Today’s blog post will show you how you can grow more traffic by using Pinterest strategies – some old, some new and some you may not even have realized you could use.
Pinterest seems to be one of those social networks that you either heavily use or ignore. If you’re one of the latter and you haven’t bothered much with it, you might want to reconsider that decision. Like most social networks nowadays, Pinterest has made itself much more business-friendly.
There has been a resurgence of Pinterest, with 47 million people using Pinterest in 2016 and more growth in popularity predicted for 2017. It’s right up there with Facebook in that it has experienced a steady growth trend over the years.
If you don’t clearly know what you want Pinterest to do for you and your audience, you will most likely miss priceless opportunities. Setting a specific, single goal for your Pinterest account is the magic ingredient to attracting and growing the right sort of traffic.
You should never just define your goal as “driving traffic to my website with Pinterest”. That’s just the beginning. Instead, be specific on how you want that to happen. To help out, here are seven ways you can put Pinterest to work effectively growing your targeted traffic:
1. Brand Your Pinterest Presence
If you are not as prominent as you would like to be, using Pinterest to create your brand and increase that brand recognition can be a powerful strategy that gets the right traffic flowing.
You’ll know you’ve achieved brand recognition when people are able to glance at the smallest scrap of graphics with certain colors or fonts, and instantly think of you. That’s branding!
Repetition is the key to branding – visual repetition and recognition through creating your own exclusive branding elements; be they colors, whole color palettes, fonts, line styles, cartoon characters, hand-writing, graphic styles, logos or just about any type of graphic element you can think of.
So, for example, if you’ve decided you are always going to use a particular shade of purple combined with a specific color of green, then you’ll want to record the RGB and hex codes for those two colors in your Style Manual, and specify to anyone who works with you that you always use those two exact tones or shades of purple and green.
Those two colors should be the only deliberately repeating colors in your Pinterest original graphics. Don’t despair… you can include other colors, but always make sure your unique green-and-purple is present too.
Never wing it and use a color that’s two shades off. Instead, always make sure you use those specific colors. Your average reader is not going to know if you’re a couple of shades off (and neither are you, most likely) but here’s the thing… they’ll know your colors are “off” on a subliminal level, and it won’t “brand” you if you frequently use the wrong color tints or tones.
It’s this small attention to detail that makes an enormous difference in brand recognition.
You can choose or confirm your unique colors with a color picking tool. I personally use Just Color Picker.
Using my own Pinterest account shown below, look to see if you notice any specific repeating elements.
You will see the following branding elements:
- Coffee related images (I love my coffee!)
- Specific shades of olive green and brown to match my website
- No clip art graphics – all realistic images
- Seldom show people’s faces
- Two distinct font families being used
- Link to website on every pin
People seem to enjoy these images… and they enjoy sharing them (also known as repinning).
The importance of categorizing your boards clearly and concisely:
My boards and pins may look gloriously randomized, but there is actually a strong, consistent system that makes my logical, left-brain very happy. I have created customized board covers with the same look and font. Board titles are all niche related and my most important boards are purposely located near the top of the page. The board with all of my own blog posts, web pages, services offered and products is obviously placed in the first spot on my account as well as in the newly featured carousel at the top.
Focus deliberately on striking a balance between what your target user will find valuable and interesting with what you want to showcase. Be sure to create separate boards for your signature products, if applicable.
- Blog Posts
- Training Programs
- Videos/Webinar Replays
When you use these strategies, your followers are more likely to be your ideal customer and therefore more likely to visit your website.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that just because you have made yourself uniquely recognizable on Pinterest, that all you do now is sit back and wait for traffic.
That’s only half of the story. Here’s the missing half – getting them to ACT on it!
You’ve got their interest and attention, now you have to DO something with it.
Use your boards for pre-selling products, courses and events and starting a buzz around them. When you have something to offer, you can:
- Send people to your website
- Incite sharing before your product or event even goes live
- Send people to a dedicated landing page
Branding should never only be about creating a “look”. It should be about familiarizing people with what you are all about, what you have to sell, how your processes work and whether or not they click with that visitor. If you focus ONLY on “creating an image”, you will miss focused opportunities to sell and educate.
