What if I told you there’s a way to build an online empire through posting photos you love?
And what if I told you those photos don’t even have to be your own?
You’d shake your head. Impossible.
But what if I told you someone actually went and did it?
In fact, many people did it. One of them is Joy Cho.
Joy Cho started her creative design blog in 2005. As a way to grow her brand, she joined Pinterest as a beta user before it became public.
Since then, Cho has never stopped using Pinterest to grow her business. The result?
A gigantic creative empire and 12 million Pinterest followers.
And you can grow your brand through Pinterest, too. All you need is the right strategy.
Pinterest: A Treasure Trove for the Online Marketer
Pinterest is all about fantastic photos, unique interests, and creative ideas. It’s about sharing what you love with other people who love it.
But it’s not only that. It’s also a huge platform where you can market your brand and expect outstanding success. Take a look at these facts:
- Pinterest has 322 million active monthly users.
- 90% of weekly Pinterest users log in to make buying decisions.
- A survey conducted by Pinterest concluded that 73% of pinners welcome content from brands.
So how can you stand out on Pinterest and gain millions of followers, cement your brand, and invite tons of traffic to your website?
Here are 10 proven strategies that will get you noticed on Pinterest.
1. Be Selective of Your Boards
Pinterest is a little different from other social media platforms.
It’s not about the person posting the content, but the content itself and how people relate to it.
For instance, let’s go back to the example of Joy Cho. She has 77 different boards on Pinterest.
Her most popular one? The board on hairstyles.
Joy Cho’s Hair board has over six million followers. And while girls with long hair might not follow Joy Cho herself, they’ll follow her Hair board.
What this says to you is don’t waste time promoting all your boards.
Choose the ones that are the most successful and pour all your energy into promoting them.
Tip: As you can see from the above example, the board with the most pins might not be your most popular board. Joy’s For the Home board has 3,587 pins and four million followers, while her Hair board has only 351 pins but six million followers.
2. Pick the Best Time for Pinning
When you pin is as important as what you pin.
No matter how fascinating your pins are, they won’t do you good if no one sees them.
So when is the best time to pin?
According to Buffer, you should pin around the afternoons and evenings. On weekdays, the Buffer team clusters posts between 2-4 p.m. and 9-11 p.m. Eastern.
Tip: You can also research at what time your target market is most active, and pin then.
3. Take Advantage of Red Letter Days
Unlike with Facebook, users on Pinterest don’t log in to their accounts to keep tabs on their ex or find out which new tourist spots their friends have visited.
Pinterest is action-driven. Pinners log in to find inspiration for a birthday party, learn new ways to style their hair, or try out a mouthwatering recipe.
So if it’s Christmastime, Thanksgiving, or Halloween? It’s the perfect time for you to pin content related to the holiday.
Here’s an example.
If it’s almost Christmas and you’re wondering how to wrap your presents, you’d be the first to save this pin and follow the board.
Tip: It’s a good idea to pin holiday-themed content a little earlier than the holiday itself. For example, pinning Christmas ideas in November is a good practice.
4. Spark Engagement with Contests
When you give away something awesome through a contest, you get immediate attention.
For instance, take a look at this contest.
Users notice it because who wouldn’t want six free nights in Hawaii enjoying wellness treatments, sumptuous organic meals, and culture classes?
Tip: Go all out with your contests, but avoid these spammy tactics:
- Asking Pinners to comment as many times as they can on your content.
- Running contests too often.
- Requiring Pinners to endorse your website or blog.
5. Keep an Eye Out for Popular Boards
On Pinterest, there are boards that allow multiple Pinners to share their content.
Here’s an example of one.
As you can see, the board on the left features a small circle at the bottom that shows more than one profile photo. This means the board has multiple contributors.
The best thing about joining a group board is you’ll get exposure to new followers. Post something that stands out on the board, and they’ll surely be curious about you.
Tip: Don’t join boards with only a few followers. To make your time and talent worthwhile, look for those with over a thousand followers.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Curate
As Pablo Picasso once said, “art is theft.”
But on Pinterest, you don’t have to worry about “stealing” beautiful photos. In fact, that’s what Pinterest is all about!
On Pinterest, you’re like a museum curator. You select the most fascinating works of art, organize them, and then display them for the public to enjoy.
So don’t be afraid if you only have a few of your own photos. Pinning content from other users will make you popular just the same.
For inspiration, here’s a look at Maryann Rizzo’s board, Everything.
Most of the photos pinned to the board aren’t Maryann’s own. They’re photos she genuinely cared about and saved to her board.
Four million followers.
Tip: Be selective about the photos you pin to your boards. They should fit your niche and catch attention at the same time.
7. Make the Necessary Connections
Your Pinterest account shouldn’t stand on its own.
That’s why you should connect it to your website, social media accounts, or online shop.
When you do this, Pins from these accounts get attributed to you.
You can also get analytics on your Pinterest content.
Tip: To claim your website and social media accounts, click on the three dots at the top right toolbar of your account. Click Edit Settings.
On the left toolbar, click Claim. You can then fill in your information to claim your site, shop, or social media account.
8. Be Consistent
To gain millions of followers, don’t just pin when inspiration strikes you.
Pin every single day!
The more high-quality pins you have, the more followers you’ll get. It’s that simple.
For instance, take a look at Poppytalk’s board At the Lake – Interiors.
This board has more than 1,000 pins and 3 million followers!
Tip: No matter how busy you get, make it a rule to pin at least one photo every single day.
9. Follow Other Pinners
Following other Pinners gives you two benefits:
- It brings beautiful content to your Pinterest home screen.
- Many of those you follow will follow you back.
Tip: It’s a good idea to follow Pinners within your niche. When you do, the content you get will be relevant to re-pin to your boards.
10. Stand Out
It goes without saying that when you do something different, people will notice.
So be creative. Be yourself. Take risks.
Here’s a lovely board to inspire you. If pink makes you smile, that is.
Are You Ready to Go Viral on Pinterest?
So, are you utilizing Pinterest as a huge marketing platform that’ll grab attention, establish your brand, and drive tons of traffic to your site?
If not, you should start right now.
Stand out on Pinterest.
Create and curate fascinating photos.
Engage with other users.
Who knows? With a little time and persistent effort, you can gain your own 12 million followers.
All screenshots taken by author, November 2019
Julia McCoy is a serial content marketer, entrepreneur, and bestselling author. She founded a multi-million dollar content agency, Express Writers, with nothing more than $75 at 19 years old. Today, her team has nearly 100 expert content creators on staff, and serves thousands of clients around the world. She’s earned her way to the top 30 worldwide content marketers, and has a passion for sharing what she knows in her books and in her online course, The Content Strategy & Marketing Course. Julia also hosts The Write Podcast on iTunes.