Pinterest has a long-held reputation as the sleeper social media site. But businesses who know how to use it think of it differently. To them, it’s a secret weapon that delivers more traffic and conversions than Facebook, Instagram and Twitter combined.
What makes it a powerful traffic source?
First off, Pinterest is a search engine like Google, only with beautiful images. In fact, as of February 2018 Pinterest Lens received more than 600 million searches.
With a little design and keyword magic, businesses can generate organic traffic and increase sales without having to build a huge following of their own.
Pinterest is also a bookmarking site. There’s a community component to the platform that encourages businesses to share content and products so that Pinterest users (known as pinners) can discover them.
The best part is, pinners are shoppers. 90% of weekly pinners use the platform to make a purchase decision.
If you’re not including Pinterest in your marketing strategy, you may be missing an opportunity to reach potential customers.
Here are eight tools that will help level up your Pinterest marketing:
Tailwind is a Pinterest-approved scheduling tool that will free up your time and increase the reach of your pins.
It has loads of must-have tools for bloggers and business owners:
- SmartScheduler – Batch schedule pins
- SmartLoop – Semi-evergreen looping system that recycles your pins
- Interval Pinning – Share your pins at staggered intervals so they look natural and organic
- Board Lists – Another tool to promote new pins and recycle older ones
- Analytics – Discover top performing boards and pins
- Tribes – Communities of people who share each other’s pins
SmartSchedule is considered the hub of Tailwind. It has a visual drag-and-drop calendar with time slots based on when your audience is most active on Pinterest.
In the above image, the dotted time slots are recommendations from Tailwind. The grey slots are ones you would add manually.
Tailwind also has a Chrome browser extension so you can schedule pins directly from your site or other sites.
You can get started with a free Tailwind account and 100 pins. A premium plan starts at $9.99 a month.
Canva is a super simple design tool that makes creating pin images fun and easy.
You can choose from their library of over 1 million graphics, photos, and templates or upload your own images and graphics.
To start a new pin design, just select the preset pin size (735x1102px) or choose from one of their pre-made pin templates. You can also set custom dimensions for your pin.
You can easily add images, text, photos and anything else. Just click on an element from the left sidebar, and it will show up on your design. From there you can resize, crop the image, adjust the image effects and saturation, change the transparency. It’s also easy to change colours, font sizes, letter spacing, line height and more. Canva even offers layering features similar to Photoshop so you can place elements in front of or behind each other.
You can start using Canva for free. When you’re ready to upgrade to Canva for Work, you’ll have access to loads more graphics and features that make designing pins a breeze.
My favorite premium feature is the Brand section. Save your logo, colors and fonts to share with your team and use on any design project.
Canva for Work starts at $12.95 a month. Keep in mind that some Canva images are premium, meaning that you’ll need to pay for them, even if you have a premium account.
One of the best ways to reach a broad audience is to share your pins to group boards with large followings. Sometimes finding group boards for your niche can be difficult.
That’s where PinGroupie comes in.
PinGroupie is a free tool with more than 40 categories to choose from. If you don’t see your niche, you can search for it in the description bar.
You can see the pins, collaborators, and followers for each group board. This will help you decide if the board is worth joining. But don’t stop there. Make sure you visit the board to ensure that the pins have high engagement and are relevant to your business.
Generally speaking, boards with a high number of followers and fewer contributors will perform the best. That said, there’s no way to know for sure without testing. A group with a million followers and little engagement can be equally effective.
Most group board owners will tell you how to join in the description.
For example, the group board Solopreneur Success requires that you email them and follow the board owner.
A word of caution:
Pinterest has been cracking down on spammy groups. The reason is that many collaborators will share their pins and leave without resharing from the group.
Make sure that you use a Pinterest marketing strategy that tracks the performance of groups and tribes so you don’t hurt your Pinterest SEO instead of help it.
Even though you don’t need to have a huge following to get traffic from Pinterest, having more followers is always a good thing.
Not only will you reach more people because your pins will display in their feed, but you’ll also send social signals that your brand is credible and has influence.
How do you gain more followers when you’re just starting out?
A good strategy is to follow pinners in your target audience.
You can find them by finding the followers of competitors and other brands in your niche.
Not everyone you follow will follow back. PinFollow will tell you who they are.
Note: It’s never good practice to mass follow/unfollow. You risk getting your account suspended if you do. It’s better to follow a handful of *targeted* pinners every day, say 20-30.
5. Pinterest Search
I’ve already mentioned how powerful Pinterest’s search engine is. What you may not know is that there are 3 ways to use it to improve your SEO:
- The SmartFeed
This is the feed you see when you log into Pinterest. Pinterest shows pins to people who follow you first, then others based on their interests and searches. Before your pins show up anywhere though, Pinterest will rate them based on quality, keywords, and your overall domain score. The higher your score, the higher you’ll show up in the feed.
- Hashtag search
Hashtag search works the same as other social media platforms: When you search for a hashtag, you’ll see all the pins using it, with recent pins shown first. Unlike keywords, hashtags aren’t driven by the SmartFeed algorithm. That means that anyone (including spammers) can use a hashtag in their pin and show up for it.
- Follow tab
This is a relatively new feature that helps your followers find your most recent pins, along with pins from other people they’re following.
It’s the perfect time to market your business on Pinterest.
Pinterest is no longer a place for only recipe ideas and fashion inspiration. Nowadays, it’s a valuable resource that allows pinners to evaluate options, discover products, research things that interest them, and most importantly, buy stuff.
Savvy marketers and business owners are catching on. The tools listed here will help you dominate Pinterest and use it to drive an incredible amount of traffic to your website.