The 7 Deadly Sins of Pinterest Social Media Marketing
Are you using Pinterest for business? Are you doing it the “right” way?
Are you asking yourself: I’ve just posted a bunch of pretty pictures and why the heck am I not getting any repins (engagement) or worse why aren’t I getting any followers! I tell my clients that with any social media platform there are “tricks of the trade” and there’s no such thing as a one size fits all or one way working best for every industry.
Unfortunately I am seeing too many of the same mistakes being made over and over by businesses, they have unwittingly set themselves up to fail and underperform from the get-go. Here are the seven deadly sins of Pinterest social media marketing you absolutely have to avoid:
1. Not pinning enough
Not pinning enough is the deadly sin I see most often. I see Pinterest pages that haven’t been updated in months. For example, if it’s Christmas season why on heaven earth would you have a Valentine’s board featured prominently on your page?
Pinterest Marketing Expert Actionable Tip:
I recommend pinning at least five times per day. I don’t expect you to sit in front of your computer all day so batch your work by scheduling some of your posts out ahead of time. There are many automation tools that can help you schedule your pins.
2. Not pinning enough helpful content
Your Pinterest page is not there so that you can continually blast out or show off your products and services. It’s not a product brochure. Pinterest is about finding creative ways to position them. Ways that showcase your products but also provide some form of inspirational or educational value to your customers at the same time.
Pinterest users are looking for help, to may their lives better, to solve their problems in all areas of their life, so give them that.
I see many Pinterest business accounts pin images exclusively about their company. The approach they are taking is “it’s all about me”. Think of it this way – do you want to have a friend who just talks about themselves, about what they’re doing, about how great they are but never take the time to offer you anything back? If you ask me I’d say “hell no!”
The key to winning the hearts of your potential customers is to offer value. Every time you are creating content or repinning from other sources ask yourself:
- Who are my customers?
- What do they need and want?
- What solutions can I offer to help them solve their concerns or problems?
Pinterest Marketing Expert Actionable Tip: Your posts should be 20% marketing messages and 80% education, helpful tips, and fun. If people notice that you are just product pushing you will lose your audience very quickly. Not good.
3. Not having a high quality Profile Picture
There’s a saying that goes “Don’t judge a book by its cover”…well, unfortunately that mentality will come to haunt you on Pinterest. Your Pinterest profile picture is your chance to make a statement about who you are. What I see so often, even big blue chip brands names is a profile picture that is blurry, lopsided, or worse it just shows the Pinterest generic red pin image.
Put it this way – would you go to a shop where the window dressing is dirty, the products they are showing in the casings are in disarray or poorly merchandise or worse; empty because the shop owner is too busy reading her magazine behind the counter? C’mon people! First impressions in business are everything. You have one chance to make that lasting impression. As a matter of fact you want to be memorable so take advantage of this 165×165 pixel profile picture box. Before you pin, work on that profile picture.
Pinterest Marketing Expert Actionable Tip: Many small businesses ask me if they should feature their logo or a photo of themselves. If you are a one man show I highly recommend you feature a professional image of yourself that is high-quality and high resolution. And whatever you do don’t wear sunglasses. People want to see your eyes folks.
4. Your images have no branding strategy
If you don’t get your images right on Pinterest you’re not going to get people to notice. If they don’t notice you people won’t save or click through your images.
Your audience doesn’t know about what they ultimately discover behind your images. So if you have a really great blog or product that will help them improve their lives BUT your images doesn’t make that obvious then you will struggle and wonder why you’re not getting any engagement on your images.
Do you know the anatomy of a pin that goes viral? Here’s the criteria of a pin worth repinning:
a. Logo placement
Always add a logo or your website URL on the top or bottom center of your image. By adding your logo it will also help increase brand awareness.
b. Your product, service, or topic must be the focal point of your pin. As you can see in this image the model shows off her beautiful skin.
c. Context that shows how to use your product or service.
d. Text overlay that conveys the main message. The main message here is fabulous skin. Always check that your text overlay is easy to read via mobile because over 80% of Pinners use their mobile device when they are on Pinterest.
e. Your image must be a show stopper. So striking that their eyes will be drawn to it. Size matters big time so make sure it is vertical and at least 600 x 900. However if you make it longer than 1,260 it will truncate and Pinners will not be able to see the full image unless they click on it.
5. No board descriptions
Pinterest allows you up to 500 characters to fill out your board description. Use this space to take advantage of keywords to increase your SEO which increases your chances of being found. Isn’t that what you want? There are over 1 million businesses on Pinterest and your competition is more likely on there. So you need all the help you can get to get your content found first, and not them.
So you’re probably wondering…what the heck do you mean Anna by “keywords”?
When a Pinner uses the Pinterest search engine they type in one or more words describing what they are looking for “lip gloss” for example. These words or phrases are known as keywords.
The Pinterest search engine then comes back with a list of topics that relates to the keyword used. Those keywords that you see in the Guided Search Tool shows the most popular keywords from left to right. In this case, ‘DIY’ is the most popular, then ‘drugstore’, ‘homemade’, and so on.
So if you are building a business website you want to ensure that when customers search for relevant keywords, your Pinterest page appears as early as possible in the list of results. That is what search engine optimization (SEO) is all about.
Pinteret Marketing Expert Actionable Tips: Here’s what you’ll also want to include in your board description.
1. Describe what the board is about even if it’s obvious because you want to use those keywords.
2. The benefits of following the board.
3. If you are showcasing your products, add a call to action where the products can be purchased.
6. Not completing your profile section
We all know how generating traffic to our website is crucial to ranking high in the search engines, especially Google. Make it easy for Pinterest users to find you by making sure you add your website URL under the “ABOUT” section of your Pinterest page.
In addition make sure you verify your website so that you can take advantage of the Pinterest Analytics that Pinterest provides you. Verifying your website also guarantees Pinners that your account is the legitimate account for your business and not just a copycat.
7. Not enough images on a board
One thing that drives me a little crazy is when I see several boards that only have one image. Having one image on a board is just plain unattractive and bad bad bad. It’s kind of like seeing one shirt on a rack. If you were shopping would it make you excited to see one article of clothing on a rack? Most likely not. You wouldn’t want to open your shop if you had no inventory to sell.
If you’re a business owner you’re on Pinterest for a reason:
- to build awareness
- to get new customers
- to get more people going to your website
- to get more sales
- to grow your email list and more
Pinterest Marketing Expert Actionable Tip:
So make sure you have a minimum of five images on your board so they look appealing to the Pinterest user. Part of Pinterest social media marketing success is having amazing images (of course it’s not just about that but it’s the starting point). Your goal is to attract as many followers through the images you pin. So if there’s nothing there then don’t expect them to check it out.
I know you know about the secret boards. Guess what? That’s one of the reasons why secret boards were created. If you don’t think you’ll be able to complete pinning five images on one board then use your secret boards. Please use them to avoid looking bad and tarnishing your on-line reputation. Everything counts!
So there you have it! Avoid these Pinterest marketing mistakes on your page. If you’ve made some of these deadly mistakes, don’t worry you can still redeem yourself by going back and doing it right today.
What do you think? What other mistakes do you see other people doing? Let me know in the comments below.
Again if you know you need to be on Pinterest in a big and successful way but don’t have the time or temperament to do it right contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org We will manage it for you so you and your staff can go do something else they are good at and trained to do to grow your business.