1.How to Create a Pinterest Graphic
Using Pinterest can help a business get a good amount of traffic. But, many struggle to get pinners ever to click on their pins, let alone click through to their websites. If pinners bypass your pins altogether, Using Pinterest will end up being a poor strategy for your business.
There are some ways to optimize your pins so that they gain more attention with pinners. A major factor is the graphic or image that you use. The image is the primary means for which people will become interested in exploring more about you. You need to make it stand out.
The first aspect of a Pinterest graphic is its size. The key is to make it longer rather than wide. If you were to make a wide graphic, Pinterest would truncate it, and pinners won’t be able to see the graphic, especially if there is any text on it.
Pinners scroll down by nature when using Pinterest. Therefore, the longer your pins, the longer they focus on them. This is especially true if you make each section of the pin something they want to see.
Consider using color to make your graphics stand out. Experiment with different colors and even add some blends or gradients into the mix. You should try to split test based on colors. For instance, try a blue pin and a green pin at the same time to see if one is favored over the other.
Add a significant number of supplemental images to your Pinterest graphics, but don’t overdo it. The images should be relevant to the message you are trying to convey. Too much flash, however, will get pinners to bypass your graphics.
Make sure you have the rights to use the graphics you include in your pins. Don’t take this issue lightly as there are companies that are paid to monitor copyright infringement. It is a serious offense that is likely to cost you several thousands of dollars.
If you find a website that claims royalty-free access to images, make sure you know their claims policy. You want them to fight for you if it ever comes down to that.
When using text, make sure you are consistent with your font selections. Each section can have a different font but try to keep to no more than two or three fonts.
You want to ensure that the website you link to is relevant to what the graphic portrays. If not, you can expect to have your pins reported to Pinterest.
2.How to Get Better Results from Pinterest
Pinterest is shaping up to be one of the most important platforms for businesses to use. It’s easy to get your message across. It has millions of members who love the platform, and it funnels mass amounts of traffic to websites. If this isn’t a recipe for success, nothing else is.
Just like anything else, there are right ways and wrong ways to approach the platform. One obvious wrong way is constant boasting about your business. No one cares, for the most part. You need to focus on what members are searching for and why. Keep selling or promotions down to a minimum.
A much better approach is to convince people of how your products or services can help with their situations. Obviously, this is not an easy task by any stretch. If you take the time to reach out to people and find out what they want, your Pinterest strategy becomes more defined.
Most people ignore the newsletter that Pinterest sends. This is a mistake. They are the authority on their platform, after all. They give tips and report on trends. It’s like having your own mini-marketing department.
Granted, they are trying to hook you into advertising with them. But, this doesn’t mean the information they provide is useless.
Another way to get better results is to pin frequently. You obviously have an audience. As long as you stay focused on your market or niche and you find that people are sharing what you post, you should continue to post. Set up a schedule for what and when you are going to post.
There are reports published that state the best times to post on each of the social media channels. This is mostly noise that should be ignored. The biggest problems with this are people who miss that window of opportunity often wait until the next one.
And if they miss it again, there goes yet another day of inactivity. If you decide to use these optimal times, make sure you set up a service that can post for you at those times. You also need to ensure that you trust the service you enlist. If not, it can be difficult to get your account unbanned.
Overall, don’t expect instant results. Like all social media platforms, time is going to be your greatest ally. Stay focused on your strategy and keep going until your results start heading in your desired direction.
3.How to Manage Pinterest Boards
Pinterest is a great platform for businesses. One of the key features is the ability to create boards. These are much like categories. When you pin, you will be asked which board to pin to. Here are some guidelines for the best uses of these boards.
Before dealing with your boards, make sure your profile is set up and that you have a decent picture along with a description of your business. You may believe people don’t read your profile but in fact, many will. Also, include your website address as you’ll get a good number of pinners that will use it. This is free traffic to your website.
It’s usually best to have Pinterest accounts with a specific theme or niche, and this is key when determining what to name your boards. As of this writing, Pinterest does not prohibit people from multiple accounts. So, keep the accounts separate from personal and business. The downside is you will need to manage these multiple accounts.
When setting up your boards, keep the subject in mind and stay on focus for your niche. Having diverse boards that are not centered around a topic will confuse your visitors.
As you develop your Pinterest following, you will start to receive requests to join other pinners’ boards. The advantage of joining them is you are given the green light to pin to these boards. When they are actively followed by thousands of members, this can mean good exposure to the pins you post.
