A Pinterest strategy for people who aren't that into Pinterest

A Pinterest strategy for people who aren't that into Pinterest

Pinterest is a beautiful, whimsical place full of perfectly sculpted cupcakes, inspirational fitness memes and home organization tips bordering on neurotic. I'll admit that when I first signed up, I got sucked in hard for about two weeks.

But then I was totally over it.

Pinterest is popular for the same reason Martha Stewart is famous – we like to admire the work of incredibly talented people with seemingly endless free time for crafts and secretly hope that they get hit by a bus.

If I'm being honest, I'm just not that into it.

However, as an entrepreneur who owns a small business, I know that Pinterest is an important promotional outlet. I'd be a fool to not make as much use of it as I can.

If you have an online business, you need to be on Pinterest.

If that made you cringe, I am so, so sorry and I totally get you.

This is my super simple strategy for managing Pinterest when you just can't make yourself love it.

Make sure you're using a business account.

(You only have to do this once.)

You can get one here, or convert yours to business if you already have a personal account. This lets you link up your website so the address appears at the top of your page. It also has a bunch of other very useful features like Rich Pins, analytics, and widgets you can put on your website.

Enable Rich Pins on your website

(You only have to do this once.)

Rich pins provide additional information about a pin, such as info about the website it's from, more details about a product, and other neat stuff that increases engagement. You don't really have to understand them or care about them. Just set them up. Here's how to do it.

Make your website graphics pinnable.

(You only have to do this once.)

Commit to using vertical images (like the one at the top of this post) and install some kind of "pin it" button. 

Squarespace has this functionality built in under Settings > Marketing > Pin It Buttons.

For Wordpress, jQuery Pin It Button for Images is an easy-to-use plugin.

You can also use something like SumoMe to add sharing buttons to your posts.

Get your boards in order.

(You do this once and it requires occasional maintenance.)

The first important thing to realize about Pinterest is that it's more search engine than social media platform. That means that you need to make sure your boards are in order in the same way you would optimize your website for SEO.

  • Avoid "punny" cute board names and instead favor SEO friendly titles that clearly explain what a board contains.

  • Instead of creating scattershot boards of pretty things, create boards with pinning your own posts and products in mind. A good way to start is to look at your blog or product categories and create boards around those topics, so that you can pin your own posts and related content from other sites.

  • Stay in your lane and consider your niche. If you're an interior designer, there's no reason to fill a board up with fashion pins, but you might want one with pretty framed prints. If you're a handbag designer, you don't need a board of outdoor gardens, but you might want a fashion board of outerwear. 

Yes, you have to pin other people's things.

(Do this at least once a week if you can swing it.)

You need to pin more of other people's stuff than your own.

This is integral to promoting your stuff on Pinterest – you have to pin other people's stuff, or you're going to look like a greedy dickhead and people will ignore you. Plus, your boards will be skimpy and boring.

"But Pinterest is weird and scary and I don't want to hang out there all day!"

Dude, I know. You don't have to.

When you're reading through your RSS feed in the morning, checking out all the new posts from your favorite blogs? Pin the relevant ones to Pinterest.

When you're scrolling through Facebook or Twitter and find a great article? Pin that thing.

Make pinning part of your regular routine when you're consuming other people's content.

Which brings us to our next item...

Follow boards, not people.

(Do this once and find new ones occasionally.)

This is the single best piece of Pinterest advice I've ever gotten.

Don't follow individual people on Pinterest. Instead, look at their boards and follow ONLY the boards that interest you and relate to your niche.

That way, when you go to your own Pinterest feed, it's going to be full of relevant pins that are exactly on topic and you can pin a lot of things really quickly without having to wade through a bunch of other crap.

Make pinning your own stuff to Pinterest a part of your routine promotion

(Regular but easy.)

If you're a blogger or run an online store, you probably have a regular promotion routine when you publish a new thing. You might share it on Facebook or Twitter. Add Pinterest to that list.

Extra credit: Put your Pinterest boards on autopilot (mostly) for $5 a month.

The fact is that the more you pin, the more your pins will float to the top of people's feeds and be repinned, and the more your Pinterest-driven traffic will grow. Consistency is key, so it doesn't work as well if you pin a lot in a sprint and then pin nothing for a week.

That sucks if you hate Pinterest, but with Boardbooster you can automate some of that process.

With Boardbooster's Scheduler tool, you can queue up pins to drip out with whatever frequency you want, and with their Looper tool, you can repin old pins from your boards to make use of that content again.

Do you love or hate Pinterest? What tools have you found to make it painless?