Pinterest is one of the most misunderstood and underestimated marketing platforms on the internet.
If you thought that Pinterest was just for collecting recipes or wedding ideas, or that it’s not a profitable marketing platform, I’m here to tell you that you are very wrong!
Let me share a few interesting statistics with you:
Pinterest has more than 150 million monthly active users.
87% of Pinners have purchased a product because of Pinterest.
67% of Pinners say Pinterest is important for planning holiday purchases. Pinners will spend 2x more on the holidays than the general public.
- Pinterest users are 47% more likely to be introduced to new brands than users on other social media platforms.
Pinterest is the second highest source of social media traffic to Shopify stores.
More than a third of Pinterest users choose Pinterest over Google to search.
And if you’re still not convinced, check out this comparison of the time it takes for content shared on these popular social networks to receive approximately half their engagement that they will ever receive:
Twitter: 24 minutes
Facebook: 90 minutes
Pinterest: 151,200 minutes
So how have we missed such a huge marketing opportunity?
Like most people, I signed up for Pinterest back when it was all the rage. I collected recipes, cute DIY project guides, dream home ideas, and pretty pictures, but I didn’t do much more from there. A few years later, I would use it to collect new ideas for my blog or find tutorials, but I still never imagined that I could utilize it in my own marketing.
I assumed that Pinterest was mostly about luck. I assumed that “going viral” on Pinterest was the same as going viral on Youtube – some people just get lucky. In fact, one of my own blog posts on my first ever website had been shared on Pinterest over 60,000 times, and yet I still didn’t understand how to create that kind of momentum without just being lucky.
Boy, was I wrong!
I started making my own coloring books in late 2015, and by late 2016 I finally started to see that Pinterest could have a positive impact on my business if I learned how to use it correctly.
I started doing a LOT of research on Pinterest marketing and immediately started implementing the strategies I discovered. Within my first three months, I had achieved the same viral effect on two new blog posts, each reaching over 10,000 repins within those three months.
Before we dive into my Pinterest Marketing series of blog posts, I want to clear up some common Pinterest marketing myths and misconceptions that you may have heard, and show you how a simple mindset change can impact your entire approach to Pinterest marketing.
So let’s set the record straight and tell you why the following 10 Pinterest mindsets are WRONG.
- Pinterest is a social media platform
- I need a large fan base to benefit from Pinterest
- Pinterest is only good for collecting ideas and not for shopping
- Pinterest only works for certain niches
- My business isn’t ready for Pinterest yet (maybe later)
- I will lose my audience if I pin content from other people
- I will annoy my fans if I pin too often
- I don’t have time to manage another marketing platform
- I don’t have enough content for Pinterest
- You should use #hashtags on Pinterest
Let me explain why each of these Pinterest mindsets are wrong:
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Wrong Pinterest Mindset #1: Pinterest is a social media platform
Correct Pinterest Mindset: Pinterest is a visual search engine
Saying that Pinterest isn’t a social media platform isn’t entirely correct. It still requires you to connect with followers, post regular content, follow other users and create networks.
However, if you approach Pinterest marketing in the same way that you approach Facebook or Instagram, you won’t be reaping the full benefits of what it can do for your business.
Pinterest is unlike any other major social media platform because it acts like a visual search engine for people to collect ideas, wish lists, goals and information. People come to Pinterest to be inspired, not to find out the latest news or what their friends are doing.
You might pin a free printable for Christmas 2016 and gain some momentum, but unlike Facebook or Instagram, that momentum will continue into future Christmas’s through the use of keywords, search features and good Pinterest SEO. Every time someone repins your content, it’s shown to more and more people and can be added to hundreds of personal “wish lists” and boards year after year, creating a viral reach that is impossible with Facebook or Instagram.
I love this, because it takes the pressure off having to get a huge amount of likes when you first post something to Pinterest. It can sometimes take months or years, but eventually your website can reach a huge crowd if you’ve put the effort into producing quality content and “pinnable” pictures.
Wrong Pinterest Mindset #2: I need a large fan base to benefit from Pinterest
Correct Pinterest Mindset: My blog can do well on Pinterest even with a small following.
As I mentioned earlier, I was lucky that one of my old blog posts had been repinned over 50k times on Pinterest. In my case, it WAS luck, but in my first few months on Pinterest, with less than 1,000 followers, I was able to achieve more results over 10k in just a few months.
