Updated July 26, 2018
Pinterest for business updates and action items.
One thing you can count on with Pinterest is that they are constantly making improvements to their site. But these changes are not always necessarily focused on or relevant for businesses. Sometimes they are focused only on Pinners who use Pinterest to discover new things to do and buy.
I’m going to cover recent updates Pinterest has made that relate to Pinterest for business in 2018, how Pinterest’s algorithm has changed again, and how we use Pinterest as a marketing and lead generation tool and present you with actionable tips you can start using today. Let’s begin!
How to Find Success on Pinterest
1) The “Following” Tab on Mobile Devices
When you click on the “Following” tab you’ll see the most recent pins from those you follow. They’re not random or influenced by Pinterest’s algorithm, instead you will see the pins in the order the Pinners saved them (kind of…keep reading and I’ll show you what I mean).
On your mobile device, you can see and control who you follow by tapping the “+” button at the top of the following tab. There, you can also discover more people to follow based on your interests, and unfollow anything that’s no longer relevant.
Photo credit: Pinterest
It’ll be interesting to see if this new feature will result in more engagement for businesses since Pinners have been used to seeing their pins in the home feed. According to Pinterest they realized that some Pinterest users prefer to only see pins from those they follow. They don’t want recommendations from Pinterest.
Pinterest For Business Actionable Tips:
I believe that businesses have to be mindful of how they publish their pins. Avoid making the mistake of pinning the same image to multiple boards all at the same time. No one wants to see the same image ten times. That’s being lazy and boring. So, for example if you have 25 boards, pin a different image to one board, a different image on the second board, a different image on the third board, and so forth. Look at it like it’s a buffet. Give your target audience something new to think about, discover, take action, etc. This is where a scheduling tool comes in very handy. Schedule your 25 pins evenly distributed from 6 pm until midnight.
2) The Profile Cover
According to Pinterest they created this new look to give businesses more control over how they appear on Pinterest. I guess you can call it first impression. So I’m thinking isn’t this a bit much since the “Showcase” feature already does that? I think there are other things they should make improvements on that directly impact a business’s bottom line.
Here’s how to control what images Pinners see on your new profile page:
Step 1.Go to the top right corner and click the grey pencil icon.
Step 2.As you can see in the image below you have control over the content you want to be displayed. You have two choices:
- Your latest pins (the most recent pins you saved)
- Anyone of your public boards
Pinterest for Business Actionable Tips:
The question is what should you pick?
I would avoid your “latest pins” especially if you are not disciplined with how you distribute your pins. It’s the same actionable tip I mentioned in the “Following” tab.
If you sell products I would pick a board that features inspirational images and avoid images with text overlay because it just looks prettier. I don’t believe this new feature should be about being helpful. You can use your “Showcase” for that. In my eyes, your profile cover should be beautiful and something that evokes emotion. This is a good way to impress those who may be visiting your profile page for the first time. Hook them with the images and they’ll most likely check out the rest of your board. You know how important branding is, so pick a board that reflects your branded colors so people remember you.
If your a blogger like myself then I would choose your most important board. And if you’re just starting out and you don’t have a lot of content I would choose a board that features the latest trends or holiday (Christmas, New Year’s, Valentines Day, etc).
Under your profile cover you’ll also see your monthly viewers which you know is also featured in your home feed. What do these numbers mean? It tells you the number of Pinners that saw what you’ve been pinning (yours and others you save) in the last 30 days. In my eyes these numbers are about vanity. Sure it may look impressive to have numbers in the millions but monthly viewers just means people who saw it.
If people don’t click or save it then it doesn’t mean much even if you have a gazillion viewers. It’s super easy to get a ton of viewers – just pin a lot and pin a ton of different content that appeals to everyone.
When I see bloggers make a big deal about how they got thousands of impressions after a day, a week, a month, (the duration doesn’t really matter) it drives me crazy!
If you’re using Pinterest for business which obviously you are since you are reading this blog post, what you need to track on a monthly basis are your highest clicks and repins. And I hope for your sake your target audience is engaging with YOUR content.
This is what I tell my clients when they decide to hire us to manage their account. Our job is to drive traffic to their site. That’s what our customers want at the end of the day. If I sugar coat things by telling them oh hey you’re getting this many impressions every month they’re going to say “so what”? Exactly, so what?
