In one of my previous articles I described the impact that my Pinterest campaign had on my company’s Google search results. This time I’d like to provide more details on how and why the campaign has been so successful.
‘What is the best strategy for developing your Pinterest’s account?’ Many pinners ask this questions, and unfortunately, it’s not an easy one to answer. However, first we must ask, ‘what are the goals of your Pinterest campaign?’ Of course we could talk about collecting ideas for our dream wedding or showing who we “really are” through photos etc. – but that’s definitely not the subject of this article. Even though this is true for some pinners, many just want to conduct a successful campaign and create a popular account. They want their pins to be repinned and content to be spread; they want to get a a lot of likes and and gain more followers. To build a strong Pinterest account, you must engage users and have a good ratio of followers to following. These two factors are typically the main goals of your Pinterest campaign. Of course, we must assume that no matter what strategy or method you’re using, great photos will always be the key element.
What Strategy Should We Follow to Achieve Our Goals?
Let’s start from the very beginning. You open your Pinterest account and you start adding photos to your boards. You have no followers, so nobody – except you – sees your pins. You may follow other users and hope that they will follow you back. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way. They might even not notice that you followed them, especially if the user has a lot of followers. Beside, we need to keep in mind the importance of maintaining a positive followers to following ratio. You will also want your pins to show up in search field results, but that comes down to Pinterest’s SEO algorithm. Of course you might be very, very lucky and your pins will be displayed in the top of a query, but it’s unlikely to happen for most. Pinterest’s SEO and the way that Pinterest indexes your account is strictly correlated to the profile’s strength. So, first you need to make your pins go viral in order to build a strong account.
How can you display your pins to a large audience? For my company, the answer to this question just appeared one day. We received a group board invitation. We were lucky that someone noticed our photos and invited us to join a very popular lingerie group board. Finally, our pins could be displayed to thousands of pinners and our account was receiving more and more new followers. Each pin we added to the group board was both liked and – more importantly – repined, enabling them to going viral. After just two weeks of contributing to the group board, Pinterest began indexing our pins so both our pins and boards were displayed at the top of the search results for many queries related to our account.
After two months of sharing our photos with other pinners from the group boards we contributed to, our account reached 1000 followers.
How to Get a Group Board Invitation.
After joining our first group board, we realized this was a great strategy for us to follow. In order to expand we needed to get more group invitations. Unfortunately, you are not just invited to a new board every day. It took 6 months for us to receive our first group board invitation! We didn’t want to have to wait that long for the next invitation. To speed up the process, I decided to request invitations from the group boards’ owners first. I often wasn’t successful, since it’s really difficult to reach the owners.
Of course, the more popular you become, there’s a greater chance that other group board owners will notice you and invite you to their boards. Why am I only talking about group board owners? One simple reason: if you have really great photos then other contributors will want to repin your pictures themselves. Unless you contact contributors and offer something in return – like an invitation to another group board – then it’s not as reliable as contacting the owner of the board.
So this became my idea – exchange group boards invitations with other pinners. I decided to contact them personally, but believe me, it wasn’t an easy task. Within Pinterest, there is only one opportunity to directly communicate to other users – leave a comment under pins. This doesn’t seem very professional to me. However, because many pinners use their Facebook accounts to login, I could click on the Facebook link in their profile and send a message on Facebook. Unfortunately this was time-consuming, annoying and on the edge of SPAM.
You can also send a message via Pinterest. Just go to the notifications icon and from the inbox you can send a new message.
Receiving Strong Results Keeps You Pinning.
Group boards also give you a psychological advantage. You see that your effort is paying off by getting new followers and repins. One of the most common mistakes of early pinners is giving up too early. If they don’t receive any positive signals (as usually at the beginning), they become disappointed very quickly.
Thanks to the group board strategy, one of our pins was indexed as the first one for the “lingerie” query (very competitive keyword). Within three days it received 350 repins, 50 likes and our account attracted 60 additional followers.
The Curious Case of the “Fashion” and “Style” Queries
In our company’s Pinterest’s SEO lab, we gather and analyze daily results for many queries. We do research on what factors matter the most for Pinterest’s algorithm to find the most effective optimization strategy.
In September and October we checked the query lists for “fashion” and “style”. Both keywords are very competitive and, from a SEO point-of-view, they are very difficult to deal with. However, we found some very interesting results:
If you noticed, t he results are dominated by one pinner – Sebastian Cruz Couture. What makes this account so special that it’s pins are dominating such competitive search terms? Let’s have a closer look:
- 7 Boards
- 761 Pins
- 8,337 Likes
- 6,131 Followers
- 195 Following
So this is a strong account (the positive ratio of followers to following), but it only contains seven boards and all seven boards are group boards. What is even more interesting is only one of them was created by the account owner. That means that the Sebastian Cruz Couture account only created one board (which was a group board) and he was invited to 6 other group boards!
In this case, the account strategy was only based on the group boards. Using the popularity of the one group board created by him, other contributors gave his account a life of it’s own. Thanks to that, his pins were displayed at the top of Pinterest’s search results.
As you can see we proved that creating and joining group boards is a very valuable strategy. It can be a trigger that jump-starts your campaign, brings you results very quickly, makes your account strong and increases the value of your account for Pinterest’s search engine. We encourage you to try it for yourself.