In my next few blog posts I’ll show you how to optimize your profile and get your first 1,000 Pinterest followers, but it’s important to note that a small following is no reason you can’t succeed right now and start seeing a significant increase in your blog traffic.
Here’s a look at my Pinterest analytics from 1st December 2016 to 20th February 2017. I started working on my specific Pinterest Marketing strategies about mid December:
And check out my top traffic source on Google Analytics in February 2017:
At the start of December 2016, I had just under 300 Pinterest followers. 2 months later, I grew my following to over 1,500. It’s still a very small following compared to many on Pinterest, so you can see how your results don’t necessarily require a huge audience.
All it takes is for the right person to see your post, repin it, and you can reach thousands of people through the wonderful snow-ball viral effect that can occur over time.
One of the best ways to increase your initial reach to build that momentum is to be a part of some quality group boards that already have larger fan bases. I explain this in more detail in my post about growing your own fan base.
Wrong Pinterest Mindset #3: Pinterest is only good for collecting ideas and not for shopping
Correct Pinterest Mindset: People don’t just go to Pinterest to browse, they go to Pinterest to buy.
According to Pinterest’s Business page, 2 million people save product Pins every day.
Pinterest is the second largest source of traffic to Shopify stores and Pinterest users spend more money per order than any other major social network.
Not only that, but 87% of respondents in a Pinterest survey reported that Pinterest helped them decide what to purchase.
Picture Source: Pinterest for Business
Need I say more?
Wrong Pinterest Mindset #4: Pinterest only works for certain niches
Correct Pinterest Mindset: Pinterest can work for any niche.
It’s a common assumption that Pinterest is only good for promoting recipes, DIY projects, weddings or dream homes. While these categories are popular, you can make Pinterest work for ANY niche.
Let’s take a quick look at the other categories in Pinterest’s main menu:
A look at what people are searching for on Pinterest’s blog provides even more insight into the level of variety of the content and audience on Pinterest.
The top 10 searches in the United States in 2015 included Harry Potter, Iceland, pallet projects, lob hair, men’s fashion, bathroom storage, small tattoos, vegan recipes, Alice in Wonderland and scandinavian interiors.
Take a look at Japan, France, Brazil, UK and Germany and you get some even stranger niches, including detox water, cheese fondue, lifehacks, sewing patterns, street art, woodwork, braids, Men’s bracelets, Dr Who crafts, crafting with kids, Filofax, racing bikes and winter gardens.
If you want to see the potential of your niche, do a quick search and see what kind of results you find and whether they have a high repin count.
Wrong Pinterest Mindset #5: My business isn’t ready for Pinterest yet (maybe later)
Correct Pinterest Mindset: Focusing on your Pinterest marketing now can give your business a head start when you are ready to build or launch it.
Many people hold off on Pinterest until they feel like their website is ready, their blog posts are perfect and they have everything organized. The reality is that day may never come!
When I started to optimize my Pinterest profile and focus on building my following, my blog only had two or three posts that I considered to be “Pin-worthy” and I didn’t even have good pictures for those.
So instead, I started pinning content from other people that appealed to my audience. As a result, my audience started to grow rapidly. When I finally pinned one of my own products, it was easy to get repins because I’d already built the momentum and Pinterest considered my content to be valuable, so more people saw it.
Which brings me to my next mindset… the fear of sending traffic to your competition!
Wrong Pinterest Mindset #6: I will lose my audience if I pin content from other people
Correct Pinterest Mindset: I will provide more value to my audience if I pin content from other people.
People often make the mistake of only pinning their own stuff. I’ve done it too! But changing my mindset on this has helped me to grow my audience more than anything.
Here’s 8 reasons why you should pin content from other people on Pinterest:
- It takes the pressure off producing all the content yourself
- It allows you to teach your audience things that are out of your own skill set
- It comes across “spammy” if you only pin your own stuff
- You become a more valuable resource in general, which will draw a bigger crowd
- You will show up in “also pinned by” results at the bottom of popular Pins
- People will spend more time browsing your boards if it’s not just a huge sales pitch
- You’re more likely to find people willing to collaborate and repin your content
- It’s just good Pinterest etiquette!
I think a great rule is the 80/20 rule: Pin 80% from other people’s content and only 20% of your own content. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough content yet to pin 20% of your own.
