7 Deadly Pinterest Marketing Mistakes
Are you using Pinterest for business? Are you doing it the “right” way? Anna B Vancouver Pinterest Consultant reveals the pitfalls.
Are you asking yourself: I’ve just posted a bunch of pretty pictures and why the heck am I not getting others to repin my images or worse why aren’t I getting any followers and more traffic to my website? 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 right way 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 posting enough
Not pinning enough is the deadly sin I see most often. Worse – I see Pinterest pages that haven’t been updated in months. If it’s Christmas season why on heaven earth would you have a Valentine’s board featured prominently on your page?
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 automation tools that can help you schedule your pins.
2. Not posting 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 (check out the photo below which is an example of a Pinterest account that features only products! Yikes!). Those products may be really cool but is it making you say “WOW” and are you inspired!
I can’t emphasize enough that Pinterest is about finding creative & indirect ways to position your products & services. Ways that showcase your products but also provide some form of inspirational or educational value to your customers at the same time.
I see many Pinterest 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 takes 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. 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?
Your posts should be 20% marketing messages and 80% education, helpful tips and fun.
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 back 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 merchandised 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.
If this all seems too complicated or you just don’t have the time to do it right and maintain it the right way consistently contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can manage your Pinterest account and social media marketing for you.
4. Failing to engage other Pinterest users
Remember that Pinterest is called “social” media. If someone has commented, repinned, liked, or shared your pin in some way the social media code of conduct says you should acknowledge them within 24 hrs. That’s right – within 24hrs. We’re all busy and I get that but by reaching out to those who acted positively to your pins needs to be rewarded with your attention. If a customer called your shop would you call them back in a few days, a week, or do you call them back the same day? I think you know the answer to this.
One of your goals is to build followers. Better yet you want to build relationships with those who engage with you so over time they can become your brand ambassadors. Don’t hide behind Pinterest; you need take the initiative and reaching out to others.
So here’s what I want you to do:
1) Go to your “SETTINGS”
2) Switch all the tabs to YES (see image below)
3) Choose “Once a day at most” under “HOW OFTEN”. Pinterest will send you an email showing you all the pinners that engaged with you.
4) Go to your calendar right now and commit 15-20 minutes every day to acknowledge those pinners that are on your Pinterest emails.
5. No board descriptions
Are you kidding me??? Pinterest allows you up to 500 characters to fill out your board description. This is your chance to show other pinners and your customers your personality through your writing style. In addition take advantage of keywords to increase your SEO which increases your chances of being found.
Another mistake that most people overlook is failing to complete the “category”. If you leave it blank Pinterest users won’t find your board through search. Look at how Pinterest let’s you choose how to find boards (see photo below).
So you’re probably wondering…what the heck do you mean Anna by “keywords”? When someone uses the search engine (see the red star below) 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 lip glosses from different sources (as shown above), content that relates to the keyword used.
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. This is one of the most powerful ways we help our customers.
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. Why someone should follow this board.
3. Make it light and fun to show off your personality.
6. No company website
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 (see photo with red arrow below) 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.
Here’s an example of a major brand, Coca Cola who doesn’t have their website verified. I guess they don’t care much about how to measure their success on Pinterest by ignoring the verification process.
Here’s how you know someone has verified their site (see the red arrow below)
If you don’t have a website I can recommend a supplier for as low as $30 a month! Ask me.
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 or none at all! C’mon people – what are we doing??? Check out the photo below – does it motivate or inspire you to follow this Pinterest account?
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 followers
to get more people going to your website
so they buy more stuff
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.
If you simply don’t have the time to manage a successful Pinterest account then email me a Vancouver Pinterest Consultant at email@example.com or call me at 778.558.9412
Let’s talk about outsourcing the management of your Pinterest account to me. Together we’ll establish your goals for Pinterest / effective social media marketing and I’ll work in harmony with your business strategy.
What one thing can you use today from this post to improve your Pinterest success? I’d love to know if I’ve helped you in some way. Please post your comments below.