Many of these boards will have rules. Usually, they specify how many posts you are allowed per day or per week, etc. It also gives guidelines about inappropriate posts such as nudity, etc. Pinterest used to prohibit nudity of any kind. It has since relaxed its prohibition to some degree.
You want to make sure you follow the rules. Otherwise, you can be deleted from a great board that drives a lot of traffic to your website. You may also get reported if the offense is large enough.
Arrange your boards to the top of your profile, followed by any of the group boards you have joined. People will take a look at your boards which means you want the ones you created to be at the forefront. It’s unlikely for people to scroll down past one or two pages of your board list.
When considering joining group boards, be sure to keep the number that you sign up for to a minimum. Pinterest views having an inordinate amount of group boards as spamming and your internal ranking will be affected by it.
4.Is Pinterest Good for Generating Traffic?
If you track the sources of your traffic (and you should) you will find that a majority of your traffic is coming from Pinterest.
This is only true, of course, if you are sharing what you create on Pinterest. Other social media platforms will be included in this list. But, unlike Pinterest, the traffic that you get from these is not likely to stick around.
For instance, the next time you create a blog post, try posting it on Twit-ter. Even if you have a decent following, you will find that followers will go to your site, but the activity will be minimum. The bounce rate will be high and the average time spent on the page will be on or close to zero.
The same is true for Reddit.com. You’ll get a fair number of hits from Reddit, but it won’t amount to any engagement. This means that if you have a call-to-action on the page, it won’t be activated.
Facebook is a bit of a mixed bag. People will go to your website, and some will engage. But, remember, you can use Facebook to capture emails and other calls to actions, etc.
This leaves Pinterest as a traffic generation machine. More people are looking to Pinterest as a search engine rather than a social channel. When I find useful resources that I pin for later recall, you can bet that my followers will find it useful as well. I simply need to put a link into the pin to my website, and these information seekers will find more information on the page.
Which brings up an important point, make sure you have valuable information on the page you are sending them to. If you pin promotional materials, expect them to leave your website quickly.
Another factor is to make sure the pin and the content match. There is nothing worse than someone clicking on a Visit button in Pinterest, only to find something entirely unrelated. They may even ding you with a bad comment if you take this course of action. It’s not worth it and is unnecessary.
Since many people are looking to Pinterest as more of a search engine, that should be how you approach it when you plan your pinning strategy.
Keep focused on the fact that people are looking for specific tidbits of information. Supplement that information with a post on your website, and you’ve got a great strategy for generating targeted traffic for a long time into the future.
5.Pinning Cute Animals and Scantily Clad Women Is Not a Social Strategy
There’s no doubt Pinterest analytics will show high for both cute animals and scantily clad women posted. Both categories will always have fans. If either one of these is part of your niche, good for you. This article probably won’t apply to you.
If, on the other hand, your niche lies outside of these two categories, why are you using them in your marketing mix? While there are occasions for tastefully bringing in outside influences such as these, it may not reflect well on your business or the message you are trying to deliver.
Granted, Budweiser commercials during the Super Bowl will always be welcome, presenting a cute story of a dog and the horses. But, at least the horses have something to do with beer delivery, even from a purely nostalgic perspective.
Save the posting of these categories for personal calendars. Some people will appreciate them, but there will be too many people who don’t. In the case of animals, you’ll just be seen as irrelevant. When showing women solely for the purposes of garnering attention, your company will be labeled as inappropriate by many.
Controversial issues are a double-edged sword. It can work in the right circumstance while other times it can turn people off. In Hollywood, it seems actors thrive when something bad happens. If you are a well-known Hollywood actor, then go for the gusto. If not, you have to seriously weigh the impact of any controversial posts.
Another problem when using Pinterest for these alternative posts is you may get reported. If you pin material that is irrelevant or what others may deem offensive, you can be sure that Pinterest management is going to be contacting you.
Hopefully, your actions don’t constitute an account deletion, but that’s possible. If it happens, try to explain your side of the story, if you have a valid one.
The biggest question you have to ask is what value do you offer to the Pinterest community. If you answer that the above categories are fuzzy, then it’s time for you to move on with a better strategy.
If you really feel the need to incorporate these categories into your life, create another Pinterest account dedicated to them. Since, in this case, they will be relevant, you will attract the right types of people who are less likely to report your account, although it may still happen.
6.Should You Use Automation for Your Pins?
