People and businesses are using Pinterest everyday to organize and share images and inspiration they find across the web. Many are joining Pinterest in the hopes of getting their brand noticed, using the social site as a tool to promote their products, services, or blog. The only hitch is, in order to share your vision and have people engage with your brand, you need to have followers.
Having followers means that you get to funnel your posts directly to a community that wants to get to know you, giving you an opportunity to engage with your audience and increase the exposure of your brand. Sure, this all sounds great, but how exactly do you get followers anyway?
Below are 20 Pinteresting tips on how to get more Pinterest followers:
1. Only Pin What Interests You
Pinterest should be used as a resource. Only pin what interests you or what is representative of you or your brand. If you are a company or blog, pin what your followers might find interesting, but only if they resonate with your brand.
2. Keep Your Pinterest Boards Fresh
Pinterest users love fresh content and topics. Repinning items from other users is great, but often, users have already seen these images multiple times. Pinning original content from sources outside of Pinterest like Tumblr, Stumbleupon, FFFFOUND, Amazon, Houzz and other social networking sites gives reason for users to follow your boards—they get the first peek at the freshest content before it’s spread across all of Pinterest.
3. Pin Quality Images
When you’re choosing content to pin to your boards, make sure they are high-quality images or videos. Pinterest is truly a visual space and it’s vital to use eye-catching imagery to attract more followers. If you notice that an image you are about to pin is of low-quality or doesn’t adequately represent the page’s content, you may want to create your own pin imagery and load it to Pinterest manually. Pinning visually-interesting material gives you a better chance of having your content repinned. This increases the number of links back to your profile and ups your chances of getting users to engage and follow you on Pinterest.
4. Don’t go Overboard with Pinning…or Under.
People tend to get annoyed when you flood them with too much of the same type of content. Make sure to break up the genre of content you post, as well as the amount of pins during one sitting. If you post too little, users might not see the value in following your profile, while pinning too much, will definitely lead to some frustrated followers—you want to gain followers, not lose them. Each day, make it your goal to pin between 1-30 images between a variety of your boards. Make sure to also allocate a few 10-20 minute slots throughout the day to add images, like, or comment on other’s pins.
5. Curate a Variety of Boards
Offer Pinterest users an assortment of boards. Users generally only follow one or a few individual boards instead of an entire profile, so it’s beneficial to create a larger variety of boards, giving you the highest opportunity to grab a user’s attention. Create boards for every subject that is relevant to you, your business or your blog and refrain from creating additional boards that don’t resonate with you or your brand. If you feel limited on topics that apply to you, but want to increase the number of your boards, consider breaking boards down into smaller niche boards. Allrecipes does this quite well, by breaking recipes down into categories like “Drink Recipes,” Easy Recipes” and “Mini Food.”
6. Keep Boards Organized
Organized boards are key to gathering followers. Start by creating a strategy of generating and naming your boards. Get creative with your board names, choose something that is unique or catchy, but make sure it’s obvious what your board is about. Refrain from extra long board names or they might get cut short in your browser. You can choose as many subjects as you want and spread them across multiple boards. Remember that you will be managing your boards, so I wouldn’t recommend going overboard with the number of boards—it could become tedious and overwhelming every time to need to pin, it also considerably effects the load time of your profile.
Once you’ve created boards, make sure pins are placed in the appropriately named board, you don’t want cute puppies ending up on your “kitchen” board. You can also set your best pin, or most visually interesting as your board cover. Lastly, arrange your boards in an order that best represents you or your brand. Tell a story with the relationship of your boards, putting subjects you are most passionate about near the top of your list. Organizing your boards keeps them user-friendly and easily searchable for your audience.
7. Comment and Like Pins
Start interacting with your Pinterest community by using the comment and like features. If a image grabs your attention, using these tools gives you a way to engage and form a bond with other users. Simply, people enjoy receiving positive feedback and attention for their pins. If you leave a positive impression on a user through your comment, you have a better chance of gaining them as a follower. In addition, offering feedback on their posts can give you exposure and let users get to know you or your brand.
8. Follow Other People
Following users is another great way to start getting followers. Once you follow someone, there is a good chance that they will take notice and follow you back. It is a good idea to follow people or companies that you are interested in or those who have pins with related subject matter to your own. Providing similar content will appeal to users and give them an incentive to follow one or more of your boards.
9. Make Boards and Pins Easily Searchable.
Pinterest’s search feature provides a great platform for people to discover fresh new pins and even new users to follow. A search is done through the use of specific keywords and phrases. To show up in the search results, a pin must contain these keywords within its description. If you’re not writing descriptions, you are missing an opportunity to be found and followed. Image captions can be up to 500 characters in length and should contain detailed descriptions of the content of the images. Make sure descriptions are thoughtful. Avoid stuffing captions with only keywords and unhelpful comments such as, “This makes me happy” that don’t provide information about what is contained in your pin.
10. Use Hashtags
On Pinterest, hashtags may be used within a pin description. By placing the # symbol in front of a word such as #chalkboards, you will make that word clickable. When the word is then clicked, Pinterest takes you to the search results for that pin. Make sure to only use hashtags on terms that people would want to search for. Hashtags let you be found more easily, giving you more exposure and a better chance of getting followed.
