12 Pinterest Tips From the Experts

If you saw my recent article, “How Pinterest Became My #2 Traffic Source In One Month,” then you won’t be surprised to hear that I attended three different Pinterest lectures at the Social Media Marketing World conference last month in San Diego: “How to Turn Pins Into Customers and Profit With Pinterest” with Natalie Jill, “How to Drive Traffic With Pinterest’s Interests and Visual Discovery Tool” with Vincent Ng, and a panel discussion “How Brands are Optimizing Their Pinterest Marketing to Get Significant Results” with panelists from Campbell’s Soup, Constant Contact, and The Grommet.

Natalie Jill: How to Turn Pins Into Customers and Profit With Pinterest

The first note I made at Natalie’s lecture was, “be real with your followers, not ‘business-y,’ be yourself, no trickery, no strategy,” which was a theme throughout the conference [link to my SMMW16 take-aways article].

Natalie also discussed CVOT, or Content Value Over Time. This means that, on Pinterest, your content gets better over time (unlike Facebook or Twitter where your last update is relevant until someone else posts something more interesting…in other words for about two hours). This is easily Pinterest’s most unique feature from a marketing perspective!

Natalie’s top 5 Pinterest tips:

#1 – Maintain just 5 to 10 boards (so they remain “above the fold”)

#2 – Use branded cover images for your boards (see image below)

#3 – Name your boards with SEO and search engines in mind (i.e. local keywords)

#4 – Take Natalie’s “Pinfinity” training class

#5 – Create visually appealing pins (use Canva, make pins that are long versus wide, use cute fonts and great colors)

personalized board covers

Vincent Ng: How to Drive Traffic With Pinterest’s Interests and Visual Discovery Tool

So Vincent runs a Pinterest advertising agency—very cool!

He started out by reminding us that when we first signed up for Pinterest we were asked not just to follow 5 boards or 5 pinners but to follow 5 interests as well. An interest might be “Country Music” or “Pitbulls” and should not be mistaken for categories (the items listed on a drop-down menu when we select what kind of board we are creating).

According to Vincent, Pinterest is working very hard to promote following more interests (vs. boards and pinners).

Similar to searching a hashtag on Instagram, one can search an interest feed on Pinterest. Each interest will also have sub-interests (as seen in the colorful bubbles just below the toolbar).

A pinterest interest feed

#6 – Name your boards after Pinterest sub-interests for good “SEO” (and changing an existing board’s name won’t get you penalized).

Sub-interests are smaller, less competitive niches, so they are ideal over a more broad interest like “music” or “travel.” Interests with just 10,000-200,000 followers are ideal. Expect it took take 10-13 weeks for one of your pins to start showing up in an interest feed.

#7 – If you want to dominate a specific interest feed, drop 20 pins of the same topic at the same time—you’ll wallpaper the board! Only do this sporadically so you don’t get penalized.

#8 – To see what the competition looks like in a niche you are interested in, check out: http://www.pinterest.com/explore/ [insert your keyword]

Panel Discussion: How Brands are Optimizing Their Pinterest Marketing to Get Significant Results

How does Campbell’s Soup or Constant Contact manage their Pinterest accounts?

In this panel discussion, I got to hear just that and compare it to the strategies of two smaller companies (The Grommet and host Amy Locurto). The common denominator?

All panelists said that their free pins generated more activity than their paid pins. Ya gotta love Pinterest!

Pinterest is Constant Contact’s #1 source of blog traffic (over paid Facebook ads).

Constant Contact pins 9-12 new pins daily, The Grommet pins 3-5, and host Amy from Locurto Living posts 20-80.

Here are some more takeaways from the panel discussion:

#9 – Reformat your images for Pinterest...don’t expect to just repost a wide image from your blog with no text on it and have it go viral…none of these companies repin images from their websites, they all upload special Pinterest versions of their images.

#10 – Cover 30% of an image with text leads to the best results (vs. just one word on the image or covering the entire image).

#11 – Don’t neglect your pin descriptions—pinners might not read them but search engines do.

#12 – Use Pinterest automation tools. Every panelist’s company used a tool to automatically post for them: Tailwind, Ahalogy, Cure Late, and Board Booster.

And, I’m super excited to say, just two weeks after the conference and about four months into my Pinterest campaign, I booked my first wedding from Pinterest!!!

The bride came across one of my real wedding playlist pins, clicked over to my website, liked my vibe, and booked!

And, to think, I just sought out Pinterest as a traffic strategy…but now that I know I can not just generate leads but create bookings, I plan to hit Pinterest even harder!

What do you think about Pinterest?