How to Use Pinterest
I got to know about Pinterest a few years ago when I was in desperate need of traffic for my new blog. My blog was struggling at the time and even my carefully implemented search engine optimization (SEO) tips weren't bringing in the traffic I thought they would.
A complaint in a bloggers WhatsApp group I'm a part of revealed how Pinterest could help solve my traffic problems and in a short while too.
I decided to head over to Pinterest. However, my first visit wasn't all that useful; the site seemed overwhelming as it was very different from the usual networking sites I was used to.
I decided a little research for a few days. The information I discovered was enough to have me running back to Pinterest to sign up.
Here's a little something you should know about Pinterest.
What Is Pinterest?
Contrary to popularly held notion, Pinterest is not just a social networking site, it is a search engine, just like Google.
It is one of the most active platforms on the web, boasting of about 322 million active subscribers and over 200 billion pins pinned so far. There are pins on just about every niche you can think of, although 80% of these cater to women.
The best part of this site is that it is know for its high conversion rate, up to 87%.
Using the Pinterest platform is one of the fastest ways to grow your brand's traffic and increase your sales tremendously. The beauty of this traffic is that you can start to notice this growth in as little as four weeks, unlike SEO practices which require a considerably longer time to yield.
Pinterest is made up largely of female users (70-80%), although males also actively pin on the site. The ages of these active pinners range from 18-64 years, so if your brand caters to women that fall within this range, you will have a high chance of success.
How Pinterest Works
Like any other site, Pinterest requires that you sign up, that is, if you plan on using it for promotion. Once done, you'd also be required to create a few boards that will house your pins, and this is where it gets interesting.
Being a search engine, Pinterest works with SEO and if you aren't implementing these SEO strategies, your pins will eventually get buried under the thousands of other pins that get created by the day.
Since the idea is to get found - a lot, you want to start optimizing your account from the minute you join and doing so starts with the following:
1. Ensure you research your board names before using them. Don't just pull a name out of a hat to use, even if it sounds appealing. You want to ensure the name you choose is a search term on Pinterest, or at least includes a few choice keywords, that way your board appears in searches, and people will click through to see your pins.
A good way to do this is to test out your preferred name by typing it in the Pinterest search bar and selecting the best from the results that pop up.
2. You should also optimize your profile using the same method as above.
When users type in a search term into the Pinterest search bar, three versions of searches appear:
You want to ensure you are appearing in all.
3. You should also optimize your pins and unlike boards and profiles, you should also optimize these pins to appear in Google searches.
Pinterest as a site is very SEO-friendly and pulls a lot of traffic from search engines. You want to make sure you are getting your portion of this free traffic.
4. Pin regularly, but don't spam. The Pinterest algorithm favors your account and pins when you are active. You should get to the point where you pin between 15-25 pins daily.
However, never pin all of these in one sitting or Pinterest will flag your account for spam and close it (and the chances of getting such an account reinstated is slim to none).
How Pinterest Works, Continued
5. While you should pin up to 25 pins a day, you want to ensure a moderate portion of those pins aren't yours. You should repin one pin for every one of yours you send to the platform.
6. Engage with other users. Seeing as Pinterest is a social networking site, you should engage with others and their content by repining, dropping comments, and following them. They will get a notification to this effect and the chances are high they will return the favor.
7. Make use of hashtags when pinning. The word is out there is that hashtags are irrelevant and don't increase your traffic. However, there is no proof to this claim.
I would use hashtags in all my pins and leave things to chance.
How Pinterest Works
How to Avoid Getting Banned By Pinterest
"How to avoid getting banned by Pinterest?" is one question every active Pinterest user has asked.
Since Pinterest is a large networking site, there will be those who will break the rules every once in a while (some a lot more often) and have their accounts banned.
If you would love to avoid seeing your account closed, especially when you start to see that huge flow of traffic to your site, here are some iron-clad tips you should follow:
1. Don't spam and spamming here involves actions like Pinning continuously, especially from the same IP address, pinning just your content (remember to keep it a mix of one content of yours and one repin of others), pinning the same pin over and over again, dropping so many comments at once, mass following other pinners, the list is endless.
2. Don't pin copyrighted material; every pin you send out there should be of something you have the right to use.
3. Don't pin contents Pinterest has marked as not safe eg porn, violence-related content, regulated goods, etc.
4. Do not lift pins from the platform and pin as yours. You will get caught.
5. Put your links only in the space allotted for it, nowhere else.
6. Don't impersonate another brand, even if you think they aren't on the Pinterest platform.
7. Post only quality pins. Your pin should have a dimension of 2:3. Good sizes you can use include 600 by 900 and 1000 by 1500.
8. Don't post several pins from the same URL in one sitting.
9. Don't use Pinterest scheduling websites that aren't recognized. The two official Pinterest scheduling partners are Tailwind and Buffer. Using others puts your account at risk.
10. Don't base all your pinning efforts on scheduling alone. Ensure there is a balance between that and manual pinning.
11. Don't use the wrong tagsjust to get traffic. Pinterest users are famous for reporting pins that break the rules.
Farrah Young (author) from Lagos, Nigeria on August 16, 2020:
Thank you, Glenn Stok
Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on August 16, 2020:
You’ve covered all the rules to remain active and successful on Pinterest, Farrah. This is a useful guide to learn how to use it well.
Farrah Young (author) from Lagos, Nigeria on August 15, 2020:
You're welcome, Abby Slutsky. I'm glad I could help.
Abby Slutsky from America on August 08, 2020:
This was very helpful as I am new to using the Pinterest site. Thank for sharing.
Farrah Young (author) from Lagos, Nigeria on July 20, 2020:
Thank You, Ernest.
Ernest Festus Awudey from Ho, Ghana. on July 20, 2020:
Great write up...