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This Week’s Episode
Whether you’ve struggled to maintain a presence on Pinterest without indulging in hours of procrastination, or if you just haven’t dived into Pinterest yet, this episode has 10 great tips for staying active on Pinterest in just minutes a day. (By the way, I’m cyeshow on Pinterest!)
10 Ways to Use Pinterest to Grow Your Business (in Just Minutes a Day)
- Establish a small number of pins per day
- Pin as you’d like to be pinned (The Golden Rule)
- Alternate between pinning new content from other websites and re-pinning
- Use “Also on” to find new people and boards to follow
- Join group boards
- Refresh your boards periodically
- Use secret boards
- Convert to a business account
- Take better pictures
- Make it easy for people to find you if the Pin gets separated from the link
Following these 10 tips takes just a few minutes a day, but allows you to grow a following on interest and engage with your fans and colleagues.
This post contains affiliate links.
1) Establish a small number of pins per day
Pick a number of pins (5, 10, or 15, depending on your schedule) that you will commit to each day. Pin binges are still ok – in moderation! – but approach your visits to Pinterest with your target goal in mind and leave when you’ve reached it.
If it’s too difficult to visit the Pinterest website without getting lost in the visual beauty, rely on a Pin It button in your browser. You can find instructions for adding the button to various browsers here.
2) Pin as you’d like to be pinned (The Golden Rule)
When pinning content, be sure to include the source in your text. When re-pinning, this may require a visit to the original link to get information that the first pinner didn’t include. Share enough information in the description to make the original material sound interesting and to encourage people to click through to the original post. Don’t copy and paste so much information that visiting the original source is no longer necessary.
3) Alternate between pinning new content from other websites and re-pinning
Re-pinning is a great way to engage with your Pinterest community and meet new (to you) pinners. It also adds diversity to your Pinterest content since you may not be exposed to the same websites as someone else. It can also prevent you from being spammy and pinning too much of your own content.
To stay within my number of pins per day, I alternate, focusing on pinning new content on some days and only re-pinning content on other days.
4) Use “Also on” to find new people and boards to follow
After pinning content that is already on Pinterest, the Also on screen will pop up.
It’s a great way to find new pinners with similar interests. You can grow your followers, find great content to re-pin, and engage with other pinners. I especially checking out boards that have the same content I’ve pinned organized differently. For example, they’ve pinned the same pattern I have on a crochet board to a photography board. I can usually find interesting information to diversify my pins that way.
5) Join group boards
Group boards can be a great way to engage with other pinners or cross-promote content with other businesses. PinGroupie allows you to search for group boards in different categories and sort them based on several different factors. You can also find group boards through Also On, or be invited to join based on your pins. Be sure to follow the guidelines established by the group (usually listed on the group’s board in the description) about how often and what type of content can be pinned.
Once you join a group, the board will appear as an option in your drop down menu as you pin new content.
6) Refresh your boards periodically
You can refresh your boards by reordering them, splitting larger boards into multiple smaller boards, and/or optimizing your board titles and keywords.
Feature your own content prominently at the top if you have a lot of boards, since most people won’t scroll all the way down. (Also, most mobile devices only display the first two boards on the screen.) As you add new boards, these automatically move to the bottom of your list, so refreshing periodically is a great way to make sure the most important content for your business right now is at the top.
You can find instructions for adding, editing, deleting, and reordering boards on a variety of devices on Pinterest here.
7) Use secret boards
Secret boards are a great way to pin content privately. Secret boards can be converted to public boards, and can be shared with collaborators.
There are three great reasons for using secret boards:
- To create your mood boards, or to compile research and information. These boards may never become public, but are a way for you to organize visual content for yourself.
- To organize collaborative projects. You can share a secret board with a collaborator (or collaborators) to share visual resources for a group project.
- To (slowly) prepare for a launch. You can pin content slowly over time to a secret board that will be ready to turn public when you launch a new product, website, or design, rather than trying to put together a new board in a mad rush to coincide with your launch.
You can find instructions for creating, using, and sharing secret boards on Pinterest here.
