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How to Use Pinterest to Build a Loyal Following for Your Brand

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Stuck on how to use Pinterest? Ready to stop the random pinning and get serious about building your brand on Pinterest? Let's look at ways that you can turn your passions into actions and build your brand one pin at a time.

In this article I'll share how to create a strong presence on Pinterest and create a visual brand that attracts your ideal audience. First let's tackle WHY you should be on Pinterest and then we'll look at the benefits of Pinterest.

Why your brand should be on Pinterest

Pinterest is a discovery engine where people get inspired, find ideas, and connect with you and your pins through shared ideas and visuals. When you create your Pinterest profile and boards, you're building a visual portfolio of the things that you love and inspire you.

You can build a solid social media presence on Pinterest by creating a portfolio of Pinterest boards that:

  • Share who you are
  • Build your expertise
  • Connect with others that share your passions
  • Entertain
  • Inspire

Pinterest provides long-term web traffic

Pinterest provides great value to your social media efforts because Pinterest pins last a LONG time! While return on investment (ROI) and social media are a murky topic – at best – Pinterest is proving to be the best use of your time. From a Piqora study on ROI, “50 percent of visits happen after 3.5 months of first Pinning – Pins get discovered long after they’re born and continue driving visits to sites.”

The half live of a tweet on Twitter is 24 minutes and a Facebook post will get you 90 minutes of interaction in the Newsfeed.

  • Twitter: 24 minutes
  • Facebook: 90 minutes
  • Pinterest: 151,200 minutes

To me, that's a drop the mic moment for social media ROI. It's impossible to read this and think that this kind of traffic can't help your blog or business. If it hasn't worked for you yet, you need to get your Pinterest in order so you can start reaping the benefits.

If you compare the time and effort that it takes to create a tweet, Facebook post or Pinterest pin, the time is the same but the rewards from Pinterest keep coming. In fact, “50 percent of orders happen after 2.5 months of pinning.”

Transform your passions

Pinterest is becoming where many people are searching for how-to do things and to find inspiration. In fact, 39% of Pinterest users choose Pinterest over Google search. Who would have thought there was anything that would replace looking to Google for an answer?

  • Find pins that represent things you love
  • Connect with a new community with shared interests
  • Pinterest is replacing traditional search methods
  • Smart feed finds personalized, relevant content for you

Anatomy of a fantastic pin

Pinterest is the ultimate wish list. People pin and repin things they like and want. So think of your Pinterest boards as your visual portfolios, and make your pins as appealing as possible.

1. Create beautiful images. Use photos that share what your pin is about. If you're creating pins for products, use multiple images to entice repins.

2. Add clear text to explain the pin on your image.

3. Use tall, vertical images for your pins. 1000 pixels x 1500 pixels is perfect for your pins.

4. Use text to explain the image in the description. This shouldn't be marketing jargon or industry-laden terminology, use the description to inspire people to repin your pin and tell them what they can learn from this pin.

5. Add tasteful branding to your pin with a logo and your website.

6. Avoid using hashtags since they can hurt your pin in Pinterest's Smart Feed.

7. Add keywords to your image name as well as your descriptions. This will help your pin surface more frequently in Pinterest's Smart Feed discovery search.

Provide great content for your Pinterest community

Pin 10 to 12 times per day as recommended by Susan Werner Jackson for Ahalogy. “Publish 15–20 pins daily to reach the Pinterest community at optimal times for the specific types of content you’re pinning. Variety creates a better experience for the Pinterest community. And remember, people are on Pinterest at different times, so this gives you the best chance to reach more of your followers.”

My Pinterest secret weapon is Planoly, I use it to schedule out great content and love their enhanced analytics.

Be time-efficient with your social media

  • Build a brand based on your passions
  • Create actionable pins that bring web traffic and sales
  • Build a unique visual brand on Pinterest
  • Introduce your community to what makes your brand tick

Follow these Pinterest Pros

Stack the deck by following these fantastic pinners and you'll always have great content in your Pinterest stream:

Rebekah Radice – blogger and social media strategist

Kelly Lieberman – host of the Pinterest Chat on Twitter

Holly Homer – blogger and crafty mom

Zina Harrington – blogger and amazing pinner

Jeff Sieh – Graphic designer, blogger, and Pinterest pro

Cynthia Sanchez – Podcaster and Pinterest expert

Vincent Ng – Pinterest pro and podcaster

Alisa Meredith – Inbound marketer and blogger

Donna Moritz – blogger and visual marketer

Kim Vij – Focusing on kid's educational activities

Megan Sheakowski – Coffee and awesome activities for kids

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  1. Love this post Peg; was really surprised about hashtags potentially hurting the Smart feed; I have been using them thinking it would help get me found – do you think I should stop using them altogether?

    1. Hi Davin,

      Keep the keywords in and leave the hashtags out – if it could hurt your pins and have them be seen in the home feed, why take the chance?

      Add keywords in your title, description, and image name and don’t worry about hashtags. 🙂

  2. Thanks for these post on Pinterest, Peg!

    Also, it was great to see the names of the Pinterest Pros to follow. I appreciate the quality of your info.

  3. Wonderful post. And I loved the presentation at the end. One question about pinning content from other sources; any thoughts about locations? Should I keep my own content separate from other pins? Mix it all up? Avoid them altogether? Just curious what you thought.
    Thanks again for you sharing your expertise!

    1. It does make sense! And that is the approach I am currently taking. Thanks Peg!

  4. Peg, thank you so much for including me in your list of Pinterest Pros! You did a fantastic job at SMMW and what a treat it was to spend some time with you again. Thanks for providing your slides here – I only got so many in my tweets. 🙂

    1. It was great to see you again! We didn’t have as much time to chat as we did at INBOUND but I’ll take what I can get.

      Thank you for coming to my session at SMMW – it meant a lot to have your support with so many choices.

  5. Hello Peg, I am first time on your blog from one G+ share and I really enjoyed and loved reading this post. I agree with you that Pinterest can be a powerful medium to build a loyal fan base and not only this but Pinterest also gets direct sales conversions too.
    I run a local education business and I see myself as a very poor Pinterest user who knew the power but never explored it at it’s fullest. Seems like I need to plan to use this tool more seriously. Thanks Peg, for the article and the Pro-Pinterest-User list.


  6. Hi Peg,
    I found your post on google+ and am now inspired to give Pinterest a go. Thank you for the tips on how to make it work for your website and grow an audience. Watch out Pinterest….. Here comes The Outdoor Diaries.

  7. Thanks for the great post Pat. The great thing about Pinterest is that it hasn’t reached it’s full potential yet. There are still so many people not using pins and boards to build their brand, because they haven’t haven’t grasped it’s full potential. I wrote about using Pinterest for Authors at IndieReCon this year, and the response and interest from indie authors have been overwhelming. The shelf life of a pin in incredible, and thus the ROI for the time spent on this network is fabulous. Jay

  8. Thank you Peg for the info! What are your thoughts about creatively naming your boards? I have heard that it may be good to title them using something someone would type in first like ‘Italy: Best of the boot’ or ‘Italy For Foodies’, do you think that is all hogwash? Also what are your thoughts about creating communal pin boards to get people more involved. I adore pinterest and use it regularly, but I find my growth to be quite slow.

  9. Hi Peg,
    Thanks for this guide to building a following on Pinterest. Do you have a suggestion as to how many pins I should post in between pins from my brand? Thanks! – Kim

  10. great article! do you recommend making a seperate pinterest account for your business or is it ok to have a board or 2 for your business and the rest just your regular stuff?

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