PINTEREST ALGORITHM CHANGES IN 2018
3) Best practices for success using Pinterest for business according to Pinterest
a. When to pin for your “FOLLOWERS”
- Pin your images when your target audience is most likely on Pinterest because Pinterest will distribute the first five pins you saved. What that means is those that are following you will see your first five pins. So here’s the thing, it doesn’t matter if you pin more than five pins at a time because Pinterest will only show your first five pins to your followers. Next, the Pinner following you will see the next five pins from the next Pinner that they follow.
So how will the Pinners following you see the other pins you saved after Pinterest exposes your first five pins to your followers? Basically when they see all the other pins from those they are following. I guess Pinterest is making it fair for everyone:)
So the lesson is this:
Make sure that the first five pins you publish live is your content and not others. And make sure those first five pins are all different content. Your followers will quickly unfollow you if they see the same images five times because of the new FOLLOWERS tab.
Remember that this is not the only way Pinterest users see your pins. If you get high engagement on your pins and you optimize correctly your pins will also get shown in the home feed and search results as well.
If you want your followers to see your pins, think of when they might be on Pinterest and schedule your pins accordingly.
- Save those pins to your most important board first because that pin also benefits from the SEO juice in your board title and board description.
- Saving pins to irrelevant boards won’t help and will hurt the way Pinterest distributes your pin. You should always pin to relevant boards. Obviously this makes sense. You can’t be sneaky because Pinterest knows ☺
- You don’t get penalized for pinning a lot.
THE FIRST 5 PINS
NOTE: Since Pinterest shared the “first 5 pins” best practices I’ve been monitoring this for some time now because I was really curious to see if indeed Pinterest is showing the first five pins we publish. What I have found is Pinterest is only showing three pins, and not 5. And in addition they are not necessarily the first 3 pins that the Pinner saved. Sometimes it’s the first two then the fourth and a few different version. In addition, it’s not necessarily your newest pins that are being shown by Pinterest. Bottom line it’s only 3 pins they are showing…and there are times it is even less than three pins.
- When creating multiple pins for the same webpage create a different pin description to help with your SEO. For example, if you’re creating multiple pins for a single blog post don’t repeat the same pin descriptions. Le’s say your blog post is about fluffy pancakes, change your pin description by adding other keywords that are related to pancakes. Maybe your pancake recipe is gluten-free, or you can easily make it into a cinnamon roll pancake style, and so forth. If you didn’t mention that in the original pin description then make sure you add new information giving the Pinner broader ideas.
- If you do not have a lifestyle image make sure you add a text overlay to your images. The text overlay should do the work of the lifestyle image.
- Add your logo on the top center or bottom center. This way the visual search tool doesn’t cover up your logo. In addition, when Pinterest experiments a new feature they will typically use the corners of the pin.
- If you don’t have a blog add lifestyle images or text overlay to your pins.
c. Add trending topics
Use Pinterest’s planner to determine when you need to create your boards around upcoming trends, seasons, and holidays. Then, continue adding more ideas daily and maintain a steady pace.
d. Share outside Pinterest
To get more engagement on your pins share them through your socials, email or other distribution channels.
e. Optimize your board titles
- Make sure your board names are specific and relevant to your target audience.
- Add relevant keywords.
- Avoid spaces between letters.
- Organize your boards with sections, where it makes sense. For example, a Spring Fashion board could be divided into sections called “Dresses,” “Shoes,” or “Bags.”
- Optimize your board description.
- Don’t forget to pick a board category.
- Board sections help with SEO because it contains additional keywords.
f. Pins you own
- Don’t forget to include website links so Pinners can learn more about it.
- Make sure the image appears on the website page you’re intending to drive the traffic to. But what if you created additional images for a single blog post? Does that mean that all those images have to published in the blog post as well? Actually no. Pinterest just wants to make sure that the image matches the content of the blog.
- Make sure your pin description matches the page’s content.
- For international countries always prioritize your local language when optimizing your pins. Be consistent with the language where the pin was originally published.
- As the content creator make sure you pin your images first because Pinterest prioritizes pins that were created by the owner of the website that those pins linked to. Pinterest loves fresh content. But what does fresh content really mean? It could mean a new image going to a new blog post or a new image going to an old blog post.
- There is no difference in the way your pins perform if you saved it from your site or upload it manually on Pinterest.
g. Check your site speed
- Pinterest prioritizes pin click throughs with low bounce rates.
- Make sure your site loads fast.
- Avoid pop up ads because it slows down your site speed.
