Pinterest is a unique social network in its design and usability. Many brands such as Nordstrom Rack have accumulated millions of followers that, as a combined force, make pins from these brands go viral. There are marketers who are utilizing Pinterest as well, and I can testify that Pinterest is a great way to promote your content.
Although I do not use Pinterest as often as Twitter, I have been able to accumulate over 15,000 followers. Pinterest users love to share other people’s content because the social network turns sharing other people’s pins into a reward. Many Pinterest users want to have boards with numerous pins. The Pinterest board with 100 pins looks way better than the Pinterest board with only 1 pin. Having more pins on their boards allows users to create a more enticing account for potential followers.
Pinning valuable content will allow your pins to spread farther on Pinterest, but there are mistakes that may prevent you from growing the big audience needed to go viral and build an authority on Pinterest. If you want to have a big audience on Pinterest, these are the six mistakes that you must avoid.
#1: Surfing on Pinterest
The double-edged sword fact about Pinterest is that it is highly addictive. The advantage of the double-edged sword is that if you have a large audience, some of those people will scroll through your entire boards and repin everything in sight. This means more exposure for you, and in some cases, more traffic for your blog as well. The disadvantage is that Pinterest can eat away a giant chunk of your time. The Pinterest memes on the web that say things like, “I’ll be on Pinterest for a few minutes hours” are popular for a reason.
Pinterest has millions of users that could benefit from your content which means with great power comes great responsibility. If you strive to grow a big audience on Pinterest, you must spend a bulk of your time on Pinterest sending pins instead of looking through other people’s pins.
#2: Pinning numerous pins in a row
Pinning frequency is an interesting topic of discussion. When you are a newbie, it is important to fill your boards with pins. However, once you have enough boards filled with pins and an audience, you need to pin smarter. If you send out more than three pins in one minute, you are pinning too much at one time.
Pinterest users who surf see their updates on a timeline, similar to Twitter, Facebook, and most of the other social networks as well. The only difference is that Pinterest users see their timeline in the form of large pictures that take up more space on the screen than a tweet.
I recently went on Pinterest to see how pins appear on my feed. Here is what I saw
- Two pictures and their descriptions
- Half of an infographic
- Half of two pictures and no text
I was startled to realize that I only saw five pins on my feed, and I couldn’t even see everything that three of those five pins contained. On Twitter, I typically see five tweets from start to finish. Many Pinterest users like Pinterest because of the variety it has. If you send out 10 pins in 1 minute, there is no variety. It’s all you, and that results in some people clicking the unfollow button.
While pinning constantly in a short period of time is initially a great way to get more pins on your board, it will annoy your audience. A good fix to the problem is to create a secret board and add 100 pins or more to that board before publishing it. That way, you don’t have to annoy your followers with 100 pins in a few minutes.
#3: Not taking the time to craft an effective bio
Your bio is one of the most important components on any social network or blog. It is the make or break point of your authority. People will not know anything about you until they read your bio. Sure, having pins available related to your niche does help, but since Pinterest is all about variety, you may have some boards related to your niche and some boards that have nothing to do about your niche.
An effective bio allows people to know who you are, and this clarity makes people feel more confident when they click the follow button. In your bio, it is important for you to list your expertise, accomplishments, and hobbies. I let people know that I am a digital marketing expert, but I also let people know I am a runner.
Letting people know about my expertise, accomplishments, and hobbies allows me to be compatible with more people. The more people you are similar to, whether the similarities are small or huge, the more people are going to follow you. We like to follow and listen to people who are similar to us.
#4: Not verifying your blog on Pinterest
Including your blog’s link in your Pinterest bio and verifying it on Pinterest is one of the easiest ways to get a backlink for your blog. In addition to providing a backlink, verifying your blog also gives you the checkmark that allows you to stand out from the crowd. The checkmark combined with a large audience will let people know that you are a big deal. You are verified which means you must be important.
Just as we like to follow and listen to the people who we are similar to, we also like to follow and listen to important people. Even if you have iPhones, iPads, and Macs galore, wouldn’t it be nice to meet Bill Gates. He is important, wealthy, and smart–and those are the types of people who many people enjoy listening about.
Although the checkmark may not give you Bill Gates status, it lets people know you are important. It lets people know you are worth following. It lets people know you are a valuable person in your niche.
#5: Having too many boards with not enough pins
The value of a Pinterest board is not just in the value of the pins. It is also in the quantity. The typical Pinterest user will not browse through a Pinterest board with five valuable pins as much as a Pinterest board with 500 valuable pins.
The more pins your boards have, the more someone will scroll through your board. Some of these people will repin as many pins on one of your boards as possible. Some individuals have repinned hundreds of pins from one of my boards.
Your boards need to have more pins, but it is also important to avoid annoying your followers. That is why I mentioned that pinning numerous pins in a row is a mistake before mentioning this mistake. You don’t want to send out 500 pins in 30 minutes at the cost of losing a good chunk of your followers.
#6: Not Having A Variety Of Boards
Pinterest is all about the variety. If someone searches for food on Pinterest (by the way, food pictures on Pinterest happen to be very popular), that person will see fruits, vegetables, meat, recipes, and more. When other people search for vacation destinations, they will find pictures on the beach, mountains, cities, and other places as well.
The great thing about Pinterest is that you can still let people know your expertise while pinning content related to both food and vacation destinations. Pinning content related to these two topics will result in your pins and boards related to those two topics appearing on Pinterest’s search engine.
When you are pinning about a variety of topics, you can easily let people know your expertise by putting all of the boards related to your expertise on top of your other boards. However, pinning about all of these topics will allow you to reach out to more people and grow your audience.
Some people may be skeptical because not all of these followers are necessarily targeted followers. Someone who only followed me because of my Pinterest board with cool bookshelves may not be as interested in my digital marketing articles. Growing your audience through this method has three major benefits:
- You get better social proof
- They are real followers
- Most important of them all: You need a big audience to rapidly spread on Pinterest, and growing this type of audience will give you the leverage you need to reach out to more people. Some of the people you reach out to through this method may end up being targeted users.
Having a variety of boards will ensure that you get more followers, but you also need to make sure these boards are heavily populated with pins. My recommendation is to make sure that a majority of the boards on your account has under 20 pins. None should have under ten.
Pinterest is a powerful social network that is highly addictive. Pinterest has the power to grab attention. As long as you are the one pinning content that grabs attention and not surfing, you will have the much needed time to implement the other methods and grow your audience.
Like any other social network or any blog on the web, it takes time to grow a Pinterest audience. It may take you a year to reach 5,000 followers, but each time you reach a certain milestone, it will be easier to achieve the same milestone quicker. If it took you 100 days to get your first 1,000 followers, it may only take you 90 days to get your next 1,000 followers. The reason it gets quicker each time is because you are learning new things about growing your audience and implementing them along the way.
Which tip was your favorite? Do you have any additional tips for the people who strive to grow a big audience on Pinterest?