11. Tag Users
Similarly to hashtags, you can also mention a user within your description or comment. This can be done by placing a @ symbol in front of the users name. You need to be following at least one of the user’s boards in order to tag them. Once you type @, potential matches for their name will load and you will be able to choose a name from a drop down list. Once you tag a person, the pin will feature their name and also link to their profile page. By tagging a user you can grab their attention, encourage a conversation, and hopefully attract a new follower.
12. Fill Out Your Pinterest Profile
An important part of generating followers is making sure you have your Profile all set up. First, start by selecting a username that is the same as your real name or business. You want make sure you brand is consistent so that people know how to find you. Next, in the “About” section you can describe yourself and your business. This description can be brief, but will give users a good idea of what you or your company is all about. Lastly, Include a link to your personal or company website and add an image for your avatar. if this is for personal use, make sure to add a headshot as the avatar rather than an icon. People will be more likely to follow a real person.
13. Invite Your Friends to Join Pinterest
This might seem obvious, but a great first step is to invite your own friends to join Pinterest and start following you. Pinterest lets you easily invite friends through email, Facebook, Gmail and Yahoo. If someone already knows you, there is a good chance they’ll start following you.
14. Connect with Other Social Media Websites
In the Pinterest settings, you can choose to link your Facebook and Twitter accounts with your Pinterest profile. When you do this, every time you make an update to your Pinterest page, you will also be able to easily pin to Facebook and Twitter. Please note, this does not currently work with Facebook Business accounts, only personal profiles. Once you link your accounts, any contacts on your other social networks will be able to easily find you and follow you. Similarly, you will also be able to find and follow friends from these sites and then invite them to view your Pinterest account. Linking profiles and inviting contacts will help increase traffic to your pages and give more opportunity to gain followers.
On Pinterest you are able to allow other users to pin to one or more of your boards by adding them as contributors. Getting additional help from these fellow taste-makers is a way to keep boards constantly fresh. If you don’t have the time to maintain your Pinterest board on your own, you can let your contributor’s pin and interact with your audience. Employees or coworkers may serve as a great source of contributors for a business. Etsy has boards specifically built to feature guest pinners, who curate their own boards on Etsy’s profile. If you choose to use contributors, it is very important you choose contributors that lend a similar viewpoint and have complementary boards to your own. This helps keep your brand stay consistent. Once someone has become a contributor, your board will appear on their profile. Having your boards across multiple collaborators profiles will increase your exposure across Pinterest.
16. Give Users What They Like
you will see what users have pinned specifically from your website or blog. For example, See what’s getting pinned off the populare design blog Design*Sponge. From this you can learn what items have been popular (or unpopular by seeing what hasn’t been pinned) and then begin catering future content to your audience. For example, If you do have a blog and everyone has been pinning your tutorials, offering up additional new tutorials would be a great way to gain interest from your audience. From the source page you can also comment and thank users for pinning your work, viewing your site or commenting on one of your pins. This gives you an additional way to engage and interact with your audience and a way to snag new followers.
17. Pin Your Own Content, but don’t go Overboard
Pinterest is a source of inspiration and also a way to build your brand. Feel free to pin your own content, but don’t make it the only thing you pin. Your boards should not be treated like ad space and filled with only your material. Boards should be built to tell to tell a story and promote the lifestyle of your brand. In the end, make sure you create boards that go beyond just showcasing your products. Rule of thumb: for each piece you pin of your own, pin 5-10 images outside of your site. A great example of a brand doing this is West Elm, which makes use of their boards by displaying their products intermixed with pins from outside their site. They also use boards that strictly feature their products, presenting a good mix of both brand and inspiration.
18. Use the “Follow Me” and “Pin it” Buttons
If you have a blog or website, one of the best things to do is incorporate Pinterest’s “Follow Me” and “Pin it” buttons. These buttons that are available on the site’s Goodies page and are free to use. The “Follow Me” button, when added to your site, acts like an image that links directly to your Pinterest profile. It lets your audience know you are on Pinterest and gives them an easy way to quickly connect with you. The “Pin it” button also makes it simple for your visitors to pin your web content. This buttons serve as a visual reminder to your audience that you are involved on Pinterest and gives you a better chance at increasing your traffic to your profile.
19. Leverage Your Blog
If you already have an audience on your blog, you can work on driving them to your Pinterest profile and ultimately following you. Consider creating boards that coordinate with your blog posts. For example, if you’re writing about “20 Pinteresting Tips” on your blog, maybe you build a board with Pins of additional tips you found around the web. You can also choose to post your own blog content to drive pinners to you blog.
20. Stay Active on Pinterest
Consistent use of Pinterest is one of the most vital things you can do to increase your followers. Take time each day to pin, repin, comment or like images. As you spend time doing these activities, the more growth you will have in your profile, meaning more content for users to eat up. Pinterest users love fresh content, so by continually posting new updates, it provides incentive for them follow your pinboards.
Start Getting More Followers
By using these trips of the trade, you’ll start increasing your own Pinterest following in no time. Your Pintersest community will grow, expanding your online presence and ultimately maximizing your marketing efforts. A high following will present you as thought-leader, trend-setter, or just plain popular. People will want to see why others have chosen to follow you, what you have to offer, and if they like what they see, probably even start following you themselves.
Pinterest guru? Have more ideas on how to gain followers? Share it!
For more pinteresting tips on Pinterest, check out my related post:
How to Create Pinterest Images that People Love to Pin: 7 Pinteresting Tips