Developing a Strategy for Pinterest Group Boards

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.

How to Develop a Strategy for Group Boards on Pinterest

‘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.

lingerie wholesale in Pinterest boards

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.

As we can see Pinterest doesn’t facilitate communication between pinners, even in order to exchange group board invitations. Analyzing this problem with our partners, we came up with idea to find a proper solution to cover pinners’ needs. As a result, we developed BoardInviter.com  – the platform where you can easily exchange group boards invitations with other pinners. To get invitation from other users, you use points which you gather by inviting others to the group boards that you belong to. Of course, you decide who you want to invite or don’t want to invite. You may also refuse any invitation request.

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.

lingerie

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:

Fashion
fashion

Style
style

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:

Sebastian Cruz Couture kopiaSebastian Cruz Couture’ account:

  • 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.

16 thoughts on “Developing a Strategy for Pinterest Group Boards

  1. Jenetta Penner
    November 7, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    OK.. I LOVE the idea of a place you can go and get invited to collab boards. they are my bread and butter. Hear is the problem I see, though.. Most of the boards I am seeing on there are not getting results. When I see a board with 10,000, 20,000.. 100,000 followers yet pins are only being pinned from those board 0-3 times on average it really sends up a red flag for me.

    This tells me that there is a great chance that the board followers are fake.. it is very cheap and easy to buy 1000’s of pinterest fans.

    I would really like to see something like this work because it is a great opportunity for traffic if it is genuine but there needs to be more criteria.. like average repins per post.

    1. Melissa Megginson
      November 8, 2013 at 10:48 am

      Spammers really do make the saying, “this is why we can’t have nice things” relevant to the digital space. I’ve been a part of three social media-related collaborator boards and, while two of them are amazing, one was very obviously built for spam.

      I agree with you that it would be helpful to have other criteria for the boards, or even require an application to join the site. It’s a great idea, but also a very new idea, so I think it’ll need to go through a learning process until the right balance is found 🙂

    2. Jacek Potaczala
      November 14, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      Janetta, thank you for your opinion. I understand very well the problem you’re describing. However this is not a problem of BoardInviter.com only but in general it’s Pinterest’s problem (or social media). There was, is and always will be a lot of SPAM. We do our best to let pinners exchange group boards invitations. All posted boards and created accounts are verified. We also remove suspicious or non valid invitations. However, at this early stage of our project we can’t yet decide if a particular group board was created for SPAM purposes or not. This is difficult for several reason. You can’t judge if a group board is spammy looking only at number of signals that pins receive (likes or repins). There are group boards of better and lower quality, but lower quality doesn’t have to mean it was made for spam purposes.
      I would say the opposite. It is very easy to buy followers but it’s also very easy to buy repins and likes. For advanced spammers this is not a problem to get both – followers and signals. They also know that from point of view of SEO or traffic or whatever reason they act it’s important to have repins or likes. For search engines that means it’s alive. So, number of followers is not the only one factor that plays the main role for algorithms.
      Recently I’ve seen some interesting situation. There was the biggest lingerie group board. It belonged to a very strong lingerie account with many other lingerie group boards. Pinning to that group board you could have an average of 5-7 repins (It think it is a lot). Last month the average of repins increased dramatically. I checked on Sunday evening and each added pin got 20 repins in a few minutes! I thought to myself “it’s too good to be true” and it was. The board has been canceled and it wasn’t the Pinterest’s mistake. That board was legit but probably the owner just decided to get more.
      So, you never know which one is spam now or will be in future. If it was so easy – Pinterest and the system itself would get rid of all spam immediately. They are very strict about it, but there are about 70 million accounts.
      Every-time we find that any of the group boards is canceled by Pinterest we also remove it from our site.
      There are many good quality group board at BoardInviter and we did our best to make it easy for our users to verify all group boards posted.
      I encourage to visit us regularly and add your group boards!
      Once again, thank you Janetta for your opinion!

  2. Carole@RusticArtistry.com
    November 9, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks for the tip on leaving a comment on a board owner’s pin. I’ve been struggling with how to get invitations to several group boards I’d like to contribute to. I also created my own group board. What are some good ways to get people to request invitations to it, or can I directly invite people who are already followers of my other boards?

    1. Melissa Megginson
      November 9, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      Hey Carole,

      You can invite any of your followers to join collaborative boards by clicking on “Edit Board” (found below the name of the board) and typing in the person’s name or email address under “Who Can Pin?”.

  3. November 9, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    To add a board on the board inviter website, do I need to be the creator? I haven’t created any of my own, but am a contributor to several.

    1. Melissa Megginson
      November 9, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      There aren’t any hard rules for the inviter website that I’ve seen, but I would ask the board creator if they are ok with you putting the board on the site.

      1. November 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm

        Ok, thank you.

    2. November 17, 2013 at 4:29 pm

      Hello Rebecca – if you want your board to show up on another pinner’s board you need to follow them first (min. one board) and then they have to follow you back. Go to your “SETTINGS” & make sure your email notifications are “yes”. The next step is to invite them on a specific board. Once they accept your board invitation your board will show up on the bottom of their Pinterest page. Does that help?

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