When you come to me for information I’m not going to withhold any 'insider secrets' I’m going to share everything I know so you leave here equipped with the knowledge you need to transform your account. Above all, I truly want you to be successful and see the infinite potential that lies within your reach by using Pinterest. I also remember what it was like to be a newbie on the platform, which is why I try to make my posts as beginner friendly as possible.
Now, if you choose to use my services to help you expedite the process or save yourself time, I highly recommend it 😉. But if not, don’t forget to bookmark these blog posts so you can come back to them and consult them at any point in your journey.
So you’re new to Pinterest, at least in a business sense, and you want to make your mark? Here are 8 beginner Pinterest mistakes to avoid, and advice for what to do instead!
Putting yourself before your audience
If you’ve spent the last days/months of your Pinterest career planning your wedding or home decor it’s time for a rethink. Using Pinterest as a business owner requires a complete pivot in strategy.
Once you remember that you’re curating content for your audience, not yourself then you’ll begin to see which boards are no longer relevant.
When you weed out the boards that no longer make the cut use the ‘secret’ function to tuck them neatly away from public display. The secret feature is a handy tool as you can still add pins to these boards and if you choose can return them to public view at a later date.
Going on a follow frenzy
Although try as they might social media platforms are not yet intelligent beings. That means they work on an algorithm to try and deliver the most relevant content to their users. This means if you suddenly go and follow 100 random accounts
1. Not only is your feed going to be all over the place and you’re going to have to work harder to find things to pin
2. You will be shown MORE of the existing content.
Be particular about who you follow. Ideally, you want your feed to be a combination of content that you can repin to your boards and of potential clients who might be interested in your services. So bare this in mind this every time you follow someone new.
Remember this is not the playground - you don’t need to reciprocate follows.
Joining Pinterest boards without niches
It can be tempting to apply to every group board out there and hope that one eventually accepts you, but doing this can seriously harm the reach of your pins. As I mentioned previously the Pinterest algorithm works hard to categorise your content and show it to the relevant parties.
If you’re consistently sharing your pins in a group board that doesn’t have a clear niche Pinterest won’t know how to categorise your content.
Instead, focus on joining niche group boards related to your area of expertise and becoming a valued source of information within them. Instead of “Business” think about the specific type of services you offer so something like “Marketing Tips” for me would serve me much better than a general business board.
Getting caught up in the numbers
There are a lot of rumours floating around about the right ratios of content to pin. I wish I could give you a definitive answer - but there isn’t one to give. The right amount of content depends on your account and your followers, so experiment until you find a ratio that works for you.
People also spend waaay too much time focussing on their monthly viewers instead of the metric which matters most - actual clicks to your website. I can honestly share with you having gone from 3m to 500k monthly viewers that I have more clicks to my site now than I did then.
Why? Because my content is being shown to the right people. It’s all very well people seeing your pins, but the magic happens when they get to your site.
Forgetting to include your site on your pins
So you've made your pin and you're ready to share it with the world, but wait! Have you remembered to give yourself credit? Always include the name of your site somewhere on your pin. I usually include mine in small font towards the bottom.
Firstly, because there are cases of stealing pins for their own content and secondly because it helps you to develop your brand image. Someone once reached out to me saying whenever they found a pin they loved it was always from my account. It's a simple but effective way to build a relationship on a platform that isn't particularly 'social' in the traditional sense.
Using a personal instead of business account
“If I have a business account on Pinterest, will I be penalised like I am on Instagram?”. Although Instagram strongly protest penalising the reach of those with business accounts many can’t help but think there’s something suspicious going on behind the scenes.
While I can’t comment on Instagram for Business I can say this if you don’t have a business account on Pinterest you are doing yourself a huge disservice. The business account helps your account look more professional with capabilities like rich pins and a personalised header.
Additionally, it gives you access to business-specific features like analytics and advertising that can seriously boost the reach of your pins. There’s also the small factor of it being, you know, illegal to use Pinterest for commercial purposes without one.
Maybe I should have led with that…
Writing descriptions without a strategy
Board descriptions, pin descriptions and even your bio. Did you know all of these can be optimised using one simple hack? Pinterest works very hard to show users more of the content they want to see and as such is pretty forthcoming when it comes to information on how to categorise your content.
When writing descriptions use the coloured bubbles below the search bar that relate to your keyword to write two to three sentences describing your pin or your board.
These bubbles are the most searched terms by actual users of Pinterest, use them well and you will consistently find your pins among the top ranking. And better visibility leads to... you guessed it, more clicks.
In my FREE Pinterest Sales & Success Guide (which includes a cheat sheet and checklist) I discuss the exact steps you need to set up your Pinterest profile the right way and avoid even more mistakes. If you haven’t already downloaded it I highly recommend grabbing your copy of the guide.
Not using Tailwind as a scheduling tool
I could write a whole post on Tailwind alone, but for now, I’ll keep in concise. Tailwind is a Pinterest management tool that provides access to in-depth analytics, Tailwind Tribes, scheduling capabilities and so much more. Think of it as your go-to suite for all things Pinterest.
Although Pinterest has now rolled out inbuilt scheduling I still prefer to use, and recommend, Tailwind as there are a number of useful features Pinterest don’t yet offer and the user interface is extremely well thought out.
If you’re thinking about using Tailwind to manage your Pinterest account I highly recommend signing up and trialling it for free. I’m going to be totally honest and point out that the 100 free pins will likely not be enough to see a real difference in your account, but it is a good way to look at the features and consider the impact they could have on your business in the long term. For me, it has completely revolutionized my business.
Excited about Pinterest but don’t know where to start?
I get it, becoming an expert on yet another social media platform can be a daunting task. That’s why my Pinterest services are created with you in mind and I love helping businesses gain the visibility and traction I know they deserve.