As we’ve discussed before, Pinterest can be an excellent platform for all kinds of companies to market their brand in a unique way. However, sometimes, developing a good Pinterest strategy can be tough. To help on your endeavor, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of 32 “Do’s” and “Don’ts” for your Pinterest marketing strategy.
1. DO use the 5+5+2 model in creating your first boards. If you haven’t started pinning yet, we have a simple formula to creating your first 12 boards:
Make 5 boards for things your audience loves.
Make 5 boards for things your audience has a hard time finding.
Make 2 boards centered on your company.
Add a few pins to each board, and voila! You now have a bouncing baby Pinterest account.
2. DO have awesome cover photos. Your boards’ cover photos are the first thing a user sees when they land on your page so you better make sure they’re pretty. I mean, you wouldn’t have an ugly landing page on your website, would you?
3. DON’T have boring images. Part of the beauty of Pinterest’s design is that it’s almost entirely a visual experience. When creating pinnable images for your site, don’t be afraid of color, unique fonts and beautiful design. The more eye-catching the pin, the more repins it will receive.
4. DO find what’s already popular with your audience. Whether or not you have a Pinterest, it’s simple to find out what images are being pinned from your site. You can either find your popular images from our free Trending Pins page, or you can look up your domain on Pinterest by going to “pinterest.com/source/yourwebsite.com”.
5. DON’T only pin your own content. This is huge. DO NOT ONLY PIN YOUR OWN CONTENT. Pinterest users do not want blatant advertisements all over their Pinterest feed. So, rather than only pinning your content, pin articles related to your sector, interesting images, funny memes and mix in your products and articles.
6. DO spy on your competitors. If your competitors have a Pinterest account, go ahead and spy! Find out what they’re doing particularly well – or particularly horrible – and learn from their actions. You can easily track both their profile growth and their domain growth on Pinterest from your PinLeague analytics dashboard.
7. DON’T be hard to find. It’s a good idea to keep your profile specific to your company, so anyone searching for you on Pinterest will know, at a glance, that is in fact the right profile. One great way to insure this is to have your profile verified by Pinterest.
8. DO engage influencers. Chances are you don’t have a million Pinterest followers, yet. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have fans that do! You can find and engage your most influential fans from our Fans & Influencers page. By building those relationships, you can always have a heavy hitter on your side.
9. DO use a secret board to save content for the future. This absolutely genius tip comes from our friend, Cynthia, of OhSoPinteresting.com. When you’re on the prowl for great images to repin, don’t worry about getting your timing wrong. Just create a secret board, pin the image to that board and include the original pin’s URL in the caption so you can go back and repin it publicly later.
10. DON’T forget the “Office” board. Although users might not repin these images very often, it’s a good idea to have fun pictures from around your office. Even Pinterest has an office board! These boards help humanize your brand to fans, thereby helping to foster a deeper connection. You can even link to the board in the “About Us” portion of your website to have an easily updated place that showcases your company culture.
11. DO check for SEO value. Believe it or not, your Pinterest page can give you a serious SEO boost. Our ultimate Pinterest SEO guide can help ensure you’re getting the biggest bang-for-your-SEO-buck.
12. DO use cross-platform promotion to boost your Pinterest following. If you’re new (or even if you’re not-so-new) to Pinterest, leveraging your other, more developed, networks can help boost your following and engagement. So, go ahead, tweet about your shiny new pin board.
13. DO use Pinterest contests – but DON’T be spammy. Pinterest contests, when done right and within Pinterest’s own contest guidelines, can be a great way to increase your brand awareness over the platform. But, if you’re too spammy with the pins, you can also just annoy your following.
14. DO join community boards. Joining community boards within your industry sector allows you to reach a highly-targeted audience that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Not only do you reach the other contributors to the board, there are also all the users who follow the community board. Not to mention, it’s a great place to find relevant content to repin.
15. DON’T forget to repin. You know how great it feels to be repinned, so make sure to pass the feeling forward! You get to pass on the warm fuzzies and, also, guarantee that the content you send out to your followers is not overly self promotional.
16. DO track your presence with analytics. Just like with any other part of your business, you must be able to track your Pinterest metrics. While Pinterest does have it’s own basic analytics platform, it’s also helpful to track your profile and engagement growth, find your top influencers and repinners, and spy on your competition – all of which can be found within PinLeague’s Pinterest Analytics Dashboard.
