XOVI Experts

How you are guaranteed to get many more new and qualified followers on Pinterest

Björn Tantau | October 27, 2015

Pinterest? Yes, the “social network for images”. This description was used frequently in recent years; in the meantime, Instagram has snapped up the title for itself. But in the end, it probably doesn’t matter to Pinterest, since with 100 million users worldwide, Pinterest has made it in the marketing mix. And compared with Instagram, Pinterest has something clearly going for it: the readiness of the user to use the platform as a shopping channel. Unlike Instagram, Pinterest understood early on how to turn the resulting traffic into hard cash for publishers – often through clever affiliate marketing. That, however, works only for publishers if they themselves have a substantial reach on Pinterest. And if you are a publisher and/or affiliate and want to know how you can create this reach, then read the following article:

Pinterest is keen on interaction

To build up a qualified reach, nothing is more important than interaction. In that regard, Pinterest provides you with a considerable palette: comments, repins, likes or just standard clicks and views of a “pin” (that is what an image uploaded on Pinterest is called). Each pin on Pinterest is repinned on average 10 times (which corresponds to a forwarding rate that other platforms such as Twitter can only dream of).

With Pinterest, you can:

  • Create traffic for your website
  • Generate new customer contacts (leads)
  • Increase revenue through sales
  • Improve your branding

These four factors are the consequences of a carefully thought-out strategy. Without such a strategy, it just won’t work, Pinterest is no exception. Spontaneous stunts along the lines of “Let’s also do something with social media now” no longer work in 2015 – if you do not know exactly what your goal is and how to achieve it, you will fail and precisely because of that you need an outstanding strategy.

Find your niche and be convincing

You already know your goal: you want to build up a qualified reach on Pinterest. In other words: you want to reach Pinterest users who are interested in your topic and ideally, are willing to begin their customer journey with your content on Pinterest, so that ultimately they end up in your/a shop and you can earn something from those users.

But how do you reach this reach? First, you need to see to your Pinterest profile and choose a username that represents either you as a person, your company or the topic of your product. Don’t be tempted to open an account that is a kaleidoscope of topics with a meaningless name offering everything – that won’t work.

So, fill in your profile description and give an honest picture that still will not put anyone to sleep. Point out your topic and explain to potential followers what your Pinterest page is all about. Don’t forget to put a link to your website or your shop in your profile – as a rule, traffic comes directly from a pin, but it can’t hurt to have a link in your profile, too.

Show (almost) always people, not products

For your profile to be really meaningful, it has to have a photo, of course. The same approach applies as for the name of your profile: you need to score with your photo – depending on what you want to achieve.

If it is about you, then choose a nice photo of yourself; if it is about your company, then it is better to also take a photo of you (or of an attractive colleague) and create a personal link by adding an additional logo to the photo (people simply buy from people and not from logos). I also recommend this approach with products and services since I myself have had positive experiences with it in my own projects and those for clients.

As mentioned, it is always better to show attractive and ideally cheerful people, rather than a logo or photo of a product. Exceptions are products that have a very strong emotional connection, such as cars – in that case it is actually better to show the new Mercedes in profile and not the CEO.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained

80 percent of all pins on Pinterest are repins. You ask yourself why I mention this figure? Well, when you know that 8 out of 10 pins are actually content from third parties that have been forwarded because of their quality, then you do not have to be a genius – it is obvious that you, too, have to produce such high quality pins to stand out from the crowd.

That way your content will correspondingly be forwarded more often. The result: you gain significantly higher reach within Pinterest and consequently also more new followers. Your ever-growing audience share your content more and more and so grows your reach…

Actually, rather simple – if you act accordingly! Pinterest is a visual platform and that is why your content needs to have great visual appeal so that it stands out. Having said that, infographics also work very well on Pinterest – because they often cite a lot of facts and thus are able to solve concrete problems. At the end of the day, you will be a real pro on Pinterest once you manage to produce exactly this type of content: nice to look at while adding helpful value.

Colourful is better!

And while I am on the “visual” bandwagon: colour plays a huge role on Pinterest! Photos that are colourful have a better chance on Pinterest than photos that are not. That also goes for light and dark photos – if you lighten your pins a bit, then you greatly increase your chances that other pinners will share your photos.

Your own activity and interaction are crucial on Pinterest. For that reason, it pays for you to heavily share interesting pins from other pinners (think about that 80 percent). That comes in handy for you for two reasons: first, you naturally attract much more attention from the people whose pins you repin and secondly, in doing so, you yourself become an important multiplicator who ultimately will also get more followers – because you are spreading good content and that is always appreciated.

The same applies to commenting on pins. Just go to the most popular pins on Pinterest and give your opinion. Friendliness and objectivity pay off here, but feel free to give critical feedback from time to time – that makes you even more authentic and such people are generally followed more, because people like genuineness (which is far too rare, unfortunately).

Why you should not become a spammer

Don’t overdo it with your comments! Even if you write nice ones, Pinterest will view you as a spammer and in the worst case, ban your account if you distribute too many comments. So, keep things normal and make only a couple of comments per day, that way you will generally be playing it safe.

It is also advisable to mention other accounts. You know that from Twitter, since there you can favour other users with a “mention” – whether you do that with a repin or a comment, it doesn’t matter in the end. The person(s) that you mark will realise it and in many cases, will then also have a look at your account – and if you have something there to offer, then you will be followed, which also naturally increases your reach.

And of course, you can follow interesting people on Pinterest yourself. The chances are good that they will then also have a look at your profile in any case – and perhaps follow you in return. The line “Follow me because I follow you” may no longer be very attractive, thanks to Twitter, but it still works if you just follow the right people – you can follow between 100 and 300 new people per day, then wait a while and see if these people follow you in return.

Of followers and trackers

This tactic works best if you yourself have really attractive and/or useful content. In such a case it is virtually certain that you will be followed, if the topic is right. Basically, I recommend anyway that you first equip your account with great content – and only then go fishing for followers. In principle, it is like going to a party at a club – if it is still empty, you hesitate to go in. But if the place is already packed, then more and more people show up automatically.

It can also be of help if you promote your Pinterest account on other social networks from time to time. But don’t forget to take care of the content first before you start advertising (the same principle as previously mentioned). And if you are particularly clever, then you don’t promote your whole account, rather individual boards – I do so myself and have brought my board “Geniale Infografiken / Brilliant Infographics” to the fore on Pinterest.

Finally, I can’t fail to mention that you can carry out competitions on Pinterest – and just as on other social networks, you need to offer a prize relevant to the topic so that you get the right followers. The more valuable the prize, the more followers you will get; just be sure not to set the contest participation hurdle too high (for instance, repin 30 pins or sign up for your newsletter). Don’t forget important things such as mentioning the time frame of the promotion and point out the conditions of participation.

The upshot

I have given you a couple of key tips and hints in this article on how you can increase your reach on Pinterest. At the very end, though, I would like to reiterate that you can drastically improve your chances if you first make available a lot of attractive and practical content. Then you need to give yourself time and be patient – if your strategy is any good and you have followed it rigorously, you will be successful. Don’t be tempted and buy followers. Even on Pinterest you will just be wasting your money and 99 percent of your contacts will exist only on paper – that is something you truly don’t want. Happy Pinning!