2. Introduce Your Top Influencers and Get Them to Know YOU
Another powerful way you can capture the right person’s interest on Pinterest is to share pins from your own top influencers.
The value in this strategy is three-fold:
- Your top influencers are also likely to be people that your ideal audience likes too
- You can bask in associated glory – people who see you paired with a top influencer subconsciously place you on the same level as that influencer
- You may catch the interest and respect of the influencer whose pins, products or words you showcase
For example, you could create a board specifically to showcase your influencers like writing coach Joanna Penn does on her Authors and Bloggers board.
On this board, she has created a photo gallery that features:
- Photos of herself WITH influential authors
- Photos OF influential publishers/authors at events
- Photos of their book covers
- Video/podcast interviews with influential publishers/authors
Pinning photos of yourself actually WITH famous influencers is a great way to increase fame by association!
You can adapt this model to align yourself with influencers who share the same:
- Product Types
Here are four other influencer strategies you can use to successfully showcase your favorite experts:
- Share an infographic based on the teachings of your favorite influencer
- Share an infographic created BY your favorite influencer
- Create image quotes of things your favorite influencer has said that you find really inspiring or helpful
- Create a board for their articles, products or books
When it comes to influencers, you don’t have to focus on top experts or celebrities. You can also showcase your clients and bring yourself prestige there too. Below is an example of this being used by Marketing Gnome does on its Proud to Work With board:
I also do something similar on my Testimonials board:
3. Get to Know, Love and Use “Rich Pins”
Rich pins tend to be underused because many people simply don’t know what they are or that they even exist. Rich pins are interactive—and interactivity is an entertaining, immediate factor that increases your chances that users will engage with your pins.
There are six basic “rich pin” types:
- App – includes an Install button right within the pin
- Place – allows you to include interactive maps, addresses, phone numbers
- Article – includes headline, author and story descriptions, “helping pinners find and save stories that matter to them”
- Product – allows you to include real-time, clickable pricing information
- Recipe – these rich pins act like recipe cards, including not just a recipe photo but also ingredients, cook time and “serving info”
- Movie – meant for showcasing mainstream movies, including cast member listings, show times and reviews
Business Coach Melyssa Griffin uses rich pins to include her interactive, clickable web URL on her pins and direct people to her articles. Read how she does this on her website:
Melyssa says that ever since she activated rich pins on her Pinterest account, the number of people who view her profile and pins doubled.
Here’s how it works when you visit her pins. If you glance at the bottom of any pin (A) you see nothing… but when you hover your mouse over it, a live link pops up (B).
Speaking of Melyssa… if you ever want to take a fantastic course on Pinterest, please check out her Pinfinite Growth training here: http://pinfinitegrowth.com
I took it and have had amazing results putting all of her Pinterest strategies into use on my own account. 🙂
4. Present Powerful Infographics
People who use or search Pinterest are predominantly females in their 30s (though that age group is currently and rapidly expanding both upwards and downwards) and they are above all visual learners. This means they are ripe candidates for infographics and they are also people who repin infographics.
If you suck at creating graphics, the good news is that you don’t have to be the one who actually creates the infographics. You can hire someone on Fiverr (an inexpensive option) or DIY using an online tool like Piktochart.
Infographics allow you to not only hit the highlights and grab attention instantly; they also allow you to deal with solid facts and highly useful information – all of which people can assimilate at a glance!
Choosing infographics for your own board also helps you become a sophisticated judge of what people look for infographics. You’ll quickly get a feel for what types of infographics and information catches their attention and what design elements to include – or exclude!
Let’s look at the common elements of what makes a good infographic. You’ll find that the ones most people like to share all have these elements in common:
- One highly specific message/topic
- Minimal but essential text
- Lots of “white space”
- Contrasting color
- Eye-catching visual elements
The best infographics are easy to read at a glance. Even on a mobile, they should be able to grasp enough to find themselves thoroughly hooked.
You can easily sign up for user-friendly tools to create your own infographics. Three of the most popular tools are:
For everything else, Canva is a wonderful tool. I also use Canva to create all my branded pin images. With pre-created templates, it’s a breeze to whip up these graphics. As you can see from the email below, I use Canva a lot!