At some point in the course of running your online business, you will come across an offer that claims to auto-pin your pins. Many of these services may also auto-like for you and even auto-repin. They can even be set up to auto-follow to develop your following.
It seems like a great idea and one that can free up your time. Imagine being able to reap the benefits of social media without having to engage on Pinterest! It seems like something everyone should take advantage of.
The trouble is, with most social media platforms, it’s against the terms of service. The strategy may work in the short run. In the long run, it’s probably going to result in getting your account shut down. There are some solutions that Pinterest gives its blessing. Viralwoot is one of those. Oth-ers may exist as well.
The key is to double-check with Pinterest. You don’t want to take a shoot first, ask questions later approach. There is too much at risk. You could spend months developing a great account only to have it get clobbered by the Pinterest powers-that-be.
Don’t rely on advice that others may give. They may tell you it’s okay to use these automated tools. There are two problems with relying on advice from outsiders.
The first is they may simply be wrong. They could be following the bad advice of someone else. Also, how do you know they aren’t just telling you this advice to sell you the software package?
The second reason is Pinterest changes its rules. Unless these advice-givers stay on top of the rules of social media and are willing to alert you when it happens, it’s best not to trust this advice.
You should contact Pinterest directly. They are the only ones that can give you a definitive answer. They make the rules, so they are the authority.
Think about why most social media platforms don’t want you to use these tools. It’s because you won’t have much control over what happens and you are no longer engaging directly with others. It skews their analytic data, and it makes you seem artificial.
Imagine if you found out someone liked or followed you as a result of a bot. How would you feel about that? They removed the human factor and reduced your connection to a decision by a machine. That’s not a very social way to connect.
7.Time to Check Your Pinterest Stats
It’s amazing how few people know that Pinterest has statistics available. Even people who do know, ignore the option.
This is a big mistake, especially if you have a business account. In Pinterest, there is a tab called Analytics. It is here that you can see the necessary information about how you are doing in the Pinterest world.
You may have been told that you should create a decent profile for Pinterest. When you start to view your analytics, you will see why. As interest in your overall account grows (through follows and repins), you will see that your profile is getting viewed. Create a profile worthy of those eyes.
You will also get a snapshot of the number of views and engagement from those views. You can track on a week-by-week basis and you have the ability to see the effects of any changes you make in getting people to your Pinterest account.
If you have a website associated with your account (and you should), Pinterest will give you statistics on who is visiting the site from Pinterest. Bloggers everywhere are reporting that Pinterest is a great source of traffic to their websites.
Finally, the main section of the analytics gives you information on which pins are the most popular regarding impressions, saves, clicks, and likes. It is a summary of the past 30 days.
As if all this information wasn’t good enough, it gets even better. Each section described above can be clicked on so that you can get more detailed information.
For your profile, you see the top pins (same as before) and also the top boards, with statistics associated with that. You can drill down into the repins and clicks. You can control the date range that you want to view. The other sections have their own set of details that you can peruse as well.
If the statistics report a high number of clicks, analyze if those are clicks to your website. If they are not, this is an indication you may be sharing other peoples’ pins too much.
Try to determine why their pins are getting clicks and incorporate that into new pins that get clicks to your website. Some people will advise you to switch the links from other peoples’ pins to your own website.
This is probably not going to be viewed as being ethical. If it hasn’t been already, it will probably be prohibited at some point by Pinterest. There is no reason for causing ill will among the Pinterest community.
8.Treat Pinterest Like a Search Engine
Why do you use Pinterest? For some, they love the feeling of having others like and share what they post.
For others, though, people use Pinter-est as an organizational tool. They pin their recipes, favorite vacation destinations, etc. They also use it to find out what’s in style or what the hottest deals are.
If you scrutinize these uses, you will see that Pinterest has evolved into a search engine. Therefore, your strategy to pin should be centered around that fact. Treat Pinterest as if it were a search engine.
If you have been creating content for any length of time, you would know there have been many changes made to Google’s algorithm. Some of what worked several years ago, will not work and may even get you penalized or banned.
Other techniques, such as keeping your content relevant and high quality, worked back then as it does now, and will work ten or twenty years from now.
The point is, Google is looking to deliver quality, highly relevant search results. This requires quality, highly-relevant content. The Pinterest search engine is not yet as robust as the search engine in Google.
