turned away from Pinterest?
I believe, having examined many, many Pinterest pages in my self-appointed role as The Pin Doctor, that in 99 per cent of cases, the people responsible for the account were simply doing a few things wrong.
That means that Pinterest accounts can be rescued and repaired, and sent on the road to recovery.
Why is it important for businesses to be on Pinterest in 2020?
There are a number of reasons why PINNING = WINNING.
PINTEREST DRIVES HUGE AMOUNTS OF FREE TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE OR BLOG
As long as your Pinterest account follows the rules I’ll set out below, there really isn’t anything to beat Pinterest for driving free, organic traffic to your blog or website.
If your business has a page on Facebook, each post will reach a maximum of 10% of your followers. If you want to reach the rest, you’ll have to pay for it. So Facebook, and indeed other social media platforms, require a lot of attention, and usually an advertising budget, to achieve positive results.
Pinterest, not surprisingly, has become an essential business marketing tool.
PINTEREST IS SECOND ONLY TO GOOGLE WHEN IT COMES TO PEOPLE SEARCHING FOR IDEAS AND INSPIRATION
Pinterest is a Visual Search Engine, not a social media platform. Visual searches are becoming more and more popular – in fact, more than 60% of people aged under 40 were found in a recent survey to prefer discovering things through images.
A survey also found that an incredible 95% of users said that they were inspired by content on Pinterest. Almost as many, 91%, claimed that Pinterest helped them achieve their goals.
Because Pinterest is used to seek inspiration, to save ideas, and then to search for purchases, it means that businesses can engage with people at every stage of the customer journey.
PINTEREST IS HUGE AROUND THE WORLD – AND GROWING
There are 335 million monthly users on Pinterest across the world – that’s more than Twitter or Snapchat.
People are spending more time on Pinterest, and the number of people using the platform globally increased by 26% in 2019. Pinterest is growing, while Facebook and Twitter are declining.
Pinterest was once regarded as a site for mothers with hobbies, but a lot has changed over the years. The biggest growth in Pinterest users over the past five years has been among men and younger people.
PEOPLE ARE ON PINTEREST TO BUY – OR TO TAKE ACTION
This fact singles out Pinterest from all other platforms.
Research found that a massive 93% of people on Pinterest use the platform to plan purchases.
87% of Pinterest users have actually bought something after finding it through Pinterest.
PINTEREST CAN WORK FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF BUSINESSES
All sectors of business have recorded increased sales and web traffic through using Pinterest.
Popular search categories, as revealed by Pinterest, include Home Decor, Entertainment, DIY and Crafts, Food and Drinks, Travel, Beauty, Fashion, Event Planning, Art, Gardening, Health, Sport, Design, Weddings, Parenting, Electronics and a big one – Education.
Now, ‘Education’ does not relate to school – although many parents and teachers find Pinterest a valuable resource for ideas.
The Education category on Pinterest is also a catch-all for teaching or training people about something. This could be anything from Marketing, to Environmental Issues, to Online Courses, to Working From Home, to many, many things.
It’s usually first or second on the popular list and proves that people are not on Pinterest for a casual browse, they are there to take action, whether that’s learning or spending – or both.
YOUR CONTENT WON’T QUICKLY DISAPPEAR
It’s difficult to engage with your potential customers when your social media posts are old news almost as soon as they go live.
You won’t have that frustrating problem with Pinterest.
The average lifespan of a tweet is just 18 minutes. A Facebook post has an average lifespan of 5 hours. An Instagram post will show prominently for 21 hours, and a LinkedIn post for 24 hours.
Snapchat content lasts just seconds, but Snapchat Stories have an average lifespan of 24 hours. YouTube videos stay fresh in the feed for about 20 days.
But no platform compares to the lifespan offered on Pinterest.
Pins can stay prominent in searches and feeds for years – they can drive traffic over and over again to your offer, store, blog or website.
On average, a Pinterest post will stay fresh for about four months, before gradually sliding out of view.