- You will be penalized if your pins lead to 404 pages or have broken links. Remember that Pinners have the option to report your pins if they think they aren’t useful for the following reasons:
- They can’t find the image on the site
- The pin link is broken
- The site doesn’t have any instructions
- The item is out of stock or not available to buy
h. Save button
Add the “Save” button to your website. It triggers people to share your content on Pinterest by up to 5x.
i. Highest repins
Pinterest distributes your best performing pins to other people who are looking for ideas like yours.
j. Follow button
Grow your number of followers by adding the Follow” button to your website.
k. How to get your pins found first
- Make sure you optimize your pin descriptions. SEO matters most.
- Next, when people comment and use the “Tried” feature on your pins that will help your pins rank higher because it shows engagement. Pinterest likes that.
- Be authentic. Give your audience what they want.
- Check your analytics. Have a look at your top pins and boards and do more of what’s working.
- Backlinks to pins and boards doesn’t matter.
- Optimizing your board title, board description, and your profile section helps your pins perform better. Once again, I keep saying this over and over. Create a solid foundation by making sure your entire account is optimized correctly. I see so many people overlook this.
- Add relevant hashtags. Pinterest allows you 20 in the pin descriptions. Don’t bother updating old pins with hashtags. It won’t help your old pins perform better.
- Be the first to save new content from your website.
- Keywords in file names doesn’t matter for SEO on Pinterest but it does matter for Google.
l. Should you be deleting pins?
A lot of people ask if they should delete pins that aren’t performing well. According to Pinterest, it’s not the best use of your time to delete pins. It won’t affect your performance or engagement rate.
In addition, you really don’t get to see the full value of the pin for a few months.
m. How to get “Recommended”
If you go to your ‘Following’ tab you will notice ‘Recommended’ as shown in the image above. Wouldn’t it be great if you were one of the people Pinterest recommended? To be eligible you must:
- have a business account
- claim your website
- and save a lot of new content from your website/blog
n. Repinning and looping
There are tools out there like Traffic Wonker and Board Booster (Board Booster has banned from Pinterest! Yikes!) that allows you to easily loop your pins.
When looping or repinning the same pin make sure you do it after a month and create a unique pin description. For example, if you’re selling jewelry, craft your pin description so reflects the new season, event, or add styling tips you have not mentioned in the previous pin. How is it relevant today? Think of the mindset of the Pinner.
Do not repin your own content because Pinterest will deem it as old content however it’s okay to use a scheduling tool and that is considered new content which Pinterest likes.
o. How to get more followers
- Add a follow button on your website
- Let people know in your socials your on Pinterest
- Your Pinterest followers represent a small percentage of people you reach on Pinterest so don’t get frustrated if your follower numbers is growing as fast as you want.
- Quality pins are more important than quantity.
- It is more important to have a higher engagement (repins and clicks) than the number of followers.
- There is no evidence that joining group boards will help you get more followers.
- Use the PINCODE in your stores. For example if you have a tea store feature one of your helpful boards like the one shown below. Click on the grey circles to the right of the grey pencil icon.
Next, this will show up, click the red button “Create Pincode” and it will be downloaded to your mobile device.
This is the end result, as shown below. Place the image in several areas of your store. Not only are you helping your customers explore different ideas on how to create a tea party but it will help you grow your followers as well.
p. People who steal your content
There is no doubt that people will steal your images. What thieves typically do is they use your image and edit the website URL in the pin description. I know it happens with mine all the time and it’s such a hassle to have to report it but you have to. It’s in your best interest to do so. Here’s how to report those that are stealing your content.
Click the three grey dots in the bottom right corner of the pin. Click ‘Report’.
Next, this pop up will show up and choose ‘This is my intellectual property’. Pinterest will require to fill out a form to complete the report.
q. What to do when your products are sold out
You don’t need to delete the image on your Pinterest account. If people have repinned your image that goes to 404 error pages unfortunately there’s not a whole lot you can do with those repins. Just make sure you show other related items on the product page.
r. How to find the best keywords
Use the Guided Search Tool because those keywords are driven by real searches people have made on Pinterest. Avoid industry jargon that people can’t relate to.
As you can see Pinterest is always changing and you need to keep up with the best practices if you are using Pinterest for business so you stay ahead of the curve and knock out your competition. This is why in my Pinterest Marketing for Business online course members receive lifetime access which comes with free updates to the latest and greatest tactics to drive more traffic and sales to your site.
To keep up with Pinterest’s best practices click here or read my blog posts.
If you don’t have the time to take a course and you’d rather outsource your content marketing and account management check out my website for more details. Alternatively, you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can decipher the best way to help you based on your time and budget.