17. DON’T use hashtags. This might be a controversial one, but hear me out – unless you’re setting up a contest with a very specific hashtags, you’ll probably want to stay away from them. As Call2Pin pointed out, hashtags just give users something else to click on that doesn’t lead to your site and could potentially lead to your competitors pins.
18. DO use keywords in your descriptions. If you took the time to optimize your site with relevant keywords, why not optimize your Pinterest with relevant keywords? Boards, pins and profile descriptions are all excellent places to add your company’s keywords to help your Pinterest account pop up in search results.
19. DON’T be too technical. While technical jargon is great, this is Pinterest – not an industry journal. Keep the descriptions relevant to your company but still easy for users to understand.
20. DO say thanks. Did someone repin your pin? Say thanks. Did someone pin from your site? Say thanks. Did someone leave an interesting comment? Say thanks. Thanking – and otherwise talking to your audience – on Pinterest shows that you do actually care about your fans and that you want to build a relationship with them. They’re your biggest allies – don’t lose them to poor manners.
21. DON’T let cookies get in your way. Yet another great tip from Cynthia at OhSoPinteresting.com – Pinterest actually leaves cookies on your computer to see what website you visit in an attempt to make your feed more personalized. While this is great for personal accounts, your business account doesn’t need to take cues from your Amazon Prime wish list. Learn how to disable this feature on Cynthia’s blog.
22. DO add rich product pins to your site. While adding rich pins to your site might sound like a daunting task, it’s really not. All it takes is a basic knowledge of oEmbed, Open Graph or Schema.org markups and our handy cheat sheet.
23. DON’T leave off calls to action. While you shouldn’t be overly self promotional, you should make sure your images and default descriptions point back to your website. For example, with PinLeague’s images, we always have “Brought to you by PinLeague” at the bottom of the image and try to include a CTA within the description.
24. DON’T be afraid of copyright infringement. Since Pinterest is based on image sharing, some worry that their content will be stolen. And, while there is no way to completely negate that threat, there are a few things you can do to help keep your images protected on Pinterest.
25. DO include Pinterest in your e-newsletters. If you send out regular newsletters, go ahead and throw in your “Top Pin” or “Favorite Pin” or “Cutest Animal Pin” of that week. It adds a dash of fun to your newsletter AND lets those readers know you have a Pinterest.
26. DON’T lose your patience. Unfortunately, there’s a good chance you will not go viral overnight. So, even if you think you’re doing everything perfectly and should be blowing up on Pinterest right now, just remember the story of a young pin that took 32 weeks to finally go viral. Greatness takes time.
27. DO find affiliates. If you’ve been thinking about setting up an affiliate program, Pinterest can be a great place to find potential candidates. By syncing your Google Analytics with PinLeague’s Pinterest Analytics Dashboard, you can easily find and connect with your top revenue earners directly from your dashboard. By knowing who’s bringing in the cash already, it’s easier to build a truly effective affiliate army.
28. DO pin vertically. Believe it or not, vertical pins actually perform better on Pinterest. Because they take up more real estate than their shorter counterparts, there is a greater chance of a user stopping to look at the pin. Just think about it – that’s why you see so many huge infographic posts!
29. DON’T forget to add Pinterest buttons to your site. Pinterest makes it unbelievably easy to add Pinterest social share buttons to your website. This make it easier for users to share your images and you can also more easily control what images from your site are shared.
30. DO use different images to link back to your site. If you have an old blog post that you would like to promote on Pinterest, but the original article doesn’t have a great pinnable image, you can upload a different, more Pinterest-friendly image and have it link back to the post. To do this, simply click on the “+” at the top of your Pinterest page and select “Upload a Pin”. Viola!
31. DO offer goodies! Whitepapers, eBooks, exclusive video tutorials, etc. help get people pumped about your product and more likely to share to their own followers.
32. DON’T be afraid of being silly. Pinterest is fun! People don’t want all of your posts to be serious. It’s always a good idea to create at least one board dedicated to being silly and making people laugh. I mean, why wouldn’t your audience want to see that amazing Game of Thrones meme???
This article first appeared on the Tailwind Blog as “32 Do’s and Don’ts for Your B2B Pinterest Strategy“
Also check out our Ultimate Guide to Pinterest and Instagram Strategy
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Melissa Megginson is resident Marketing Manager and Cat Lady at Tailwind, the leading Pinterest tool for brands. Melissa specializes in content creation, social media, blogging, PR outreach and pretty much all things marketing. Find her on Twitter and Instagram at @MelMegg.