By using the best Pinterest scheduler – Tailwind – you can easily resurrect these older pins. The SmartLoop feature brings the pins back if they are seasonal, for example.
PINTEREST IS PEOPLE’S HAPPY PLACE
Pinterest is an aspiratonal, as well as inspirational, platform. People go there to plan their dream purchases or holidays, people go there to find out more about their hobbies and interests, and what they can do to improve themselves.
Pinterest is not being boycotted by advertisers because of being associated with hateful posts or tweets. It does not carry the controversy and ill feeling that comes with some of the major social media sites.
It is a happy place – and that’s where you need to engage with your customer.
How To Rescue Your Pinterest Account
If you haven’t got your own Pin Doctor, there are steps you can take to help put your Pinterest account back on track.
GET A BUSINESS ACCOUNT
Most people will have done this, but just check that your account is not a Personal one.
It’s free to sign up to a Business Account, and it gives you far more control of your branding, and gives you access to Analytics.
DO AN SEO CHECK
This is a crucial step in turning round your Pinterest fortunes. You want people to find your content, so you need to include keywords at every opportunity. The first place is in your PROFILE.
Your Display Name does not have to be your personal name, or even your business name. Instead make sure it contains the important keywords that people are going to search for.
So if your company is called ‘Good And Green’ and you sell recipe books for vegans, make sure you get ‘Vegan Recipes’ in there.
How do you know which keywords are important? Well, there are many ways of analysing keywords, but on Pinterest, typing into the search bar will give you a list of popular recent searches.
Then on your results page, you will see a string of words or terms across the top of the page that have also been searched for. Make a note of them, and select some to fine-tune your own search and see what others are doing in that space.
So, with all that in mind, make sure you give a keyword-rich description of your Pinterest page and business in the About Your Profile box.
In Account Settings, make sure you have selected the relevant Business Type.
One of the most important things you can do is Claim Your Website. And claim any Instagram, Etsy or YouTube page you own as well.
Pinterest gives you instructions on how to do this, and it massively helps with your branding. It ensures that your (business) name and profile picture will appear on every Pin with your content. That will happen whether you created the Pin, or someone else created it from one of your sites.
Also, you’ll get to see performance data for these Pins through Pinterest Analytics.
DESIGN PERFECT PINS
One of the main reasons for Pinterest pages failing is the Pins being the wrong size, shape and format.
If your boards are full of small, often rectangular pictures, saved directly from articles on your website or blog, perhaps, then you’re not going to get much joy.
Pins should be vertical, preferably on a 2:3 aspect ratio – such as 1000 x 1500 pixels.
So there are two things to look at here – Pins on your Pinterest boards, and images or Pins on your website.
You either design a Pin and share it direct to a board, or you save a Pin or image from a website, to a board.
If you’re designing a Pin, there are certain rules to abide by, and we will look at those shortly.
But first let’s assume that you, or someone viewing your website, wants to save an image from the site, direct to a board on Pinterest.
You have to make sure your site is set up to share Pins in this way. Anyone using a Pinterest widget on their web browser should be able to pull up all the images on a particular page, then choose one or more to share to boards.
If your web page only contains images which are not 2:3 ratio in size, then these will be saved to Pinterest as the link to content, but Pinterest is less likely to put these images in front of people when they search.
So you should try to make sure that each web page or blog entry you create, also contains a properly-designed Pin advertising the content. That can then be shared, and Pinterest will happily spread it far and wide.
When it comes to designing a Pin, either straight to your Pinterest boards, or via your website, there are more guidelines than the 2:3 ratio.
Pinterest doesn’t just read your Pin title and description when it’s searching for content, it also reads the Pin itself. So design a Pin that has an eye-catching photo or design, with a clear, easily-readable text overlay, again using keywords where possible. Even better if the text is at the top of your Pin.
But how can you design these Pins? With a specialist piece of software, that’s how. And it doesn’t have to cost you anything, either.