Increase the probability of repins with your infographics and image quotes by turning them into rich media.
Above all, make a plan for using infographics and image quotes on your Pinterest account. Don’t be hit and miss – come up with a schedule and strategy for their creation.
5. Optimize With SEO
Of all social media platforms, Pinterest is the one that responds most powerfully to simple SEO techniques. That’s because Pinterest is actually more of a search engine than it is a social network. Be sure to use the following SEO strategies:
- Naming boards and pin images with keywords
- Using plugins for metatags (rich pins)
- Keeping an eye on pinjacked trends (just type “pinjack” into Pinterest’s search bar to find these)
- Using seasonal pins
- Including rich pin URLs and article backlinks
According to SocialMarketingWriting.com, over 80% of all pins are repins (shared by others). This means search engine optimization is particularly effective. Check out this popular and helpful infographic that they created:
(Notice they include Pinterest in their Share Buttons. Have you added Pinterest to your Share Buttons yet?)
Here is a checklist of elements to optimize:
- Ask for the Follow
On your blog or website, don’t just add a Pinterest share button, but actively ask for a Pinterest follow – and provide more than one way to click through and do this.
- Pay Attention to Your Username
Pinterest allows unlimited length for your company’s name, but only 15 characters for your username. Rather than have a long name cut off, create one that is memorable and fits your branding.
- Take Advantage of Pinterest’s “Smart Feed” Algorithm
Do this by optimizing your pins to meet its top criteria. (Social Media Examiner shows you how in this excellent article.)
- Fill Out Your Pinterest “About” Section
It’s a little longer than a tweet. You have two hundred characters to play with and people often read the About description, so make the most of it! Use your best keywords in your description and state clearly your most important message.
- Fill Out Your Image ALT Text
When setting up your pin description (which you should optimize and describe as carefully as your About section), be sure to fill out the ALT text describing your pin.
- Use PinIt Buttons With Rich Pins
If you are using a graphic-based rich pin such as a recipe, be sure to end any article you feature your recipe card in with a PinIt button on your blog.
6. Make It Seasonal
Be sure to plan ahead for and create seasonal boards. These powerful boards have a higher chance of automatically trending just because the topic itself is trending and they can enhance any business.
Take recipes, for example: Not only are recipes rich pins, they are also set up and loaded with the best SEO. Not only are they SEO optimized, they are supremely shareable at the right time of year.
Don’t just think in terms of holidays. There are also seasonal events. For example, here’s BeachBody Coaches, Kim and Kalee Sorey, offering party recipes for the annual Superbowl:
Take it one step further by actually blogging about your seasonal board and simply ask readers to visit it.
You do need to make sure that seasonal pins fit your branding (or at least don’t clash with it), but seasonal events and holidays are universal enough that you can always put your own unique twist on it and make it relevant to your own subscribers and followers.
Best of all, you can update, re-use and re-cycle your seasonal boards year after year.
7. Make Sure All Pinterest Tools Are in Place
This last way to grow your business with Pinterest involves making sure you have taken advantage of all the top Pinterest tools available.
Here’s a quick checklist:
- Install Pinterest “Save” Buttons on Your Site
Pinterest’s Help Center can walk you through this.
- Create a Pinterest Business Page
If you haven’t yet converted your personal Pinterest account to a business one, do so as soon as you can. The big advantage of creating a Pinterest Business Account can be summed up in one word – Analytics! These analytics include:
* Popular Searches
* Trending Pins
* Recent Pins
* Promote Button
To convert your Pinterest personal account to a business one, simply go to the Pinterest for Business page and click on “Convert Now” (under the red “Join as a Business” button.)
You will also want to consider following Pinterest’s Official Blog.
It’s the hottest place to find the latest information about:
- Seasonal Trends
- Upcoming and Current Trends
- Analytics Results and Statistics
- New Features
Phew! That’s a lot of information. I’ve shared several ideas on how to turn Pinterest into a powerful tool for your business. If you have any questions or Pinterest tips to share, please post them in the comments below.