You may be able to get away with some tricks in Pinterest that Google would slam you for. You may be tempted to trick the Pinterest engine. However, eventually, Pinterest is going to implement changes similar to Google so it too, can deliver quality search results to pinners.
This means you don’t want to be caught having to backtrack all of your pins to comply with new changes. If you stay above the board from the beginning, you won’t have to go through the trouble later.
What this means is you want to offer the Pinterest engine worthwhile, quality content. It’s okay to use some keywords and hashtags in the description of your pins. But, don’t go overboard. Make sure the content is readable and makes sense. Don’t stuff the description with a bunch of keywords.
Also, try to limit the amount of promotion you are using on Pinterest. It’s okay to divert the pinners to your website with a quality article. But, if you are bringing them to a sales page, it could turn people off.
As of this writing, Pinterest discourages the use of direct affiliate links in pins. In fact, if you try to add an Amazon affiliate link, the engine will remove the affiliate part of the link. It’s not easy to do this with all companies offering an affiliate program.
But, if Pinterest finds out that you are doing this in excess, they could delete your account.
9.Try to Tie Together Your Pinterest Posts with Your Blog
When a pinner sees your pins or boards for the first time, they have no idea who you are. Within seconds they will make a determination about whether they want to continue with what you are offering. If you can hook them in, they may even click through to your blog or website.
If you happen to get lucky and they arrive on your site, there is no guarantee they will read your content, but you will get some people who will.
If you don’t make a logical connection between your Pinterest pin and your blog, they will likely disconnect once they hit your website. In some cases, this can make matters worse, as you’ve lost them on Pinterest as well as on your blog.
You need to get pinners to associate what they saw on Pinterest with who you are on your blog. Pinterest is a visual engine. When they get to your website, and it is nothing but text, you run the risk of them heading for the exit.
Therefore, make sure you get some graphics or other visuals onto your website. You should be doing that anyway. But, if you are expecting a good number of visitors who come from Pinterest, this becomes a necessity.
One strategy that seems effective is to include a mascot in your pin that appears on your blog post as well. This creates an immediate association that gives pinners a hint of familiarity. It happens at a subconscious level, but it does happen nonetheless.
It doesn’t have to be a mascot, but the more places you can make this connection, the better. If you have a call-to-action such as a lead capture page, place that mascot or graphic into your confirmation newsletter. Once they see this again, their minds are immediately set at ease, and you have warmed them to you or your brand.
It’s a good idea not to go crazy with this strategy. Using it once per each of the mediums you expose your audience to, is probably enough. You can also keep it going in subsequent communications with them. After a while, your brand will become synonymous with this connection.
While a logo can serve as the communication means, it’s not quite as effective because people associate logos with companies who are trying to sell. After they become familiar with you, then the logo can be a strong reinforcement. But, it should not be the initial connector.
10.With Pinterest, It’s Nice to Share
Sharing is caring, it’s nice to share, these are both expressions you have probably heard in your life. They are especially useful for social media. With Pinterest, you will find that if you are generous with sharing what others have produced, they will appreciate it and return the favor.
At the very least, people will follow you when you share their work. They will want to see what else of theirs that you may be willing to share. Also, when you share something that is yours, your chances greatly increase that they will share this as well.
When you are looking for something to share, consider branching out from Pinterest itself. It’s okay to repin what you see on your dashboard. But, if you go the extra step to pin from the outside into Pinterest, this will get you noticed.
It should go without say that the pins of others should coincide with the topic or subject of your boards. You aren’t doing anyone any favors if you pin irrelevant topics. The readers won’t appreciate it and neither will the source of the original pin.
You will continue to find pins that show a graphic, and when the user clicks to see the website, it has nothing to do with that graphic. Think about how you would react if you saw that yourself. You probably have seen it. If not, it’s only a matter of time before you will.
When you do find external material that you want to pin, don’t be afraid to reach out to the creator and let them know of your efforts.
Specify that you will be on the lookout for more of what they are offering and will continue to pin anything you determine to be fitting. This can help you establish a relationship with others and these relationships can grow to significant collaborations.
On occasion, you may find a webmaster who does not want his or her material shared. By reaching out to them, they will alert you to this desire. This can save you some headaches down the line as you can immediately remove any shares.
Be courteous when this happens. People have their reasons for not wanting to share. It should be respected. Offer to keep the channel of communication open in case they later change their minds.
You should hold the material of others to the same high standard as your own. If you start posting junk just for the sake of getting attention, it will reflect poorly on your sharing efforts.
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