I use nothing but Canva. It’s a web or app-based service which has an awesome Pro version but also an excellent free version. Canva makes it incredible easy to design great-looking and perfectly-sized designs for Pinterest, using the many templates and thousands of images and backgrounds at your disposal.
Grabbing people’s attention to your Pin will ultimately lead to them following the link on your Pin, then you’ve got them on your website. All without paying for advertising. Try Canva here.
INCLUDE VIDEO PINS
Video has transformed people’s intake of information everywhere online, and Pinterest is no different.
Perhaps if you attempted Pinterest in the past, this wasn’t a big deal – video did catch on later with Pinterest.
Now, however, video pins are becoming incredibly popular – and the Pinterest algorithm is ranking them favourably to put this content in front of more people.
Some video pins are content in themselves – they demonstrate a meal being made, an island being visited, a vehicle being repaired – the options are endless.
But if you don’t have any relevant video footage, you can still get involved.
Canva, again, has video pin templates, with a ton of free-to-use videos you can insert – you’ll definitely find something suitable there.
FOLLOW THE RULES
If you’ve used Pinterest in the past and it just didn’t work for you, perhaps you were falling foul of the guidelines THEN to share mainly other people’s content. That has all changed.
At the start of 2020, Pinterest announced it would be highlighting content that was original. It wants fresh content – and that means you have to create more Pins instead of sharing high numbers designed by others.
Pinterest will see a Pin as original if it LOOKS different. So it will count as fresh if you’ve changed the design – even just a little bit. You can still share multiple Pins relating to the same web address, the same article or content – just make sure you mix up your designs a little.
Remember, optimize your Pins to the right size and they are more likely to get re-Pinned.
Again, it’s a lot easier to present your content in different, creative ways, if you use Canva.
SCHEDULE YOUR PIN POSTING
Another popular reason for failing at Pinterest is not finding the time to Pin to your boards. So use a scheduler.
Way back in the day, Pinners used to go crazy, sharing more than 100 Pins a day. The rules in 2020 care more about quality than quantity, but you still have to be active, and consistent, for Pinterest to give extra weight and status to your account.
Not only that, but your audience will be online at different times of the day – all through the night as well, when you take your foreign audience into account.
Pinning fresh content while your audience is online also helps Pinterest match these people with you.
You clearly can’t be up all hours, every day and night, so that’s why you should use a scheduler tool. Not only that, but you can Pin days or weeks in advance, leave it to do its work and still see the traffic rise.
My favourite scheduler is Tailwind, the leading tool of its kind for Pinterest (it’s also a great scheduler for Instagram).
There are a number of reasons Tailwind is an essential tool for doing Pinterest right.
The obvious one, it saves you time for all the reasons just mentioned. But Tailwind also has groups of users, called Tribes. Share your content to these and your web traffic can skyrocket. Tribes are these days far more effective at doing that than Pinterest’s own group boards.
Tailwind is also an official partner of Pinterest, which is hugely important.
Why? Because Pinterest is using Tailwind as an official channel to send out vital information about updates to best practices, and algorithm changes.
Tailwind worked closely with Pinterest before the 2020 changes came into play. If you’re on Tailwind, it will monitor your pinning activity, and if you are not sticking to the rules (eg being too spammy), Tailwind will inform you through new feature, SmartGuide, telling you how to fix things to prevent getting a ban.
Tailwind can be used free of charge, with more scheduling options available for a small subscription. Have a try of Tailwind here.
KEEP DOING IT!
The final major reason businesses fail at Pinterest is that they give up. Maybe they’re not getting results and think it’s too much like hard work.
More likely they’re doing it wrong and don’t really understand how to do it right.
But The Pin Doctor is in the house, so now you know what to do! No excuses!
DO YOU NEED HELP WITH YOUR PINTEREST ACCOUNT?
I am currently offering Pinterest Rescue, Repair and Recovery services via Fiverr.