The next 3 tips are specifically about using Pinterest as a business and making your own content more pin-able.
8) Convert to a business account
In the beginning, you weren’t supposed to use Pinterest for business reasons. If you want to convert your existing personal account to a business account (or create a separate business account), visit Pinterest for Business. You’ll get access to improved analytics and you won’t run into problems when pinning your own content. You can also verify your website, which allows other people on Pinterest to see you own it (and you aren’t some shady business).
9) Take better pictures
For most of this, taking better picture is a constant struggle or growth process. But the fact is that better pictures are more likely to be pinned. Here are some basic tips to help you get on your way (in a just minutes on day!) to being a better photographer.
- Know your camera. Read the manual, or at least download the PDF version so it’s easily searchable when you run into a problem.
- Use indirect natural lighting when possible. Direct lighting can be really harsh, and indoor lighting can introduce unusual colors to your projects.
- Take many pictures. Avoid the urge to “take one and (be) done!” Take a lot of pictures so that you can choose the best ones to share online.
- Take test pictures to test settings. Take a few sample pictures and look them over on your camera before you start taking your “real pictures.” This may allow you to fix settings for lighting, exposure, white balance, etc., or even to move your model into a better position to avoid weird shadows or backgrounds.
- Practice! Your photography will definitely improve with practice. You’ll become more confident with your camera and, if you reflect on what you’ve done, you can make corrections to improve your photography going forward.
- Post-production. You can use post-production to improve your pictures. Even small adjustments like cropping out backgrounds, adjusting exposure, or changing the level of color saturation can greatly improve your pictures. Some photo editing options include:
- Lightroom is an Adobe product for photo editing that is much cheaper than Photoshop. This is what I use for editing when I’m on my main computer.
- Pixlr is a free, online photo editor.
- PicMonkey is an online photo editor with some light graphics features. There is a free and premium version. (I used PicMonkey to edit the screenshots in this post, and to add the text and arrows.)
Remember that portrait and square images fill an entire column on Pinterest. Landscape pictures look very small. This can be updated in post-production. This doesn’t mean you can never take landscape pictures, but try to include at least a few portrait or square pictures in each post.
10) Make it easy for people to find you if the Pin gets separated from the link
Sometimes, Pins get separated from links. Maybe the person who originally pinned your content linked to your main blog page, and now the post with that image is buried. Or, perhaps they didn’t write a description and you changed your permalinks, so no one can find the original post.
- Add unobtrusive watermarks or logos to your pictures. When possible, include your website’s name and the title of the post or project so people can Google the information if the link is separated from the image. You can use PicMonkey or Canva to do this.
- Use Canva to create infographics or graphic text for web content that doesn’t have other images. Canva is a great, free online graphic design program. You can use it to make infographics, add watermarks to images, or create images of quotes or phrases (such as the title of a blog post). You can store images that you upload or access free stock photos and illustrations. You can also purchase images for commercial use for $1. Canva also has pre-sized templates for all types of social media, so you can easily make banners for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. profiles.
- Label your pictures when you upload them. Most people don’t take the time to write great text when pinning content. Give them a head start by writing text that brings people back to your site.
For other sites, try to pin your own content. What shows up in the text? Is it the image title, the caption, the description? That is the text you want to optimize for future uploads.
But wait, I thought this was in just minutes a day?!?!
Remember the first tip, which is to limit your total time on Pinterest. I’m not expecting you to go back through all of your pre-existing content and optimize it for Pinterest, or take 10x more pictures for your blog. If you make these adjustments as you add new content, you will only spend a few minutes a day while using Pinterest to grow your business.
If you struggle with photography, you may want to check out some of my Pin boards:
- Photography: General How To
- Product Photography: How To
- Photographing People: How To
- Photography Classes & Books
Craftsy also offers several online photography classes, including Shoot It: Product Photography Class, which specifically focuses in on yarn-related businesses.
What other tips do you have for using Pinterest for business? What questions do you have that weren’t addressed in this summary or in the show? Leave a comment below, Tweet me at @cyeshow, or leave a message at 646-713-8973. (You can call me for free through the Contact page.)
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