Wrong Pinterest Mindset #7: I will annoy my fans if I pin too often
Correct Pinterest Mindset: Successful Pinners pin 15-30 times a day.
As we’ve already covered, Pinterest isn’t like other social media networks. While the recommended number of posts per day for most social media platforms is between one to three posts, many successful Pinterest marketers recommend pinning between 15-30 times a day.
Before you keep scrolling because 15-30 Pins a day sounds ridiculous, you can actually achieve this without committing too much time by using a Pinterest scheduling tool such as Tailwind or Boardbooster. When I first started, I spent a few days scheduling Pins through Tailwind’s free trial and was able to schedule 10 posts a day for the next two months without opening Pinterest.
Pinterest has a “smart feed” that determines what your followers will see. So instead of your Pins being shown chronologically, they are ranked in order of estimated quality.
The content you see on your home feed is a compilation of the most relevant and popular content from the accounts you follow, the keywords you use and content that is related to what you have pinned previously.
This is why it’s important to optimize your profile using keywords and Pin quality content on a consistent basis.
Wrong Pinterest Mindset #8: I don’t have time to manage another marketing platform
Correct Pinterest Mindset: Pinterest doesn’t need to take up all your time
This mindset is probably the main reason why I didn’t start marketing on Pinterest 6 months earlier. I knew it would be beneficial, but I just didn’t have the time.
Once I started optimizing my profile and making Pinterest a priority, I still didn’t spend as much time on it as what I thought I would need to.
It took me less than a week to optimize my Pinterest profile, start implementing a few basic strategies to build my Pinterest followers and start seeing results.
It doesn’t have to be perfect straight away. Just working on a few of the steps in my guide on how to optimize your Pinterest profile will give you a head start, even if you’re not ready to commit solid time to building your account now.
There are so many reasons why I recommend using a program to schedule your Pins. Tailwind has been the biggest part of my Pinterest strategy and has probably been the best investment I’ve made in my business in 2017. Both programs offer 100 free Pins when you sign up for a free trial, so you can give your Pinterest profile a great boost when you’re starting out.
Wrong Pinterest Mindset #9: I don’t have enough content for Pinterest
Correct Pinterest Mindset: You don’t need a lot of content to attract traffic from Pinterest.
Remember the 80/20 rule I mentioned earlier? You don’t need a lot of content of your own when you first start pinning, as long as you pin quality content from other sources.
If you’ve got two to three blog posts, you can create Pinnable content for them, such as infographics, tall images, or even just a title image. I usually create two to three different title images for my blog posts and schedule them to pin to multiple boards over time using Tailwind.
One blog post > 2-3 title images > 6-7 boards > 20+ opportunities for your blog post to be seen on Pinterest
Wrong Pinterest Mindset #10: You should use #hashtags on Pinterest
Correct Pinterest Mindset: Use keywords, not hashtags
I almost didn’t include this point because it sort of falls under my first point that Pinterest is a search engine, not a social media platform. But because this has been a big point of confusion for many, I’ve decided to include it anyway.
According to Pinterest for Business, “having too many of them in your descriptions may negatively impact your ranking.”
Pinterest is set up into categories and interests. People search for keywords, and you want to show up in their results. Using hashtags doesn’t achieve much on Pinterest, because hashtags are limited to exact spelling and don’t allow for variations of keywords.
For example, in my case of selling adult coloring books, I use the keywords “adult coloring books”. If someone does a search for “coloring books” or “colouring books” or even “coloring for adults” then I’m far more likely to show up in their results than if I used the hashtag #adultcoloring, which will only show up if they search for that exact term.
Pinterest also makes recommendations to users on similar keywords, so a search for “adult coloring” will bring up suggestions like “adult coloring pages” and “adult coloring tips”.
Having the right mindset is the crucial first step to growing your business with Pinterest. Now, let’s move forward and start implementing a strong and achievable Pinterest marketing strategy.
I’ve created a series of blog posts in my Pinterest Marketing series to help you get started on Pinterest and develop a strong Pinterest Marketing strategy. Click one of the links below to start learning now:
I’ve also created The Ultimate Pinterest Marketing Checklist that will cover everything in a simple checklist format that you can print off and use to get a head start on your own Pinterest marketing strategy. Enter your details below to download it now for free.
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